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SF Supervisors Pass Extension of COVID-19 Protections for SRO Residents

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to extend COVID-19 protections for low-income residents living in single-room occupancy hotels, or SROs.

The ordinance would require the city’s Department of Public Health to test everyone living in an SRO if even one resident in the building tests positive.

“I believe that it’s important, and that information for the rest of the tenants of the building without identifying the positive case is actually helpful to stop the spread,” Supervisor Aaron Peskin said.

The health department, however, opposes the provision, citing privacy concerns and limited testing resources.

Nearly 700 SRO residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to city data. Seven have died.

Among other health precautions, the ordinance requires DPH to notify SRO operators when a resident has tested positive for COVID-19 and to facilitate contract tracing and proper cleaning procedures. The department must also establish a phone hotline that SRO residents can call for information about accessing COVID-19 health screenings, testing and, for those who meet the criteria for quarantine or isolation, solitary hotel rooms.  — Marco Siler-Gonzales

Copyright 2020 KQED