Having hit a one-day peak of 562 on January 4, 2021, the 7-day average number of daily new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in San Francisco, which hit a pandemic high of 374 on January 8, has steadily declined over the past month and currently measures 153, the lowest 7-day average since the end of November, 2020, but still above the local peak in July.

At the same time, local hospitalizations have dropped as well. But there are still over 170 local hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and at least 46 people in an ICU.

And with the ICU availability in San Francisco having ticked up to 28 percent, the ICU availability for the greater Bay Area Region is back up to 18.1 percent, albeit with some changes as to how the regional figure is now calculated, with the Regional ICU capacity now calculated using the total number of adult ICU beds in hospitals with an emergency department, excluding neonatal or pediatric ICU beds, and no longer including “an adjustment for the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in [an] ICU.”

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by That Guy

    Worth noting that just like on the case upswing in late 2020, which was in partly due to test volume increases, the recent reduction is partially due to testing volume reductions.

    Since the Jan 4 peak, detected cases have fallen by ~60%, but testing volume has fallen by ~30% (9200/day to 6600/day), so ~half the decline in cases can be explained by testing volume decreases alone. The other ~half by positive test % decreases (from 5.36% at the recent peak to 3.11% recently).

    Focusing on cases alone, without noting test volume/% positive only tells part of the story.

    • Posted by Dinsdale Piranha

      True, but it stands to reason that the lower test volume is due to fewer people having symptoms. It’s not a testing capacity issue.

  2. Posted by anon

    Agreed – you have to look at everything, but I don’t think testing volume is a big part of this decline in cases. The positivity rate would indicate that the peak of testing is not “over-testing” and the recent decline is not “under-testing the true path of cases on a relative basis.” Also, the 7day MA for tests collected is a bit erratic.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      In addition, the percent positive rate “has steadily declined over the past month and currently measures [3.11 percent], the lowest 7-day average since the end of November, 2020.” And in fact, the two metrics have been moving in relative lockstep over the past two months, which is why we’re okay highlighting only one of the two metrics above and hasn’t always been the case.

  3. Posted by TD9er

    This site and the thoughtful commenters on it always seems to have an inside scoop on everything, so…. I wonder if anyone has any info on when the SF travel quarantine might be lifted? Case rates are below where they were when it was implemented, and with schools still closed there isn’t much point in staying here in the short term if one has a place to get away to.

    • Posted by haighter

      You mean how you’re supposed to quarantine for two weeks after arriving in the Bay Area? What a joke of a policy, I can’t imagine anyone has actually followed that. Zero ability to enforce

      • Posted by Fishchum

        I believe it’s 10 days, and yes, my wife and I did quarantine after a trip to Mt. Lassen.

        • Posted by anon

          Unfortunately, the people who actually quarantine are probably the people who are more careful and courteous in general in terms of masking and covid protocols. And vice versa. i.e. the people who have a higher chance of getting covid on the same trip are also more likely to ignore quarantine.

      • Posted by OMN

        yeah, almost no one is following that. What a joke.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        I quarantined.

  4. Posted by soccermom

    This decline is clearly thanks to our brave teachers who have learned that not showing up for work is better than showing up for work.

  5. Posted by GMZ

    How can CA justify the lock downs anymore now that we have the worst surge in the country. Lockdowns never worked and never will work. Now they say we have to get vaccinated but still wear masks and social distance?!?! oh yeah…make that 2 masks and an anal swab test to boot All while Newsom continues to take away private property rights. We have all been conned.

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