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

Reporting over the weekend, a little sketchy, indicates infections may be reaching a plateau in the City. But hospitalizations, which lag, are still on the rise, and all indications are that the virus remains plenty prevalent.

San Francisco’s Department of Publlic Health continues to maintain that the California Department of Public Health is experiencing “issues with their disease-reporting system. As a result, locally reported daily and total COVID case counts are currently an underestimate.” The California Department of Public Health (which appears not to have published today) has said nothing of these “issues” but, given asymptomatic, untested and rapid-tested individuals, the infection numbers are undoubtedly underestimates.

Here’s the latest on the situation at University of California, San Francisco, hospitals, which care for most covid patients in SF.

The Vaccine, two or three doses, seems to be working in keeping people out of the hospital, or at least out of the ICU. We have to rely on other cities and counties for data, as DPH has maintained its resolute silence on the issue.

One FDA vaccine advisor suggests there’s still too much focus on the booster.

Always looking out for the interests of their patrons, the U.S. Supreme Court has been criticized after blocking Biden’s vaccine mandate for Big Biz. But in doing so, they may have “opened the door for a more comprehensive rule that will better protect the nation’s workers, and it is one that OSHA should have issued months ago,” had the Biden Administration not been so focused on vaccinating our way out of the pandemic.

With loose talk of “endemicity” and “inevitability” about as prevalent these days as omicron, some think, “WTF, why not get infected and be done with it?” Here are some reasons why that may not be such a good idea.

And here’s a piece which may rile up some of my doctor friends. Proposing a novel idea, the author says, “to heal the country and put our Covid-19 response on the right track,” we may have to start thinking less like doctors.

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 Jan. 16, DPH reports 774,405 residents, more than 89 percent of all San Francisco residents have received one dose, and over 82 percent have received two. For residents 5 and older, DPH reports the figures rise above 90 percent and above 85 percent and over 90 percent of those 65 and older have received two doses. SFDPH reports that as of Jan. 16, approximately 433,590 residents (61 percent of all residents) have received a COVID-19 booster dose.

For information on where to get vaccinated in and around the Mission, visit our Vaccination Page.

Hospitalizations are beginning to approach last winter’s all-time high. On Jan. 13, DPH reports there were 229 covid hospitalizations, or about 26.2 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population). The California Department of Public Health currently reports 228 covid patients in SF hospitals with 41 in ICU. We’ve heard a lot about hospitals potentially getting overwhelmed, but nothing about a Plan B if this happens.

The latest report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services shows Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with 25 covid patients and 6 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 15 covid patients and 4 ICU beds available. Of 112 reported covid patients, 65 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 76 ICU beds available among reporting hospitals (which does not include the Veterans Administration). The California DPH currently reports 67 ICU beds available in San Francisco.

Note: DPH uses dated population figures for neighborhoods. Between Nov. 13 and Jan. 12, DPH recorded 2001 infections among Mission residents (highest in the City) or 340 infections per 10,000 residents. Sunset/Parkside,Bayview Hunters Point, Tenderloin, Excelsior, West of Twin Peaks and Outer Richmond also report over 1000 infections. Bayview Hunters Point has the highest rate, with 486 infections per 10,000 residents, while Chinatown had the lowest rate at 173 per 1000 residents. Of 38 neighborhoods, 21 have rates at or over 300 per 10,000 residents.

We may be seeing a plateauing of infections, though unclear given reports of underestimates. On Jan. 9, the 7-day average of daily new infections recorded in the City was 1633 or approximately 186.6 new infections per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population). According to DPH, the 7-day average infection rate among vaccinated residents was 169.5 per 100,000 vaccinated residents and for unvaccinated residents, 342.7 per 100,000 unvaccinated residents.

Cumulative infection rates among racial and ethnic groups (based on the group’s population) as of Jan. 9, show Pacific Islanders with a rate of 3,425 per 10,000 Pacific Islander residents, Latinxs 1,848, Native American 1,554, Blacks 1,368, Whites 670, and Asians 559 infections per 10,000 Asian residents.

Between Nov. 13 and Jan 12, Mission residents took a total of 28,116 recorded tests, a rate of 478 per 1000 residents. Sunset/Parkside residents took 35,511 tests the most tests taken in the City. Mission Bay had the highest test taking rate at 799 per 1000 residents, while Chinatown had the lowest rate at 253 per 1000 residents.

Two more covid-related deaths were reported in January. Of 696 deaths, 21 are reported to have been without any underlying conditions, 442 with one or more, and in 233 cases, the presence or absence of underlying conditons is unknown.

Covid R Estimation lowered its San Francisco R Number estimate to 1.75 while lowering its estimate of the California R Number to 1.45. The ensemble lowered both its San Francisco and California estimates to 1.09. Two models in the ensemble estimate San Francisco and one model estimate California under 1.

According to DPH, covid infections are a “small percentage of total cases in San Francisco.” For the week ending Jan. 9, of 815 new reported infections, 69, or 8 percent, were 0-4 years of age, 79, or 10 percent, were 5-11, 53, or 7 percent, were 12-17, and 614 or 75 percent were 18 years of age and above.

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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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