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Covid cases decline in San Francisco as hospital peak expected this week

The average number of new Covid-19 cases per day is declining in San Francisco after hitting a record high of new cases on Jan. 9 due to the surge caused by the more infectious omicron variant, public health officials announced Thursday.

Data from the Department of Public Health shows San Francisco’s seven-day average of new cases per day peaked at 2,164 and has steadily declined to 1,705 as of Jan. 12. Despite the decline, officials said the number of new cases remains “extremely” high. The City also reached a cumulative of 700 deaths caused by the virus.

Mayor London Breed, citing the Department of Public Health on her Twitter account, that The City has passed the peak of omicron surge. In a statement, the mayor said:

We know that this virus will be with us for the foreseeable future, but we have the tools in place and the experience managing Covid to not let it completely upend our lives.”

Breed added that while there was a surge in new cases, The City was able to keep businesses and schools open as well as keeping essential services running even though there were staffing issues with city workers in quarantine because of exposure to the virus or in close contact with someone with the virus.

That issue is more evident at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, where 10 to 15 percent of Muni service remains impacted, transit officials said Tuesday. The agency is continuing to post affected routes with missing coaches in mornings and afternoons.

Dr. Grant Colfax said in a statement the goal is not to prevent every case of Covid:

Instead, our goal is to prevent the worst outcomes of the disease, such as hospitalizations and deaths, and to do this while keeping essential services open, like schools and hospitals.”

During times where transmission is high, Colfax added that the public needs to be “extra vigilant and layer our defenses” to prevent the spread of the virus, especially to those who are most vulnerable and The City’s frontline employees.

The department said hospitalizations are expected to peak in the next several days, but will still remain at a level with enough hospital bed capacity. As of Sunday, there were 245 people in hospitals citywide with the virus.

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