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

The average number of recorded daily infections in San Francisco fell to where it was last week as hospitalizations rose back to 30. R Number models are mixed and the positivity rate remains at 1.9.

Thought you were fully vaxxed? Not so fast. In authorizing “boosters for all” the FDA has raised questions over who is vaxxed and who is not, as well as about previous studies and understandings on how The Vaccine works.

Prior to the announcement, public health officials reported rising hospitalizations among the vaxxed.

Most of the data for the booster comes from Israel which entered into a “vaccine for data” deal with Pfizer last year. Israeli politicians and Pfizer executives had strong incentives to make the deal that have nothing to do with science. Although much of the deal remains secret, the contract apparently allows Pfizer or Israel to “provide input, make factual corrections” in the data. Previous Pfizer “clinical trials” have been questioned with respect to the data accuracy.

Whatever effect the booster has on your immune system, it’s a cash cow for Pfizer, which raised its price per shot for the booster and sent its stock soaring.

It’s not possible to be a covid tracker without a healthy respect for ambiguity. At this stage, like last year at this time, more seems unknown about how the virus works than is known. None of what I’ve written above should be interpreted to mean other than powerful political and financial incentives can skew the “science.” FYI, I have received all three shots.

For your weekend reading, here are two articles from The Atlantic which deal with the uncertainty theme. The first discusses the virus and the holiday season while the second deals with what might be considered “safe” after you get the booster. The permutations and combinations approach the Proustian.

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 Nov. 18, DPH reports more than 83 percent of all San Francisco residents have received one dose, and 76 percent have received two. For residents 5 and older, DPH reports the figures rise substantially to 87 percent and 80 percent. SFDPH reports that as of Nov 15, 138,485 residents have received the booster including 43 percent of residents 65 and over. For information on where to get vaccinated in and around the Mission, visit our Vaccination Page.

On Nov. 15, DPH reports there were 30 covid hospitalizations, or about 3.4 per 100,000 (based on an 874,000 population). There are no new updates on hospitalizations among what used to be considered “fully vaxxed” residents. There is no new data on vaxxed or boosted hospitalizations. According to the latest from DPH, in the month of September the hospitalization rate for unvaxxed residents was 64.8 per 1000 cases while for vaxxed residents it was 20 per 1000 cases.  The picture when age is factored in provides a more nuanced view. Seniors (over 60) with two shots had higher rates of hospitalization than younger unvaxxed residents. DPH says its data comes from hospitalizations caused by covid, not another medical condition. According to the CDC, for the week ending Nov. 16, there were 15 new covid admissions to SF hospitals (-21.05 percent from the previous seven days). During that week, covid patients accounted for 1.58 percent of SF hospital beds (no change from the prior week) and 4.78 percent of the ICU capacity (no change).

The latest report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services shows Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with 6 covid patients and 6 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 3 covid patients and 3 ICU beds available. Of 37 reported covid patients, 24 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 69 ICU beds available among reporting hospitals (which does not include the Veterans Administration). The California DPH currently reports  62 ICU beds available in San Francisco. SFDPH won’t say.

Note: DPH uses dated population figures for neighborhoods. Between Sept. 15 and Nov. 14, DPH recorded 275 cases in the Mission or a rate of 47 per 10,000 residents. During that period, although Bayview Hunters Point had the most cases (242), the Marina had the highest rate, 68 per 10,000 residents.  Of 38 neighborhoods, 13 have rates over 50 per 10,000.

On Nov. 11, the 7-day average of daily new cases in the City was 69, or approximately 7.9 new cases per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population).  The 7-day average case rate among vaccinated (not boosted) residents was 7.4 per 100,000 vaccinated (not boosted) residents  and for unvaccinated residents,  11.3 per 100,000 unvaccinated residents.

DPH reports that as of Nov. 15, 31 percent of White residents over 65 have received the booster, 26 percent of Asians, 23 percent of Blacks, 20 percent of Latinx, 18 percent of Native Americans and 17 percent of Pacific Islanders over 65 have recieved the booster.

The Citywide 7-day average posititivity rate stayed at 1.9 percent. For the month of October, Pacific Islanders had a testing rate of 436 per 1000 residents, Native Americans 328, Blacks 219, Whites 141, and Asians had a testing rate of 134 per 1000 residents.

DPH has reported San Francisco’s another October and another November covid-related death, bringing the Delta total (August through November) to 93  and the cumulative covid-related death toll to 670. Last spring’s surge resulted in approximately 90 covid-related deaths recorded between August and October.  As of Sept. 30, DPH reports 16 covid-related deaths among “fully vaccinated” residents. Of those San Franciscans who died covid-related deaths, 3 percent had no underlying conditons.

Covid R Estimation currently estimates the San Francisco R Number at 1.02.  For the California R Number, the estimate is .99. The ensemble lowered its average for the  San Francisco R Number to .8.  All but one model in the ensemble currently show the City below 1. The average California R Number has been raised to .91 with all but one model showing the state below 1. 

As of Nov. 14, DPH reports 0 November cases and 0 covid-related deaths in Nursing Homes. In Single Room Occupancy hotels (SROs), DPH reports 12 November cases and 0 covid-related 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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