Coronavirus: Alameda County crosses 20,000 cases as Bay Area approaches 100,000 total

California’s average number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 ticked up slightly Monday, though both are still near their lowest points in months, according to data compiled by this news organization.

Counties around the state reported 4,675 new cases and 73 more deaths from the virus, both of which were more than the past Monday — Labor Day, when many health departments didn’t issue updates — increasing the respective rates to about 3,600 cases and just under 100 deaths per day over the past week.

That is still 31% fewer fatalities than the state’s deadliest week, but it’s also the highest the seven-day average has been since last Tuesday, when the seven-day average fell below 100 for the first time in over a month; it reached as low as 85 per day before climbing back up to nearly 100 on Monday.

Meanwhile, the number of cases remains nearly a third of its peak and down more than 30% from two weeks ago, but the 4,675 reported Monday amounted to the most in a single day since Sept. 4, a 10-day span.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 continued to shrink, to 2,841, after reaching its lowest point since April over the weekend. The positivity rate also remained at 3.5%, less than half of its peak and the lowest it has been in months.

The Bay Area experienced one of its deadliest weeks of the pandemic with an average of nearly 14 per day over the past seven days, just one shy of its peak Sept. 5. At about 1 in 83,000, the Bay Area still had one of the lowest per-capita fatality rates in California in the past week. Statewide, about 1 in 56,000 residents died from the virus in the past week, with the highest rates still in the San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles County.

As the region neared 100,000 cases — 97,436 as of Monday — they were coming at a slower rate than nearly any point since June, down about 30% in the past two weeks.

Alameda County on Monday became the first in the Bay Area to pass the 20,000-case threshold, though Santa Clara County was on its heels with 19,613 and counting. Alameda County, with especially concentrated outbreaks in East Oakland, has reported the highest number of cases (20,002) and deaths (332) in the region, though it ranks ninth in each statewide.

The 128-per-day average of new cases in Santa Clara County was the highest in the Bay Area over the past week, followed by a rate of about 96 per day in Alameda County.

On a per-capita basis, however, Alameda and Santa Clara counties have two of the four lowest case totals in the region, along with San Francisco and Napa. When adjusted for population, the Bay Area has recorded about 37% fewer cases than the state as a whole.

San Francisco, Napa and Santa Clara also have some of the lowest per-capita death rates in the region, but Alameda County still ranks near the top.

Marin County has the highest rates of cases and deaths per-capita in the region, influenced by the 2,000-plus cases and 26 deaths among the inmates at San Quentin State Prison. Only Marin and Sonoma counties had more deaths per-capita than Alameda County among Bay Area locales.

However, the number of deaths in the Bay Area remains lower than most of California. Over the course of the pandemic, there have been about 16.5 deaths from the virus for every 100,000 Bay Area residents, compared to a statewide rate of about 36.6 per 100,000.

There were nine deaths reported in the region Monday: seven in Marin County and two in Solano County. The 117 new cases in Solano County were the most reported in the Bay Area on Monday, but its health department had not issued an update since Friday. That was followed by 89 new cases in San Mateo, 76 in San Francisco and 73 in Contra Costa counties.

Overall, average daily cases had fallen 30% across the Bay Area in the past two weeks, to about 607 per day, or 7.6 per 100,000.

As a region, that would place it near the threshold to enter the second tier of reopening, which requires fewer than 7 cases per 100,000 per day and a positivity rate below 8%. It is determined on a county-level basis, and as of the latest update from the California Department of Public Health last Tuesday, only San Francisco, Santa Clara and Napa had emerged from the most severe tier.

In last Tuesday’s update, five counties, including Santa Clara, moved from Tier 1 into Tier 2. Now, there are 33 counties in the most severe grouping and 14 counties in Tier 2. Another nine were in Tier 3, and two remote mountain counties — Alpine and Modoc — were in the lowest of the four tiers.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s top health official, was due to deliver the next update to the tiers later this afternoon.

Source: mercurynews
Coronavirus: Alameda County crosses 20,000 cases as Bay Area approaches 100,000 total