Among the hardest hit in San Francisco from COVID-19 continues to be members of Latinx communities — particularly those in the Mission District. A new testing effort starting Sunday morning at the 24th Street BART Plaza aims to get a better grasp on the situation and gather people's sentiments around vaccination.
An earlier report from Mission Local showed that Latinx individuals are some five-times more likely to contract the novel respiratory disease than other San Francisco residents. (This is also the same demographic that's been disproportionately affected by the financial struggles spurred by the pandemic.) In order to better understand the scope of the issue, as well as to gauge how people might prefer to be vaccinated — like inside of a doctor's office, at a neighborhood pharmacy, or at a temporary pop-up center — participants of a new Mission District testing effort will be presented with survey questions to answer how they see fit.
COVID-19 testing at our 24th Street/Mission Station plaza continues into 2021, starting this Sunday, January 10 until January 29.— SFBART (@SFBART) January 9, 2021
In partnership with @UCSF @LatinoTask, free tests will be administered from 9am-4pm every Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri during the duration. https://t.co/zugYs7lZlD
"This whole project is essentially a bridge campaign with rapid testing, rapid response but also to begin to bridge toward vaccines,” said the head of the Latino Task Force (LTF) health committee, Jon Jacobo, to Mission Local. Jacobo added prior to the local news outlet that LTF wants to also "hear from the community about how they are viewing vaccines, their beliefs, concerns, and education needs."
LTF is working in tandem with UCSF to coordinate and operate the rapid testing effort, a partnership that first began back in April and has since seen multiple rapid testing efforts in the neighborhood.
Using the BinaxNow rapid tests — which take less than twenty minutes to yield results — the testing site at the 24th Street BART Plaza hopes to examine at least 600 people a day; the testing effort is expected to continue for at least three weeks and operate from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. every day of the week except Thursdays and Saturdays; positive results will also be sent to the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub research center where co-director Dr. Joe DeRisi will be studying those samples to look for certain strands of the disease, including the more communicable variant that's emerged out of the United Kingdom.
Since vaccines are given directly to providers (Kaiser, UCSF, etc), we don't currently know exactly how many have been distributed in SF.— London Breed (@LondonBreed) January 8, 2021
The state is working on making this available.
CA's prioritization list, which we must follow, can be found here: https://t.co/rBDFrmIX7P
Though the consensus around how often members of the general public should get tested for COVID-19 — barring instances of direct contact with coronavirus, which should be conducted immediately — Mission Local notes workers at the LTF station are getting tested weekly.
Earlier Friday, the Bay Area reported its 100,000th COVID-19 case in just the past 25 days, marking a dark turn in new case averages across the region. For contrast: It took the Bay Area six months to record its first 100,000 COVID-19 cases.
As we reported earlier in the week, 2,073 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in San Francisco over the past seven days— producing a total of 25,973 documented cases of coronavirus as of this past Friday in the city.
For more information on COVID-19 testing in SF, visit sf.gov/find-out-about-your-covid-19-testing-options.
Image: Courtesy of Getty Images via Yeongsik Im