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Community leaders in the SF Mission District are concerned about the increase in COVID cases

SAN FRANCISCO — Mission Food Hub, a nonprofit serving residents of San Francisco’s Mission District, announced Thursday that it began recording a surge in the number of people coming in for COVID-19 testing and vaccines about three weeks ago. .

Founder Roberto Hernandez said he is working to educate people — especially the most vulnerable — in the Mission District about the surge in COVID cases.

“The worst thing about all of this is people calling us and saying they have COVID and people are worried because there are people who have never been vaccinated,” he said.

During the height of the pandemic, the free testing and vaccine site, normally located on the sidewalk outside the organization’s warehouse, was operating seven days a week. At the moment it is only two days a week. Depending on available resources and the severity of the wave, Hernandez said he will work on adding more days.

“Especially the Latino and black community, we know we are at the greatest risk because we are again the essential workers. We do work where we are not protected, against other people who can work from their homes, shelter at home,” he said.

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Dr. Bob Wachter, chairman of the UCSF medical division, said there is no doubt there are more cases of COVID now than there were a month or two ago.

“A small increase in hospitalizations, an increase in sewage positivity, which is probably the best way to tell how much COVID is around,” Wachter. said. “However, it’s important to say that the height of the uptick is nowhere near the kind of spikes we’ve seen at Omicron and Delta in the past.”

He said most people have some level of immunity and a new booster coming out next week should work really well against the new variant, called BA.2.86.

He says people who are older or have weakened immune systems should get the booster.

As for the young and healthy, Dr. Wait for this advice.

“I think the net benefits outweigh the risks, so… when my 30-year-old kids ask me ‘should I get the booster?’ I would say yes.'”

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“For our community we have to go out and work. So we have to hop on the Muni bus, you get exposed, you have to hop on BART, you get exposed, you get exposed at work, so one of the things we encourage people : again: if you are not healthy, wear a mask,” Hernandez said.

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