With a sharp 19 percent drop in post-Thanksgiving testing volumes, the average number of daily new COVID-19 cases identified in San Francisco dropped from a new pandemic peak of 148 on 11/24 to 128 as of 11/26.

That being said, there were at least 184 new cases identified in San Francisco on 11/30, which was a new one-day high. The average percent positive rate is poised to jump from 2.14 percent – to over 3 percent – over the next week. And local hospitalizations, which peaked at 114 in July and tend to lag the local case rate trend by around two weeks, are already back up to 98 with at least 32 people in ICU beds as of this past Wednesday (12/2).

And while the average ICU bed availability in San Francisco is currently running around 34 percent, which is well over the City’s minimum goal of 20 percent and over twice the State’s new 15 percent minimum (below which a new regional and more restrictive Stay Home Order will be implemented), keep in mind that the current ICU bed availability within the “Bay Area” region, which includes the traditional 9 Bay Area counties plus Santa Cruz and Monterey, was down to 25.3 percent as of yesterday (12/3) and a regional breach of the 15 percent threshold will apply region wide and would remain in place for at least 3 weeks.

UPDATE: In partnership with Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and Santa Clara counties, along with the City of Berkeley, San Francisco will preemptively adopt the State’s new Stay at Home Orders. From the Office of the Mayor:

“As of 10 p.m. on Sunday, December 6, San Francisco will close all personal services, outdoor dining, public outdoor playgrounds, outdoor museums, zoos and aquariums, drive-in theaters, and open-air tour busses and boats.

Additionally, San Francisco will halt indoor limited personal training in gyms and limit outdoor gyms and outdoor fitness classes to a maximum group size of 12 people at a time, including instructors and participants.

Low contact retail such as pet grooming, electronics or shoe repair services, may only operate in a curbside drop-off context. All other retail, including grocery stores must reduce capacity to 20%, and all indoor businesses that are open to the public, such as retail stores, must create a metering system to manage and enforce indoor customer capacity. This metering system must be in place no later 10 p.m. on Sunday December 6, when other amended order becomes operative.

Hotels [and short-term rentals] may remain open for essential workers and critical infrastructure support, including isolation and quarantine. Out of town visitors who are not essential workers or here for critical infrastructure support must stay in the hotel for the full amount of time required to quarantine. Real Estate viewings must take place virtually. The City will limit any outdoor gatherings to members of the same household up to 12 people.”

The Stay at Home Order is expected to be in effect through January 4, 2021, but will be extended if there’s not a consistent reduction in local case rates and hospitalizations and either the local ICU availability has dropped below 25 percent or the aforementioned “Bay Area” ICU availability has dropped below 15 percent.

In addition, the City will be increasing its focus on compliance and enforcement activities, with a pilot program to deploy community health ambassadors to street closure locations and the City’s Community Education and Response Team (CERT) addressing reported violations.

UPDATE (12/7): Following the post-Thanksgiving drop, the average number of daily new COVID-19 cases identified in San Francisco is back up to an average of 134 new cases per day and poised to spike with nearly 300 new cases and counting recorded on 12/1 alone, a 60 percent jump from the prior week’s peak.

At the same time, while testing rates have dropped, the average percent positive rate is up to 2.64 percent and should soon tick over 3 percent, as we outlined above.

And as of this past Saturday (12/5), there were 118 confirmed COIVD-19 related hospitalizations in San Francisco, which is a new pandemic high and with at least 32 people now in an ICU.

UPDATE (12/7): While the City’s initial guidance stated that “Real Estate viewings must take place virtually” under the Stay Home Order that’s now in place, the formal order allows for in person showing if a virtual showing “is not feasible” and “includes no more than two members of the same household, only one person shows the unit and the occupants [of the property being shown are not] present.”

UPDATE (12/9): While the average rate of COVID-19 testing in San Francisco has dropped below the run up to Thanksgiving, the average percent positive rate has jumped to 3.26 percent and is now poised to hit 4 percent.

And with over 300 new cases now recorded on 12/1 alone, the 7-day average number of daily new COVID-19 cases in San Francisco, which had peaked at 131 back in July, is poised to hit 200 within the next couple of days, with over 120 hospital beds already occupied by COVID-19 patients, which is a new pandemic high, at least 30 people in an ICU, and a typical two-week lag between case rate trends and hospitalizations.

UPDATE (12/9): The ICU availability for the Bay Area Region has dropped nearly five (5) full percentage points over the past week to 20.9 percent.

Once again, all eleven counties in the Bay Area Region will be required to adopt the State’s supplemental Stay Home Order for at least (another) 3 weeks if the ICU availability for the region drops under 15 percent.

And with the ICU availability for the Greater Sacramento Region having just dropped to 14.3 percent, a Regional Stay Home Order will be in effect for Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties starting tomorrow, 12/10 at 11:59 PM.

