Good morning, Mission, and welcome to Virus Village, your (somewhat regular) Covid-19 data dump.

Though infections stubbornly cling above an average of 100 per day, hospitalizations have taken a fall while positivity rates and the R Number remain relatively low.

In his speech last week, President Joe Biden laid out a plan for producing rapid tests. As it turns out, the effort amounts to less than one test per person in the U.S. Here’s a primer on rapid antigen tests and how to use them effectively.

Remember a couple months ago, when the delta variant was on the horizon, Abbott Labs not only stopped producing the tests, but laid off its workers and destroyed the supplies. But even before, the price Abbott charged was excessive, especially when compared to other countries. Why would a rapid test be so expensive here, but free in Canada?

The Biden initiative targets a 15 percent reduction in price. Let’s see.

The weakness of health care-for-profit has never been so badly exposed as it has during the covid crisis. In 2018, Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged to transition California from the current system of private insurance to single-payer, but has done nothing. Many recall opponents will insist he follow through with his pledge after the election. Good luck. Among Newsom’s biggest money supporters are the private insurance companies and private hospitals.

Scroll down for today’s covid numbers.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control data used for the chart lags behind the data supplied from the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Here, the vaccination picture has been relatively static for at least a month or more. As of Sept. 12, DPH reports about 79 percent of all San Francisco residents have received one dose, and more than 73 percent are completely vaccinated. Despite the proven protection, the City’s unvaccinated have been less than enthusiastic about embracing The Vaccine. On Sept. 12, the seven-day rolling average of shots per day dropped again to  312. For information on where to get vaccinated in and around the Mission, visit our Vaccination Page.

Our hospital graph is slow to update. On Sept. 9, DPH reports there were 76 hospitalizations, 56 in acute care, 20 in the ICU. The latest update from DPH says 76 fully vaccinated San Franciscans have been hospitalized (a rate of 14.3 per 1,000 cases compared to 84.8 per 1,000 cases for those not fully vaccinated) . According to the CDC, there were 51 new admissions for the week ending Sept. 10  (-3.77 percent drop from the previous week). For the week ending Sept. 10, covid patients accounted for 4.63 percent of hospital beds (-.82 percent from previous week) and 9.3 percent of ICU beds (-3.09 percent from previous week). As of Sept. 7, the CDC says that, of more than 176 million vaccinated U.S. residents, 14,111 patients with a covid vaccine breakthrough infection were hospitalized or died. Of that number 25 percent either had no covid symptoms or their hospitalization or death was not COVID-related

The latest report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services shows Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with 23 covid patients and 83 percent ICU occupancy, while across the Mission, CPMC had 16 covid patients and 84 percent ICU occupancy. Of 113 reported covid patients, 59 were at either SFGH or UCSF.

Between July 10 and Sept. 8, the Mission had  788 new cases (a rate of 134 new cases per 10,000 residents), while Bayview Hunters Point had 923 cases for a rate of 243 new cases per 10,000 residents. Of 38 SF neighborhoods, 23 had case rates over 100 per 10,000 residents, the second-highest still on our borders in the Castro, at 190 cases per 10,000 residents.

DPH reports that, for the week ending Sept. 5, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in the city was 100 new cases, or approximately 11.2 new cases per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 896,000 population).  According to the latest from DPH on Sept. 3, the 7-day average case rate among fully vaccinated residents was 6.8 per 100,000 fully vaccinated residents  and  19.7 per  not fully vaccinated 100,000 residents.  

No new data from DPH but the graph shows clearly the Delta surge has been fueled primarily by infections in the White community. Since the pandemic began, based on the group’s San Francisco population, Latinx residents have a case rate of 1,304 cases per 10,000 residents, while Blacks have a rate of 868; Whites, 351; and Asians, 268 cases per 10,000 residents. DPH estimates the rate of Pacific Islanders to be 2,120 and Native Americans to be 961 cases per 10,000 residents but concedes these numbers are “less reliable.”

In August, the Mission had a positivity rate of 4.4 percent (down from 5 percent in July), Bayview Hunters Point 6.2 percent (down from 8 percent), the Castro had 4.6 percent (down from 6.2 percent), Presidio Heights had 2.9 percent (down from 3 percent) and Seacliff had 2.9 percent (up from 1.1 percent)

Covid-related deaths in San Francisco are always difficult to ascertain. In the last few days, DPH reports  31 August deaths, and 1 death in September, bringing the cumulative covid-related death toll to 605. Of those, approximately 3 percent had no underlying conditions.

Despite delta’s high transmissibility, local R Number estimates remain below 1. Covid R Estimation has estimates the San Francisco R Number  at .85 and lowered its estimate for the California R number to .87. All models in the ensemble  estimate the San Francisco R Number below 1, with an average of .77, while the average California R Number is .8. The ensemble average estimate for San Francisco has been below 1 since Aug. 3.

For the month of August, men had 3,159 new cases (or 54.2 percent), women had 2,608 (44.8 percent), trans women had 3, trans men had 2, others had 28 and folks whose gender was unknown had 27

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

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  1. > The weakness of health care-for-profit has never been so badly exposed as it has during the covid crisis.

    You write this but how can one take it seriously? Especially with regards to the availability of rapid tests! Rapid tests are widely available at reasonable prices abroad because many multiple at-home tests (without prescription, mind you) have been approved by the relevant authorities in those countries. Here, however, the FDA has not approved a single at home test without prescription (!!!!) and has literally hundreds in approval pipeline that have been denied! How can this be rationally pinned on for profit initiatives?

    What’s more, the healthcare system has really broadly held up and of course developed our most effective prophylactic in vaccines.

    For profit healthcare has all sorts of justice issues but the claims of weakness in actual care are always hollow and, in this case, feels blatantly dishonest.

  2. You might want to check with the New York Times Covid tracker for SF death rates instead of SFDPH: 9/2: 3 deaths; 9/3: 3 deaths; 9/4; 2 deaths; 9/10: 8 deaths; 9/11: 5 deaths and 9/12: 1 death. Grand total: 22 deaths so far in September, at least.

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