Mayor London Breed Announces New Field Care Clinic in City's Southeast Neighborhood
New temporary facility opens adjacent to Southeast Health Center to expand services to residents in advance of expected COVID-19 surge
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax announced that the City’s first Field Care Clinic, adjacent to the Southeast Health Center in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, began serving residents today. The Field Care Clinic adds capacity to the City’s health care system as part of San Francisco’s comprehensive plan to prepare for a medical surge of patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Expanded services at the Field Care Clinic provide patients with primary care, urgent care and screening for COVID-19, and will help reduce the number of patients needing to go to hospital urgent care and emergency rooms.
“We are preparing our entire hospital and health care system for impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic,” said Mayor Breed. “Our proactive approach allows us to continue providing health care to residents who need it while also preserving hospital beds for patients with coronavirus. People seeking care at their neighborhood health center will receive it without needing to leave their neighborhood, which keeps all of our residents and essential workers safer.”
“We know that our major hospitals are working hard to address this coronavirus health crisis, and we are stepping up and providing a place for urgent care and other health related services for people without jamming up our hospitals,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton. “The Southeast Field Care Clinic will allow for District 10 residents to receive needed care, without having to travel and within their own community. We want to thank the Mayor and DPH for understanding how crucial adequate medical services are to our residents during this pandemic.”
“Creating Field Care Clinics is one part of our strategy to preserve emergency room and hospital capacity while providing the best health care to all of our communities,” said Dr. Colfax. “In San Francisco, our approach is based on science, data and facts. We are attacking the problem of an expected hospital surge, in part, by decompressing the hospital and health care system as much as possible now, to make room for new patients. Field Care Clinics are a proven strategy to do just that.”
Southeast Health Center is part of the San Francisco Health Network, the health care delivery system of the City’s Department of Public Health. Patients of the Field Care Clinic may be insured or uninsured, and do not need to be enrolled in the San Francisco Health Network.
The Field Care Clinic adds extra staff and resources so patients can receive immediate care without leaving their neighborhood. Depending on the City’s urgent care needs and the extent of the hospital surge, up to three additional Field Care Clinics could be mobilized near existing health care centers or as stand-alone sites.
The Field Care Clinic at Southeast Health Center is staged in a large tent on Armstrong Street adjacent to the Center. It has the capacity to treat up to 100 patients daily, in addition to the more than 100 patients served by Southeast Health Center. A smaller tent in the Center’s parking lot is an Alternative Testing Site for potential COVID-19 for patients who are pre-screened by a health care provider.
The hours of operation at the Field Care Clinic adjacent to Southeast Health Center are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and may expand in the coming weeks as needed. The clinic serves patients from the southeast neighborhood who have urgent care needs. Over time, it may serve patients from throughout the city to relieve hospital urgent care clinics.
Field Care Clinics are one part of a comprehensive mitigation and surge strategy, already underway, to decompress the current health care system. Those activities include:
- Ordering San Franciscans—and Bay Area residents—to stay home except for essential needs and essential work, to reduce the spread of the coronavirus citywide, lessen infection among vulnerable populations and diminish the demand on hospitals and the health system. The current Health Order requires residents to stay home until May 3rd.
- Prohibiting non-essential visitors to hospitals, long-term care facilities and residential facilities to protect the health of vulnerable populations and reduce their risk of exposure, complications and extended or initial hospitalization.
- Cancelling or postponing elective surgeries and routine medical appointments, moving services to telephone and video conference as appropriate to reduce the volume of patients in the health system.
- Providing childcare for health care workers at hospitals across the city to make it easier for them to continue working during the shelter in place order.
- Providing places outside the hospital for people with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to remain safe and isolated, and to free up hospital beds that are not providing hospital-level care.
The second step is to build capacity in the hospital system to care for more patients. Those activities include:
- All hospitals in San Francisco are jointly planning, sharing protocols and information, and developing a unified approach. By working together since January, San Francisco hospitals have increased the City’s intensive care unit beds from 277 to 530—a 91% increase—and regular acute care beds from 1,055 to 1,608—a 52% increase. This was accomplished by opening previously closed units and repurposing areas normally used for other functions, such as outpatient surgery.
- Opening a dedicated COVID-19 floor at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, with 40 medical-surgical beds and eight ICU beds, equipped and staffed through contributions of Saint Francis, ZSFG and UCSF.
- Working with the state and local partners to reopen California Pacific Medical Center Pacific campus as an alternate site for medical care.
- Expedited hiring of DPH nurses that will add approximately 220 registered nurses to the workforce.