COVID-19 down statewide & these factors are driving decline

Governor Gavin Newsom confirms that cases are falling across California. He points to a month ago, when there were 20,000 new COVID cases reported. Now, less than 7,000.

Video Transcript

LUZ PENA: After a devastating year and three COVID surges, today the chief of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital is feeling hopeful.

When would you say was that moment when you realized that cases were going down?

CHRISTOPHER COLWELL: It was 10 days ago and it was it was a shift that I did in the emergency department.

LUZ PENA: Today, Governor Gavin Newsom confirming cases are also going down statewide, pointing to a month ago when there were 20,000 COVID-19 cases reported-- today, 6,760. Positivity rate was 9.3% a month ago-- today, 3.1%. Hospitalizations are also down 41% and 38% in the ICU. Dr. Colwell has gone from seeing multiple COVID-19 cases per shift to this.

CHRISTOPHER COLWELL: Three, and one prior to that, there was even less than that. So it really has been a dramatic decrease.

LUZ PENA: But what's driving this decline? It turns out there are multiple factors.

CHRISTOPHER COLWELL: First and foremost, we're through the holiday, New Year's time period when we saw just a lot of social gatherings. We are also abiding by the precautions. We're maintaining social distancing.

The combined effect of those that have-- now in our community who have had COVID-19 and have some immunity based on that and those who are now being vaccinated.

LUZ PENA: According to the latest state data, 1.9 million Californians have been fully vaccinated. Dr. Colwell says a change of behavior will add to a decline in cases.

- Well, I'm happy to wear masks longer-- not that I like it, but I'm happy to.

LUZ PENA: We're getting close. So what's your projection? When do you think we'll be able to say we are out of the woods?

CHRISTOPHER COLWELL: We should expect that we will have everybody vaccinated by the end of July.

LUZ PENA: Dr. Colwell says we still need to be cautious as multiple variants are circulating the Bay Area. But he says he's hopeful. As more people get vaccinated, he believes the numbers will continue to go down. In San Francisco, Luz Peña, ABC 7 News.