After curfew

Good Morning, Mission! Welcome to Virus Village, your daily Covid-19 data dump.

A new California law will require employers to notify employees and local health departments about Covid outbreaks in their workplaces. Will employers comply? Will the state, or City, enforce?

We do know that San Francisco’s DPH does not currently report what it knows about workplace outbreaks. And though it reports racial and geographic data, it doesn’t provide income or socio-economic data.

San Francisco is not the only county in the Bay Area where testing doesn’t match areas of high case rates. As Annika reports, unlike San Francisco until recently, Alameda has made an effort.

Good to hear there are plans to preserve the Diego Rivera mural at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Looking for Filipino fast food? Annika talks to Ed Quiambao from Kababayan.

Scroll down for today’s Covid numbers.

The monthly number of new cases in the Mission has begun to fall. A harbinger or an illusion? Between December 3 and January 1, DPH reports 775 new cases among Mission residents  or 13 new cases per 1000 residents.  In the area bounded by 23rd, Cesar Chavez, South Van Ness and Harrison, there were 127 new cases for a rate of 24.5 new cases per 1000 residents.The Citywide rate over that time was 8.5 new cases per 1000 residents

 If you’ve been following the Tracker, you know most information regarding hospitals and hospitalizations remains under wraps. DPH reports no demographic data, nor cumulative data, nor which hospitals are impacted. From the data we do get, it appears hospitalizations have been stable for the past few days, although at a very high plateau.  For the week ending January 3, the weekly increase in Covid positive patients  dropped a bit more to  13 percent. During that week,  the seven-day average availability of ICU beds was 34 percent and for Acute Care beds 31 percent. On January 3, DPH reports SF hospitals had 100 ICU beds and 518 Acute Care beds available.   Right; DPH also doesn’t report how many beds are staffed? 

San Francisco is not alone. California does not report demographic or cumulative hospitalization data either. Nor does it report on conditions in private hospitals as well as public hospitals. LA now has 7,898 patients and 326 ICU beds available.

Covid-19 R Estimation for California has dropped its estimate for San Francisco’ R number back to 1.13 and its estimate for California’s R number to 1.12. The ensemble places SF at 1.08 and California at .96.

The dip in case numbers was short-lived. On December 28, the seven-day average of new cases per day rose back to 237, or 27.2 new cases per 100,000 residents. Early indications are number will continue to rise in the coming days.

Although it might appear the virus is racist, this is more an artifact of what data DPH reports, and just as significantly, what it does not report. In a city as stratified as San Francisco, the absence of socio-economic data obscures the nature of the virus as well as how best to contain it. 

Although the R number appears to be falling, positivity rates are rising. As previously noted, the rising Citywide average positivity rate may be to increased testing in the Southeast sector of the City among most vulnerable populations. Since November, the number of tests per 1000 Latinx residents has increased 37 percent.

Although the City does not provide socio-economic data, it does provide data on sexual orientation. In December, 45 percent of new cases were heterosexual. Zero gay cases were reported and about 1 percent were either bi-sexual or “other.” Most December cases (54 percent) were Unknown.

San Francisco has received, and has given itself, many kudos for keeping deaths relatively low. One major reason has been controlling the virus spread in nursing homes, especially Laguna Honda.  Disaster at Laguna Honda was averted mainly due to state and particularly federal intervention. In December, at least three deaths occurred there, as infections among workers touched off a dangerous new outbreak.  Residents are beginning to receive the vaccine.

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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