The pandemic is roaring into a third wave across much of the United States this week, with new records being set in daily new cases being recorded. The Bay Area isn't seeing anything close to what some other states and regions are seeing, and hopefully we will not as flu season arrives. However there are at least small signs of a slight uptick in cases outside of San Francisco in the past week.
As it has through all of October, San Francisco is seeing declining hospitalizations and daily new cases, with just 37 added on Tuesday, and 49 added the day before. The city has seen an average tally of daily new cases of 34 for the month of October, down from an average of 59 new cases per day in September. And hospitalizations are down with 32 confirmed and suspected COVID patients in hospitals as of today, down from 63 at the beginning of the month, and down from a high of 128 on August 18.
But, hospitalizations across the nine-county Bay Area ticked up the past two days from 354 on Sunday to 385 on Tuesday — though this is still well below the 458 COVID patients in area hospitals on October 1, and about half of the 750 patients in hospitals back in late August.
And there were just over 3,600 new cases reported across the region between October 19 and October 26, while there were under 3,200 cases reported in the previous seven days. This is still below weekly tallies seen just five and six weeks earlier, which were between 3,800 and 4,000 new cases.
On Tuesday, three Bay Area counties — Marin, San Mateo, and Contra Costa — advanced down the state's rating system for virus spread, all entering the "Orange" tier indicating "moderate" spread. This means that only two of the nine counties in the region remain in the "Red" or "Purple" tiers — with Sonoma County remaining in the highest tier indicating widespread virus transmission. In a county of over 500,000 residents, this amounts to a daily average of 68 new cases over the past month.
Solano County remains in the red tier, while San Francisco is the only local county to have advanced the lowest "Yellow" tier.
If all goes well this week, San Francisco officials are expected to announce a further step in permitting indoor dining up to 50-percent capacity starting in the middle of next week, and by mid-November, bars may be permitted to begin serving outdoors without a food requirement.