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tv   Mayors Press  SFGTV  April 9, 2021 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT

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>> hello everyone. i'm san francisco mayor london breed and i'm really happy to join you all today. can we believe that it's been over a year now since we've been living in the new world of the covid-19 pandemic. and i know that i'm smiling right now and it has everything to do with the fact that all of what we've done and everything that we've talked about in the past in terms of where we need to get to, we're finally
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getting there. and so today, as a result of the work from our governor and the state, today is the first official day for those who are over the age of 50 can actually get the vaccine. we've announced before, people over the age of 65, emergency workers, restaurant workers, public safety personnel, essential workers, grocery store clerks, muni drivers and others are still eligible. but we are now adding an additional group to the eligibility pool. here in san francisco, our efforts have been really incredible and dr. colfax will talk a little bit more about that. but at least 45% of san franciscans have received their first dose. and over 62% of those over the age of 65 have received their
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second dose as well, they're fully vaccinated. this is higher than the national and state average. san francisco is doing an incredible job with vaccinating people and some of you probably have seen some of the reports that suggest san franciscans in general are those who most likely want the vaccine. that's why our efforts have been so successful. and, yes, we know it's been challenging with certain communities and we knew that if we didn't embed equity in our outreach efforts to address this pandemic from day one with testing and resources, but also with the vaccine, then we wouldn't be where we are today. this is why in neighborhoods like the bayviewpoint and other places where we are seeing high rates of infection. this is why we have set up pop-up and mobile sites and
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locations in those neighborhoods and have made it easy for people to access vaccines without an appointment because we knew that was going to be critical to getting those who are a little hesitant about getting the vaccine. it would prevent them from doing it. we knew that especially many of our seniors didn't have access to the internet and may not understand how to use a computer and it was important to make it easy for them to access the vaccine. and our partnership with people like annie chung who you will hear from in a moment with the seniors, the large senior population we have in chinatown and the work she's done and the outreach she has made to reach those seniors. meeting people where they are and putting equity at the forefront of everything we do
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is why san francisco has been a leader, not just in the number of case rates and the number of deaths in our very dense city, but a leader on rolling out the vaccine and getting people back to the lives that we know and love. but we're still not there. we expect by this weekend we'll be at 50% of san franciscans vaccinated. and, by mid may, we expect to be at 80%. so we're moving right along, but we also have to remind ourselves that this is not over. we are still in a pandemic. we still need to be cautious around others, wearing our mask, socially distanced and following the health guidelines in a way that's going to keep us safe and keep our numbers down. we have about twenty people in
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the hospital right now. one of the lowest numbers we've experienced since this pandemic. we should be proud of what we've been able to accomplish in this city and i can't wait until we're at that point where we are able to socialize without masks. where we are able to go back to events. and that time is coming sooner rather than later. next friday is opening day. the san francisco giants opening day. and although they are limited in the number of people that they will be able to allow in the ball park, they work with our department of public health to come up with a plan to keep people who are in the ball park safe as they buy concessions and go to the restrooms and interact with one another. they're limiting the number of people who can come to the ball park. you have to have proof of a vaccination or proof that you've been tested within a
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certain time period, but you know what, that's better than not having opening day allow fans at all. so there will be fans, there will be games. we will see this city start to come alive again one day at a time on this beautiful sunny day where the temperature is expected to be over 82 degrees. let's not get too comfortable because i know most of us are going to want to go hang out in our parks and enjoy the outdoors on this beautiful day in san francisco, but we still need to be mindful. we're still in the pandemic, and if we want more days like this, if we want more opportunities to open more things in our city, it still requires each and every one of us to do our part. now this sunday is easter sunday. and, i don't know about you, but easter is one of my favorite holidays because what it means is that spring is here. and, when i was growing up, we
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got to wear our hats and new dresses and that's when we got our new outfits. it was always easter sunday. i look forward to coming together with my family and my community. and this year is going to be a little bit different. so i want to ask you all to be very careful. i know that a lot of you may want to have events and gatherings and so one of the things that dr. colfax will talk about or the guidelines in what we suggest you to do in order to safely gather with friends and family because we don't want you to do what you might of typically done. we want you to do what's safe to do so that we can continue to get out of this pandemic. with that, i want to introduce dr. grant colfax. >> thank you.
