Stanford doctor says US has probably peaked in Delta variant COVID surge

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There is good news coming in on the COVID-19 front. A new CDC forecast model put together at UMass Amherst predicts that COVID hospitalizations will drop by nearly half in the next two weeks. COVID death and case numbers are also likely to drop and a Stanford doctor says that the latest U.S. surge has likely hit its peak.

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"It's clear that the United States has probably peaked in its latest surge connected to the Delta variant and some states will see steeper declines than others and some counties within states will do the same," says Stanford's Dr. Jorge Salinas.

The CDC data predicts that cases and deaths are likely to decline over the next four weeks. Information that also predicts U.S. hospitalizations will drop nearly 50% from 8,500 a day to 4,600 in just two weeks.

"I'm an optimistic person but I take the data with a grain of salt," says UCSF's Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, who continued by referring to the current numbers. "So the reality isn't there right now, but it's something to look forward to."

California's COVID transmission numbers are currently some of the best in the country. Many that we spoke with in San Francisco say they are well aware of that and feel comfortable here.

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"In California yes, San Francisco yes, outside of the state... I don't know, I don't," says Bay Area resident David Velez.

"A lot of places require proof of vaccination, especially in San Francisco," said Taylor Liu.
But many, both on San Francisco's Embarcadero and online, are cautiously optimistic and still taking COVID precautions.

"When I walk around, I don't wear a mask, but when I go inside and am dealing with people I wear a mask," says Nicholas Evans.

"I think that numbers may go down for some time and I think it's quite likely that they will go up again," says Dr. Salinas.

Dr. Chin-Hong says that these predictions could very well be accurate if we don't see another variant like the Delta and if authorizations are granted for kids to get the vaccine.

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