First Responders in San Francisco to Get Prioritized COVID-19 Testing
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 | Comments

San Francisco announced prioritized COVID-19 testing for critical first responders and healthcare workers who are essential to the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The San Francisco Health Service System (SFHSS) reached an agreement with the city’s two largest private health service providers, Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California, to prioritize COVID-19 tests for San Francisco first responders and healthcare workers showing symptoms of the virus. Supporting this agreement, the Department of Public Health (DPH) issued a health advisory this morning to San Francisco clinicians and labs to similarly prioritize testing for these two classes of workers, in addition to high-risk and vulnerable populations.

COVID-19 is present in our communities, and first responders and healthcare workers may also be exposed in other ways, a statement said. As an interim step, San Francisco first responders and healthcare workers who are covered under the city’s health insurance plans can contact their primary care physician and indicate they are in one of the two priority COVID-19 test classes. Upon confirmation that their symptoms indicate that a COVID-19 test is needed, their test will be prioritized along with other tests for high-risk, vulnerable patient classes. The city is also expanding resources available to first responders and healthcare workers through SFHSS and its nurse triage hotlines to assist them with getting tested.

“The prioritization of COVID-19 testing for frontline workers, along with people who are most vulnerable, will help us make sure our health care system can continue serving the public and taking care of people who need help,” said San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed. “We are so grateful for all the healthcare workers and first responders who are stepping up and responding to this pandemic, and we will continue to prioritize efforts to support them during this challenging time.”

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