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hi everybody. and thank you, mayor breed for your ongoing leadership in this unprecedented time. i'm delighted today that we're able to make vaccines available for all san franciscans ages 50 and over. with this expansion and eligibility, thousands of san franciscans will be able to get protection from covid, begin to safely interact with vaccinated loved ones, contribute to our collective effort to vaccinate the entire city, to achieve herd immunity, and allow us to more safely open our economy. this expansion and eligibility comes as we are very close to reaching the milestone of 50% of our adult population having received at least one dose of the vaccine. and, for our residents 65 and
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over who we know are most at risk for complications, hospitalizations and dying from covid-19, an impressive 82% have received at least one dose and 62% are now fully vaccinated. as a city overall, we are doing much better at slowing the spread of this virus. at the peak of our surge, earlier this year, we were averaging 370 new cases a day. as of last week, that number was down to 33. so i am optimistic for our future, but we also still need to be realistic about where things stand today. by no means are we out of the woods yet and cases in san francisco have slowly started to climb again. now we're still at a low rate, but just in the last week,
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we've seen an increase of 20% in our case rate. this is not unexpected. we know as cities re-open including in san francisco, cases gradually go up. the virus is again spreading, so we must be vigilant in wearing masks, social distancing, and following the precautions that we know slows the spread. after all, together we have beaten back three surges. and i know we do not want to see a significant fourth surge here. we are seeing alarming conditions in other parts of the country. as you know, the cdc director and other health care experts are worried. that is why it's so important for us to fully immunize our city. until we reach that all-important herd immunity, the virus will always have the possibility of surging again. and, of course, variants remain
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a concern. they are here in the bay area and we must remain vigilant. and though the state's expanded eligibility comes as welcome news and i'm grateful for this, we still don't have enough vaccine supply. our ability to serve all those who are eligible depends on that supply and we don't have enough supply yet. so we are ready to go when those vaccines come. we have the infrastructure in place to vaccinate at least 20,000 san franciscans a day. we are ready to get those vaccine into arms, we just don't have the vaccine. and, if we have sufficient supply to achieve our capacity, we could have over 80% of adults vaccinated with first doses by mid may. now, although the state does now currently allow for fully vaccinated individuals to interact indoors with fully
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vaccinated people from other households without masks, the san francisco health department agrees with the cdc around small private indoor social gatherings. once the state allows us, and we're hopeful the state will follow the cdc guidelines very soon because they are based in science and evidence and give people fully vaccinated a chance to engage with others in a way we haven't been able to do so for over a year, we will loosen restrictions so that vaccinated individuals can safely interact indoors and small gatherings unmasked with other household members that are also fully vaccinate or otherwise low risk single households. this is yet another reason to get vaccinated. i have to also include a reminder in this, that even if you get vaccinated and are fully vaccinated, if you get symptoms or are exposed to
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somebody with covid-19, please get tested. testing remains a key cornerstone to our ability to slow the spread of the virus. these vaccines are excellent and safe, but they aren't perfect. as we expand eligibility to more san franciscans, our admission is to bring vaccines to those communities most impacted by covid-19. and, therefore, we will continue to prioritize equitable distribution throughout the city. one great example of how we can do this is through our mobile vaccination teams and tomorrow alone, we will be conducting vaccinations at the white house for the blind and at ping u.n. housing site in chinatown. still using our shelter-in-place in town. today i was at next door shelter where i have a clinic and it was amazing to be able to take patients i was see right over to the mobile
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vaccine team getting vaccine to arms in realtime. as we gradually move forward in the opening of our city, we will do so carefully. we will make sure that as we loosen restrictions to support businesses, bring back jobs, and restore the vibrancy of the city. we are on the right path, we are making great progress. thank you. keep the mask on. stay strong. get vaccinated when you're eligible and it's your turn and let's hope that vaccine supply to improve. thank you. >> thank you, dr. colfax. and now i want to introduce annie chung with self-help for the elderly. thank you so much for being here today. >> good morning everyone. thank you, mayor breed.
