"All across the city, many groups, we're all letting our guard down," said San Francisco deputy health officer, Dr. Susan Philip. Dr. Philip says the current surge, which is the third surge since the pandemic began, is different. "We have a higher proportion than we did in earlier surges of people who are White who are testing positive."
"We're all letting our guard down."— Kate Larsen (@KateABC7) November 25, 2020
San Francisco and Marin County health officers say that more white people are testing positive for COVID.
These numbers show the demographic shift among Latino and White people in SF over the past 3 months. pic.twitter.com/203FO9SDGq
Latinos still account for the largest number of COVID-19 cases in San Francisco, but Dr. Philip says the overall percentage of Latino cases is down from 50% of total cases over the summer, to 40% in November. While cases among White people have gone up from 19% in September/October to 27% in November.
A San Francisco map of new COVID cases in the past month shows just that. The darker the green, the higher the case count per 10,000 residents. Over the summer, most of the COVID-19 cases were concentrated in the Southeast part of San Francisco. Now, the cases are more evenly distributed. On the map, Presidio Heights, Pacific Heights, and the Marina now look similar to the Tenderloin, Mission District, and South of Market.
This demographic shift in COVID cases is reflected in this @SF_DPH map.— Kate Larsen (@KateABC7) November 25, 2020
The darker the green, the higher the case count per 10,000 residents.
Presidio Heights, Pacific Heights, and the Marina are looking more like the Tenderloin, Mission District, and South of Market. pic.twitter.com/XJzK8wCdO5
The concentration of cases in the Mission/Southeast part of SF has been widely reported. You can see on this @SF_DPH map of CUMULATIVE cases since March 2, most cases have been in SE corner, where there’s more dark blue. pic.twitter.com/quz5zGwVrD— Kate Larsen (@KateABC7) November 25, 2020
"The fact that this is now more evenly distributed across the city, means that there is potential for an even more explosive increase in cases," said Dr. Philip.
Over the summer in Marin, half of the cases were concentrated in San Rafael's Canal District, a mostly Latino neighborhood. Now, said Marin County Health Officer, Dr. Matt Willis, "it's more popcorn across the whole county."
Dr. Willis says a Marin County graph shows a shift in socioeconomic and racial dynamics during the pandemic.
Latino cases, shown in green, went down from 66% in September to 42% in November. While cases among White people, shown in blue, went up from 29% in September to 45% in November. Dr. Willis says the new infections are happening because of indoor gatherings. "A baby shower, a gathering where people got together for a football game was another recent example with five cases, there was a wedding, funeral."
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Dr. Willis is concerned the current surge is so intense that more activities, like outdoor dining, will carry more risk. But this is not a forgone conclusion, individuals can collectively control the outbreaks by avoiding indoor gatherings, staying distanced, and wearing masks.
"The individual decisions that we make, and that you all make together, do add up and do make a difference," said Dr. Philip.
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