Having dropped to pandemic low of 0.78 percent three weeks ago, the 7-day average positivity rate for those who are tested for COVID-19, which effectively peaked at 5.36 percent in early January, has inched back up to 0.94 percent.

And as such, the average number of daily new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in San Francisco, which dropped to a 5-month low of 32 in early March, has inched back up to 37 new cases per day or 4.3 new cases per 100,000 residents versus a target of 1.8 and with 21 residents still hospitalized due to COVID and four (4) people in an ICU.

Let’s stay careful out there and keep the numbers down.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by That Guy

    I appreciate your desire for fear clicks.

    COVID’s going to be around for a long time, but, at least in SF, it’s quickly becoming something you won’t get really sick from or die from.

    As of 3/31, 46% of San Francisco adults had received at least one vaccine shot. The % is much higher among those at higher mortality risk.

    That 21 hospitalized patients ties the lowest number since COVID began in SF and is still declining. The 5 in SF ICUs is the lowest since COVID records were kept.

    9 SF residents died from COVID in March. As tragic as any death is, ~500 people died from other causes last month.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      In other words, the majority of San Francisco residents remain unprotected and the widespread stay home orders, which we’d really like to avoid having to rollback, again, worked.

      So once again, let’s stay safe out there and reduce the risk of a new variant taking hold, and/or another avoidable death, due to basic complacency.

      • Posted by That Guy

        In other words, the majority of San Francisco residents in danger of serious illness or death are now protected.

        I said nothing about stay at home orders not working, or promoting unsafe behavior or complacency, but thanks for the non-sequiturs. You’re good at them!

        I expect you’ll get in a few more fear click posts before even you throw in the towel. Grats!

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          You’re overlooking the danger of variants. The larger the number of vulnerable hosts (i.e. unvaccinated people), the more variants will evolve. The more variants created, the greater chance that a variant resists vaccines. And then we all start all over again with a new pandemic. Let’s be cautious and avoid that.

          • Posted by That Guy

            I’m overlooking nothing.

            Where did I say “throw caution to the wind, bitches!” or anything like that?

          • Posted by KOBking

            Evidence shows the opposite: vaccines still effective against variants.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Yes, it is promising that the vaccines still seem to work against the variants. However are we sure that covid cannot eventually mutate to resist vaccines? Personally I’d prefer that we reduce transmission to greatly reduce the number of mutant strains that are created. That will greatly reduce the chances of creating a new pandemic.

          • Posted by KOBking

            There’s no evidence that such mutations will occur. You might as well speculate that an asteroid will hit the earth. Notably, COVID-19 is nothing like the flu, which undergoes extensive DNA recombination every year. Also, even if the USA is 100% vaccinated, third-world countries will not be for many years if ever. So it would be impossible to stop such mutations should they occur. At some point, living your life requires accepting some risk. The same risk you accept when you drive a car.

          • Posted by Ken m

            Yeah, im all for cautious behaviour, but your idea of a monster mutate completely and totally outwitting the vaccines is a bit scaremonger.

            That’s not likely to happen.

        • Posted by Martin

          You’re overlooking the risk of variants and side effects. Would you like to get covid, live, and spend the rest of your time with brain-fog? Long-term effects affect about 10% of people, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t think anyone should risk their life and job. I know for me, I’d be useless at my job if I was one of the 10% of survivors.

          • Posted by KOBking

            10 percent of people? Jesus dude that’s an insane inflation. The vast majority of people with it are asymptmatic and don’t even know they have it.

    • Posted by Mutal Kudi

      Hospitalizations increase about 2 weeks after cases increase, and deaths about 3 weeks after. That’s the natural course of COVID. So it’s not fear mongering to point out an increase in test positivity and cases even if hospitalizations haven’t increased yet.

      Agree that vaccination should greatly reduce both new diagnoses and severity of illness. That’s all the more reason to continue being careful for a little while longer. Nearly 10K vaccines are being administered daily in SF. By Memorial Day, most of the city will be vaccinated and things should be able to get back to normal. Do you really need to dine indoors, travel, or throw a party right now?

