Experts warn don't 'let guard down yet' as CA sees slight decline in COVID cases

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- California is beginning to see a slight decline in the 7-day average COVID cases with about a 48 percent decrease in the last week.

In San Francisco, the 24th Street testing site in the Mission District is also noticing a shift.

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"Yesterday we had 359 positives. So, that is a positivity rate of about 34 percent. Which is really high," said Diane Jones, volunteer for Unidos en Salud. "Perhaps we can say we are in a plateau but, it's really too soon to tell."

At its highest, the positive rate at the Mission site was 37 percent.

Last week it was 34 percent. They are attributing these numbers to everyday interactions and no longer the holidays.

"Schools reopening, people going back to work and that is being driven not only by holidays it's just life," said Jones.

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Bay PLS the COVID testing company with sites across the Bay Area is also noticing a slight decline in their San Francisco and San Mateo County sites.

"We saw an increase of percent on the first week of the 9th and 10th that has been the highest. Now we are looking at 33 percent. So it's not as high as 36 percent that we've seen the highest. So I imagine the numbers are stabilizing," said Salu Ribeiro, founder of Bay PLS.

To truly understand this shift in COVID cases we went to UC Berkeley to speak to Professor Kara Nelson. Her team has been monitoring the wastewater of about 2.5 million people in the Bay Area.

They detect cases before people even get tested.

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"We are starting to see concentration plateau or decrease in San Francisco, in the locations we monitor in Marin and then in the eastern portions of Contra Costa County," said Kara Nelson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley.

Even with this shift, Professor Nelson highlighted that we are still seeing the highest concentration of cases of the pandemic.

"We may be turning the corner but it doesn't mean we can let our guard down yet," said Professor Nelson and added, "We are still seeing concentrations increase in the East mud service area which is Alameda County and then Western Contra Costa County."

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