UCSF releases data on nearly 3,000 Mission District residents tested for COVID-19

UCSF researchers test residents of San Francisco's Mission District for coronavirus.

The University of California at San Francisco on Monday announced results from initial coronavirus testing done in the city's Mission District late last month.

According to the results, of the 2,959 residents in a Mission 
Census tract, 62 people, or 2.1 percent, tested positive.

The testing was done at open-air pop-up test sites and conducted 
by Unidos En Salud, a partnership between the city, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, UCSF and community members on the Latino Task Force for COVID-19.

Of the residents who tested positive, 53 percent reported being 
asymptomatic. Additionally, three quarters of those who tested positive were men, USCF officials said.

Ninety-five percent of those who tested positive are Latino.

Eighty-two percent of those who tested positive reported being 
financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and only ten percent reported being able to work from home.

"The virus exploits pre-existing vulnerabilities in our society," Dr. Diane Havlir, UCSF's Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine chief, said in a statement.

"We have already seen that 84 percent of people coming into ZSFG for treatment for COVID-19 are Latinx, and our community-based screening study emphasizes how high infection risk continues to be for this population. 

Hopefully, with this data we can respond and start putting resources to work towards more equity in supporting this highly impacted community," she said.

"Our vision is for all San Franciscans to have universal access to 
testing. As we continue to expand testing, this project is another big step in that direction," Dr. Grant Colfax, director of health for San Francisco's Department of Public Health, said.

"By focusing on the Mission, this work enables a closer look at 
one of the communities that is most affected by health disparities, income inequality and discrimination--all of which put residents and workers more at risk for COVID-19," Colfax said. 

"We are continuing and expanding our work to support those who 
test positive for COVID-19 and their families. We are going to continue to work with our partners, including UCSF and community-based organizations, to expand testing and testing research to other parts of the city," he said.

The results suggest that as many as 1 in 50 people in the Mission 
may be infected with the virus, with many of them being asymptomatic.

According to data from the city's COVID-19 data tracker, while 
Latinos make up just 15 percent of the city's population, Latinos account for nearly 37 percent of the city's COVID-19 cases. 

"The Mission District - and in particular the Latinx community - has suffered greatly and disproportionately from COVID-19," Supervisor Hillary Ronen said. "Having this study done in a community that has been so deeply affected by this pandemic sends a clear message that the health and well-being of our Latinx residents is an absolute priority."