Coronavirus: First COVID-19 case on Skid Row in downtown LA confirmed

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Union Rescue Mission, which serves Skid Row's massive homeless population, reported a staff member was hospitalized with COVID-19.

The mission says the worker is on a ventilator at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center but has shown signs of improvement. It's the first confirmed case of coronavirus on Skid Row.

About 100 people on the mission's third floor - which houses a live-in rehabilitation program and is where the employee lives - are being quarantined. Several others were sent to a quarantine facility set up at a beach RV park.

The mission's executive director said despite the positive test, they will never turn away those in need.

"I am not, and we are not, gonna let people suffer on the streets," Rev. Andy Bales said. "We will never turn our back on people who come to use. We will never lock our front door on people in need."

Psychiatrist answers questions about pandemic's impact on mental health
EMBED More News Videos

From crowded grocery stores to kids being out of school, the fallout from the coronavirus emergency can take a toll on people's mental health. Psychiatrist Dr. Jena Lee of UCLA Health joined ABC7 on Sunday via Skype to answer questions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.