Urgent warning from health officials as COVID cases skyrocket

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — As the number of COVID cases increase across the country, in the Bay Area — San Francisco is projecting an alarming rate of COVID infections.

“To be blunt, we have once chance to turn this serious surge around, and that chance is right now,” Dr. Grant Colfax said.

A dire warning from San Francisco director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax.

San Francisco hospitals are seeing an increase in COVID positive patients and the numbers are only growing.

As of Wednesday morning, there are 123 COVID positive patients in hospitals across the county – 30 of whom are in ICU – and those numbers are increasing hourly.

“We are in the middle of a massive surge in SF of COVID-19 cases,” Dr. Colfax said. “By far the worst surge to date.”

If the surge continues, the county will run out of ICU beds by Dec. 27 – and that’s if things don’t get worse.

Dr. Colfax says the that for every COVID-positive patient, they spread it to one and a half people – and if this continues, an estimated 1,410 COVID patients will be hospitalized by February of next year.

We may see as many as 4,500 people in need of a hospital bed and as many as 1,500 additional deaths.

But Dr. Colfax says it’s still not too late to stop things from getting worse.

“We have the power to avoid these terrible outcomes – the power to prevent sickness and death, the power to keep businesses open and keep people in jobs and employed and healthy. this power is in our hands,” he said.

A vaccine may be available in San Francisco as early as Dec. 17.

The county is expecting 12,000 doses in the first round – which will be distributed to acute care facilities first.

Widespread distribution won’t be available until spring or summer of 2021.

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