Coronavirus Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) General Information

Your health and safety are our top priority. We want to make sure you have all the information you need to stay healthy. Please check this page often for new information about the coronavirus and how to get help.

Click below for help with things like protecting yourself, reaching medical care, and getting help with basics like food and housing. There is no cost to Healthy San Francisco (HSF) Participants for needed screening, testing, or health care for COVID-19.

What is Coronavirus and What Can I Do?

The new coronavirus is a virus that causes a disease called COVID-19, which affects the lungs and other organs. In most people the disease causes mild symptoms, like a cold. But for some people the symptoms can become more serious, causing severe breathing trouble.

If you are worried about the coronavirus, you are not alone. Read more to learn how to get help and how to protect yourself and others.

Where to Learn More

These trusted sources have up-to-date information, about the coronavirus:

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  •   Cough
  •   Shortness of breath or hard time breathing
  •   Fever
  •   Chills
  •   Muscle pain
  •   Headache
  •   Sore Throat
  •   New loss of taste or smell
  • Feeling very tired or weak
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea


There may be other symptoms as well. Please call your medical home for any other symptoms that you are worried about.

For more information about symptoms visit the CDC website. It also has a link to the CDC’s Self-Checker, a guide to help make choices and find the right medical care. Read More

When to Contact Your Medical Home

There is no cost to HSF Participants for needed screening, testing, or health care for COVID-19.

If you are sick, call your medical home first. They may be able to help by phone without having to go to the doctor’s office.

People over 65 and people with health issues like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for serious problems. Learn more at the “Am I at High Risk” section of this website.

Emergency Warning Signs

Get medical help right away if you have any of these emergency warning signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away
  • New confusion or inability to wake up
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Cannot stay awake or not able to stay awake

Please call your medical home for any symptoms that are severe or that you are worried about.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Tell the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If you can, put on a cloth face covering before help comes.

For more about emergency warning signs, visit the CDC website. Read More


If you want to get tested for the coronavirus, please call your doctor.

You can find out about coronavirus testing at the city’s website. Learn More

HSF Customer Service can help you contact your medical home. Please call Customer Service at 1(415) 615-4555 for help.

How to Protect Yourself and Others

The coronavirus passes to others through close contact (being within about 6 feet). When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air.

Learn how to protect against the coronavirus at the CDC’s “How to Protect Yourself & Others”. Read More

Here are some of the best ways to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.

Stay Home if You Can

Since people can spread the coronavirus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when you can.

San Francisco has issued a shelter-in-place order requiring people to stay safe in the place where they live unless it is necessary to go out. People can leave home to get food, care for family or a friend, get needed health care, or go to an essential job.

This is also called the Stay Safe at Home order.

You can find the newest information about the shelter-in-place order at the city’s coronavirus website, or you can call 311.

San Francisco is also asking people to stay at least 6 feet away from others if you have to go outside. This is sometimes called physical distancing or social distancing. Learn More

Wash Hands

Washing hands well is one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.

To learn more, see the CDC’s Handwashing web page or watch this video that shows all the steps to washing hands well.

Requirement to Wear Face Coverings

A San Francisco health order requires people older than 12 to wear a face cover (like a mask) in some situations when you must be out in public. It is safer to stay at home when you can.

You must cover your face when you

  • Go to the store
  • Take public transit
  • Visit the doctor
  • Do some other things listed on the city’s web page. Read More

You can read the health order about face covering. Read More

Remember to keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others even when you wear a cloth face cover.

You can also find information on how to make and use cloth masks at the CDC’s web page on face coverings. Learn More

How to Reach Your Medical Home
You can still see your medical home for many of your health needs. Call your medical home to make or change your appointment. If you are sick, call your medical home first. They may be able to help by phone without having to go to in-person.

Pharmacy Help

How can I get my medications?

You can still go to your pharmacy to pick up medications and supplies. Please call your pharmacy before visiting to check if their hours have changed.

Many pharmacies are offering FREE home delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, including all Walgreens and CVS stores. Please call your pharmacy to learn how to get prescriptions delivered.

