City to Provide Temporary Housing for People Needing to Quarantine due to Possible Coronavirus Exposure
Temporary housing, including RVs, will provide quarantine locations for individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 and cannot self-isolate.
San Francisco, CA — As the City continues to strengthen its response to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), San Francisco is working to provide quarantine locations for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and do not need to be hospitalized, as well as individuals who have been exposed to the virus and do not have access to adequate shelter due to homelessness or shared living arrangements. Shared-living situations include SROs, shelters, and Permanent Supportive Housing.
“Our top priority is public health and slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Mayor Breed. “Not everyone in our city has access to housing where they can go if they are infected or are exposed to the virus, and it’s important that we take measures like this to care for our most vulnerable residents, including people who are homeless.”
Temporary isolation housing will include recreational vehicles (RVs), which have been leased and will be staged in the Presidio. The RVs will be placed in various secure locations throughout the city as needed. The City is also in the process of identifying additional locations for auxiliary quarantine housing, including unoccupied residential property. As the City continues to work to secure additional locations, City leaders are asking local hotels to join in identifying vacant hotel rooms for this purpose so that San Francisco can be better prepared to care for all of its residents.
“We are working on many fronts to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 throughout San Francisco, from cancelling large gatherings and encouraging tele-commuting, to instructing vulnerable populations to limit their outings,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco Director of Health. “By providing quarantine support for people who are experiencing homelessness or who live in SROs or other congregate settings, we can help ensure that those who are exposed to the virus are able to self-isolate.”
The City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has expanded its operations to prepare for and mitigate the effects of COVID-19. The EOC manages the procurement of supplies and equipment needed to effectively manage the COVID-19 emergency in San Francisco, including securing auxiliary quarantine facilities. The City’s public health system manages the intake and evaluation of COVID-19 exposure and makes recommendations to the EOC regarding who is a candidate for a temporary quarantine housing. The EOC will then coordinate transportation and supplies for the individual to safely and comfortably quarantine.
“Reducing the spread of COVID-19 within our community means mitigating exposure to the virus,” said Mary Ellen Carroll, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, Executive Director. “Being able to self-isolate or quarantine for at least 14 days is not a viable option for everyone. Many of us live in shared living spaces making the coronavirus spread much more likely. We need to help these individuals by giving them temporary isolated housing while aggressively reducing the spread of the virus in San Francisco.”
On Monday, March 9th, Mayor Breed and the Department of Public Health announced new investments and a Public Health Order to protect vulnerable populations who are at risk of becoming ill or dying if they contract COVID-19. This emergency fund and Order will focus on reducing risk of exposure to the virus for the many seniors, homeless individuals, and people with underlying health conditions living in shelters, single-room occupancy hotels, and Permanent Supportive Housing.
Background on San Francisco’s COVID-19 Response
On Tuesday, February 25th, Mayor Breed declared a local emergency in order to better-prepare for confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in San Francisco. The emergency declaration allows the City to mobilize resources, accelerate emergency planning, streamline staffing, coordinate agencies across the city, allow for future reimbursement by the state and federal governments and raise awareness throughout San Francisco about how to prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. The City is in regular contact with all hospitals and health facilities in San Francisco, and our health system is prepared to deliver care to everyone in need and provide a coordinated response as additional cases of the novel coronavirus are confirmed.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health began testing for cases of novel coronavirus on Monday, March 2nd, and continues conducting tests seven days a week in cases that meet the CDC criteria.
On Friday, March 6th, the Mayor issued aggressive recommendations by the Department of Public Health to reduce the spread of coronavirus that is now circulating in the community. Read the recommendations that apply to vulnerable populations, large gatherings, workplace and businesses, schools, transit and health care settings at www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp and stay up-to-date on coronavirus news and information.
You can also call 311 and sign up for the City’s alert service for official updates: text COVID19SF to 888-777.
Remember, these are the best ways for all San Franciscans to reduce their risk of getting sick, and preventing COVID-19:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Try alternatives to shaking hands, like a wave.
- If you have recently returned from a country, state or region with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials.
- There is no recommendation to wear masks at this time to prevent yourself from getting sick.
You can also prepare for the possible disruption caused by an outbreak:
- Prepare to work from home if that is possible for your job, and your employer.
- Make sure you have a supply of all essential medications for your family.
- Prepare a child care plan if you or a caregiver are sick.
- Make arrangements about how your family will manage a school closure.
- Plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself.
- Take care of each other and check in by phone with friends, family and neighbors that are vulnerable to serious illness or death if they get COVID-19.
- Keep common spaces clean to help maintain a healthy environment for you and others. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly with disinfecting sprays, wipes or common household cleaning products.