Most Mission residents who tested positive in COVID-19 study can't work from home, are Latino

San Francisco's Mission District has been rocked by a one-two punch. The coronavirus pandemic has affected both the economy there and people's health. 

A recent study by UC San Francisco researchers found that of the more than 3,000 people tested in the Mission last month, 2.1% came back positive for COVID-19.

By comparison, a similar test in the western Marin community of Bolinas turned up zero positive tests.

Perhaps most troubling, the Mission study found 90% of those testing positive were unable to work from home. Almost all are Latino.

“The virus exploits pre-existing vulnerabilities in our society. Hopefully with this data, we can respond and start putting resources to work," said UCSF Dr. Diane Havlir.

"It saddens me to hear we are the highest population being affected by the virus. And what really bothers us people who have the virus don't even know it and they're living in those housing conditions," said Roberto Hernandez, a community leader and co-chair of the Mission District Latino Task Force COVID-19.

One Mission resident said he was glad he got tested. The results were negative.

"My kids are concerned about me. I owe it to them and to myself to know I am not infecting anyone else," said Arturo Carrillo.

Residents say many in the Mission live in overcrowded conditions. They also worry if they will still have jobs when the economy opens up.

"It's a struggle for us. We are the ones with the lowest incomes, we don't have the housing.  We have to fight for the jobs. And right now no one is working. So it makes it that much more disheartening," said Carrillo.

UCSF researchers say perhaps as many as 1 in 50 people living or working in the Mission could be infected.