Coronavirus hits LA County's homeless population, prompting concerns of mass spreading

Coronavirus has hit the most vulnerable population of residents in Los Angeles County, Public Health officials said Monday.

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said that two homeless individuals in the county tested positive for COVID-19, as well as one staff member working at an interim homeless housing shelter.

All three of those individuals are now self-isolating, Ferrer said.


Additionally, multiple officers with the Los Angeles Police Department's Central Division, which patrols Skid Row, have tested positive for COVID-19.

RELATED: Nine LAPD employees test positive for coronavirus

On Sunday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city is in the process of opening up five new emergency shelters to move the homeless indoors. Currently, the city is operating 540 shelters, which are about 91% filled.

He announced that the city was working with UPS and Everlywell to get coronavirus test kits to seniors and community healthcare providers on Skid Row.

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The first homeless person who tested positive for COVID-19 turned up at Dockweiler State Beach, he said. That person was taken to a medical facility for treatment.

Garcetti is also asking hotel and motel owners to provide rooms for Angelenos who are homeless or who need to isolate with coronavirus. He said he believed those rooms would be paid for out of funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"The owners will be paid by the city for the rooms. We're not asking them to donate the rooms,'' Garcetti said. "We believe these expenses will be reimbursed by FEMA. It's a reimbursable expense."

He urged hotel and motel owners to go to

RELATED:, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates. 

CNS contributed to this report.