COVID Tracker: Disease in the age of information

Good Morning Mission and welcome to Virus Village, your (somewhat regular) Covid 19 data dump.

With interpretations overtaking facts, it’s been a great weekend for post-modern Covid trackers.

After the CDC changed its guidance on masking indoors due to an outbreak in Provincetown MA (and the underlying data leaked), a flood of headlines and tweets suggested vaccination might not prevent transmissibility or even hospitalization as well as we thought. Then others, using the same data and facts pointed out Provincetown was safe, and actually proved the remarkable efficacy of the vaccine.

If you only have time for one article on the threat (and uncertainty) of the Delta variant and The Vaccine, try this one from New York Magazine, one of the more sober and reasonable pieces I’ve seen.

Even a little word like “at” can have conflicting interpretations with consequences. Perhaps you’ve seen reports of an outbreak at UCSF and SFGH among 233 staffers, most of whom were vaccinated. UCSF doc Bob Wachter criticized the Times for “sloppy wording” and said that none of the infected picked up Covid “at” the hospital but through community transmission.

Wow! What great contact tracing. Maybe they can teach the City how to do it.

Will other businesses and institutions make the same argument? Last year the state legislature passed a law making it mandatory for businesses to report outbreaks. To date there has been little or any investigation or enforcement for those who have reported.

With that in mind let’s cheer Lolo’s, which closed because a staff member tested positive. A place to go for responsible dining.

And the Latino Task Force will be providing free tests for Covid, HIV and Diabetes.

Scroll down for today’s Covid numbers and the return of our R number graph.