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City News - Press Releases

Posted on: June 4, 2020

Tracking coronavirus: One shelter staff, resident test positive, no other cases

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 8, 2020) — One staff member and one resident at the La Mesa Emergency Shelter, a 102-bed facility run by Illumination Foundation, have tested positive for Covid-19, the infection caused by coronavirus.

The staff member is now self-isolating and recovering at home and the resident has been isolated and is asymptomatic. Their names are being withheld to protect their privacy.

There are no known cases among the 45 residents at the shelter, which is in an industrial area alongside the Riverside (91) Freeway near Kraemer Boulevard.

None of the shelter’s other residents are showing symptoms of coronavirus infection.

As a precaution, all shelter residents and staff were tested after the staff member went home feeling sick. All residents and staff were tested again last week and no other cases were found. 

Tests were done in coordination with the Orange County Health Care Agency and Anaheim Fire & Rescue.

All residents and staff continue to follow a high standard of public health best practices, including sanitizing touch points and physical distancing.

The shelter and the city of Anaheim have quarantine plans in place should they be needed.

There are no concerns for businesses nearby the shelter. All are located significantly away from the shelter.

This is the first reported case of a shelter resident in Anaheim amid the coronavirus outbreak, thanks to best practices being followed at Anaheim’s shelters.

In March, Anaheim Emergency Shelter had reported cases among two staff members, but no residents tested positive. There have not been any further concerns at the shelter.

As part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus among the homeless community, Anaheim has made use of 39 trailers from the state to isolate residents before they enter the shelter. The trailers are also available should anyone need to be quarantined.

Out of an abundance of caution, we have also relocated all high-risk residents to a motel being rented out by the city. The motel has about 14 residents and the city continues to rent out needed rooms while trying to find housing for them.

Anaheim has also made use of a county-run motel used for isolation and quarantine as needed.

In April, Anaheim opened a temporary 49-bed shelter for women at The Salvation Army’s thrift store, located in an industrial area just south of the 91 freeway, in an effort to get more people off the streets during this crisis and stem the spread of the virus in the community.

The temporary shelter closed down this week and residents moved to other housing or shelters in our city.

Finally, the 101-bed expansion at the Anaheim Emergency Shelter opened June 1 as planned, bringing the shelter to a total of 325 beds.

For daily updates on coronavirus in Anaheim, see

For information on our homeless shelters, see

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