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Covid-19 update: landmark bookstores need saving, SF shelter confirms 76 cases, holidays offer some hope

Today is considered holy for many across the nation and world over, and in that light it may be comforting to reflect on words and insights associated with Easter and Passover. Some themes transcend religion and have a specific pertinence for struggles we, religious or not, are facing separately but together. 

From the Pesach Seder, it is said:

“The willingness to sacrifice is the prelude to freedom.”

As Pope Francis delivered his Easter Sunday message to an empty St. Peter’s Basilica, he said:

“Indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time.”

The news today is far from uplifting in terms of infection and death rates, so perhaps it’s best to find little bits of hope where we can. We can also acknowledge how much worse the situation could be without sacrifices people are making each day to protect the most vulnerable among us.

With that, here are your Sunday updates related to Covid-19 from around the Bay Area and beyond.


  • Confirmed Cases: 555,398
  • Deaths: 22,023

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center COVID-19 tracking tool as of Sunday at 6:49 p.m.


  • Confirmed Cases: 22,795
  • Deaths: 641

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center COVID-19 tracking tool as of Sunday at 6:49 p.m.


Several farmers’ markets around the region are still operating despite the Covid-19 outbreak. Food providers are considered essential businesses. Although counties have shut down several farmers’ markets, some remain open under strict guidelines both vendors and consumers are expected to follow to control the virus spread, according to the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association. People can check the status of their local farmers’ market on the PFMS website.  

Alameda County

  • Confirmed Cases: 845
  • Deaths: 23

Source: The Alameda County Public Health Department with data reported through Saturday and including Berkeley.

Two landmark Oakland bookstores are crying out for public help to weather the financial impact associated with the shelter-in-place orders. 

Marcus Books, originally established in the back of a San Francisco print shop in 1960, opened its Oakland doors in 1977 at 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The bookstore named to honor civil rights activist Marcus Garvey has seen its share of ups and downs over the past several decades, but has so far survived and stands today as the country’s oldest independent black-owned bookstore.

Thomas Hawk/Flickr Walden Books in Oakland, Calif. — the country’s oldest independent. black-owned bookstore — is facing a devastating financial shortfall amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the community staple nears its 60th anniversary in the shadow of Covid-19, a gofundme page has been set up in hopes the community will give back and make it possible for Marcus Books to survive once again.

Walden Pond Books, an independent Oakland bookstore since 1973, is also calling on the public to show some love and help the shop stay afloat as it navigates the tough financial landscape of the pandemic. They began selling books online April 7, but according to their website, the online sales make up just a “small fraction” of the overhead. Without help from the community they serve, they may be forced to close the doors forever.

People can donate to keep Walden Pond Books alive by visiting their gofundme page, and after the shelter orders are lifted, by visiting the brick and green landmark itself at 3316 Grand Ave.  

Contra Costa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 539
  • Deaths: 11

Source: Contra Costa Health Services as of Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

The El Cerrito city manager announced that the 2020 Fourth of July/worldOne Festival is being canceled out of concern surrounding Covid-19 and as a result of a budget shortfall. The colorful annual festival draws approximately 3,000 visitors.

Nik Wojcik/SFBay El Cerrito, Calif. annual Fourth of July/worldOne Festival in 2018. The city manager announced cancellation of the 2020 festival due to Covid-19 concerns and budget shortfall.

The Contra Costa Community College District announced Friday that remote instruction will continue through the end of the spring semester for all campuses. In a press release, interim Chancellor Gene Huff said:

“This has been a challenging time for both our students and staff as we transitioned to remote operations. We want to thank our students for their perseverance and flexibility, and our staff for their tremendous effort to transition to a fully remote operation. We believe this decision balances the need to stay safe and healthy during this time, and informs students and staff on what to expect for the rest of this semester.”

The decision impacts Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College — Pleasant Hill and San Ramon campuses — Los Medanos College and Brentwood Center. The summer session and student services will also be handled remotely. Further details can be found on the district website at

Marin County

  • Confirmed Cases: 153
  • Deaths: 10

Source: Marin Health and Human Services as of Sunday.

Napa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 34
  • Deaths: 2

Source: Department of Health and Human Services as of Saturday.

San Francisco

  • Confirmed Cases: 872
  • Deaths: 14

Source: San Francisco Department of Public Health with data through Saturday.

Officials said Sunday that an additional three staff members and three residents, or guests, from the Multi-Service Center South homeless shelter have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The additional confirmed cases bring the total number of MCS South infections to 76, including 71 residents and five staff members. 

According to Supervisor Hillary Ronen, University of California, San Francisco has offered to provide free coronavirus tests for every MSC South resident. However, Ronen said in a tweet Sunday that The City has yet to take them up on the offer.

San Mateo County

  • Confirmed Cases: 652
  • Deaths: 21

Source: San Mateo County Health Department with data reported through Friday.

Santa Clara County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,621
  • Deaths: 54

Source: Santa Clara County Public Health Department as of Sunday.

County officials reported Sunday that an additional three Covid-19 patients have died. The area has been a consistent hotspot for the virus spread since the onset of the pandemic locally. 

Solano County

  • Confirmed Cases: 121 
  • Deaths: 2

Source: Solano Public Health as of Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Sonoma County

  • Confirmed Cases: 145 
  • Deaths: 2

Source: County of Sonoma as of Friday at 6 p.m.

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