There are confirmed cases in the nine Bay Area counties and California’s first COVID-19 related death was a Placer County man who was a passenger on a cruise out of San Francisco. Local emergencies related to coronavirus have been declared in Solano, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma, and Alameda counties. The latest number of confirmed cases in the U.S. can be found at the CDC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the U.S. page. (The CDC updates the webpage on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.)
Join anchor Kristen Sze for ABC7’s new daily, interactive newscast about the novel coronavirus outbreak in the Bay Area and around the world. You can check here to stream the show Monday-Friday at 3 p.m.
Here are the latest developments on the respiratory illness in the U.S.:
The U.S. death toll from the virus has topped 97,722. The number of infections across America has climbed above 1,643,499.
May 25, 2020
Antioch to hold social distance drive-by to honor fallen service members
There will be a socially distanced drive-by tribute to fallen service members in Antioch. It begins at 11 this morning at the Antioch Marina with stops at the Veteran’s Memorial, the county fairgrounds and Oak View Cemetery.
Flyovers to honor Bay Area health care workers today
The California Air National Guard will perform two flyovers between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to honor Bay Area healthcare workers.
May 24, 2020
It’s back to business in wine country. Wineries, breweries and restaurants in Sonoma County are opening back up to outdoor crowds in time for the holiday weekend. Sonoma, Napa and Solano Counties were recently approved by the Department of Health for the revised shelter-in-place order. Only outdoor dining is allowed and only one household per table. Both Kendall Jackson Winery and La Crema are two of the places reopening today. La Crema is bringing back its walking vineyard tour. Kendall Jackson is offering a four course meal with wine pairings. Sonoma County’s COVID-19 cases have remained consistently low as reasoning for the eased restrictions.
May 23, 2020
Alameda and San Mateo Counties each reporting at least 50 or more COVID-19 cases since Friday. San Francisco is up 30 new cases. Contra Costa County is reporting 37 additional cases. You can track the latest numbers here.
May 22, 2020
Hertz files for bankruptcy protection
The Associated Press is reporting car rental company, Hertz, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company has been unable to withstand the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Florida-based company’s lenders were unwilling to grant it another extension on its auto lease debt payments past a Friday deadline, triggering the filing. By the end of March, Hertz had $18.7 billion in debt with only $1 billion of available cash. And back in mid-March, the company lost all revenue when travel nearly shut down due to the novel coronavirus. Hertz also has been plagued by management upheaval, naming its fourth CEO in six years on May 18.
San Francisco and Alameda counties each report more than 100 new COVID-19 cases. Alameda County, which surpassed Santa Clara County with the most COVID-19 cases has 2,708 up from 2, 561 Friday morning. San Francisco has 2,320 cases up from 2,198. Santa Clara County has 2,492 confirmed cases. You can see the latest numbers here.
Sonoma Co. becomes third Bay Area county to move into Phase 2.5 of reopening
Sonoma County is now allowed to move even further into the Phase 2 reopening after going through an attestation process. What does that mean for this new phase? More details here.
Summer camps to reopen in San Francisco
San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Friday that summer camps and programs will begin June 15, but with new health guidelines and smaller groups of children because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Camps will be a minimum of three weeks long and have “pods” of 12 kids.
There will be more than 200 camps available to kids this summer and camp operators will be required to certify that they are following the health guidelines.
State guidelines for churches coming soon, Newsom says
After a few days off from briefing the press, Gov. Gavin Newsom returned to the podium Friday for an update on the coronavirus in California at noon. Speaking at a veterans home in Yountville, Newsom said guidelines were on the way for churches, mosques and synagogues to resume modified in-person services. He said those guidelines would be released by Monday, if not earlier.
Solano Co. enters next stage of Phase 2 reopening
Solano County has become the second county in the Bay Area to move even further into Phase 2 of reopening. Dine-in restaurants, shopping malls and swap meets can all open with social distancing requirements. The county got the go ahead from the state on Wednesday.
Santa Clara County enters Phase 2 of reopening
Today, Santa Clara County is join the rest of the Bay Area in Phase 2 of the state’s plan to reopen some businesses. It will allow curbside pickup, manufacturing and logistics work to resume. Today is also the first day residents will be required to wear a face covering when at any business and on public transit.
May 21, 2020
Santa Clara County looking for volunteers for COVID-19 contact tracing
Santa Clara County health officials are looking to create a volunteer workforce of 1,000 people to help with COVID-19 contact tracing. A county health officer announced the contact tracing program Thursday afternoon during a press briefing. The volunteers would work remotely and go through online training before being a part of the program. The volunteers would help make sure COVID-19 patients have the resources they need and work on tracing who they’ve come in contact with.
CDC releases school reopening guidelines
As communities throughout the United States start to open schools again, the CDC put out new considerations amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to guide their safe reopening.
SJPD chief to give update on face mask requirements
San Jose’s police chief will be talking about the future of enforcing face mask requirements. The city wants to make current guidelines even stricter.
Solano County to ease more shelter in place restrictions
Solano County became the Bay Area’s second county to receive permission from the state to move further into Stage 2 of reopening. The report says schools “will open later in summer or fall once guidance is developed.” Dine-in restaurants , shopping malls, and swap meets can all open immediately with social distancing modifications.
