covid

Bay Area COVID Surge Leveling Out?

Numbers indicate the latest surge in the Bay Area may be plateauing, but infection rates remain high

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The latest COVID surge in the Bay Area appears to have peaked as cases have stopped rising, but those numbers remain very high.

In the East Bay, news of rising COVID numbers in Contra Costa County are keeping businesses looking to rebound from the pandemic on their toes.

One of those businesses, The Gardens at Heather Farm in Walnut Creek, is finally seeing a recovery with a busy start to summer.

"All those couples that did not get married seem to be getting married, so things have been very busy for us, which is great news," said Joan Lucchese, The Gardens at Heather Farm executive director.

The popular venue along with many other Bay Area businesses are once again watching and hoping the latest COVID surge does not pull the rug from under them.

"We just pay attention to what's going on," Lucchese said. "And if it looks like things might step back, we just get ready for that."

The bottom line: Infection rates are high.

"We're still No. 1 as a region in the state by a longshot," said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, UCSF's top infectious disease expert.

Chin-Hong said the number of COVID cases in the latest surge appears to be leveling out and is far from the peak we saw during the first omicron surge.

Chin-Hong said bigger gatherings and the reopening of cities and counties have contributed to the rise in infections paired with a highly transmissible variant.

The national case numbers, however, offer some hope.

"We're seeing cases drop as much as 30% in the Northeast, so if there's a silver lining, we're hoping that may soon happen in the Bay Area," Chin-Hong said.

Until then, the doctor said life does not have to stop, but people should take some precautions, including masking indoors, regular testing, and keeping up on vaccinations.

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