All SF adults now eligible for vaccine / Mayor proposes drug sobering center
It's Tuesday, April 13th.
Hey there, San Francisco.
Well, we made it! All adults living in San Francisco over the age of 16 years old are now eligible to receive the Covid vaccine, Mayor Breed announced on Tuesday.
The news came two days earlier than the April 15 date set by the state, and it all happened in a roundabout way. First, some neighboring counties opened up their eligibility policies over the weekend, which created weird scenarios like Alameda and Contra Costa residents being able to book appointments at the Moscone Center, while some San Francisco residents could not.
Yesterday, a spokesperson from the city’s Covid Command Center told me that San Francisco was “focused on an equity strategy, prioritizing communities that have been the most adversely impacted by COVID” and would therefore wait until April 15 for a broader loosening of restrictions.
Then today, Mayor Breed said that because nearby counties made the decision that they did, “the City is moving sooner to open up eligibility in order to ensure access for San Francisco residents.”
So, here we are. The mad dash begins!
Already, appointments on MyTurn, which looks for availability at mass vaccination sites like Moscone and the Coliseum in Oakland, appear to be unavailable.
A couple of points that are worth noting:
1) The Covid Command Center just confirmed with me that the “drop-in” sites at Zuckerberg SF General Hospital and Southeast Health Center will still be reserved for residents living in one of the eight ZIP codes designated by the city as being most impacted by the pandemic. Both locations are open from 9 am to 3 pm daily.
One SF Minute reader told me yesterday they went to SF General at 2 pm and spoke with people who had waited in line since early that morning. But others on Twitter today reported fairly short wait times (30-45 minutes) at both locations.
Without the one-shot vaccine, increased shortages could be a concern. However, the SFDPH said it had already expected its Johnson & Johnson supply to drop by 90% in the coming weeks due to a manufacturing error. This week, for instance, the Johnson & Johnson vaccines only accounted for 500 of the 10,000 doses that the city received. So, Tuesday’s news about temporarily halting the use of the Johnson & Johnson shot shouldn’t make the situation too much worse in San Francisco, the SFDPH said.
Overall, I think my takeaway from what happened with the rollout is just to take a deep breath and be patient. Nearly 60% of all San Franciscans have already received their first dose, and so I’m confident that in the coming weeks we’ll all have our chance as well.
Be safe and courteous out there!
And with that, onto some news:
Mayor Breed wants to convert empty office space in SOMA into one of the country’s first drug sobering centers, the Chronicle reported on Tuesday. The site would have 30-beds and mostly serve as a place to bring people who are “experiencing methamphetamine-induced psychosis,” the Chronicle said.
“The idea is to provide a place for people to safely be off the streets to ensure they are not a danger to themselves or others, and then have the resources available on-site that they need to try to turn their lives around when they come down,” Breed said in a Medium post on Monday, which laid out a comprehensive update on her plan to address homelessness, mental health, and substance use.
Still, with more than 4,000 people living on the streets of San Francisco as of 2019, the sobering center, which is expected to cost $4.2 million to run annually, will only be able to serve a small number of those struggling with drug use.
“We have a much greater need than for 30 individuals at any given moment,” Supervisor Rafael Mandelman told the Chronicle. “I’m glad that we’re going to move forward and get this done, although I’m sure we’re going to find that we need more than just one.”
😨 This Chronicle article about a looming U.S. boba shortage made waves today online, and rightfully so! Due to issues with shipments from Asia, boba shops in the Bay Area and elsewhere across the country could run dry of their namesake tapioca balls by next week. I liked this video explaining the shortage from the Boba Guys owners, who have a boba-making factory in Hayward. (Chronicle)
🏀 On Monday, Steph Curry scored 53 points in the Warriors’ 116-107 victory over the Nuggets to surpass the great Wilt Chamberlain as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. (NBC Sports)
📉 San Francisco was the only major Bay Area city to see its average home value decline from February 2020 to February 2021, according to data from Zillow. (Chronicle)
🦌 Joshua Skenes, the chef behind the 3-Michelin Star Saison in China Basin, bought around 100 acres on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula where he’s planning some sort of invite-only experience (called Skenes Ranch) for guests to eat wild game hunted on his land. (Outdoor)
And finally… This morning, I sat in on a meeting put on by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) to discuss the possibility of congestion pricing—or, charging people to drive into certain parts of the city at certain times of the day.
The goal of congestion pricing would be to reduce car trips in the downtown area by at least 15%, which, in effect, could “get traffic moving” in congested areas, “increase safety” on city streets, “clean the air” from less traffic pollution, and “advance equity” by providing better transportation options for low-income communities, according to the group’s presentation.
A similar approach has taken root in cities outside the country like London and Sweden. And in the U.S., New York City could be the first to actually implement it.
Fees for driving into and out of the “zone” would be determined based on several factors, the SFCTA said, but mostly, it wants to consider a person’s income level. A low-income resident might pay $7.00 to enter and leave the designated area, while higher money earners might pay $14.00, according to the presentation. The mechanics of how a person might be charged are still up in the air.
The project itself is still in its early stages, but the SFCTA’s proposal could be presented to the Board of Supervisors by October, the group said. The earliest congestion pricing could be implemented in San Francisco would likely be around 2025, they said.
More to come on this topic, I’m sure. But if you’re interested in seeing the slide deck from today’s presentation, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll forward it your way.
That’s all for today! Good luck grabbing your appointments and we’ll see you tomorrow! - Nick B.
Thanks so much to Kuppy for sponsoring today’s newsletter.
What’s Kuppy? Well, if you’ve ever struggled drying out your water bottles or wine glasses, this little piece of silicone has your name written all over it. Kuppy is the minimalist drying rack that saves counter space and keeps you from breaking your sh*t.
It launches on Kickstarter soon, so get on the waitlist for Kuppy’s exclusive early bird offer that you don’t want to miss!