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Bay Area's summer COVID surge has peaked, but risks still persist - San Francisco Chronicle

Bay Area's summer COVID surge has peaked, but risks still persist - San Francisco Chronicle

Bay Area's summer COVID surge has peaked, but risks still persist - San Francisco Chronicle
Aug 05, 2022 1 min, 38 secs

Chart of daily new coronavirus cases per 100k people.

Though the peak in cases occurred several weeks ago, continued swings in reported numbers made it impossible until now to be certain of the downward trend.

The Bay Area reported an average of 34 coronavirus cases a day per 100,000 residents as of Friday, according to state data.

The fall in cases is underscored by recent declines in coronavirus particles found in Bay Area wastewater samples.

Monitoring sewage can offer a broader view of community virus concentration because it captures everybody’s effluent and isn’t dependent on people getting tested or on whether they used a home rapid antigen test kit.

The average number of people hospitalized per day with confirmed COVID-19 infections in California rose from about 3,500 at the beginning of July to 4,686 by the end of the month, according to data from the health department.

The Bay Area reported 883 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Friday, compared to 748 on July 4.

The statewide test positive rate, which tracks the average number of coronavirus tests coming back positive, remains close to 15% — a rate that has dropped slightly since the most recent peak of 16% in mid-July.

Despite the overall improvement, only three of California’s 58 counties — Lassen, Plumas, and San Luis Obispo — were classified as having “low” COVID-19 community levels as of Friday, according to data published by the U.S.

Another 27 counties mostly in the eastern half of the state, but including Marin and Santa Cruz, are rated with “moderate” COVID-19 community levels.

And nearly all major population centers, including most counties in the Bay Area and beyond, are designated as having “high” community levels.

Sundari Mase told supervisors on Tuesday that the most severe COVID-19 outcomes — hospitalizations, intensive care admissions and deaths — are holding at better levels compared to the summer surges of 2020 and 2021, but underscored that we’re not out of the woods.

While Bay Area health systems have weathered the surge without undue strain, new challenges lie ahead


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