Trans care during COVID-19

Caring for ourselves is caring for our community.
March 14, 2020

Dear community and organizational partners,

We are closely monitoring the changing status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and we will provide ongoing updates as they are available. We encourage everyone to take precautions to ensure the health and safety of all of our community members, staff, and volunteers. We are following guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and responding to all relevant public health announcements. Please find SF Department of Public Health updates here:

Transgender, gender nonconforming, and LGBTQ individuals should be aware of the particular risks of COVID-19 because community members are more likely to have compromised immune systems. LGBTQ people have higher rates of HIV and cancer than the general population. Trans people are five times more likely to be living with HIV compared to the general population. LGBTQ community members are also 50% more likely than the general population to use tobacco. Tobacco also impacts the immune system, and the coronavirus is a respiratory illness that could be especially harmful to smokers.

Taking care of ourselves has never been more important. Caring for our own health is also paramount in caring for our broader community. We are in this together.

Please continue to take standard precautions, including handwashing, to prevent the spread of disease. If you are sick, becoming sick, or experiencing any flu-like symptoms, we ask that you please stay home and contact your health provider. At this time, many local LGBTQ community services and community clinics remain open. Please check their websites for updates. We will also share daily updates and resources on our social media accounts: @TransCitySF on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

On Friday, March 6, 2020, Mayor London Breed issued aggressive new social distancing recommendations for groups of fifty or more to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In accordance with these recommendations, many community events will be postponed to support the wellbeing and accessibility of all of our community members. We understand that these changes can cause hardships for organizations and community members. Prevention and social distancing are important steps to protect our seniors and those with underlining health conditions or weakened immune systems.

For many transgender and gender nonconforming community members, dealing with medical situations and doctors can be triggering and inaccessible. We encourage everyone to continue to reach out to your chosen family, friends, and community for support. If you need support please reach out. Additional resources include:

Thank you for supporting one another and please continue to take the necessary measures to protect our communities.

Clair Farley
Director of Office of Transgender Initiatives, OTI