The Delta variant surge appears to have crested — for now — in the Bay Area, and that can be seen in falling daily case numbers as well as hospitalizations.
SFist noted back on August 11 that hospitalizations had risen above the 1,000 mark for the Bay Area for the first time since February, and there remain over 1,000 COVID patients — 1,146 — in hospitals across the region as of Tuesday. But the number seems to have peaked at 1,195 a week ago, and has been falling since then, a trend that follows a few weeks after daily new case counts appeared to have peaked here as well.
On August 14, we reported that the CEO of Zuckerberg SF General Hospital believed that this fourth pandemic wave had already peaked.
Across California, hospitalizations have similarly leveled off and even begun to drop in recent days.
As the Mercury News reports, the average number of daily new COVID cases in the Bay Area rose sharply in the month of July from 3.8 cases per 100,000 residents on July 1 to 23.7 per 100,000 on August 2. Since then, it has fallen to 18.9 cases per 100,000.
In San Francisco, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases fell to 146 as of August 24, down over 50% from a peak of 309 on August 2.
The Delta variant surge in California very clearly tracked with the state's lifting of most restrictions on businesses on June 15, and the broad lifting of the mask mandate. Since the surge began in July, most localities have reinstituted the mask rule, and the more paranoid/cautious among us have likely curtailed some of our social activities as well.
Also, vaccination rates have been slowly rising in the region and the state.
Governor Gavin Newsom attended an event in Oakland on Tuesday and encouraged more people to seek out vaccinations. 80% of Californians aged 12 and older now have had at least one vaccine shot.
"Thank you to the people of the state of California for being mindful that this pandemic is not behind us," Newsom said.