Bay Area’s summer COVID surge peaked, but risks linger

Coronavirus case rates and test positivity are steadily declining in California and the Bay Area, signaling that the region is finally on the decline from this summer’s record COVID-19 surge, driven by successive waves of subvariants of omicron.

But while the worst may be over, the amount of virus in the community remains far higher than in April before the outbreak, and hospitalizations – a lagging indicator of infection rates – are still high.

Health officials warn of complacency and the possibility of new, evasive immune versions of the virus that could prolong the pandemic well into the fall. They recommend that people stay on guard against infection or re-infection through vaccinations, booster shots and voluntary indoor masking.

“We’re in a good position, of course, but we can’t ignore the virus,” said UCSF infectious disease specialist Peter Chin-Hong. “Things can get unpredictable.”

Although the peak in cases occurred several weeks ago, the continued fluctuations in reported numbers have made it impossible so far to be certain of the downward trend.

Leave a Comment