UPDATE (12/10): The ICU availability for the Bay Area Region has dropped to 17.8 percent. If the trend continues, a regional Stay Home Order for all eleven counties could be triggered as early as this weekend, if not tomorrow.

At the same time, the 7-day average number new COVID-19 cases in San Francisco is up to 181 per day and poised to hit 200 within a day or two, with at least 129 local hospital beds now occupied by COVID-19 patients (which is a new pandemic high), at least 32 people in an ICU, and an average two-week lag between case rate trends and hospitalizations.

UPDATE (12/11): As projected, the 7-day average number of daily new COVID-19 cases in San Francisco has jumped to 212, with at least 128 local hospital beds now occupied by COVID-19 patients and 33 people in an ICU.

UPDATE (12/11): The ICU availability for the Bay Area Region is down to 16.7 percent.

UPDATE (12/14): While still within striking distance of 15 percent, the ICU availability for the Bay Area Region has ticked back up to 17.8 percent. At the same time, the 7-day average number of daily new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in San Francisco has jumped to 232 with at least 148 local hospital beds now occupied by COVID-19 patients and 37 people in an ICU.

UPDATE (12/15): The ICU availability for the Bay Area Region has dropped back down to 15.8 percent with at least 160 hospital beds in San Francisco now occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients and 40 people in local ICUs which is a new pandemic high.

UPDATE (12/16): A Regional Stay Home Order for the greater Bay Area has just been triggered.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    If we can get away from the specific numbers: what’s the official explanation for the general decline in incidence from the peak in July/August over late summer and fall? Wasn’t there a steady increase in openings during that period? Were things open but people just weren’t going to them?

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      This. We had outdoor dining all summer and cases dropped. Now we’re being told we can’t have outdoor dining … but apparently we can *exercise* (sweat, pant, etc.) in groups of 12 outdoors. And we can’t go to a hair salon, even though there a virtually no cases traced to hair salons.

      This is a ham-fisted rule that won’t solve the real problem – which is rule *breakers* who will continue to break the rules and gather in private. These new orders are like having a speed limit of 65 mph, seeing some people going 80 mph … and instead of arresting the people going 80, saying we all have to now go 45 mph.

      People are fed up of 8 months of sheltering and are going to break the rules more and more – especially when they have no underlying logic, as in my examples above.

      • Posted by Brian M

        But but….the hair salons are dangerous! And Amazon, which has “fulfillment centers” with hundreds of employees doing physically demanding labor, is “essential”. A locally owned flower shop which has 1 or 2 employees is verboten. meanwhile, Home Depot (which also sells flowers, funny enough) is essential.

        If I were a conspiracy nut, I would opine that the whole strategy was cooked up by Silicon Valley and big box stores to FORCE us into the glorious new internet economy. Just like the Enclosures during the 17th century in Britain , we need to kill off the remaining small business sector so that everyone is forced to work for the Lords of Palo Alto. (and Bentonville and Seattle, of course). I don’t really believe this, but….at least the strategic response seems to be pretty well targeted to do just this.

  2. Posted by SFONative

    Everyone was in Tahoe

  3. Posted by tfourier

    The simple answer. Its just random noise. The confirmed case definition is test positive for a RT/PCT test or a serological test. Most people get RT/PCR tests. So most COVID confirmed cases recorded are just random noise. You would have got the same test kind of test positive numbers last year. You will get the same kind of numbers in three years time. That’s the mathematics of this test.

    If only serological test positives were used the Confirm Cases number would collapse pretty quickly to some fraction of the general circulation human corona-virus rate. Less than 1% of the adult population. Because thats how many actually have a SARs Cov 2 infection. A fraction of 1%. Mostly asymptomatic. The general population serological studies published so far confirm that trend.

    Almost all serological test positives are true positives. Almost all RT/PCR test positives are false positives due to some very basic math. RT/PCR is a molecular test that has low Type I and Type II Errors rates when used purely as a clinical diagnostic tool but has a very high Type I and Type II Error rate when used as a mass screening test. So worthless when used for mass testing. Plus as RT/PCR is a molecular test there is only a three or four day window during an active SARs CoV 2 infection when the test gets a lower than 50% false negative rate. It misses most infected people.

    So as there is currently a 10 day delay in getting back test results for an infection that has a 10 / 15 day active infection period and the majority of infected people have false negatives and most positives are false the City is being economically destroyed by decision based on “science” that is about as scientific as astrology or homeopathy. Its just political theater. There aint no science involved.

    I am going to really enjoy watching Grant Colfax and Tomas Aragon try to explain to the Civil Grand Jury (because there will be one) exactly why even the most basic principals of public health epidemic control were ignored back in March which set in train the current catastrophe. For a start did no one notice that the published IFR for SARs CoV 1 from 2003 was unique in being equal to its CFR. That the number had no basis due to the (non) published data. Or that the 2003 outbreak turned out in the end to be no different from any other short lived virulent human corona virus outbreak in the past. When it came to the CFR.

