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

Hospitalizations, recorded infections and positivity rates continue to rise, while R Number estimates and wastewater monitoring confirm the virus is likely still increasing around town.

And the asymptomatic test positivity rate (ATPR) at UCSF has risen threefold in recent weeks.

Last month, the White House Correspondents Association Dinner turned into a superspreader event, with many attendees testing positive shortly afterwards. Apparently, the media has decided not to “follow the science,” as there have been no reports of actual numbers, symptoms developed, hospitalizations or deaths. Though this was an event packed with journalists (OK, journalist celebrities), apparently not one reporter seems the least bit interested in reporting. Who is it suffering covid fatigue?

Covid celebrity Ashish K Jha, now national covid coordinator, said prior to the event: “I don’t think events like that need to be canceled. I think if people put in good safeguards, they can make it substantially safer, make sure people are vaccinated, make sure you have testing, improve ventilation. He credited the White House Correspondents Association for doing “the things that we know make the event safer.”

Apparently, the virus didn’t get the memo. Scientists had live updates of the CO2 levels in the the #WHCD ballroom the entire evening. A CO2 concentration reading at 8:20 p.m. showed a concentration of 2233, “over 5.5x higher than outdoors, and is a sign of VERY poor ventilation.”

One journalist who attended the event called it a “horror film” along with the “[c]reeping sense that you’re the only one who knows this is insane.

Jha, a compulsive tweeter, has said nothing since. Nor has he submitted his resignation. Had the dinner taken place under the Trump Administration, would the silence be so deafening?

Despite a weak PR offensive aimed at the perfidious Republicans, the Biden Administration’s interest in further covid funding seems less than sincere. Not only did it cut the original request by more than 50 percent, it also decoupled the covid funds from a bill to authorize escalation of the Ukraine crisis. Perhaps a nuclear war will work better than The Vaccine in preventing covid infections, hospitalizations and death.

Have officials given up on preventing infection? Once again, testing is nonexistent or haphazard. However, local testing rose modestly and a new test-treatment site has opened at the College of San Mateo.

Not every nation takes covid infection as lightly as the U.S. You may have seen this report from the New York Times (on the business page) about the lockdowns in China. Though the reporter was not in China, the article makes repeated unsubstantiated assertions that China’s “zero covid” policies are simply a cover for more authoritarian measures. Chinese scientists disagree.

With no backup, the article asserts that “zero covid” doesn’t work, because omicron is “less severe” than earlier versions of the virus. Hold on. A recent large study in the U.S. says that omicron is as severe as the other variants we’ve encountered. Given the relative proportionally lower omicron hospitalization and death figures, this study seems to confirm the effectiveness of The Vaccine.

As pundits, experts and authorities shrug, is it any surprise that the uptake in boosters has been slow?

Here’s some updated data on the second booster from the Pfizer Laboratory also known as Israel.

Prisons have been sites of super spreading since the pandemic began. But federal prisons used just a fraction of the antiviral drugs they were allocated to keep incarcerated people from getting seriously ill or dying of covid, according to new internal records from the Bureau of Prisons.

Scroll down for today’s covid numbers.

Over the past week, hospitalizations have risen 16 percent (which represents 8 patients) On May 7, DPH reports there were 56 covid hospitalizations, or about 6.4 covid hospitalizations per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population). Only one new covid patient was reported in ICU. On May 10, the California Department of Public Health reported 61 covid patients in SF hospitals and 9 ICU patients.

The latest report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services shows Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with 3 covid patients and 9 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 3 covid patients and 6 ICU beds available. Of 52 reported covid patients in the City, 18 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 86 ICU beds available among reporting hospitals (which does not include the Veterans Administration or Laguna Honda). The California DPH currently reports 102 ICU beds available in San Francisco.

Between March 7 and May 6, DPH recorded 591 new infections among Mission residents or 101 new infections per 10,000 residents. During that period, Mission Bay had the highest rate at 188 new infections per 10,000 residents. Of 38 neighborhoods, 24 had rates at or above 100 per 10,000 residents, with 13 in the east and southeast sectors of the City. Unusual neighborhoods with rates in excess of 100 included Seacliff and Glen Park. Lakeshore, the only neighborhood in the City with less than 50 percent of its population vaccinated, had the lowest recorded rate at 59 per 10,000 residents, slightly higher than the rate recorded last week.

