COVID-19 Outbreak: 70 Test Positive for Coronavirus at San Francisco Homeless Shelter

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There are at least 70 people in one of San Francisco's biggest homeless shelters who have now tested positive for COVID-19.

The outbreak at the MSC South shelter comes after weeks of people pleading with the mayor to make changes. The shelter is near the corner of 5th and Bryant streets.

Mayor London Breed made the sobering announcement of the large amount of cases during the San Franciso's daily COVID-19 update on Friday and warned the worst is yet to come.

The San Francisco shelter is the very same one NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit focused on in a special report last week. Senior Investigative Reporter Bigad Shaban is back on the story.

The outbreak was reported this week at one of the largest homeless shelters in the city. On Wednesday, there were five positive cases. By Friday, there were 70.

"We identified 70 people, 68 members of the shelter and two staffers, who have tested positive for COVID-19," Breed said.

According to the city's public health officer, everyone in the shelter was tested after two people tested positive earlier this week.

"Many have chronic health conditions and vulnerable and even dying of coronavirus," said Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco's public health chief. "We're doing everything we can to reduce the size of the outbreak."

Colfax said he does not believe the shelter outbreak is a significant risk to the general public.

Meanwhile, other officials said they saw it coming and tried to warn others.

"It's so infuriating because this was so preventable, weeks ago, a month ago, I was telling them move them out of there, get them out of there...and they didn't do it," San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney said.

MSC South has more than 300 beds.

Breed said the shelter will be converted to a care center for COVID-19 patients.

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