Even as daily Covid case numbers fall in Los Angeles, there has been a rash of infections at one of the city’s glitziest addresses: 321 Hampton Drive in Venice. That’s one of the buildings that make up Google’s Silicon Beach campus.
The compound was, of course, famous even before the search giant set up shop there about a decade ago. It includes the Main Street facing “Binoculars Building” designed by Frank Gehry, which is most notable for the giant sculpture by artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen out front.
Today, however, the location is notable because, according to reporting from Los Angeles County Public Health, it is the locus of one of the biggest workplace outbreaks in the region. The L.A. County Covid Outbreaks page indicates that there have been 145 infections at the 321 Hampton Drive address. It also lists another 15 at the adjacent 320 Hampton Drive address, also identified as Google. That makes for a total of 159 infections.
Google had announced a partial return to work at some of its U.S. offices for April. It is unclear how extensive the return has been in Venice.
The 159 infections in Venice is one of the largest current outbreaks in the county, and certainly the largest in the media/tech sector. Deadline reported weeks ago that, near the height of the Omicron BA.5 surge in the county, the sprawling Warner Bros. lot in Burbank had seen 67 cases. That has increased to 71 as of today, according to the official LADPH count. But the Google number dwarfs Warners’.
The status of the outbreak at Google is hard to know. Deadline reached out to the tech giant and will add any comment received. There could be a lag time between infection detection, the reporting thereof and when the county dashboard finally reflects that count, but the LADPH site is updated daily and the Google outbreak was not listed there last week.
For perspective, other large tech/media biz outbreaks have included the one at Lionsgate in May, when the studio saw 21 infections. More than half of those were among employees returning from CinemaCon in Las Vegas.
Last month there were 24 cases attributed to Sony Pictures Studios on the list, 11 infections at L.A. Center Studios — that number of has grown to 52 — and a whopping 46 people sick at Crypto.com Arena. That facility also saw 61 infections at the peak of the first Omicron wave in January.
Amazon currently has just under 50 infections between two delivery facilities in Torrance and Glendale. Apple has had multiple, frequent outbreaks at its retail stores, but none close to the size of Google’s.
There are currently two larger workplace outbreaks in the county, but they’re in the travel sector and consumer facing. American Airlines at LAX, Terminal 4 has tallied 235 infections of late. The TSA there has counted a whopping 274 infections.