With BA.5 on the Rise, Here's Where COVID Rates Stand in Your Bay Area County

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The coronavirus BA.5 variant — technically an omicron subvariant — is now the most dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S., according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it doesn't much seem to matter whether you've already been infected. More people now appear to be contracting the virus multiple times in relatively quick succession, spurring yet another moderate surge in cases and hospitalizations, both in the Bay Area and across the country.

"Even if you had omicron as recently as a month ago, we're starting to see people come back with reinfections with this new variant," UCSF Department of Medicine Chair Dr. Bob Wachter recently told KQED. "Because it evades the immunity from your prior infections pretty well."

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BA.5 is currently the most dominant variant showing up in wastewater in the South Bay, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Sacramento and elsewhere — and COVID hospitalizations in the Bay Area are at their highest levels since February.

The good news is that this variant, while more zealous than its predecessors, does not appear to inflict more serious illness, and is unlikely to result in anywhere near the scale of last winter's surge, when vaccination rates were much lower and fewer antiviral therapies were available.

Below, you can explore automatically updated visualizations showing daily case rate averages over a seven-day period, current hospitalizations and cumulative cases and deaths since the pandemic began for every Bay Area county.

All data comes from the California Department of Public Health and is compiled by the LA Times as part of its public database. CDPH now only updates its data sets twice a week (on Tuesdays and Fridays) — hence the reporting lag. Also note that the numbers here are likely a significant undercount, given the number of home tests that go unreported.

Daily case counts include both confirmed and probable COVID cases, as tracked by CDPH. Scroll down to explore additional charts that show statewide daily cases and hospitalizations.