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San Francisco deploys hand washing stations in response to COVID-19

Hand washing station at the corner of Polk and Willow | Photo: Carrie Sisto/Hoodline
By Carrie Sisto - Published on March 12, 2020.

San Francisco has deployed mobile hand washing stations across the city as part of the response to COVID-19.

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (DHSH) set up 10 washing stations last weekend and anticipates setting up another 10-20 over the next week. The stations are in addition to the existing Pit Stop program, which offers bathrooms and sinks along with needle and dog waste disposal.

Deployed hand washing stations and Pit Stops as of March 12, 2020 | Image: DHSH

DHSH has also developed guidance for non-profits and other city partners that work in shelters or provide services to unhoused residents, and has hosted regular update meetings to keep its partners informed of the most recent city responses to the pandemic. It is also sending daily messages and hosting webinars to discuss issues the service providers and shelter operators may be facing. 

Shared living facilities and shelters will be receiving additional hand washing stations, too.

Hand washing station at corner of Haight and Ashbury | Photo: Tipster Peter S.

The hand washing stations are an effort to prevent the spread of the virus throughout the city. The Department of Public Health has also deployed leased recreational vehicles (RVs) staged in the Presidio to provide quarantine spaces for unhoused individuals or shelter residents that have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed. 

Mayor London Breed declared a city-wide state of emergency on February 25, in an effort to increase and coordinate the city’s overall response to COVID-19. The city has also issued strict guidance to limit public gatherings and large events. You can learn more about testing and other services at the Department of Public Health’s website and sign up for city alerts by texting COVID19SF to 888-777. 

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