January 18, 2022
A Message From The Supervisor:
Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone enjoyed a safe Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On his birthday, we remember the work of the great civil rights leader, minister, and family member. Dr. King said many great things but I am often moved when I am reminded of the following statement, “The time is always right to do what is right.” The quote calls for immediate action on injustice and empowers everyone to be a part of the solution. I admire Dr. King and his work and I was happy to celebrate his legacy with many of you during last weeks virtual celebrations.
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of presenting Felisia Thibodeaux with the “Keeping the Dream Alive Division Award” at the 38th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Virtual Luncheon hosted by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. Felisia has been an integral member of Lakeview/OMI community. Felisia has been a superstar since birth and for the last 35 years as a professional, Felisia has been sharing her talents and expertise in improving the lives of our most vulnerable population. She has worked in the corporate sector and in the public sector. For nearly two decades, she has been deeply entrenched in our City’s senior services. As Executive Director of Southwest Community Corporation operating out of IT Bookman, Felisia has been serving hundreds of seniors in the Lakeview/OMI. Since the start of the pandemic, Felisia and her organization have been meeting the needs of the community. Last year, Felisia worked with other neighborhood community based organizations to vigorously fight for a testing site in the Lakeview/OMI. Felisia is very humble but the work that she has done during the pandemic has been nothing short of phenomenal. As a result, Felisia has recently been awarded the KPIX Regional Jefferson Award, Mayor Breed’s Unsung Hero Award, Assemblymember Phil Ting, “Non-Profit of the Year", and the San Francisco 49ers “Hometown Hero” award.
In addition to all of the previous accolades, I had the honor of presenting Felisia Thibodeaux with the 38th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Luncheon’s “Keeping the Dream Alive Division Award.” I thank Felisia for her service and it is a pleasure to continue working together.
We are aware of the challenges to secure COVID Testing at this time. In response, I introduced a resolution that asks the City to allocate resources toward the continued support of the community based programs. In addition, the Biden Administration is providing each household up to 4 free rapid tests. You may request your free tests by clicking HERE.
As we navigate the Omicron surge, I would like to encourage people to stay home when they can and to avoid large indoor gatherings. There is new guidance out for events which limits the capacity for concerts and other indoor gatherings. The most up to date information can be found by clicking HERE.
Our office remains accessible to the public through telephone, email, virtual meeting or in person via appointment. We are available by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 415-554-6976 (leave a message and we will call you back). You can also check for updates on my Twitter , Instagram, and Facebook. Stay safe and healthy.
Please note - if you miss my weekly newsletter, you may find it later on the Board of Supervisor’s website. Click HERE to read past newsletters.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to my staff at Safaistaff@sfgov.org.
Supervisor Ahsha Safai
Important Note on COVID Testing
UPDATE: COLOR has resolved their computer issue, and testing sites for San Francisco Department of Public Health were open as of last Wednesday, 1/12. If you're seeking a test, you can book an appointment online or walk in. Please see the next section for available testing sites.
COVID-19 Updates from San Francisco Department of Public Health
As the Omicron variant continues to spread in San Francisco, it is important that we layer our defenses by getting vaccinated, boosted, tested, and by wearing well-fitted masks. The Omicron-fueled surge is propelling SF to its highest COVID-19 rates since the start of the pandemic. In an effort to keep our City’s essential services open, including schools, hospitals, and homeless shelters, we are urging everyone to take reasonable measures to lower their risk of exposure to the virus where possible in order to slow transmission.
Read the latest information about SF’s response to the current COVID-19 Omicron surge here.
Watch our Tuesday press conference on SFGovTV’s YouTube channel here.
How to stay safe:
Updates on Omicron-Driven COVID-19 Surge
An average of 1,630 San Franciscans a day are contracting COVID-19 (as of Jan. 6), which is more than 4 times that of last winter’s peak at 373 cases per day. While 81% of San Franciscans are vaccinated (as of Jan. 13), and 60% of vaccinated residents have been boosted (as of Jan. 13), the highly contagious Omicron-variant is still able to spread as breakthrough infections, often asymptomatically or with mild illness.
