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

Little movement in the numbers over the weekend as the virus digs in.

A number of public health doctors, officials and commenters now assume the virus will become endemic, so we have to learn to live with it.

What does an endemic covid mean, in practice? Dr. Vinay Prasad from UCSF has some ideas regarding risk management, but the chances of contracting no or mild symptoms instead of serious illness are far improved for the vaccinated than the unvaccinated.

As Delta drags on, more studies and observations are coming around. Rather than scare headlines, we are seeing the durability and effectiveness of The Vaccine not only in preventing hospitalization, but in slowing transmission and keeping infection rates down. as demonstrated by data coming from Canada and California.

After a sharply rising and falling, then rising again after the UK reopened, infections are slowly declining, while hospitalizations have stayed low.

In order to vaccinate the rest of the world, much more of the vaccine will be needed. A number of companies have offered to produce generic products, but Pfizer and friends refuse to let a dime of their obscene profits slip from their icy grip.

The worrisome “long covid” hasn’t gone away, though no really knows what it is.

Having a hospital bed is one thing, but without healthcare workers, it won’t do much good. For years (decades), management consultants have advised hospitals to cut staff (to improve profits if not healthcare). The pandemic showed some of the problems with close-to-the-bone staffing, and provoked an exodus of healthcare workers we will need no matter what course the virus takes.

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 continues to be relatively static. As of Sept. 26, DPH still reports more than 88 percent of San Francisco residents over 12 have received one dose, and 82 percent are completely vaccinated. On Sept. 26, the seven-day rolling average of shots per day rose to 250. For information on where to get vaccinated in and around the Mission, visit our Vaccination Page.

On Sept. 23, DPH reports there were 64 covid hospitalizations, or about 7.3 per 100,000 (based on an 874,000 population). The latest update from DPH says 77 fully vaccinated San Franciscans have been hospitalized (a rate of 12.6 per 1,000 cases, compared to 85.1 per 1,000 cases for those not fully vaccinated) . According to the CDC, there were 46 new admissions for the week ending Sept. 24  (-9.80 percent from the previous week). For the week ending Sept. 24, covid patients accounted for 3.51 percent of hospital beds (no change from the previous week) and 8.89 percent of ICU beds (up 1.57 percent from the previous week). As of Sept. 20, the CDC says that, of more than 180 million vaccinated U.S. residents, 19,136 patients with a covid vaccine breakthrough infection were hospitalized or died (though 19 percent of deaths  and 20 percent of hospitalizations did not have symptoms of covid, 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 10 covid patients and 10 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 4 covid patients and 3 ICU beds available. Of 65 reported covid patients, 42 were at either SFGH or UCSF.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Mission has had 5116 recorded infections, more than any other neighborhood in San Francisco. However, with a rate of 871 per 100,000 residents, it trails Bayview Hunters Point (1,323 per 100,000 residents), Tenderloin and Visitacion Valley.  

DPH reports for the week ending Sept. 19, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in the city was 100, or approximately 11.4 new cases per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population).  According to the latest from DPH on Sept. 17, the 7-day average case rate among fully vaccinated residents was 7.2 per 100,000 fully vaccinated residents  and  17.4 per not fully vaccinated 100,000 residents.  

Did shelter-in-place contribute to infection inequities? Without restrictions during Delta, infection numbers line up much closer to population percentages. So far in September, Whites have had 36.5 percent of recorded infections, Asian residents had 22.5 percent, Latinxs 19 percent, Blacks 8 percent, Multi-racials 2 percent, Pacific Islanders 1.4 percent and Native Americans .4 percent of the month’s recorded infections. 

So far in September, the Mission’s positivity rate is 1.9 percent. Chinatown has the highest September rate at 6.8 percent. Bayview Hunters Point has 3 percent and Lakeshore with 45  percent of its residents vaccinated has  1.4 percent positivity.

