Good morning Mission! Welcome to Virus Village, your daily data dump.

We begin today with some bad news for geeks and numbers freaks. A new report put out by Resolve to Save Lives, overseen by former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden, MD, says we are in the midst of an “information catastrophe” arguing that incomplete and inconsistent COVID-19 data from states, along with the absence of national leadership, is behind the poor US response to COVID-19.

On the other hand boys and girls, another good reason to maskup has come to our attention. The Department of Homeland Terror (sorry,”Security”) worries that masking will frustrate facial recognition software. According to The Intercept, “A Homeland Security intelligence note dated May 22 expresses this law enforcement anxiety, as public health wisdom clashes with the prerogatives of local and federal police who increasingly rely on artificial intelligence tools.”

The numbers today continue their fitful climb with 96 new cases and 100 confirmed Covid patients (including transfers) in San Francisco hospitals. On the other hand The R number estimate continues a slow decline, indicating perhaps, a slight easing in the days to come.

HiGeorge, a data visualization startup, developed some new visualizations for Mission Local, which we will be using and fine-tuning in the days to come. 

The Mission District reported 37 new cases, for a total of 810.

Note the number of positive results reported here does not equal the number of  “new cases” reported daily. It’s one of our local data glitches, which we are told has to do with delays in analyzing, reporting  and updating from a variety of sources. SFDPH does not provide us with how long, or from where, delays occur.  However the positivity rate is figured, it is still around 3% which is the overall figure, well below, for example, the average daily positivity rate of 10%  posted last Friday in Los Angeles, which is reported to be on the brink of another more comprehensive shutdown.

With 53 deaths out of the 5459 total infections in the City, the death-to-infection rate (IFR) has fallen below 1% for the first time. The CDC reported yesterday its estimate that there could be 10 times as many infections as reported, which is not surprising, says Carl Bergstrom, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Washington. If that were true in SF, it would bring the rate down to around the IFR of the seasonal flu. Needless to say, celebrations are way premature as the estimates of asymptomatic spread tend to be one of the most fluid, and foggy, of numbers.

For the week ending July 20, the rate of weekly change in Covid positive hospitalizations continued to fall a bit to 23%, still in the high alert red zone. DPH reports local hospitals continue to have the capacity to respond to a potential surge. Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) remains below the targetted 90% stockpile needed for 30 days. Note the DPH does not report on the number of trained personnel needed now, or in a potential surge to respond to patients in Acute Care or ICU. The lack of trained personnel was one of the big problems in NYC earlier this year.

The R number fell below 1.3 for the first time in a couple weeks. A good omen?

Mark Rabine

Mark Rabine has lived in the Mission for over 40 years. "What a long strange trip it's been."

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