tv SF GovTV Presents SFGTV January 8, 2021 7:40pm-8:01pm PST
d.p.h., which is a health care provider in the city, primarily for people who have medicaid or who are uninsured. with the exception of the vaccine, d.p.h., the health department, gets from the state, we currently have no ability to track the amount of vaccine that is being sent to providers. i can tell you this, that the department of public health, as a health care provider, has vaccinated more than 6,000 people. most frontline acute care staff at zuckerberg san francisco hospital and laguna honda have been vaccinated, and nearly all paramedics and e.m.t.s have been offered the vaccine. and after today, over 90% of the residents at laguna honda will have received the first dose of the pfizer vaccine. that is great news. given the limited initial
supply of covid-19 vaccine, the state has developed a phase approach for which group of people will get the vaccine and when. the first phase, the phase we are in now, defined by the state as phase 1a, prioritizes those workers in health care settings most likely to be exposed to the virus, and most needed to support our health care system. in san francisco, that is estimated to be over 80,000 health care workers, including nurses, doctors, technicians, environmental service workers, nutrition service workers, e.m.t.s, paramedics, and many, many others. the majority of these workers are being vaccinated by their employer, whether it be the health department, c.p. m. c., ucsf, kaiser, and so far. we are waiting for the
state to finalize the next phase, which is proposed to include frontline essential workers, such as public safety, grocery workers, teachers, and those over the age of 75. and we are working with the city's health care providers and pharmacies to scale up vaccine delivery. since the federal and state government are distributing vaccine directly to health care providers, these partnerships are vital to our collective success locally, as a region, and across the state. we are discussing with our health partners ways to increase vaccination capacity. our goal is to ensure that vaccination is provided to as many people as possible, and as soon as we get vaccine. this is an unprecedented undertaking, the mass vaccination of the entire nation to end the pandemic. we are working hard, but
right now vaccine supply remains limited, and many questions remain unanswered with regard to how soon vaccines supplies will meet demand. but please know, and we expect, that everyone who wants a vaccine will get one eventually, and we will work together, as we have done throughout this pandemic, to make this happen. while we planned for the availability of the vaccine, we still must make a difference in this current surge by supporting each other and continuing to make good and smart choices that we know slow the spread of the virus, such as wearing a mask over both your nose and your mouth when you go outside, avoiding gatherings outside of your immediate household, and physically distancing whenever possible. as we start this new year,
nearly 12 months into this pandemic, believe me, i'm counting the days, let's remember that our collective actions have changed the course of the virus in march and july. we can, and we will, do it again. thank you. >> thank you, mayor breed, dr. adler, and dr. colfax. before we start the "q" and "a," we're going to take a moment for our reporters to submit questions on webex. we'll be right back. >> dr. colfax, are you ready?
>> doctor: i'm ready, hello. >> dr. colfax, your first set of questions comes from various news outlets. california has six confirmed cases of the new coronavirus strain. which strain is more contagious and severe, and is there any new and detailed plan to stop spreading the strain. and there is a followup question: how can san francisco track the possible new strain? >> doctor: so when you're referring to the -- >> the u.k. >> doctor: -- the u.k. strain, we know that the u.k. strain now is responsible for the majority of infections in the u.k., and, as we know, it has been detected across many parts of this country. we have not yet detected the new strain here in san francisco, but it
certainly would not be surprising if and when it does get detected. and a number of laboratories, including at ucsf are genotyping of the virus, a select sample, to determine if and when this strain does show up. unfortunately, there is not a lot of capacity to do that, so only a very small member of samples are sent to la laboratories for this sub-typing, but we would not be surprised if and when it is detected in san francisco or in the region. a couple of things about the virus: while it does appear to be more transmissible than other variants of the virus, it does not appear to be more lethal. and there is no reason at this time to believe that it is somehow resistant to the vaccine. and i think, most importantly, for people going about their lives right now, it just
reinforces the need for us to practice those prevention activities, to wear a mask over both your nose and your mouth, to physically distance, and, again, not to gather because with more virus out there than ever before, and with the likelihood that this variant is out there, the things that we may have done in the past that we avoided getting infected, those activities are much more risky now. >> thank you, dr. colfax. the next set of questions also come from multiple news outlets. why does san francisco have so much more i.c.u. availability than the regional average? even some counties that have had similar public health responses. and the followup is: could you expand on what you said about san francisco's i.c.u. capacity potentially dropping because of needs across
the state? >> doctor: sure. i think right now our i.c.u. capacity is really good shape compared to certainly the rest of the state, for a number of factors. primarily, we have as a community so far weathered the worst of surges, so we don't have as many people proportionately in our hospital system because of covid-19 because of all of the efforts we have invested and the sacrifices we have made. the other key piece right now is seasonally, during the holidays and right after the holidays, there are generally fewer people in the hospital for elective surgeries and so forth, and so we have more hospital capacity for that reason as well. and we have been working very hard with our hospital partners in the city to ensure that i.c.u. capacity is maintained as much as possible. with regard to that i.c.u.
