Covid-19 Tracker: On a sloooow slide – Mission Local

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

Hospitalizations are stable, recorded infections are down . Positivity rates have gone back up and R Number models have dropped back below 1. Wastewater monitoring from Stanford shows less virus in nearby sewers. The signposts are mixed and fragmented but still suggest plenty of covid circulating around the City.

After two weeks of blessed Dubs distraction, it’s back to “reality” — the inheritance of 40 years of Reagan-Thatcher-Feinstein defunding and degrading of San Francisco public services. Although some in the national media blame hippies, homeless and Chesa Boudin for the mess in SF, the covid crisis has made it stunningly clear who has had power (they are not “progressives”) and what they’ve accomplished.

The basic attitude of national, state and city officials toward covid is that you can take care of yourself. Really? This is the way they prepare for more contagious variants on the way bringing increased re-infection.

The good news is covid-related deaths are near all time lows nationally, though in the early days SF had very few deaths recorded.

The U.S spends more on healtcare than any other high-income country and has the least to show for it in terms of health, says a new article on the JAMA Network. It’s not just Trump and Co. Public health in this county has rarely been considered a priority, which we are seeing played out now in real time.

It seems the media never tires of confusing immunity against infection with immunity against severe disease, hospitalization and death. An article in the Wall Street Journal asks “Can we develop a covid-19 vaccine that lasts?” while Nature has an article that worries whether the new “omicron” vaccine in development will work against the new variants. And there have been numerous articles relating the waniing efficacy of The Vaccine. For the most part, these articles are talking about immunity against infection. And although there have been some studies which report a waning immunity against severe disease etc., this new article in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests T-cell immunity (against severe disease etc.) is likely to last for decades.

Which once again raises the queston of the value of the boosters. Here’s one answer to that question.

And on the subject of The Vaccine, Eric Topol of the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego asks how were the first vaccines developed in 10 months, while after 2.5 years we still don’t have a pan-covid vaccine or a nasal vaccine.

Most likely the answer has mosly guaranteed profits for Big Pharma and poiitics.

Is the nasal vaccine on the near horizon?

Speaking of politics, the Hoover Gang (who became the Great Barrington Declaration Gang, now rebranded as the “Brownstone Institute“) which have steadfastly opposed any meaningful concept of “public health” (they are winning, or won, that battle), now are going on the offensive against those who favored collective action, calling for “public (show) trials” and suggesting the guillotine for those convicted.

The Lancet has a piece discussing and comparing “long covid” related to delta and omicron variants.

City PR campaigns notwithstanding, things are not looking good at Laguna Honda. Particularly bad for the patients.

Scroll down for today’s covid numbers.

Over the past week, hospitalizations rose 2.5 percent (representing 2 more patients). On June 18, DPH reports there were 81 covid hospitalizations, or about 9.3 covid hospitalizations per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population). Note: hospitalization figures were in the 90s a couple days ago. ICU patients remain approximately where they have been. The California Department of Public Health currently reports 86 covid patients in SF hospitals with 14 patients in ICU.

The latest report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services shows Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with 15 covid patients and 9 ICU beds available, while across the Mission, CPMC had 7 covid patients and 5 ICU beds available. Of 103 reported covid patients in the City, 49 were at either SFGH or UCSF, with at least 77 ICU beds available among reporting hospitals (which does not include the Veterans Administration or Laguna Honda). The California DPH currently reports 109 ICU beds available in San Francisco.

Between April 17 and June 16, DPH recorded 1389 new infections among Mission residents (an increase of 1.5 percent from last week) or 236 new infections per 10,000 residents. During that period, Mission Bay continued with the highest rate at 391 new infections per 10,000 residents. Of 38 neighborhoods, 6 had rates above 300 per 10,000 residents, with 5 in the east and southeast sectors of the City. Treasure Island continued with the lowest rate and Lakeshore, the only neighborhood in the City with less than 50 percent of its population vaccinated, continued to have the second lowest rate.

DPH reports on June 14, the 7-day average of daily new infections recorded in the City dropped to 420 or approximately 43.4 new infections per 100,000 residents (based on an 874,000 population), representing a 9 percent drop from last week. According to DPH, the 7-day average infection rate among vaccinated residents was 48 per 100,000 “fully vaccinated” residents and 115.4 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 June 14 was 498. The latest report from the Times says the 7-day average on June 21 was 465, a 10 percent decrese over the past two weeks. As noted above wastewater monitoring shows the virus somewhat down in local sewers. This report comes from the Stanford model. The state won’t resume reporting until the end of the month (“staffing problems”).

So far in June, Asians recorded 1,985 new infections or 30.5 percent of the month’s cases; Whites 1,505 infections or 23.1 percent; Latinxs 820 infections or 12.6 percent; Blacks 293 infections or 4.5 percent; Multi-racials 46 infections or .7 percent; Pacific Islanders 35 infections or .5 percent; and Native Americans had 12 recorded infections in May or .2 percent of the June totals so far.

The 7-day rolling Citywide average positivity rate rose 4 percent during the past week, while average daily testing dropped approximately 22.3 percent. So far in June, Multi-racials have a positivity rate of 15.4 percent, Asians 13.8 percent, Pacific Islanders 13.2 percent, Native Americans 13 percent, Latinxs 12.8 percent, Blacks 11.5 percent and Whites have a positivity rate of 10.6 percent so far in June.

Vaccination rates in SF show virtually no change from last week with the number of residents who have received at least one dose rising .06 percent and the number of residents receiving a booster rising .36 percent.

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

Nine new covid-related deaths, with 2 in June, have been reported, bringing the total since the beginning of the year to 206. 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 reports, incredibly as it has for months, only 21 of the deaths are known to have had no underlying conditions, or comorbidities. DPH only supplies cumulative demographic numbers on deaths.

The lack of reliable infection number data makes R Number estimates very uncertain. Covid R Estimation on June 14 estimated the San Francisco R Number at .79 while its estimate for the California R Number on June 17 was .90. The ensemble, as of June 15, estimated the San Francisco R Number at .88 and its California R Number at .97. Note: All models in the ensemble show SF under 1.

So far in June, DPH reports San Franciscans aged 0-4 have 324 recorded infections, or 4.3 percent of the recorded infections; 5-11 272 infections or 3.6 percent; 12-17 218 infections or 2.9 percent; 18-20 156 infections or 2.1 percent; 21-24 401 infections or 5.3 percent; 25-29 829 infections or 11 percent; 30-39 1,774 infections or 23.5 percent; 40-49 1,171 infections or 15.5 percent; 50-59 1048 infections or 13.9 percent; 60-69 753 infections or 10 percent; 70-79 366 infections or 4.8 percent; and those San Franciscans aged 80 and above have 244 recorded infections or 3.2 percent of the recorded infections so far this month.