Mayor London Breed, along with Doctor Tomas Aragon, Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu and Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, spoke Feb. 25 at a press conference about city preparations for the coronavirus. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)

SF launches coronavirus text message alert system

The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management and the Department of Public Health on Friday announced the launch of a new COVID-19 public information text message alert system.

The system will allow city officials to send real-time information to the public concerning the novel coronavirus in San Francisco.

Beginning Friday, the public can sign up to receive the text messages by texting COVID19SF to the shortcode: 888-777.

Officials said the system, which is being administered through the citywide alerting system AlertSF, will let public health and safety officials issue information and instructions about the novel coronavirus and will also be used to communicate the potential cancellation of major events and public facility closures.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath.

As of Thursday, San Francisco had two confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

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