UCSF COVID-19 Task Force Statement Regarding Coronavirus

March 3, 2020

A novel coronavirus and disease (COVID-19) emerged in late 2019 and has spread to 90,000 persons in over 70 countries. The city of San Francisco, including all of its medical centers, are making a variety of preparations for screening and care of patients should they test positive. We do not currently know if HIV on its own can increase a person’s risk of getting COVID-19, or if HIV raises the risk of having more severe disease. It does appear that pre-existing heart or lung disease can increase the risk of more severe disease.

The most important things people can do to lower risk at this time are: (1) avoid crowded public spaces where contact with others is likely; (2) try to cough or sneeze into an arm/elbow; (3) wash one’s hands with soap and water frequently, and avoid touching one’s face; (4) avoid handshakes and other contacts with other persons where possible.

Remember that standard influenza is still circulating and it is not too late to get an influenza vaccine if you have not yet gotten one this season.

If you suspect that you might have the flu: contact your primary provider for instructions on where and when your symptoms can be evaluated, and to be offered treatment for the flu and testing for coronavirus if clinically indicated.

Please check our COVID-19 updates page for biweekly communications, and reach out if you have further questions.