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

Hospitalizations continue to rise, but at a slower pace while infections and positivity rates, though headed down, remain extremely elevated and most R Number models show a lot of virus still speading in the City.

No sooner had San Francisco’s Department of Public Health revised its figures to show a decline in case numbers than it released a press release claiming “San Francisco can successfully manage the virus” without shutting everything down. Let’s hope that’s true. The DPH goal is “to prevent the worst outcomes of the disease, such as hospitalizations and deaths, and to do this while keeping essential services open, like schools and hospitals.”

Community transmission is still extremely high, and from an individual risk standpoint, nothing much has changed, as a lot of covid continues to circulate.

Covid has been very tricky and no one really knows when the next variant will come, where from or what it will bring. Comparing it to the flu at this point might be premature.

In any case, as former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden says, the challenge for 2022 will be to “greatly” improve public health preparedness.

From the data released, it seems SF has improved the nursing home scene, which is far from true elsewhere in the U.S.

If the UK is an indicator, most community restrictions, including masks, will soon be lifted.

The pandemic has graphically shown the inequality of our healthcare system. Remember the treatment Trump got when he went to the hospital? It isn’t available for all.

Finally, The Onion has a report on what we may expect next from the CDC. Hey, maybe it will help decipher recent isolation guidance.

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. 20, DPH reports 776,078 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 86 percent while for those 65 and older over 90 percent have received two doses. SFDPH reports that as of Jan. 20, approximately 442,688 SF residents (62 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 254 covid hospitalizations, or about 29.1 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population) and 36 patients in ICU (down from last report’s 44). Today, the California Department of Public Health reports 274 covid patients in SF hospitals with 39 in ICU. DPH says hospitalizations “are expected to peak in the next few days at a level that remains within the health care system’s bed capacity.”

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 63 ICU beds available in San Francisco.

Note: DPH uses dated population figures for neighborhoods. Between Nov. 17 and Jan. 16, DPH recorded 2942 infections among Mission residents (still highest in the City) or 501 infections per 10,000 residents. Bayview Hunters Point has the highest rate, with 812 infections per 10,000 residents. Twelve neighborhoods, all in the east and southeast of the City, had rates above 500 per 10,000 residents.

DPH still advises its case numbers are underestimated due to a state computer glitch that has not been reported elsewhere. On Jan. 13, the 7-day average of daily new infections recorded in the City was 1602 or approximately 183.1 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 on Jan. 13 was 160 per 100,000 vaccinated residents and for unvaccinated residents, 374.3 per 100,000 unvaccinated residents.


As of Jan. 16, DPH reports 7,240 infections among Asian San Franciscans, or approximately 27.8 percent of all January recorded infections, Latinxs 6,622 infections or 25.4 percent, Whites 6,123 infections or 23.5 percent, Blacks 1,862 infections or 7.1 percent, Multi-racials 425 infections, or 1.6 percent, Pacific Islanders 285 infections or 1.1 percent and Native Americans recorded 74 infections or .3 percent of all January infections so far.

As of Jan. 16, DPH reports Latinx residents have a 28.5 percent positivity rate so far in January, Pacific Islanders 23.8 percent, Blacks 23.2 percent, Multi-racials 20.7 percent, Native Americans 19.1 percent, Asians 15.7 percent and Whites have a January positivity rate so far of 13.7 percent.

The omicron death toll is beginning to show up. Eight new covid-related deaths have been reported in January.

Covid R Estimation puts its San Francisco R Number estimate at 1.48 while estimating the California R Number at 1.46. The ensemble kept both its average San Francisco and California estimates below 1 (.75 and .72 respectively). Both are heavily influenced by one model, although one other model shows SF, and two others show California, below one.

As of Jan. 16, DPH reports San Franciscans aged 0-4 have 1,203 infections in January or 4.6 percent of the month’s total so far; 5-11 2,061 infections or 7.9 percent, 12-17 1,881 infections or 7.2 percent, 18-20 852 infections or 3.3 percent, 21-24 1,945 infections or 7.5 percent, 25-29 3,467 infections or 13.3 percent, 30-39 5,872 infections or 22.5 percent, 40-49 3,467 infections or 13.3 percent, 50-59 2,611 infections or 10 percent, 60-69 1,553 infections or 6 percent, 70-79 719 infections or 2.8 percent, while residents 80 and above have 420 infections or 1.6 percent of the January total so far.

Follow Us

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.

Join the Conversation


  1. Thanks for the more frequent updates, Mark! On boosters, is there any official data from SFDPH about the percentage of booster-eligible fully vaccinated people who have been boosted? I guess this is the same as looking back five months to see how many people had been fully vaccinated, and comparing that to today’s booster data? Quickly doing that, I get 71% of SF fully vaxxed in late August, and 62% of SF boosted by today, so 87% of people eligible for a booster have had one (!).

  2. Sigh, the data from dataherald, dph? is way too old to get an understanding of where we are today with delta

    I previously had linked to the nytimes daily reports for SF which always seem to be pretty accurate except for mostly minor changes in the past two or so days that get reported late. I also linked to Susie Neilson’s wastewater data.

    The comment was not published, perhaps the links I included sent it to spam. So I won’t link to it again, but it can be found by googling nytimes “tracking coronavirus in san francisco county, calif.”

    At any rate, I so bummed out by yesterday’s numbers!

    The past two weeks of NYTimes case numbers (interpolating through missing weekends that get reported Mondays) seemed to indicate a peak in cases occurring around the 13th and yesterday, the previous two days of about 1200 cases were lower than anything since December 29th. And that seemed to fit in very well with Neilson’s wastewater numbers and Doctor Wachter’s hospital numbers (which are often lagging indicators)

    But damn, yesterday’s numbers from the NYTimes were sky high, 4900!

    Really depressing

  3. Yes, the New York Times gives us real time statistics, not a week ago and yesterday there were 4900 new cases and 4 days ago there were 6135 new cases. Look at the rate of hospitalizations in SF: it’s up 282% over two weeks ago, test positivity is 18%. Thanks to your reporting I found epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding’s twitter feed, and he has a very different take on all this talk of omicron being “mild” and all this happy talk about the surge is over. He presents data from South Africa that shows the death rate from Covid is now sky-high and there is a high rate of excess deaths since omicron was identified. Overall in the U.S. cases, hospitalizations and deaths are still climbing: about 2000 people a day are dying of omicron. People want this to be over, but they are deluding themselves. It’s far from over.

  4. One more thing: I don’t see the total cases of Covid that you used to post. Did I miss it?
    According to the New York Times SF is now at 108,276 total cases.

  5. Tonight the nytimes is reporting today’s numbers in SF as 180/100K elevated over Tuesday and Wednesday’s numbers of about 130-140, but far less than yesterday’s weird spike of 556/100K

    And now the missing weekend wait with Monday’s catch all spike meaning next meaningful numbers seem to be Tuesday or Wednesday next week

Leave a comment
Please keep your comments short and civil. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published.