Bay Area COVID cases keep swelling as pandemic persists

Bay Area COVID cases keep swelling as pandemic persists

There’s no relief for Bay Area counties on the COVID-19 front, as the latest numbers from the state show new cases and hospitalizations driven by subvariants of the coronavirus continuing their steady climb.

The Bay Area reported about 42 new daily cases per 100,000 residents on Tuesday, up from 35 a week ago. Eight of the nine counties in the region are among those that have the highest infection rate in California, with San Francisco reporting 54 daily cases per 100,000 residents. Health officials say the actual number of infections is probably much higher because of people testing at home or not getting tested at all.

The rising count of Bay Area cases came on the same day that the death toll from COVID in the U.S. officially topped 1 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The number of people hospitalized in the city with COVID-19 climbed to 76, up from 61 last week. Across the Bay Area, there were 456 people with COVID in hospitals, a number that has steadily been rising since a lull in mid-April. Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Marin counties have all seen substantial increases during that time.

San Francisco’s coronavirus positive test rate is now at 11%. That’s more than twice California’s overall rate of 5%, which is the threshold infectious disease experts consider acceptable for controlling the spread of the virus and represents a dramatic increase over the low of 2.4% the city sank to after the winter omicron surge.

Dr. Susan Philip, San Francisco’s health officer, told The Chronicle last week that it’s not clear why the Bay Area is experiencing substantially higher case rates than the rest of the state, though officials think it might have to do with more infectious variants or higher levels of testing.

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