New Coronavirus Infections Fall Slightly, Food Assistance Extended

Shireen McSpadden

Screen capture from SFGovTV

Shireen McSpadden, Executive Director of the Department of Disability and Aging Services.

San Francisco’s COVID-19 infection rate is leveling off, but  Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said the growth rate is still much higher than he would like to see. “We are finding about 90 new cases of COVID-19 every day. That number has started to drop a bit from its high point two weeks ago, but it is still very concerning. Anything above 50 cases a day continues to put us in the red zone on high alert. And we have been there for about the last six weeks.”

The Great Plates meal delivery program for seniors sheltering in place has been extended through Sept. 9. Under the city program funded by the state, local restaurants have provided 350,000 meals to 2,500 seniors who are unable to prepare their own food since May 18.

Shireen McSpadden, Executive Director of Department of Disability and Aging Services said the extension of the program is just part of the city’s effort to combat food insecurity in San Francisco.

“Mayor Breed has proposed $45.7 million in new expenditures in her new budget to further bolster food security programs. The proposed budget provides for continued support for food access through local food banks, food programs for seniors, meals for unsheltered people and meal delivery for households needing to isolate and or quarantine.”

She said that nearly 60,000 San Franciscans rely on the state’s CalFresh program and that more may now be eligible as the federal government reduces unemployment benefits.

“The Federal CARES Act provided California residents who were receiving unemployment benefits an additional $600 a week through the end of July. If your CalFresh benefits were discontinued, or your application to receive CalFresh benefits was denied due to the extra $600 in unemployment, we encourage you to reapply.”

Other updates from today’s press conference:

  • Colfax said San Francisco will soon reach 7,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections. (1:01)
  • He said many San Franciscans are complying with the mask order; 80% compliance would greatly reduce infections. (3:15)
  • He said the virus’ reproductive rate remains high with every newly infected person infecting 1.34 people. (22:21)
  • Meg Schaeffler with the San Francisco Arts Commission describes a series of COVID-19 related art posters installed throughout the city. (13:29)

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