Mayor London Breed Announces New Mobile Testing Site in the Mission and Right to Recover Program to Provide Financial Support For Residents Who Test Positive For COVID-19

Mayor London Breed Announces New Mobile Testing Site in the Mission and Right to Recover Program to Provide Financial Support For Residents Who Test Positive For COVID-19

Christopher Gil
Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152
cgil@medasf.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (from Office of the Mayor)
July 9, 2020

Mayor London Breed Announces New Mobile Testing Site in the Mission and Right to Recover Program to Provide Financial Support For Residents Who Test Positive For COVID-19

Testing site will operate on Thursdays from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. in coordination with services provided at the Latino Task Force Resource Hub

Right to Recover program is part of wraparound services provided by the City and community partners, which are vital to tackling inequities within our vulnerable populations and reducing COVID-19 transmissions

San FranciscoMayor London N. Breed today announced the launch of a new mobile COVID-19 testing site at the Latino Task Force (LTF) Resource Hub in the Mission. The LTF Resource Hub connects residents with wraparound services, including the new Right to Recover program. Co-locating this testing site with existing resources provides a low-barrier, accessible testing site the Latino community and members of the Mission community who are regularly visiting the LTF Resource Hub for other services. The City’s Right to Recover program encourages residents to get tested for COVID-19 while offering a safety net for people that face financial hardship if they need to isolate following a positive test result.

“Testing and contact tracing are an essential part of our City’s ongoing response to COVID-19. Many of the people who are leaving their homes to go to work and keep our city running during this global pandemic are lower-wage workers who can’t afford to miss a paycheck, and sadly, this virus has further heightened the disparities that already existed in our city,” said Mayor Breed. “When someone tests positive for COVID-19, we want them to be able to focus on getting the care they need and taking the necessary steps to slow the spread of the virus, without having to worry about how they’ll pay their bills. Everyone should have the right to prioritize their health.”

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected communities of color in San Francisco, California, and across the United States. In San Francisco, Latinos make up 50% of reported cases of COVID-19 even though Latinos make up just 15% of the city’s population. Many Latino, immigrant, African American, Asian, and low-income communities in San Francisco are further disadvantaged by the fact that they do not qualify for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, unemployment insurance, or loan programs because of their immigration status. Prior to the global outbreak of COVID-19, rates of chronic illness, poor housing conditions, and low wages were already concentrated in these groups and the virus has disproportionately impacted these communities as well.

“The science is clear, and the facts are straight. In order to reduce the spread of infection, essential workers must get tested at a higher rate, they also need to know that if they volunteer to be tested, and test positive, that they will be able to safely quarantine for their own protection and the health of the public at large,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “This new site at the Latino Taskforce Resource Hub will give essential workers an easy and culturally competent access to testing and all the services available to them, including Right to Recover. I want to thank Latino Taskforce for their advocacy and DPH and the Mayor’s Office for responding to this need and making this test site happen. The Mission Community deserves this critical first step to help identify positive cases, help them recover and make our neighborhood healthy again.”

“Thank you to the Mission Hub for continuing to be a vital resource for the Latinx Community in the historic Mission Language Vocational School,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí. “Not only can families access groceries, but now they can get free testing and resources to safely quarantine. Thank you to the Latino Task Force and all the volunteers who make this great work possible.”

Testing Site
There are currently four other testing sites in the Mission, including Castro Mission Health Center and Mission Neighborhood Health Center. By linking testing with existing resources and trusted community partners, this new mobile site further expands the City’s testing outreach and education to the Mission community. The Mission currently has a high rate of positive cases among those who have been tested, with 107.6 positive cases per 10,000 residents. To date, there are 642 positive cases among an estimated 59,639 residents in the Mission neighborhood.

