Mayor London Breed Announces New COVID-19 Data Tracker
Data will include information about confirmed COVID-19 cases, lab testing and hospitalization rates across San Francisco
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) today released a COVID-19 Data Tracker to provide the public with more frequently updated information about the coronavirus in San Francisco. This information will be updated daily online and will include data about confirmed cases, testing, and hospitalization across the San Francisco health care system. Additional data points will be added as more information becomes available. The tracker is posted on DPH’s website: https://www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp
“As we respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we continue to listen to public health experts and make decisions based on facts and data,” said Mayor Breed. “It’s also important that the public know what is going on with cases in our community, and that we are as transparent as possible about the number of cases, testing numbers, hospitalizations, and what that means for the resources we have and what we’ll need more of. This tracker will provide all the most important information about COVID-19 cases in one place, and we hope it will be a helpful tool for San Franciscans.”
“I am happy that the Department of Public Health has created a COVID-19 data tracker, like many of the other Bay Area counties,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin. “This isn’t classified information, and it doesn’t violate patient confidentiality. This is public information that helps inform any open and democratic society and arms us with the facts that make us all safer.”
“San Francisco’s response to the coronavirus emergency is grounded in data, science and facts,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health. “We use information from other parts of the world, and the country, to guide our decisions and interventions. Accurate, reliable data also is an important tool to help San Franciscans see the whole picture of coronavirus in our community. It can help us all to do our part and see over time how the situation is changing.”
The COVID-19 Data Tracker (https://datasf.org/covid19) is an open data partnership of the Department of Public Health, Controller’s Office Performance Unit and DataSF to aggregate feeds of data and review them for public release. DataSF engages City departments and the public in establishing best practices for data sharing, dashboarding and data science.
The information included on the tracker will include the following:
The Data Tracker will display the number of positive cases and deaths over time, mode of transmission, and available demographic information.
Due to limited testing capacity, the information reported represents only a small sample of the likely total COVID-19 cases in San Francisco. DPH expects that with increased testing availability and reporting, and as the virus spreads in the community, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases will increase.
The Data Tracker will display the historical total and daily number of coronavirus tests conducted in San Francisco and the percentage of positive test results. The timeliness of this reporting varies because different labs have different test processing times.
Testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is available through commercial, clinical and hospital laboratories, as well as the DPH Public Health Laboratory. While there are severe nationwide shortages of testing material, San Francisco is working to increase both the number of testing sites and the overall number of tests conducted.
The City has been working to expand testing capacity, including at the Public Health Lab, hospitals, commercial labs and with community partners, such as NEMS, which opened two drop-in testing sites for their patients last week. Yesterday, Mayor Breed announced the opening of a new COVID-19 testing site—CityTestSF—for the City’s frontline workers. On March 24, San Francisco along with other Bay Area counties issued a Health Order requiring laboratories performing COVID-19 tests to report all positive, negative, and inconclusive results to state and local health authorities.
The Data Tracker will display the total number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across all San Francisco hospitals, noting the number of patients in the intensive care unit and acute hospital beds. The information is only accurate at the exact time it is reported and is subject to frequent changes, as patients move in and out of hospitals throughout the day.
All of San Francisco’s hospitals have been coordinating their resources to plan for an expected surge in patients. Hospitals are working to increase capacity, and to decrease the number of patients in beds, to create more room when the surge happens. Examples of these efforts include identifying new surge units, fast-tracking nurse hiring, cancelling elective procedures and routing appointments, discharging coronavirus patients—or those awaiting test results—into isolation/quarantine hotels if they do not require hospital-level care, and speeding up testing.