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Software Woes Fixed; San Francisco COVID Testing Sites Reopening For Business

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- Software issues that forced the cancellations of hundreds of appointments at city-run COVID test sites in San Francisco over the last two days have been fixed, returning the facilities to full capacity, officials said.

Color, the city's testing partner, took to social media Tuesday night, saying a fix was in place for the software problem which caused testing sites to shutdown operations in San Francisco and across the country.

"This issue is resolved, and testing sites for @SF_DPH will be open on Wednesday 1/12. If you're seeking a test, you can book an appointment online or walk in. We are grateful for your patience as we work to care for populations across the country amid this increase in demand."

Palo-Alto based Color first encountered computer issues on Monday.

"The fact that Color system went down nationally -- this was a national issue -- obviously was extraordinarily concerning and has had a major impact in the last 24 hours in our ability to provide testing for people," San Francisco Department of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax said Tuesday morning.

However, Dr. Colfax said there are other issues at play also contributing to problems at test sites, such as staffing shortages.

"Our testing infrastructure is also affected by workers getting sick and the high demand on our system," he said. "At the local level, we are doing everything we can at the Health Department to expand testing, not only in terms of staffing and physical sites, but we also need the raw materials - the tests. We have ordered tens of thousands of those home test kits. Those home test kits are finally starting to arrive now. That's a national and international issue."

On Tuesday, Mayor London Breed ordered the city's private healthcare providers to increase testing capacity for those in their system and staff, or face fines.

"In August of 2021, the DPH issued an order requiring all healthcare facilities to provide a test within 24 hours when a member of their system or staff is symptomatic or has been in close contact with someone with COVID. This health order is so important and needs to be followed. Right now, that doesn't seem to be the case in all instances," Breed said.

"So today, I'm announcing a mayoral order to require all healthcare providers to submit weekly proof to the Department of Public Health that they are meeting this goal, and if they don't, they could be subject to fines. To be clear, this isn't about punishment. It's about everyone doing their part. Our private healthcare providers need to do their part for their members so that our city is not overwhelmed and not able to provide testing in a timely manner."

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