Health SF — anxious about COVID-19 spread at demonstrations —...

SF — anxious about COVID-19 spread at demonstrations — sets up screening internet site for protesters – San Francisco Chronicle


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The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped massive crowds from having to San Francisco’s streets to protest police violence in current days, so metropolis officers have established up a mobile tests website for people anxious about publicity to the coronavirus.

A free of charge, pop-up screening place at the Cathedral of St. Mary at 1111 Gough St. opened at midday Friday for any individual to get swabbed for COVID-19, such as people who have collected in mass demonstrations not long ago — even if they are displaying no symptoms of infection. The city is directing any individual who needs a check at the cell web page to sign up at

Other tests internet sites throughout the city are obtainable to individuals displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and for personnel who will have to go away their properties to complete their positions, exposing them to a higher hazard of contracting the virus. A lot more data about how and where by to get examined is out there at

Virtually two weeks of demonstrations catalyzed by the recent dying of George Floyd though in law enforcement custody in Minneapolis — like a single in San Francisco’s Mission District Wednesday that drew a group of hundreds — problem general public well being officials, who fear about the likely for widespread transmission amid massive teams of individuals.

Metropolis leaders have tried out to create a precarious equilibrium: supporting the public’s suitable to protest while urging them to try to remember the ongoing danger of the virus.

“I imagine everybody in general public health is worried,” Dr. Tomás Aragón, San Francisco’s health officer, said.

“The possibility relies upon on how numerous folks in the crowed are carrying the coronavirus,” he said. “If extremely couple individuals are carrying, you are probably likely to be high-quality. But we really do not know, and that is the dilemma. The couple of persons that could have it, they are the kinds you hope have on their mask.”

Principles around retaining distance from other folks and wearing face-coverings in community are still in result in San Francisco but challenging to abide by in large crowds.

Masks are meant to maintain little droplets carrying the coronavirus from spreading through chatting, coughing, sneezing — or shouting protest chants.

“Yelling puts out additional droplets, but you hope it gets diluted ample from the air,” Aragón explained. “Public wellness authorities are worried, and we’re hoping it doesn’t established us back again. We’re a location of seven million people today. If there are a several thousand persons at a protest, you hope a couple of thousand (folks) won’t transform the epidemiology of hundreds of thousands of men and women. We’ll see.”

Dominic Fracassa is a San Francisco Chronicle workers writer. E-mail: Twitter: @dominicfracassa

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