At least 233 staffers at a pair of San Francisco hospitals have tested positive for COVID-19, the majority of whom were fully vaccinated but became infected with the delta variant.
More than 50 cases were discovered among staff members at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, the hospital’s chief medical officer Dr. Lukejohn Day told The New York Times on Saturday. Of those who tested positive, roughly 75 to 80 percent were fully vaccinated.
At The University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, 183 staff members had tested positive as of Friday, 153 of whom were fully vaccinated, the Times reported.
Most of the infections were reportedly from the highly infectious delta variant, which has taken hold in the U.S. as the dominant COVID-19 strain.
Two of the infected staff members from U.C.S.F. Medical Center were hospitalized, according to the Times.
None of those who tested positive at San Francisco General required hospitalization, and most of the infections caused mild to moderate symptoms, Day told the newspaper. Asymptomatic cases were also detected through contact tracing.
The Hill reached out to both hospitals for comment.
Day told the Times that the cases would be far worse if staff members were not vaccinated.
“We’re concerned right now that we’re on the rise of a surge here in San Francisco and the Bay Area,” Day said. “But what we’re seeing is very much what the data from the vaccines showed us: You can still get COVID, potentially. But if you do get it, it’s not severe at all.”
The city of San Francisco mandated workers in high-risk workplaces, such as hospitals, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 15. In a statement revealing the infections, U.C.S.F. Medical Center said it was “doubling down on our efforts to protect our staff. This includes requiring all employees and trainees to comply with the new UC-systemwide Covid-19 vaccination mandate, with limited exceptions for medical or religious exemptions,” the newspaper reported.
The cluster of cases at the San Francisco hospitals come as concerns are rising regarding the delta variant, especially with the country’s vaccination rate plateauing.
Breakthrough cases, referred to infections detected in fully vaccinated individuals, are still rare throughout the U.S.
Of the more than 164.2 million people who have been fully inoculated, only 125,682 breakthrough cases have been reported in 38 states, according to data collected by NBC News.
That number translates to less than .08 percent, the network noted.