San Francisco’s Pier 30-32 transforms into COVID-19 testing center

In the early morning hours of April 4 or 5 (it’s hard to remember now), I noticed crews working on the rain-soaked pier south of the Bay Bridge — just beyond the High Dive Bar and Red’s Java House — across the street from the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center. Although the pre-dawn skies filled with drizzle and fog made it hard to see exactly what was going on, a cluster of orange cones and three distinct (albeit incomplete) steel-framed structures were unmistakable. By the time the sun had risen over the Oakland hills and my second cup of coffee had been poured, it was easy to see that a COVID-19 testing center was going up.

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Building San Francisco’s Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center [Galleries]

Over the past year, a lot’s been written about Mayor London Breed’s effort to get people in need off the streets and connected with housing and services. Arguments for and against the center’s reason for being and/or location have been well documented, televised, and socialized. This post won’t be going into any of that. Instead, I’ll be sharing pictures of a transformation I’ve been witnessing at Seawall Lot 330 since the first gates went up on July 8, 2019.

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