San Francisco’s Health Director, Dr. Grant Colfax, spoke Friday about fears of a potential outbreak at Laguna Honda Hospital in Twin Peaks.
“Coronavirus has arrived at Laguna Honda,” said Colfax. “I must say, and I am sad to say this, that we do expect an outbreak.”
Laguna Honda is particularly vulnerable as it’s 780 residents include many immunocompromised patients. The hospital has a myriad of programs including end-of-life care and other services to care for HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other vulnerable populations. Dr. Colfax confirmed that seven people have tested positive for Coronavirus
“I can confirm that as of yesterday there are six staff members and one patient at Laguna Honda that have tested positive for Coronavirus. All of them are in good condition.”
An emergency-room staff member has also been diagnosed at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and is self-isolating. There are currently 300 confirmed cases in San Francisco.
San Francisco, and California as a whole, has been very proactive in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic and was one of the first to implement shelf-in-place protocols in the United States.
“We have issued an unprecedented 13 health orders in the last three weeks, each one was designed to protect the most vulnerable populations, and health care workers, and take pressures of hospitals,” said Colfax.
Since March 2nd, San Francisco has tripled testing from 50 a day to 150 a day. The city is also making plans to scale to this testing to 450 a day. Three new drive-by test centers next week are also being opened up in China Basin, China Town, and Outer Sunset due to efforts made by Mayor London Breed.
Though the city and it’s officials are implementing many strategies to combat the spread and to accurately understand the scope Dr. Colfax pointed out the limited resources available for testing. He stressed that there is a shortage of critical testing components that are “bottlenecking” testing capabilities and that at this time we must prioritize those tests who need it most.
“Please, please help us prioritize those tests for those who need it most. Their lives depend on it and the prevention and reduction of the Coronavirus in our community depends on it.”
The Health Director also spoke on the morbid reality that essential city workers, healthcare workers, DHP staff, and first responders will be continue to produce COVID-postive cases. Colfax voiced concern over limited masks for these workers who are not able to practice social distancing effectively and said they were trying to go “above and beyond” CDC recommendations in providing isolation masks for those workers.
For the rest of us it’s simple.
“If you aren’t performing an essential task to keep our city running right now, you only have one job: stay home and keep yourself safe.”