As of Wednesday, there are more than two million confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus across the globe — the U.S. accounts for more than 30 percent of that worldwide total. In just the past 24 hours, nearly 2,400 Americans died as a result of the virus.
Considering the density of the region, the Bay Area is still doing remarkably, relatively, well in its response and health outcome resilience to Covid-19. The statistics seen around the country, good and bad, are largely dependent on choices each person makes to protect those around them.
Here are your Wednesday Covid-19 updates from around the Bay Area and beyond.
- Confirmed Cases: 637,716
- Deaths: 28,364
Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 tracking tool as of Tuesday at 6:44 p.m.
- Confirmed Cases: 26,921
- Deaths: 872
Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 tracking tool as of Tuesday at 6:45 p.m.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday in an effort to bolster capacity at the Employment Development Department. California’s unemployment agency was largely unprepared to deal with the more than two million sudden claims stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns, and even less prepared to process the expanded benefits afforded under the federal CARES Act.
People previously ineligible for unemployment benefits — self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers — were granted benefits under the federal stimulus bill without states readied to accommodate the influx and operational changes necessary to pull that off.
Newsom’s order Wednesday demands EDD extend their call center availability from four hours each Monday through Friday to 12 hours per day on all seven days of the week. In addition, the order directs the agency to hire an additional 1,500 staff members.
Newsom also announced Wednesday that a $125 million Covid-19 relief fund has been established, in partnership with private philanthropists, to help support suffering undocumented residents who are not eligible for federal stimulus assistance. A system to apply for the grants of $500 per person or $1,000 per household need to is expected to be in place next month, Newsom said.
The governor said Wednesday:
“I’m not here to suggest that $125 million is enough but I am here to suggest it’s a good start and I’m very proud of starting here in the state of California.”
- Confirmed Cases: 962
- Deaths: 36
Source: The Alameda County Public Health Department with data reported through Tuesday and including Berkeley.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has opened up an investigation into practices at Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center Hayward where 13 patients have died of Covid-19. A total of 67 people from the facility — 41 residents and 26 staff members — have tested positive for the virus.
Civil rights attorney John Burris, who represents the family of one deceased patient, said Monday that a negligence lawsuit may be in the works. The DA office began a probe into the skilled nursing facility after Burris made the announced.
Contra Costa County
- Confirmed Cases: 615
- Deaths: 14
Source: Contra Costa Health Services as of Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.
- Confirmed Cases: 171
- Deaths: 10
Source: Marin Health and Human Services with data reported through Tuesday.
The annual camping trip meant to build positive relationships between at-risk kids and San Rafael police has been canceled this summer due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sgt. Raul Aguilarr said in a press release Wednesday. The program has been running since 1999 and police officials say it has engaged more 1,100 middle school kids between the ages of 11 and 13, with 65 kids attending just last year.
Ordinarily hosted at Walker Creek Ranch in West Marin County, the five-day camp event managed by the department’s Community Engagement Unit gives kids a chance to tackle tough topics, including anger management and bullying.
Marin County Fair officials posted a statement on the event website to announce cancellation of this year’s fair. The statement read:
“It is with a very heavy heart we announce the 2020 Marin County Fair: The Soaring 2020s will not take place this year. The County of Marin has reserved the Marin Center campus and Fairgrounds to serve as a vital resource in its response to the Covid-19 Pandemic Emergency.”
Since March 13, the facilities and offices have been shut down and employees were called to perform disaster service for the county. This is the first year since the event was established in 1946 that the fair will not take place.
- Confirmed Cases: 38
- Deaths: 2
Source: Department of Health and Human Services as of Wednesday.
- Confirmed Cases: 1,013
- Deaths: 17
Source: San Francisco Department of Public Health with data through Tuesday.
San Francisco is expanding their testing capacity with a new CityTestSF – SoMa facility expected to launch Friday, according to a Wednesday press release issued by the Office of the Mayor. The new drive-through location will be available to the public by appointment and can test up to 200 people per day, the statement said.
Mayor London Breed said:
“Expanding San Francisco’s testing capacity is essential to not only slowing the spread of the virus, but also helping us to have the tools we need to manage this virus through the coming months.”
The facility to be located at 600 7th St. is a collaboration between The City, Verily Baseline Covid-19 Program and One Medical, a primary care group. People experiencing symptoms can be screened online and schedule an appointment if necessary without consideration for ability to pay for the test. However, priority will be given to individuals from high-risk populations, as defined by the California Department of Public Health. Residents can visit www.projectbaseline.com/COVID19 for screening and appointments.
“People need to have complete information about their health so they can seek treatment and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the entire community.”
The City is also introducing a new contact tracing program that will use technology to better identify who may have been exposed to people with a confirmed case of the virus. The public-private collaboration is aimed at reducing the spread by tracking cases more comprehensively. A statement released Wednesday by the mayor’s office read:
“San Francisco’s new program will engage with individuals who test positive for Covid-19 to identify whom they have had contact with in recent days. Specially trained outreach workers will then follow up remotely with any individuals who may have been in contact with the COVID-positive patient. These conversations will be voluntary, confidential, and culturally and linguistically appropriate. Immigration status will have no bearing on these conversations.”
More than 50 city workers and medical students were trained to support the effort over the weekend.
The statement continued:
“Case contacts will be able to receive daily text messages or phone calls checking in on their health and symptoms throughout the 14-day monitoring period. They can self-report symptoms via text, immediately alerting public health officials that follow up or testing may be required.”
The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to pass emergency legislation requiring The City to acquire more than 8,000 vacant hotel rooms by April 26 and prioritize the homeless population in filling them. Whether the mayor chooses to respect the supervisors’ decision remains to be seen.
San Mateo County
- Confirmed Cases: 747
- Deaths: 21
Source: San Mateo County Health Department with data reported through Tuesday.
Santa Clara County
- Confirmed Cases: 1793
- Deaths: 65
County officials said that Tuesday’s case data was not updated due to technical issues with the California Reportable Information Exchange.
The county’s public health department issued a reminder that Wednesday is the deadline to report possession of large quantities of personal protective equipment and/or ventilators. The disclosures can be posted online at http://www.sccphd.org/CV19PPE .
- Confirmed Cases: 141
- Deaths: 2
Source: Solano Public Health as of Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
- Confirmed Cases:
Source: County of Sonoma with data as of Monday at 7 p.m.