Support for Emotional Health

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused major changes in our lives. You may feel stressed, nervous, sad, bored, upset, or lonely. You are not alone.
Some tips for handling your stress:

  • Take breaks from watching or reading the news
  • Stay in touch with supportive people in your life by phone, text or online groups
  • Take care of your body by eating healthy foods, exercising and getting sleep
  • Try not to drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day
  • For people aged 60 and over, try not to drink more than one alcoholic drink a day
  • Call for help over the phone if your emotions make it hard for you to do the things you normally do

Read More

Hotlines if you need to talk with someone
Local Suicide Prevention: 1(415) 781-0500

National 24/7 Lifelines: Suicide Prevention 1(800) 273-8255 or text 838255

If you are being hurt by someone you live with: Domestic Violence 1(800) 799-7233

The Mental Health Association of San Francisco offers a peer-run 24/7 support line at 1(855) 845-7415 or online chat at:

CalHOPE is a no-cost call line. Call to talk about struggles and get support: 1(833) 317-HOPE (4673)

For a mental health appointment
You can still see your medical home for many of your mental and behavioral health needs. Call your medical home to make or change your appointment. If you are sick, call your medical home first. They may be able to help by phone without having to go to in-person.

Getting Help with Basic Needs

City and community partners have put together lists of places to help you get food, money, housing and other basics. The links below lead to legal help, child care, diapers for children, shelter, meals and medicine delivery, friendly phone calls, and many more things.

 Help getting food

Information and help for people needing food. Learn More

 Help to stay in your home

Find legal help and current city rules to protect you from evictions. Learn More

 Help with getting low cost internet

Find help with low cost internet service. Learn More

 Help if someone is hurting you

Find help with shelters and services for people dealing with domestic violence. Learn More

Need help with more things? See the lists below:

For families with children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities

Families can find help with food, household bills, mortgage and rent, and unemployment. You can also find help with special education and learning at home.

Click here for a list from Support for Families of Children with Disabilities

For those experiencing homelessness

Our unsheltered neighbors and those working with them can find help with clothing, food, showers, hand washing sinks, legal help, and pet care

Click here for a list from Project Homeless Connect

For our undocumented neighbors

Find help with rent and cash needs

Click here for a list from Legal Aid at Work

Call 415-324-1011, anytime from 8am-8pm Monday-Saturday, to apply for $500 cash help through Catholic Charities. Read More

For our LGBTQ neighbors

Find help with rent, legal needs, trans led peer support

Click here for a list of LGBTQ community resources from the city

Help for teens and young adults

Youth-friendly support for sexual health, mental health, and help with housing, food, and safety. Learn More

For our neighbors living in District 6 (Tenderloin, South of Market, Midmarket/Civic Center, South Beach, Mission Bay, Treasure Island)

People in District 6 can find help with food, childcare, internet and computers, housing help, work, and unemployment

Click here for the District 6 COVID-19 Resource Guide

For anyone needing help

Both lists help with food, childcare, shelter, diapers, friendship lines, jobs, money support, rent help, legal help

UCSF Community Resources Read More

Mass resource list from the Freedom Community Clinic Read More

Help for older adults and people with disabilities

Find help with food and meal deliveries, help with home care, and friendship line.

Call 1(415) 355-6700 or go to the San Francisco Human Services agency website.

Social support for seniors

The Mon Ami Phone Bank offers friendly calls and groceries and delivery for people age 55 years and over. Sign up here or call 1(888) 985-6866
The Shanti Project can help you with food shopping and drop-off, medicine pickup and drop-off, dog walking, mail pick-up. Call the Department of Aging Services at 1(415) 355-6700

For anyone looking for health and wellness workshops

The YMCA is offering free online group exercise classes that are open to anyone. These classes are designed to help with staying active during shelter in place. Read More

Last updated 5/21/2020

Am I at High Risk?

We are still learning about the new coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes. Based on what we know now, older adults and people of all ages who have certain health issues have a higher risk of serious illness. Serious or severe illness means that the person with COVID-19 might need to stay in the hospital, use a ventilator or they may even die.

On this page there is a list of health issues that put people at higher risk of getting seriously ill from the coronavirus. You’ll also learn about other health issues that might put people at a higher risk.

For each health issue, there is a link to learn about actions to take.

People of any age with these health issues are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19:

  • Chronic kidney disease. Learn More
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Learn More
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from organ transplant. Learn More
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies. Learn More
  • Sickle cell disease. Learn More
  • Type 2 diabetes. Learn More
  • Cancer. Learn More

Risk for Serious Illness is higher as you get older

As you get older, your risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases. People in their 50s are at higher risk than people in their 40s. Also, people in their 60s or 70s are at higher risk than people in their 50s. The greatest risk for serious illness from COVID-19 is for people aged 85 or older. Learn More

Children who are at Higher Risk

Children with certain health conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children. These include nervous system conditions, genetic, metabolic conditions, and congenital heart disease. Children who have several chronic health problems at the same time are also at higher risk.

