The Bay Area Region Wednesday dropped below 15 percent in intensive care unit bed availability, triggering the state-directed stay-at-home order effective Thursday at midnight. Several counties had voluntarily implemented the order ahead of the state, so there won’t be much change for many residents, but others that held out, like San Mateo County, will now have to adapt to a new set of rules.
The order is in effect for at least three weeks, until Jan. 7, and will be evaluated each week from that point on.
The state includes 11 counties in the Bay Area Region, which is one of five designated regions statewide. We’ve reviewed current case, ICU capacity and vaccination data for each of the nine Greater Bay Area counties below.
As alarming as it is to see the region’s ICU availability diminish, it is worth noting that the Bay Area Region is still doing relatively well compared to our neighbors to the east and south. ICU availability in the Southern California region has dropped to .5 percent and the San Joaquin Valley region has hit 0 percent — both regions have been under stay-at-home orders since Dec. 6. The Greater Sacramento region followed suit Thursday and now reports that 14.1 percent of its ICU beds remain staffed and available.
The only region not currently under the order is Northern California, where 28.1 percent of its ICU beds remain available. The area represents less than 2 percent of the state’s total population.
Alameda County, including the city of Berkeley, expects to receive 13,650 vaccine doses Friday, which will be first distributed to hospital staff at highest risk and most 911 first responders, as reiterated during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. The initial priority group should all receive a first round of vaccine by the end of the month, though that group currently excludes law enforcement.
Law enforcement, teachers and other essential frontline workers, such as grocery store employees, are being considered for the second round made possible by three additional shipments over the next two weeks. Health officials said that vaccinating at least 70 percent of the population would be considered a successful move toward herd immunity.
The county reported nearly 2,100 new cases over the course of just Friday and Saturday, with a cumulative case total of 38,971 and 549 deaths, according to data available through Monday. Thankfully, the county reported that more than 31 percent of its ICU beds remained available as of Tuesday.
Residents can read more about the county’s vaccination plan on the health department website.
Contra Costa County supervisors are pushing back on the state to classify teachers as “essential workers” who should be included in the first round of vaccines. During a board meeting Tuesday, Supervisor Diane Burgis acknowledged that while county representatives can affirm their stance, they do not have authority to reprioritize vaccine distribution or reopen schools without state approval.
Contra Costa received 9,715 Pfizer doses Tuesday morning and began vaccinating some frontline health workers by the afternoon. The county has made a detailed vaccination plan available online.
The county saw its highest number of daily new cases on Dec. 9, with a one-day change of 684. Contra Costa Health Services reports 32,526 cumulative cases and 290 deaths with data reported through Tuesday. Also as of Tuesday, 188 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized throughout the county, which marked the highest hospitalization rate to date — the latest reporting reflected an ICU availability rate of 13 percent, leaving just 25 beds open for a population of more than 1.16 million people.
Marin County health officials sounded the alarm Tuesday night that its hospitals had reached maximum ICU capacity. Pubic Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis provided an update at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, which was posted on YouTube.
He noted that “hospitalizations lag behind cases” and that the current surge in positive tests could easily put hospitals beyond capacity in coming days. Of the county’s 29 ICU beds, all were occupied Tuesday and 12 of which were being used to treat Covid-19 patients.
The county is still developing a public vaccination plan to be updated as supplies become available. However, two Kaiser Permanente frontline health care providers were given the vaccine in San Rafael Wednesday afternoon, marking the first to be administered among Kaiser staff in Northern California.
Napa County has seen a substantial surge in daily new cases since the beginning of December with its highest spike of 123 new cases on Dec. 8 — raising the daily average to more than 55, up from 43 in November. The health department is reporting a cumulative case total of 5,057 and 24 deaths. While acute hospital bed availability is faring well, only 23 percent of the county’s ICU beds are staffed and open for use.
Napa County’s vaccination plan is available online in both English and Spanish.
San Francisco’s ICU availability is sitting at 21 percent, according to Wednesday’s update from city and health officials. The hospitalization rate peaked Sunday with a total of 160 Covid-19 patients, which has decreased since to 150 — 42 being treated in ICU beds.
The health department reports, with data through Sunday, a cumulative case count of 19,183 and 172 deaths as a result. Positive test results have surged dramatically since the end of November — the seven-day rolling average increased to 237 as of Dec. 8, compared to 92 just one month prior.
Drawing off of the initial 12,500 doses received, The City’s first vaccinations were administered to frontline health care workers Tuesday at Zuckerberg San Francisco General hospital. Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said he expects a second allocation next week and every week thereafter.
A vaccination plan for the city and county of San Francisco was published Dec. 9 and is available online.
San Mateo County notably resisted joining the Bay Area five-county and Berkeley coalition that imposed early stay-at-home orders, but they are now subject to the state-directed order. The county’s daily new case count has been on a serious upward trajectory since the end of November. Data through Tuesday reflects a total of 19,330 cases and 183 deaths.
Less than 10 percent of the county’s ICU beds remained available Tuesday — 110 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized in total and 29 of which were being treated in ICU beds. San Mateo County has 88 ICU surge beds at its disposal if the situation warrants their activation.
Officials announced Wednesday that sub-zero freezers had arrived at the San Mateo County Medical Center and would be ready to store the 5,850 expected vaccine doses Tuesday. The vaccine will then be distributed among the six general acute hospitals where they will then be administered to staff. Additional doses (five to six times the initial supply) of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine are expected by the end of the month.
Of course, the Moderna shipment is pending an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is anticipated this week.
The public can find further details about the vaccination plan on the county health department website.
Santa Clara County continues to suffer at the hands of the pandemic — another eight deaths were reported Wednesday by the health department. The cumulative case count is now at 51,233, with 943 new cases added in the past 24 hours.
Only 13 standard ICU beds (4 percent) remain before maximum capacity is reached and surge beds may need to be utilized.
According to the vaccination plan available on the county’s website, the county received 5,850 Pfizer vaccination doses Tuesday and will get an additional 11,700 doses on Friday. If the Moderna vaccine is approved for emergency use as expected, 39,300 doses of that formula are slated to arrive on Dec. 22.
Solano County officials said Wednesday they anticipate a first shipment of 3,900 Pfizer doses and another 4,000 Moderna doses in the following weeks, pending FDA emergency authorization. A county-specific vaccination plan was not made available, instead pointing to the statewide guidance provided by California Department of Public Health.
A total of 14,269 Covid-19 cases have so far been confirmed, resulting in 93 deaths across Solano County. The area’s seven-day test positivity rate average is an alarming 18 percent, well above the state’s seven-day average of 11.3 percent. The health department that 13 percent of its ICU bed remain available, on par with Contra Costa County and the Bay Area Region as a whole.
According to a Twitter post Wednesday, Sonoma County expects its first vaccine shipment between Thursday and Friday, which will be distributed following the federal and state priority framework.
An additional 237 Covid-19 cases and two deaths were reported Wednesday, bringing the cumulative case total to 15,096 and death toll to 166. The county’s hospital capacity dashboard was down for maintenance Wednesday evening.
By 5:26 p.m. Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University reported that the U.S. had recorded 16,931,636 cases, resulting in 307,266 deaths, including 21, 794 from California.