Covid-related deaths in San Francisco are always difficult to figure. Over the weekend, DPH added 2 more deaths in September, for a monthly total of 14 so far, bringing the cumulative covid-related death toll to 623. DPH says there are now 11 deaths of fully vaccinated San Franciscans “that are due to complications from COVID-19.”

Covid R Estimation has raised its estimate of the San Francisco R Number to .88 and lowered its estimate for the California R number substantially to .7. All models in the ensemble  estimate the San Francisco R Number below 1, with an average of .81, while the average California R Number is .72. The ensemble average estimate for San Francisco has been below 1 since Aug. 3 and for California below 1 since Aug. 30.

The overall population percentages have changed, due to the 2020 Census. For the time being, we will continue to use use the figures provided by SFDPH. So far in September,  SF residents between 0-4 account for 3.4 percent of the month’s recorded infections, those 5-10 6.1 perecent, those 11-13 1.9 percent, those 14-17 1.6 percent, those 18-20 2.3 percent, those  21-24 8.4 percent, those 25-29 14.5 percent, those 30-39 22.6 percent, those 40-49 13.9 percent, those 50-59 10.6 percent, those 60-69 8.2 percent, those 70-79 4.2 percent, and  those 80 and above accounted for 2.2 percent of September cases.  

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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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9 Comments

  1. Thanks, Mark, for such consistently good reporting and for putting the data in context. It’s infuriating to see that HHS is spending money on “hospital grants to establish or enhance evidence-informed resilience programs,” instead of demanding that hospitals stop cutting their nursing staff. What makes nurses “resilient” is having decent schedules, enough co-workers, and an end to mandatory overtime because of unsafe short-staffing. What prevents burnout is not hiring more consultants to design “wellness” and “resilience” exercises, but hiring enough nurses.

  2. I hope mission local can link better MDs, IDs & epidemiologists than Vinay Prasad. At minimum, Mission local should do some due diligence to look at his tweets prior quoting him. He has had plenty of problem tweets including the most recent ones claiming hospitals keep ER full for profit and comparing regular covid testing at college campus to Vietnam war.

    1. Rather than attacking someone’s character or alleged past “problem tweets” stick to the point. If, like the reader below, you disagree with the facts or opinion in linked material, then make clear your disagreement. It will be a big help to all of us.

      1. With regarding his “points”: let’s pick the one about college campus testing. college campus is not an isolated island like new zealand, or walled city in GOT that covid can’t get through, even if you achieve certain % vaccination. you have students live off campus. You also have professors live off campus, with family members not working for the campus and possibly with unvaccinated children. the standard CDC strategy is test, trace & isolate. It’s not valid argument to let virus burn simply for “college experience”. Parents & professors will probably sleep much better knowing colleges have a sounded covid strategy. Test/trace/isolate can limit the magnitude of outbreak, disruption to in person learning and preventable tragedy like this.

        https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/20-yo-uncw-student-dies-after-3-week-battle-with-covid/19898074/

        His tweets are public, therefore you can see for yourself and make a judgement.

      2. We should be fighting for worldwide vaccine distribution and mass testing/contact tracing/isolation, instead of giving in to the corporate hucksters and accepting that COVID-19 is unbeatable, like Vinay Prasad appears to be advising.

        1. Agreed, Marc Norton. We should be fighting hard for better vaccine distribution and contact tracing. Dr. Prasad’s comments are troubling and short-sighted.

  3. “DPH reports for the week ending Sept. 22, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in the city was 100”

    According to the chart, it’s 75.86 for the week ending 9/22. I’m guessing you meant 9/19? No biggy

  4. That link from Dr Vinay Prasad seems to imply that there is no difference between getting infected by this virus now or ten years from now. Is he saying there is no expectation that any advancements will be made in treatment for those who catch it? Seems like plenty of doctors are still working on viable treatments, and consistently improving them, so it will be much safer to delay a covid infection as long as possible.

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