SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – At least 24 people in an individually occupied hotel in the mission district of San Francisco tested positive for coronavirus, according to Dolores Street Community Services, which manages the building.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
The positive cases of COVID-19 in Casa Quezada, a housing support site with 52 units, include 22 residents and two employees.
Many of the residents are monolingual Spanish-speaking immigrants, with limited access to other forms of subsidized housing. In addition, most residents also have underlying health problems, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity or heart or lung problems, which make them more vulnerable to the virus.
As residents of SRO hotels and other congregation-type housing locations have limited options for self-isolation, DSCS requested that affected residents be moved to rooms for isolation. On Thursday, all residents, including 17 who tested negative, were transferred by city officials to hotel rooms.
Since DSCS learned of the first positive case of COVID-19 at Casa Quezada, on April 13, it has urged the city’s Department of Public Health and the Department of Homeless People and Support Housing to conduct widespread testing on the premises. Residents and employees were not tested by DPH, however, until six days later, on April 19, resulting in a total of 24 positive cases for COVID-19, DSCS officials said.
“Every step of the way, knowing the risk factors that influence the transmission of COVID-19, our team had to defend the test, contact screening and access to isolation and quarantine rooms for our residents. We regret that the test has not happened before. To smooth the curve, we need to ensure that DPH has adequate resources to prevent and respond to outbreaks in SROs, ”said DSCS Executive Director Laura Valdez in a statement.
“As an organization that fights for racial equity and justice, we are not surprised that the historical and generational structural inequities that affect the Latinx community would jeopardize its health, safety and economic well-being. It would be shameful to let this moment pass without any structural reform that brings long-term solutions to the most pressing issues in our community, “he said.
The cases emerged a day after the San Francisco Emergency Management Department confirmed a new case of coronavirus at the Mission District Division’s Circle Navigation Center, which led the center to be closed and to all guests and employees to be tested.
DSCS is demanding that DPH and MSM initiate widespread testing on all people living on the streets and in shelters, ORS residents, people with underlying health conditions, previously homeless people and all essential workers.
The DSCS is also asking the city to increase its tracking and mapping of high-risk people, especially those who live on the streets or in congregation settings. In addition, it is asking the city to provide patients with access to language and culturally competent information.
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