SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Rates of sexually transmitted diseases have continued to climb despite recommendations to physically distance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its 2020 STD Surveillance Report, which showed rates rose through the year.

(Graphic courtesy of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

There were 1.5 million reported STD cases in 2020, the report found, or 481.3 cases per 100,000 people.

With over 178,000 cases, California had the most reported cases of any state. But it ranked No. 32 out of the 50 states with regard to case rate per 100,00 people.

Which STDs became more common?

Cases did decline briefly in 2020 from February through May, during the strictest part of the COVID-19 lockdown era. But by the end of the year, gonorrhea was up 10%, primary and secondary syphilis cases among adults were up 7% and syphilis among newborns was up 15%.

Chlamydia was down 13%.

(Graphic courtesy of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The San Francisco Department of Public Health releases its own numbers on what it terms sexually transmitted infections, numbers which are more recent than the CDCs.

SFDPH reported that by the end of February 2022, compared to the end of February 2021, gonorrhea cases were way up, with 863 year-to-date compared with 557 year-to-date in 2021.

Chlamydia cases were slightly up year-to date: 976 by the end of February 2022, compared to 854 reported by the end of February 2021.

Syphilis was slightly down: 309 reported by the end of February 2022, compared to 322 reported by the end of February 2021.

There were two cases of syphilis among newborns by the end of February 2022, compared to one by the end of February 2021.

Health officials say syphilis cases are showing up in newborns in the first place because women get syphilis but don’t get an STD check before giving birth. They are sounding the alarm.

“In 2016, there were 641 cases of congenital syphilis, in 2017, there were 941 cases, in 2018, there were 1,323 cases, in 2019, there were 1,875 cases, and in 2020, there were 2,148 cases,” the CDC stated in a news release.