One of the San Francisco Bay Area's largest hospitals finally has some pandemic news to cheer about: For the first time in 15 months, it doesn't have a single COVID-19 patient. The first known COVID-19 patient arrived at San Francisco General Hospital on March 5, 2020, per KNTV. By Jan. 19, the number of patients had peaked at 67, per the San Francisco Chronicle. On Thursday, after weeks of declining case numbers, the hospital reported that the last of its COVID-19 patients had left. For Vivek Jain, director of the SFGH Infectious Diseases Clinic, it was "a truly momentous day."
He applauded his colleagues "who have kept up the energy and perseverance throughout, never stopping, never tiring," but noted the hospital would certainly admit more COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks and months. Still, "this is a huge milestone in the pandemic to show the power of the effectiveness of the vaccines," Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital, tells the Chronicle. This "continues to assure us the epidemic in San Francisco is no longer a public health threat," she adds, noting 76% of residents 16 and older have received at least one vaccine dose. The city celebrated hitting its 1 millionth vaccine dose on Wednesday. (Read more San Francisco stories.)