As testing demand grows during the fourth Covid-19 surge, San Francisco will reopen its mass Covid-19 testing site in the South of Market.
Beginning Wednesday, the site at Seventh and Brannan streets will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. by appointment only and will be able to administer 500 tests per day, city officials said. Carbon Health will staff the site and Color Health will provide the testing services; results will be available within 24 to 48 hours.
Officials said the new site will bring The City’s testing capacity to 5,000 per day with providers throughout the San Francisco Health Network and from the Department of Public Health.
The City has seen a sharp increase in testing since last month. The average daily test rate administered by city and private providers jumped to 5,867 as of Aug. 8, up from 3,661 a month prior.
The SoMa site originally opened in April last year. The mass operation shut down in November with some resources rerouted to the Alemany Farmers Market, which still offers testing Monday through Friday on a smaller scale. Officials said reopening the SoMa site will help slow spread of the virus.
The City saw an increase of new cases per day last month due to the delta variant, but average number of new cases per day appear to be leveling off.
Data from the Department of Public Health shows The City averaging 225 cases per day with 111 Covid-19 patients hospitalized as of Aug. 8. While there have been breakthrough cases for vaccinated individuals, city officials have said the vast majority of cases and hospitalizations have been among the unvaccinated population.
Mayor London Breed said in a statement:
“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.”
Later this week, the health department plans to issue a health order requiring large healthcare facilities to provide testing for patients.
On Friday, San Francisco patrons will need to show proof of vaccination before entering most indoor businesses and venues, including restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.
DPH Director Dr. Grant Colfax said in a statement:
“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.”
More information about where to get a Covid-19 test can be found here.
Jerold serves as a reporter and San Francisco Bureau Chief for SFBay covering transportation, City Hall, and the Mayor's Office in San Francisco. His work on transportation has been recognized by the San Francisco Press Club. Born and raised in San Francisco, he graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism. Jerold previously wrote for the San Francisco Public Press, a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization. When not reporting, you can find Jerold taking Muni to check out new places to eat in the city.