The number of hospitalizations associated with the coronavirus has been decreasing steadily in the Bay Area for a week, however that good news comes after the region counted its 200th confirmed death from the virus on Monday, and is now counting about 20 new deaths per day.
The official death toll rose to 200 on Monday afternoon after Contra Costa County added two new fatalities. Since then, it has risen to 238, with 20 added on Wednesday alone — meaning that the rate of increase is approaching 10% daily. Those 20 include 11 new deaths recorded in San Mateo County, one of the largest single-day jumps in the pandemic for the region. At that rate, if it continues, our local death toll will have doubled by next Wednesday to around 470. (Solano and Marin counties have not yet reported today as of this writing.)
San Mateo County now has the highest per capita death rate in the region from the coronavirus, with 5 dead for every 100,000 residents.
The Bay Area has been keeping its COVID-19 stats down compared to other parts of the country. But according to this constantly updated ranking, California is still among the top 10 states for the rate of Rt, or the average number of people an infected person in turn infects. As of now, California has an Rt of 1.3, while New York has kept its rate down to 0.4 (as of yesterday, California's was down around there too). Arkansas is losing this game today with an Rt of 2.3.
Around 1,600 to 1,800 COVID deaths are currently happening daily in the U.S., with 45,000 dead so far in total. By way of comparison to the Bay Area, New York City's daily death toll peaked at 543 on April 7, and has since steadily declined. As of this writing, only 9 deaths were recorded in the city on Tuesday, and there were 96 deaths there on Monday.
California is still adding thousands of confirmed cases of COVID-19 each day, with over 37,000 to date. But as the LA Times reports, officials are warning that a "second wave" here later in the year could be far worse. Governor Newsom echoed that on Tuesday in comments to CBS News, saying, "If we all pull back, we could see a second wave that makes this pale in comparison. I don’t anticipate that normalcy that many of us wish for happening anytime soon."
CDC Director Robert Redfield said something similar about a second, winter wave in speaking to the Washington Post this week. And experts contend that social-distancing controls ought not to be lifted, because of how difficult they will be to reinstate when they likely will need to be, amid a second uptick in cases around the country.
Mayor London Breed last week made the oft-mentioned comparison to the 1918 influenza pandemic. "The fact is, it’s not over," she said. "We will get through this. But it is going to require time, and it’s going to require patience, like never before."