Even as daily COVID case counts dwindle in Los Angeles, there has been a rash of infections at one of the city’s glitziest addresses: 321 Hampton Dr in Venice. This is Google’s location on the Silicon Beach campus.
The complex was, of course, famous even before the search giant moved there a decade ago. Designed by Frank Ghery, the so-called “Binoculars Building” is most notable for the giant sculpture by artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen at the front.
Today, however, the location is notable because, according to reports from Los Angeles County Public Health, it is the site of one of the region’s largest workplace outbreaks. Covid Outbreaks in LA County page says there were 145 infections at 321 Hampton Drive. It also lists 15 more at the adjacent 320 Hampton Drive address, also identified as Google. This makes a total of 159 infections.
Google had announced a partial return to work in some of its US offices for April. It is not known how extensive the return to Venice was.
The 159 infections in Venice are one of the largest current outbreaks in the county, and certainly the largest in the media/tech sector. Deadline Reported a few weeks ago, near the peak of the Omicron BA.5 wave in the county, the vast land of Warner Bros. in Burbank had seen 67 cases. This figure has risen to 71 to date, according to the official count of the LADPH.
It is unclear what the status of infections at Google is. Deadline contacted at Google and will add any comments received. There could be a delay between the detection of the infection, the declaration of it and the moment when the county dashboard finally reflects this number, but the LADPH site is updated daily and the outbreak of Google was not listed there last week.
To put it into perspective, other major tech/media biz outbreaks included one at Lionsgate in May, when the studio saw 21 infections. More than half of them were employees returning from CinemaCon in Las Vegas.
Last month, there were 24 cases attributed to Sony Pictures Studios on the list, 11 infections at LA Center Studios – that number has risen to 52 – and 46 sick people at Crypto.com Arena. This facility also saw 61 infections at the height of the first Omicron wave in January.
There are currently two larger workplace outbreaks in the county, but they relate to the travel industry and consumers.
American Airlines at LAX, Terminal 4 has counted 235 infections lately. The TSA counted 274 infections.