While COVID-19 cases and hospital stays in San Francisco remain alarming, the city is making strides in introducing the vaccine. The city guides estimate on Tuesday that around 80,000 health care workers have already received the vaccine.
There are currently an average of 237 new cases per day in the city, compared to an average of 270 new cases per day a week ago. According to city officials, it will only be known after two weeks whether the past holidays have contributed to an increase in some cases.
Although hospital admissions are increasing as a result of COVID-19, the city is in good shape with 35 percent of available ICU beds. However, the number of ICU beds available in the Bay Area as a region is only 5.9 percent.
With the number of ICU beds for the entire region well below the state’s 15 percent threshold, the city remains under a state-mandated stay-at-home order.
“At this point, San Francisco and the entire Bay Area are under the order of stay at home for the near future. That means we currently have no control over removing most restrictions on outdoor dining or personal services related, “said Mayor London Breed during a virtual briefing event.
So far, the San Francisco Department of Health has vaccinated 6,000 people, including frontline workers at Laguna Honda and Zuckerberg General Hospital, as well as paramedics and rescue workers.
On Monday, the SFDPH began delivering the vaccine to the 715+ residents of Laguna Honda, a long-term care facility for the elderly operated by SFDPH. By Tuesday, 90 percent of residents had received the vaccine.
An outbreak at the facility last March resulted in 29 COVID-19 cases, including 11 residents and 18 employees.
“Protecting the residents of Laguna Honda is very personal to me. My grandmother lived there for years at the end of her own life,” said Breed. “So, I know what these residents are feeling, I know what their families are feeling for not being able to visit. Our fight to keep this virus out of Laguna Honda was a fight to keep these people alive until we could. ” What we started yesterday to protect them from the vaccine. “
The introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine is coordinated by the California Department of Health and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is being distributed directly by healthcare providers, meaning the city has little control over the introduction.
“Unlike testing, we have no local control over how the vaccine is sent to San Francisco or how much is received,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Health.
“This is an unprecedented endeavor, mass vaccinating the entire nation to end the pandemic. We are working hard, but right now vaccine supplies remain limited and right now there are many unanswered questions about how quickly vaccine supplies will be in demand. But please know that we expect anyone who wants a vaccine will get one at some point, “said Colfax.
Although Colfax couldn’t say how many doses of the vaccine were being distributed to the city’s health care providers, Colfax estimates that around 80,000 health care workers have already been vaccinated by their employers across the city.
In the next stage of the state’s vaccine distribution, it will be the turn of other frontline workers and key workers such as public security workers, grocery store workers, teachers, and those over the age of 75 to receive the vaccine.