Home > About > Announcements > The City Opens High-Volume Testing Site in Response to Rise in COVID Cases

The City Opens High-Volume Testing Site in Response to Rise in COVID Cases

News Release

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) announced the opening of a high-volume testing site for COVID-19 at 7th and Brannan Streets in the South of Market neighborhood. With COVID-19 cases rising to an average of 230 per day, the site will support the City’s demand for testing as an important tool to slow the spread of the virus and support a timely return to work and school for individuals exposed to COVID-19.  

The site opens on August 18 with the capacity to administer 500 tests per day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week by appointment only. Drive-thru and walk-up services are available, and test results will be ready within 24 to 48 hours. The operation will start with two teams and grow to five by the end of August, allowing for as-needed, additional demand for testing. 

“We know that the most important thing people can do to keep themselves and their friends and family safe is to get vaccinated, but with the Delta variant here and cases at a higher level than we’d like, testing remains an important part of our strategy to slow the spread of this virus,” said Mayor Breed. “If you feel sick, have symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, we want to make it easy and convenient for you to get tested.”

DPH is reserving appointments slots for disaster service workers who have been exposed to the virus as close contacts and for individuals involved in potential outbreaks of three or more individuals from separate households. The general public may make appointments, but are strongly encouraged to first seek tests from their health care provider if they have one or purchase rapid home-testing kits that have become widely available. 

Today, DPH also launched the COVID Resource Center to offer isolation and quarantine support for those who test positive for COVID-19 or are in close contact, including temporary housing, food delivery, cleaning supplies, and financial assistance for those who need it. The service can be reached at 628-217-6101. 

Additionally, DPH plans to issue a health order later this week requiring large healthcare facilities in the City to provide testing for patients, specifically those entities with acute care hospitals and associated clinics, offices, or urgent care centers, and medical practices with at least 100 licensed healthcare providers. The order is designed to ensure that private health providers contribute fully to the City’s COVID-19 testing infrastructure. 

The testing site brings the City’s current capacity to approximately 5,000 tests per day, provided by the San Francisco Health Network (SFHN) and other community and DPH-affiliated sites for individuals who are uninsured or who otherwise lack access to care. Of all analyzed tests in the City for San Francisco residents, DPH is currently administering 29%, though the SFHN is the primary provider for less than 10% of the population in San Francisco. The City’s testing volume between CityTest, Community sites and SFHN sites is 5 to 10 times what each of the private health systems is doing daily.

The Delta variant has brought new challenges to the City as it battles back the virus while keeping businesses and schools safely open. 

“We are responding to this fourth surge in COVID-19 by doing what we know works best – and that is vaccinations, indoor masking, and expanding our testing capacity once again with this new high-volume testing site,” said Director of Health, Dr. Grant Colfax. “We are opening the new SOMA testing site to meet our highest needs, and to serve those in the City who have been most impacted by COVID and who have the least access to care. We request that our City residents with insurance first seek out tests with their health care providers or through readily-available home test kits. We also ask our health care system to do their part for their patients, as COVID will be with us in some form for the foreseeable future.” 

The SoMa testing site is a partnership between DPH and Color Health, which is providing testing services, and Carbon Health, which is providing staffing. 

San Francisco follows the recently updated US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance which recommends people who are fully vaccinated get tested three to five days after a potential exposure even if they have no symptoms. People who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately after being identified, and, if negative, be tested again in 5 to 7 days after their last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop during quarantine.  

To make an appointment at the SoMa testing site, or to find other testing sites that are free of charge, no insurance required, visit sf.gov/gettested. Individuals with a health care provider should schedule a test with them. 

Individuals testing positive for COVID-19 or who are identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive, will receive a link to the CalConnect Virtual Assistant (called the "VA"); we request that all San Franciscans who receive this link complete it. For information on what to do after a positive COVID test or exposure to the virus, go to: sfdph.org/dph/COVID-19/Isolation-and-Quarantine.asp.

 

                                                                                                                               ###

 

Contact info

Mayor’s Office of Communications