Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital hit a pandemic milestone on Thursday with zero COVID admissions, and no COVID patients at all in beds at the facility.
While there are still COVID patients hospitalized around the city, this is the first time in 14 months that SF General has been able to say it has none.
UCSF's Dr. Monica Gandhi, who works at General, tells ABC 7 that when she saw the updated patient numbers Thursday, "I did have tears in my eyes!" And, she said, "It feels like a milestone."
As SFist reported last week, COVID hospitalizations around the Bay Area have remained stubbornly consistent since early April, with the regional total hovering in the 300 to 400 range and seeming to plateau. This is despite wide adoption of vaccines, and full eligibility for all adults that began on April 15. Case counts for most of the Bay Area have remained low for several weeks, reflecting the high percentages of residents who are vaccinated, but the virus is, nonetheless, still around in small pockets, and still making the unvaccinated sick.
The hospitalization count ticked down a bit in the last few days, and as of Thursday stood at 274 for the nine-county region — that's down from 376 on April 1.
Marin County recorded its first COVID death in a month this week, and Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis announced this at a community event in Marin City on Thursday. The individual who died was over the age of 65 and unvaccinated, Willis said.
"We chose to tell that story because it's an example that this outcome is avoidable with vaccines," he said, per KTVU. The event was intended to allay fears among the African American community in Marin City, among whom only 65% are vaccinated, compared to 80% of the county at large.
According to state data, San Francisco had 24 confirmed and suspected COVID patients in hospitals across the city on Thursday. (SF's Department of Public Health hospitalization data currently lags about five days behind.)
UCSF tells ABC7 that its COVID patient count as of Thursday was five.
"Today is just a numeric milestone," said Dr. Vivek Jain, co-director of infection control at SF General, speaking to ABC 7. "But I think it's a moment that we can reflect on the progress and commit to making even more progress."