Doctors explain the 3 factors behind the surge in COVID-19 cases in San Francisco
Medical experts attribute this sudden increase in San Francisco to three factors; the Delta variant, the unvaccinated population and the reopening of California on June 15.
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Almost two months after California reopened and San Francisco became the first city to reach a milestone of 80% of eligible population vaccinated with one dose, San Francisco now exceeds the country’s 7-day moving average case rate.
Luz Pena: “What do you think is causing this increase? “
Dr Warner Greene: “Delta, Delta, Delta. This variant is sweeping the country, including the Bay Area”
Based on the latest CDC data from August 8, San Francisco’s 7-day moving average was 43.3 daily cases per 100,000 population. The 7-day moving average in the United States was 33.26 daily cases per 100,000 people.
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Dr Greene, director and principal investigator of the Gladstone Institutes of Virology and Immunology, said the numbers go hand in hand with the reopening.
“People interact as a society continues to function. Even if we hide inside like we do now. There is still a chance,” said Dr Greene,
Luz Pena: “How can it be in San Francisco where over 70% of the population is fully vaccinated?”
Dr Greene: “Most of the infections that we see in the Bay Area occur in unvaccinated individuals and we need to encourage all of those unvaccinated individuals to get vaccinated. I also suspect that we are seeing more breakthrough infections than we do. had enjoyed it before, but this is not progressing to serious illness. “
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The bright side is that San Francisco hospitals are not overwhelmed.
Dr Christopher Colwell, chief of emergency medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, said the majority of people hospitalized with COVID were still not vaccinated and those with breakthrough cases were particularly in the general population. elderly and immunocompromised.
“I see no indication that we are going to be overwhelmed. We are preparing for a 4th significant increase, but I strongly suspect that we in San Francisco will be ready for this and especially if we can react and continue to reduce the rate cut. positivity, ”said Dr. Colwell.
By email, the San Francisco Department of Public Health responded:
“San Francisco’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in extremely high vaccination rates, with 78% of the eligible population fully vaccinated. As we continue to reopen our economy and welcome visitors to the city this summer and fall, San Francisco’s coordinated response continues as we mitigate the damage the pandemic can do to our city. While increases in cases were expected when we reopened our economy in accordance with the state on June 15, the Delta variant certainly brought new challenges. We’re doing everything we can to get more of our eligible population vaccinated, our best tool for keeping cases stable and protecting people from COVID-19 and its variants.
As we have seen since the start of the pandemic, new infections are not distributed evenly across all neighborhoods and communities in San Francisco, which is why our focus and work for equity and access to vaccines are continuing in partnership with the most affected communities.
We encourage everyone who is eligible and has not yet done so to get vaccinated as soon as possible to ensure their safety and that of their community. “
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SFDPH also said that a potential factor in comparing case rates is whether San Francisco is testing at a higher rate.
“We’re testing for sure, but it’s not like it’s an artifact of more testing. It’s the virus, it’s Delta doing what it does,” Dr Greene said.
Dr Greene says what’s helping San Francisco now is that the majority of the population has adopted the vaccines, but the numbers could continue to rise if around 30% of the population is not fully vaccinated.
Another concern is that as more people become infected with COVID, the virus will continue to mutate, increasing the possibility that a new variant will emerge and escape vaccines.
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