Bay Area coronavirus cases drop significantly from peak of summer surge

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The spread of coronavirus has slowed significantly since the peak of the Bay Area’s summer surge, with new cases falling over 60% since the difficult days of mid-August.

Specifically, the region’s nine Bay Area counties reported an average of 513 new cases per day in the week ending Sunday, down 35% from an average of 788 per day in the week ending the previous Sunday. The last time the Bay Area reported fewer than 500 cases a day, on average, was in June, around the time the summer surge began to accelerate.

If you compare last week’s numbers to the mid-August peak of 1,409 cases per week, that’s a 64% decline, according to data collected by The Chronicle.

The decline in coronavirus cases may come as a welcome surprise to Bay Area residents, who have been focused on wildfire destruction and smoky skies over the past two weeks. It is most likely because people are consistently wearing masks and social distancing, experts said. In other words, changes in human behavior over time are finally reaping some progress on the public health front — though they are taking a grave economic toll.

“People have to incorporate these practices in their routine activity, I think that’ …

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