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and dr. grant colfax. may i thank you really the department of public health and all your teams that are working on the covid response. we feel really proud to be a community partner because every time when our community is facing challenges whether it's with testing or with the vaccines rolled out, we always feel there's someone at d.p.h. that we can go to and express our concerns and very quickly, i think mayor breed and her team have responded, you know, to our community needs. for example, back in january and february when we found that vaccines are beginning to be available, none of our seniors and none of the community who don't speak english well could navigate those sign-up sites. when we expressed the need for
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bilingual materials, your team came up with the flyers. yet the sites were still in english. so they couldn't get the vaccines. so i think as we work closely with the response. and we feel that -- it's really important that we bring the vaccines to the community versus waiting, you know, for those diverse community who don't have the internet nor the language capacity to sign up for a vaccine appointment. so really, thank you, on behalf of all of our seniors for listening and responding to our needs. we work closely with the all-american medical group, the chinese hospital, the chinese health coalition, the ymca
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chinatown coalition, and also cdc. so as a group, we can go around and do outreach and also education work on how important it is for our community to be vaccinated. when d.p.h. expanded the qualification considering s.r.o. residents to qualify as congregate housing, we were very happy. so as of tomorrow, you will start to see all the residents in public housing as well as s.r.o. residents in chinatown. we'll get them vaccinated very soon. we work closely with aamg doctors who are all bi-lingual. where the seniors are picking up their daily meals and right there, the community doctors also give the injections and the vaccinations to our
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seniors. you can see the big smiles on our seniors' faces despite they were worried they would have some side effect, but because they have their own doctors during the i inoculation and they are excited they are really familiar and comfortable, so that lowered the sense of discomfort and fear. so i think that's a good model, director colfax to bring the vaccines to really where the patients and the clients are and then they get a sense that, you know, the whole city and the whole community is taken care of, their needs. we are thankful for the departments and mayor breed particularly for your team. thank you, really so much. we appreciate the efforts that you're opening up the vaccine to people from 50 years and older, but we're still concerned that there's 10% to 20% of seniors that are still
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not vaccinated. so we'll work closely with your staff to bring the vaccines to the homebound seniors as our next project. it's a labor of love, but from our experience in doing the covid response work, we're not short of volunteers. i think there are many volunteers who are willing to be drivers, volunteer doctors and helpers to bring the vaccines to the thousands of homebound seniors and persons with disabilities. so we'll work closely with you on that project. so thank you very much, mayor and dr. colfax. we need our community to be vaccinate. thank you. >> thank you, again, annie, for being here with us today and also the work that you do to take care of so many seniors and i cannot wait until we're
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open again so i can go visit them and enjoy the entertainment and food and festivities. i know it's especially hard for some of our seniors living in isolation. so having self-help for the elderly and keep that connection with them is so critical in getting people vaccinated is so important because i know more than anything, they want to come together again. so, with that, thank you all for joining us. and, at this time, we'll take a few questions. >> the reality of people [inaudible] employment right away, what do you think of people who might get frustrated trying to navigate the system? are you concerned for the people who are eligible before this group [inaudible] now that more people are trying to sign on? >> i'm not concerned because of the efforts that we talked
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about as far as equity because we have mobile sites. we have people who are going to certain neighborhoods where we see high infection rates who are providing the vaccine to people and so we're taking our lead from community based organizations, but we did this from the very beginning. that's why over 62% of people over the age of 65 in san francisco are vaccinated and over 80% of them have already received their first dose. that's unheard of on a national level. i'm not concerned about reaching those communities. and, keep in mind i don't think we'll ever get to 100% because there are some people who are hesitant and that's why i got the vaccine. i wanted people in the western edition where we had a lot of folks who were saying i'm not going to get the vaccine. i wanted them to see that i got it and that it's safe and that they should get it too and i
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know there were a few people including one of my friend's mom and she said i'm only here because you're here, mayor, and i'll go ahead and get it. that's really where we are and what we're going to do. i'm not concerned because of the city's efforts and our work and the prioritizization for certain zip codes and the places where people can drop in and get the vaccine, but, you know, we're going to have more supply on top of that. so it's going to be a lot easier and it just requires people to be a little patient and we're going to get there. >> more than two weeks fully vaccinated. are you feeling any differently? >> i am smiling more, i think. i think, for me, i'm still wearing my mask and doing my part and keeping my distance. and i still -- i think it's now out of habit, but i'm looking forward to maybe before i probably would have never gone to the giants opening day, but
