San Francisco’s COVID surge less than in December, but stay-home order remains

A person wearing a face mask walks atop Tank Hill in front of the skyline during the coronavirus pandemic in San Francisco.
(Jeff Chiu/AP)

San Francisco’s post-December surge is lower than Thanksgiving’s, but coronavirus cases continue to rise, city officials said Tuesday, adding that the state’s stay-at-home order was likely to last through January.

“The rate of increase is not as severe as after Thanksgiving,” Mayor London Breed said at a news conference. “This is some good news.”

Still, she said, the Bay Area remains in a “very difficult” position. The region on Monday saw close to zero capacity in hospital intensive care units.


Dr. Grant Colfax, the city’s director of public health, said coronavirus cases rose by 70% after Thanksgiving and have risen by 28% since Christmas and New Year’s.

The number of hospitalized patients also continues to rise, he said. During the July surge, the city had 114 COVID-19 patients in its hospitals, he said. As of Monday, the number was more than twice that, at 249.

“The current trajectory is not sustainable,” he said.

Bay Area health officials warn that COVID-19 hospitalizations are threatening to worsen in the coming weeks.

Jan. 8, 2021

Colfax said the city will open mass-vaccination sites as more doses become more available.

More than 95% of San Franciscans will obtain vaccinations from their private medical providers, he said, and the city will provide them to the rest of the population.

He said the city through its clinics will begin offering vaccines this week to residents 65 and older.

Colfax also said he expected the city to remain under the state’s stay-at-home order through at least the end of the month.