Starting Saturday, one of the hardest hit areas COVID-19 in San Francisco will get the opportunity to be tested for free.
Test sites will go up in Bayview, Sunnydale and Visitacion Valley.
Kevin Epps recorded a video on his cellphone shortly after he was rushed to the hospital with what he later discovered was COVID-19.
“I don’t know what happened,” Epps said in the video. “I woke up with short breaths. Help yourself. Take care of yourself.”
Community activists say he recorded it for very specific reasons.
“I just put it there to make sure my people in my community know that this is real,” Epps said.
The community is the 10th District of San Francisco, which includes Bayview, Visitacion Valley, and Sunnydale.
This area has the second highest COVID-19 level in San Francisco, and the highest concentration of the color community.
Now, the same group that is testing thousands of people for free in the Mission District, gathered to do the same in District 10.
“Well this initiative is very important,” Epps said. “Because if you are an operator, think of not only yourself but the people around you who can have an impact on the people you love, your grandmothers’ aunts.”
Kim Rhoads is at the forefront of efforts on behalf of UCSF.
“As a black faculty member at UCSF, I feel it’s very important for me to be involved,” Dr. Rhoads.
Dr. Rhoads was inspired by the testing he saw happening in the Mission.
There, more than half of people who test positive don’t show symptoms, which means they can’t spread the virus without realizing it.
That is why Dr. Rhoads said the initiative was not only about testing, but about support.
“The response is to support people being able to isolate themselves or quarantine if they are tested positive for the virus so they have the opportunity to heal themselves and let the virus out of their system,” Dr. Rhoads. “So when they return to the general population that is circulating, they don’t infect other people.”
But he and community partners know some people might have problems.
That’s why District 10 supervisor Shamann Walton said he went and was tested by Mayor of London Breed.
“We do that so we can show that this test is safe,” Walton said. “And let everyone know that we want to set an example and practice what we preach because it is very important. The only way we will stop the spread is by knowing who has it.”
Testing will be conducted at Leola Havard School on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, testing will be conducted at Herz Field starting at 9 am – 7 pm.
They are still looking for volunteers so if you want to help, or register to be tested, you can do it at here.
If you have questions or comments about the coronavirus pandemic, send you through the form below or here.
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