By Jackie Ward

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Latinx San Franciscans make up 23% of coronavirus cases in the city, yet only 16% of the population. That’s part of the reason the University of California, San Francisco wants to test people living between South Van Ness Ave. and Harrison St., and Cesar Chavez Blvd. and 23rd Street.

UCSF is focusing its research project in this densely-populated area and is offering free tests to roughly 5,700 people who are age four or above, regardless of symptoms or lack thereof.

Online registration to get tested opened Tuesday and about 500 people had signed up already, including a mother who registered her entire family, even though no one has shown symptoms. She said, “This is a great opportunity for people to know how to protect their families.”

Santiago Lerma lives in the city’s Mission District and is a legislative aide in Supervisor Hillary Ronen’s office. “Through conjecture, you can see that there might be some things that folks aren’t doing in a community that could be making them more vulnerable,” said Lerma, who helped get people signed up for tests Tuesday while also educating them about flattening the curve.

“I can see that there’s a gap in the understanding in the community,” said Lerma. “It’s gotten better.”

Two types of tests will be done. First, a PCR test to determine whether a person is positive or negative, and second, an antibody test to determine if a person has been infected and developed antibodies against the disease.

“All the information that we’re trying to collect is strictly for usage in this project,” said Lerma. “There’s no identifying information and status is not even a question.”

Resident June Johnson is all for this testing and says someone in her building has the virus, which makes her want to get tested as soon as possible.

“I don’t think everybody’s going to get tested, plus you have to make an appointment,” said Johnson. “I read the flyer and they said it was free, but you have to get an appointment. I want to get tested.”

Door-to-door outreach will start Wednesday. Testing will take place at multiple locations throughout the Mission Saturday, April 25 through Tuesday, April 28th. For more information, visit Unidos en Salud – United in Health

 

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