The City of San Francisco launched a new data tracker on Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)

Coronavirus cases exceed 600 in SF; 9 reported dead

Mayor launches data tracker after calls for transparency

For the first time, the number of new coronavirus cases surpassed 600 in San Francisco on Tuesday.

The City reported 39 additional cases since Monday for a total of 622. The increase comes despite the lowest daily increase of April on Monday, when there were just 15 more cases reported for a total of 583.

Cases include three homeless people who tested positive while living in city shelters and 16 cases at the city’s long-term care facility, which includes 12 staff and four residents.

After calls for more transparency, Mayor London Breed launched a COVID-19 data tracker on Tuesday that shows an overall 13 percent positive confirmation rate out of 5,645 cumulative tests. Of 83 hospitalized Friday, 46 were in acute care and 37 in intensive care.

About 70 percent of coronavirus cases were transmitted by community contact, 13 percent are from a known contact, and 17 percent have unknown sources.

Despite the widespread belief that coronavirus is worst in the elderly, younger individuals are being diagnosed in San Francisco in the largest numbers, with 24 percent of cases in the 31-40 age category. Ages 18-30 follow with 19 percent of cases, 41-50 years old make up 18 percent, and ages 51-60 account for 16 percent. Residents ages 61-70 make up 12 percent of cases, 6 percent of cases are in the 71-80-year-old range, and ages 81 and older account for just 4 percent of cases.

Men account for 56 percent of cases while women make up 43 percent, with no reported cases so far among trans men or women.

City officials continue to prepare for an anticipated surge in cases by expanding the number of available hospital beds and intensive care beds and testing sits.

“We have seen this happen in many places across the world and this country and we need to be as ready as we possibly can,” Dr. Grant Colfax, head of the Department of Public Health, said Monday. “Our surge capacity continues to increase.”

Colfax said that since January local hospitals have worked to increase intensive care unit beds from 277 to 530, a 91 percent increase. And he said that the regular acute care beds, also known as medical surgery beds, increased from 1,055 to over 1,600, a 52 percent increase.

“We accomplished this by opening previously closed units and by repurposing areas normally used for other functions, such as outpatient surgery,” Colfax said.

That includes the opening Monday of St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s new 48-bed unit for coronavirus patients.

“These extra beds will make a big difference,” Colfax said. “However, there are still plausible scenarios that a large surge can overwhelm even those additional resources.”

The bed increase doesn’t include the announcement by Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday that he has finalized a deal to open up to 291-beds at the CPMC Pacific Campus at 2333 Buchanan St. The deal is part of Newsom’s overall plan to add 50,000 beds to the state’s existing 75,000 beds. About 30,000 will come from within existing hospitals as the state plans to secure up to 20,000.

Colfax also promised that The City would begin reporting more details around coronavirus beyond just the deaths and new cases as they have been and a new data tracker was announced Tuesday.

Colfax said Monday that about 80 of the positive cases were in local hospitals and half of them in intensive care.

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