Our program synthesizes resourcing and leadership development to mitigate the harm of COVID-19. Our community sites do away with traditional barriers and test all participants regardless of status, while our self-admin and pilot programs equip community members with the knowledge and skills to bring these tests into their own homes toward increasing our impact.
On-Site Community Testing
Our sites provide the public with free COVID-19 resources—free of cost, and free of judgment. Staff are trained to administer tests and advise on the next steps, regardless of one’s result.
As of February 1 2023 we have wrapped up our community testing sites. We are so grateful to have made a long-lasting impact in the following geographies:
In partnership with Chinatown Community Development Center
In partnership with
San Francisco Rebels Basketball
In partnership with
How does on-site testing work?Our staff walk participants through the whole testing process, from registration and check-in to test administration. Participants begin by registering if it’s their first time, whether using the links above or registering on site. Once a participant has registered once, they are in our system and can proceed directly to checking in. After verifying the participant’s data is correct we administer a Covid-19 rapid antigen test. Results are ready within an hour and are sent to participants via text message and email. A rapid antigen test involves the participant self-swabbing their nostrils for 15 seconds each side. Our staff are not authorized to swab participants; parents/guardians are allowed to swab their children. To understand what will happen, please watch this video.
Who can test?We can test anyone 4 years of age or older. Youth aged 4–12 will require parent/guardian consent during their registration. All ages 13 and above can consent for themselves. We test all individuals regardless of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender and sexuality, and other identifiers typically used to close people out of care. Participants may test without medical insurance.
Is testing safe?Yes, and reliable. A rapid test will tell a participant if they are COVID-19 infectious - meaning, they have enough COVID-19 in their system to transmit the virus to others. Testing negative on a rapid test means a participant is clear from the risk of COVID-19 for the duration of the day. If a participant has symptoms but tests negative, we recommend repeating the test in 24-36 hours. Research on rapid tests confirms the chance for false positives and false negatives is highly unlikely.
Is my information safe?Yes. All of our testing staff are trained to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as well as the rules and regulations of our CLIA License. Whether one tests positive or negative, nobody will leave the site with anyone else’s information but their own.
What equipment is used?Safer Together uses Abbott BinaxNow rapid antigen test kits provided by the California Department of Public Health and Cepheid PCR instruments in-house. We run 4plex (Flu A&B, SARS-CoV-2, RSV) tests to aid diagnosis when needed.
What do I do if I haven't gotten my results?Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not received results an hour or more after testing and we will assist you.
Do you offer vaccines?We don’t currently offer vaccine services, but you look for vaccine appointments at sf.gov/get-vaccinated-against-covid-19.
Train the partner on the ins and outs of rapid test administration; partners complete key compliance requirements.
In addition to the sites we staff, we train partner organizations to administer their own rapid tests to their respective community members on their own time. In doing so, we increase capacity across multiple dimensions—leadership, education, and of course, safety.
HOW IT WORKS
Work with the partner organization to confirm all details necessary to guarantee a productive training session.
Supervise the partner during initial testing sessions to verify self-sufficiency and address any final concerns.
Support the partner through provision of case reports, updates on the COVID-19 landscape, and other training opportunities.
At Home & Community Testing
Our 40-Pack Use Case Pilot
Our pilot program took co-leadership one step further by training individuals within our communities to administer tests to their family, friends, and networks.
This program specifically seeks to increase equitable access to testing for our community most disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, Black/African American communities in Bayview Hunters Point. By providing leaders in this community with a tool for well-being, we enable them greater access and agency at a time of unprecedented and unpredictable change.
From August to January 2023 we worked closely with eleven individuals from the SF Brown Bombers, one of our flagship partner organizations. We walked each participant throughout the ins and outs of testing to better understand the pros and cons/barriers to at home and community testing, so that we could provide deep care navigation support.
This nimble group of eleven administered 250 rapid COVID-19 tests to those they call community, demonstrating the power of community-driven alternatives to institutional public health programs. We hope to use the findings from this pilot to inform future testing programs in a world where COVID-19 will not simply disappear, and look forward to the ways we can equip community members with the tools and agency to take charge of their own safety.
"This pilot program should be a permanent program for all communities. Going forward with Covid-19 there should be full access to this type of program."