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UCSF doctors explain why San Francisco has the highest COVID positivity rate in California

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — As COVID cases rise across the state and nation, the Bay Area has the highest positivity rates in the state.

According to state data, San Francisco’s positivity rate was 7.7% on Thursday. Many wonder why, others wonder what will happen.

When asked why San Francisco is experiencing such a high positivity rate, UCSF’s Dr. George Rutherford said there are many factors to consider.

“There are a lot of different possibilities, but I think it will probably depend on whether other parts of the state have had higher levels of infection recently in December, January, February, and that’s more protective. than the very short-term vaccine,” said Dr. Rutherford.

VIDEO: Doctor suggests new COVID vaccine may be needed as different variants like BA.2 emerge

Acquired natural immunity against COVID is what Rutherford is referring to. Basically, the idea that people in other parts of California already had the new COVID variants in recent months.

“People who weren’t exposed are going to be exposed. That’s why even in San Francisco, the wealthiest communities are now being disproportionately affected,” said UCSF’s Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.

Communities that had not been hit so hard before.

Another possible reason for our 7.7% COVID positivity rate in San Francisco.

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“We’re testing more than other places. We still have testing sites, people are really aware, we’re being told to test. There’s probably a lot more testing going on here,” Dr Monica Gandhi said. from UCSF.

The four doctors we spoke with on Thursday agree. Vaccines and boosters are essential moving forward, even for younger age groups who are now experiencing higher rates of transmission.

“You have a lot of people who are less vaccinated, who haven’t been vaccinated, who are in their 20s and 30s here than we used to have and that’s where the transmission is happening,” said Dr. Rutherford.

RELATED: Expect US COVID Deaths, Hospital Admissions to Rise Over Next 4 Weeks: CDC Predictions

The good news, despite San Francisco’s higher positivity rate, according to state data, hospitalizations remain low and we haven’t seen any COVID-related deaths since mid-April. Doctors say this is a merit for vaccines and boosters.

“We’re going to have to learn to live with this virus and the bottom line is low hospitalization and zero mortality,” says Dr Rutherford.

“Hopefully cases will peak in two weeks and then decline by the end of May, so hopefully we are looking at a better summer,” says Dr Gandhi.

VACCINE TRACKER: How is California doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

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