Bay Area nears second-largest COVID surge, hospital admissions rise


COVID-19 hospitalizations in California and the Bay Area have reached their highest point since February, when the region was still coming out of the winter omicron surge.

As of Friday, there were 4,009 people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, with Bay Area hospitals reporting 770 patients, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.

COVID admissions to Bay Area intensive care units also climbed to 94, compared with 63 a month ago. The region accounts for about a quarter of 419 ICU patients across the state.

Infections remain high across California as the test-positive rate nears record levels. The state is averaging 40 new daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents, with 16.7% of tests coming back positive for the virus. The Bay Area is reporting 43 daily cases per 100,000 residents, a figure that has remained largely unchanged for more than a month.

But cases are probably significantly underreported because of so many people now testing at home — the results of which are not usually recorded with the state or counties — or not testing at all.

With highly infectious and immune-evasive BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages of omicron now the dominant strains in Northern California, the region is on the brink of its second-largest wave of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.