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In addition to masks, Bay Area hospitals face swab shortage

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – We’ve told you about the mask shortage both nationally and here in the city, but it isn’t limited to just masks. 

Hospitals across the cities are also low on swabs.

Hospitals across the Bay Area are using every resource possible to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic but they are still struggling to meet the demands of all the patients.

“We are struggling to get swabs in order to test, so along the supply chain for testing, there are severe limitations,” Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Public Health San Francisco, said. 

Because of this, in most cases here in the city, testing has been limited to those showing symptoms or have had high-risk exposures.

“We are still struggling along that supply chain to ramp up testing as quickly as possible. So anything from the specimen collection that you need for swaps for the processing agents that are needed, our supply chains are episodic and hard to determine,” Colfax said. 

Because of this, the numbers could be misleading.

“We still don’t have an accurate prevalence number. Meaning, we do not know overall per 1000 people in San Francisco, what the rate of the virus is. We are working again with our colleagues to determine that number with a number of data sources. That will be very important in informing our models,” Colfax said. 

Colfax went on to say the homeless will be able to get tested if they are showing symptoms.

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