May 20, 2020
Coronavirus updates: SF Pride 50 celebration to be held online
Although the 50th San Francisco Pride celebration was canceled due to the pandemic, directors announced the event will be continued online. The organizers announced they’re moving the event completely online for June 27-28. The festivities will include live performances and speeches from LGBTQ+ leaders. SF Pride is still working to figure out which platform to stream on and will give more details ahead of the event.
“While this year’s landmark anniversary is very different from what we originally envisioned, we are grateful that we can share Pride 50 with our friends and allies around the world – and we know the world is turning to San Francisco,” said SF Pride Executive Director Fred Lopez. “Our online celebrations not only highlight the spirit of Pride but help us broaden our visibility as we continue to build solidarity in our LGBTQ+ communities during a time when we must be apart.”
More information can be found on the SF Pride website here.
City of Berkeley now allows for curbside retail pickup
The city of Berkeley, which has its own health department, is now allowing curbside retail pickup as part of California’s “Early Phase 2” plan to reopen the economy. The rules went into effect on Tuesday and allow retail stores, manufacturing and logistics businesses to open for curbside pickup with no entry into the stores. Similar rules are being implemented by the health officer for the rest of Alameda County. For more information on the city of Berkeley’s shelter-in-place order see their website here.
San Jose approves outdoor dining plan, face coverings decision delayed
San Jose has approved a plan that would allow restaurants and retailers to set up additional seating and services in private parking lots, plazas, streets, sidewalks and other outdoor areas.The council has delayed a decision on whether face coverings should remain required across the city.
Santa Clara County to offer free COVID-19 testing for all residents
Happening today, officials in Santa Clara County will announce that free COVID-19 testing is now available for all residents. The tests will be administered at PAL Stadium in East San Jose and the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on Tully Road in San Jose. Screening and testing will be operated by Verily and project Baseline. The City of San Jose and Santa Clara County have scheduled a 11 a.m. press conference to make the official announcement.
May 19, 2020
Napa County becomes 1st in Bay Area allowed to reopen dine-in restaurants, schools, malls
The state of California is permitting Napa County to move further in Phase 2 of reopening. Effective immediately, dine-in restaurants can reopen. Retail stores, shopping malls and swap meets, all with adaptations, are allowed to resume as well. Schools are allowed to reopen on June 1. Officials say wineries and tasting rooms will remain closed. Napa County businesses that reopen must meet state health and safety standards. See the latest counties allowed to further reopen businesses here.
Pres. Trump says Bay Area will receive over $700M in economic aid
President Trump tweeted that the Bay Area will receive over $700 million in federal funds to support continued operations and support workers at San Francisco International Airport and for transit on Muni and BART amid the coronavirus pandemic.
No new COVID-19 deaths reported in Bay Area
This is the second straight day that no COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in the Bay Area. Get the latest numbers here.
Square has become the latest Bay Area tech company to allow its employees to work from home permanently. The San Francisco-based company has nearly 4,000 workers. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is also Square’s CEO. Dorsey announced last week that Twitter would allow its workers to do their jobs at home forever.
Santa Clara Co. to allow car parades, celebrations
Santa Clara County will allow car parades and celebrations starting Friday. The move comes just two weeks after the county explicitly banned the vehicle gatherings.
May 18, 2020
Gov. Newsom announces pro sports, hair salons, churches may reopen in next few weeks
Gov. Gavin Newsom laid out early guidance for much of the state to move into further reopening in the coming weeks, including hair salons, church gatherings and even sporting events. He said these could reopen as soon as June.
Santa Clara Co. finally joins the rest of the Bay Area in Phase 2 of reopening
Santa Clara County, the final holdout in the Bay Area when it comes to moving into Phase 2 of reopening, will allow curbside pickup, manufacturing and logistics work to resume. Get the full story here.
San Francisco Mayor Breed announces new COVID-19 testing sites in underserved areas
Mayor London Breed announced three new testing sites that will open in underserved areas of San Francisco. See details here.
COVID-19 testing site expands at Alameda County Fairgrounds
Starting today, people who live in Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore can get COVID-19 testing at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, even if they don’t have symptoms.
Phase 2 of reopening begins in 3 Bay Area counties
Many businesses in Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties are allowed to partially reopen today as part of California’s Phase 2 plan.
Oakland to open new COVID-19 testing site
Oakland will open a new coronavirus testing site today at the Allen Temple Baptist Church on International Boulevard. The site will provide drive-through testing and be completely free regardless of health insurance or immigration status. You have to register in advance which you can do on the Oakland city website. Mayor Libby Schaaf will be at the site to help open it at 10 a.m.
May 17, 2020
City of Albany cancels all summer, fall events due to COVID-19 pandemic
Community events this year in Albany – including the Fourth of July celebration and the annual summer music concert series in Memorial Park — have been called off due to health concerns created by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Given the ongoing direction by public health officials to ensure social distancing, wearing of cloth masks when in public settings where social distancing cannot be achieved, and the restrictions on public gatherings, upcoming large-scale recreational events will be impacted,” Assistant City Manager and Recreation and Community Services Director Isabelle Leduc wrote in a report.
Specialty’s Cafe and Bakery to close permanently
Specialty’s Cafe and Bakery is closing permanently because of the coronavirus, the business announced on its website Sunday. The restaurant has locations in San Francisco and across the state. There are more than 55 locations in California, Washington and Illinois. The chain is closing for good on Tuesday after a total of 33 years in business.
“Current market conditions attributed to COVID-19 and shelter-in-place policies have decimated company revenues,” the company said on its website.
