Check out this video from the Phoenix Data Project to understand how San Francisco’s decisions regarding the pandemic has impacted cases numbers.

This data reveals that although San Francisco was doing relatively well controlling the pandemic, when indoor dining opened and cases numbers increased, SF made it’s big mistake. By not reversing reopening plans, ICU and case numbers increased, and SF experienced a large holiday surge. 

The video recommends San Francisco fix inadequate metrics to avoid future surges. 

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Peter Khoury is a data scientist who lives in the Mission District.

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14 Comments

  1. Nah. Indoor dining wasn’t open to any substantial extent, and when it was, it was absolutely minimal.

    This is all parties/gatherings over the holidays from Halloween on down. And stay at home fatigue.

    1. The period of increase the video author cites as being the most problematic is *before* any of the holidays.

    2. 50% isn’t absolutely minimal and bay area locations ignored the rules frequently.
      You can’t rule out either side, we don’t have specific data like that. “nah” is a guess.

      1. We never had 50% indoor dining in SF. It was a scant 10% for a few weeks and most restaurants didn’t even bother because it wasn’t worth it.

        Hard to believe that a minimal, controlled indoor dining allowance spurred all this current surge on.

        A contributor? Sure. But a nearly year long shelter fatigue and a general disregard for not gathering indoors are the biggest culprits.

  2. Thanks for sharing. Unfortunately, just looking at # of cases isn’t a great metric given the # of tests fluctuated and increased dramatically during this period. Instead look at % of test that are positive. The increase is likely driven by Halloween and then again by Thanksgiving.

  3. Ken m you have some data and expertise or you just an arrogant quarterback?

    More of a rhetorical question really.

    1. It’s pretty obvious, people are informally gathering together, indoors, like they always have. And that by far is the biggest worry and concern about spread.

      You think they’re not?

  4. I also don’t think staying closed would have benefitted us in the end, as we would still have had to shut outdoor dining when the rest of the Bay Area was forecasted to drop below 15% ICU capacity and the governor’s orders shut it all down anyway. So that would have bought us one more week out outdoor dining.

  5. There is a rough correlation between falling max temperatures in November and the spike in cases before Thanksgiving. When it got cold people began crowding more and more indoors.

    I made a chart that i’d post here if i could.

    Interesting how malls remained open after gyms closed.

  6. Other factors may influence the prevalence of COVID-19 cases.
    1) The availability of tests for the virus. More testing will yield more “cases” including some that are asymptomatic or do not require medical attention.
    2) The presence of more contagious variants due to viral mutations.

  7. Ken M. I made the video and strictly speaking there’s a good chance you’re right. However the SF opening up indoor dining was a signal to everyone that indoor activity was now OK and that parties and gatherings were OK. Same thing with the yellow tier. It just encouraged people to party harder and gather more.

    1. Thanks for the reply. I respectfully disagree… People were well on that way themselves outside of SF opening anything back up.

      Especially when they see friends and family in other cities & states not subject to the same regs & rules.

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