Home » City Guide » ,

SF Opens 3 New Test Sites for Underserved Areas This Week

A mobile COVID-19 site opens in the Tenderloin plus sites at City College and Hunters View
By - posted 5/18/2020 No Comment

Mayor London Breed Announces New COVID-19 Testing Sites in Underserved Areas

Monday, May 18, 2020

Three new testing opportunities—a mobile site initially stationed in the Tenderloin, a site at City College, and another in Hunters View—bring testing resources to neighborhoods that are underserved and bolster San Francisco’s capacity to test workers and people experiencing a symptom of the virus

Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced the creation of three new COVID-19 testing opportunities in San Francisco, including the City’s first mobile testing site and testing for families in Hunters View.

Make an appointment to get tested

Testing is currently open for:

  • Any person living in San Francisco that has 1 symptom or has been in close contact with a positive COVID-19 person
  • Any essential or frontline worker serving the community of San Francisco regardless of symptoms or exposure

Increasing access to testing is an important part of the City’s efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in San Francisco. The expanded testing opportunities is another step toward the City’s goal of universal access to testing for all San Franciscans.

Equity has been a central focus of the City’s COVID-19 emergency response, and ensuring access to testing is an important part of that ongoing effort.

The new testing sites are part of the City’s efforts to reach communities that are affected by disparities in the spread of the coronavirus and provide additional testing resources in areas of the city that do not currently have as many testing options. Combined, the new sites will add capacity to conduct over 500 additional COVID-19 tests per day.

Who can get tested

Any worker that serves San Francisco and who leaves their home to work can get tested for COVID-19, regardless of symptoms or exposure. Any person living in San Francisco with at least one symptom of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 can get tested. For more information about COVID-19 testing, contact your primary health care provider, call 311, or visit SF.gov/GetTestedSF.

Mobile Testing Site

The City is collaborating with Verily to operate a mobile COVID-19 testing site, which is the first mobile testing site in San Francisco. The site will begin offering walk-through COVID-19 testing in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 20. It will initially operate at the Tenderloin Recreational Center, after which it will move to another high-need neighborhood.

Tenderloin Pop-up Testing Site:

Tenderloin Recreational Center, 570 Ellis Street

  • Wednesday, May 20 to Sunday May 24, 10am-4pm
  • Thursday, May 28 to Monday June 1, 10am-4pm

Call 311 or book at sf.gov. Appointments preferred, but not necessary.

The mobile testing site has the capacity to conduct several hundred tests per day. Online appointments are strongly encouraged; however, staff from GLIDE and Code Tenderloin will be onsite to register individuals who have barriers to registering online. GLIDE and Code Tenderloin will help create a familiar and welcoming presence at the testing site.

Verily’s Baseline COVID-19 Program provides a connected solution to support individuals from screening through testing and receipt of their test results. Verily developed The Baseline COVID-19 Program working closely with state and local government health authorities and other private health organizations to expand access to COVID-19 screening and testing in areas with a high volume of known cases. To date, the platform has supported the testing of over 100,000 people nationally.

For each deployment of the mobile testing site, the City and Verily will collaborate with trusted community organizations, to help raise awareness about the site and connect people to other services. While the mobile site is located in the Tenderloin, the City will be working with GLIDE and Code Tenderloin to conduct community outreach about the site and ensure the site remains safe and accessible for everyone in the neighborhood.

Testing Site at City College

A second COVID-19 testing site will open May 18th at the City College Student Health Center. This site is open to any California resident and is part of the State’s efforts to increase testing access in areas with the highest need. The State identified zip codes throughout California that have a lack of COVID-19 testing access, including the 94112 zip code in San Francisco, which encompasses the Excelsior and OMI neighborhoods. The City’s Emergency Operations Center has worked with the State to operationalize this additional testing resource in the city.

The site offers COVID-19 testing by appointment and is operated by OptumServe, which is funded through a contract with the State of California. It has the capacity to conduct around 130 tests per day.

Testing in Bayview-Hunters Point

The City continues to focus on areas that have been disproportionately impacted, which includes the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood. In addition to having one of the highest rates of cases in the City, there are unique risk factors inherent to many families in this community, including higher rates of multigenerational households, chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes, transient housing, and essential workers. In order to support vulnerable communities served by the Bayview Child Health Center, the City and partner organizations will be bringing testing directly to families in their neighborhood from Wednesday, May 20, through Friday, May 22, and continuing every Friday thereafter for the foreseeable future.

Testing will occur in conjunction with preexisting social services programming in the Hunters View community. Residents will have the option of pre-registering for testing and receiving a telehealth visit or signing up same day and having a live visit with a clinician prior to testing. Anyone testing positive will have access to a hotel room to quarantine in order to prevent the spread of the virus within their household. Additionally, mask and hand sanitizer will be distributed as part of hygiene kits provided along with food distribution and educational resources for children. This initiative builds upon HOPE SF and the Human Rights Commission’s work to lead with community and uplift a culturally competent and inclusive approach to the City’s disaster response.

COVID-19 Testing in San Francisco

As important as testing is, it is just one piece of an overall approach to fight the coronavirus. It is just as crucial to prevent getting sick in the first place. That includes staying at home, physical distancing, covering your face when you are around other people, and frequent hand washing. It is equally important to develop strong systems to respond to the pandemic, including a well-prepared hospital system to handle a surge of cases, an effective contact tracing system to reduce spread and limit exposure, and sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment for health care workers and patients.

San Francisco began local COVID-19 testing in the Public Health Lab on March 2, 2020 and has been continually expanding testing capacity. Below are a few examples of the City’s additional testing expansions to date:

  • The City opened two CityTestSF sites for symptomatic frontline workers and essential workers as well as San Franciscans who are uninsured or have barriers to health care access. CityTestSF will test frontline workers and essential workers without symptoms, close contacts to confirmed COVID-19 cases without symptoms, and anyone living in the city with one symptom consistent with COVID-19.
  • DPH has opened test sites in the community at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Castro-Mission Health Center, Southeast Health Center and Maxine Hall Health Center. In addition, DPH Jail Health Services tests all people coming into the jail who will be housed in jail.
  • DPH announced on May 1st that all residents and staff working at the 21 skilled nursing facilities in San Francisco will be tested for the COVID-19 virus.
  • San Francisco now has at least 28 public and private testing sites across the city at UCSF, NEMS, One Medical, Kaiser, Sutter, Chinese Hospital, and Dignity Health.
  • The City is working with partners, such as UCSF and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, on COVID-19 testing. There is research underway that uses testing to help us learn more about the prevalence of the virus in the community.