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There’s still life beneath the Covid-19 shadow. It’s heavy, but there are bright spots. There are good notes in all the bad news — resources dispatching to places that need resources the most, faith observed at home and people every day making the right decision to do the right thing for the people around them.

Ramadan in the age of lockdown, which begins Thursday at sundown, is a call by many Muslim leaders to “shelter in faith” over the course of the next 30 days. Like many Christians who observed the holy week of Easter and Jews who honored their faith during Passover in the confines of shelter-in-place orders, the IslamiCity website offers online daily prayers and Quran lessons for people to participate while remaining safely at home.

Muslims around the world will each day for the next 30 days fast from dawn until dusk. All food and drink, as well as smoking, cursing, gossiping, fighting and sexual intercourse is to be avoided and the faithful are encouraged to observe the five daily prayers. The breaking of fast each night is typically done with a large community or extended family gathering for a traditional and elaborate meal, though this years’ feasts will be limited to immediate household members.

The Muslim Community Association for the San Francisco Bay Area posted the following statement on their webpage:

“Due to continuing restrictions, we don’t know if we can conduct taraweeh prayers this Ramadan. But we must make the best of the situation and seek Allah’s blessings with worship in solitude and with our families.”     

Happy holiday to our Muslim friends and neighbors.

Here’s a Thursday snapshot of how Covid-19 is affecting the Bay Area and beyond.

U.S.

  • Confirmed Cases: 867,459
  • Deaths: 49,861

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

Open SFBay USA coronavirus tracker.

The federal CARES 2 bill passed in the House Thursday. Now approved in both chambers, the bill heads to Donald Trump for signature. Trump indicated earlier in the week he would quickly sign the legislation that in large part replenishes the tapped Paycheck Protection Program and provides additional assistance for small business owners left behind in the rush for relief under the first CARES Act package.

Meanwhile, Trump used his Twitter account Thursday to praise actions he and his administration have taken during the pandemic, bash the press and offer “Complete and Total Endorsement” to 12 Republicans running for office. 

As of Thursday, more people have died in the U.S. due to Covid-19 than have positively contracted the virus in all of Canada. The American death toll rose since Wednesday evening by more than 3,200 people.  

California

  • Confirmed Cases: 39,289
  • Deaths: 1,525

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

Gov. Gavin Newsom made two major financial relief announcements Thursday. He said that, largely credited to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, more than one million people with student loans will be offered a 90-day forbearance. The beneficiaries are people not covered under the first federal CARES Act relief package. 

The governor also signed an executive order that prevents debt collectors from garnishing against federal stimulus payments individuals received in the wake of the Covid-19 economic downturn.

Dolores Park
Peter Snarr/SFBay A crowd gathers around a dancing robot at the Dolores Park re-opening Wednesday, January 28, 2016.

Newsom also warned the public to resist urges to gather in groups and flood outdoor recreation areas as weather warms. He said although hospitalization rates are down, cases continue to rise. The state experienced its deadliest 24-hour period Wednesday with the loss of 115 people. 

Newom said:

“I also think if … people aren’t practicing physical distancing, I’ll be announcing, in a week or so, these numbers going back up. I don’t think anybody wants to hear that.”

Regional

Counties have recently shifted their reporting methodology to report date of testing for each case. We see the results of this new methodology reflected every day in the evolving dataset. To be clear, SFBay verifies each data point for all counties, for all cases and deaths, going back each day since the beginning of the local outbreak. We aggressively revise our day-by-day counts based on the very latest data from each county. We have attempted to collect daily case totals since the beginning, not just daily totals, and have continually edited and updated our accounting going back over time. 

Our dashboard, updated several times each day, presents the most current and accurate data available, which, as counties steady their daily adjustments to account for new reporting methodology, will allow us to identify patterns and peaks through the pandemic. 

