San Francisco

San Francisco's COVID Positivity Rate Doubles State's Overall Rate

NBC Universal, Inc. COVID-19 cases have been on the rise for several weeks now, and the latest numbers show San Francisco has one of the highest positivity rates in the state. Sergio Quintana reports.

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise for several weeks now, and the latest numbers show San Francisco has one of the highest positivity rates in the state. 

According to public health data, there's a lot of coronavirus circulating in the city, with a 9.4% test positivity rate -- double of the state’s overall rate. 

"I just had COVID last week, and I had to quarantine,” said resident Myrat Noe. “So now I've got to wear a mask and everything. Make sure you get your boosters people."

Most residents have either been infected or know someone who has. 

"I'm just trying to stay safe. People around me have. Even people have gotten it twice that I know, but not me,” said Orinda resident Nancy Peterson. 

More of Bay Area health experts are calling for people to rethink their plans as COVID-19 cases are rising again in the area. Raj Mathai speaks with Dr. Abraar Karan of Stanford on this.

People in the Embarcadero said they’re taking precautions, like wearing masks indoors and in group settings, but they're also trying to carry on with life as usual.

"If I worry about it every day I'm not going to continue to live,” said Concord resident Shawnee Stevenson. “I just don't want to bring anything home."

San Francisco is seeing a significant surge in COVID-19 infections, but public health officials say hospitalizations are still relatively low.

According to San Francisco Department of Public Health data, there are currently 56 people hospitalized with COVID, seven in the intensive care unit -- that’s about twice as many patients as they had two weeks ago.

Experts said a prior COVID infection is far less likely to protect you from the latest strains. With most COVID-19 restrictions now lifted, Doctor Peter Chin-Hong at UCSF says San Francisco is a hub of activity again, which may explain some infections.

"San Francisco risk is not only San Francisco risk anymore. It's the risk from elsewhere because a lot of people are traveling back and forth now,” he said.

He recommends people return to using KN-95 or N-95 masks in many indoor settings, like poorly ventilated offices, or large indoor events.

He thinks COVID testing for small home get-togethers is also a good idea. And of course, get boosted if you're eligible.

Dr. Chin-Hong is concerned that more shots and even re-formulated boosters for new variants may be in short supply later this year because of a lack of federal funding.

"And because it's still in Congress, we may not be able to have updated vaccines for the entire population in the fall, but maybe just the at-risk populations if there's not enough money," said Chin-Hong.