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More than 4,500 people have died from Covid-19 across the nation since Wednesday evening, as the confirmed case total rose by nearly 33,000 in that same period.

For context, 2,977 Americans were killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Unlike the violent terrorist attack many people watched in real time on televisions, residents now sheltering inside homes are largely insulated from the tragic reality and human toll of this virus. 

In New York, where the planes hit, nearly 15,000 people have been lost to the invisible enemy in just over one month’s time.

Nik Wojcik/SFBay U.S. death rates due to Covid-19 as of Thursday, April 16, 2020.

On this, the virus’ most deadly day, Donald Trump said during a press conference that some states can start reopening “literally tomorrow.” 

California’s leadership at the state and local levels are hesitant to let anything but science and data guide them in planning a safe return to a “new normal.”

The Bay Area is still doing relatively well in its mitigation response, though hotspots such as Santa Clara, Alameda and San Mateo counties — where death tolls have reached 69, 39 and 28, respectively — are reminders that the balance is fragile even with strict shelter orders in place.

Here are some of the latest updates from around the Bay Area.

Open SFBay USA coronavirus tracker.

U.S.

  • Confirmed Cases: 670,353
  • Deaths: 32,917

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 tracking tool as of Thursday at 6:53 p.m.

California

  • Confirmed Cases: 27,697
  • Deaths: 956

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 tracking tool as of Tuesday at 6:54 p.m.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Thursday that provides two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave for farm and food delivery workers throughout the supply chain from farm to grocery stores. The order also sets health and safety standards for food service workers in light of the risk of Covid-19 spread within the essential service industry.

Regional

The Metropolitan Transportation Committee disclosed plans Thursday to allocate in excess of $780 million to suffering transit agencies across the Bay Area. The federal relief funds are meant as a stop gap for agencies that experienced detrimental ridership declines due to Covid-19.

The funds are made possible by a $1.3 billion CARES Act distribution.  

SFBay Bay Area coronavirus dashboard. (Jesse Garnier/SFBay)
Open SFBay Bay Area coronavirus dashboard in new window.

Alameda County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,007
  • Deaths: 39

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

An additional 45 confirmed cases and three deaths were reported by health officials Thursday, pushing the county’s case total to more than 1,000 people.

Dr. Lisa Hernandez, the Berkeley Public Health Officer, ordered Thursday that mask, temperature screenings and symptom checks be required of all workers and visitors at skilled nursing and similar care facilities in the city. Additionally, the order mandates that group activities and communal dining be canceled, with residents required to remain at least 6 feet apart when outside of their rooms. The order aligns with actions taken in several counties across the Bay Area.

Contra Costa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 631
  • Deaths: 16

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

An additional two people have died in Contra Costa County from the 2019 novel coronavirus since Wednesday’s reporting. 

County officials said in a media release Thursday that handwashing stations and portable toilets are being placed near homeless encampments. The increased sanitation access at encampments is an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19 among unsheltered people who have not been placed in hotel rooms.

Antioch, Richmond and Walnut Creek requested the assistance made possible by the Contra Costa County Emergency Operations Center. Four handwashing stations and four portable toilets were placed Tuesday at the Martinez Waterfront Amphitheater in a first round of placements that will occur over the coming days, the statement said.

Nik Wojcik/SFBay Contra Costa County is setting up sanitation centers at homeless encampments as a way to increase safety and slow the spread of Covid-19 where unsheltered people are still living outside in groups.

Candace Anderson, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors said:

“People who lack housing are particularly vulnerable. Without running water, it is very difficult to wash your hands and practice the hygiene needed to reduce your risk of infection.” 

Marin County

  • Confirmed Cases: 187
  • Deaths: 10

Source: Marin Health and Human Services as of Thursday.

Napa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 39
  • Deaths: 2

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

One additional confirmed case was reported by health officials since Wednesday, though the death toll has remained at two people for several days.  

San Francisco

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,019
  • Deaths: 17

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

San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto said Thursday that The City has confirmed its first Covid-19 case in the jail inmate population. The patient has only been in the jail system for 24 hours and was released prior to test results being reported.

Although this is the first inmate case, five staff members from the County Jail 4 facility had already tested positive.

The Office of the Mayor issued a news release Thursday to announce the establishment of a temporary program that will provide reduced-cost essential taxi trips for seniors and disabled persons throughout the duration of The City’s stay-at-home order. The Essential Trip Card program is meant to supplement transit in the wake of Muni service reductions.

Scot Tucker/SFBay Judah Street remains empty while businesses remain closed and residents adhere to a shelter-in-place order due to Covid-19 in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. (Scot Tucker/SFBay.ca)

The ETC program provides two to three round trips each month at a fifth of the regular taxi fare. Special debit cards loaded with $6 will receive a $30 value, or $12 for $60 value. The cards can be reloaded once a month.  

Mayor London Breed said in the statement:

“Our city and transportation system has been forced to adapt to deal with this pandemic, but people still need a way to get around to get groceries, pick up medicine, or go to the doctor.”

She added:

“While we’re working on expanding our grocery and meal support for older adults and people  with disabilities, we know there are people who still need to make essential trips. With this program, we can continue to provide reliable transportation options for those who may have limited mobility and who don’t have other transportation options available.”

People aged 65 and older or those with disabilities can apply for the ETC program by calling 311 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. — further details can be found online at SFMTA.com/ETC.  

 San Mateo County

  • Confirmed Cases: 767
  • Deaths: 28

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

Santa Clara County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1833
  • Deaths: 69

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

San Jose maintains the largest concentration of positive cases within the county, with 1,202 infected people to date. As is similarly seen in other areas tracking such data, gender plays an outsized roll in the morbidity rate, with nearly twice as many men dying from the virus than women. County health officials say that men represent approximately 65 percent of the deaths, whereas women make up 35 percent. 

Solano County

  • Confirmed Cases: 156
  • Deaths: 2

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

Sonoma County

  • Confirmed Cases: 163
  • Deaths: 2

Source: County of Sonoma with data as of Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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