DPH reports on May 3, the 7-day average of daily new infections recorded in the City rose to 283 or approximately 32.4 new infections per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population), representing a 14 percent rise from last week. According to DPH, the 7-day average infection rate among vaccinated residents was 34.4 per 100,000 “fully vaccinated” residents and 71.1 per 100,000 unvaccinated residents. It is unclear whether “fully vaccinated” means 2, 3 or 4 doses. According to the New York Times the 7-day average number on May 3 was 351. The latest report from the Times says the 7-day average on May 10 was 370, a 48 percent rise over the past two weeks. State wastewater monitoring shows at the City’s Southeast sewer shed, prevalence of the virus is either sharply or slowly rising depending on the source and what is being measured.

For the month of April, DPH reports 1,646 recorded infections among the City’s White population or 30.3 percent of April’s recorded infections; Asians 1532 infections or 28.2 percent; Latinxs 578 infections or 10.6 percent; Blacks 177 infections or 3.3 percent; Multi-racials 35 infections or .6 percent; Pacific Islanders 22 infections or .4 percent; and Native Americans have recorded 6 new infections or .1 percent of the City’s April infections.

The 7-day rolling Citywide average positivity rate rose over 14.7 percent during the past week, while average daily testing rose 9 percent. In April, Whites had a 6.6 percent positivity rate, Asians 6.6 percent, Multi-racials 6 percent, Latinxs 5.7 percent, Native Americans 5.6 percent, Pacific Islanders 5.3 percent, and in April, Black San Franciscans had a positivity rate of 4 percent.

As of May 10, over 90 percent of all San Franciscans aged 5 and older have received at least one dose of The Vaccine, and 88 percent have received two. 75 percent of residents aged 12 and over have received a booster.

As of May 10, DPH says 88 percent of Mission residents have received two vaccine doses and 68 percent have received a booster. Lakeshore remains the only neighborhood with less than 50 percent of the population receiving two doses of the vaccine.

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

Three new covid-related deaths, 2 more in April and 1 from February, have been reported, bringing the total since the beginning of the year to 172. DPH won’t say how many were vaccinated. Nor does it provide information on the race/ethnicity or socio-economic status of those who have recently died. 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 fog gets denser as DPH incredibly reports, as it has for months, only 21 of the deaths are known to have had no underlying conditions, or comorbidities.

The lack of data has made R Number estimates very uncertain. Covid R Estimation on May 6 estimated the San Francisco R Number at 1.48 while estimating the California R Number at 1.46 on May 9. The ensemble, as of May 8, estimates the San Francisco R Number at 1.22 (no change from lst week) while lowering its California R Number to 1.02. One model in the ensemble has SF under 1, .92, while the highest estimate is 1.35

In April, DPH reports 52 percent of the month’s recorded infections were among women, while 46.2 percent were among men, .1 percent among trans females, 0 percent among trans males. Women have accounted for more recorded infections than men since January.

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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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5 Comments

  1. Long past time we’ve needed some bitcoin rollercoaster memes to describe COVID rates.

    And wow, that State Wastewater website has some great data, but I can’t imagine a worse way of making people navigate to it, especially for wee tiny little SF County

  2. Mark, thank you for pushing against the nonsense that is said about China’s Zero Covid policy, which is saving millions of lives over there. Its a shame that our government is nothing more than an arms dealer pretending to care about the people living here.

    1. Amen to that. The amount of Covid minimizing and magical thinking that’s happening over here is staggering. Not to mention the way our public health policies have completely abandoned the immunocompromised and left them to fend for themselves. I wish our Covid policies were a little more like China’s, quite honestly.

  3. I don’t think you understand how bar charts work. You don’t stack the “Total hospitalizations”, “Acute Care”, and “ICU” numbers on top of each other, let alone stack a “percentage” on top of that. You’ve made the number of hospitalizations look like 135 instead of 61.

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