Alameda County added 17 new COVID-related deaths on Wednesday and 21 on Thursday, the highest two-day total of any Bay Area county since the pandemic began in March. And these deaths pushed the overall regional one-day death toll to 27 on Wednesday, and possibly over 27 on Thursday, with several counties not yet reporting — potentially marking a new record.
The death toll in the Bay Area, while considerably lower on a county-by-county basis than some in Southern California, has nearly tripled since early June, and today stands at 1,189. Alameda County's number of deaths to date has doubled in the last two months — from 153 on June 30, to 295 on September 1, and now represents one-quarter of all the deaths in the Bay Area. Of those, about one-third, or 112, were residents of skilled nursing facilities.
Following a spike in cases and hospitalizations in July, August was the overall deadliest month to date in the pandemic both for the state and the local region. California saw 3,707 deaths from the virus in August, an 18-percent jump from July, and the Bay Area saw 304 deaths in the course of the month.
And Wednesday and Thursday's Bay Area totals, which may actually reflect deaths that occurred in the previous couple of days, are on track to top 55, making it the deadliest two-day stretch since March. Only August 25, when there were a total of 28 new deaths recorded in the region, tops each of the past two days.
As the Mercury News notes today, while hospitalizations have been declining in the Bay Area, they haven't declined nearly as steeply as in Southern California and the Central Valley — they are down by about a third here, while other parts of the state have seen hospitalizations cut in half.
And much as was the case several months ago, there are several neighborhoods in East Oakland that have had the highest rates of infection in the county by far. "Three zip codes that encompass Fruitvale, the Coliseum and Oakland International Airport, down to the San Leandro border, all have at least 3,500 cases per 100,000 residents," the Merc reports, which is more than twice the rate of infection in the county as a whole.
Hopefully this is it for death spikes — and it'd be great to go back to having a day or two without a COVID death, which hasn't happened since June.
Photo: Insung Yoon