SF Mission District's new COVID-19 test site promises quick results, provides financial assistance to those who test positive

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- UCSF and the Latino Task Force launched a new rapid COVID-19 test site and research campaign on Sunday that will provide food and financial assistance to those who qualify after testing positive for coronavirus.

"This site will be 5 days a week and we are scaling up the rapid test and response services," said Dr. Carina Marquez, Infectious Disease specialist at UCSF.

On Sunday, more than 600 people got tested at the rapid test site located in San Francisco's 24th street Bart station.

"Key part of this is that it's fast. People are only really infectious for 10 days and so we want to get to people and help support them to isolate," said Dr. Carina Marquez, Infectious Disease specialist at UCSF.

Within one to two hours results are available. That fast response time is what Dr. Marquez says will be vital to prevent transmission.

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"The Latino community has been disproportionally affected by COVID-19 and we want to make sure that this community has access to low-barrier testing so that you don't need to call or wait in a long line," said Dr. Marquez.

The latest data from the Latino Task Force, shows that one in 10 mission residents test positive for COVID-19. Another concern is vaccine hesitancy, so with each test comes a question.

"How many people are ready to have the vaccine now versus need more information?" said Dr. Marquez.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 will get a case manager who will check on them on a daily basis and coordinate resources.

"Tonight the people that tested positive will be getting a box of food to help them shelter in place for the week or two. In addition to cleaning supplies, but beyond that there is the new added component of being able to provide financial support for people that qualify and can't go to work," said Jon Jacobo, Chair of the health committee for the Latino Task Force.

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12 year old Joseph Lopez got tested with his mom. "It's stressful knowing if you don't have it or you have it," he said.

"Is that something that worries you when your mom comes back from work?"

"Yeah, it does," said San Francisco resident, Joseph Lopez.

His mom, Martha Lopez makes a living cleaning houses.

"I always tell her to take a one week break because I don't want her to get sick," said Lopez.

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The resource and rapid-test aspect of this site is what makes this campaign different from many others.

"We hope the state and the rest of the nation look at it as a proper model to help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19," said Jacobo.

10 minutes after our interview, Martha and Joseph Lopez found out their test results came back negative.

The site will be open for 15 days.

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