San Francisco offers free, pop-up COVID-19 testing ahead of Christmas

Amid an unprecedented statewide surge of COVID-19, San Francisco officials on Tuesday announced the city will open up a pop-up testing location ahead of the Christmas holiday to further serve some of its most impacted residents -- the Latino community and essential workers.

The new pop-up testing site will be at the corner of 24th and Mission streets, a central transit hub in the city's Mission District, on Wednesday and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The free, low-barrier testing is being offered through a partnership between the city's Department of Public Health and the Latino Task Force, with staff who speak English, Spanish and Cantonese.

No appointments are needed and patients can get results within 24 to 48 hours. Officials are expecting to test up to 700 people per day on Wednesday and Thursday.

"We need to ensure that our resources are allocated equitably and effectively in order to slow the spread of this virus," Mayor London Breed said in a statement. "By standing up a testing site at 24th and Mission streets that is easily accessible, we are better serving the Latino community and our essential workers, who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 health pandemic.

By meeting people where they are with critical resources like testing, we can better protect the health of all of our communities during this current surge, which will help us safely reopen our city."

"Expanding low barrier testing resources in communities with high-prevalence of the virus, like the Mission neighborhood, is a top priority," DPH Director Dr. Grant Colfax said. "Communities of color, particularly the Latino community, and essential workers continue to shoulder a disproportionate burden of COVID 19.

Today's announcement plays an important role in addressing these ongoing disparities and supporting the populations most at risk." Latino residents in the city continue to be some of the most affected by the virus, as many are essential workers and also live in crowded living conditions, often with multiple family members under one roof.

Despite only making up 15 percent of the city's population, Latinos account for 44 percent of the city's COVID-19 cases.

"We have been on the frontlines of this battle and have seen the painful disparities that have existed due to a legacy of inequalities and policies that have negatively impacted our community," Latino Task Force Health Committee Chairman Jon Jacobo said. "We are appreciative that the city is moving to partner with us and uphold our 'Test to Community Care' model for the people who have been hit the hardest."

Since July, the Latino Task Force has been providing testing and other services, including food assistance, to Mission District residents out of the Latino Task Force Resource Hub located at 701 Alabama St.