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COVID outbreak at San Diego Convention Center Homeless Shelter

Written by Michael Palomba

The San Diego Convention Center, which has been repurposed into a homeless shelter during the pandemic, has become the location of a major COVID-19 outbreak. In less than a week, at least 80 people have tested positive for the virus. The center now has 120 positive cases, and if the trend continues, that number will only increase.

The city reported 50 new cases on Saturday, from tests given on December 3rd. And on Monday, an additional 26 positive cases were reported from tests administered on December 5th. Another round of tests were given on Monday, and those results are not currently available.

Despite the shocking and drastic rise in positive cases at the center, city spokesperson Ashley Bailey said “The recent positive test results are not unexpected given the surge seen throughout the region, the state and the country.”

Dr. Eric McDonald, the medical director of the county’s epidemiology department echoed that in a statement, saying the increase is “not unexpected given the recent surge in cases throughout the county.”

“As we have seen among new cases throughout the county, one very contagious person who is ‘social’ can lead to a lot of other cases, and that may be what happened in this outbreak,” Dr. McDonald added.

As Bailey and Dr. McDonald said, there has been a surge throughout the region. As of December 10th, San Diego County reported 99,599 cases, a 2,050 case increase from the previous day.

With that being said, the survival rate among those who test positive for the virus remains very high. For individuals under 69 years of age, the CDC reports over a 99% survival rate. For individuals over the age of 70, the survival rate is still high, coming in at 94.6%. Rudy Guliani, who is 76 years old and tested positive for COVID this week, was discharged from the hospital after only 4 days. He tweeted this morning that he is “back 100% and lost little time.”

Photo via Associated Press/Gregory Bull