Three Bay Area counties begin California’s Phase 2 of reopening
San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties will all start the second phase on Monday, May 18. This is the early stage and does not mean dine-restaurants, shopping malls, or schools can reopen. Here’s what will be allowed: curbside retail pickup, manufacturing, childcare for those outside of the essential workforce, outdoor museums, car washes, and some offices where telework is not possible.
For the rest of the Bay Area, Alameda and Contra Costa counties will follow sometime this week. Napa, Sonoma, and Solano Counties are already in Phase 2. Only Santa Clara County has yet to determine a date to keep numbers down as the Bay Area’s most populus county.
May 16, 2020
New COVID-19 test site set to open in Oakland
A new COVID-19 testing site is set to open Monday in East Oakland at Allen Temple Baptist Church. The testing site will be the first drive-thru location in East Oakland and it’s the result of a partnership between the city, Allen Temple, Community Organized Relief Effort and Verily. Testing will be available to all community members by appointment at no charge, regardless of insurance or immigration, according to a press release from city officials. Another East Oakland site opened up earlier in May for walk-up testing at Roots Community Health Center on 9925 International Boulevard.
Piedmont’s 4th Of July Celebrations – CANCELED: Piedmont officials recently announced the 55th annual July 4 parade and related events have been canceled due to public health concerns related to the novel coronavirus, city officials announced this week. You can see other canceled, postponed Bay Area events here.
Five Bay Area counties saw at least 12 additional COVID-19 cases. Alameda County saw 51, Contra Costa is up 21, San Francisco sees 28, San Mateo County saw 27 new cases, Solano County is up 15, and Santa Cruz County saw eight additional cases. You can track latest numbers here.
New rules at Oakland city parks now in effect
The rules include a ban on all parking at Lake Merritt, Friday through Sunday. Vendors like food trucks are also now temporarily banned at city parks to try and cut down on large crowds. Oakland police and city park ambassadors will be out reminding people to keep their distance.
May 15, 2020
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced Friday morning that he is donating $10 million to Oakland to provide funding for technology for students learning at home during the pandemic. The donation is aimed at closing the “digital divide,” Dorsey said. The money will go toward laptops and internet access.Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf says 25,000 students in the city do not have access to the internet or a computer.
Here’s a list of donations made to “Give2SF”:
Oakland limiting parking at Lake Merritt, city parks
The city of Oakland is expanding parking prohibitions to encourage physical distancing. Starting Friday, the city will prohibit parking around Lake Merritt on weekends and the Memorial Day holiday.
It’s also prohibiting vending and food trucks in city parks and in parking lots.Officials say the goal is to reduce the concentration of people in those areas.
The parking limitations will remain in effect until May 31.The city is also eliminating parking at all city parks.
COVID-19 drug lottery being considered in California
The state of California is considering a lottery to decide who receives remdesivir, the drug created Bay Area-based Gilead to treat COVID-19.
Remdesivir is the only drug shown to work against the coronavirus.
Doses of remdesivir has been sent to seven states, including California, but there’s not much to go around, so officials are struggling over how to distribute it.
Protest to take place over City College layoffs
There will be a car caravan protesting layoffs and the elimination of classes at City College of San Francisco today.
City of Oakland seeks to use Coliseum parking lot for COVID-19 testing
The City Oakland today will ask permission to use Oakland Coliseum for COVID-19 testing. The parking lot would be used for coronavirus testing, while inside would be used for antibody testing.
May 14, 2020
Gov. Gavin Newsom releases revised state budget as unemployment reaches ‘unprecedented’ high
Gov. Gavin Newsom released his revised May budget Thursday afternoon, estimating California will see “unprecedented” unemployment numbers reaching nearly 25 percent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. See details here.
SF’s Stern Grove Festival canceled
Organizers of the annual Stern Grove Festival in San Francisco announced Thursday that this year’s series of Sunday concerts from June to August have all been canceled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
3 flyovers in Southern California today will honor COVID-19 front-line workers
Southern California will get the chance to see three different flyovers today as part of a nationwide effort from different sectors of the U.S. military honoring frontline workers battling COVID-19. The aerial salutes will primarily be over medical facilities throughout Riverside, Ventura and Los Angeles counties, but should also be visible in neighboring areas.
Health care worker appreciation event takes place at SSF Kaiser
First responders honored health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic at Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco Medical Center.
Nearly 3M more Americans sought unemployment aid last week
Nearly 3 million more Americans sought unemployment benefits last week; 36 million have needed aid since the coronavirus crisis reached the U.S.
May 13, 2020
California Air National Guard fighter jets fly over Bay Area to honor health care workers
The F-15C Eagle fighter jets with the 144th Fighter Wing flew over Calfironia to honor health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. In the Bay Area, the jets flew over Richmond, Oakland and San Jose.
Coronavirus: California superintendent suggests staggering reopening of schools
Tony Thurmond, superintendent of California public schools, suggested staggering the reopening of schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. See more possible reopening guidelines here.
Front-line medical workers honored in Novato
Front-line medical workers at Novato Community Hospital were cheered on by first responders and the community during their shift change this morning.
Alameda County may allow Tesla plant to resume operations next week
Tesla has reached a tentative deal with Alameda County to resume operations. Alameda County released a statement late Tuesday night saying it has reviewed Tesla’s safety plan, and if the carmaker adds some safety recommendations, it could get permission to reopen next week.
