These numbers show the Bay Areas delta surge may be waning – but its unclear if they will hold – San Francisco Chronicle

But the present figures reveal a smaller sized fraction of overall cases and hospitalizations than have been reported in earlier rises.

In 2015 around Labor Day, the area was reporting about 15 deaths and about 700 cases daily, with approximately 500 people hospitalized with COVID. This year, its 10 deaths and well over 1,000 cases daily, and more than 900 hospitalized.

Erin Allday is a San Francisco Chronicle personnel writer. Email: Twitter: @erinallday

” We got utilized to the roller rollercoaster– it goes up, and after that it goes down. However were not seeing it go down as fast this time. It might be things arent going to look excellent up until quarter one” of 2022, he stated. “On the other hand, you can compare to where we were a year back– kids are back in schools. Football video games are being played. The variety of people passing away is much lower than a year earlier. The world was far more frightening than it is today. The longer view looks encouraging.”

For the moment, there are twinkles of hope. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the Bay Area dropped for six consecutive days over the end of last month and early this month, and are down about 15% from what may have been the peak, Aug. 24. Thats promising news after weeks of significant boosts.

” Theres this acknowledgment that were going to be dealing with this variant for a great while,” said Dr. John Swartzberg, a contagious disease specialist at UC Berkeley.

Relatively high vaccination rates certainly are helping the Bay Area weather this rise better than lots of other parts of the country, specialists state. But theyre not yet high enough to stop delta and end the pandemic.

” Every health care system in the country is stressed because of COVID. It was real at the beginning; it was a lot more real now that were a year and a half into the pandemic. The question is whats the relative level of tension,” stated Dr. Susan Ehrlich, president of San Francisco General Hospital, throughout a panel conversation recently.

In other parts of the nation, the photo is even more alarming. Extensive care systems in some Southern areas are filled totally with COVID patients and have no readily available beds. In a minimum of six states– Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas– more than 90% of all ICU beds are occupied, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

COVID deaths, which generally lag a few weeks behind hospitalizations and cases, are beginning to climb up throughout the region, though not as fast or as high as might have been anticipated in earlier rises. Health experts say thats almost definitely due to the regions fairly high vaccination rates.

Approximately 10 people are dying each day in the Bay Area now, a substantial climb from mid-July when there were just a couple of deaths a day.

Recently, the state announced that the San Joaquin Valley– that includes 12 Central Valley counties– was being placed under a “rise order” due to the fact that intensive care beds were becoming scarce, with some counties reporting no offered capability. When none in the region have space, the order needs medical facilities around the state to accept transfer patients from strained health centers.

The encouraging news in the Bay Area echoes similar reports for California as a whole, even as pockets of the state continue to be bogged down in the delta rise. Rural Northern California and the Central Valley– two regions with lower overall vaccination rates than other parts of the state– have actually been struck particularly hard, and healthcare facilities have struggled to keep up.

” Well keep monitoring this. But so far our deaths truly have been blunted, I think, from the very high vaccination rates,” Dr. Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County health officer, stated at a Board of Supervisors conference recently.

The Bay Location might be seeing the very first signs that the delta surge is finally subsiding after overthrowing what was expected to be a summer of relative pandemic freedom.But public health experts alert that this fourth wave differs from any other the region has actually seen up until now, and its prematurely to state how quick it will recede or whether the present down trends will hold, with kids back in school and vacations and other occasions on the horizon that could drive up cases as soon as again. This winter could see another uptick, and vaccination rates might not reach high adequate levels to significantly curb the pandemic until early next year, experts state.

“All the signs are going in the ideal direction,” stated Dr. George Rutherford, a contagious disease professional at UCSF. I d say right now its difficult to call.”

” We have actually recently started boiling down from our peak of delta,” said Dr. Susan Philip, the San Francisco health officer, in an interview Wednesday. “It was a significant surge.”

” The big picture of San Francisco is … people wanted to remain house and willing to wear masks that alleviated the complete impact of the pandemic,” she stated. “What it implies now is at San Francisco General today we have 25 people with COVID in the hospital. If you were in Florida or Mississippi or Texas, health centers are completely overwhelmed.”

Its a bit more tough to determine patterns in case counts, at least for the area as a whole, in part due to irregular data reporting. Coronavirus cases are down in all counties from two weeks earlier, though theyve inched up in a couple of places recently. The Bay Area reported usually 16 cases a day per 100,000 residents over the seven days ending Tuesday, compared with about 24 cases per 100,000 two weeks earlier.

The concern is whats the relative level of tension,” said Dr. Susan Ehrlich, primary executive of San Francisco General Hospital, during a panel discussion last week.

As of Tuesday, ICU accessibility in the region had dropped to 6.8%– under 10% sets off the state surge order. ICU schedule was 24% for the Greater Bay Area and 20% total for the state.

” The huge image of San Francisco is … people were prepared to remain home and prepared to wear masks that reduced the complete effect of the pandemic,” she said. It might be things arent going to look great until quarter one” of 2022, he stated.

San Francisco Chronicle staff writers Mike Massa and Aidin Vaziri contributed to this report.

“All the indications are going in the ideal direction,” stated Dr. George Rutherford, an infectious disease expert at UCSF. I d state right now its hard to call.”

Trends are more favorable in the Bay Area, many specialists acknowledge that the highly contagious delta version– along with other factors such as students returning to in-person education and less disposition by officials to rely on mitigation efforts like neighborhood lockdowns– makes it more difficult to anticipate what the near future holds.

On Thursday, President Biden is arranged to reveal a brand-new “six-point” plan to tackle the nationwide delta surge that has actually been damaging the nation because early July and shows couple of signs of dissipating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released brand-new forecasts Wednesday that predict hospitalizations to hold consistent nationwide over the next 4 weeks, and rise in 10 states.

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