New data released by San Francisco health officials on Friday showed the number of average COVID-19 cases reported daily has risen tenfold over the last month, demonstrating the rapid rise of the delta variant.
Currently, the city is averaging 176 new cases a day.
Just last month, when most COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted throughout California, daily average cases in the city hit lows only seen at the start of the pandemic — averaging as little as 16 cases daily.
The new data also showed that case rates among unvaccinated people are more than double that of those who have been vaccinated, and hospitalization rates for unvaccinated people are eight times higher than for unvaccinated.
Although there is the possibility of vaccinated people being diagnosed with breakthrough COVID-19 cases, the chances of severe symptoms and hospitalizations are rare. For that reason, city health officials are urging residents 12 and up who haven’t yet been vaccinated to do so.
“San Francisco’s response to COVID-19 has always been grounded in data, science and facts and the more data we can analyze to drive our public health decisions, the better,” San Francisco Department of Health Director Grant Colfax said in a statement. “The data we are seeing today shows vaccines are highly effective in protecting people from severe illness and hospitalizations due to COVID-19, even as we see some breakthrough cases. Getting vaccinated continues to be your best protection.”
Health officials are also recommending that residents, regardless of vaccination status, continue to wear masks indoors.
On Thursday, Mayor London Breed said the city is currently looking into possibly reinstating mask mandates for all, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. Additionally, Breed said, her office is in discussion with the City Attorney’s Office over potential “mandatory vaccines for folks who are not necessarily just city employees.”
San Francisco remains one of the U.S. cities with the highest vaccination rates, with 77 percent of residents ages 12 and up fully vaccinated.
More citywide COVID-19 data, which is updated daily, can be found at https://sf.gov/resource/2021/covid-19-data-and-reports.