L.A. homeless sites ‘overwhelmed’ by COVID-19: ‘These are the toughest times’

Though infections among the homeless have generally lagged slightly below the county’s per capita rate, belying early predictions of devastating outbreaks in shelters and encampments, the December surge has brought a spike in the homeless numbers as well, further straining the overstretched services system.

After averaging about 60 new cases each week through the fall, infections of homeless people doubled in the week after Thanksgiving and have since continued to climb sharply. On Tuesday, the Department of Public Health’s latest report showed 547 new cases in the previous week.

“The unexplainable protection that people who are homeless have had from COVID is disappearing,” Bales said. “All of skid row and many agencies/missions are hot spots. All are overwhelmed.”

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