Much as was predicted in early December as new COVID-19 cases began to surge in Bay Area counties, a subsequent surge in deaths appears to be happening in the region now, five to six weeks on.
The Bay Area had two of its highest daily death counts on Tuesday and Wednesday, adding 66 and 69 deaths respectively, for a total of 135 in just 48 hours.
In total, the Bay Area has lost 2,783 people to the pandemic so far, as of this writing. 812 of those deaths, or 29 percent, have occurred since December 1.
In San Francisco, where the death count has remained relatively low throughout the pandemic compared to other major cities, 46 COVID patients have died since December 1 — 19 of them since Christmas, and 17 in just the past few days. The city has now seen a cumulative total of 218 deaths, after 25,552 confirmed cases.*
The highest death counts this week have come out of Alameda and Santa Clara counties, with Santa Clara adding 28 deaths to its total yesterday alone — for a total of 799 since the pandemic began.
While totals have not yet come in on Thursday in several of the biggest counties in the Bay Area, California marked a grim new record with the highest two-day death total to date: 1,042. As KPIX reports, there were 583 deaths posted on the state Department of Public Health’s website for Wednesday, and 459 the previous day. The previous two-day record, set in late December, had been 1,013.
Local public health officials are still bracing to see if there will be a further impact on case numbers from New Year's Eve gatherings or holiday travel in general. New cases from New Year's won't likely begin showing up in the city's numbers until the end of this week or the beginning of next, and hospitalizations would be expected to subsequently rise in the weeks after.
Photo: Marcelo Leal
*This post has been updated to include SF numbers posted Friday morning (Jan. 8), reflecting new cases deaths as of Jan. 5.