    Then we have the large body of literature publishing saying that pretty all the measure the City has enacted are a bad idea for airborne infections like SARs Cov 2….

    This madness will only end when people say enough is enough. Using the current utterly arbitrary criteria used by the City and the State they will be shutting down everything on a regular basis until there is nothing left to shut down. The numbers will the same in five years time as they are today. To be perfectly blunt I dont care if old / sick people with high PSI/PORT score have a slightly higher probably of dying. The risk is not much greater than a very bad flu season. Plus the YLL involved is pretty trivial. Unlike in 2009 with H1N1-09. And I dont remember them shutting down the City back then. Or people running around in purely placebo cloth masks. Only N95’s / N99’s actually work..

    And if you think a vaccine is going to save the day you should read the published literature on that subject. Its gong to make the 1976 Swine Flu vaccine fiasco look trivial.

    This is mass hysteria pure and simple. How many businesses and livelihoods have to be destroyed before these people in City and State government are stopped. They are just complete charlatans by this stage. Very dangerous charlatans .

    [Editor’s Note: As outlined below, this comment relies on a number of common misperceptions, debunked claims and spurious analysis in terms of pandemic related risks, outcomes and best practices. And if you’re on the fence, or anywhere near it, we’d strongly encourage you to keep reading…]

    • Posted by Loggeded

      If you are going to claim such high false positive rates, you should at the very least link to a reputable source. If what you say is true, there must be many such sources. Just a quick look yields tons of sources that dispute what you claim such as this from MIT.

    • Posted by Somerandomguy

      I’m asking the moderators to delete this [comment]. It’s irresponsible to allow such misinformation to stay up.

      • Posted by jimbo

        agree. this should be deleted by the editor

        • Posted by Pablito

          Not a scientist, so can’t opine to the truthfulness of what ‘Tfourier’ is saying. But I find the calls for censorship both par for the course in the Bay Area and mean-spirited bullying. If you really feel that strongly about what someone wrote, and think you know better, then take the time to write a refutation. Anything.

          Calling for censorship, without making ANY effort to educate your audience, shows that you don’t value Their opinions, and only convinces them that you are an arrogant idiot yourself.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            It’s not bullying, and it’s not censorship. Internet conspiracy theories are one thing, but the difference is that this mindset results in people dying. 2,000 people are dying in the United States each day in no small part because of this nonsense, and that number is just going up. Socketsite is about real estate values in San Francisco. There is no reason for it to give a platform to deathmongers.

            These arguments have been refuted repeatedly, including by people below. There’s no logical response to “if you think a vaccine is going to save the day you should read the published literature on that subject”. Vaccines are not controversial. They’ve saved millions of lives. We don’t “teach the controversy” about vaccines. They work. Again, these sorts of lies result in people dying.

          • Posted by tipster

            “Socketsite is about real estate values in San Francisco. There is no reason for it to give a platform to deathmongers.”

            This post is about the virus, so his points are relevant. The best way to consensus is to let everyone post their views and allow people to make their own decisions.

            When I was growing up the Nazi party held small parades every few years. They had the right to do that, as offensive as they were, so they were granted permits and it got everyone talking about them. However, what was being said was uniformly negative, so the Nazi party has largely died out in the US, as it was just a group of nutjobs and anyone considering believing their ideas could easily see that. No one’s rights needed to be trampled: their ideas died out from lack of merit after a discussion that was respectful of everyone’s rights.

            So here, we have a poster spouting all of the current Deniers’ talking points. May as well start debunking them. So I’ll start by taking on his mask assertions that “only N95s work”. The research states that’s false. Although N95s work far better than a mask if you are in a cloud of virus, that much is true. However, non-N95s make the exhaled clouds of virus much smaller so that people walking by the mask wearer have a much smaller chance of catching it from the mask wearer. Additionally, the larger particles exhaled have greater amounts of virus and almost all of them will stick to the exhaler or inhaler. These are their greatest benefit. Every study that has looked at this has come to the same conclusion: masks help, they will not solve the problem.

            Additionally, they don’t do nothing for the mask wearer. About 30% of the virus that would have been inhaled sticks to the mask. Because there is a minimum infectious dose, that 30% can be the difference between catching it and not catching it for a decently sized group of people. Finally, how bad your symptoms are is a function of the infectious dose you get. A 30% reduction can make the difference between a bad case and a mild case. Wearing a mask is the easiest way to give yourself the best possible chance and protect others. So, although you aren’t wrong in what you said, N95s are certainly far better than non N95s, you used that information in a misleading way, to arrive at the wrong conclusion.

            The studies compare nearby cities that implement mask rules and those that don’t. My name link is a summary of one such study but there are many of them and they all reach the same conclusion.

