Report: More People Have Died To Overdoses In San Francisco Than COVID-19

More people have died in San Francisco to overdoses than the coronavirus, according to a recent report from the Associated Press.

While hundreds of restaurants and other businesses in the city have been forced to close their doors due to the ongoing pandemic, the shutdowns have done little to slow down the record number of overdose deaths.

The SFGate reports overdoses in the city out numbers coronavirus-related deaths more than 3-to-1: “A record 621 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco so far this year, a staggering number that far outpaces the 173 deaths from COVID-19 the city has seen thus far.”

According to the report, the number of overdoses is likely undercounted:

The crisis fueled by the powerful painkiller fentanyl could have been far worse if it wasn’t for the nearly 3,000 times Narcan was used from January to the beginning of November to save someone from the brink of death, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.

The data reflects the number of times people report using Narcan to the Drug Overdose Prevention and Education Project, a city-funded program that coordinates San Francisco’s response to overdose, or return to refill their supply. Officials at the DOPE Project said that since the numbers are self-reported, they are probably a major undercount.

People who are suffering have fewer city services available to them under the coronavirus pandemic as the city (and the state of California, like many other states) have enforced lockdown orders and travel restrictions. These also include shutting down some services completely to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.