Universal coronavirus testing for residents at Laguna Honda Hospital has been completed, while testing for hospital staff remains underway, San Francisco Department of Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said Tuesday.
So far, of the 2,500 staff and residents combined at the facility, 718 residents and 1,369 staff members have been tested, with two staff members and two residents testing positive over the weekend.
"This testing allows the hospital to proactively protect residents and staff from exposure by identifying COVID-19 cases among people without symptoms. And we know that many people who have COVID-19 may not show symptoms," Colfax said.
In response to an outbreak at Laguna Honda that began back in March and has since resulted in a total of 29 coronavirus cases, the city earlier this month began requiring all residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities in the city to undergo COVID-19 testing. The 29 cases are made up of 11 residents and 18 staff members.
"With increased testing at Laguna Honda, we do anticipate additional COVID-19 cases," Colfax said. "We know these institutions are highly vulnerable to infection with COVID-19 and while we are being extremely vigilant, we know that it's likely there will be more cases. The key thing is that we do as much as we can to prevent cases, to detect COVID-19 cases when they are in the facility if they're among staff or residents, and then take aggressive action to limit the outbreak and, of course, care both the staff and residents who are found to be infected."
Of the four cases recently discovered, Colfax said DPH staff has conducted contract tracing and tested additional staff and residents.
When the city first considered universal testing at 21 skilled nursing facilities, DPH officials aimed to establish a regular cycle of testing about every two weeks.
According to Colfax, testing at other facilities is also underway. So far, testing at five facilities has been completed, and testing at four others has begun. Testing is planned for the remaining facilities, he said.