- Have everyone ages 5+ get their COVID-19 vaccine and booster if eligible
- Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate themselves and get tested as soon as possible
- Get tested before travel, upon return, and again 3-5 days later
- Take advantage of quick and easy home test kits available in pharmacies and stores
- Outside gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings. Limit the number and size of indoor gatherings
- Take all precautions, including vaccinations, boosters, and testing when gathering with others without masks – especially with elderly or immunocompromised individuals, and anyone who is unvaccinated or not yet boosted
- Wear a well-fitted mask indoors and in crowded settings. To best protect yourself, wear an N95, KN95, KF94 or double mask with a cloth mask over a surgical mask to improve the seal. If possible, wear one of the above masks, double mask, or a well-fitted surgical mask during this surge. Get the most out of your masking
- Unvaccinated adults should avoid travel and gatherings outside their household.
- Wash hands or use hand sanitizer often.
- Layer your defenses, and reduce your household’s risk exposure during periods of high transmission, like the current omicron surge.
For additional information about drop-in sites for vaccines, boosters, and testing, click here.
This raises the prospects that frontline workers could become infected and be temporarily unable to work, impacting SF’s delivery of essential services. While hospitalization rates as a fraction of cases are expected to be lower with Omicron, the sheer number of people getting infected means SF is experiencing increased demand for hospital beds at a time when staff is also contracting the virus because of high community spread.
COVID-19 Tests in High Demand
COVID-19 testing capacity is at an all-time high, even as impacts on staffing and laboratories temporarily affect hours at four city testing sites. This week, we’ve worked through several challenges involving the City’s testing vendor, which experienced software technical issues, causing six sites to be impacted on Monday and Tuesday. SFDPH worked closely with Color Health to accommodate appointments and some drop-ins and distributed more than 8,000 rapid test kits on Tuesday at two sites, Alemany and Southeast Health Center. On Wednesday, operations resumed as normal at all six sites.
Despite these challenges, testing is at an all-time high in San Francisco. To meet the high demand from this latest surge, San Francisco is administering an average of 10,000 tests per day. SFDPH-affiliated sites have more than doubled the number of tests since the Omicron surge began in early December. Some testing sites have been operating at 500-900% above capacity levels before this surge.
SFDPH-affiliated sites currently account for about 60% of the tests administered at major site locations in the City. While our testing capacity has been stretched to the maximum, we have asked that health care systems in the City do their part and meet the high demand for testing for their patients and members to get us through this critical stage.
We remind people to please continue to check your health system first for testing, if you have one. Do not go to the emergency room for tests. For updated hours of operation at SFDPH-affiliated and health system sites, go to sf.gov/gettested.
Resources Available to Support People Who Test Positive
We want to remind people that most cases of COVID-19 with the Omicron variant are mild or moderate, and many times asymptomatic, and can be safely managed at home. We are urging people not to call 911 or visit the emergency room unless they have a medical emergency. Know the signs of serious COVID and when to seek emergency medical attention.
Our COVID Response Center hotline is also experiencing high call volumes, and response time may be delayed. Please call this line 628-217-6101 specifically for vaccination appointments, testing information, and isolation and quarantine referrals and guidance, and to file for COVID-related financial assistance. Do not call this number to report a COVID positive case. Information resources and phone numbers for accessing supportive services, such as food resources, assistance with bill payment and other social service needs can be found HERE .
Updated Quarantine and Isolation Resources
Both isolation and quarantine refer to staying at home and away from other people, when you have or might have COVID‑19. Isolation and quarantine are used to keep people who have or might have COVID‑19 away from others, to keep the infection from spreading. You isolate when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don't have symptoms. If you have symptoms that could be from COVID‑19, you also must isolate until you know you are not infected, usually after you have a negative COVID‑19 test. You quarantine when you have had close contact with someone with COVID‑19 and might be infected.
Resources are available to those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact. For more information about Isolation and Quarantine click HERE.