            Let’s look at the “studies” showing the opposite. The one most commonly cited is a danish study that demanded masks reduce the infection rate of the wearers by at least 50% to be “significant”. Because it did not reduce infection rates by 50%, they conclude wearing masks is a failure. But that standard is too high compared with how easy it is to wear a mask. And it didn’t look at reduced severity at all. It’s in the second paragraph of the article found through the search “Major Study Finds Masks Don’t Reduce COVID-19 Infection Rates” at thefederalist dot com

            See how easy that was. I agree with Pablito: censorship is always wrong. If the guy is wrong, explaining it to him will explain it to others and provide ammunition for still others to refute Deniers. And if you can’t explain why someone is wrong, maybe the problem is you, not them. Censorship is always a bad idea. Always. The Nazi party of my teenage years was allowed to march and it died out. That’s the right approach. And no I don’t frequent any of the sites I linked, nor ascribe any credibility to them: I found them through an internet search, and they appeared to accurately summarize the research.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            If you think tfourier is going to be persuaded through science, facts or logic, then I suspect you are in for a surprise. Bring up all the science, facts and logic you want, Covid truthers will just see them as more evidence of the conspiracy.

            Although, please, tfourier, prove me wrong. Do you agree that you were mistaken?

          • Posted by jimbo

            ive written my views on this many times here. he is posting utter and dangerous nonsense.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            I will say that usually, I would agree that if you give it time, this stupidity will eventually die out, like the Nazis you mentioned. Right now, though, we don’t have years. We have 2000 people dying a day, and that number is going up. If a vaccine takes 3 months, that could mean another 150,000 dead Americans. There’s no time to wait for people to come around. Lives are at stake. Socketsite should take this down.

          • Posted by Cave Dweller

            I agree with Pablito & Tipster. I think its a dangerous thing to force (true or false) information into hiding. Its a slippery slope.

            We must allow the devil the benefit of free speech — so we can free speak against the devil.

            We’ve Been Here (Long) Before
            “There has been more new error propagated by the press in the last ten years than in an hundred years before 1798,” President John Adams complained of his treatment by opposition newspapers at a time when news—fake or real—was printed by hand.

            Adams’s Federalist allies in Congress responded to the president’s concerns about fake news with legal restrictions on “any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government.” Unsurprisingly, the first person charged under the law was an opposition lawmaker—Rep. Matthew Lyon of Vermont—who accused President Adams of “an unbounded thirst for ridiculous pomp.”

            Ironically, the then-president’s own cousin, Samuel Adams, had been an especially effective propagandist and publisher of arguably misleading information in the years leading up to the American Revolution. But that was the sort of fake news to which John Adams had no objection.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            When you’re on a plane and it’s about to land, we don’t let everyone into the cockpit and start shouting at the pilot that they’re landing the plane wrong. And if you did try to run into the cockpit and shout at the pilot while claiming that you were just exercising your right to free speech, you would lose.

            That’s what’s happening here. Instead of people saying things like “cloth masks don’t work”, or “vaccines don’t work”, substitute some random yahoo without any flight training barging into the cockpit to shout that the pilot is doing it wrong. They don’t need to be debunked over and over. Socketsite has no problem stepping in and deleting posts, but none of them are as dangerous as ones like this.

          • Posted by Cave Dweller

            @SFRealist — of course there is context for and limits to free speech. But I also don’t think people are going to take some post on Socketsite as sound medical advice. Assuming they do, they could be doing that on any other website as well. At some point, its not worth the trouble to try and scrub the entire internet for what you consider to be censor worthy.

            Could you share the source of 2000 deaths/day? According to CDC, fatality count thus far is around ~255K for the last 10 months or average of ~850 deaths/day.
            Certainly there will be days when fatality will be relatively worse. But is the moving average increasing? decreasing or stable?

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Sadly, the moving average is now higher than it has ever been in the United States, and it is still spiking.

            We have just passed the 2000 deaths/day threshold. I would love it if that number dropped, but all indications are that it will continue to go up. 2000 deaths/day may be considered low by Christmas.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            I’m not saying that we should scrub the entire internet. There are all sorts of crazy sites out there. But Socketsite has it within its capabilities to not host false information. Not only is this objectively false, but this mindset is responsible for people dying in the days and weeks to come.

            It is an opportunity for Socketsite to do the right thing.

      • Posted by Freeloader

        I second this, or at least a Twitter style warning. My wife has a PhD+Postdoc in molecular/microbiology specializing in infectious disease and says the above is a bunch of hooey.

        Where’s the Socketsite editorial snark we all love when it’s needed the most?

    • Posted by SFRealist

      I agree. This sort of nonsense is putting lives at risk. There’s no need to give these people a platform.

