SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — An ebullient Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, announced good news about the rate of COVID-19 transmission in the city Friday.
Speaking from a new mass vaccination site at City College, Dr. Colfax elaborated.READ MORE: Young Graduate Beginning His Career Killed by Falling Tree in Burlingame
“Our reproductive rate — the measure of how fast the virus is propagating through the community — is below one. So that means it is slowing. It’s just barely below one — it’s an estimate — but things are heading in the right direction for right now.”
While Mayor London Breed indicated in a tweet that things could begin reopening soon, the city’s fate is tied to the wider Bay Area region.
Across the border in San Mateo County, only three ICU beds remained open Friday night. Supervisor David Canepa is urging caution.READ MORE: Suspect Arrested In Fatal San Mateo RV Storage Lot Shooting
“I think what we try to do as policy makers, we try to celebrate — we celebrate that we’re making progress but the virus humbles us every time,” he said.
A recently-released Stanford study showed transmission of the disease could be controlled if indoor occupancy was capped at 20 percent. Dr. Monica Gandhi, a UCSF infectious disease specialist, is advocating for that harm-reduction model and to re-open outdoor spaces entirely.
“I think that opening means being prudent about what you open and outdoor spaces have never been the problem — at least there’s no data that shows outdoor dining, outdoor playgrounds or recreational areas are the problem because the natural ventilation is what reduces the risk,” she told KPIX via Zoom.
Another UCSF infectious disease specialist, Dr. Peter Chin-Hong urges caution. He says that while the numbers look better, ICU capacity is still low.MORE NEWS: Santa Clara Officials Open COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic At Local Farm
“We’re sitting on the very sharp edge of a cliff right now and maybe we are one step away from the edge of the cliff instead of being at the cliff but we’re still pretty close to the cliff,” he said.