The Perfect Enemy | COVID in California: UCSF’s Dr. Bob Wachter says he’s masking up again - San Francisco Chronicle
May 27, 2022

COVID in California: UCSF’s Dr. Bob Wachter says he’s masking up again – San Francisco Chronicle

COVID in California: UCSF’s Dr. Bob Wachter says he’s masking up again  San Francisco ChronicleView Full Coverage on Google News

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As COVID-19 case rates once more begin to climb in San Francisco, wealthy neighborhoods are seeing higher case rates — a rare occurrence in a pandemic that has most deeply impacted lower-income people of color. Gavin Newsom is leaning into his pandemic record with his first ad in the governor’s race. Yet another omicron offspring, once again more infectious than its predecessors, is climbing rapidly in California and could make up half of new cases “in a matter of days,” health officials said.

U.S. job market on a hot streak: Employers posted a record 11.5 million job openings in March, meaning the United States now has an unprecedented two job openings for every person who is unemployed, as the economy continues its roaring return from pandemic doldrums. Federal data Tuesday revealed an tight labor market that has emboldened millions to seek better paying jobs, while also contributing to the biggest inflation surge in four decades. A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in March — a sign that they are confident they can find better pay or improved working conditions. Layoffs, running around 1.8 million a month before the pandemic, ticked up to 1.4 million in March from 1.35 million in February.

UCSF’s Wachter masking up again: Dr. Bob Wachter, UCSF chair of medicine and a prominent voice on pandemic issues, said Monday he is resuming rigorous masking as coronavirus cases spike in San Francisco. He said the city’s asymptomatic test positive rate, a reliable proxy for community prevalence given the downturn in citywide testing, shows cases are surging. About 1 in 30 San Franciscans may have COVID-19 without knowing it, he said. “If you’ve decided you’re OK getting COVID … then fine to keep mask off in crowded indoor spaces,” he tweeted. “If you’d prefer to avoid COVID & have become less cautious, it’s time to re-think.” Wachter cited his concerns about long COVID and other virus-related risks (”heart/neuro/diabetes”). For masking: “I’ll now do 100% N95 in crowded indoor spaces.” People should keep their “eyes open” because “there’s a lot of COVID out there,” he warned.

All Bay Area counties back to ‘high’ level of community transmission, per CDC: All 9 Bay Area counties fall under the “high” level of coronavirus transmission, according to metrics published Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means each county has reported over 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 7 days. Statewide coronavirus cases have risen by about 30% in the same time, with San Francisco, San Mateo and Los Angeles counties recording the largest uptick in cases.

Airbnb nixes COVID-related refunds: Airbnb guests who cancel a reservation because of a COVID-19 infection soon won’t be able to get refunds, the vacation rental website announced. San Francisco-based Airbnb said in a company blog post Friday that more than two years into the pandemic, it would be updating its “Extenuating Circumstances policy” to no longer cover COVID-19-related circumstances as cause for a refund. Read the full story.

Kamala Harris cleared from COVID isolation: Vice President Kamala Harris will be leaving isolation after testing negative for the coronavirus on a rapid test Monday, her office announced. She’ll return to work in person Tuesday and wear a mask around others until the 10-day mark after her initial positive test, following CDC guidelines. Harris tested positive for COVID last Tuesday upon her return to Washington after a week in California. She did not experience symptoms, her office said.

Newsom touts pandemic record: Gov. Gavin Newsom is leaning into his COVID-19 pandemic record with his first re-election ad. The 60-second spot features the Democratic governor in a redwood forest talking about the trees’ resilience. “In recent years our people have also faced some of our toughest challenges and I’ve been inspired by the courage and resilience of California’s health workers, teachers, parents and kids,” he says. “Whatever challenges come our way, I will always lead the California way, based on compassion, common sense, telling the truth, following science, treasuring our diversity, defending our democracy, protecting our planet and always planting seeds for the future.” Read the full story.