Ages 12+ Can Drop-in for Boosters
Pfizer and Moderna boosters are now recommended at least 5 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series. Booster eligibility also recently expanded to include children ages 12 to 15, providing even more protection for children as they resume in-person learning this second half of the school year. Two new locations have been added to our list of drop-in vaccine and booster sites serving ages 12 and older: Mission Wellness Pharmacy (2424 Mission St.) and HealthRight 360 (1563 Mission St.).
Where to get a vaccine or booster:
Here are the following locations in San Francisco where people can drop in to receive a booster, Monday to Friday, while supplies last each day. Please check sf.gov/getvaccinated or call 628-652-2700 should changes to operational hours occur:
Information & Guidance Updates
- ZSFG (1001 Potrero Ave, Bldg 30)
- Southeast Health Center (2401 Keith Street)
- Chinese Hospital (845 Jackson Street)
- Kaiser Tent (2350 Geary Blvd)
- Mission Wellness Pharmacy (2424 Mission St.)
- HealthRight 360 (1563 Mission St.)
- All DPH neighborhood sites
Sign up to receive alerts from the Information & Guidance team for updates to San Francisco’s Health Order, guidance, and directives here.
SFDPH COVID-19 vaccine call center
Call 628-652-2700 to book an appointment, find a drop-in site, or if you have questions about the vaccine. You can also email email@example.com.
Please check the following sites for regular COVID-19 updates:
The Budget and Legislative Analyst's Office (on behalf of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors) is conducting a survey of small businesses in San Francisco. Your feedback will help the BLA understand how the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) could better serve small businesses in the City. All survey responses will be anonymous. This survey will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. We ask that you please complete the survey no later than January 31, 2022.
COMING SOON: COVID-19 Small Business Rent Relief Pilot Program to Provide Small Business Commercial Rent Relief
In December 2021, I announced grants for commercial rent relief to help stabilize San Francisco’s small businesses. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development will help administer $2 million in city investment by launching COVID-19 Small Business Rent Relief Pilot Program focusing on helping small businesses that have unpaid commercial back rent, by providing grants of up to $35,000 per qualifying business.
The Board of Supervisor’s Budget and Legislative Analyst estimates there is more than a half of billion dollars of unpaid commercial back rent caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this alarming number, Supervisor Safai in collaboration with Mayor Breed, announced $2 million for a pilot program that provides financial assistance to small business owners who successfully renegotiate debt repayment terms with their current property owners. The commercial rent relief pilot fund is being developed to support San Francisco’s small businesses that were greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result have unpaid commercial back rent.
“Small businesses in San Francisco have a long road to recovery.” said Supervisor Ahsha Safai, “While you may still see your favorite local business open, it doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling to make ends meet. The COVID-19 Small Business Rent Relief Pilot Program is designed to help small businesses that have unpaid commercial back rent sustain their business for the future.”
The COVID-19 Small Business Rent Relief Pilot Program will be administered by the Office of Economic Workforce Development. The goal of the pilot program is to help both small businesses and property owners/landlords recover lost income due to the pandemic. The grant program incentivizes property owners to negotiate payment of rent debt by providing small businesses with grants to pay off a portion of their owed rent. The eligibility requirements for the program are currently being developed with the goal of launching the application at the end of February 2022. The focus of the program will be to support small businesses with existing rent debt that have not received substantial government COVID-19 relief funding. Interested businesses can sign up to receive updates and alerts on the grant program as information become available by visiting visit the Office of Economic and Workforce Development at www.oewd.org/evictionhelp.
During the earlier part of the pandemic, the State of California issued a commercial eviction moratorium that prohibited commercial evictions due to back rent payment; however on September 30, 2021, the moratorium ended. Leaving countless small businesses with massive back rent debt. While businesses and landlords are encouraged to develop a repayment plan, the Small Business Rent Relief Pilot program will address a pressing need for small business presently facing back rent debt.
