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‘Computer issue’ shuts down 16% of San Francisco’s public Covid testing sites

Six of the Covid-19 testing sites in San Francisco were forced to close early Monday because of a “computer issue” with the city’s testing vendor, Color. 

The Department of Public Health said the following testing sites closed early because of the technical issues:

    In a statement, Color attributed the issues to “intermittent outages that have impacted our patient registration and sample collection software.”

    The company said it has “temporarily suspended service through the end of the day” to avoid having people wait unnecessarily. The six sites represent 16% of the public testing locations in San Francisco, according to a city website.

    Color said it will restore service at the locations as soon as possible and will connect those who had appointments to alternative testing options. The company did not answer a question about whether the computer outages are delaying results for people who have already been tested.

    Mission Local editor Joe Eskenazi tweeted that the testing site in the Excelsior sent everyone home after waiting in line for hours because of issues with their computer system. Users on social media reported that they faced error messages when trying to log in or register for testing services.

    The closures come amid a critical bottleneck around testing with rapid antigen tests out of supply at most local drug stores and staffing issues at testing sites due to the record-high Covid-19 cases linked to the Omicron variant.

    Prior to the public alert of Color’s technical issues, the Department of Public Health announced that the Alemany, SoMa, Ella Hill Hutch and Southeast Health Center sites would see reduced hours this week due to staffing shortages. 

    Kevin Truong can be reached at