San Francisco Cases Drop Dramatically, Health Experts Caution Against Letting Guard Down
BRIAN HACKNEY: Out in San Francisco, some good news tonight in the city's battle against the pandemic, but health officials are afraid that people could be letting their guard down too early. KPIX explains. Betty Yu is live there now to explain. Hey, Betty.
BETTY YU: Hi, Brian. The Embarcadero, for example, was noticeably busier tonight than we've seen in weeks past. So as we open up, California health officials do not want us to experience another setback.
Floyd Newsome and his family drove up from Bakersfield to enjoy some of their favorite things about Fisherman's Wharf.
FLOYD NEWSOME: I'd just have some seafood, eat on the pier. We pretty much-- we followed the rules, and we continue to follow the rules, not to break 'em, because they were made to save us.
BETTY YU: San Francisco recently saw its lowest COVID case rate since the pandemic began. Currently, the city's seven-day average of daily cases is 29, compared to more than 370 during the winter surge.
LAUREN BALCIONI: We've kind of stuck to staying outside, which is nice. And we're just talking about it's exciting that there are, you know, more outdoor options that we didn't have before. So I think a lot of good's come out of it.
BETTY YU: Still, cases are on the rise in half the states, and people are dying.
ROCHELLE WALENSKY: The seven-day average of deaths continues to hover at 1,000 deaths per day. I remain deeply concerned about this trajectory.
BETTY YU: Most states will make vaccines available to all residents 16 and older by May 1. California will do so two weeks earlier. Scientists are still trying to figure out if vaccinated people can spread the virus. They're studying 12,000 vaccinated college students and their contacts to try and answer that.
ANTHONY FAUCI: We hope that within the next five or so months, we'll be able to answer the very important question about whether vaccinated people get infected asymptomatically, and, if they do, do they transmit the infection to others?
BETTY YU: As of tonight, more than 40% of San Franciscans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but supply does remain limited. Brian?