'Things have gotten out of hand': Bay Area counties see spike in hospitalization rates, doctors worry about COVID-19 surge

ByKris Reyes KGO logo
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Bay Area counties see spike in hospitalizations rates, doctors worry about COVID-19 surge
From May to June, there's been a 74% increase in COVID-19 cases across the Bay Area and doctors are pleading for people to continue adhering to wearing a face mask and social distancing.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- "It was reasonable to think of this as a California miracle, unfortunately, over the last two or three weeks, things have gotten out of hand. I think we let our guard down," says Dr. Robert Wachter, chair at UCSF Department of Medicine.

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You can see the charts that worry him, below:

ABC7 News analyzed the numbers and found that six Bay Area counties saw a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations between May 22 and June 29. In the case of Marin County, the hospitalization rate went from 1.15% to 9.6% in that period, in San Francisco, 4.94% to 7%.

"If we continue to see some of these surges that we are seeing, there is no good reason to think we are not going to be packed with COVID-19 cases within a few weeks," he said about Bay Area hospitals.

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Here are more troubling numbers- total COVID-19 cases in the Bay Area on June 29 was almost 24,000, a 74% increase from May 29 when the numbers were at just over 13,000.

At UCSF, there are currently 20 inpatients with COVID-19, the highest number since May 5. 11 are in ICU and the numbers worry Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.

"We are right now about double where we were two weeks ago," he said. "Overnight there were a bunch of people admitted."

Dr. Chin-Hong's concern, that people are becoming less vigilant about wearing masks. He's noticing more and more young people are choosing not to wear them, he points to another recent study that shows men aren't wearing them as much as women. He says we need to get back to the same mentality we had at the height of the crisis.

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"The Bay Area was at about 80 to 90% during the height," said of people wearing masks, compared to maybe 60 to 70% currently, he added.

Dr. Chin-Hong said more needs to be done to encourage people to wear masks and to be vigilant about keeping them clean and virus-free. He suggested quarantining masks that can't be washed after every use and making sure people are educated about how to wear them.

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