Bay Area sees strong spike in COVID-19, viral respiratory infections – CBS San Francisco

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By Andrea Nakano
/ CBS San Francisco
NOVATO — As the holidays approach, the nation is seeing a big spike in viral illnesses. California’s public health officer says the strongest increase of COVID-19 is happening here in the Bay Area.
At Tamalpais Pediatrics, it’s an understatement to say that doctors have been busy. They’re seeing waves of patients come in with myriad viral illnesses.
The Buck family ventured outside of the house for the first time Friday night since the flu swept though their household.
“It came in with a runny nose then, all of a sudden the next morning, she was throwing up and had diarrhea really bad. Then it just was a rolling effect with all of them,” Cherith Buck said.
Influenza is what doctors at Tamalpais Pediatrics have seen most this season.
“We, typically between the two offices we have in Marin, see 100 to 120 patients a day on a busy day. A few weeks ago, on one Monday, we saw 180 patients and that was repeated for multiple days that week,” said Dr. Nelson Branco.
Dr. Branco says that, while cases of RSV are starting to decrease, he is now seeing COVID starting to make a comeback.
“One of the interesting ways we are learning to keep track of viruses in our community is through waste water monitoring. Testing in the waste water is showing COVID is up 15 to 20 percent from this week to last week,”  Dr. Branco explained. 
As for masking, Dr. Branco says there is now enough protection in the community with vaccines that masking should be a personal decision not only to protect yourself from COVID but from all of the other illnesses going around.
Cherith Buck says she’s not only trying to avoid getting sick but  also wants to do her part to stop spreading the germs.
“I’m just trying to protect others because I don’t want them to get what we got. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It’s been literally hell,” she said.
First published on December 16, 2022 / 11:30 PM
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©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.