Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, has said coronavirus testing is focusing primarily on those at highest risk. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

In SF, coronavirus cases increase to 18

San Francisco announced Thursday that the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has increased to 18, up from the previous reported total of 14.

Of the four new cases, two are hospitalized and two are isolated at home, according to the Department of Public Health.

One of the four new cases had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The other three did not have close contact with a confirmed case nor have they recently traveled to a country with COVID-19 cases, consistent with what is known as community spread.

Health officials have said they expect more cases as more tests are administered. The first two cases were announced in San Francisco last Thursday and climbed to 14 as of Wednesday. The four new cases bring the total to 18.

Tests are not available on demand and prioritized for those patients meeting certain criteria.

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the Department of Public Health, said Wednesday that “there are so many requests right now we really need to focus right now on the people who are most at risk for poor outcomes from this disease and we are prioritizing testing for people who are in the hospital, for people who are close contacts of people that have a confirmed COVID-19 infection and for healthcare workers because we must also protect our healthcare workforce.”

The City is not disclosing how many tests they have administered but only the cases when someone tests positive.

Tyrone Jue, a Department of Public Health acting spokesperson, said that “since late last week, more commercial and university laboratories, like LabCorp, Quest, and Stanford, have started to administer the COVID-19 test upon clinician referral.”

The private labs report the results to the department if there are positive results.

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