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Public health director warns San Francisco as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations increase

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – While COVID-19 cases are moving in the wrong direction in San Francisco, the city is so far not as bad off as several other counties in the Bay Area.

During an online chat with the mayor Monday, San Francisco Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax gave a word of warning.

He said we are not too far away from a disastrous scenario if things don’t turn around. 

“There are downsides to where we are right now but alternative is even worse,” Dr. Grant Colfax said. 

Colfax indicated COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are up.  

Even worse, the reproductive rate, that is the rate of transmission has grown from .85 to 1.25. 

At 1.25, that means each person infected will transmit it to at least one other person, four people infected will lead to five additional cases.

If that number cannot be reduced, it means skyrocketing hospitalizations.

“I will tell you this is the slide that keeps me up at night. It is now plausible we will hit hospitalization of 830 if we don’t do more to stop the spread and those wider blue peaks indicate we could get as high as over 6000 hospitalizations a scenario that reflects the challenges new york had and we certainly hope this doesn’t happen,” Colfax said. 

And Colfax says skyrocketing hospitalizations means skyrocketing deaths.

“The average is 890 deaths from COVID-19 in 2020, we are at 50 now so by the end of the year we could be at 890 with a reproductive rate of 895,” Colfax said. 

Colfax says reversing the numbers means more mask wearing, more hand washing, more social distancing, not being with people outside your household and certainly not having any gatherings inside.  

In fact, he says the chances of catching COVID-19 are 10 to 20 percent less with outdoor gatherings versus indoor gatherings. 

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