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

Hospitalizations, recorded infections and positivity rates continue rising, while R Number estimates and wastewater monitoring confirm there’s a lot of virus around town.

After the winter omicron surge, the virus retreated, but not for long. It’s back in force. Perhaps not a surge, but certainly a wave.

Variants, sub-variants and sub-sub variants keep showing up, and as Sarah Cody, Santa Clara County director of “well-being,” puts it, “Every new subvariant seems to be extra transmissible than the final.” Notable covid celebrity Bill Gates says the worst may still be on the way.

Others see covid becoming more predictable and manageable, much like the flu.

But even if it’s “like the flu”, which is doubtful, is that OK?

We are told we have “the tools” to manage the disease ourselves. Do we? Remember the free home testing kits that were going to be reimbursed by your insurance company (if you have insurance)?

And what about the Paxlovid treatment, another “game changer?” On a national level, it’s running into problems of access. On an individual level, it can be a nightmare.

As the writer points out, with persistence and privilege, you can get the treatment.

Of course, some are more privileged than others.

Assuming you can get Paxlavoid, there are questions as to how it should be used. Apparently covid may not be clearing the body as fast as some thought. I don’t know whether this is an aspect of “long covid,” but it’s not encouraging.

While we are consistently reassured that The Vaccine will prevent serious illness and hospitalization, apparently, beyond theoretical generalization, there has been very limited study, including clinical trials, of T-cell response to The Vaccine and the virus.

A couple of weeks ago, I linked to a couple of comments made by Ed Yong, who has covered the pandemic for The Atlantic. Here is a recording of his talk at Yale on the dismal state of public health in the U.S., which responds to those who insist on getting back to “normal.” In a recent interview, he warned that climate change will likely produce more pandemics in the near future.

How will we respond to future crises, when the response to this one has been so tragic? Sarah Cody says, “Our problem now’s to confront the complacency … ” Who’s complacent? As the article points out, Congress stripped out $5 billion from President Joseph Biden’s covid plan proposal, which will come up for a vote … some time. 

But then, vaccine equity has been a familiar rhetorical dodge from those who believe healthcare is a privilege.

Whether it’s complacency or incompetence, it is also less than comforting to know that San Francisco’s Department of Public Health still can’t report whether a covid patient is vaccinated or not.

And finally, speaking of complacency, Trevor Noah joked a the recent White House Correspondents dinner that the occasion was a superspreader. Then the positive tests began rolling in. There’s no data on how many got sick or the length and severity of their sickness.

Scroll down for today’s covid numbers.

Over the past week, hospitalizations have risen 41 percent (which represents 14 patients) On April 30, DPH reports there were 48 covid hospitalizations, or about 5.5 covid hospitalizations per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population). Four new covid patients were reported in ICU. The most recent report from the California Department of Public Health has 52 covid patients in SF hospitals and 13 ICU patients.

The latest report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services shows Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with 5 covid patients and 11 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 0 covid patients and 6 ICU beds available. Of 42 reported covid patients in the City, 17 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 78 ICU beds available among reporting hospitals (which does not include the Veterans Administration or Laguna Honda). The California DPH currently reports 94 ICU beds available in San Francisco.

Between Feb. 28 and April 29, DPH recorded 496 new infections among Mission residents or 84 new infections per 10,000 residents. During that period, Mission Bay had the highest rate at 159 new infections per 10,000 residents. Of 38 neighborhoods, 10 had rates at above 100 per 10,000 residents, with 4 in the east and southeast sectors of the City. Lakeshore, the only neighborhood in the City with less than 50 percent of its population vaccinated, had the lowest recorded rate at 49 per 10,000 residents, slightly lower than the rate recorded last week.

DPH reports on April 26, the 7-day average of daily new infections recorded in the City rose to 244 or approximately 27.9 new infections per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population), representing a 33 percent rise from last week. According to DPH, the 7-day average infection rate among vaccinated residents was 25.9 per 100,000 “fully vaccinated” residents and 58.7 per 100,000 unvaccinated residents. It is unclear whether “fully vaccinated” means 2, 3 or 4 doses. The latest report from the New York Times says the 7-day average number on May 3 was 351, a 128 percent rise over the past two weeks. State wastewater monitoring shows at the City’s Southeast sewer shed, prevalence of the virus has been rising since March 6, but is still below the delta surge, and well below the omicron surge.

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 8.7 percent during the past week, while average daily testing dropped 19.4 percent. Between February 28 and April 29, the Mission recorded 16,157 tests with a positivity rate of 4.4 percent. During that period, Hayes Valley had the highest positivity rate (6.4 percent based on 5,556 tests), and Seacliff had the lowest rate (2.4 percent based on 783 tests).

As of May 3, DPH estimates over 90 percent of the City’s Pacific Islander population, 89 percent of Latinxs, 86 percent of Asians, 84 percent of Native Americans, 76 percent of the Black population and 73 percent of the White population have received 2 doses of The Vaccine. No figures are available for Multi-racials. The figures I reported last week were for one dose, not two. Sorry about that,

As of May 3, 77 percent of Whites and Asians who have been vaccinated, have been boosted, while 62 percent of vaccinated Blacks, 58 percent of vaccinated Latinxs and Native Americans and 57 percent of vaccinated Pacific Islanders have also received a booster.

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

Six new covid-related deaths, 4 more in April, have been reported, bringing the total since the beginning of the year to 169. 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 continues to report, 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 April 29 estimated the San Francisco R Number at 1.63 while estimating the California R Number at 1.46 on May 2. The ensemble, as of May 1, estimates the San Francisco R Number at 1.22 while estimating the California R Number at 1.12. No models in the ensemble have SF under 1.

As of April 29, DPH reports 188 new infections among those San Franciscans aged 0-4, or 3.5 percent of the total April infections. For those 5-11, 242 infections or 4.4 percent, 12-17 141 infections or 2.6 percent, 18-20 115 infections or 2.1 percent, 21-24 370 infections or 6.8 percent, 25-29 783 infections or 14.4 percent, 30-39 1442 infections or 26.5 percent, 40-49 819 infections or 15.1 percent, 50-59 610 infections or 11.2 percent, 60-69 384 infections or 7.1 percent, 70-79 214 infections or 3.9 percent, and those San Franciscans 80 and older had 132 infections or 2.4 percent. Note: The percentage of City infections for those 70 and older have risen since January of this year.

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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. “Data? We don’t need no stinkin’ data.”

    The U.S. seems to be preparing a bid for a future Darwin Award.