Coronavirus screening: Free COVID-19 testing available for San Francisco's Mission District residents

ByCornell Barnard via KGO logo
Sunday, April 26, 2020
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Thousands of people who live in San Francisco's Mission District can get tested for free for coronavirus, thanks to a UCSF study.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Free COVID-19 testing is now available for residents living in San Francisco's Mission District, a neighborhood that's seen the highest number of novel coronavirus cases in the city. It's part of a study by UCSF to better understand how the virus is spread.

"This is not a nice time, a little germ is out there doing its thing and we've got to stop it," said Patricia Delgado.

Delgado is doing her part to help stop COVID-19. She just got tested and she'll never forget it.

Delgado lives in the Mission District where thousands of residents have registered to get tested at several outdoor testing sites, for free.

RELATED: Coronavirus: California nearly doubles testing per million residents, now ranks 27th in US

Two tests are available. One tests for COVID-19 and the other can detect COVID-19 antibodies.

The Mission District is showing some of the highest infection rates in the city.

"The deaths among our people are devastating especially among Latinos and African Americans," said Tracy Brown from the Latino Task Force for COVID-19.

RELATED: Oakland expands free COVID-19 testing to residents in Alameda County

The testing is part of a UCSF study to help determine how the virus spreads.

"This important study will help advance our understanding of the virus in latino communities and enable us to fight the virus more equitably across our city," said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo from UCSF School of Medicine.

Sergio Velarde got tested, with the hope it brings a vaccine closer.

"Even if it's one piece of the puzzle, it helps the world how to deal with this," said Velarde.

RELATED: North Bay town Bolinas offers free COVID-19 testing to every resident

Earlier this week, the entire town of Bolinas got tested. The results of that rural area, will be compared to urban numbers from the Mission to gain new understanding about the virus, how it moves and who it infects.

Individuals will get their test results within 72 hours. Results of the study will be made public next month.

Free testing will continue through Tuesday.

Learn more about the testing and UCSF study here.