capacity being used for other -- for people in need across the state, and even, indeed, across the region, there is a statewide system by which hospitals, regions, can ask for assistance to transfer patients when they run out of capacity, to transfer patients into another jurisdiction. right now, for instance, we have more patients in our i.c.u.s across the city who are from outside of san francisco. and while we have care available and people need care, it is the moral and ethical and right thing to do to provide that care when asked and when needed. and, again, we are watching that number very careful -- our capacity very carefully because as the central and southern part of the state continue to experience catastrophic situations, and as the region has fewer i.c.u.
beds, we would expect our local i.c.u. bed capacity to start going down as well. obviously, i hope that doesn't happen, but it certainly is plausible at this time. >> thank you, dr. colfax. the next set of questions, again, come from various outlets. and it's a two-part question. how many vaccine doses has san francisco received from the state, and of those, how many doses have been administered. and a followup: how often is san francisco receiving vaccine doses? >> doctor: so dr. adler mentioned the multi-county entities, kaiser, and others are receiving the vaccine allocated by the state. we don't have those numbers. right now the state is working on data systems to
have that visibility, but i don't have those numbers, unfortunately, available. they have not been made available to us. i know the state is working very hard to get those numbers to local jurisdictions. what i can tell you is that the health department has distributed -- has -- has delivered 6,000 vaccines to people in our system, the frontline workers at zuck ber zuckerberg hospital, and our e.m.t.s, and others. so we are distributed 6,000 vaccines. d.p.h. received 30,000 vaccines that were distributed to these other entities across the city. after that, the state switched to the small county entities distribution system, and we do not have those numbers available at this time.
>> thank you. again, the next question is from various news outlets. has san francisco hospitals had any excess supply of vaccines? and if so, how have they determined how to distribute them? >> doctor: well, i wish that were the case. i can say we are pushing vaccines out into arms as quickly as possible. i know all of the entities in the city are doing that. that has not been an issue. we're getting vaccines into arms, and certainly demand for the vaccine far outweighs supply. and we are working with our county partners to scale up vaccine distribution as quickly as possible, so that we will be ready when more vaccine comes. again, right now the demand far outweighs the supply. we are still in the phase 1a, and as required by the state, that phase 1a tier, we estimate that is over
80,000 people who live or work in san francisco who need vaccines. this is, remember, the first dose. we're just starting the second doses this week. >> thank you. this question from various news outlets: what are the city's plans for administering the vaccine to san francisco's immigrant community and people who are undocumented? >> doctor: so vaccines will, most likely, be distributed through health care providers. and we will be doing extensive outreach with health care providers, through media, through trusted community partners, community stakeholders, community-based organizations, to let people know that vaccine is available. as you know in san francisco, we have a robust health care system. anyone, regardless of immigration status, receives top-quality care, including at the health department, and we are
working very, very hard with stakeholders in communities, including immigrant communities, to ensure that people understand about the vaccine, and that people are able to -- will be able to access vaccine when it is available. >> thank you. the next question comes from multiple news outets. new york city is setting up mass vaccination sites and its five boroughs to avoid delays in getting people vaccinated. is that possible in san francisco? >> doctor: so there have been no delays in getting people vaccinated. the demand far outweighs the supply. we are working with our health care providers, who we expect will be receiving the majority of the vaccines, kaiser, which as we know, covers many, many people, dignity health, and of course,
here at the health department, to explore whether we can -- whether the vaccine will be more rapidly distributed and made available to people through these types of mass vaccination sites. and we are working with them to ensure that, again, the vaccine gets into as many arms as quickly as possible. our goal is to make sure that vaccine is not sitting in the freezer, and that as soon as the feds and the sat supply vaccine to local jurisdictions, to health care entities in san francisco, that we get it into as many arms as possible. >> thank you. the next set of questions come from multiple outlets: how will san francisco determine who will be next in line for vaccines? and is san francisco taking any covid-19 patients from outside the county and/or region? >> doctor: so i will answer that second
question first. as i said, there are four patients who are transferred from -- that we know of that are transferred from outside of san francisco in our current hospital systems across the city. so that total is four. with regards to determining who goes next for the vaccine, we are required to follow the state recommendations. again, we are in that phase 1a, and we are waiting for the state to finalize 1b, which includes essential workers and people 75 and over. and it is anticipated there will be a phase 1c, and we will following the state guidelines in terms of prioritizing those populations for vaccine. >> thank you. and, dr. colfax, your final question from the day, from various news outlets: what is the current situation with infections at laguna honda, prior to
vaccinations? >> doctor: so i think the really great news is that vaccinations started yesterday for residents at laguna honda. over 300 were vaccinated. we expect vaccinations to be completed by tomorrow. right now we have 15 laguna honda residents who have been diagnosed with covid-19, and we have 34 staff who were diagnosed. >> thank you, dr. colfax, for your time today. this concludes today's press conference. we want to thank mayor breed, dr. adler, and yourself, dr. colfax, for your time. for future questions...
>> president koppel: good afternoon. welcome to the san francisco planning commission remote hearing for sures, january 7, 2021. happy new year and very merry christmas. on february 25, 2020 the mayor declared a local state of emergency. april 3, 2020 planning commission received authorization from the mayor's office to reconvene remotely through end of shelter-in-place. this will be the 33rd remote hearing. it requires everyone's attention a