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now i'll probably stop by and check it out a little bit. so i'm a little bit more comfortable, i think, going out in public. for the most part, i'm hoping we get more san franciscans vaccinated. >> [inaudible] >> yeah. i just think that it's unfortunate and it's another distraction from getting our kids back in school. i think, you know, when the grown-ups all of a sudden become the story and become the distraction and this case and many other things that have sadly happened at the school board, then it takes away from what's most important and no one person should be more important than protecting and supporting our kids and getting them back in school. >> [inaudible]
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>> i'm not prepared to provide any updates as to where we are. i mean, this is a pending lawsuit, so we want to make sure what's appropriate to say and what isn't appropriate to say before we start talking specifically about things that we plan to do. i do know this is one of the reasons, you know, not necessarily a lawsuit, but the lack of movement by the school district is one of the reasons why we're developing this program "summer together" because we can't just wait for them to sit around and get their stuff together. we have kids struggling now. and if you think about it the achievement gap was problematic and it's gotten worse. and you think about what's going to happen to these kids if they don't get the kind of education they deserve to get within the next couple of years, then we're going to have a problems. i'm focusing on what they're
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going to do. the kids will have the ability to participate in a program that will help with the learning loss that they i'm sure experienced over the course of this past year during the pandemic >> [inaudible] >> as i said, i am not prepared to talk about that at this time. i want to make sure that i understand the legalities. it just happened yesterday. so before i make any public statements or comments, i want to make sure i understand fully what this could mean and what the city can do to participate or be involved in this in any kind of way. it is a lawsuit that's geared towards specific members and the school district and we know that the school district is its own entity. we also know that the city stands ready and willing to help to support our kids in any way we possibly can. and, as i said, this is
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another, you know, unfortunate failure of, you know, a particular individual in this case as it relates to our children. if you really care about kids, then there are things you just will do or will not do to impact their lives and i think it's unfortunate we're at this state of affairs. >> [inaudible] >> well, the appetite, you mean of the people once folks are in a better place of being vaccinated? well, i know that most people are going to want to come together with people that they
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may have not been able to come together with before especially those who have elderly parents. i'm hearing a lot about people who had babies and they wanted the babies to meet their grandparents. and so i'm seeing a lot more of that where people are feeling a lot more comfortable and less afraid of possibly having an impact on someone who is more vulnerable. i think that people are going to want to get together more. i want to go see a play or a concert or -- i'll take anything at this point, but i'm going to be more interested in doing things that we haven't been able to do as a result of this pandemic. i'm looking forward to seeing people singing. like, right now, there's a prohibition right now on those who can go out and entertainment, there's some limitations here because we are still in this, but we have to proceed with caution because the last thing i want to do is come to the people of san francisco and say, yes, we're
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at 80%, first vaccinations of all san franciscans, but, guess what, we're seeing a surge and i have to shut the city down again. like that's the last thing i want us to do. so i think we're still going to need to proceed with caution. we're going to have to ride this wave and continue to do our very best. >> [inaudible] >> i can't hear you at all. i'm sorry. >> [inaudible] >> the advice to find an appointment for the seniors? we're going to be doing a lot of outreach not just with self-help for the elderly, but we have aging and adult services. a lot of our programs to be able to identify seniors in those hardest hit communities through outreach and the various programs we fund and offering, you know, rides to seniors and letting them know
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about the specific locations and being able to walk with the seniors and i'll give you an example. so maxine hall where i got my vaccine in the wherein district location. you don't need maxine hall. so folks that are part of an organization of seniors like people at the senior service center there are people there who offered to walk them or use the vans to drive them around the corner if they want to get their vaccine are canning them every single day and there's just another of organic outreach everett that's happening with a number of agencies that serve senior communities throughout san francisco. >> i was going to ask more about the following [inaudible] >> okay. anything else?
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>> [inaudible] >> i can commit to san francisco's what? >> you can commit [inaudible] >> no. i can't commit that. all right. thank you. >> welcome to the san francisco planning commission regular hearing -- remote hearing for april 1st, 2021. on february 5th, the mayor declared a state of emergency in 2019. the planning commission