A map of San Francisco shows central and southern neighborhoods marked in red. In the early 20th century, San Francisco’s central and southeastern neighborhoods were redlined, meaning designated as high risk, leaving their residents less likely to obtain government-backed mortgage loans than residents of other areas. A recent study suggests their residents now face higher risks from pollution.

State Report Links Redlining and Pollution Threats

San Francisco neighborhoods the federal government targeted with racist lending practices face the greatest health threats from pollution, a recent state study found. The California Environmental Protection Agency analyzed the latest pollution data in historically redlined neighborhoods, where people of color were denied mortgage loans under federal policies, in the report finalized in August.

Two doctors protest outside Mayor London Breed's house on April 30, 2020, calling for more hotel rooms to be opened for people experiencing homelessness to safely shelter during COVID-19. The one in front holds a sign reading "this is a public health nightmare."

As COVID Cases Surge Among SF’s Homeless, Shelter Options Narrow

As cases of COVID-19 surge in San Francisco, advocates question whether the city can prevent another outbreak in the homeless community. Between June 30 and July 31, confirmed cases among homeless people quadrupled from 18 to 78. But as the delta variant of the coronavirus sweeps across the city, there is a growing shortage of safe places for homeless people to go.

Several men gather just outside a building at San Quentin prison, with Mt. Tamalpais framed by dramatic clouds in the background. Four prisoners a tSan Quentin have tested positive for COVID-19 and their housing unit is under quarantine.

BREAKING NEWS: San Quentin Suffers New COVID-19 Outbreak

San Quentin State Prison is experiencing a new COVID-19 outbreak after four incarcerated men in a cell block tested positive, chief medical executive Alison Pachynski said on Saturday. Four of six men placed in quarantine this week were symptomatic and confirmed positive for COVID-19 even though they had been vaccinated, Pachynski said.

Volunteer Tiffany Williams displays an open box filled with electrical air monitoring equipment.

Air-Pollution Tracking Project Launches in SF Bayview

Environmental activists are about to launch an air-monitoring project to track pollution linked to high rates of asthma and other health conditions in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood. The results could play an important role in demonstrating the environmental harm residents suffer.

A COVID-19 vaccination card at a medical clinic.

Vaccine Mandates Likely to Pass Legal Muster, Law Professor Says

There have already been attempts to challenge vaccine mandates around the nation in court. Dorit Reiss, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law who researches legal considerations around vaccines and vaccine mandates, talked with “Civic” about what employers and governments must weigh when it comes to requiring immunization.

Outreach workers stand at a Tenderloin intersection wearing reflective vests and pulling a rolling cart with a sign reading “free COVID-19 vaccinations here.” This team administered 23 single-dose vaccines during an afternoon shift on Jul. 15, 2021.

Outreach Effort Brings Vaccines Directly to Tenderloin Streets

During the pandemic, Code Tenderloin has distributed everything from water to masks to food. With the arrival of the vaccine, they have collaborated with health care providers from the University of California, San Francisco and the nonprofit service provider Glide to try to overcome barriers to vaccination by walking the streets, offering immunizations on the spot.

An Alcatraz employee is seated on a ferry to the island with a sign instructing COVID-19 protocol in the foreground.

UPDATED: How SF Is Handling Masking as Delta Variant Circulates

The highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has arrived in the Bay Area. Case numbers are surging in parts of the country with low vaccination rates, and, while San Francisco’s case numbers are slightly on the rise, most residents are vaccinated. Dr. Susan Philip, San Francisco’s Health Officer, talked with “Civic” about the details of the current mask rules, the delta variant and the importance of vaccines.

Coronavirus testing in the Mission District on April 27, 2020. Barbara Ries / UCSF

Patient, Doctor Describe Living With ‘Long COVID’

Bruce Wheeler was diagnosed with COVID-19 last spring, but has never fully recovered, suffering a variety of symptoms of what has become known as “long COVID.” He’s not alone — according to a UC Davis overview of a handful of recent studies, more than one in four COVID-19 patients develop symptoms lasting for months, even if they had mild cases. About 100 potential symptoms have been identified. Wheeler and Dr. Brian Block, who has helped treat him and who is one of the founding clinicians at UCSF’s COVID recovery clinic, talked with “Civic” about the condition and how much is still unclear about its treatment. “I think we cannot overlook the effect of long-haul COVID on those who are trying to work and raise a family.

Ventilation Won’t Make Offices as Safe as Pre-Pandemic, Expert Says

Engineers are fielding questions about whether upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems will make their buildings as safe as they were prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Steve Taylor told “Civic” that’s not possible, but if workers wear masks, existing systems that meet ventilation standards we already have should be enough to bring the risk of infection to acceptable levels.

Markings on a store floor indicate where customers should stand to maintain social distance.

With California Reopened, Should We Keep Social Distancing?

Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a professor of pediatrics – infectious diseases and of health research and policy at Stanford University, and Dr. Lee Riley, professor of infectious diseases at the School of Public Health in the division of infectious diseases and vaccinology at the University of California, Berkeley talked with “Civic” about the relative benefit of social distancing in concert with other prevention measures and under what circumstances distancing still makes sense.