San Francisco Reallocates Testing Resources to Serve Neighborhoods Most Impacted by COVID-19
Beginning on Tuesday, November 17, the City will offer free, low-barrier testing fives day week at Alemany Farmer’s Market
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced the CityTestSF COVID-19 testing site at the Alemany Farmer’s Market will open tomorrow, Tuesday, November 17. CityTestSF resources are being reallocated from the SoMa testing site to the Alemany Farmer’s Market as part of the City’s strategic testing program.
CityTestSF at Alemany Farmer’s Market will operate five days a week with the capacity to test as many as 500 people a day, which is the same testing capacity previously provided at the SoMa site. The City’s testing program is designed to serve the populations and neighborhoods that are most highly impacted by the virus. The southeast sector of San Francisco carries a disproportionate virus burden and the reallocation of these 500 tests to that part of the city is a critical component for fighting the spread of the virus.
“Equity has been a priority for us throughout the pandemic, and part of having an equitable citywide response to COVID means that we direct our resources where there’s the most need,” said Mayor Breed. “With the CityTestSF site at Alemany, we’re making testing even easier for people to access right in their own neighborhood.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, San Francisco moved quickly and aggressively to establish a robust public COVID-19 testing program, with partners Color and Carbon Health. San Francisco currently tests more than 5,800 people each day, which is the highest rate among Bay Area counties. In addition to the two CityTestSF sites, the City continues to provide testing in the neighborhoods and for the populations most impacted by the virus. Through pop-up community testing sites, in partnership with community organizations and Color, the City has served two neighborhoods a day with testing resources. Additionally, the Department of Public Health has expanded testing at its community clinics and has partnered with the state on a testing site at the City College Bayview campus.
“We have to adapt our strategy to where the need is greatest and locating more high-capacity, low barrier testing to the most impacted part of the city is the smart strategy,” said Dr. Colfax. “As we experience a surge in cases in the city, the region and the nation, we must manage our public testing resources in the most efficient ways possible to slow the spread of the virus. Re-allocating these testing resources to the area of the city with highest rate of infection is critical to our response to the virus.”
The collaboration with Color and Carbon Health has enabled the City to quickly stand up testing sites where they are needed most, streamline scheduling and sample collection, distribute and track test kits, and efficiently return results to individuals and the Department of Public Health. Color has helped San Francisco become a national leader in turnaround time with 86% of results returned in less than 24 hours and 99% in less than 48 hours.
“Our partnership with San Francisco has helped to create a model for the rest of the country to follow,” said Othman Laraki, CEO, Color. “Since we began working together in April, we are providing nearly 4,000 tests a day by building a testing program that’s easy for anyone in San Francisco to access, simple to navigate, and will dependably return results in less than 24 hours. This program is the foundation of a strong public health response and critical to managing the virus in communities most affected.”
San Francisco has the highest testing rate per capita of any other city in the United States. The City currently administers and funds 55 percent of all COVID-19 tests conducted in San Francisco, with the intention of testing people most at risk for COVID‑19. CityTestSF prioritizes testing for essential workers and residents who have symptoms or who have been exposed to the virus. If you have insurance, schedule a test with your doctor.
During this current surge, city resources will not support testing for travel or visitations. Tests are set aside for essential workers, close contacts identified through contract tracing, and for the City’s first responders. Appointments are released on a rolling basis.
The Alemany CityTestSF low-barrier testing facility, located on 100 Alemany Boulevard, will provide COVID-19 testing five days per week, with both walk-through and drive-through tests. Appointments can be scheduled online at sf.gov/gettestedsf and residents or essential workers without appointments are welcome.
The hours of Alemany CityTestSF are:
- Monday: 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
- Tuesday - Thursday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
- Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Testing is a part of the City’s COVID-19 response, but every San Franciscan must also focus on prevention. The most important things that every person can do to slow the spread of the virus are: wear a face covering outside their homes; avoid gathering with people outside your household; continue to stay home as much as possible; stay six feet apart from others when not home; and always wash hands frequently.
If you have symptoms or have been exposed, you should get tested. If you have insurance, call your doctor first. For more information on testing options, please visit: sf.gov/gettestedsf.