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

Numbers are not falling as fast as we would like, but they are going down (which is better than going up). We are not yet at the levels we were at last October, before the winter surge.

As reported in the Chron, the usual suspects (aka “the experts”) now pretty much agree that for the foreseeable future, covid will continue to circulate in the community, although at lower levels, thanks to The Vaccine, and is unlikely to cramp our for-profit hospitals.

SF docs are not the only cautious ebullient experts these days. Ashish K. Jha gives a fairly upbeat view, although he notes that, last year, cases increased 100 percent between September and October. In SF during that time, cases declined approximately 60 percent. This fall, cases and hospitalizations have dropped about 55 percent during the same period

If endemicity works out as predicted, this should benefit those without covid who have been crowded out from care since the pandemic began.

The booster debate may have been a debacle for the nation’s prominent public health institutions, but others could not be more pleased. “The companies got what they wanted,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the F.D.A.’s vaccine advisory committee. Which is not to say, especially with the holidays approaching, that the elderly and immunocompromised should forego the booster.

Good news may be in short supply these days, but not for billionaires. Since the pandemic began, the combined wealth of the country’s billionaires rose by 70 percent. Some, like celebrity billionaire Elon Musk, did a lot (a lot) better. Although Ayn Rand and acolytes equate shameless greed with hard work, risk-taking and innovation, etc. it looks like the billionaire class got more than a little help from their friends at the Fed.

Speaking of innovation, where would Big Pharma be without its penchant for boundless blackmail? Corporations like Pfizer didn’t rest with the benefit they received from public funds. Not only did they withhold technology to restrict global vaccination, they also used their monopoly power to extract concessions from desperate governments.

Are prisons covid incubators? Check out these photos from New York City’s Rikers Island.

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. 24, DPH reports more than 80 percent of all San Francisco residents have received one dose, and 76 percent are completely vaccinated. For those over 12, better than 89 percent have received one dose and 84 percent are fully vaccinated. New vaccinations, though low, keep on truckin’. On Oct. 24, the seven-day rolling average of shots per day was 223. For information on where to get vaccinated in and around the Mission, visit our Vaccination Page.

On Oct. 21, DPH reports there were 45 covid hospitalizations, or about 5.1 per 100,000 (based on an 874,000 population). Only 10 of those were in ICU. DPH has not reported breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths since Sept. 17.  According to the CDC, there were 38 new admissions for the seven days ending Oct. 22  (-11.63 percent from the previous seven days). For the week ending Oct. 22, covid patients accounted for 2.58 percent of hospital beds (no change from the previous week) and 5.01 percent of ICU beds (-1.38 percent from the previous week).   As of Oct. 18, the CDC says that, of more than 189 million vaccinated U.S. residents, 41,127 patients with a covid vaccine breakthrough infection were hospitalized or died (though 26 percent were either aymptomatic or not covid related). Note: 85 percent of the deaths and 66 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 on October 23, there were  56 ICU beds available in San Francisco. SFDPH won’t say.

Note: DPH uses dated population figures for neighborhoods. Between Aug. 21 and Oct. 20, DPH recorded 334 new cases in the Mission for a rate of 57 new cases per 10,000 residents. Over that period, DPH recorded 407 new cases in Bayview Hunters Point or 107 new cases per 10,000 residents, the only neighborhood with a rate in excess of 100 per 10,000 residents. SOMA, Chinatowna and Tenderloin have rates over 80 per 10,000 residents and another 22 neighborhoods have rates over  50 per 10,000.

On October 17, the 7-day average of daily new cases in the City was 50, or approximately 5.7 new cases per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population).  The 7-day average case rate among vaccinated residents was 5.1 per 100,000 fully vaccinated residents  and for unvaccinated residents  8.5 per unvaccinated 100,000 residents.  

As of October 20, White San Franciscans had 464 recorded October infections, or 39.9 percent of October cases; Asians 254 or 21.8 percent, Latinxs 204 or 17.5 percent, Blacks 78or 6.7 percent, Multi-racials 28 or 2.4 percent, Pacific Islanders 10 or .9 percent and Native Americans had 2 recorded infections or .2 percent of the month’s cases so far.

Between August 21 and October 20, the Mission had a positivity rate of 2 percent. During that time Chinatown had the City’s highest positivity rate at 4.2 percent, Baview Hunters Point 2.8 percent, Castro 1.8 percent, and Glen Park had the City’s lowest rate with 1.1 percent. Chinatown, which did relatively well during 2020, has been hard hit by Delta. 

Covid-related deaths in San Francisco have always been among the most ambiguous numbers. It’s even worse now as the City no longer provides a definition of what constitutes a covid (or covid-related) death. Four new deaths have been recorded in October  bringing the Delta total so far  (August – October) to 74  and the cumulative covid-related death toll to 650. September and October numbers should be considered “less reliable” meaning updates are likely. For over a month, DPH has “temporarily paused” reporting the vaccination status of covid-related deaths.

Covid R Estimation kept its San Francisco R Number at .90 and revised its  estimate for the California R number back down to .79.   The ensemble slightly lowered its average for the  San Francisco R number to 76 and its California R Number average to  .84

As of October 20, San Franciscans 0-4 years of age have recorded 34 new cases for 2.9 percent of new cases this month; 5-10: 73 new cases, 6.3 percent, 11-13: 24 new cases, 2.1 percent, 14-17: 20 new cases, 1.7 percent, 18-20:12 new cases, 1 percent, 21-24: 58 new cases, 5 percent, 25-29: 165 new cases 14.2 percent, 30-39: 292 new cases, 25.1 percent, 40-49: 160 new cases, 13.8 percent, 50-59: 141 new cases, 12.1 percent, 60-69: 109 new cases, 9.4 percent, 70-79: 51 new cases, 4.4 percent, 80 +: 24 new cases or 2.1 percent of the month’s cases so far.

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Mark Rabine has lived in the Mission for over 40 years. "What a long strange trip it's been." He has maintained our Covid tracker through most of the pandemic, taking some breaks with his search for the Mission's best fried-chicken sandwich and now its best noodles. When the Warriors make the playoffs, he writes up his take on the games.

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  1. Thanks as always. A question if you please. You write, “DPH has not reported breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths since Sept. 17.” Is that because DPH simply stopped reporting that data as of that date, or that DPH has not reported such data because there have not been any breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths since that date. Thanks.

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  2. Appreciate the breadth of overview and the links. Keep it up. Predictions have been wrong so many times, I think we need to wait until after the holidays to say we are out of the woods: kids. elderly and high risk folks may bump the contagion and subsequent hospitalization and death rate of high risk folks given the social pressure to gather. On the other hand one can’t be too judgemental of folks that need to reduce their sense of isolation. Hope to see more research on the benefits (or lack thereof) of vaccination and boosters on elderly and high risk. That will clarify for those folks, and their families and friends, how careful to be. Links to findings about this appreciated.

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