The City has announced new testing sites such as this one at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. (Courtesy art)

Coronavirus cases increase to 583 as SF aims to test 50K in April

Breed announces testing site at Pier 30-32

San Francisco reported its lowest daily increase in confirmed coronavirus cases of April so far on Monday, with the tally rising by 15 from Sunday to 583.

Deaths increased by one for a total of nine. The highest daily increase of cases this month was on April 3, when 47 new cases were reported.

On Sunday, The City announced more cases at The City’s long-term care facility Laguna Honda Hospital, where city officials are working with state and federal staff to control an outbreak. As of Sunday, Laguna Honda has 14 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, of which 11 are staff and three residents.

In March alone, testing confirmed 397 people had contracted Covid-19, about 10 percent of the total 3,900 people tested in that month.

In April, testing is expected to expand significantly and new locations have opened up to administer tests.

Mayor London Breed on Monday announced a new testing facility located at Pier 30-32 dedicated mostly to police officers, firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, 911 dispatchers and health care workers.

“Expanding testing is critical. Our first responders need to know with confidence that they can safely return to work and spend time in their homes with their families, or if the need to isolate and get medical care,” Breed said in a statement.

The facility will operate as a drive-through and walk-through, and will ultimately be able to conduct 200 tests a day.

A spokesperson for the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation announced also funding last week to establish new test sites at a Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital parking lot at 23rd Street and Potrero Avenue. The lot will have a test site that can accommodate two cars simultaneously and another test site to accommodate walk-ups.

Tests are administered upon referral from a San Francisco Health Network provider or clinic, Emergency Department or Urgent Care facility.

“In March, there were 3,900 tests conducted in San Francisco,” according to the announcement last week. “The City’s goal for April is 50,000 tests. The ZSFG site will help meet this critical goal and foster a better understanding of how the disease is spreading within our community.”

Dr. Grant Colfax, head of the Department of Public Health, previously announced that San Francisco’s public lab has begun testing up to 450 a day, an increase from the initial 50 tests it had the ability to conduct initially.

The Department of Public Health is not reporting the total amount of tests administered each day nor a number of other data points that the California Department of Public Health or other counties are reporting, such as hospitalizations or the number of health care workers who contract the illness.

Instead DPH, is only reporting confirmed cases and deaths for its daily updates, prompting calls for increased data including from Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

As of Saturday, there were 80 patients with Covid-19 hospitalized in San Francisco hospitals, including 37 in the ICU, according to the CDPH.

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