SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – As COVID-19 cases are going up across the country, there’s concern that this trend may hit the Bay Area especially as we see new, more transmissible variants arrive.
KRON4 spoke with an infectious disease expert about infection rate trends across our region.
We are seeing an upward trend across some Bay Area counties but it’s important to take a look county by county because we’re also seeing cases continue to decrease in other areas.
Either way, infectious disease experts say this reinforces the fact that we’re not out of the woods yet.
With COVID-19 cases rising in some Bay Area counties, UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. George Rutherford says overall the Bay Area is seeing a flat trend of infection rates.
“Alameda for instance in the last week has gone up by more than 500 cases. Marin has gone down by 46, you know so it’s kind of a wash so I think we need to pay attention to this. We’re not out of the woods yet and there’s ongoing transmission. We’ll have to see what Easter celebrations might have brought,” Dr. Rutherford said.
We broke down case rates and percentage changes in each Bay Area county over the last 7 days recorded by the CDC.
According to their data, you’ll notice cases are up in Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, San Mateo, and Napa counties but down in San Francisco, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and Marin counties.
Meanwhile, this is the fourth week of rising cases nationwide.
On Monday, CDC director, Rochelle Walensky said many of the outbreaks are in young people related to youth sports and extracurricular activities.
“We know that these increases are due in part to more highly transmissible variants, which we are very closely monitoring. And as more schools are reopening, it’s even more important to make sure they do so safely with strict adherence to CDC guidance and for all of us to roll up our sleeves for a vaccine as soon as we can,” Walensky said.
Dr. Rutherford agrees. April will be an important month to watch what happens as more bay area schools reopen and youth sports ramp back up.
However, when it comes to new variants, he says Californians shouldn’t be as worried, at least for now.
“Viruses mutate. These strains will jostle each other for dominance to see who’s the most fit and I think that we’re lucky that the West Coast variants seem to be winning out right now. While they’re more transmissible they’re not as transmissible as the UK variant,” Dr. Rutherford said.
While we are in fact seeing a surge in other parts of the country, especially in states like Michigan, experts say the immunity in each state will determine how different parts of the country can withstand the increasing cases.
It’s unclear which way California will go but right now some experts believe we’re in a good position.