January 25, 2022
A Message From The Supervisor:
Let’s go Niners! If you were like me, it was tough watching Saturday’s 49ers game. While I remained hopeful that we would pull off a win, I must admit I was extremely nervous when there was only 5 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter and the Niners were down 7 points. However, in true San Francisco spirit, we fought back, and our special teams got the job done. We are now two games away from being Super Bowl Champions. What an exciting last five minutes and this Sunday’s game is slated to be even more thrilling than this past game. It makes me happy to know that a California team will be in Super Bowl 56 in California. Fingers crossed, it will be our Red and Gold 49ers as the NFC Champions.
On Thursday, January 20, 2022, Mayor Breed held a press conference stating that San Francisco's surge of the Omicron COVID variant had peaked and that infection rates were declining. San Francisco Department of Public Health expects hospitalization rates to be declining next week. This is definitely great news as we prepare to celebrate Lunar New Year.
The Board of Supervisors in collaboration with the Mayor and the Public Health Officer is committed to keeping our residents safe as the City continues its recovery. As a result, the Public Health Order has placed more restrictions on mega indoor events of 1,000 people. Beginning February 1, 2022, operators and hosts of indoor mega-events (1,000 people or more under state and local guidelines) are required to verify proof of up-to-date vaccinations, which includes a booster received at least one week prior to an event, for eligible patrons and staff. Patrons between 5 and 11 years old (or their parents or guardians) must show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day (for antigen tests) or two days (for PCR tests) prior to entry into the event venue and children 2-4 years old need a negative test. Please click HERE for more information. Thanks for your patience, understanding and commitment to keeping our city safe.
Our office remains accessible to the public through telephone, email, virtual meeting or in person via appointment. We are available by email: email@example.com 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
COVID-19 Updates from San Francisco Department of Public Health
he highly contagious Omicron variant has brought us to a new stage in the COVID-19 pandemic. Although cases remain high, symptoms are mild for most people who are vaccinated and boosted. SF Department of Public Health (SF) announced this week that COVID-19 cases are dropping rapidly following the highest peak in the two-year pandemic. Though we may be turning a corner with this current surge, we must continue to take common-sense measures as we move forward in order to stop the spread and keep our essential services open. We urge every San Franciscan to take reasonable measures to lower their risk of exposure to the virus where possible in order to stop the spread.
Read the latest data about declining COVID-19 cases following the Omicron surge here.
Watch this week’s livestream with Mayor London Breed and Dr. Grant Colfax here.
How to stay safe:
Order Free At-home COVID-19 Tests
- Order an at-home test for your household at covidtests.gov
- 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 at no cost in pharmacies and stores. Starting Jan. 15, purchased home test kits are eligible for reimbursement
- 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.
Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. There is currently a limit of one order per residential address; one order includes four individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests. Orders are estimated to ship free starting late January. Visit covidtests.gov for more information.
The tests available for order:
Updates on Omicron-Driven COVID-19 Surge
SF Department of Public Health (SF) announced this week that COVID-19 cases are dropping rapidly following the highest peak in the two-year pandemic. Data shows that cases peaked on Jan. 9 with a 7-day average of 2,164 cases per day and have steadily dropped each day since then to 1,705 cases per day on Jan. 12. While 82% of San Franciscan are vaccinated (as of Jan. 19), and 62% 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. COVID cases remain extremely high due to the Omicron-fueled surge, and the City has reached a cumulative 700 deaths due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. People, especially those at higher risk for complications from COVID-19, should continue to be cautious over the next several weeks by layering their defenses, such as upgrading masks to N95 or double-layer masks (cloth on top of surgical), improving ventilation, testing when recommended, and staying home if sick or symptomatic. Vaccinations and boosters, when eligible, remain the most effective tool to protect oneself against the virus.
Read the latest data about COVID-19 cases in decline following the Omicron-driven surge here.
Resources Available to Support People Who Test Positive
- Are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR
- Can be taken anywhere
- Give results within 30 minutes (no lab drop-off required
- Work whether or not you have COVID-19 symptom
- Work whether or not you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine
- Are also referred to as self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests
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 by clicking 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
Hospitalizations in SF mirror national trends that show the vast majority, about 80%, are among people who are not up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, including unvaccinated and vaccinated but not boosted individuals. Among San Franciscan, 82% of the population is vaccinated, and 61% of eligible boosted; while these are some of the highest rates in the nation there is room to fill this gap.
Pfizer and Moderna boosters are now recommended at least 5 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series. Booster eligibility has also 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please check the following sites for regular COVID-19 updates:
|OEWD Community Meetings
The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) is excited to head into 2022.
OEWD has been at the forefront providing critical resources and services for our business community, workers, and job seekers. They continue to focus on providing critical resources to our vulnerable communities and have set our sights on building the foundation for a diverse, resilient, and equitable economy.
They need to hear your voices, your ideas, and your priorities to help us realize the equitable outcomes we want to see in the communities and industries we serve.
OEWD will be holding three virtual public budget discussions to share our work and to hear directly from you to inform our budget priorities.
Wednesday, January 26, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Focus on workforce development programs and resources such as our job centers, training, and hiring programs, and other career initiatives.
Click HERE to RSVP for 1/26
Thursday, January 27, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Focus on economic development programs and resources such as our entrepreneur and business training programs, grants and loan programs, and housing development work.
Click HERE to RSVP for 1/27
Thursday, February 10, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Webinar to report out on OEWD’s final budget proposal based on feedback solicited from sessions above.
Click HERE to RSVP for 2/10
These events are fully open to the public. Please register through Zoom in advance using the links above. And, if you have any disabilities or language-specific needs, please let us know at least three (3) days before the event so that we may provide appropriate services. If you are unable to attend any of their meetings, they still encourage you to reach out to us at email@example.com to voice your thoughts, wishes, and priorities for the upcoming fiscal year.
We Want Your Feedback on Small Business Services in San Francisco
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
|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!