SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco has ramped up its testing at two popup testing sites following KPIX 5 reports that the number of people being tested for the coronavirus in the city daily was falling far short of capacity.
According to the city’s Department of Public Health, Tuesday saw the largest day of testing for CityTestSF since the service began, with 700 people tested for COVID-19 at its two locations on the Embarcadero at Piers 30 and 32 and at 7th St. in the South of Market area.
“I am glad that people are starting to take advantage of this option, but we … must still do more,” city Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said Wednesday. Colfax added that officials have also begun routine testing of Laguna Honda nursing home staff and residents.
The two CityTestSF locations have the capacity of testing 1,500 people daily. Combined with public hospitals and other clinics, the city has the capacity to test 5,800 people a day, according to Dr. Susan Philip, the city’s Director of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control.
“So it’s only been within the last week that we have increased, or expanded, the symptoms that will qualify someone for testing,” said Philip last week when asked about the lag in testing.
Originally, the CityTestSF sites were only testing health care workers and first responders by appointment only. The criteria was then expanded to include anyone who was symptomatic.
Supervisor Matt Haney said he wants the criteria to be expanded to people who are asymptomatic, and pointed out the tests are available only through a web site but not everybody has internet access, especially people on the street who are very much at risk of getting infected.
“We need to massively expand the number of people being tested before they start showing symptoms,” said Haney last week.