70 Coronavirus Cases Confirmed at S.F. Homeless Shelter


Dr. Grant Colfax. Screen capture from SFGovTV

The Multi-Service Center South homeless shelter is being turned into a medical facility for COVID-19 patients after 68 of its residents and two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, San Francisco officials announced Friday.

Around 100 residents were at the shelter, down from its usual capacity of 340, when residents and staff were tested. Those who did not test positive have been moved into hotels, said Mayor London Breed.

While one former shelter resident is in the hospital, none of the 70 people who have tested positive are seriously ill, said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the Department of Public Health.

The shelter is now being converted to use as a recovery center for those living with COVID-19. Public health department nurses and doctors will care for and monitor patients and arrange for transport to hospitals if their conditions worsen.

Breed also announced new emergency resources, including the ability to contact emergency dispatchers by texting 911 if it is unsafe to call or if a person is deaf or hard of hearing. Separately, city officials announced they have secured 20 furnished units, provided by rental giant Veritas, for victims of domestic violence who need to leave their homes quickly.

In addition, Breed said that in an effort to support restaurants dependent on delivery business during the shelter-in-place order, she has executed an emergency ordinance that caps the amount delivery operators may charge restaurants for their services.

Hear the full press conference audio here:

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