San Francisco case rates are down and hospitalizations have plateaued, meaning the Delta variant appears to be on the wane, but no one’s spiking the football lest we see another case spike.
A funny thing about the last year-and-a-half of pandemic unpleasantness is how several UCSF doctors have become household names. Previously obscure figures like Dr. Monica Gandhi, Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, and Dr. Bob Wachter have become mini media stars and trendy Twitter follows. And all three of these rockstar academic physicians have another thing in common. As KGO explains, they all say the Delta variant is trending down in the Bay Area.
San Francisco has clearly turned the corner (not that it can't un-turn if we get careless). Cases/d in city now 192, down from peak of 289 last month (Fig L). Hospitalizations stable (# lags). @UCSFHospitals, asymptomatic test + rate, which peaked at 3%, now 1.3% (R). Keep it up! pic.twitter.com/ACuaQKIjMQ— Bob Wachter (@Bob_Wachter) August 19, 2021
UCSF Chair of the Department of Medicine Dr. Wachter tweeted the above to much liking and retweeting, that “San Francisco has clearly turned the corner (not that it can't un-turn if we get careless).” He notes that the seven-day average of new cases is 182, a couple weeks ago it was at 289.
"For me, the main reason why we're seeing such low rates of kids being hospitalized (in #SanFrancisco) is because of high vaccination rates of the people in the kids' lives," UCSF #InfectiousDisease expert Dr. @PCH_SF says. https://t.co/UBwSM12mbM #VaccinateSF— UCSF Benioff SF (@UCSFChildrens) August 19, 2021
Dr, Peter Chin-Hong notes that USCF had precisely one hospitalized patient at the beginning of June, which swelled to 45 at the peak of Delta. As of Tuesday it was 30, which seems bad compared to June, but a sign that hospitalizations are likely to soon plummet.
"I think in two weeks we will start to actually be beyond the crest and start come down in cases," he told KGO. "Hospitalizations will decline early to middle of September, since they lag."
Dr. Monica Gandhi has been studying Delta variant models in other nations, and tells SFGate, "This could be an early sign that our delta wave is abating as predicted by several models watching decreasing cases in the UK." She adds that "Of note, delta does lead to a lot of immunity in both vaccinated (boost) and unvaccinated which can bring down cases."
This thing is by no means over. In fact, it seems pretty obvious that the next development here is that we’ll see a few school outbreaks, and parents and the media will set their hair on fire. But in keeping our eyes on case counts and hospitalizations, there is an excellent likelihood that San Francisco gets a reputation as the first major U.S. city to beat he Delta variant.
Image: @brandaohh via Unsplash