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

The number of covid patients in local hospital intensive care units has fallen to its lowest level (with a couple exceptions) since July 15. Otherwise, the numbers continue to slowly slide downward.

If the pandemic becomes endemic, without clearly formulated and stated deadlines, or metrics, “temporary” emergency measures, such as masks in schools could become a permanent fixture.

Unintended consequences from “temporarily” closing public schools, and other restrictions, has provoked what the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and Children’s Hospital Association call a “national emergency in children’s mental health”.

Will we see a drop in covid hospitalizations now that insurance waivers for covid patients come to an end?

There seems little doubt (and little data) that the experimental Merck pill for treating covid will be soon approved. In preparation, the Gates Foundation announced it will provide $120 million to low income countries to prepare for production of licensed generic versions of the pill. While helpful, critics note the major cause of global covid inequality is the refusal of Big Pharma to share its vaccine technology.

Pope Francis has called on Big Pharma to share it’s vaccine technology, calling it “gesture of humanity”. Such gestures have historically not produced short term profits.

Excess mortality calculations are another way to measure pandemic inequality.

Should those who acquired a ‘natural immunity” to the virus by infection be subject to vaccine mandates? It’s not so much a scientific problem as a political problem.

Clinical trials are often sold to patients as a way to access potential treatment. But the purpose of these trials, usually bankrolled by financial interestes, is not to treat individuals but to provide generalized knowledge. Among the ethical questions raised are who bankrolls science, who controls the data from the trials, and what responsibility do researchers, hospitals and companies have to the patients?

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. 19, 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 90 percent are fully vaccinated. New vaccinations, though low, keep on truckin’. On Oct. 19, the seven-day rolling average of shots per day was 196. For information on where to get vaccinated in and around the Mission, visit our Vaccination Page.

On Oct. 16, DPH reports there were 45 covid hospitalizations, or about 5.1 per 100,000 (based on an 874,000 population).  Of those, 14 are reported in ICU.  Throughout much of September and  October, the number had fluctuated in the 20s. DPH has not reported breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths since Sept. 17.  According to the CDC, there were 43 new admissions for the seven days ending Oct. 17  (19.44 percent increase from the previous seven days). For the week ending Oct. 17, covid patients accounted for 2 percent of hospital beds (-.56 percent from the previous week) and 6.01 percent of ICU beds (-.63 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 6 covid patients and 7 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 5 covid patients and 5 ICU beds available. Of 59 reported covid patients, 30 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 76 ICU beds available among reporting hospitals. The California DPH says there are 98 ICU beds available in San Francisco. The SF DPH won’t say.

Between Aug. 16 and Oct. 15, DPH recorded 403 new cases in the Mission for a rate of 69 new cases per 10,000 residents. Over that period, DPH recorded 511 new cases in Bayview Hunters Point or 135 new cases per 10,000 residents. SOMA was the only other neighborhood with new case rates above 100 per 10,000 residents and 8 more neighborhoods have rates over 80 per 10,000 residents, including Chinatown, an unusually high number of reported cases in that neighborhood.  

On October 12, the average of daily new cases in the City was 62, or approximately 7.1 new cases per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population).  The 7-day average case rate among vaccinated residents was 6.4 per 100,000 fully vaccinated residents  and for unvaccinated residents  10.4 per unvaccinated 100,000 residents.  

So far in October, White San Franciscans had 365 recorded infections, or 38.5 percent of October cases; Asians 230 or 24.3 percent, Latinxs 158 or 16.7 percent, Blacks 63 or 6.7 percent, Multi-racials 20 or 2.1 percent, Pacific Islanders 9 or 1 percent and Native Americans had 0 recorded infections or 0 percent of the month’s cases.

So far in October, Pacific Islanders have a 2.6 percent positivity rate, Latinxs 1.8 percent, Whites 1.6 percent, Blacks 1.6 percent, Multi-racials 1.5 percent, and Asians 1.3 percent. Note: Above, DPH reported 0 October cases among Native Americans. Here DPH reports 14 October cases among Native Americans with a positivity rate of 4.7 percent

Covid-related deaths in San Francisco are always difficult to figure. Another death in October was added bringing the Delta total so far  (August – October) to 70  and the cumulative covid-related death toll to 646. September and October numbers should be considered “less reliable” meaning updates are likely. For the time being, DPH has stopped reporting the vaccination status of covid-related deaths.

Covid R Estimation lowered its San Francisco R Number to .92 and dramatically revised its  estimate for the California R number back up to .97.   The ensemble lowered its average for the  San Francisco R number to 72 and raised its California R Number average to  .84. No model in the ensemble has estimated San Francisco transmissibility above 1 since August 2 and two currently show SF below .7.

So far in October, San Franciscans 0-4 years of age have recorded 26 new cases for 2.7 percent of new cases this month; 5-10: 61 new cases, 6.4 percent, 11-13: 20 new cases, 2.1 percent, 14-17: 17 new cases, 1.8 percent, 18-20:10 new cases, 1.1 percent, 21-24: 52 new cases, 5.5 percent, 24-29: 134 new cases 14.1 percent, 30-39: 229 new cases, 24.2 percent, 40-49: 123 new cases, 13 percent, 50-59: 127 new cases, 13.4 percent, 60-69: 86 new cases, 9.1 percent, 70-79: 44 new cases, 4.6 percent, 80 +: 18 new cases 1.9 percent.

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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 Comment

  1. Gates money would be better spent on getting vaccines into the arms of poor people around the world, rather than on the Merck pill. An ounce of prevention, as the saying goes, is worth a pound of care.

    Think about it. Poor folks in low income countries who don’t have access to the vaccine are not likely to get access to the Merck pill when they get sick. The Merck pill will mostly get used mostly by better-off people in these low-income countries who choose not to get vaccinated or who get breakthrough infections. This will simultaneously aggravate the existing inequalities in medical care, and serve as a palliative for those in the belly of the beast who want to believe that people in poor countries are being taken care of.

    Investment decisions about medical care belongs in the hands of science, not in the hands of a few rich people like Gates.

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