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

With still a ways to go, hospitalizations, recorded infections and positivity rates continue falling, while R Number models show the rate of transmission below 1.

Two years of the pandemic have taken a toll. Some suggest the virus has become background noise to what is an ongoing tragedy.

A number of national public health notables have joined together to outline a roadmap to prepare for the next wave and the ones after that, which will cost around $100 billion. Neither the Administration nor Congress seems willing to pay to save lives.

The outline put forth does not include particularly new or novel ideas, but rather addresses what has been obviously missing for the past two years.

The Administration’s lack of transparency on covid spending doesn’t help matters.

Did the new Biden plan to control the virus put the final nail in the public health coffin? The pledge to take on the nursing-home scandal will likely be an indicator of how serious officials are.

With Trump gone, the hope was that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control would actually live up to its public health role rather than ceding its authority to a variety of posers and morons. The latest from the CDC, here and here, shows how far there is to go.

As usual, much of today’s controversy has to do with masks. It seems like any position on “masks” and “masking” can cite a “study” for support.

Good to know the University of California, San Francisco, has excelled in producing relevant data during the pandemic. Congrats. Too bad San Francisco’s Department of Public Health either can’t access that data or won’t make it public.

As an example of a functioning and responsive public health department, here’s a thread from New York City’s outgoing Health Commissioner, which goes far beyond DPH’s rhetorical acknowledgment of “structural racism.” DPH has never, never, never provided demographic information on hospitalizations and, to this day can’t, or won’t, even supply the public with information on hospitalizations among vaxxed and unvaxxed San Franciscans. To me, Chokshi’s Twitter account shows a level of public health messaging not yet reached in SF.

Scroll down for today’s covid numbers.

In the past week, there has been little change in the vaccination numbers, but they remain solid enough for DPH to announce today that as of Friday, the 11th, restaurants no longer have to ask for proof of vaccination. Mega events were excluded from the new rules.

As of March 7, DPH reports fewer San Franciscans, 782,890, have been vaccinated than last week. 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, the percentages remain above 90 percent and above 87 percent while for those 65 and older over 90 percent have received two doses. As for boosters, the numbers are virtually unchanged from last week. As of March 7, approximately 470,659 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.

Over the past week, hospitalizations have dropped 34 percent. On March 5, DPH reports there were 58 covid hospitalizations, or about 6.6 covid hospitalizations per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population). ICU patients have dropped below 10 for the first time since Dec. 28. Today, the California Department of Public Health reports 69 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 11 covid patients and 7 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 6 covid patients and 3 ICU beds available. Of 111 reported covid patients, 50 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 68 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.

Between Jan. 3 and March 4, DPH recorded 3497 new infections among Mission residents (the highest number in the City) or 595 new infections per 10,000 residents. Bayview Hunters Point had the highest rate with 1032 new infections per 10,000 residents. Of 38 neighborhoods, 16 had rates above 500 per 10,000 residents, 14 in the east and southeast sectors of the City. Seacliff had the lowest rate with 319 new infections per 10,000 residents and Noe Valley had the second-lowest rate at 320 per 10,000 residents. Lakeshore, the only neighborhood in the City with a vaccination rate below 50 percent, had a rate of 359 new infections per 10,000 residents.

DPH reports on March 1, the 7-day average of daily new infections recorded in the City dropped to 110 or approximately 12.6 new infections per day per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population), representing a 23 percent drop from last week. According to DPH, the 7-day average infection rate among vaccinated residents was 11.1 per 100,000 “fully vaccinated” residents and 28.8 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 78 on March 8, a 52 percent drop over the past two weeks.

For the month of February, DPH reports Asians accounted for 1,714 recorded infections or 28.5 percent of the month’s total; Whites 1,425 infections or 23.7 percent; Latinxs 939 infections or 15.6 percent; Blacks 336 infections or 5.6 percent; Multi-racials 77 infections or 1.3 percent; Pacific Islanders 38 infections or .6 percent and Native Americans had 7 recorded infections in February or .1 percent of the month’s total.

The citywide 7-day rolling average test positivity rate has dropped below 3 percent for the first time since Dec. 15.

Twenty-six new covid-related deaths have been reported, bringing the total since the beginning of the year to 121. The omicron death toll seems much higher than delta. 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: 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 37 percent of the deaths had one or more underlying conditions. As of March 4, DPH continues to report only 21 of the 815 deaths are known to have had no underlying conditions, or comorbidities. For the month of February so far, in 99.9 percent of the deaths, underlying conditions are uknown.

Covid R Estimation, dropped its current estimate of the San Francisco R Number to a very low .45 while slightly raising the California R Number estimate to .51. The ensemble, as of March 7, lowered its average San Francisco R Number to .70 and slightly raised its average California R Number to .73. All estimates in the ensemble show SF below 1.

For the month of February, San Franciscans aged 0-4 had 251 recorded infections or 4.2 percent of the month’s total; 5-11 377 infections or 6.3 percent; 12-17 255 infections or 4.2 percent; 18-20 151 infections or 2.5 percent; 21-24 375 infections or 6.2 percent; 25-29 678 infections or 11.3 percent; 30-39 1,350 infections or 22.5 percent; 40-49 835 infections or 13.9 percent; 50-59 681 infections or 11.3 percent; 60-69 550 infections or 9.2 percent; 70-79 270 infections or 4.5 percent; and those San Franciscans 80 and above had 229 recorded infections or 3.8 percent of the month’s total recorded infections.

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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 Comment

  1. I just don’t understand that with all our various media organizations from TV to several/many media sites including ML, with our activists, and with SF’s apparent lead across the country in fighting covid, how SF DPH has managed to remain so closed and opaque

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