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

Covid Tracker will next publish in a week, on Wednesday, March 2.

Hospitalizations, positivity rates and recorded infections continue drifting downward while R Number models suggest a rapidly decreasing virus spread.

Paul Farmer, one of the true practitioners of global health, died suddenly Monday. He was a rare and inspiring individual who put his life behind his words, and his passing has spawned a wave of eulogies, many by those whose commitment to global health is word-deep.

The latest catastrophe in global health has been the failure of the COVAX project to vaccinate the world. This piece from Médecins Sans Frontières explains what went wrong.

“Public-private partnerships” (whereby private companies leverage public funds for profit) are not particularly new. They are now being promoted to further decimate local public health agencies.

Here’s a particularly egregious example out of the UK.

Twenty years ago, a landmark report spotlighted systemic racism in healthcare. As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown very clearly, little has changed. In this article, STAT tries to figure out why (hint: it’s systemic).

San Francisco’s Department of Public Health has recognized race inequities in San Francisco’s vaccine rollout and plans to rectify it.

As war clouds in Europe push covid into the memory hole, there are millions in this country alone who are still at risk.

A new study in Nature magazine found a three-dose efficacy of the Moderna vaccine against hospitalization with Delta OR Omicron was more than 99 percent effective across the entire study population, with no significant waning over time. You can read the study here, or a summary here.

In addition to causing covid memory loss in politicians and public health officials, omicron also resulted in a surge of reinfections.

Scroll down for today’s covid numbers.

As of Feb. 22, DPH reports 782,885 residents have been vaccinated, more than 89 percent of all San Francisco residents have received one dose, and over 83 percent have received two. For residents 5 and older, DPH reports the figures rise above 90 percent and above 87 percent while for those 65 and older over 90 percent have received two doses. SFDPH reports that as of Feb. 22, approximately 468,243 SF residents (65 percent of all residents, 83 percent of residents 65 and older) have received a COVID-19 booster dose.

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

On Feb. 19, DPH reports there were 125 covid hospitalizations, or about 14.3 covid hospitalizations per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population). ICU patients have dropped to their lowest level since Jan. 5. Today, the California Department of Public Health reports 128 covid patients in SF hospitals and 27 ICU patients. Among its many data withholdings, DPH does not report how many of the hospitalizations are “for” covid and how many “with” covid. The latest from UCSF is 56 percent for, 44 percent with.

The latest report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services shows Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with 27 covid patients and 5 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 15 covid patients and 5 ICU beds available. Of 285 reported covid patients, 79 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 64 ICU beds available among reporting hospitals (which does not include the Veterans Administration). The California DPH currently reports 90 ICU beds available in San Francisco. Note: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a scathing report for sustained public health crisis failures at HHS. The failures cited include “collecting and analyzing data to inform decisionmaking.”

Omicron revived SF’s “normal” pandemic pattern, hitting the lower socioeconomic sectors of the City the hardest. Between Dec. 20 and Feb. 18, DPH recorded 4407 new infections among Mission residents or 750 new infections per 10,000 residents. Bayview Hunters Point had the highest number of recorded new infections (4634) with a rate of 1222 new infections per 10,000 residents. Of 38 neighborhoods, 14 had rates above 700 per 10,000 residents, 13 in the east and southeast sectors of the City. Seacliff had the lowest rate with 375 new infections per 10,000 residents and Lakeshore, the only neighborhood in the City with a vaccination rate below 50 percent, had the second-lowest rate at 436 new infections per 10,000 residents.

DPH reports on Feb. 15, the 7-day average of daily new infections recorded in the City dropped to 214 or approximately 24.4 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 22 per 100,000 “fully vaccinated” residents and 50.6 per 100,000 unvaccinated residents. It is unclear whether “fully vaccinated” means 2 or 3 doses. For those demanding more numbers from the New York Times, it reports that as of Feb.22, the average number of new infections per day was 161.

As of Feb. 16, DPH reports Asians had 1,272 newly recorded infections in February or  28.5 percent of the month’s total so far; Whites had 1,041 or 23.3 percent; Latinxs had 736 or 16.5 percent; Blacks had 271 or 6.1 percent; Multi-racials had 62 or 1.4 percent; Pacific Islanders had 31 or .7 percent; and Native Americans had 8 newly recorded infections or .2 percent of the Februrary total so far.

As of Feb. 16, DPH reports that so far in February San Francisco’s Latinx residents have had a positivity rate of 7.7 percent, ; Multi-racials 7.7 percent; Blacks 7.4 percent; Asians 6.5 percent; Native American 6.2 percent; Pacific Islanders 6.1 percent; and White San Franciscans have had a February positivity rate so far of 4.9 percent.

Ten new covid-related deaths have been reported in January and Feburary, bringing the total number of covid-related deaths since the beginning of the year to 78. Probably most are related to omicron. DPH won’t say how many were vaxed and how many unvaxxed. Nor does it provide information on the race/ethnicity or socio-economic status of those who have recently died. Note: According to DPH, the highest monthly SF covid-related death total was 165, recorded in January 2021. According to DPH “COVID-19 deaths are suspected to be associated with COVID-19. This means COVID-19 is listed as a cause of death or significant condition on the death certificate.” Using a phrase like “suspected to be associated with” indicates the difficulty in determining a covid death. The ambiguity is heightened when currently it is unknown whether or not 35.6 percent of the deaths had one or more underlying conditions. As of Feb. 18, DPH continues to report only 21 of the 772 deaths are known to have had no underlying conditions, or comorbidities.

R number models suggest a rapidly receding virus locally. Covid R Estimation, correcting recent glitches in its system, estimates that on Feb. 9, the San Francisco R Number was at a very low .40. On Feb. 21, it estimates the California R Number at .47. The ensemble, as of Feb. 21, lowered its average San Francisco R Number to .61 and slightly raised its average California R Number to .60.

As of Feb. 16, DPH reports San Franciscans aged 0-4 had 192 newly recorded infections or 4.3 percent of the February total so far; 5-11 had 300 or 6.7 percent, 12-17 had 184 or 4.1 percent, 18-20 had 110 or 2.5 percent, 21-24 had 276 or 6.2 percent, 25-29 had 501 or 11.2 percent, 30-39 had 979 or 22 percent, 40-49 had 605 or 13.6 percent, 50-59 had 507 or 11.4 percent, 60-69 had 424 or 9.5 percent, 70-79 had 207 or 4.6 percent, and those San Franciscans 80+ had 170 newly recorded infections or 3.8 percent of the February total so far.

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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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