Bay Area counties have reported fewer COVID cases this week than the week before, marking a welcome end to what some are calling a “silent wave” of new infections.
“People act like there is no wave,” said Dr. John Schwartzberg, emeritus clinical professor of infectious disease and vaccinology at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. — But there is.
There were 20,470 new cases in nine Bay Area counties this week, down 33% from the 30,646 cases reported last week, according to California Department of Health data.
The most recent data updates suggest that the spike is finally easing after staying high for more than a month. This is good news for those celebrating the Warriors victory, who are now at slightly less risk of contracting COVID than they were two weeks ago.
This spike was noticeable in the Bay Area because, for the first time, counties surrounding the San Francisco Bay had more COVID cases per 100,000 residents than the rest of the state. Previous surges have been far more concentrated in Southern California, but this new era of vaccinations and the disappearance of social distancing practices has set the stage for the Bay Area to lead the state in newly identified infection rates.
The surge in California also appears to be declining, but at a slower rate and more gradually. Golden State added 93,911 new COVID cases this week, down 20% from the 116,752 reported last week.
Schwartzberg said the latest trends have many people asking him if COVID is evolving to be more favorable, but he’s not sure. Despite the recent further separation of cases from hospitalizations and deaths, “the bottom line is that I really don’t think we know what’s going to happen,” he said.
“It is unclear whether there is any law of nature that the following options will cause less serious diseases,” warns Schwartzberg.