SAN DIEGO — The migrant shelter at the San Diego Convention Center is expected to reach capacity Sunday when another group of unaccompanied minors arrives.
A total of 1,179 children are being housed at the temporary shelter at the convention center, which officials said would serve girls ages 13-17. A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson told FOX 5 that the shelter is expected to reach capacity — 1,450 unaccompanied minors — after the next group arrives Sunday.
Bonnie Preston with HHS said 133 children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the shelter operation launched last Saturday. The children were flown to San Diego from Texas then bussed to the convention center.
A majority of the children tested positive before arriving in San Diego, according to HHS, and all of the children are asymptomatic. None have required hospitalization.
HHS said CDC physicians and other experts are overseeing shelter operations to ensure COVID-19 protocols are followed. Rady Children’s Hospital set up medical screening, urgent care and primary care on-site to serve children’s medical needs.
City and county leaders announced the decision March 22 to transition the convention center into a temporary shelter for unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the U.S. Officials offered the space through July to help lessen the burden on over-crowded border facilities.
Operation Shelter to Home was winding down after nearly 1,300 individuals and 43 families found permanent or longer-term housing in the year the convention center served as a homeless shelter. The homeless who were still staying at the convention center were moved into the city’s reconfigured shelters.