      • Posted by That Guy

        Who said anything about the “need to dine indoors, travel, or throw a party right now”?

        While I thank you for putting words in my mouth, I’ll note now that the CDC has said that for fully vaccinated people (admittedly only about 1/4 of SF adults today) travel in the US can proceed normally, as well as gatherings with other vaccinated people being OK.

    • Posted by c_q

      There is an old story about this boy who noticed a leak in a dike and he stuck his finger in it until the dike could be repaired. nice story, but imagine if instead after holding back the leak for a few hours, townspeople came by and said “hey, there’s no water on the ground here, why are you still doing that? everything is good now, you can relax”.

      people seem to think that because cases are down but not zero means we can now let up is totally wrong – in fact it’s the very time to double down and completely squash it.

      • Posted by haighter

        Cases will never be zero. If you want to stay home for another year, have at it, but don’t think the rest of us will now that the vulnerable have been vaccinated

      • Posted by KOBking

        I don’t understand the obsession with reducing COVID to zero. That will never happen. And since when did we become such terrified people that we insist on zero risk from any bad outcome? Driving to work every day is quite dangerous too–more dangerous than COVID for most people–but we did it without a concern.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          38,000 people died in the United States from traffic accidents last year. 550,000 people died from Covid in the United States last year.

          • Posted by KOBking

            But the vast majority of people who died from Covid were elderly, which is why I said traffic accidents are a bigger risk for “most people,” I.e people under 50.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            This article says that 95% of people who died from Covid were 50+. 5% of 550,000 is still 27,500.

            How many people who died in traffic accidents were under 50?

          • Posted by another anon

            2018 traffic deaths ages 0-14 per NHTSA: 1,038
            2020/21 Covid deaths ages 0-17 per CDC: 246

            So, given the difference in age cohorts, a person under 18 is at least 4x more likely to die in a traffic accident than by Covid. Why not lock them in their homes to reduce deaths?

          • Posted by Michael

            Or pass draconian laws requiring adults to use seat belts and child seats while obeying the rules of the road!

          • Posted by KOBking

            No one is saying we shouldn’t use reasonable precautions like safety belts and masks. But complete shutdowns of highways and businesses is irrational for most people.

            Also, last years numbers are way deflated from a typical year when about 80,000 people die from car accidents.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            80,000 people do not die in car accidents last year or any year. The numbers are about the same every year, rising slightly.

            But 550,000 Americans did die of Covid.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            In fact, around 42,000 people died in car accidents last year, or 13 times fewer people than died from COVID, representing 1.49 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

            And in terms of assessing the risk, with an average car trip length of around 15 miles, you could call it a roughly 0.0002 percent chance of a trip resulting in a death (versus 1.7 percent of COVID cases).

          • Posted by KOBking

            Socketsite proving itself to be a biased joke with the below response. For most people under 50, driving is more dangerous.

      • Posted by Ken m

        You will never get this to zero. You need to get to “manageable”…

  2. Posted by Check the Facts

    The numbers actually are not “inching back up.”

    April 1st was back down to 22, the numbers are in flux with a increasing downward spiral. This article is inaccurate.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      The numbers above are the rolling averages, which have, in fact, been inching up (versus spiraling down). In addition, daily case counts need at least a week to be considered reliable due to lags in reporting and typical adjustments upwards. And once again, the percent positive rate, which speaks directly to spread, has been inching up as well.

      • Posted by Check the Facts

        This article is ridiculous & looking at the data from the most negative point possible. Overall, the numbers are trending down and the vaccines are tending way up.

        Let’s stay careful out there and keep the positivity up.

      • Posted by KOBking

        But you ignore that more than half of SF has some immunity now, including the vast majority of the vulnerable population, and that overall deaths are way down. We had the fewest numbers of deaths this weekend since March 2020 as a nation. Why ignore it?

