When scientists from UCSF and the city’s Department of Public Health approached San Francisco’s Latino leaders in April 2020 about testing Mission District residents for COVID during the earliest weeks of the pandemic, Valerie Tulier-Laiwa was intrigued but skeptical.
The proposal was to
test every resident
in a four-by-four block area of the neighborhood, to better understand how widespread the virus was at the time. Tulier-Laiwa, who had grown up in the Mission, was already convinced that the city’s Latinos were being hit hardest by COVID, but she and her peers lacked the data to prove it.