(Courtesy photo)

New testing sites announced at CCSF and in mobile facility

Three additional new COVID-19 coronavirus testing sites will open in San Francisco, all aimed at serving people in the some of the city’s neediest areas, Mayor London Breed announced Monday.

The new sites, which open this week, include a mobile testing site, one at City College of San Francisco and another to serve the city’s Bayview and Hunters Point communities. Combined, all three sites are capable of conducting more than 500 additional COVID-19 tests per day, on top of the tests already being conducted at other sites already open.

“This new testing sites help make testing more convenient and accessible for San Franciscans, especially people who are most at-risk and communities that have been hardest hit by the virus,” Breed said in a statement.

“As we continue toward universal testing, it’s critical that we focus on reaching communities that have historically been under-served and that don’t have as many testing resources available to them,” she said.

“Today, we are taking another step towards ensuring equitable access to testing for San Franciscans,” the city Department of Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said.

“By strengthening our efforts in neighborhoods that we know are most vulnerable to severe impacts of the virus, we continue to help people get the care they need and slow the spread of the virus,” Colfax said. “Not only does testing expansion help identify cases more rapidly and inform outbreak detection, it also continues to be an essential part of our overall strategy towards recovery.”

The mobile testing program launching this week is the first such one in the city. Starting Wednesday, it will begin offering walk-thru COVID-19 testing in the Tenderloin neighborhood, operating outside the Tenderloin Recreation Center at 570 Ellis St., although appointments made online are strongly encouraged.

The mobile site, which can conduct several hundred tests per day, will then move to another high-risk neighborhood in the future, according to city officials.

The testing site at City College is part of a statewide effort to increase testing and will begin Monday at the school’s Student Health Center for any California resident. COVID-19 testing at the site is available by appointment only.

The City College site is capable of conducting around 130 tests daily, city officials said. The COVID-19 testing site for residents in the Bayview and Hunters Point areas will be done Wednesday through Friday of this week, and continue every Friday after that.

Under this program, residents can pre-register for testing and receive a telehealth visit or have a live visit with a clinician prior to testing. People who test positive may be offered a hotel room to quarantine in order to prevent the spread of the virus in their household, city officials said.

For more information about testing, residents can visit https://sf.gov/find-out-how-get-tested-coronavirus.

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