The new mobile testing site is the latest resource expansion at the LTF Resource Hub, and will provide free walk-thru testing on Thursdays. Testing is available for anyone who is leaving home to work, thinks they may have been exposed, or is experiencing at least one symptom on COVID-19. Insurance and identification are not required. The site began operating today and will operate on Thursdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm. People with appointments and drop-ins will be checked in by LTF Resource Hub staff and escorted to the testing tent designated for specimen collection.

DPH will administer the tests, providing tests results by phone, and conducting contact tracing and offering social services if test results are positive. Contact tracing is an essential component of follow up for positive test results, and participants will be informed about the importance of working with contact tracers to slow the spread of the virus.

DPH and the Latino Task Force will work together to provide a comprehensive and culturally integrated community-based approach which will include a Community Wellness Team composed of bilingual, Spanish-speaking community workers.

“We listened to community and responded when identifying the next location for mobile testing in San Francisco,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health. “Our partnership with the Latino Task Force recognizes the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the Latinx community and that equity must be front and center in our guiding our efforts. The addition of mobile testing to the Resource Hub will offer low-barrier testing to community residents in a safe and supportive environment with wraparound services.”

“Contact tracing is completely voluntary and all the information we collect from the individual will be protected and confidential,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, San Francisco Health Officer. “The phone call we make to you is about building trust. It’s about explaining what we are doing with the information you help provide to us and why we are asking for it. We are public health and we are here to connect you to wraparound services that will minimize disruptions and ensure your safety and health.”

Latino Task Force Resource Hub
The LTF Resource Hub has been operating over the past few months and provides food distribution and other services. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the center distributes food, and serves approximately 6,000 families per week. On Wednesday and Thursdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm, the LTF Resource Hub provides services including:

  • Connecting people with income relief programs,
  • Helping people file for unemployment,
  • Helping people find employment,
  • Assisting people sign up for health care,
  • Assistance applying for affordable housing.

For more information about the Resource Hub and the Latino Task Force, visit https://www.ltfrespuestalatina.com/.

Right to Recover Program
The City’s $2 million “Right to Recover” program works hand-in-hand with COVID-19 testing sites across the City. It provides those who qualify with a wage replacement while they recover. Based on San Francisco minimum wage, a two-week wage replacement amounts to $1,285. The program’s financial support will serve up to 1,500 San Franciscans who test positive for COVID-19 to focus on their health and recovery regardless of their immigration status.

The purpose of Right to Recover and the City’s other relief programs, including the Family Relief Fund and the Immigrant Workers Fund program, is to fill the gaps of federal funding by putting money in the hands of the people that need it the most. The goal is to encourage residents and workers to get tested for COVID-19 and not worry about economic hardship during isolation. The programs aim to remove barriers to allow access to relief for those who may not trust government programs due to their immigration status and experience in the criminal justice system.

Under the Right to Recover program, when a person tests positive for COVID-19, the Department of Public Health (DPH) conducts an interview with that person. During the interview, DPH will ask if they have access to replacement wages while they isolate. If not, they will connect the individual to the Right to Recover program. The City will not ask or record any questions about citizenship or immigration status. In addition to this relief program, DPH will also share other wraparound services to support residents around food security, housing assistance, and workforce services.

The Right to Recover program is designed to ensure that those who qualify also receive a comprehensive and culturally competent assessment of their ability to isolate and properly self-care by community partners. This program is made possible by community partners including the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), Young Community Developers (YCD), Central City Hospitality House, and Self-Help for the Elderly in collaboration with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), DPH, and the Human Rights Commission.

“We need workers to feel secure in getting tested, without concern for how they are going to make rent or put food on the table if they test positive. The Right to Recover program ensures that workers who live in San Francisco and struggle to make ends meet have a safety net to make the very best health decisions,” said Joaquín Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “By increasing access to testing, we’re proactively promoting the health of workers and our City’s recovery.” 

