SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco stepped up testing at two pop-up test sites after KPIX 5 reported the number of people being tested for the coronavirus in the city each day was well below capacity.
According to the city’s health ministry, Tuesday was the biggest testing day for CityTestSF since the service began. 700 people were tested for COVID-19 at the two locations on the Embarcadero in Piers 30 and 32 as well as on 7th St. in the city south of the market area.
“I’m glad people are starting to use this option, but we … have to do more,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, the city’s health director, on Wednesday. Colfax added that officials have also started routine testing of nursing home staff and residents of Laguna Honda.
1,500 people can be tested daily at the two CityTestSF locations. In combination with public hospitals and other clinics, the city can, according to Dr. Susan Philip, the city’s director of infectious disease prevention and control, test 5,800 people daily.
“So it is only in the last week that we have increased or widened the symptoms that qualify someone for testing,” Philip said last week when asked about the delay in testing.
Originally, the CityTestSF locations only tested health care workers and first aiders only by appointment. The criteria were then expanded to include anyone who was symptomatic.
Supervisor Matt Haney said he wanted the criteria expanded to include people who are asymptomatic, pointing out that the tests are only available through a website but not everyone has internet access, especially people on the street who are exposed to a high risk of infection.
“We have to massively increase the number of people tested before they show symptoms,” Haney said last week.