San Francisco Will Pay You A Grand To Stay Home To Recover From COVID
A program created by Supervisor Hillary Ronen in 2020 has been extended by $5.4 million, according to a press release from the City. This follows the Omicron surge that began near the end of December of last year, and has since begun to decline.
In February 2021, Mission Local reported on community organizations and doctors who said this program was vital to populations highly-impacted by COVID, and the funding challenges associated with its philanthropic sources, which led to at least four pauses in the program.
“About 60 percent of people asking for resources through the city contact tracing program after contracting covid are Latinx; about 91 percent of the Right to Recover MEDA clients are Latinx; and 55 percent of overall Right to Recover participants prefer to communicate in Spanish, speakers said Wednesday,” Mission Local reported at the time.
The program is targeted toward workers who do not have access to social safety net programs, sick leave, or other forms of support when they test positive for COVID. According to the press release, this funding will support 5,400 more workers who are placed in the difficult scenario of deciding between working while sick or losing necessary income while self-isolating.
To access this program, you can call the COVID Resource Center at 628-217-6101 and ask for the Right to Recover Program, and immigration and probation/parole status don’t matter.
This program has served 7,037 San Franciscans with 75% of recipients coming from the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the pandemic: Excelsior, Mission, Bayview, Visitacion Valley, Tenderloin, and SOMA. In total, the program funding of $16.3 million will go to 13,800 residents recovering from COVID.
According to the city’s data dashboards on COVID as of Jan. 19, there have been about 100,000 cumulative cases in the city, and 706 cumulative deaths in total. The cumulative case count nearly doubled in the last month, when there were 57,227 cases as of Dec. 19 of last year, though from the same day the death count was 687 (while there are fewer deaths associated with Omicron, and in thanks to vaccinations and boosters, scientists are still trying to understand the debilitating impact of Long COVID, which is estimated by researchers at Penn State to impact over half of people who get COVID).
Originally, the program provided $1,285 for 14 days of support, but the Office of Economic and Workforce Development has adjusted it to be $1,000 for the CDC’s recommended 10 days of isolation. This coincides with the Biden administration’s rollout of programs to distribute free rapid tests and N95 masks, about two years into the pandemic.
Of course, in a fun game that plays out every day on social media, non-U.S. residents (and U.S. residents alike) pointed out that these programs would’t be as miraculous and vital as they have been if the U.S. had more accessible healthcare, and that these aid programs beg the question of what options people deserve to have when they need time off from work to rest and recover.