That’s “in just 17 days,” said Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax on Wednesday. “And that’s when things don’t get worse, but they are very good at it.”
There are 123 Covid-19 patients in San Francisco, a number higher than ever and “showing no signs of decline”, according to Colfax. 30 of these patients are in intensive care units.
“This number is increasing and increasing rapidly. Now not just by day, but also by hour.”
The city is experiencing by far the worst surge ever, Colfax said, adding the virus is “currently all over our city”.
“And in so many parts of the city that it has never found a foothold in,” said Colfax. “Even lower-risk activities are now at significant risk as there are more viruses than ever before.”
And the upswing was also fueled by the gatherings held during the Thanksgiving holiday. At least 167 people have tested positive for the virus every day since then, and the average fall rate per 100,000 has skyrocketed since Thanksgiving week – from 15 to 30.
“Unfortunately, the reality turns out to be as harsh as expected,” said Colfax.
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a strict regional stay-at-home order to go into effect 48 hours after the ICU capacity drops below 15% in any of the five regions the state is divided into: Northern California, Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California.However, several governments in the Bay Area decided not to wait for this threshold and implemented the order – including San Francisco. The order went into effect on Sunday, San Francisco officials said, and is expected to remain in effect through Jan. 4. “We will pick them up once our hospital capacity is stable and case rates improve for 3 weeks,” officials said. The regulation does not allow gatherings with people outside a single household, restaurants can only operate take-out and delivery services, and some businesses, such as hair and nail salons, are forced to close.
“To be honest, we have a chance to reverse this serious increase and that chance is now,” Colfax said on Wednesday. “But the window narrows and closes quickly.”
CNN’s Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.