      • Posted by timbad

        while I am in no way saying this to imply any sort of ‘we don’t need to be careful’ message, it is worth noting that the drift upward in positivity does coincide with a drift downward in number of tests conducted. it could be that less effort is being put into testing as long as positivity remains relatively low, and that if it continues drifting upward, more testing may bring it back down.

        also, the trailing averages were temporarily impacted by a two-day stretch (Mar 16-17) a couple weeks ago where only 6 cases were reported, which seems to have been an anomaly that was not immediately corrected. once the trailing period passed, the numbers bounced back up about to where they had been before.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          If the pace of the “downward drift” for the number of tests conducted was greater than the “upward drift” in the positivity rate, a change in the mix of who is being tested could be fingered for the rise in the positivity rate. But keep in mind that the overall case rate has inched up as well.

          In other words, despite fewer tests being conducted, more cases have been identified, both relatively and in the absolute, which indicates an increase in spread. And once again, hospitalizations have inched up as well.

          • Posted by timbad

            thank you for the sensible response, to which I don’t really have anything directly relevant to add.

            but indirectly, what I’d like to have a better understanding of is why SF is on track to record more (reported) deaths in April than in March. this only makes possible sense to me if there is a source of reporting of fatalities that significantly lags some other source(s). something similar happened last October, where there was a significant spike in reported deaths seemingly absent a corresponding high rate of cases or hospitalizations, which also seemed mysterious to me at the time.

            this is a bit off-topic from this site’s main aim, I know, but if you have any insight on this, I would appreciate hearing it.

  3. Posted by Chris

    I appreciate the statistics on the number hospitalized and in ICU.

    COVID may or may not be around in the long run. But the whole reason for a shutdown was to flatten the curve so hospitals can handle the case loads. No one ever talks about that.

    • Posted by Mao Zedong

      When you “flatten” the curve, you, by definition, extend the time period required for mitigation efforts. That’s what “flattening” is. Reducing hospital capacity variably (Y axis) by extending Time (X Axis). A return to full normal is a moving target because it has to be.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        Your definition of flatten the curve is wrong.

        Mitigation efforts don’t depend on how flat the curve is. Mitigation comes from developing vaccines and rolling them out. Flattening the curve keeps the number of people who require medical care below the system’s capacity.

        • Posted by Mao Zedong

          No it isn’t. Mitigation efforts consist of multiple methods, vaccines being the last of them. The prior mitigation efforts consist of limiting public gathering spaces, avoiding contact, wearing masks, frequent hand washing, proper hygiene, etc. These other efforts are how the “curve is flattened” by reducing the initial likelihood of transmission, which is what I was responding to. The initial comment I responded to implied that relatively low hospital numbers are an adequate reason to roll back public health precautions, which is a dangerously false assumption

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Wrong. Your original comment said that the definition of flattening the curve was extending the time period required for mitigation. That is wrong. Flattening the curve does not alter the time period for mitigation. The ones that you mention happen concurrently with flattening the curve, but flattening the curve does not require that they be delayed

  4. Posted by Anthony Rizzo

    Joe Biden really needs to step it up. Covid doesn’t have any boundaries. Opening night of baseball, some stadiums were pretty full and others had barely anyone. Joe Biden we are in a PANDEMIC. Shut the country down and let’s get vaccinated. We need lockdowns, everyone needs to stay home. 1 member of the household allowed to leave for 30 minutes 3 times a week. Everyone else stays inside. This disease is highly contagious and morphing. We need to put safety first and get rid of covid. Lockdowns till 0 cases a month. Staying away is the new way of saying I love you.

    • Posted by Kyle

      We’re way past that, brother. While I take COVID seriously, the hard lockdowns are unlikely to be rolled out again. Too much pandemic fatigue even for those who takes it seriously. For some states, what covid? Let’s just do our best to vaccinate everyone who Wants a shot and move on. Start planning to mitigate future pandemics.

      See you at the A’s/Gaints game! Play ball!

    • Posted by That Guy

      Poor attempt at sarcasm or over the top crazy?

      I can’t tell.

      Help me out.

      • Posted by Kyle

        After I posted my reply, I thought it might’ve been sarcasm but can’t edit here. Anyways, some people do Agree with his line of thinking. That’s the scary part.

        Sometimes it feels like we forgot that there’s risk to everything in life. We mitigate that risk and then have to accept a certain level of it. We can’t live in fear and/or bubble forever.

