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

Except for the R Number models (which increased modestly), local numbers maintain a slow, halting, slog downward.

Vaccine mandates are all the rage. In some reports, they have worked to increase vaccination, but what if healthcare workers still refuse to get vaccinated? We’re about to find out, as Joe Eskenazi reports on potential staffing issues at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

When discussing the political dimension of the pandemic, the current polarization often masks structural problems rooted in a longer, more complex history. Instead of Donald Trump, think Margaret Thatcher (“there is no such thing as society”), Ronald Reagan and our own Dianne Feinstein.

It took popular protest (unpopular at the time) to convice the Feinstein regime to respond meaningfully to the HIV-AIDS crisis. Is that what it’s going to take to make The Vaccine really go global?

Some readers disagree with my disparagement of our privatized health care system, but when a covid test can cost more than a Tesla, what are we supposed to think?

It’s not only private hospitals and Big Pharma cashing in on the covid crisis. For some, misinformation means more money.

Are rapid antigen tests useful for detecting the virus? Remember last year when the Latino Task Force and UCSF used rapid antigen tests at the 16th Street BART plaza? Here’s what they found out.

The debate on student masking continues (no surprise), but can’t we all agree that if mask mandates are going to continue inside restaurants and events, shouldn’t we upgrade what we wear?

Another study out of Britain shows that The Vaccine reduces the spread of the virus (even Delta).

Finally, UCSF doctor Monica Gandhi writes that an endemic covid means a manageable, and somewhat normal, future.

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. 30, DPH still reports more than 88 percent of San Francisco residents over 12 have received one dose, and 82 percent are completely vaccinated. Despite Delta and mandates, on Sept. 30, the seven-day rolling average of shots per day fell to 191. For information on where to get vaccinated in and around the Mission, visit our Vaccination Page.

On Sept. 27, DPH reports there were 61 covid hospitalizations, or about 7 per 100,000 (based on an 874,000 population). For the past 12 reported dates, the ICU population has fluctuated between 20 and 26. 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 49 new admissions for the week ending Sept. 28  (up 4.62 percent from the previous week). For the week ending Sept. 28, covid patients accounted for 3.48 percent of hospital beds (no change from the previous week) and 8.22percent of ICU beds (no change from the previous week). As of Sept. 20, the CDC says that, of more than 181 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 11 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 5 covid patients and 3 ICU beds available. Of 71 reported covid patients, 40 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 66 ICU beds available throughout the City. 

As of Sept. 27, an estimated 82 percent of Mission residents had been vaccinated. With an estimated 96 percent of the population vaccinated, FiDi/South Beach leads the pack, while Lakeshore continues to trail with 45 percent. In Bayview Hunters Point, an estimated 91 percent of the population has been vaccinated with most of the DPH effort focused on the neighborhood.

DPH reports for the week ending Sept. 23, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in the city dropped to 85, or approximately 9.7 new cases per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population).  According to the latest from DPH on Sept. 23 the 7-day average case rate among vaccinated residents was 8.3 per 100,000 fully vaccinated residents  and for unvaccinated residents  15.8 per unvaccinated 100,000 residents.  

DPH estimates approximately 90 percent of San Francisco’s Pacific Islander and Native American populations,  82 percent of Latinxs, 80 percent of Asians, 69 percent of Blacks and 68 percent of Whites have received at least one dose of The Vaccine, DPH does not calculate Multi-racials or others.

So far in  September, DPH reports Latinx residents have a 3.4 percent positivity rate, Pacific Islanders 3.2 percent, Native Americans 2.9 percent, Blacks 2.4 percent, Whites 2.0 percent, Asians 1.6 percent, and Multi-racials 1.3 percent. How these rates relate to the overall average, I can’t say. I will ask DPH and report what I find out (if anything). 

Covid-related deaths in San Francisco are always difficult to figure. DPH added 6 more deaths in September, for a monthly total of 25 so far, bringing the cumulative covid-related death toll to 636. According to DPH, over half of deaths were among persons over the age of 80 and nearly all are over the age of 60. DPH says there are now 11 deaths of fully vaccinated San Franciscans “that are due to complications from COVID-19.”

Covid R Estimation puts the most recent San Francisco R Number at .87 and kept its estimate for the California R number at .91. The ensemble  raised its average  San Francisco and California R Numbers from .72 to .8 and .78 respectively. All models in the ensemble continue to show the local and state rates of transmission below 1.

So far in September, DPH reports 0 new cases and 2 new deaths in Skilled Nursing Facilities, while reporting 100 new cases and 2 new deaths in Single Resident Occupancy hotels (SROs).  Among unhoused residents, DPH reports 36 new cases so far this month. The cumulative covid-related death toll among the unhoused stands at 7.

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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. I go to SFGH and they say put on a mask. But I have a mask on. No, they say you have to wear this flimsy blue surgical mask that allows air to rush in and out when you breath making it completely useless. Do they want to contain this virus or not? It seems like the hospital is the most dangerous place in the city to be in regard to virus contagion.

  2. Dr. Monica Ghandi cheers the idea of COVID-19 becoming “endemic.” That would certainly make Big Pharma happy too, offering them the opportunity to continue to sell their wares into the foreseeable future.

    Ghandi says that COVID-19 is “unlikely to be eliminated because of the pathogen’s inherent properties.” No. It is unlikely to be eliminated because of the criminal neglect of public health systems throughout the capitalist world.

    But, she says, “outbreaks of severe disease will occur among populations unwilling to be vaccinated.” She does not seem to take notice of the billions of people on the planet who are not being offered vaccinations.

    This is what Ghandi calls a “return to normal.”

    1. She was also the one who called variants “scarients.”

      Her comment was right before Delta hit.

    2. Almost no country has managed to eliminate COVID, and those that have managed to stay (mostly) COVID free (like Australia and NZ) had to do so through draconian border measures that are untenable in the long run. It is ridiculous to suggest that eliminating COVID is still a viable strategy anywhere in the world.

  3. Unlike LAUSD, SFUSD is not doing surveillance testing, and has not mandated vaccination.

    Local private schools doing surveillance testing are constantly finding asymptomatic cases, particularly in < 12 students, who often do not present, but are infectious. They are also cannot yet be vaccinated.

    In the absence of testing, asymptomatic cases are going unreported, rendering the districts much-ballyhooed "low numbers" something akin to fanfic. They are engaged in a game of "see-no-evil", driven not least by local political back-pressure under which knowing what was actually happening would be detrimental.

    Not least because the district planned for the current school year pre-Delta, and being what it is, is literally incapable of pivoting to support a changed situation in which remote learning must be an option and must be supported.

    This has every possibility of travesty driving unnecessary tragedy.

    How many vulnerable family and community members have been infected thanks to silent outbreaks in SFUSD schools…?

    No one knows; and they do not want to know; because that would require effort, on both ends.

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