COVID-19 cases in SF are dropping. Did the delta surge peak?

Ka kovid-19 refused in San Francisco for more than a week, and while experts are highly encouraged by the decline, they’re reluctant to say the recent wave driven by the highly contagious delta variant hit its peak.

The city’s seven-day average rolling fell from a high of 282 cases per day 1 to 203 per day August 10, according to the city COVID dashboard. The city has not calculated averages for the past week as they are still treating and validating test results.

This graph from the San Francisco Department of Public Health shows the average seven-day rolling new case daily in SF

This graph from the San Francisco Department of Public Health shows the seven-day rolling average of new cases daily in SF


Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s health director, called the numbers a sign of hope and said the decline could be a result of increased caution, including limiting higher-risk activities and mandatory indoor masking in most situations.

“While the declining rates are a sign of hope, it [is] too early concluded that the fourth wave had risen or plateaued, and hospitalizations generally peaked two weeks after the cases, “Colfax said in an email statement to SFGATE.” In the foreseeable future, we need to take common sense measures around vaccination, masking and testing to slow the spread of COVID because we know we will live with this virus for a long time. “

The number of COVID patients hospitalized in San Francisco is still climbing, though the upward trend appears to be slowing, according to the dashboard. Hospitalizations remain behind the cases. The total number of COVID patients in SF hospitals was 115 on August 14, compared to 97 on August 1 and 11 on July 1.

This graph from the San Francisco Department of Public Health shows the total hospital COVID-19 cases in SF

This graph from the San Francisco Department of Public Health shows the total hospital COVID-19 cases in SF


Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at UCSF, pointed to state data following San Francisco’s positivity rate – the percentage of people tested positive for all those tested – like another silver lining in a long, grueling pandemic.

“The state dashboard shows a drop in the proportion of positive tests to a high of 5.6% in this 4.0% wave today,” Rutherford wrote in an email Monday night. “For state websites, hospitalizations can also be leveling (based on a one-day trend!), And first-time vaccinations are increasing. I’d say that’s good news. Bottom line, things are going in the right direction, but it’s a little too early to call it quits. “

(The seven-day positivity rate was 3.9% on Tuesday, according to state data.)

In San Francisco, 79% of eligible residents have completed a series of vaccinations with the city bay an indoor mask warrant earlier this month, and experts said both will help fight the wave.

“I think the combination of having a high percentage of the city vaccinated as well as the re-introduction of indoor masks – which we know is likely to have a greater effect than outdoor masking – means that we can expect the cases to start coming down once again, ” Dr. Abraar Karan, a fellow in the infectious disease and geographic medicine division at Stanford, wrote in an email. “What will determine what comes next is how quickly we can close the remaining shot space here while we keep up other measures like masks.”

Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease doctor and professor of medicine at UCSF, sees hope in what has recently unfolded in the United Kingdom, where a delta wave has risen earlier this summer. before can collapse. India has also seen a similar pattern in its delta waves.

Gandhi shared in an email. “This could be an early sign that our delta waves are decreasing as predicted by several watching models may decrease in the UK.” “Of note, delta leads to a lot of immunity in both vaccinated (enhanced) and vaccines that can bring down the cases.”

While the deltas have been quick-on and fast-off in some other countries, Dr. Anne Liu, an infectious disease expert with Stanford, wrote in an email, “I don’t really know why it was fast-off in some places, except that maybe it scares people to return to the precautions they took before (masking, etc.) .. I don’t have a good reason to think that it will be fast-off in the US, unless delta gets people to go vaccinated and put on a mask. “

Liu said that many factors are playing that affected the course of the pandemic, including “the vagaries of human behavior and how much more tolerant folks have to mask and reduce their contact, how much delta has already worked its way into vaccinated groups, and how much vaccinees have the ability to transmit and infect tools. “

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