Of the 1,468 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date in San Francisco, it's not clear how many cases remain active — and city health officer Dr. Grant Colfax has said that hospitalization data is one of the best markers we have for how the city is tackling the coronavirus. But Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG) is publicizing its successes with COVID-19 patients, one month after receiving its first COVID-positive patient in the intensive care unit (ICU).
As of Monday, April 27, ZSFG had 19 severe COVID-19 cases in its ICU. The infographic below shows figures as of April 23, marking totals for the month since the first ICU patient arrived. The hospital saw 38 COVID patients in its ICU during that time, 24 of whom required intubation with a mechanical ventilator. 29 of those patients were transferred out of the ICU, and 17 of those had been discharged to their homes as of last Thursday. And most significantly, only one has died — though the graphic shows zero deaths as of Thursday. (The one death, which was confirmed in a Monday note from hospital CEO Dr. Susan Ehrlich, may have occurred over the weekend after this graphic was made.)
The 38 patients admitted to the ICU at ZSFG ranged in age from 28 to 92.
"These impressive results are in stark contrast to the high death rates among ICU patients we’ve seen in New York and in other places in the world," Dr. Ehrlich says. "We don’t know yet why our results seem to be so much better, but it seems possible that not being completely overwhelmed with patients allowed our team to care for our patients expertly, thoughtfully, and compassionately."
She notes that there was a recent staff appreciation event, and some staff wrote words of praise and congratulations to their fellow staff in the ICU. "In recognition of everyone’s truly amazing work, staff drew inspiring art or wrote encouraging messages to fellow staff. This was an opportunity to spread kindness and show appreciation for everyone’s hard work during this time," she writes. (See image below.)
As of today, 23 people have died of COVID-19 in San Francisco, but only two have died in the last 10 days. There were 87 people hospitalized with confirmed cases in the city as of Sunday — 29 in ICU beds — and there was a sudden jump in suspected cases in hospitals, with 83 of those (up from just 42 on Saturday), only 2 of which were in ICU beds.
These figures come on a day when the U.S. case total just surpassed 1 million, and across the country over 56,000 people have died from the virus.