May 12, 2020
CSU campuses to remain closed through fall semester, chancellor announces
The California State University system said it plans to cancel all in-personal classes for the fall and to continue instruction online. CSU Chancellor Timothy White made the announcement today, which will affect all 23 of its universities, including San Francisco State, San Jose State and Cal State East Bay, and Sonoma State.
Gov. Newsom releases guidelines to reopen dine-in restaurants, malls, offices and more
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced modifications to the statewide stay-at-home order Tuesday to allow more businesses in California to reopen, including dine-in restaurants and offices. See guidelines for reopening here.
Death toll rises in San Mateo County
The death toll has risen by 9 in San Mateo County to 65 and there are now 1,497 confirmed cases in the county. In the Bay Area there 10,177 cases and and 368 deaths.
SF Unified to conducts wellness checks on students
All public school students in San Francisco will get a wellness check call from the school district. San Francisco Unified says it plans to contact every one of its 54,000 students’ families to conduct wellness checks. The district has been coordinating care and offering resources to students. Staff members are starting to reach out to families they haven’t been in contact with since the shelter-in-place order went into effect in March.
Fauci warns of ‘suffering and death’ if US reopens too soon
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is warning Congress that if the country reopens too soon during the coronavirus pandemic, it will result in “needless suffering and death.” Fauci is among the health experts testifying to a Senate panel. His testimony comes as President Donald Trump is praising states that are reopening after the prolonged lock-down aimed at controlling the virus’ spread.
May 11, 2020
Elon Musk announces Fremont Tesla plant has reopened
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter that his Fremont plant is restarting production Monday against Alameda County’s rules. This comes after Gov. Newsom said he hopes the plant could reopen as early as next week.
Western states request $1 trillion in federal aid
The Western States Pact is turning to the federal government for financial help, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference. The leaders of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Colorado have signed a joint letter requesting $1 trillion in aid from the federal government.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 10,000 in Bay Area
The number of confirmed cases in the Bay Area has reached 10,012 and the death toll has reached 351.
When will Clorox wipes again be plentiful in stores? Here’s what the president of the company says
Linda Rendle, president of Oakland-based Clorox, appeared on “Good Morning America,” where she explained why you might not be seeing Clorox wipes on shelves.
Deaths in Calif. projected to rise higher than earlier prediction
Researchers with the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation say California could see more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths by the end of August. That’s up nearly 1,500 from last week’s projection.
Blood drive to take place in Sonoma today
A blood drive will take place at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn in Sonoma from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. You have to be at least 17. Make sure to bring an ID, eat a healthy meal before, and drink lots of fluids. The drive is being hosted by Assemblymember Mark Levine of Marin County.
May 10, 2020
San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital reports one new COVID-19 case
An additional resident at Laguna Honda Hospital has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, San Francisco officials said in an update Sunday, bringing the number of confirmed cases at the 750-bed facility to 22. Overall, six residents and 16 have been diagnosed with the virus. Of the staff members, 11 have had patient care duties. The hospital is under a protective quarantine order issued by the city on March 25.
Road near Oakland’s Lake Merritt may close to prevent Mother’s Day crowds
Oakland Police had to close and block Lakeshore Avenue for a couple hours Saturday evening. Both Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Francisco Mayor London Breed have said they will be quick to shut down Lake Merritt and Dolores Park if they see social distancing violations on Sunday.
May 9, 2020
Tesla to sue Alameda County over public health order
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter Saturday morning his company will be suing Alameda County over the public health order that is prohibiting businesses and manufacturing from resuming amid the coronavirus pandemic. Musk cites the governor’s order to begin Phase 2 of reopening California and says Alameda County is “acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!”
Tesla has a factory located in Fremont. In Musk’s latest tweets, the CEO said he plans to move headquarters to Texas and Nevada.
Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected & ignorant “Interim Health Officer” of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020
Two Norwegian cruise ships to arrive at Port of Oakland
The ships will be docked for at least two months with only skeleton crews on board. There are no reports of coronavirus associated with the ships. Nearly 100 cruise ships worldwide are seeking safe harbor, as most cruises have stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic. A third cruise ship will arrive at the Port of Oakland Tuesday.
May 8, 2020
Fremont’s The Saddle Rack closes for good
The popular country-western bar known for it’s mechanical bull, live music, and other fun amenities has announced they are closing permanently due to the impact of the coronavirus and shelter-in-place orders.They first closed eight weeks ago, and today say they made the “extremely difficult decision” to shut down for good. “The future of The Saddle Rack and our industry is incredibly uncertain at this time,” the business said in a statement. The bar was a nearing its 44th anniversary.
Cruise ships docking in Port of Oakland
If you notice three cruise ships sitting idle in the Port of Oakland, don’t worry. Officials say they have had no known contact with COVID-19. The first two ships arrive Saturday, May 9. The last one docks on Sunday, May 10. They will remain there for 2-3 months without passengers while the U.S. embargoes cruise operations, the Port of Oakland said today.The Port said it has not received reports of any cases of coronavirus associated with the vessels.
Bay Area and Phase 2
Is the Bay Area ready for Phase 2 of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to reopen? We reached out to every single Bay Area county. Here’s what they said.
May 8, 2020
Long lines at reopened DMV field offices
Long lines are being reporting at DMV field offices across California. The DMV announced yesterday that select field offices are being reopened for in person visits.
