LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Dozens of children being housed at migrant centers at the Long Beach Convention Center and the Pomona Fairplex are being treated for COVID-19, according to federal officials.
Among the 710 migrant children being housed in Long Beach, 47 of them have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Zhan Caplan of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which operates the sites. A total of 67 children are in isolation, but siblings are being kept together, Caplan said.
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“The cases are either all asymptomatic or very mild symptoms, Caplan said. “The children are getting excellent care from UCLA Health, our medical provider.”
At the Pomona Fairplex site, 14 out of the 216 children housed there have tested positive and were being housed separately, according to Bonnie Preston of Health and Human Services.
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“We have a team of infectious disease experts from the (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) on site who are working with program leads to implement CDC COVID-19 protocols as the site gears up and the census grows,” Preston said.
Most of Pomona’s COVID cases and at other HHS intake centers were children who arrived with the virus, testing positive when they left the custody of Border Patrol, Preston said. The children who tested positive were taken to intake centers in separate vehicles, and once they arrived in Pomona, they were kept separate from the rest of the migrant children.
The Pomona Fairplex site, which can house as many as 2,500 children, opened its doors on Saturday, while the Long Beach site opened a week earlier with a capacity of about 1,000 children. All the children being housed at these sites arrived unaccompanied at the U.S.-Mexico border, and will be housed at these intake centers until they can be reunited with family or placed with sponsors.
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