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Weekend celebrations cause COVID-19 concerns across the Bay Area


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – As coronavirus cases rise across the Bay Area, San Francisco is no exception.

Over the past few days, the city recorded its highest daily case counts since mid-August.

Some experts are now worried about more cases to come after large celebrations over the weekend.

There’s no doubt about it. This is definitely concerning to see, however, San Francisco isn’t seeing an increase in hospitalizations, at least for now.

This is something that usually follows an increase in cases and now experts are warning people to not let their guard down, especially as temperatures drop.

Like many other Bay Area cities, San Francisco is also seeing a rise in coronavirus cases recording more than a hundred new daily cases over the past few days.

Experts, like Dr. Peter Chin-Hong at UCSF, says this is happening for several reasons.

People are getting comfortable and probably having more small gatherings and more people are also traveling to San Francisco again.

“We’re only as good as what’s around us so first of all the rest of the country is on fire. It’s like exploding with COVID and San Francisco is a big hub even with reduced travel there are people going back and forth,” Chin-Hong said.

Plus it’s now getting colder and more people are likely heading inside.

“It’s getting cold so we know that these respiratory viruses love cold not only because as a temperature aspect they survive better but really it brings people together. You’re more likely to meet somebody in an indoor setting versus outdoors,” Chin-Hong said.

He says the colder temperatures mixed with celebrations over the weekend could cause a spike in cases in the coming weeks.

On Saturday, hundreds of people flooded Castro Street, however, a vast majority wore their masks, which will be key in whether or not we see cases rise.

You may remember when we had Black Lives Matter protests, people were also wearing their masks and the city did not see a spike in cases.

Dr. Chin-Hong says he’s more concerned about the people who celebrated indoors on Saturday or might have continued the party inside as we saw colder temperatures.

“Again, I’m worried in a setting you know it’s so cold outside, let’s go inside and take some champagne. You take your mask off. It’s an old atmospheric Victorian home, not gonna have a lot of ventilation and it could be an efficient way of transmitting,” Chin-Hong said.

For those who celebrated inside and think they might’ve been exposed to the virus, Dr. Chin-Hong urges you to get tested.

He says it’ll be important to monitor any symptoms over the next two weeks.

Of course, doctors are also worried about the upcoming holidays and hoping people remain vigilant.

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