    • Posted by jimbo

      this is about 99% false. Im still looking for the 1% of truth here, but giving you the benefit of doubt

    • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

      What a load of crock you’re selling.

      The latest restrictions are driven by the fact that our ICUs are filling up and we risk running out of ICU beds. I guarantee you that nobody gets put into an ICU bed unless it looks like they’re likely to die otherwise. So completely putting aside the spurious arguments of whether positive tests are really positive, we have increases in people who are seriously ill with this disease that threaten to overburden our entire health care system. There are also corresponding increases in Covid-caused deaths.

      People are not dying of mass hysteria, they are dying as a result of Covid-19.

      I would add my voice to those who think your post is irresponsible and should be removed. This is not Parler.

    • Posted by R. Koch

      The fact that the commenter claims decisions made by epidemiologists and public health personnel are “just political theater” is a tell. From the beginning of this pandemic Republican politicians have, for the sake of political expediency, claimed that the epidemic is not real, is “going away”, is “no worse than the flu”, and that experts and authorities are making the decisions that they have made for “political” reasons.

      In fact, the epidemic is real, millions have died, and the situation in the U.S. will gravely worsen as our hospital, testing, and other logistic capacity is exceeded. Hence, the need for stricter measures to isolate people in order to slow the virus’ spread.

      The commenter’s remarks are misleading, replete with falsehoods, and perpetuates these beliefs amongst the population. The commenter cynically dons the mantle of science, and parrots the form of a two-sided, “fair and balanced” debate style. By perpetuating lies, the commenter’s statement directly endangers people’s lives.

      Failure of the public heed public health orders has worsened the virus’ spread.

    • Posted by jenofla

      This is total nonsense. It’s the opposite. It’s got a lot of fancy words, but makes no sense. For instance, the serologic tests are mostly false positives (due to low population prevalence) and are essentially useless and the RT/PCR tests are the ones with the risk of false negatives not false positives. Please, Socketsite, please remove this. This is just wrong. From someone whose work involves medical testing. Heck, I don’t even support the shutdowns, but this post states completely wrong stuff.

  4. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: In partnership with Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and Santa Clara counties, along with the City of Berkeley, San Francisco will preemptively adopt the State’s new Stay at Home Orders. From the Office of the Mayor:

    “As of 10 p.m. on Sunday, December 6, San Francisco will close all personal services, outdoor dining, public outdoor playgrounds, outdoor museums, zoos and aquariums, drive-in theaters, and open-air tour busses and boats.

    Additionally, San Francisco will halt indoor limited personal training in gyms and limit outdoor gyms and outdoor fitness classes to a maximum group size of 12 people at a time, including instructors and participants.

    Low contact retail such as pet grooming, electronics or shoe repair services, may only operate in a curbside drop-off context. All other retail, including grocery stores must reduce capacity to 20%, and all indoor businesses that are open to the public, such as retail stores, must create a metering system to manage and enforce indoor customer capacity. This metering system must be in place no later 10 p.m. on Sunday December 6, when other amended order becomes operative.

    Hotels may remain open for essential workers and critical infrastructure support, including isolation and quarantine. Out of town visitors who are not essential workers or here for critical infrastructure support must stay in the hotel for the full amount of time required to quarantine. Real Estate viewings must take place virtually. The City will limit any outdoor gatherings to members of the same household up to 12 people.”

    The new Order is expected to be in effect through January 4, 2021, but will be extended if there’s not a consistent reduction in local case rates and hospitalizations and either the local ICU availability has dropped below 25 percent or the aforementioned “Bay Area” ICU availability has dropped below 15 percent.

    In addition, the City will be increasing its focus on compliance and enforcement activities, with a pilot program to deploy community health ambassadors to street closure locations and the City’s Community Education and Response Team (CERT) addressing reported violations.

    • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

      I will be happy if they actually do focus on enforcement, something SF is really, really bad at (we only enforce parking violations.) We had a better and more functional society back when there used to be consequences for breaking the law. These days the rules are mere suggestions that many choose to ignore.

      Covid is a good example; if everyone actually followed the rules for a few weeks, we’d largely eliminate community spread.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        This. As I note above, this is like saying people drive over the speed limit, so we need to lower the speed limit.

        How about *enforcing the rule* instead?! So now people who abide by the rules will cower in their homes … small businesses will suffer and shutter again … and the 20-somethings and others gathering for dinners and parties behind closed doors will continue to do so.

  5. Posted by Pablito

    I feel pretty strongly about the censorship thing. It’s really important for societies to get that right in the face of pandemics. To move forward constructively.

    I was living in SF back in 1986. During the peak of the fear during the AIDS epidemic. I remember millions of people in the State of CA voting for the 1986 California Proposition 64. Read up on it if you are young – it was pretty scary stuff. Basically modern day fascism based on your mandatory AIDS test results. The proponents main strategy was to deny the community in SF a platform to speak in National media.

