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

Along with cool weather, even some rain, infection, hospitalization and positivity rates inched down over the weekend, continuing Delta’s slow declining trend.

The coolest covid news came on Friday when the City rescinded indoor mask requirements for offices, gyms, fitness centers and other venues. Here is a rundown on where masks are still required.

Another day, another booster. An FDA advisory committee has unanimously recommended boosting the Johnson & Johnson “one dose” vaccine for all recipients. Although the data used for the decision was based on a trial of 17 people, some are saying now the regimen should have always been two shots.

Congrats to Puerto Rico, now the most vaccinated place in the U.S. It’s not a wealthy place and not even a state, but apparently there is more trust and less political polarization when it comes to public health on the island.

In Portugal, the most vaccinated country in the world a national health care system that does not serve private profiteering inspires trust and deserves much of the credit.

Trust in public health in the U.S. has been undermined for decades as the health care system became increasingly privatized. Severely crippled, public health in the U.S. has come under serious political attack which is guaranteed to further weaken what systems exist and leave the country even less prepared to respond to future pandemics.

Cool, rainy weather is a boon to an ebbing virus most likely increasing infection numbers. Will it also bring surging hospitalizations? As winter approaches, here and here experts and comentators opine on what we might expect.

Will the winter coincide with the arrival of a new strain of the virus? Lately there’s been a lot of buzz about a Delta offshoot and rising infections in the UK. Here’s a closer look at the new “variant under investigation.”

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. As of Oct. 17, DPH reports more than 80 percent of all San Francisco residents have received one dose, and 75 percent are completely vaccinated. For those over 65, better than 90percent are fully vaccinated. New vaccinations, though low, keep on truckin’. On Oct. 17, the seven-day rolling average of shots per day was 239. For information on where to get vaccinated in and around the Mission, visit our Vaccination Page.

On Oct. 14, DPH reports there were 46 covid hospitalizations, or about 5.3 per 100,000 (based on an 874,000 population).  DPH has not reported breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths since Sept. 17.  According to the CDC, there were 43 new admissions for the week ending Oct. 15  (13.16 percent increase from the previous week). For the week ending Oct. 15, covid patients accounted for 2.72 percent of hospital beds (-.57 percent from the previous week) and 6.38 percent of ICU beds (– 1.12 percent from the previous week).   As of Oct. 12, the CDC says that, of more than 187 million vaccinated U.S. residents, 31,895 patients with a covid vaccine breakthrough infection were hospitalized or died (though 13 percent of deaths  and  15 percent of hospitalizations did not have symptoms of covid, or their hospitalization or death was not covid-related). Note: 85 percent of the deaths and 67 percent of the non-fatal hospitalizations were among those 65 and older.

The latest report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services shows Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with 9 covid patients and 7 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 4 covid patients and 3 ICU beds available. Of 71 reported covid patients, 39 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 74 ICU beds available among reporting hospitals. The California DPH says there are 83 ICU beds available in San Francisco. The SF DPH won’t say.

Between Aug. 14 and Oct. 13, DPH recorded 411 new cases in the Mission for a rate of 70 new cases per 10,000 residents. Over that period, DPH recorded 523 new cases in Bayview Hunters Point or 138 new cases per 10,000 residents. SOMA was the only other neighborhood with new case rates above 100 per 10,000 residents and 9 more neighborhoods have rates over 80 per 10,000 residents, including Chinatown which is a surprise,  

On October 10, the average of daily new cases in the City was 67, or approximately 7.7new cases per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population).  The 7-day average case rate among vaccinated residents was 6.9 per 100,000 fully vaccinated residents  and for unvaccinated residents  11.3 per unvaccinated 100,000 residents.  

In September, White San Franciscans had 1,064 recorded infections, or 37 percent of September cases; Asians 649 or 22.6 percent, Latinxs 554 or 19.3 percent, Blacks 216 or 7.5 percent, Multi-racials 51 or 1.8 percent, Pacific Islanders 35 or 1.2 percent and Native Americans had 9 recorded infections or .3 percent of the month’s cases.

As of Sept. 30, Pacific Islanders had a September testing rate of 525 tests per 1000 residents with a positivity rate of 2.9 percent, Native Americans 337 tests with 2.4 percent positivity, Blacks 254 with 2.2 percent positivity, Whites 170 with 2 percent positivity  Asians 161 with 1.6 percent positivity and Latinxs 148 tests per 1000 residents with a positivity rate of 3.3 percent.  Since Sept. 21, DPH has reported a Citywide 7 day test positivity average of less than 2 percent. Note: a reader asks if I knew whether DPH included at-home rapid tests.  I don’t know, but think it highly doubtful.

Covid-related deaths in San Francisco are always difficult to figure. The death DPH recently added in September was apparently the first October death. The Delta total (August,September and October) remains at 69  and the cumulative covid-related death toll to 645. According to DPH, over half the deaths were among persons over the age of 80 with 87 percent over the age of 60. Less than 3 percent had no known underlying condition. For the time being, DPH has stopped reporting the vaccination status of covid-related deaths.

Covid R Estimation lowered its San Francisco R Number back to .94 and dramatically lowered its current estimate for the California R number to .74.   The ensemble lowered its average for both  San Francisco and California to  .75. No model in the ensemble has estimated transmissibility above 1 since August 2.

In September, 47 infections were recorded among unhoused residents, down from an August total of 122 and 1 new covid-related death.  Nursing homes recorded 0 new cases (down from 19 in August) and 2 new deaths for the month, while in SROs (Single Room Occupancy hotels) DPH recorded 122 new cases (down from 131 in August) and 5 new deaths.

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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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