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Bay Area coronavirus update: rising numbers, campus closures, cruise ship evacuation

San Francisco’s total number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases, or COVID-19, jumped to 13 since the announcement of the first two cases by health officials last week.

On Friday, city officials made recommendations to cancel large gatherings, such as sporting events, concerts, conventions and large community gatherings. It’s also been recommended that public avoid nonessential travel.

A number of city-sponsored events have already been canceled, including Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Concerts held at the San Francisco Symphony will be postponed until March 20 and school-sponsored events at City College of Francisco have also been suspended, though classes will remain in session.

San Francisco State University Chancellor Lynn Mahoney announced Monday night that the university will suspend in-person classes as of Tuesday and through March 15. Faculty and staff are still expected to attend in order to prepare remote coursework.

Justin C./Flickr San Francisco, Calif. Mayor London Breed announced Monday, March 9, 2020 that San Francisco State University in-person classes will be suspended in lieu of online instruction as of Tuesday, March 10, 2020 and through at least March 15.

San Francisco school officials closed Lowell High School Friday after it was discovered a student’s parent was being treated for the virus. The school remained closed Monday, though officials plan to reopen the campus Tuesday.

Archbishop Riordan High School, an all-boys private school, closed Monday to conduct deep cleaning of the campus after school officials there said parents of a student tested positive for the virus.

Now, school officials said in a Monday update that the student has also tested positive for COVID-19 and it was later decided the campus will be closed until March 22. More updates can be found on the school’s website.

Health officials over the weekend also announced Immaculate Conception Academy Cristo Rey Academy, an all-girls private school, will close for two weeks after a staff member tested positive with the virus. The school plans to reopen on March 20.

Mayor London Breed and health officials announced Monday a $5 million plan to protect The City’s most vulnerable residents.

The funding will be spent to ensure homeless individuals, people living in single room occupancy units and those in supportive housing are better protected from the virus spread.

Part of the plan includes extra cleanings of homeless shelters, resource centers and SROs, as well as increased meal offerings and expanded shelter hours for those not already operating 24 hours.

The mayor and health department have also issued a public health order requiring that privately operated SROs meet the increased cleaning standards.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV or COVID-19).

The public health department’s Director Dr. Grant Colfax said in a statement:

“For vulnerable people in SROs or shelters, this investment will help them limit their outings, by assuring that food and shelter is available, and that congregate settings are clean environments.”

Grand Princess Cruise Ship arrives at Port of Oakland

All eyes were on the Grand Princess cruise ship Monday morning as Gov. Gavin Newsom over the weekend announced plans to dock the ship at the Port of Oakland to begin the evacuation process, which is expected to take two to three days.

Vice President Mike Pence held a press conference over the weekend announcing that the more than 3,500 passengers and crew members will be tested for the virus.

So far, limited testing has confirmed 21 confirmed cases aboard the ship that had been moored off the coast of San Francisco since Wednesday. Of those infected were 19 crew members and two passengers .

State officials said there were 962 California residents on board the ship who will be sent to either Travis Air Force Base or Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for testing and quarantine.

Non-California residents will be transferred to other locations, according to federal officials.

Scot Tucker/SFBay The Grand Princess cruise ship passes beneath the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA., on Monday, March 9, 2020. (Scot Tucker/

Bay Area sees first death from COVID-19

Santa Clara county health officials announced the first death of a person who was infected with the virus.

The person was a woman in her 60s and had been hospitalized for weeks. The woman was the third reported case by county health officials. In a press conference held Monday evening, Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said the total number of confirmed cases had reached 43 and that beginning Wednesday, a mandatory ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 would be in effect for at least two weeks. 

It was announced in a statement issued Monday San Jose State University will suspend in-person classes from Tuesday through Friday initially. Stanford University in Palo Alto had previously decided to move to online instruction only for the duration of the winter quarter.

In Alameda County, officials announced Friday the confirmation of a second case. The county declared a local state of emergency March 1.

University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ issued a statement on the school’s website Monday to inform students and faculty that classes would instructed online only beginning Tuesday. Despite there being no confirmed cases on the campus as of yet, the change will be in effect until at least March 29.

From March 16 until April 5, instruction of courses at San Francisco State University will be done remotely. University officials said they plan to make an announcement on March 30 on a decision on whether to continue suspension of in-person courses for the two-week period of April 5 through April 19. No in-person courses will take place for the rest of this week.

San Jose State University officials also made a similar announcement on Monday to suspend in-person courses from March 10 to March 13 in order to give time for faculty and staff to prepare to conduct courses remotely.

City College of San Francisco announced Monday night that they will suspend in-person courses starting on March 13 after the college’s Board of Trustees voted to declare a state of an emergency for the college.

The college will close during the week of March 16 and spring break vacation will move up from the week of March 30 to March 23. City College officials said faculty will work during the campus closure to prepare to move courses online by March 30.

Costa Contra County health officials announced over the weekend the addition of five individuals infected with the virus. The county has a total of nine people with the virus as of Sunday.

San Mateo County health officials announced Monday that they’ve also confirmed nine total COVID-19 cases.

Marin County reported its first confirmed case Monday. The infected person was a passenger on board the Grand Princess cruise ship during a previous trip the cruise liner made from San Francisco to Mexico.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last reported the number of confirmed cases throughout the state had risen to 110. However, that number is not reflective cases discovered throughout the day, which when included would bring the total up to an estimated 133.

Update; 9:38 p.m.: This story was revised to include information regarding San Francisco State University and City College of San Francisco classes.

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