Can we talk about this CRAZY long line at the DMV in San Jose? First day back open in 43 days and whewww! 😅 Only 4 people are allowed in at a time and you MUST have an appointment, we’re told. 25 offices opened today across the state, including 5 in the Bay Area @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/Vk4kW7GfUK
— Julian Glover (@JulianGABC7) May 8, 2020
Tesla reportedly preparing to reopen Fremont factory
Tesla may be getting ready to reopen its electric car plant in Fremont, as soon as today. Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the announcement in an email to staff, saying Governor Newsom is allowing manufacturers in parts of the state resume operations.
Parts of Bay Area to lift some shelter-in-place restrictions today
Some shelter-in-place restrictions will be lifted today, but only a few Bay Area counties will go along. Napa, Sonoma, Santa Cruz and Solano counties will follow the governor’s orders, or ones close to it, in reopening. Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Santa Clara will adhere to stricter rules put out by their health officials. Marin and San Francisco say they’re pushing back Phase 2 re-openings to May 18.
May 7, 2020
San Francisco businesses could begin storefront pickup on May 18, mayor’s office says
Some San Francisco businesses such as bookstores and florists may begin to open for curbside pickup as soon as May 18, Mayor London Breed’s office announced Thursday afternoon in a statement. This announcement comes as Gov. Gavin Newsom announced eased restrictions in California allowing some businesses to reopen this Friday. The governor’s order allows for some stores to reopen May 8 for curbside pickup. San Francisco city officials said Wednesday that the stricter order, whether from a local jurisdiction or the state, would take precedence. In this case, San Francisco’s announcement is stricter than state guidelines.
The city is expected to release more detailed guidelines next week on how businesses may reopen.
To view the full statement from the mayor’s office, click here.
“If progress continues on reducing the spread of COVID-19, the City anticipates allowing some businesses to do storefront pickup as soon as Monday, May 18,” the statement said.
Those businesses could include:
Music and record stores
Hobby, toy, and game stores
Home furnishings and home goods
Cosmetics and beauty supply
Arts supplies stores
Musical instrument and supplies stores
Sewing, needlework, and piece goods stores
Six Bay Area counties, Berkeley clarify COVID-19 health order
Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and the City of Berkeley clarified its public health orders Thursday, saying in a joint statement that despite the governor’s order to ease restrictions beginning this Friday, the Bay Area’s current order will remain in effect and not allow for retail curbside pickup. “The Bay Area orders do not currently permit curbside pickup from non-essential, non-outdoor businesses, and that is not allowed to begin on Friday, May 8,” the joint statement read.
Contra Costa County announces COVID-19 testing sites
During a press conference Thursday afternoon, health officials in Contra Costa County announced several COVID-19 testing sites, available for residents regardless of whether they are showing symptoms. Residents can make an appointment to get tested and are not required to pay or have health insurance. To make an appointment, call 844-421-0804. County testing sites are located in Antioch, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, San Pablo and San Ramon. The county sites are drive-thru and patients are required to stay in their cars. The State of California has also opened several testing sites in the county in Brentwood, Pinole and Walnut Creek. For more information on testing in Contra Costa County, click here.
DMV to reopen select field offices on Friday
The California Department of Motor Vehicles will reopen select field offices across the state on Friday to assist customers with appointments and with transactions that require an in-person visit to a field office during the COVID-19 pandemic. See a list of those affected here.
52 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in SF
Officials say 52 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in San Francisco. The death toll is at 337 in the Bay Area and the number of confirmed cases in the region has risen to 9,388.
Gov. Newsom to announce guidelines for businesses to reopen
Gov. Gavin Newsom will reveal a new set of rules businesses will have to follow, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, if they want to reopen for curbside pickup. You can watch his announcement here at noon.
FDA approves coronavirus vaccine’s next phase in clinical trial
Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidate that started human trials in March received emergency Phase II approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the biotechnology company announced.
Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus files for bankruptcy
Neiman Marcus has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the luxury retail brand announced. All of the company’s stores are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and most of its 14,000 employees are furloughed.
Stanford health care workers to strike
Stanford health care workers are planning to hit the picket lines today. They are protesting cuts to medical staff. Workers want to send a message to management. They say it’s shameful to punish frontline caregivers by cutting their pay after the workers have put their health on the line during the pandemic. Stanford says it’s navigating the unprecedented economic impact of COVID-19 and described the cuts as a difficult but necessary decision.
May 6, 2020
Newsom warns California recovery could take years
When asked how confident he is that California will be able to rebound and how long will it take, Gov. Gavin Newsom had a dark forecast. “It’s going to take longer than I think a lot of people think. It’s going to take a lot longer than people are saying. This is serious. We’ve never experienced anything like this in our lifetime. This is Depression-era numbers in terms of the unemployment you’ll see across this country, not just in the state of California.”
SF may follow stricter stay-at-home order than Newsom’s reopening of California, health director says
As much as San Francisco Mayor London Breed wants small businesses open and residents to go back to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “we have not lowered the curve,” she said. As of Wednesday, San Francisco has a total of 1,754 cases of COVID-19 and the numbers are continuing to increase, Breed announced.
Gap plans to reopen 800 stores in May
San Francisco-based Gap Inc. announced it plans to reopen 800 stores before the end of the month, including Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, Janie and Jack, and Intermix locations. The first stores to open their doors will be in Texas this weekend, according to the retailer.
