This spring is a season of transition at the San Diego Convention Center (SDCC). With the Operation Shelter to Home closing at the end of March, the Center will transition to temporarily housing unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the United States.
Convention Center to be Available for Federal Government Housing for Unaccompanied Children Seeking Asylum
On March 22, 2021, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and County of San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher issued a press release announcing plans for the federal government to use the San Diego Convention Center for emergency needs. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will use space within the facility to temporarily house unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the United States.
As plans progress, the SDCC will share details about this use and provide additional information regarding frequently asked questions.
Since April 2020, the Convention Center has provided temporary shelter for more than 4,000 people as part of Operation Shelter to Home. The operation in its exhibit halls is demobilizing over the next few weeks, with plans in place for all residents to have access to safe shelter at other facilities. See the Mayor’s Office press release.
Following the closure, an extensive third-party cleaning and disinfecting process will be completed throughout all our spaces where the shelter operated. This process will meet or exceed standards of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) and adhere to CDC guidelines for providing clean and sanitary environments. After the third party completes their work, the SDCC team will conduct additional deep-cleaning, disinfecting and maintenance to guarantee that it is ready to begin welcoming events and attendees back to a premier gathering place.
On March 16, San Diego County moved into California’s less restrictive Red Tier, which now requires a case rate of four to ten COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. The change allowed indoor operations to resume at limited capacity and with modifications at restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other establishments. Since the State of California has not yet released approved meeting and convention guidelines for our industry, the California Travel Association is leading a campaign for immediate action. The SDCC along with the San Diego Tourism Authority have signed on to a letter explaining this urgent need as meeting planners, exhibitors and attendees need advance notice to plan their activities in San Diego.
Once guidance is issued, the Convention Center will update its website and the teams will connect directly with meeting planners who are planning events in 2021 and 2022. Currently, the Convention Center has a full schedule of events remaining on our calendar for the second half of 2021. For details, see its online calendar and the reopening & safe meetings page of our site.
Possible Vaccination Center & Other Potential Activities
In addition, the Convention Center has been in communication with local health officials about supporting other essential activities, including possibly serving as a vaccination superstation this spring. It will share further updates as plans progress.
If you have questions about these topics or anything else, please reach out to your sales contact.