        Happy Friday y’all. Go enjoy this beautiful Bay Area weather. Leave socketsite until Monday while we’re back at “work.”
        🙂

  5. Posted by heynonnynonny

    Editor, thanks for tracking this. Cases in the northeast have been rising for a while and one last wave of variants is a real possibility.

  6. Posted by jimbo

    ive definitely noticed some relaxation in mask wearing recently, but this is certainly not yet a worrisome uptick.

    Would be good to see data on the demographics (age mostly) of whose being infected now vs 3 months ago. I dont see deaths or hospitalizations rising very much, if at all.

    I do think we will be back to normal by end of June, with some (bit not majority) still wearing masks. Kids 12-16 will likely be eligible in June with the new Pfizer data, and that cohort should only take 1 month.

    • Posted by Ken m

      The rise of the infections are from 30 and under.

      Meaning…

      The vaccines for older folks are being pushed through…

      And we’re likely to see less death/hospitalizations with younger folk.

  7. Posted by KOBking

    There’s little reason for 12-16 year olds to even get vaccinated. More kids die from the flu most years than died from COVID.

    • Posted by another anon

      KOB, exactly right. Looking at aggregate Covid statistics while ignoring demographic cohorts is useless. In CA, a person aged 0-17 is 169x more likely do die from anything other than Covid. For ages 18-29, a person is 37x more likely do die from anything other than Covid. So why the totally irrational fear?

      • Posted by SFRealist

        Perhaps because people from 0-29 have parents and grandparents, and they don’t want to infect them?

        • Posted by haighter

          If those parents and grandparents are vaccinated, they should have nothing to worry about if their children and grandchildren aren’t

          • Posted by SFRealist

            That’s true, but I was replying to the ‘totally irrational fear’ language. Going forward, knock on wood, we are safe. For the last year, it was very rational for people to be afraid of passing Covid to their family.

      • Posted by Alai

        We’re never going to get to 100% vaccination. That’s not the goal (it’s impossible anyway). The goal is to get enough people vaccinated that there’s a “herd immunity”, where the virus cannot keep jumping from person to person, and is contained and dies out. And that does require young people to get vaccinated, even if they do not themselves fear the effects.

  8. Posted by Backtotheburbs

    Is death really your only metric? That is a deeply troubling world view …
    Shocking how many in this country don’t get ‘public health’ or ‘common good’.
    Of course the vaccine is also to reduce transmission and prevent more variants.

    And of course people vaccinate kids against flu. Every year. For new variants.

    • Posted by KOBking

      The flue is an entirely different virus that recombinates significantly more than the Corona virus. There’s no reason to believe the Corona virus will require a new shot every year.

  9. Posted by john parker willis

    When you say that cases are “inching” up from 32/100,000 to 37/100,000 I doubt that is statistically significant. There will always be variation even with a downward decline especially with such small numbers.

    • Posted by KOBking

      The clearly agenda driven posting about Covid makes me question the real estate stuff as not shooting straight.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Absent an increase in the percent positive rate, which is a measure of spread, we’d agree.

      But as outlined above, the 7-day average positivity rate for those who are tested for COVID-19, which currently measures 0.93 percent, has inched up from a pandemic low of 0.78 percent and local hospitalizations, which lag case rates, have just started inching up as well.

      • Posted by KOBking

        Must be very recent changes because SF hospitalization rates were at the lowest levels since the Pandemic started with just THREE cases as of April 5. Ignoring positive news like this, as well as the fact that most adults in SF have some vaccination protection, does not convey an honest approach to the issue.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          That’s incorrect. There are now TWENTY-FIVE local hospitalizations with FIVE people in an ICU. But we’ll agree, mischaracterizing the data does not convey an honest approach to the issue.

          • Posted by KOBking

            From three to five ICU Patients! Wow it’s really creeping up from the absolute lowest numbers of ICU patients since the pandemic started.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            At least you’ve finally gotten the directionality correct. But yes, COVID-related hospitalizations and ICU occupancy have, in fact, inched up over the past week. And that’s versus having dropped last week, which had been the prevailing week-over-week trend.

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