Summer COVID growth in the Bay Area has peaked, but the risks remain

Coronavirus outbreak rates and positive test results continue to decline in California and the Bay Area, signaling that the region is finally on the downside of record COVID-19 growth this summer, fueled by successive waves of omicron sub-variants.

But while the worst may already be over, the amount of the virus in the community remains significantly higher than in April before the spike, and hospitalizations – a delayed rate of infection – are still high.

Health officials warn of complacency and the possible emergence of new versions of the virus that could extend the pandemic into fall. They recommend that people be vigilant against infection or reinfection through vaccination, booster doses, and voluntary indoor masking.

“We are certainly in the right place, but we cannot ignore the virus,” said Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at UCSF. “Things can get unpredictable.”

Although the case peak peaked a few weeks ago, the continued fluctuation in the reported figures has not allowed us to be confident about the downward trend so far.

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