California COVID-19 case rates plummet

The number of patients in California hospitals with COVID-19 slipped below 7,000, a drop of more than a third over two weeks, the state Department of Public Health reported. (Feb. 22)

Video Transcript

JENNIFER NUZZO: So, we are certainly seeing a downward trajectory in much of the world and certainly here in the United States. First it was the cases, and the deaths usually follow about a month later. And that happened. So our case number started ticking down a month ago, and now we're starting to see the deaths similarly decline. So that's a really good news. Why it's happening I can't fully tell you.

LUKE DAY: Both in San Francisco and across the state, we're seeing a decrease in the number of new cases and then also in the number of hospitalizations. In San Francisco itself, we have been moving probably to our lowest number of new cases that we've seen probably since the summer, if not earlier in the year. At our hospital, we're almost down to the lowest number of COVID patients that we had probably almost about a year ago.

These events where people get together have decreased, in terms of the number of holidays. I think people are still adhering to the social distancing and masking. And I think the one effect that we're probably seeing right now, but it's hard to quantify and we're working on it, are vaccinations.

You know, a year ago and after the last three surges, we weren't vaccinating at that time. Here at our hospital, we've vaccinated 99% of our health care staff who want it, and that's both the first and the second dose. And in San Francisco, we've vaccinated close to 70% of the citizens of the city. So that's a huge number. That definitely impacts our new cases and the transmission of the disease itself. And we're continuing to vaccinate more and more people each day. And so I think that is definitely going to have an impact in the weeks to come.