temporary bridge shelter
Alpha Project's temporary bridge shelter in Barrio Logan / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

As the new year dawns on us, omicron is letting loose.

The latest, super contagious coronavirus variant was fueled from the holidays and is now hampering daily life — and San Diego is no exception.

Local public services and government agencies are getting hit hard. Universities are pushing classes back online. Hospitals and firehouses are seeing unprecedented absences due to staff catching “the ‘vid.”

Voice of San Diego reporter Lisa Halverstadt looked at the crisis through the region’s most vulnerable population: homeless residents.

Even though the surge we’re experiencing now was anticipated by local researchers, San Diego’s homeless services were caught unprepared and are now overwhelmed. Homeless folks who catch COVID-19 must be isolated, per health guidelines. But there aren’t enough spaces for them. Now they’re staying in tents and other unfit places.

This week, hosts Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña assess the state of things in San Diego as we whether another pandemic wave.

Stateside Shakeup

The state legislature was back in session this week. And right away, San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez dropped a bomb in announcing her resignation. Later this year, she’ll start leading the California Labor Federation, the largest group of labor unions in the nation.

Gonzalez, soon to be termed out, has had the district moved out from under her with the latest round of redistricting. The once-a-decade political rejiggering moved her out of her district — the 80th Assembly District — and put her in the 79th, currently rep’d by Assemblywoman Akilah Weber.

With Gonzalez out of the picture, two former San Diego City Councilmembers (and well known allies) David Alvarez and Georgette Gómez are vying for the seat.

Psst. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our San Diego 101 podcast featuring Gonzalez: “A Short History of San Diego Politics.” It chronicles two decades of San Diego’s political scene and how Gonzalez (and labor) changed things.

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Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at nate@vosd.org.

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