San Francisco

SF Residents Rush to Get COVID-19 Tests as Many Return to School, Work Monday

COVID-19 tests are in demand and not easy to find as many people return to work and school after the holidays.

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With the omicron variant driving COVID-19 cases up, many San Francisco residents were waiting in line to get tested Sunday.

The line for COVID-19 testing wrapped around the block in the city's Mission District.

“We are there but we’re prepared to give up to 800 tests,” said Susana Rojas with the Latino Task Force.

Rojas said that the demand keeps growing with concerns about omicron variant as people return to normal life after the holiday break.

“Parents are trying to get their kids tested before they go back to school," she said. "Also, people are hearing of close one’s people or people that they got together with that they came back positive are coming to get tested. Others have traveled and they are coming back and others are feeling sick."

People will get the results of their rapid tests within hours.

Some families were thrilled to have a COVID-19 testing option at San Francisco Unified School District, as many students return to school Monday.

“It’s really, really hard to find rapid test at Walgreens or any of the other pharmacies, which we were hoping to be able to do," said San Francisco resident Michael Stafford. "When the school district came out with the announcement that they have these available, we jumped at it because we want everybody to be safe."

SFSUD said they partnered with local organizations to do about 1000 rapid tests and added that several hundred more were available to take home.

“We have done everything we can. As quickly as we can," ,” said Vincent Matthews, superintendent of SFUSD. "We expect tests to arrive from the state but that won’t be later this week. So, we took the opportunity to partner with Safer Together and the department of health to do what we can do as quickly as we could."

Rapid testing will continue this week and it’s one of the tools SFUSD is using.

“We been around going to testing sites. Some of them are like 'Oh, we welcome walk-ins' but when you go there they are out of kits," said San Francisco resident Theresa Ho.

Ho and her family struck out at sites and pharmacies recently. Ho added she was happy to finally got take tests home for her children.

“We just want to take precaution right and make sure the kids go to school they’re negative," she said.

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