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The Los Angeles Times interviewed Randall Kuhn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, Anne Rimoin, professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School's UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, and Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, on how the pandemic has played out among the homeless population in southern California.
When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, advocates predicted that a “time bomb” was about to go off in the homeless community.
Many homeless people live under conditions worse than those of a refugee camp, with health problems that predispose them to severe illness. Researchers feared they’d succumb in high numbers to the worst ravages of the disease.
But the powder keg has yet to go off. There has been little spread of the novel coronavirus in Los Angeles’ street encampments. Some shelters have had outbreaks, but most of those infected had no symptoms.