2 new COVID-19 testing sites open in Santa Clara County
Two new COVID-19 test sites opened to serve communities in Santa Clara County where there is limited access. The County of Santa Clara is opening two new testing sites at schools: one at James Lick High School in East San Jose and one at Christopher High School in Gilroy.
Marin County eyeing May 18 reopening for retail
Marin County is going to stick to its plan, which is stricter than the governor’s. It is looking at allowing some retail stores to reopen on May 18th with curbside pick-up. That’s about a week and a half after the Governor’s plan. The county has put together its own highly detailed three-phase plan. Officials say it could be months before it reaches the last phase.
May 5, 2020
Gov. Newsom says state has masks for retail workers, CA businesses are getting more loans
Governor Gavin Newsom acknowledged another area of concern for many small business owners: loans from the federal Small Business Administration. Gov. Newsom also said the state has secured more than 19 million cloth masks that are ready to distribute around the state. In the past, they’ve mostly been sent to front-line health care workers, but will now be going to more grocery, retail and transit workers as more sectors of the economy are allowed to reopen.
Mayor Breed says it will take ‘some time’ to prepare San Francisco businesses for reopening
Following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Phase 2 reopening announcement, San Francisco Mayor London Breed says, right now, she’s continuing to work with the county health officer in San Francisco and the Department of Public Health on looking at the data and where we are in terms of hospitalizations, numbers of cases, and the need to get our economy going in a responsible way.
104 new COVID-19 cases in SF, 34 in San Mateo County
More than 100 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in San Francisco since yesterday. San Mateo County saw an increase of 34 cases since yesterday.
Sonoma County opening COVID-19 testing sites
Sonoma County is opening two public testing sites for any resident, regardless if they’re showing symptoms or not. The two sites will be in Santa Rosa and Petaluma. But unlike many other testing areas, there’s no drive-thru option, you’ll need to get out of your car. Appointments are required and can be made online or over the phone.
Oakland prepares trailers for safe housing program
Dozens of RVs are rolling up near the Oakland Coliseum to help solve the dire need housing amid this pandemic. The city is officially launching a trailer isolation program to house homeless and medically vulnerable people, including nurses and first responders so they can avoid contracting coronavirus. Those who live in the trailers will also get three meals a day. Last week, San Francisco announced a similar program to move RV’s into the Bayview-Hunter’s Point area.
May 4, 2020
Mayor London Breed provides the latest on COVID-19 in San Francisco, announces free testing for all essential workers
In a press briefing, Mayor London Breed announced free testing is now available to all essential workers in San Francisco regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. To get tested, scheduling an appointment is necessary by calling 311 or visiting the city’s website here.
The mayor also warned that the city will be monitoring crowds at Dolores Park and may need to reimplement ticketing for street cleaning if people don’t move their cars when they are able to. Read more here.
Stage 2 of reopening California businesses starts Friday, Gov. Newsom says
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the next stage of reopening California’s economy will begin as early as Friday. Some businesses included in the state’s “Stage 2” of reopening will be allowed to resume operations starting Friday, May 8, including bookstores, clothing stores, toy stores, florists and others. Associated manufacturers that support those retail supply chains will also be allowed to resume production. Get the full story here.
New rules for airline passengers at Mineta San Jose International Airport
Starting today face masks are required at Mineta San Jose, joining SFO and Oakland International in the guideline.
6 Bay Area counties relax some shelter-in-place restrictions, certain businesses to reopen May 4
Six Bay Area counties have jointly agreed to ease some restrictions of the ongoing shelter-in-place orders amid the novel coronavirus pandemic starting today. A few activities that were previously banned will be permitted and some businesses forced to closed will now be able to reopen. Get the full story here.
Marin county to offer free testing in San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood
Marin County will offer free COVID-19 testing those who live in San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood, which is one of the most diverse and densely-populated areas of the county. The site will be on Francisco Boulevard and should be able to do more than a hundred tests every day. People will need to make an appointment first and can do so through the county’s website.
May 3, 2020
Sonoma Co. opens 2 new COVID-19 community testing sites
Following Gov. Newsom’s recent announcement to add more than 80 community COVID-19 testing sites across California, Sonoma County will launch two new sites in Santa Rosa and Petaluma. Testing at the community sites will be open to all residents regardless of whether they have novel coronavirus symptoms or not. The two sites which are not drive-thrus will open on Tuesday, May 5. Appointments are available on weekdays and can be made on this website.
Moraga Country Club golf course closed to walkers effective Monday
As golf is now allowed amid the East Bay shelter-in-place order, the Moraga Country Club golf course will no longer be open for walking. It is not safe for people to be walking on the course while golf is being played, officials say. Moraga police say the town would like to thank the Club for allowing people to walk on the course during the past few weeks.
Some San Mateo Co. parks to reopen on May 4
The San Mateo County Parks Department will reopen trails in 13 of its 23 parks on Monday, May 4, after being closed since March 27. Visitors will be required to hike single file on narrow trails, keep a six feet distance apart from others, not congregate with people who aren’t from their household and carry face coverings. “We are eager to welcome visitors back to San Mateo County Parks and for them to experience the physical and mental health benefits of being outdoors and on the trails,” said Parks Director Nicholas Calderon. “During this time, it’s critical that park users follow the new rules developed to prevent overcrowding, discourage gatherings and that support social distancing. Let’s work together to ensure that parks are safe environments for everyone.”
