So much in the local and national spheres the last month has overshadowed the ongoing pandemic as it stands in the Bay Area. And for sure we are all pretty tired of hearing the parade of stats. But in terms of case counts, virus spread, and hospitalizations, it's been mostly good news here since mid-September.
We haven't seen many triple-digit days for new cases recently in the counties where that had become commonplace over the summer — Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, and Santa Clara counties. San Francisco added just 27 new cases on Friday and 16 the day before — two of the lowest one-day totals since the early days of the pandemic. And Alameda County, which saw an explosion of cases that put it on top of the nine Bay Area counties for its overall total, is now in second place after Santa Clara County and is seeing one-day totals of 40 to 50 cases like it was seeing back in April.
San Francisco's R-0 or R-effective (R-e) rate has been steadily declining, and as of Friday it had hit 0.77 — this means that for every positive case in the city, only 0.77 new cases are spawned, creating an eventual decline to zero (in theory).
Just two months ago, the longtime public health director of San Mateo County Dr. Scott Morrow — who's the longest serving of any of his colleagues in counties across the state — said that no one should expect any urban county's R-e rate to get to zero without a vaccine, and perhaps 0.9 was the best any county should shoot for. San Mateo's R-e rate is currently at 0.97.
Across the country, R-e rates are rising, as this daily-updated chart shows, with only 13 states (including California) now holding a rate below 1.0, and most of those closer to 0.99 — California's is now the third best in the nation at 0.89.
Hospitalizations have been steadily declining across the Bay Area, and San Francisco's COVID patient count (both confirmed and suspected cases) dropped to 41 on Wednesday, its lowest level since June 26.
There were a total of 408 COVID patients in hospitals in the nine-county Bay Area as of Thursday, October 8 — representing a steady decrease in overall serious cases in hospitals since the summer surge, when the local hospital census hit a peak of 1,011 cases on July 23.
As of Friday, there have been 107,325 confirmed COVID cases in the Bay Area, and 11,576 of those have been in San Francisco proper. To date, 1,634 people have died from the virus in this region, which represents about one-tenth of the 16,400 deaths to date in California.