Father Joe’s Villages prepares for coronavirus outbreak amongst San Diego homeless
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Besides seniors, another segment of the population that may be particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus (COVID-19) is the homeless.
Homeless advocates in San Diego are preparing for the possibility of an outbreak in that population.
On Sunday, 141 people were placed under public health supervision in the county because they were at risk of having been exposed to the novel coronavirus, according to county health officials.
“The appearance of this novel coronavirus in our community is very likely and regional efforts to prepare and respond are on the rise,” according to a county statement.
The first U.S. death from the disease was reported Saturday in the Pacific Northwest. Public health officials said the victim was a man in his 50s and a resident of King County, Washington, who had underlying health issues. As of Wednesday evening, 11 people have died from the illness, including a person outside Sacramento, the first outside of Washington.
In a report from San Diego County health officials updated Friday, a total of 390 people were monitored for the disease and 249 people have completed their monitoring. The remaining 141 are monitoring their health under the supervision of public health officials, the county report said.
The report also said there were no confirmed positive cases in the county, except for two cases of people who were under federal quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar after repatriation flights from Wuhan, China, on Feb. 5 and Feb. 7. Test results in San Diego County are still pending for five people, including Customs and Border Protection and Immigration Customs Enforcement detainees.
Thirteen patients tested negative in the county, the report said, for a total of 18 people tested.
The county Board of Supervisors last week unanimously reaffirmed and extended a local health declaration in response to concerns about the outbreak. But county officials stressed that the risk of contracting the virus locally remains low.
President Donald Trump gave a televised update on the outbreak Saturday, when he announced new travel restrictions involving Iran and warnings about travel to parts of Italy and South Korea, where high virus activity has been reported.
In answer to a reporter’s question, Trump said his administration was “thinking about” possibly closing the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent further spread of the disease, but later appeared to back off that answer, saying he didn’t think that would be necessary.