Playgrounds, picnic areas, campgrounds, fields, visitor centers, and some restrooms and parking lots will remain closed. See the list of parks reopening here.
Latest COVID-19 cases in Bay Area
Nearly 60 new COVID-19 cases reported in San Francisco. Santa Cruz County reports three new cases. You can track the latest numbers here.
Major Changes Coming to Bay Area Airports
Starting Monday May 4, travelers will see changes when flying due to the widespread coronavirus concerns in airports and on planes. Face masks will be required at any Bay Area airport if you are taking an essential flight. These can include bandanas, homemade masks or non-medical masks. Nearly every major airline will soon require them onboard, including United, Delta and JetBlue. Airlines are also beginning to block some or all middle-row seats for distance.
May 2, 2020
Two new cases reported in both Napa and Santa Cruz counties. And one new death has been reported in Alameda County. Currently, there are 52, 197 cases in California. You can track the latest numbers here.
Costco Reduces Meat Purchases
Costco has announced it will limit the amount of meat purchased per customer. The company says fresh meats are temporarily limited to a total of three items per member among the beef, pork, and poultry products. Costco says the limit is to make sure more members are able to purchase merchandise they want and need.
Also, beginning May 4, Costco will require employees and customers to wear face coverings. And hours for most warehouses and gas stations will go back to normal. Check your local listings.
Battle over beaches
Keeping an eye on the state beaches that have been ordered to close this weekend to avoid large crowds showing up. It was a point of just one of the many protests we saw erupt all over the state. One rally in Southern California drew dozens who were angry with the Governor’s decision to shut down Orange County beaches. Governor Newsom was upset seeing thousands of people who showed up beat the heat last weekend. This decision may not be final. An Orange County judge says he’ll be holding a hearing on a challenge to the Governor’s order later this month.
May 1, 2020
Face Coverings Required at Mineta San Jose International Airport starting May 4
Mineta San Jose International Airport announced on Friday said all members of the public and personnel will be required to wear a face covering inside Airport buildings starting on Monday, May 4.
Acceptable face coverings include a scarf or bandana; a neck gaiter; a homemade covering made from a T-shirt, sweatshirt, or towel, held on with rubber bands or other fasteners; or a non-medical grade mask. Face coverings should allow the wearer to breathe comfortably through the nose and not have to adjust it frequently, so as to avoid touching the face.
“Our top priority is protecting the health and safety of SJC employees and travelers,” said John Aitken, SJC Director of Aviation. “Requiring face coverings is the latest measure in our on-going commitment to maintain a healthy, safe and clean environment now and when non-essential travel resumes in the future,” he said.
Limited exceptions to this face covering requirement include children 6 years old or younger; anyone who has trouble breathing, is incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance; and anyone who has been advised by a medical professional not to wear a face covering.
New COVID-19 Test Site for San Rafael’s Canal Area
Marin County announced on Friday will launch a new testing site in San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood on Monday, May 4. Testing will be free and by appointment only. It will be prioritized for essential workers and people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Multilingual staff members will be available to assist with appointment booking and testing.
The new site was made possible by a partnership between OptumServe, a private company, the State of California, Marin County Public Health, and several community organizations. It adds to testing options available through most medical providers, the county-run drive through testing site, two mobile testing units, and a new site established this week in Marin City.
Newsom says CA may be ‘days not weeks’ away from further reopening
Governor Gavin Newsom said in a press briefing Friday that California may be “many days, not weeks” away from further reopening, “as long as we continue to be prudent and thoughtful in certain modifications.”
Oakland A’s announced Miguel Marte passed away earlier this week due to COVID-19 complications.
Shelter-in-place protests to take place in Calif.
Protesters frustrated with ongoing shelter-in-place restrictions in California due to the novel coronavirus pandemic are gathering in at least 11 cities around the state to give Gov. Gavin Newsom a piece of their mind. One such protest is planned at San Francisco City Hall at noon Friday. The group is planning to create a “gridlock loop” of cars on the streets surrounding City Hall and to have a walking protest out front.
UC Davis testing potential vaccine
A potential novel coronavirus vaccine has entered preclinical testing at UC Davis. The vaccine is being developed by Verndari, a biopharmaceutical company, in Sacramento, Calif. and testing will be done in partnership with the UC Davis, Mouse Biology Program. The vaccine uses a skin patch with a metal microneedle to deliver the vaccine. The company says the technology eliminates the need for refrigeration. It could also allow for rapid mass production and potentially be self-administered.
Stanford Medicine offering free COVID-19 testing to essential workers
Stanford Medicine is now offering free COVID-19 testing to all essential workers. That includes people working at grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants or any business that remains open to provide services to the community. The program will have drive-thru testing sites with prioritized testing and results.
April 30, 2020
Governor Gavin Newsom Signs Executive Order on Marriages
In a press release, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Thursday that will allow adults to obtain marriage licenses via videoconferencing rather than in person amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Couples will be able to obtain a marriage license, at the discretion of their local county clerk, through videoconferencing, as long as both adults are located within the State of California, are present, and can present identification during the video conference. The license can then be issued via email.
Additionally, adults who wish to be married can conduct a ceremony to solemnize the marriage via videoconference, as long as both parties are present, and have at least one witness who can join the live video conference.
