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SF is currently doing much better than Europe in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic



With many residents wearing masks and practicing social distancing, San Francisco does an excellent job of preventing the spread of COVID-19, even better than most of Europe today.

The SF public school system has not yet opened campuses, and the largest university, the state of San Francisco, also runs classes online. Restaurants are expanding outdoor dining areas in parking lots and on the streets, and some welcome indoor dinners with very limited capacity. The bars remain closed.

Meanwhile, many European cities, which were fully open in the summer and returned their children to school in the autumn, are returning to blockade. Countries that did not have rules on wearing masks are introducing them.


Paris will start imposing curfews from 9pm to 6pm on Friday, and in London and seven other parts of the UK people are banned from meeting people indoors outside their households and will be asked to minimize travel by this weekend.

“Europe opened up too fast, that̵

7;s the simple answer,” said Dr. George Rutherford, UCSF’s head of disease and global epidemiology. “I don’t know a chapter and a verse about it, but that’s the meaning I get from the coverage. They’re at a higher latitude, it’s colder and people are starting to come in more.”

The number of positive tests in SF has reached an extremely low 1%, while the 7-day positivity rate as of 15 October is rising in many European countries, reaching 17.3% in the Netherlands, 10% in Spain, 7.5% in France, 6.3% in Italy, 5.9% in the United Kingdom and 2.8% in Sweden, according to Our World in Data.

California as a whole has a level of positivity lower than all these countries – 2.6%, with the general trend of new cases decreasing.

There are some countries with levels almost as low as SF: Denmark and Finland are at 1.1% and Norway at 1.4%.

San Francisco has kept its incidence relatively low, with some ups and downs, but no major leap has been seen to overwhelm the city’s health system and affect its ability to provide optimal care. As of October 15, the city of nearly 900,000 residents had reported 11,756 cases and 126 deaths.

The number of patients landing in hospitals is lower than in other major cities, such as New York, which increased in the spring, and those infected patients in SF who need hospitalization have received targeted personal care.

France, a country of about 67 million people, registered 22,591 new cases on Wednesday, while California (population 40 million) reported 3,329 new infections on Wednesday. President Emmanuel Macron has deployed 12,000 police officers to impose the new curfew in Paris and eight other regions.

Italy set a one-day record for infections and reported the highest daily death toll from this second wave, adding 83 casualties to nearly 36,400, the second highest in Europe after Britain.

The Netherlands closed bars and restaurants this week; the country where masks were used sparingly now recommends them. The Czech Republic and Northern Ireland are closing schools. Poland has limited restaurant hours and closed gyms and swimming pools.

European countries have seen nearly 230,000 confirmed deaths from the virus, while the United States has registered more than 217,000, although experts agree that official figures underestimate the real victims.

So far, new deaths have not increased at the same rate as infections.

“About 80 percent of countries in European regions are seeing growth” in the COVID-19 case, Maria Van Kerchowe, technical director of the World Health Organization for coronavirus, told CNN’s New Day on Thursday.

By comparison, California usually does well, with a few exceptions such as Shasta County, where a religious school and nurses experience outbreaks. Outside of California, the United States is struggling. New cases are increasing daily in 44 states, many of the largest in the Midwest and Great Plains, where resistance to masks and other precautions is growing, and the virus is often seen as a problem in the big city. Deaths a day are rising in 30 states.

“I see this as one of the most difficult times in the epidemic,” said Dr. Peter Hottes, an infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. “The numbers are going up pretty fast. We will see a fairly large epidemic in the Northern Hemisphere. “

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, said Americans should think carefully about holding Thanksgiving gatherings.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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