SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Heath officials announced Friday they were launching a program that will require and provide COVID-19 testing for all residents and staff at the 21 skilled nursing facilities located within San Francisco.
Across the state and in the San Francisco Bay Area there have been deadly outbreaks of the virus at the senior care facilities.READ MORE: Significant Storms Coming To Drought-Parched Northern California; Fire Season May Be Ending
According to the state public health dashboard, of the 254 skilled nursing facilities that have reported data, there have been 4,711 confirmed COVID-19 cases among residents with 663 deaths. Among the staffs at those facilities, there have been 2,697 confirmed cases and 11 deaths.
San Francisco health officials moved quickly in March to stem a coronavirus outbreak at the city’s massive Laguna Honda senior care facility. As of May 1, there have been just 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the facility. Of those, 16 have been staffers and five were residents. There have been no deaths reported.
Officials were not as successful when it came to an outbreak at the Central Gardens Convalescent Hospital, a Western Addition senior nursing facility. According to San Francisco Supervirsor Dean Preston, who represents the district, four residents have died from the virus. At least 67 people — 39 residents and 28 staff members have tested positive for the virus.READ MORE: COVID: Low Turnout For Booster Shots Has Santa Clara County Officials Concerned
All four of the deaths occurred in residents over the age of 80, Preston told the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Since this public health emergency began, protecting vulnerable populations living in skilled nursing facilities has been one of our top priorities,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “We responded quickly to the outbreak at Laguna Honda, and we’ve learned a lot during our ongoing response that can help the other skilled nursing facilities in the city.”
San Francisco health officials will begin testing all residents and staff at the skilled nursing facilities next week, with a goal of creating a two-week testing cycle. The first round of complete testing will take approximately one month and will primarily be administered by department of public heath staff.
Testing starts on Monday, May 4th at Laguna Honda Hospital.MORE NEWS: Theranos Trial: Former Product Manager Says How Failures Were Hidden During Demos
San Francisco began local COVID-19 testing in the Public Health Lab on March 2, 2020, and has been continually expanding testing capacity. As of today, 20,433 people in San Francisco have been tested, and an average of 9% have tested positive.