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

Latest reports from San Francisco’s Department of Public Health show a drop in recorded infections and citywide positivity rates. Hospitalizations continue to climb as R Number models generally show falling transmission rates.

Though DPH maintains that a glitch in the statewide reporting system has not been resolved, over the past two days it revised its earlier numbers upward, so today’s figures, rather than a sharp rise from what was reported Monday, represent a sharp drop. As we know, numbers are relative things.

Many local and national experts believe that omicron may be the virus’ last stand, and that after the omicron surge, “the task will be to convince folks” covid will be like the flu. Instead of celebrating a beautiful, but highly uncertain future, why not use their prestige to take on the task of convincing local, state and national officials to improve our dysfunctional and distrusted public health infrastructure? Or, why not convince hospitals to hire more healthcare workers and expand hospital resources so we don’t have to fear “overwhelmed” hospitals when the next variant or pandemic arrives?

BTW, even the super-rich know the next variant is right around the corner.

President Joe Biden says he supports waiving patent rules that hinder global vaccination efforts, but his administration has done nothing to make that happen. Worse, the feds don’t even back a vaccine that has been developed without a patent (yes, it’s possible!!).

Vaccine inequality is not only a global problem. Recent U.S. data shows a big vaccination disparity (i.e. inequality) between low-income and high-income groups.

Speaking of drugs, though you probably can’t find it, be careful when using the new Pfizer anti-viral drug.

You’ve undoubtedly read about, and probably already asked for, the free rapid tests provided by the federal government. As we wait for the tests to show up, here’s a good primer on how, and when to use them.

Testing around the country, especially free testing, remains a serious problem. Recently, both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris told people all they had to do was “Google ‘COVID test near me’. Someone did just that, and this is what he found.

Note: Thanks to the efforts of healthcare workers and local activists, the Mission has a free testing site at 24th and Mission streets.

The Biden Administration is also sending out free high-quality masks. How about developing, manufacturing and providing high quality masks that can be washed and reused?

Finally, some good vibes for pot smokers/eaters. It’s no miracle drug, but recent laboratory study showed cannabis compounds prevented the SARS-CoV-2 virus from penetrating healthy human cells. Hopefully, unlike many pot-inspired revelations, this will not go up in smoke.

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. 18, DPH reports 775,187 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 while for those 65 and older over 90 percent have received two doses. SFDPH reports that as of Jan. 18, approximately 437,750 SF residents ( over 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.

On Jan. 15, DPH reports there were 240 covid hospitalizations, or about 27.4 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population) and 44 patients in ICU. Today, the California Department of Public Health reports 262 covid patients in SF hospitals with 37 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 35 covid patients and 5 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 19 covid patients and 5 ICU beds available. Of 200 reported covid patients, 88 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 65 ICU beds available among reporting hospitals (which does not include the Veterans Administration). The California DPH currently reports 87 ICU beds available in San Francisco.

Note: DPH uses dated population figures for neighborhoods. Between Nov. 15 and Jan. 14, DPH recorded 2795 infections among Mission residents (highest in the City) or 476 infections per 10,000 residents. Sunset/Parkside,Bayview Hunters Point, Tenderloin, Excelsior, West of Twin Peaks, Bernal Heights, Oceanview, Marina, Outer Mission, Visitacion Valley, SOMA, Hayes Valley, Inner Sunset, and Outer Richmond also report over 1000 infections. Bayview Hunters Point has the highest rate, with 743 infections per 10,000 residents, and Mission Bay had a rate of 612 per 10,000 residents. All other neighborhoods had rates below 525 per 10,000 residents. Chinatown had the lowest rate at 221 per 1000 residents, and Seacliff had the lowest number, 63.

Again, DPH has revised its numbers. The number here represents the lowest since Jan, 5. On Jan. 11, the 7-day average of daily new infections recorded in the City was 1797 or approximately 205.3 new infections per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population). Revised numbers show the peak at 2155 recorded on Jan. 9. According to DPH, the 7-day average infection rate among vaccinated residents on Jan. 11 was 185 per 100,000 vaccinated residents and for unvaccinated residents, 387 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.

On Jan. 11, DPH reports a Citywide 7-day average test positivity rate of 18.4 percent. It is the lowest since January 4. Revised numbers show the peak at 19.5 percent on Jan. 9.

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 1.44 while estimating the California R Number to 1.47. The ensemble lowered both its San Francisco and California average estimates to below 1 (.56 and .96 respectively). Both are heavily influenced by one model. Only one other model shows both SF and California below one.

As of Jan. 18, DPH reports 69 percent of White San Franciscans have received a booster, Asians 67 percent, Blacks 47 percent, Latinxs 46 percent, Native Americans 46 percent, and 42 percent of San Franciscan Pacific Islanders have received a booster. In addition, 80 percent of San Franciscans 65 and older have received a booster.

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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. It’s interesting that while Asians are a group that is mostly vaccinated and are not getting infected as other groups, they’re the ones mostly dying of Covid-19.

  2. Despite a drop in cases on 1/18 and 1/19, the new case count, as reported by the New York Times, on 1/17 was 6,135. So it’s a little soon to talk about a drop in cases. They also report that we have now reached 103,376 total cases and that 1 in 9 people in the City have been infected. I think it’s important to get these numbers out there so people stay very vigilant and take all the requisite precautions to stay safe.

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