“The virus has impacted the Mission community and we are at Ground ZERO. We have to protect our families because you may have coronavirus and not know it. Expanding testing in our community is urgent to ensure the safety and wellness of the Latino population in San Francisco,” said Roberto Hernandez, Latino Task Force Co-Founder. “We are proud to launch this new mobile testing site here at the Latino Task Force Resource Hub. From weekly food distribution and home deliveries, supporting individuals who need healthcare or help signing up for Medi-Cal, to assisting with filing for unemployment or finding a job, we strive to continue offering vital services that serve the essential needs of each person and our families.”

As an organization we are elated to work alongside community partners regarding all San Franciscans Right to Recover,” said Dion-Jay Brookter, Executive Director of Young Community Developers, Inc. (YCD). “We have already been engaging, strategizing and meeting with one another on how to address the challenges of our community residents most in need through this initiative.”

“As proven by April’s in-depth UCSF public health study, there is a high concentration of positive tests for COVID-19 in the Mission’s Latino community, as our families are more likely to be essential workers in the food industry, at construction sites and the like,” said Luis Granados, CEO, MEDA. “Additionally, our families live in overcrowded conditions, making social distancing a challenge. The Right to Recover program will allow some of these Latino essential workers to quarantine as needed, without fear of income loss: This is an essential first step to eradicating the virus not just in the Mission, but in San Francisco overall. MEDA looks forward to working with the City and philanthropy on other innovative programs to address the systemic, long-term obstacles faced by our Latino community around housing, food, health care and jobs.”

The City’s relief programs are made possible from the Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. In March, Mayor Breed announced three priority areas for the Give2SF Fund: food security, access to housing, and support for workers and small businesses, with a focus on assisting undocumented people and mixed-status households who otherwise may not have access to social safety net programs; seniors and people with disabilities; and small businesses. To donate to Give2SF, go to www.Give2SF.org.

For more information on the Right to Recover program, call the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) Workforce Hotline at (415) 701-4817 where representatives are available 7 days a week to answers calls in multiple language, or email workforce.connection@sfgov.org. In the meantime, people can also check oewd.org/covid19/workers to learn more or call 311.

For more information about the operations of the mobile COVID-19 testing site at the Latino Task Force Hub, visit sf.gov/GetTestedSF

Additional Support for Families, Residents, and Workers
Resources to support San Franciscans during COVID-19 include:

Food Security

  • Isolation/Quarantine (IQ) Food Helpline – The City’s centralized resource for food insecure people in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19. This resource provides free groceries or prepared meals to people who have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, are a Person Under Investigation (PUI) awaiting test results, or are considered a “close contact” and cannot otherwise access food. Individuals may be referred to this resource by a medical provider, public health staff, social services organization, or 3-1-1.
  • CalFresh – Access to food for low-income individuals and households via EBT card that can be used at retail food, farmers markets, grocery stores and some restaurants. Learn more.
  • Pandemic EBT – Children can receive a food benefit while their school is closed, for up to $365 per eligible child. You can apply online for P-EBT if your children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and they did not get a P-EBT card.
  • Great Plates Delivered – Food delivery of three meals a day to adults 65+ who are sheltering in place and adults 60-64 who are high risk of contracting COVID-19. Learn more.
  • Home-Delivered Meals and Groceries – Meal delivery for homebound adults who are unable to shop due to a mental or physical condition. Learn more.
  • Community-based Take Away Meals – Offers meals to adults 60+ at site located throughout San Francisco. Learn more.
  • Food Pantries – Weekly and bi-monthly groceries at sites located in San Francisco. Learn more.

Housing

  • COVID-19 Eviction and Rent Increase Moratoriums – Emergency tenant protections, including more time to pay your rent, suspension of evictions during the pandemic, and a rent freeze in City-subsidized housing. Learn more.
  • Give2SF Housing Stabilization Program – Financial help to pay rent, utilities, and other housing costs if you have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Learn more.
  • COVID-19 Homeowner Emergency Loan Program (HELP) – No-payment loans of up to $25,000 to cover HOA dues, property taxes, and lump-sum deferred mortgage payments. Learn more.

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About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.  
medasf.org

 

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