San Francisco continues to partner with community-based organizations to provide lease re-negotiation, mediation and referrals to legal services. The BAR Association of San Francisco (BASF) will host a webinar on December 20th at 12pm to help small business owners understand the resources available to them. For more information, visit the Office of Economic and Workforce Development at www.oewd.org/evictionhelp . Small businesses who have questions or would like to speak to a representative about resources and assistance can also call the Office of Small Business at (415) 554-6134 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
|Virtual Citywide Public Safety Meeting with Chief Scott
We are excited to announce that SFPD Chief Scott will be hosting a Virtual Citywide Public Safety Meeting for the community on Jan. 24, 2022 @ 5:30pm. This forum is an opportunity for community members to hear updates from the Chief regarding recent crime trends, new resident-driven public safety strategies, and the reform efforts that are currently underway within the department.
Most importantly, SFPD Chief Scott would like to hear directly from each of you about your concerns/ideas, and answer any community questions. Please register HERE to join us for this important update event and community dialogue as together we help solve issues and ultimately shape a more safe and vibrant San Francisco for everyone.
|Geneva Avenue Traffic Signal Project
San Francisco Public Works and SFMTA have partnered to complete infrastructure and safety improvements along Geneva Avenue. The work to be performed includes upgrading the existing signal infrastructure, including installation of new signals and interconnect conduit. The Geneva Avenue Traffic Signal Project also includes wiring, Pedestrian Countdown Signals (PCS), Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) pushbuttons, vehicular signal heads, new poles and mast-arms, and signal controllers. This project will also include pedestrian bulb-out work, curb ramp work, sidewalk work, curb and gutter work, parking strip replacement, localized street base repairs and paving work near the newly completed upgrades.
• Geneva Avenue & London Street
The intersections included in this project are the following:
• Geneva Avenue & Paris Street
• Geneva Avenue & Naples Street
• Geneva Avenue & Athens Street
The Geneva Avenue Traffic Signal Project will also include removal and reconstruction of the center median along Geneva Avenue between Edinburgh Street and Vienna Street. The new center median will be realigned to create turning lanes and facilitate travel through the area.
Neighbors interested in receiving e-updates on the Geneva Avenue Traffic Signal Project should sign up HERE. Updates will be sent out as-needed during construction to inform residents of the upcoming phase of work, traffic impacts, milestone completions, and any weekend work. Although weekend work is allowed, none is anticipated at this time.
Construction on this project is anticipated to start in late January 2022 with completion expected in late October 2022. This traffic signal project is being completed in advance of a larger scale project coming to Mission Street and Geneva Avenue in summer 2022. The Mission Street and Geneva Avenue Infrastructure Improvement Project will Include Mission Street between the Hwy 280 overpass and Geneva Avenue as well as Geneva Avenue between Mission Street and Prague Street. That project will have an overall duration of 3 years but is being broken up into phases so that the entire limits aren’t under construction the whole time. For additional information on that project please visit www.sfpublicwork.org/Mission-Geneva.
|IN PERSON RECEPTION RESCHEDULED DUE TO OMICRON SURGE: ArtSpan Artists Zoe Ani & Nick Maltagliati Exhibition at City Hall
The In-Person Reception has been rescheduled due to the COVID Omicron surge. We will send a follow up in next week's newsletter with a new date.
"Wave Series 8" by Zoe Ani (detail)
“Ripe” by Zoe Ani & Nick Maltagliati
About the Art-in-Neighborhoods Program:
ArtSpan’s Art-in-Neighborhoods program serves the city of San Francisco by connecting communities with local artists while activating spaces with vibrant, locally-made artwork. ArtSpan partners with local businesses and building owners to bring art exhibitions and art events to businesses, dormant storefronts, and empty spaces for lease that seek artwork for their blank walls. Local artists who are ArtSpan members are given the opportunity to display, promote, and sell their artwork in these diverse venues. All aspects of the program allow otherwise unused walls, spaces, or properties to become creative arenas for celebrating local arts.
The Art-In-Neighborhoods program strives to create visibility and accessibility for local arts in San Francisco. ArtSpan provides the public with free, high-quality arts exposure. Simultaneously, local ArtSpan artists are given the opportunity to promote and sell their artwork. Each of the Art-In-Neighborhoods exhibitions and community events will provide clear, consistent information about ArtSpan programing to educate the public about ArtSpan’s goals and how to become a supporter – by attending our events and buying artwork from local artists!