COVID-19 medicines available for high-risk San Franciscans

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With COVID-19 medicines now more readily available and many people eligible for treatment, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) is urging people to be prepared by knowing if they are at high risk for severe illness from the virus and how to get timely access to medical care should they test positive.  

Eligibility for COVID-19 Medicines: 

Currently, under federal and state guidance, a person is eligible for treatment if they test positive for COVID-19 and meet at least one of the following criteria:  

  • Immunocompromised, as they may not have mounted a full response to vaccines  
  • Over age 65 
  • Under age 65 and at high risk for a serious illness if they contract COVID-19 because of other medical conditions (see below)  
  • Unvaccinated, or not up to date on vaccinations (initial two doses and booster, if eligible)  
  • Pregnant  

How to Get COVID-19 Medicines: 

Most San Franciscans who are eligible for COVID-19 medicines and test positive should access treatment by going to their health care providers.

SFDPH is also helping link people at high risk to health care providers, including those who are uninsured or otherwise disconnected from medical care, regardless of immigration status.  

SFDPH is providing access to those without coverage through the San Francisco Health Network (SFHN). Some insurance plans, including all SF Medi-Cal plans, have all-hours telehealth access to doctors by phone or video.

Additionally, “Test to Treat” programs are part of a federal initiative that enable patients to test, consult a health care provider, and fill a prescription at the same visit.

Major health systems in San Francisco are required by local health order to test patients within a day of reporting symptoms and could offer immediate referrals to a doctor for anyone who is eligible for COVID-19 medicine and tests positive.  

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