San Francisco's coronavirus case count hit 957 on Monday, jumping by 85 cases in one day — which could be linked to delayed reporting from a homeless shelter in SoMa which is now reporting 91 total cases, including 10 staff members and 81 shelter guests. And while the grim milestone of 1,000 cumulative cases will likely be hit by Tuesday, overall numbers have remained encouraging for SF as this crisis unfolds and approaches what will likely be its national peak.
The cluster of cases at the city's largest homeless shelter, Multi-Service Center South (525 Fifth Street at Bryant), was revealed on Friday, when 71 people there were confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus. That number was up to 91 as of Monday, as the Examiner reports, and depending on the individuals' needs, all homeless and staff members there have been moved either into quarantine sites, hotels, or other isolation sites.
Overall, San Francisco can be proud of itself — as can the rest of the Bay Area — for helping to mitigate the pandemic and obeying social distancing orders. As a result, even though it is not clear when exactly the peak will hit in the city in terms of hospitalizations and deaths, the number of severe cases has not spiked here as it has in New York. (This is also something that some researchers are theorizing is due to the fact that community spread of the virus actually was happening over a long period of time than anyone realized.)
The number of San Francisco COVID-19 cases requiring hospitalization dipped slightly late last week, down to 84 on Friday, April 10, with 28 in intensive care — on April 6 there were 93 people hospitalized with 36 of those in the ICU. As of Saturday the number went back up to 93, with 30 in the ICU. The city is also now publishing figures of hospitalized patients with suspected but unconfirmed cases of COVID-19 — as of Saturday there were 9 of those in ICU beds, with another 35 in acute care beds.
And SF has now counted 15 total deaths out of the Bay Area's total of 139 (out of 5,183 cumulative confirmed cases). By comparison, Los Angeles County, which has 10 times the population of San Francisco, has had nearly 20 times as many deaths — 296 as of Sunday, with 31 reported that day alone. New York State is approaching 200,000 total cases, with 93 percent of those reported in New York City and four of the suburban counties around it. The death toll there just hit 10,000 today.
In other encouraging though still frightening news for SF, nearly three weeks after five staff members turned up positive for the virus at Laguna Honda Hospital, only four of the facility's residents have tested positive, along with eight additional staff members. The case total at the 750-bed facility stands at 17, where it has stood for over a week. But outbreaks have continued to ravage senior-care facilities across the Bay Area in the last two weeks, with over 200 COVID-19 cases and counting.
Publications across the country, including The Atlantic, have still been singing the praises of the Bay Area. Per The Atlantic:
San Francisco’s case count of 857 as of April 10—with just 13 recorded deaths due to the coronavirus—is much lower than that in metropolises of comparable size such as New Orleans, Detroit, Boston, and Washington, D.C. The city’s curve is low and flattening, and patients are not flooding into its emergency rooms.
“All evidence suggests that they are doing much better, and the simplest explanation for that is that they did take social-distancing measures very seriously and they did it early,” says Emily Gurley, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the global COVID-19 outbreak.
So let's keep this going, everybody!