    I remember visiting friends in Ward 86 at SFGH back then. Everybody died, but here’s the thing – it wasn’t all awful – there was gallows humor hope. Ward 86 gave compassion to people in face of strong social stigma. They treated the people in the hospital sick dying with AIDS the same as every other sick person in the hospital – dying with ‘ normal’ diseases like cancer. They treated every one as people worthy of compassion, with a story to be told.

    A lot of them could only get cremated. Funeral homes, churches, and cemeteries didn’t want anything to do with them. The newspaper wouldn’t publish obituaries saying you died of AIDS – they always said ‘pneumonia complications’.

    And that’s when we got the AIDS quilt (87?) as a way to give people a platform, let them tell their story of dealing with loss in the face of a terrible meaningless disease. Weird kind of platform – making a giant quilt that covered the national Mall in Washington DC. But it worked.

    America came to terms with what was happening, some people slower, some faster, but it got better because we all talked about it.

    • Posted by Cave Dweller

      @Pablito — I was too young to have been aware of the situation in ’86. But I do (strongly) share the sentiment about not encouraging censorship. I think the so called denier movement is really an economic protest. I truly think these are times to understand, reflect on the rhetoric (both for and against), search for compassion within and without.

      I think the verification of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ is beyond any of us. Science itself seldom deals in certainties. The least any of us could do is at least make an effort to read the situation from the other side and understand their motivations, find a common ground .. rather than degrade ourselves (and our rights in the process) by clamoring for censorship and high handed behavior.

      These are interesting times.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      But what would have been even better is if more of those people had lived. We are–right now–in the middle of a very contagious pandemic. This person is spreading medical lies (Cloth masks don’t help) which, if people believe them, cost lives.

      This isn’t censorship. Nor is it uncertainty. Science is all about a verifiable “right” and “wrong”. This anti vaccine and anti-mask nonsense is wrong. Objectively wrong. This is not a controversy.

      • Posted by GMZ

        people will have different opinions. TFourier is posting on a local real estate site, not the Lancet (which has also posted articles that were later refuted by “science” FYI)

        • Posted by SFRealist

          People have different opinions. Some of those opinions are wrong and kill people.

  6. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: Following the post-Thanksgiving drop, the average number of daily new COVID-19 cases identified in San Francisco is back up to an average of 134 new cases per day and poised to spike with nearly 300 new cases and counting recorded on 12/1 alone, a 60 percent jump from the prior week’s peak.

    At the same time, while testing rates have dropped, the average percent positive rate is up to 2.64 percent and should soon tick over 3 percent, as we outlined above.

    And as of this past Saturday (12/5), there were 118 confirmed COIVD-19 related hospitalizations in San Francisco, which is a new pandemic high and with at least 32 people now in an ICU.

  7. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: While the City’s initial guidance stated that “Real Estate viewings must take place virtually” under the Stay Home Order that’s now in place, the formal order allows for in-person showing if a virtual showing “is not feasible” and “includes no more than two members of the same household, only one person shows the unit and the occupants [of the property being shown are not] present.”

  8. Posted by anon

    All of you people countering tfourier sound like RoundEarthers to me.

    But seriously, we have never seen the ease of propagating disinformation as we have now with the current state of social media and the internet. All you need is a few vocab words from whatever domain, someone willing to backsolve or not realizing they are doing that, and a willing audience. This will outlive Covid and whatever politicians or conspiracy theories who may use this.

    • Posted by Cave Dweller

      @anon — Velocity of information is neutral to its veracity. Good information can move just as fast as bad information. We see this happen every day to the tune of a few 100s of billion of dollars in markets world over. Why do you think bad information moves faster than good information? Propaganda becomes what it is because of lack of contrast.

      Science is amoral. And Scientific thinking is consensus based verification or denial of claims/hypotheses based on facts and formulated theory. At any given point consensus is based on the number of facts being observed/recorded. Some of these facts are layered on top of other facts. As new information is verified the overarching facts are revised or adjusted. We have to accept that we are not always aware of all the facts. There is a lot of room for doubt and unknown in Science.

      Lack of censorship and free access to information is fundamental to Scientific thinking as these are the foundational pillars on which it stands. Now certainly, there are areas where ethics, morality and social context need to be considered — but lets state it as such without losing our heads.

      • Posted by R. Koch

        “Rights” are not absolute. The idea that individual rights trump the collective good is neither sane, nor supported by the great breadth of legal precedent in the U.S. In this vein, the idea that “censorship” (and I put that in quotes because those who are arguing against it here seem unaware that Sockesite is a privately owned publication) is essential to science is an absolutist position that borders on the absurd.

        Of course the free exchange of ideas is critical to science. On the other hand, we’d be idiots to waste our time on arguments and analyses that are overwhelmingly not supported by evidence. That’s why we have peer review. Peer review isn’t censorship — it’s common sense. In a general sense, peer review doesn’t check for veracity, it checks to be sure that analyses aren’t flawed.

