The Chinese Hospital gave free coronavirus tests to all residents in a single-room-occupancy hotel in San Francisco’s Chinatown on Friday to try to prevent another widespread outbreak in these densely packed buildings. Cases have soared among the many vulnerable, elderly people living in these residential hotels elsewhere in the city where tight quarters and communal spaces make it especially easy for the virus to spread.
On Friday, those living at a residential hotel on Waverly Place walked down narrow stairs and onto the sunny Chinatown street where a pop-up tent and team of gowned nurses waited.
Temperature check, two squirts of hand sanitizer. Each single-room-occupancy hotel resident sat on a folding chair, lowered their mask and tilted their head back. A poke from a long thin swab in each nostril — some winced, others coughed, a little girl cried — and then it was done.