Bay Area COVID cases, hospitalizations on the rise. How far will they go?

Coronavirus infections and hospitalizations are rising again in the Bay Area as the region enters what public health officials say is the sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

San Francisco now has the second-highest infection rate in California, averaging 40 new daily cases per 100,000 people, according to state data released Friday, behind neighboring Santa Cruz County, which has some. reported 43 per 100,000.

Both counties were reporting just 3 daily cases per 100,000 a month ago.

“I’m surprised it’s increasing so much,” said UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. George Rutherford.

San Francisco, Santa Clara, Marin and San Mateo counties – as well as Santa Cruz – had all moved to “moderate” levels of community COVID presence as of Friday, as measured by the state Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -United. The calculation is based on case rates and hospitalizations. At this level, the agency recommends that people at high risk again use face masks in public spaces.

The nine counties in the Bay Area, as well as those surrounding the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and virtually the entire California coast, are also classified as having “high” community virus transmission rates, according to a separate metric. from the CDC.

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