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San Diego County Reports 290 COVID-19 Cases, As Migrants Test Positive
Monday, March 29, 2021
Photo by Matthew Bowler
Several dozen of the teenage asylum seekers being housed in the San Diego Convention Center have tested positive for COVID-19, a U.S. Health and Human Services representative announced Monday, while local public health officials reported 290 new infections among county residents and an uptick in hospitalizations.
More than 500 asylum seekers, all girls between 13 and 17 years old, were transferred to San Diego from a Border Patrol facility in Texas. As of Monday, 33 have tested positive — including 27 from pre-transfer screenings and another six since arriving in San Diego.
None of the cases are serious, according to the HHS, and all of the teens are symptomatic at this time.
The asylum seekers are separated into pods of about 50, which won't intermingle. HHS Acting Regional Director Bonnie Preston said the girls who tested positive are being sheltered away from the rest of the migrant teens under COVID-19 protocols.
Around 250 more teens were scheduled to be flown into San Diego on Monday, for a total of around 750 youths held at the San Diego Convention Center.
According to San Diego County Health and Human Services data released Monday, the number of coronavirus hospitalizations
increased to 198, from the previous day's 190. Of those, 68 were being treated in intensive care units, unchanged from Sunday's count.
The latest infections reported by the HHSA increases the county's cumulative caseload to 269,770. The death count remained unchanged at 3,547.
Of 6,676 tests reported Monday, 4% returned positive.
Beginning Tuesday, two new vaccination sites will open, including a clinic that will operate from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at North Inland First United Methodist Church, 341 Kalmia St., in Escondido. Appointments are required for the walk-thru clinic which will have the capacity to vaccinate 250 people daily.
Vaccinations will be administered during the same hours and days at the Mountain View Educational Cultural Complex, 4343 Ocean Blvd. in southeastern San Diego. The appointment-based walk-up clinic will have the capacity to administer 500 doses initially but can ramp up to 1,000 each day. The new clinic replaces the Central Region Immunization Clinic at 3177 Ocean View Blvd., which had a capacity for 100 vaccinations each day.
COVID-19 vaccines will also be available on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at a one-day, walk-up, no-appointment clinic at the Sherman Heights Community Center, 2258 Island Ave. A total of 300 doses will be administered that day on a first-come, first-served basis exclusively to residents of the 92102 and 92113 ZIP codes. Proof of residence such as a driver's license or utility bill will be required.
Officials announced the Del Mar vaccination site will close Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday due to a vaccine supply shortfall. It was closed last Sunday for the same reason.
More than 1.73 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the county HHSA, and more than 1.64 million have been logged as administered. This number includes both county residents and those who work in San Diego County.
The HHSA on Sunday reported more than 890,000 people — or 33.8% of San Diego County residents over the age of 16 — have received at least one dose of the two-shot vaccines, and 554,555 people — or 20.6% — have been fully vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccines will be made available to everyone in the state age 50 and older beginning Thursday, then to everyone age 16 and up on April 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last Thursday.
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