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The coronavirus has taken a grim toll on San Francisco’s Asian American community, which accounts for half of the fatalities from COVID-19 and has a high death rate among those who have tested positive for the disease.

The number of COVID-19 deaths in San Francisco remains relatively small, prompting health officials to caution against drawing strong conclusions.

It’s possible, for example, that lower testing rates in the Asian American community could make the case-to-death ratio appear artificially high.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health did not make someone available to discuss the topic, despite requests by The Chronicle.

“I don’t want our patients waiting until the last minute — when they’re very, very ill — to acknowledge they may have the virus.”Joaquin Palomino is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.

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