SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Wednesday that the city will increase its COVID-19 testing capacity by adding appointments at existing sites and adding new mobile pop-up testing sites.
Breed said the city will increase the Embarcadero testing site’s daily capacity by 400 appointments per day. The city will also deploy two pop-up testing sites that will rotate to areas like Bayview-Hunters Point and the Excelsior District that are facing particularly high rates of infection.
A third, permanent testing site is expected to launch in August in the southeast part of the city, Breed said. City officials are still taking community input about the location of the testing site, which will launch with the capacity for up to 500 tests per day.
“This new capacity, along with the requirement for private partners to do their part, will help us make testing more easily available, especially for symptomatic or high-risk individuals,” Breed said.
Overall, the new testing sites and increased daily testing will allow the city to increase its testing capacity by roughly 45 percent over its current rate.
Breed also chided city residents for failing to follow public health guidelines like practicing physical distancing and avoiding large crowds.
“Getting tested is not a passport to do whatever you want,” Breed said. “You can still get infected at any moment.
Dr. Grant Colfax, the city’s public health director, said it took the city 38 days for cases to rise from 2,000 to 3,000. However, it took only 13 days for cases to rise from 4,000 to 5,000. The city has now reported 5,459 cases and 53 deaths as of Wednesday.
San Francisco health officials also confirmed that the businesses operating inside the San Francisco Ferry Building were ordered to closed due to the city and county being on the state watch list, as protocols require the closure of all indoor mall spaces until further notice.
Breed said people who flout local and state public health guidance during the pandemic will only make it harder for San Francisco to manage the spread of the virus and recover from it.
“The sooner we act responsibly, the sooner we can get back to reopening our city and really come together in a more comfortable way,” she said.