Clinical evidence suggests the central nervous system (CNS) is frequently impacted by SARS-CoV-2 infection, either directly or indirectly, although mechanisms remain unclear . Pericytes are perivascular cells within the brain that are proposed as SARS-CoV-2 infection points1 . Here we show that pericyte-like cells (PLCs), when integrated into a cortical organoid, are capable of infection with authentic SARS-CoV-2 . Prior to infection, PLCs elicited astrocytic maturation and production of basement membrane components, features attributed to pericyte functions in vivo . While traditional cortical organoids showed little evidence of infection, PLCs within cortical organoids served as viral replication hubs, with virus spreading to astrocytes and mediating inflammatory type I interferon transcriptional responses . Therefore, PLC-containing cortical organoids (PCCOs) represent a new assembloid model2 that supports SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication in neural tissue, and PCCOs serve as an experimental model for neural infection.