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

Hospitalizations, recorded infections and positivity rates continued to decline, though perhaps at a slower rate (depending on the data source). R Number estimates remain relatively low.

The defacto Chairman of Public Health has announced that a fourth shot will be “necessary”.

The Vaccine does little to protect against infection, but even the initial two doses have shown long-term protection against severe illness and hospitalization.

If, after two pandemic years, political officials refuse to take even the most modest steps to control the virus, we should prepare to be unprepared for the next surge (and next pathogen).

Global vaccination? Don’t ask.

Official cynicism on masking has been a leading indicator throughout the crisis. Not only do public health officials decline to push N95s for the public, they refuse to even recommend them for hospitals at a time when hospital transmission is higher than ever. To me, there is only one plausible explanation: lack of profit for production and distribution.

BTW, after announcing the availability of N95s in local pharmacies, I have yet to see any in San Francisco pharmacies (although I heard of someone buying some at Home Depot in Colma). If you have any info on where people can get N95s, please let us know. San Francisco’s public health officials can’t be bothered.

You may have read about the outbreak in Hong Kong, where vaccination is low. But what about South Korea, where 90 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, and more than 60 percent are boosted?

Cases are spiking in Europe as well.

Asia’s surge seems related to omicron (BA.1), while Europe’s seems related to the omicron sub-variant (BA.2). Though the sub-variant seems more contagious, The Vaccine appears to protect against hospitalization and death.

What surveillance there is in the U.S. suggests we might get a spring surge sooner than usual. We may get lucky like last year, when most of the country, including SF, avoided the Alpha variant surge.

Scroll down for today’s covid numbers.

As of March 15, DPH reports fewer San Franciscans, 781,787, have been vaccinated than last week. Still, the Department reports 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, those with one dose remain above 90 percent and but those with two dropped to 86 percent while for those 65 and older over 90 percent have received two doses. The number of boosters is virtually unchanged from last week. As of March 15, approximately 471,064 SF residents (65 percent of all residents, 83 percent of residents 65 and older) have received a COVID-19 booster dose, an increase of less than 1 percent over the past week.

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

Over the past week, hospitalizations have dropped 25 percent. On March 12, DPH reports there were 43 covid hospitalizations, or about 4.9 covid hospitalizations per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population). ICU patients have been in single digits since March 2. Today, the California Department of Public Health reports 45 covid patients in SF hospitals and 10 ICU patients.

The latest report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services shows Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with 6 covid patients and 7 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 3 covid patients and 3 ICU beds available. Of 77 reported covid patients, 34 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 70 ICU beds available among reporting hospitals (which does not include the Veterans Administration). The California DPH currently reports 86 ICU beds available in San Francisco.

Between Jan. 10 and March 11, DPH recorded 2,278 new infections among Mission residents or 388 new infections per 10,000 residents. Bayview Hunters Point continues with the highest rate at 670 new infections per 10,000 residents. Of 38 neighborhoods, 9 had rates above 400 per 10,000 residents, all in the east and southeast sectors of the City. Noe Valley had the lowest rate at 208 per 10,000 residents.

DPH reports on March 8, the 7-day average of daily new infections recorded in the City dropped to 83 or approximately 9.5 new infections per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population), representing a 25 percent drop from last week. According to DPH, the 7-day average infection rate among vaccinated residents was 8.4 per 100,000 “fully vaccinated” residents and 19.7 per 100,000 unvaccinated residents. It is unclear whether “fully vaccinated” means 2 or 3 doses. According to the New York Times, the 7-day average number was 34 on March 15, a 85 percent drop over the past two weeks.

For the month of February, DPH reports Asians accounted for 28.5 percent of the month’s total, up from 25 percent in January. Whites accounted for 23.7 percent, up from 19.7 percent, Latinxs 15.6 percent, down from 21.2 percent, Blacks 5.6 percent, down from 5.7 percent, multi-racials 1.3 percent, up from 1 percent, Pacific Islanders .6 percent, down from 1 percent, and Native Americans had .1 percent of the month’s total, down from .2 percent in January.

In February, multi-racials had a 7.4 percent positivity rate, Latinxs 6.4 percent, Blacks 6 percent, Pacific Islanders 6 percent, Native Americans 5.7 percent, Asians 5.5 percent and Whites had a February positivity rate of 4.3 percent.

Twenty new covid-related deaths have been reported, bringing the total since the beginning of the year to 141. DPH won’t say how many were vaccinated and how many unvaccinated. Nor does it provide information on the race/ethnicity or socio-economic status of those who have recently died. The omicron death toll seems higher than delta. During and after the delta surge, July-October, the number was 105. 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 DPH continues to report only 21 of the 835 deaths are known to have had no underlying conditions, or comorbidities.

Covid R Estimation on March 4, estimated the San Francisco R Number at .45 while currently estimating the California R Number estimate at .54. The ensemble, as of March 14, estimates the San Francisco R Number at .53 while estimating the California R Number at .80.

For the month of February, DPH reports 115 infections among unhoused San Franciscans. The Department also reports 0 cumulative deaths among this population (down from 7 previously reported). In nursing homes (“skilled nursing facilities”), DPH reports 40 new infections for the month and 3 new deaths. In Single Room Occupancy Hotels (SROs), DPH reports 164 new infections for the month and 5 new deaths.

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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. Question, do people report home test positive results? Just wondering that, if not, could we be seeing a somewhat more positive picture than the reality?

    1. I know people have reported to their Docs/Providers. Whether that gets passed on to City, don’t know but doubt it. I have seen nothing from DPH asking people to tell them. Given their omicron shrug about cases/transmission, I doubt it. But I will look again.

  2. I buy my 95s from United States Mask. They’re NIOSH approved 5-layer masks made in Texas from American-sourced materials. You can get 20 masks for $29.99 or 40 for $49.98.
    In other news, yesterday, according to New York Times, yesterday March 16, 7 people in SF died of Covid.

  3. It will be interesting to see if the US has a spring wave, and what variant it might be…

    The Wastewaterologists are seeing an incoming wave

    The Seasonalitists will predict that warming weather mitigates against a spring tide

    BA.2ology worries about BA.2 while others say, nuh, uh, a BA.2 surge in a vaxxed and boosted City/State/Country that was hit hard by BA.1 won’t be a thing

    Sigh, I have some covid-19 NFTs for sale…

  4. Costco carries N95 masks from the BYD brand. I bought some few weeks back in the San Francisco Costco store.

  5. The problem with the R number being an end game indicator is how fast this virus is mutating. It won’t be long until the first Bay Area BA.2 case hits, and then back R square 1.

  6. I recently (about two weeks ago) bought N95 masks at Ace Hardware on Market Street, just east of Church Street. I also noticed about the same time that Center Hardware on Third Street had a large supply of N95 masks.