        But wait! There is the not so minor question of context. Here, that consists of a political campaign that sought to use cultural belief in absolute individual rights, plus suspicion of elites, to foment doubt about experts’ opinions and public health officials’ orders during a pandemic. To accomplish this, lies were spread that have the appearance of balanced argument and scientific authority.

        Knowing that this is happening, what should our response be?

        For me, it’s this: A publication that publishes known lies, and harbors known liers, should not be trusted. tfourier’s post is such a lie. Given that we know it is one of many such lies, and, not least, that at this moment, promulgating such lies is endangering lives, we should neither tolerate it, nor should we frequent publications that encourage people like tfourier for the sake of “engagement.”

        • Posted by R. Koch

          My second sentence above should read something like ‘inessential to science’ or ‘contrary to science’. Anyhow, I’m arguing against the idea that absolute freedoms — in speech, in mask wearing, or in considering scientific ideas — is, or was ever, a sensible idea. The sentence could be clearer.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          Amen, R. Koch. Amen.

        • Posted by R. Koch

          I’d like to add that Socketsite’s cautionary note, appended to tfourier’s comment, is a reasonable response, and that the discussion taken as a whole is useful. I just hate to see fora dominated by misinformation campaigns, ignored by craven publishers. Socketsite’s comment threads are well moderated, by comparison.

        • Posted by Cave Dweller

          Rights are not absolute — there are limits and context to free speech. And I stated this in one of the above replies. However, you cannot trample the rights of few for the benefit of many (perceived or otherwise). Hence the right to religious freedom and representative democracy in a Republic and by the same token rights of gay people to have equal lives (for instance). There are specific reasons why we have 100 Senators to far greater number of congress people.

          You seem to imply that we are a pure democracy where the will and writ of majority can override the minority. We are not, we are Republic. How do you deal with a situation when 50.1% want to over-ride the choice of 49.9%? Does that .1% confer absolute will? I will respectfully suggest that you think about it and educate yourself.

          Now Socketsite can very well do as they please. But what I think they did here is provide space for both pro and contra view points. They’ve taken (imo) a neutral stance neither endorsing nor promoting any view. Clearly and overwhelmingly, the opinion in this thread with regards to COVID is also the opinion that is aligned with qualified medical and generally accepted opinion. This is even more apparent because of the contrast in opinions among the posters.

          Therefore, I have absolutely no reason to believe this site is any way harboring or promoting anti-science views. The fact of my and your posts are themselves evidence in this regard. And the last I checked this site hasn’t claimed and isn’t a source of scientific information about pandemics and other attendant topics.

          But wait! There is the not so minor question of context. Here, that consists of a political campaign that sought to use cultural belief in absolute individual rights, plus suspicion of elites, to foment doubt about experts’ opinions and public health officials’ orders during a pandemic. To accomplish this, lies were spread that have the appearance of balanced argument and scientific authority.

          Knowing that this is happening, what should our response be?

          Simple — More Science. Lead by example. Share research. Show you are better by respectfully disagreeing with the other opinion using facts and educated opinion. I absolutely will not support any position that recommends “suppression” of differences and thought.

          As I’ve stated earlier — We must give devil the freedom of speech so we can freely speak against the devil. When you try to muzzle the devil, you’ve shown the devil how to shut you up.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          3000 deaths yesterday, 7 day moving average keeps rising

          • Posted by R. Koch

            It’s almost as if the virus doesn’t care about “rights”, the economy, school childrens’ welfare, religious obligations, political demonstrations, elections, and a myriad of other human customs and behaviors. Who knew?

            Apparently we did, once upon a time. The courts have recognized preconditions for the existence of a peaceful society. E.g. (thanks to the Lawyers and Liquor blog, whom I’m cribbing from):

            Yes, individual rights can be subordinated for the good of the whole.

            “. . .[L]iberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good. On any other basis, organized society could not exist with safety to its members. Society based on the rule that each one is a law unto himself would soon be confronted with disorder and anarchy. Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.” Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11, 26 (1905)

            Yes, we can do this in the realm of health:

            “Health regulations are of the utmost consequence to the general welfare, and if they be reasonable, impartial, and not against the general policy of the State, they must be submitted to by individuals for the good of the public. . . To grant release on bail to persons isolated and detained on a quarantine order because they have a contagious disease which makes them dangerous to others, or to the public in general, would render quarantine laws and regulations nugatory and of no avail.” Varholy v. Sweat, 15 So. 2d 267 (Fl 1943)

            But, no, the U.S. Government can’t do this; these are states’ powers. True, restrictions on the fundamental rights enumerated in the first ten amendments are subject to strict(er) scrutiny. However, should the government prove a compelling interest, restriction of these rights can occur.

