San Francisco is seeing a dramatic surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, according to Dr. Grant Colfax, the city’s top public health official.
“If things continue at current rates, we estimate that on average we will have more than 750 San Franciscans in the hospital by mid-October and more than 600 deaths from COVID-19 in 2020,” Colfax said at a press conference Thursday.
The number of people currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in San Francisco is hovering just over 100, with a quarter of those patients in intensive care.
“In just 10 days this month, we went from 5,000 to 6,000 cases of COVID-19,” said Colfax, who directs the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Colfax cited outdoor gatherings as one cause of the recent surge in infections and emphasized the need to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The more virus that is around, the more likely that if you go to a gathering, that somebody has the virus, and is going to transmit it,” he said.
To help alleviate the potential burden on the hospital system, San Francisco is opening a new healthcare facility in the Presidio to treat up to 93 non-COVID-19 patients.
“They would have medical supervision from skilled professional staff and access to physical therapy and laboratory services,” Colfax said.