The City has opened two public testing sites, at Piers 30-32 and in the South of Market neighborhood, available to anyone with symptoms of coronavirus. (Courtesy of SFDPH)

SF announces free coronavirus testing for essential workers without symptoms

San Francisco expanded testing Monday to essential workers who do not have symptoms of coronavirus.

The tests for essential workers are available at CityTestSF sites and the Department of Public Health community sites.

Essential workers include health care workers, first responders, grocery clerks, construction workers, drivers and childcare workers.

These workers can decide when they want to have the free tests, but are advised to undergo testing immediately if they feel ill or have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or if they were exposed to the virus.

“San Francisco’s essential workers have kept our city going for months now during the pandemic response,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement when announcing the change. “They continue to show up every day, often at great personal risk, and I am so grateful to them. Now that we have our testing program established and are certain that we can test everyone with symptoms, we want to extend to them the opportunity to get tested more easily—for peace of mind and to take action if needed to protect themselves and their families.”

The two CityTestSF sites are at the Embarcadero and in SoMa. The Department of Public Health’s community test sites also include the Southeast Health Center in the Bayview, Castro-Mission Health Center in the Castro, Maxine Hall Health Center in the Western Addition, and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital in the Mission. Workers must make an appointment before being tested at any of the sites.

“To achieve our goal of universal access, we have continually expanded testing, based on where the need is greatest, and the availability of resources,” Dr. Grant Colfax, head of the Department of Public Health, said in a statement. “We focused first on people with symptoms – in outbreaks, vulnerable populations, case contact investigations and among essential workers. As the circle keeps widening, we now can test more people without symptoms, including close contacts, residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities and essential workers.”

As of Monday, there were 25,165 tests administered in San Francisco, 1,624 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 29 deaths.

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