Santa Cruz County extends shelter-in-place indefinitely, loosens some restrictions
Santa Cruz County announced an indefinite extension of its shelter-in-place order amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. The county’s shelter-in-place order was previously set to expire on May 3. With the extension came a relaxing of some restrictions.
Alameda to begin slow streets pilot program
The city of Alameda will begin a “slow streets” pilot program on Today. The initial areas where the slow streets program will be implemented are Pacific Avenue between Grand and Oak streets and Versailles Avenue between Central Avenue and Fernside Boulevard.
April 29, 2020
6 counties to ease some restricitons
Six Bay Area counties have jointly agreed to ease some restrictions of the ongoing shelter-in-place orders amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties, as well as the City of Berkeley, which has its own public health department, announced an extension of the stay-at-home orders through May 31.
Marin County to announce new details on shelter-in-place order today
Marin County is expected to announce the details of its new shelter-in-place order today. County Health Officials didn’t give specifics but said there will be some changes, including possibly easing restrictions on lower risk outdoor activities. The official announcement from Marin County is expected at noon.
April 28, 2020
Essential Worker Ride Home
City of San Francisco announces new program that will benefit essential workers commuting to and within the city. According to officials, the Essential Worker Ride Home program, provides a reliable and safe ride home after work, serving as an additional resource for essential workers. For more information click here.
Sonoma County lifts park closures
Sonoma County’s health officer issued a modified parks closure order to allow residents to walk or bike to parks from their homes beginning April 29, 2020. The order by Dr. Sundari Mase allows people to walk or cycle into their nearest parks for basic exercise. Driving to a park is not allowed and parking lots, restrooms, playgrounds, picnic areas and sports courts will remain closed, as will Sonoma Coast beaches.
“This amended closure order lets residents use their local parks while minimizing the likelihood of unsafe crowding,” Mase said. “The community is making an extraordinary effort to flatten the curve of infections, but the risk is still too great to fully reopen parks. I’m asking the public to continue sheltering at home and visit only those parks they can easily walk or bike to.”
Number of cases surpasses 1 million in US
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has surpassed 1 million, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.
Sonoma County to reportedly ease some restrictions
Sonoma County is reportedly going to begin to loosen some restrictions this week. The county is set to allow limited local park access as early as Wednesday, according to the Press Democrat. That would later be followed by giving the go-ahead for more construction work and outdoor activities like landscaping and gardening. The official announcement is reportedly coming today. Napa County made a similar move last week.
April 27, 2020
6 Bay Area counties extend shelter-in-place orders through end of May
Six Bay Area counties announced in a joint statement they’d be extending shelter-in-place orders through the end of May amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
61 new COVID-19 cases in San Mateo County
There are 61 more confirmed COVID-19 cases in San Mateo County. In the Bay Area, there are 7,720 cases and 263 deaths.
COVID-19 testing site to open at Alameda County Fairgrounds
A COVID-19 testing site for residents of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin is opening today at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Stanford Health Care system is putting this on. Organizers say they have 150 tests per day, or 750 for the week. They say the results will be available within 3 days.
April 26, 2020
Cases of COVID-19 in CA
The California Department of Health announced Sunday afternoon the total number of cases of COVID-19 in the state. There are now 42,164 positive cases of the virus and 1,710 patients have died in California. More than 526,000 Californians have been tested for COVID-19 so far.
California also launched a website Sunday where residents can track the latest number of cases in the state.
Inmate test positive at the Santa Rita Jail
One additional person at the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County has tested positive for COVID-19, the sheriff’s department announced Sunday afternoon. A total of nine inmates and two staff members are still recovering from the virus. The sheriff’s department said 22 other inmates have recovered from the virus and are still in custody, while two inmates recovered and were released from the jail.
24 positive cases at San Francisco single-room occupancy hotel
Two dozen people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Casa Quezada building, according to Dolores Street Community Services in the Mission District. That includes 22 residents and two staff members. 17 residents tested negative. Many of the residents speak Spanish only and have underlying health conditions. City officials have moved all tenants of the Casa Quezada into hotel rooms.
April 25, 2020
Sausalito sets new parking lot restrictions due to overcrowding
Due to public safety concerns related to COVID-19 and the widespread disregard for the non-essential travel restrictions, Sausalito Municipal Parking Lots will be closed on weekends and holidays effective Sunday, April 26, 2020. The closures will remain in effect until further notice. City of Sausalito Parking Lot Permit Holders may use street parking at no cost with permit displayed. Please contact Lieutenant Gregory with any parking related questions at email@example.com.
San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties saw a jump in confirmed COVID-19 cases. Alameda County saw 34 additional cases and four new deaths. Contra Costa County is up 19 cases, two more deaths. San Francisco reports an increase of 14 confirmed cases. Santa Clara County is up 22 cases and one new death. You can track the latest numbers here.
San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital is reporting 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Fifteen staff members and five residents have tested positive. The last resident to test positive was on April 7. The hospital is under protective quarantined and the Centers for Disease Control remains on site.
The death toll for coronavirus infections has topped 200,000 worldwide according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. More details here.
Researchers ask for plasma donations
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and UCSF researchers are working with a major local blood center, Vitalant, to collect plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19. Adults who are willing to be donors will be asked to answer questions about your health history. You will then be tested to confirm that you are recovered and that your blood contains antibodies against the virus. Those who are eligible will be referred to Vitalant to donate plasma. It will be transfused to a patient to treat COVID-19.
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