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

Case numbers have taken a dive as hospitalizations remain in the low 20s, but the positivity rate is ticking upward and the R Number estimates are rising.

In case you haven’t noticed, since last year, the virus appears to have shifted its base of operations in the City from the most disadvantaged to more wealthy neighborhoods. We now are seeing a significant change in who is getting infected and where (see below). I have yet to read an analysis of this trend, but it is likely due to the outstanding work of the Latino Task Force and other community groups in collaboration with UCSF, as well as this year’s welcome shift in Department of Health priorities.

A lot of news on the omicron variant, which isn’t much news. Most of what’s known (and it isn’t much) is summed up in the recent UCSF Grand Rounds. And, unlike some, SF public health officials are not panicking. Omicron is not the first variant, and it won’t be the last.

At least covid is teaching us the Greek alphabet.

Numbers are of little use without interpretation. As you hunker down for another wave of preprints, here’s a way to interpret the data as it emerges.

The booster uptake has been slow, but with the emergence of omicron, officials at all levels in all regions are taking the opportunity to boost the booster. And it’s working. Unfortunately, a little too well, as boosters are now difficult to access in SF.

A chief aspect of Biden’s plan (besides the “apartheid” travel ban) is to make rapid testing more available. A good idea, but requiring out-of-pocket reimbursement by private insurance companies makes little or no sense. Hard to believe the Biden Bunch doesn’t understand that private insurance is where good ideas go to die.

But of course, public health is little understood in the “land of the free,” and has not been much of a priority in the U.S. for more than a century. This article explains the difference between public health and clinical health, and rapid testing is Exhibit A.

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 Dec. 2, DPH reports more than 85 percent of all San Francisco residents have received one dose, and 78 percent have received two. For residents 5 and older, DPH reports the figures rise to 89 percent and 82 percent. SFDPH reports that as of Nov 29, approximately 201,871 residents have received a COVID-19 booster dose including 53 percent of residents 65 and over. For information on where to get vaccinated in and around the Mission, visit our Vaccination Page.

On Nov. 29, DPH reports there were 21 covid hospitalizations, or about 2.4 per 100,000 (based on an 874,000 population). Hospitalizations have not exceeded 30 since Nov. 15. DPH has released no information on hospitalizations among what used to be considered “fully vaxxed” for two months. Not a good look, and it’s hard to believe DPH doesn’t get that lack of transparency undermines their case for vaccination.For September data see the latest from DPH.

The latest report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services shows Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with 4 covid patients and 6 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 4 covid patients and 2 ICU beds available. Of 30 reported covid patients, 19 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 67 ICU beds available among reporting hospitals (which does not include the Veterans Administration). The California DPH currently reports  78 ICU beds available in San Francisco. SFDPH won’t say.

Note: DPH uses dated population figures for neighborhoods. Between Sept. 29 and Nov. 28, DPH recorded 255 cases in the Mission or a rate of 43 per 10,000 residents. During that period, although Bayview Hunters Point had the most cases (186), it’s rate of 49 per 10,000 residents was outpaced by the Marina, Mission Bay, FiDi/South Beach, Hayes Valley, Tenderloin, Presidio Heights (?!), Twin Peaks and Potrero Hill. The Marina leads with a rate of 67 per 10,000 residents.

On Nov. 25, the 7-day average of daily new cases in the City fell to 45, or approximately 5.1 new cases per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population), the first time under 50 since July 7. This may be an artifact of Thanksgiving reporting, or lack thereof.  The 7-day average case rate among vaccinated (not boosted) residents was 4.2 per 100,000 vaccinated residents and for unvaccinated residents,  10.2 per 100,000 unvaccinated residents.

As of Nov.26, DPH reports Whites have recorded 716 infections this month, 45 percent of the total; Asians 314 infections, 19.7 percent, Latinxs 232 infections, 14.6 percent, Blacks 83 infections, 5.2 percent, Multi-racial residents 33 infections, 2.1 percent, Pacific Islanders 13 infections, .8 percent and Native Americans recorded 9 infections so far this month, .6 percent of the total.

As of Nov. 28, the Mission recorded a positivity rate of 1.7 percent over the past two months. Seven neighbohoods, including Seacliff (!!) had rates exceeding 2 percent with the Marina recording 3 percent. Only Japantown had less than 1 percent

Two more deaths have been added to November, bringing the Delta total (August through November) so far to 98 and the cumulative covid-related death toll stands at 675. DPH has not updated deaths among those “fully vaxxed” since September. Of those San Franciscans who died of covid-related deaths, approximately 3 percent had no underlying conditions.

Covid R Estimation keeps its San Francisco R Number over 1 at 1.16, more or less the same as its California R Number estimate. The ensemble estimates a rising R Number, raising its average for the  San Francisco R Number to .82.  Two models in the ensemble currently show the City above 1. The average California R Number rose to .9 with three models showing the state at or above 1. 

Cases among children in SF remain relatively low. The most recent data from DPH shows 10.6 percent of covid positive cases were among children under 18, with “fewer than five” currently hospitlized. Although the time frame is ambiguous, DPH reports 776 total cases among 89,500 students and staff in private (221) and public (555) schools. DPH reports a “cumulative” total of 48 suspected in-school transmissons, and a “cumulative” total of 12 outbreaks.

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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 again for your great reporting, Mark. I love getting to see any percentages for the boosted– it’s great to see one for the over-65s. Any chance that booster percentages could also be included for the under-65s?

  2. What’s the deal with ICU beds at Children’s Hospital?

    None available, but 0% occupancy? Does that mean that Children’s Hospital has no ICU beds at all? What is actually the case?