            And yes, the Supreme Court of the United States permitted quarantines by states in Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824).

  9. Posted by Another anon

    The death rate is ridiculously low for such draconian measures.

    Per the latest CDC update, total YTD COVID deaths in CA is less than 20k (0.05% of the population). Compare that to 230k deaths from all other causes during the same time period.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      I don’t find the measures draconian at all and feel the death rate is unacceptable.

      More importantly we’re looking back at the results of a healthcare system that has been able to keep up with the caseload. Things will get worse if the hospitals fill up with patients and empty of doctors and nurses who have to stay home and deal with their own infections.

      • Posted by Cave Dweller

        It’s a matter of perspective. For instance, in India many people died of starvation because of a hastily imposed lockdown. In the US many people also lost their livelihood/sustenance in the process.

        Right now, 250 million farmers are protesting against their government imposed neo-liberal reforms in India with scant regard to medical precaution. Their argument: either we die of financial ruin and starvation or we die of COVID — we’ll take our chances.

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          Sure, Covid has had a huge financial impact on some Americans and I support subsidies for those who can’t work due to the shutdowns. What is more important though, dollars or lives?

          The comparison to India is not useful in assessing our local situation.

          • Posted by Cave Dweller

            The problem is that we’ve showcased to the world how vulnerable we really are in a crisis. We’ve pretty much given the template on “how to bring a nation to its knees” to all those who are interested. 250 million people not complying means this virus is going to be with us for a while with or without vaccine. Didn’t this thing come from somewhere else to begin with?

            Subsidies aren’t free. And every society has a limit to how much burden it can bear. Who will pay for these subsidies if it is really those who will bear the cost are who are in need of them?

  10. Posted by Sierrajeff

    This is a distillation of what it means to live in San Francisco. A handful of comments about substance, quite overbalanced by an exhaustive debate about free speech and “censorship” and participatory rights. Almost literal fiddling while Rome burns.

  11. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: While the average rate of COVID-19 testing in San Francisco has dropped below the run up to Thanksgiving, the average percent positive rate has jumped to 3.26 percent and is now poised to soon hit 4 percent.

    And with over 300 new cases now recorded on 12/1 alone, the 7-day average number of daily new COVID-19 cases in San Francisco, which had peaked at 131 back in July, is poised to hit 200 within the next couple of days, with over 120 hospital beds already occupied by COVID-19 patients (which is a new pandemic high), at least 30 people in an ICU, and an average two-week lag between case rate trends and hospitalizations.

    • Posted by jimbo

      some good news. they rolled back the order on closing playgrounds. this is the right thing to do. we take our kids to playgrounds in the Presidio and Pac Hts. I have not seen a single kid at those playgrounds without a mask in over 2 months. if toddlers can do 100% compliance then everyone should be able to do

  12. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The ICU availability for the Bay Area Region has dropped nearly five (5) full percentage points over the past week to 20.9 percent.

    Once again, all eleven counties in the Bay Area Region will be required to adopt the State’s supplemental Stay Home Order for at least (another) 3 weeks if the ICU availability for the region drops under 15 percent.

    And with the ICU availability for the Greater Sacramento Region having just dropped to 14.3 percent, a Regional Stay Home Order will be in effect for Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties starting tomorrow, 12/10 at 11:59 PM.

  13. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The ICU availability for the Bay Area Region has dropped to 17.8 percent. If the trend continues, a regional Stay Home Order for all eleven counties could be triggered as early as this weekend, if not tomorrow.

    At the same time, the 7-day average number new COVID-19 cases in San Francisco is up to 181 per day and on track to hit 200 within a day or two, with at least 129 local hospital beds now occupied by COVID-19 patients (which is a new pandemic high), at least 32 people in an ICU, and an average two-week lag between case rate trends and hospitalizations.

  14. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: As projected, the 7-day average number of daily new COVID-19 cases in San Francisco has jumped to 212, with at least 128 local hospital beds now occupied by COVID-19 patients and 33 people in an ICU.

  15. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The ICU availability for the Bay Area Region is down to 16.7 percent.

  16. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: While still within striking distance of 15 percent, the ICU availability for the Bay Area Region has ticked back up to 17.8 percent.

    At the same time, the 7-day average number of daily new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in San Francisco has jumped to 232 with at least 148 local hospital beds now occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients and 37 people in an ICU.

  17. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The ICU availability for the Bay Area Region has dropped back down to 15.8 percent with at least 160 hospital beds in San Francisco now occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients and 40 people in local ICUs which is a pandemic high.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      All the more reason to take down tfourier’s post, which was full of lies. As we can see, tfourier has not responded. This person is not interested in having an honest discussion. Socketsite is privately owned and has not obligation to provide a platform for this nonsense.

  18. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: A Regional Stay Home Order for the greater Bay Area has just been triggered.

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