Seven protesters from Poor Magazine, a publication and activist organization, attempted to occupy the Marriott Marquis hotel in downtown San Francisco on Monday morning to demand that the city house more homeless residents in the thousands of hotel rooms left vacant during the coronavirus pandemic.
In response to an increase in tent encampments in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood, city officials will target 13 blocks with outreach, services, cleaning and enforcement. People living in some encampments will be asked to relocate to permitted sites, and the city will open one such site with 50 spaces on Fulton Street between Larkin and Hyde streets.
As part of an effort to expand testing to all San Franciscans the city is offering free coronavirus testing to all essential workers, even those without symptoms.
Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the city’s Public Health Department, said Monday that testing is now available to all public and private workers deemed essential, regardless of whether they have symptoms.
As San Francisco officials worked to expand housing options for the homeless, city leaders warned that anyone from outside San Francisco seeking a hotel room or other shelter would be turned away to preserve resources for those who were homeless within city limits before the pandemic hit.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is throwing its full support behind the idea of approved tent camps for homeless people to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And some say they want the encampments to stick around even after the pandemic passes.
San Franciscans could be required to shelter-in-place well beyond May 3, the expiration date of the city’s current public health order.
The president of the San Francisco Unified School District board plans to propose next week that the district offer at least one of its campuses as one of the city’s first-ever approved tent camps for homeless people.
Some city officials are dissatisfied with new transit rules that are intended to help pedestrians follow social-distancing guidelines by stepping into streets when necessary. Through its new Slow Streets Program, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will begin closing some streets to through traffic, freeing up space so that maintaining six feet of separation is easier.
San Francisco officials announced at a press conference Friday that a regional rule requiring residents to cover their noses and mouths when riding public transportation or conducting essential business would go into effect at midnight.
UCSF has offered to provide free COVID-19 testing to San Francisco homeless shelter residents, but it’s unclear if or when the city will take the university and medical center up on the offer due to what Mayor London Breed on Sunday described as a shortage of nasal swabs and other testing supplies. A day earlier, a shipment of 100,000 swabs arrived at UCSF.