Mayor Breed says San Francisco may be able to reopen soon when new infections drop

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said on Friday the city may be able to reopen soon because its coronavirus transmission rate has plummeted.

Breed tweeted that San Francisco may soon begin to emerge from its state-ordered lockdown because the city’s so-called reproductive rate is 0.99. A reproduction rate represents the number of people to whom an infected person can transmit the virus.

“This means that for every person who receives COVID-19, on average, they are transmitting it to less than one other person. We are slowing the spread, ”Breed said.

“Anything less than 1, we’re fine,” Dr. Lee Riley, an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley told The Chronicle last year. “But the speed of the reduction is certainly related to the less than 1 distance of the reproductive number. The lower the number, the faster the epidemic will end. “

San Francisco can only begin to reopen when the state gives the green light to the entire Bay Area. California guidelines state that a region can reopen when the capacity of its intensive care unit is expected to reach at least 15% uptime in a four week period. The Sacramento area was recently authorized to reopen based on these parameters.

The Bay Area ICU availability is currently 6.6%. Infections are declining across the region – the seven-day average for new cases in the nine counties was 49.8 per 100,000 population on January 21, compared to 60.9 per 100,000 on January 14.

Breed’s tweet comes hours after the city opened its first of three mass vaccination sites at City College on Ocean Avenue near Interstate 280. Breed’s plan is to eventually administer 10,000 vaccines against the coronavirus. per day, with the goal of vaccinating all eligible residents by June 30, but the city is falling short of those daily goals due to a vaccine shortage.

At a press conference at City College, officials said San Francisco expected to get fewer vaccines for the city-run health network next week than this week, when it was on the verge. to run out. Public Health Director Grant Colfax said “things are going in the right direction at the moment” regarding the cases.

San Francisco has a 4.3% 7-day positivity rate on Friday. The city’s seven-day average of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents fell from 39.4 on January 14 to January 30 on January 21. Currently, 234 people are hospitalized, up from 259 on January 12.

Breed added that despite the encouraging signs, the San Franciscans must remain vigilant. “But we all need to keep doing what we know to slow the spread of this virus: wear a mask, avoid indoor gatherings with people you don’t live with, ventilate indoor spaces when you’re with other people. and wash your hands frequently, ”she tweeted. “Let’s continue this!”

Columnist Trisha Thadani contributed to this report.

Jessia Flores is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] tthadani

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