Coronavirus Update: San Francisco officials prepared, not surprised by 1st positive COVID-19 cases

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Friday, March 6, 2020
SF officials not surprised by 1st presumptive positive COVID-19 cases
San Francisco officials announced the first positive cases of novel coronavirus in two county residents. Health experts say they aren't surprised, rather they are prepared and have been increasing supplies and staffing to deal with the cases.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The City and County of San Francisco announced the first positive cases of COVID-19 in two San Francisco residents on Thursday

San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) lab conducted COVID-19 tests for the two patients on Wednesday and found positive results Thursday morning. The two patients are unrelated and both are being cared for at separate hospitals, officials say.

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The patients did not travel to places with confirmed COVID-19 cases and have no known contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 case. Health officials say these cases are likely indicative of community transmission.

"We want everyone to remain calm and continue taking precautions to keep themselves and their families healthy," said Mayor Breed. "We have been increasing resources and staffing to prepare for the community spread of this virus, and we will do everything we can to protect public health. The City is in regular contact with all hospitals and health facilities in San Francisco, and our health system is prepared to deliver care to everyone in need and provide a coordinated response as additional cases of the novel coronavirus are confirmed."

Patient #1 is a man in his 90's and he is hospitalized in serious condition, health officials said.

Patient #2 is a woman in her 40's and she is hospitalized in fair condition. To protect patient privacy, authorities will not be releasing further patient information or identifying the hospitals where the patients are being treated.

"Confirming cases of COVID-19 in San Francisco residents unfortunately does not come as a surprise," said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health. "Given the patterns of the virus in the Bay Area, California and the country, San Francisco has been preparing for the appearance of COVID-19 in the community for many weeks. Last week, the City declared a local emergency to boost our preparedness in anticipation of confirmed cases and community spread of the virus."

RELATED: What to know about COVID-19 in California, how it's affecting San Francisco Bay Area

Breed said the Department of Public Health began testing for cases on March 2 and continues to abide in CDC criteria.

"We have been preparing for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in San Francisco for many weeks and we are ready to support our health care providers and those who may have been exposed," said Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director, Department of Emergency Management. "It is understandable to worry what community spread of the virus means to San Francisco, but we can rest assured that together that we can minimize the impact COVID-19 may have on us. Continuing healthy habits like washing hands, staying home if sick and helping loved ones to avoid getting sick will make a huge difference in the fight against COVID-19 infection in San Francisco."

San Francisco's Public Health Director gave tips on how to stay healthy amid coronavirus .

San Francisco's Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax shares three ways on how to protect yourself from novel coronavirus.

"Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Cheap soap is just as good as expensive soap. If you do not have availability of a sink or soap, use hand sanitizer. Please, do not come to work or go to school if you are sick. Stay at home, and if necessary contact your health care provider."

Watch the full conference here: