San Francisco has been the ‘poster city’ for vaccination rates, but since the June 15 reopening, we’ve gone from 10 new cases a day to around 40.
Above we see the Moscone Center vaccine line, which we will not see anymore, because Wednesday was the last day of the Moscone Center acting as a mass vaccination site. And we’ve all seen the headlines that San Francisco was achieving herd immunity, plus our Department of Public Health said that as of Tuesday, 83% of the city’s eligible population has at least one shot, and 76% of those eligible are fully vaccinated.
But we could be in for a rude awakening of reversal, in fact, we kind of already are. Just as Los Angeles will reinstate its indoor mask mandate Sunday amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases, the Chronicle reports that SF officials are concerned with a rise in cases, particularly in the less-vaccinated Black and Latinx communities.
Have a look at the seven-day average of new SF COVID cases from DPH tracking information. Back on “Reopening Day” June 15, we had 10 new cases. As of this week, the 7-day average is 42 new cases per day, and the most recent day’s data (July 10) shows 63 new cases, albeit with the qualifier “Less Reliable, Likely to be Updated.” The culprit is probably the Delta variant, increasing urgency to get the remaining 20-25% vaccinated ASAP.
“In particular, the Black community has the lowest vaccination rate compared to the citywide rate, which means more people who are already struggling with significant disparities in this City might get sick,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement prior to a Thursday press conference in the Bayview. “While we beat back three surges in San Francisco, the Delta variant brings new challenges that will continue to increase the disparities we see in communities of color."
If you're wondering how bad Delta really is, even in highly vaccinated SF (76% of >age 12 fully vaxxed) & still w/ a lot of masking (most folks in stores), we're seeing a pretty steep Covid uptick. Daily cases up 4-fold (10->42; Fig L), hospital pts doubled (9->19; R)(Thread 1/4) pic.twitter.com/6JC2UlA0Sf— Bob Wachter (@Bob_Wachter) July 15, 2021
We do not have a ton of neighborhood-specific data, but in a Tuesday statement to the Chronicle, the DPH acknowledged that “new infections are not distributed evenly throughout all neighborhoods and communities in San Francisco.” District 10 supervisor Shamann Walton, also present at Thursday’s press conference, noted that the 94124 zip code has the highest COVID-19 infection rate and is in his district. “Bayview Hunters Point is still one of the hardest hit areas with COVID-19 infections, particularly in the African American community,” he said in a release. “With the new delta variant that is more transmissible, it is critical that our community gets vaccinated as soon as possible.”
To that end, the Bayview has free vaccination sites at Southeast Health Center at 2401 Keith Street, and 1800 Oakdale. Hours and other vaccination locations are listed at sf.gov/get-vaccinated.
This may not be post-Thanksgiving bad, but it’s bad. And it’s a problem the whole country is having, as the New York Times just reported that all 50 states are seeing an uptick in cases. Whether it’s the reopening, breakthrough cases, the Delta variant, or just more interstate tourism, everyone from Breed on up to Fauci and Biden are going to have to dig deeper into their bags of tricks to keep this thing from backsliding the wrong direction.
Image: SFDPH via Twitter