People with certain health issues might have a higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

We are still learning about COVID-19, and there is limited data. Based on what we know now, people with these health issues might be at an increased risk of getting seriously sick from COVID-19:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe). Learn More
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain). Learn More
  • Cystic fibrosis. Learn More
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure). Learn More
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant. Also because of HIV; use of steroids; or use of other medicines that weaken the immune system. Learn More
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia. Learn More
  • Liver disease. Learn More
  • Pregnancy. Learn More
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues). Learn More
  • Smoking. Learn More
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder). Learn More
  • Type 1 diabetes. Learn More

Last updated 7/9/2020

Mental Health Association Peer-run Warm Line / Friendship line  Click Here »

Non-emergency mental and emotional support. You can call or video chat any time of the day or night. Call 1(855) 845-7415.

Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing Coordinated Entry and Community Access Points  Click Here »

Programs and housing opportunities for people dealing with homelessness. You can also call 1(415) 487-3300 ext 7000.

GLIDE  Click Here »

In-person services like to-go free meals program, COVID-19 testing, harm reduction clinic, and walk-in resource center. Case management, legal help, Men in Progress classes and Family Resource Center all by phone or online.

St. Anthony’s  Click Here »

Resources like clothing, food, and spaces to wash hands and refill water bottles. Fresh meals can be picked up curbside and free clothing can be scheduled over the phone.

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)  Click Here »

IHSS workers help adults with disabilities and older adults with daily living activities like cooking, cleaning, bathing, and food shopping.

Catholic Charities  Click Here »

Housing support, like help with rent, housing case management, and homelessness prevention.

Causa Justa Click Here »

Free tenant advice and help getting city and legal resources for low-income people in San Francisco through their SF Tenant Rights Drop-In Clinic over the phone. That number is 1(510) TENANTS / 1(510) 836-2687.

Behavioral Health Access Center (BHAC)  Click Here »

Help with substance abuse treatment and mental health care in San Francisco. BHAC has a 24-Hour Access Helpline to reach therapy sessions, emotional support groups, group therapy, case management and help with medication from a psychiatrist when needed. You can call: 1(415) 255-3737 TDD 1(888) 484-7200, any time of the day or night. 

Project Open Hand  Click Here »

Healthy meals for people who are sick and facing a lack of food.

SF Marin Food Bank  Click Here »

Free culturally-fit and easy-to-access foods for people who need support.

COVID-19 Vaccine is Here

COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5-11 Years Old

The CDC now recommends that children between the ages of 5 and 11 years get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Getting the vaccine will help keep your child from getting seriously sick if they do get COVID‐19 and help keep them from spreading COVID‐19 to others. This vaccine will help protect your whole family and the community.

  • The vaccine is safe based on clinical trials.
  • Your child may have no side effects. Some people may have some mild side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. The most common side effect from the vaccine is a sore arm. Sometimes a person may have a headache or a fever but they should go away in a few days. Call a Primary Care Provider (PCP) if severe allergy reactions occur, which is rare. A PCP is the doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant.
  • Getting the vaccine will make it easier for your child to play sports, go to festivals, and do other things that may require proof of the vaccine.
  • A parent or a legal guardian will need to consent for the vaccine, either when making the appointment or at the time of the vaccination except under certain limited circumstances.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine in San Francisco, click here.

How to set up a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for your child:

  • Call us! To set up an appointment, please call the SFHP COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 1(415) 615-4519 Monday-Friday from 8:30am – 5:00pm.
  • Talk to a Primary Care Provider (PCP) if you have questions. A PCP is the doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant.
  • Schools, drop-in clinics, and pharmacies have vaccines for children. Visit the San Francisco City and County website or call SFDPH COVID-19 vaccine call center at 1(628) 652-2700 to find a place to get the vaccine in San Francisco. They can also set up an appointment or help you get the vaccine at home.

COVID-19 Booster Shots

Booster shots are now available for people who got Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. COVID-19 booster shots help to keep immunity strong and increase protection against COVID-19.

It is recommended that you get a booster shot as soon as you are eligible.

More and more people can and should get booster shots. This includes everyone who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and people 18-64 with certain underlying health conditions. Some people who work or live in high-risk settings can also get a booster shot.

Learn more about booster shots from the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Call your Medical Home to see if you are eligible or to ask questions about getting a booster shot. Your Medical Home is listed on your HSF Participant ID card.
Read more booster facts and booster questions and answers from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

The vaccine is one of the most important ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The vaccine is available to everyone 12 and older. You can get the vaccine at Medical Homes, Doctor’s office, clinics, pharmacies, or community sites.

By getting the vaccine you are helping your health, the health of your loved ones, and your community. The vaccine and other steps, like masks and social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you), will slow the spread of COVID-19.

How to Get a Vaccine Appointment for HSF Participants

All HSF Participants are eligible!

