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Protesters call on San Francisco to move quicker to protect the homeless from COVID-19

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Surgical mask wearing homeless advocates conducted a mostly in car protest near San Francisco’s Emergency Operation Center on Monday.  

Demonstrators calling on the city to move quicker to protect the homeless from getting the coronavirus.

“The city only wants to pull some people out of shelters, those who are vulnerable and we are asking they move everyone out of shelters,” Jennifer Friedenbach said.

The demonstration comes three days after the city announced an outbreak at MSC South, it’s largest homeless shelter located at 5th and Bryant. 

Now, 81 guests and 10 staff have tested positive while 91 others have tested negative.

“Over the weekend, the Department of Homelessness and DPH moved all guests out of MSC South into hotels for isolation quarantine or shelter in place, this was a monumental undertaking moving 100 people,” Dr. Grant Colfax said.

The hundred moved out of this shelter brings to 750 the total amount of homeless people who have been moved into hotels.

City officials say another 100 to 200 more will likely move soon but say despite calls to ramp things up the process is remains slow.

“This has not been easy to provide adequate staff and its challenging getting the resident to comply with the order to wear masks so it’s not as simple as some would like to think,” Mayor London Breed said. 

City officials also said they cannot provide widespread testing to the homeless population or those with homes because they don’t have enough testing supplies, such as swabs.  

While UCSF has offered to analyze tests for free once they are conducted, but again the city says they like other jurisdictions don’t have enough supplies to conduct as many tests as they would like. 

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