SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The coronavirus death toll in San Francisco grew to 13 with three new fatalities being reported Friday and 73 additional residents have tested positive for the disease, according to health officials.
With the additional cases, the total number of local positive test results for COVID-19 in San Francisco grew to nearly 800 — 797 — since the outbreak began in February.
Health officials did not release any specifics about San Francisco’s latest coronavirus victims in regards to age, gender, how they may have contracted the disease or where they were being treated.
With the new victims, the toll from the outbreak in the 10-county San Francisco Bay Area grew to 123 early Friday. More than 4,500 people have tested positive region-wide.
According to University of California Health, there have been 124 confirmed cases of the coronavirus diagnosed at UCSF with 57 tests pending. More an 3,300 have been given tests for the virus at the facility.
There were 88 total patients hospitalized for treatment of the virus with 56 of those in acute care and 32 in ICU units. Of those tested, the age group of 18-50 had accounted for 60 percent.
The uptick in cases came amid a growing controversy over crowded buses on San Francisco’s reduced municipal transit lines. Officials were facing questions over an image of bus passengers crowded shoulder-to-shoulder during the coronavirus public health emergency requiring physical distancing.
The image, taken at around 12:15 p.m. on the outbound 38 Geary, shows passengers crowded in standing-room only conditions. It appears many of the passenger are elderly, and most are wearing masks.
The 38 Geary is one of the few Muni routes still operating, as the agency has cut the number of routes to 17 of most essential routes.
“People in the Richmond, Western Addition and Tenderloin who need east-west transport for work, to get medical care, to get senior services, to buy groceries, etc. are all forced onto one bus line resulting in this kind of shoulder to shoulder standing room only crowding I photographed today,” said Phil Shinkai, the Muni passenger who submitted the photo. “This is a gross violation of CDC guidelines. Making matters even worse is the fact that most of the passengers are seniors who are at greater risk for infection and serious complications.”
San Francisco Municipal Tranportation Agency (SFMTA) spokeswoman Erica Kato said the situation happened during a time when the agency was rolling out the reduced service changes and was dealing with 40 percent of its operators being unavailable.
“We warned riders that unfortunately, Monday and Tuesday would see bad service with 40% of our operators out and us still inching toward the 17-line Essential Trips Network (which began [Wednesday]), said Kato. “Fortunately, today we did not experience what you see in the picture due to our modified service plan.”