How to get an Appointment
Call your medical home or call 1(415) 615-4519 weekdays from 8:30am – 5:00pm

Important News
The FDA has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine
The Pfizer 2-dose vaccine is now fully approved for people ages 16 and older. Learn More

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the part of the government that makes sure that products like vaccines, food and drugs are safe and effective.

All three COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the United States have gotten COVID-19 vaccines under the strongest safety monitoring in U.S. history. The CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible. More information on vaccine safety can be found here.

COVID-19 Vaccine – Frequently Asked Questions

Will a COVID-19 vaccine protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines work by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.

Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you do not have an increased risk of having severe problems. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

Is the vaccine free?

Yes. The vaccine is free of charge. No one can be denied a vaccine because they cannot pay.

I heard there are different COVID-19 vaccines. Which one will I get?

We do not have a way of knowing which vaccine you will get at the time of scheduling, but you can ask at your appointment.

More information about each vaccine can be found on the CDC website here.

Do I need to be a California resident to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
No. Vaccine distribution is based on eligibility irrespective of residency or immigration status.

How many doses are needed?

  • Two doses for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, 21 days apart.
  • Two doses for the Moderna vaccine, 28 days apart.
  • One dose for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

After I get the vaccine, can I act like the pandemic is over?

No. Once you have received the full vaccine (one or two doses depending on the type) you should still wear a mask and stay 6 feet from people who do not live with you. Researchers are not sure if vaccinated people can still spread COVID-19 to others.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the United States have gotten COVID-19 vaccines under the strongest safety monitoring in U.S. history. The CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible. More information on vaccine safety can be found here.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine impact my day to day life?

After getting the vaccine, you may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. The most common side effects are pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot. Also, you may have fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Will I get an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine?

Serious allergic reactions are very rare. You can learn about allergic reactions here.

When will I be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

You are eligible now. Contact your Medical Home or call 1(415) 615-4519.

How much time does it take to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Scheduling the vaccine most often only takes a few minutes, and the appointment will take about half an hour. If you do not have health questions, it is good for you and your community to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is your turn.

If you do have health questions, please contact your Medical Home. Your Medical Home is in charge of your health care.

If you would like help finding the phone number of your Medical Home, please call HSF customer service at 1(415) 615-4555.

Do I need to take a test before scheduling my COVID-19 vaccine?

No. If you feel healthy with no symptoms, and do not have a known COVID-19 exposure, there is no need to take a test.

Can I bring a family or household member to get the vaccine with me?

If your family or household member is also eligible and able to go to the same site, you can try to make appointments close to each other in order to go together.

Will I have to give any personal information to get the vaccine?

You will likely need to give your name, birthday, HSF participant ID number, and address to schedule the vaccine. If you do not know your HSF participant ID number, we can look it up for you.

Will I need to give my Social Security Number to schedule the vaccine?

You will not need to give your social security number to schedule the vaccine, your Medical Home already has the number.

Should I get the vaccine if I just had COVID-19, if I am pregnant, or if I have other health questions?

If you have any questions about the vaccine and your health, please call your Medical Home. Your Medical Home is in charge of your health care.

If you would like help finding the phone number of your Medical Home, please call HSF customer service at 1(415) 615-4555.

I just had COVID-19, should I get the vaccine?

Yes, you should get the vaccine even if you already had COVID-19. That is because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after having COVID-19. Even if you have already had COVID-19, it is possible, while rare, that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting the vaccine is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Call your Medical Home if you are not sure what treatments you received or if you have questions about getting the vaccine.

I was just exposed to COVID-19, should I wait to get the vaccine?

If you have been exposed, follow the CDC quarantine guidelines before getting the vaccine.

I am not feeling well, is it safe to get the vaccine?

No. People who have COVID-19 or who have symptoms should wait until they have recovered and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation. People who were exposed who don’t have symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. Call your Medical Home, if you have any questions.

If I have an underlying health condition, or other health questions, should I get the vaccine?

If you have a health condition or any health-related questions about getting the vaccine, you can call your Medical Home.

If I am pregnant, can I get the vaccine?

Yes. If you are pregnant, you may choose to get the vaccine when it is available to you. There is no evidence that antibodies formed from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problem with pregnancy.

If you have questions about getting the vaccine, calling your Medical Home might help you make an informed decision. Learn more about vaccine considerations for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

I am usually very healthy, do I need to get the vaccine?

Since COVID-19 is a new disease, it is better at getting people sick than other diseases, like a common cold. If you do not have health questions, it is a good idea to get vaccinated both for you and your community.

Help applying for public benefits

Apply for Calfresh (money for food) – contact the Enrollment Center at 1(415) 777–9992, Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm


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