Based on the best information we now have, Alameda County shows some cause for concern. Though the region’s battle with Covid-19 seemed to peak with 76 new cases on April 15, the decline since has not been consistent or steep. Whereas the other eight Bay Area counties seem to be moving consistently down the trendline into single-digit daily gains, with some fluctuation, Alameda County has reported daily double-digit increases since March 20 and is currently hovering around 36 new patients per day. 

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

Alameda County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,350
  • Deaths: 46

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

Mobile teams are being dispatched from the Hayward Covid-19 Testing Center to nursing homes to conduct tests for the 2019 novel coronavirus on residents and staff. The tests will be performed at the facility sites by trained firefighter-paramedics and in coordination with the Alameda County Department of Public Health.

The increased response is largely motivated by outbreaks within two of the county’s nursing home facilities. Thirteen residents from the Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center in Hayward had died as of last week. An additional 42 residents and 26 staff members have so far tested positive.

Google Maps Thirteen people from Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center in Hayward, Calif. died from Covid-19 complications as of Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Nearby in Castro Valley, 25 residents and 23 staff members from the East Bay Post-Acute Healthcare Center have become infected.

The California Department of Public Health recently published a list of all licensed skilled nursing facilities reporting positive cases. As of the last update Sunday, nine facilities in Alameda County have reported cases.  

Contra Costa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 770
  • Deaths: 23

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

County officials announced Wednesday that the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an emergency ordinance that enacts a moratorium on evictions and rent increases during the Covid-19 pandemic. The prohibition will last through May 31 unless an extension is deemed necessary. The ordinance also protects tenants financially impacted by the pandemic from assessed late fees and allows a period of 120 days from May 31 to pay back rent. The protections are retroactive to any eviction orders or lawsuits dated after March 15. 


The BOS and the county’s Workforce Development Board announced Thursday the establishment of a call center to help local businesses navigate challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Beginning Thursday morning, people are available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to field calls from small business owners needing guidance to access federal resources, deal with insurance and handle tough situations like layoffs.

Nik Wojcik/SFBay Most businesses are shuttered during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Among the 26 cities and unincorporated areas that make up Contra Costa County, officials report an average infection rate of 67 per 100,000 people. The area’s total population is estimated to be 1,153,526.    

Marin County

  • Confirmed Cases: 209
  • Deaths: 11

Source: Marin Health and Human Services as of Thursday.

County officials report that just more than 3,000 people have been tested for Covid-19 and of those who returned positive results, 148 people have recovered from the illness as of Thursday. There are currently five patients hospitalized, two of whom are in intensive care units.

Napa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 57
  • Deaths: 2

Source: Department of Health and Human Services as of Thursday

The county reports that 24 people have so far recovered from Covid-19. Of the 1,201 tests administered, 897 returned negative results and 247 tests are pending as of Thursday. The county is monitoring 109 people who had close contact with infected individuals.

San Francisco

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,302
  • Deaths: 21

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

Twenty-one physicians and nurses from University of California, San Francisco have left the state to treat members of the Navajo Nation who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Arizona and New Mexico. A press release issued Wednesday said the team is working voluntarily for one month as part of a UCSF two-year fellowship program that coordinates health care in “disadvantaged rural communities around the world.”

The group will work out of seven hospitals across the two states, three of which are heavily focused on treatment of Navajo patients. Healthcare workers for the Navajo Nation report 1,206 positive cases and 48 deaths as of Tuesday.

PxHere Navajo Nation Reservation sign.

Dr. Sriram Shamasunder, associate professor of medicine at UCSF, said:

“Covid-19 is tearing across the fault lines of existing injustice and structural marginalization, and has hit Navajo Nation at a rate higher than 48 states.”

The doctor added: 

“Covid-19 has shown us that we are bound together, all of us.”   

San Mateo County

  • Confirmed Cases: 966
  • Deaths: 39

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

The county reported that 67 people were hospitalized as of Wednesday with more than 60 percent of ICU beds in use. The positive test rate, of 9,295 people tested, is sitting at 10.4 percent, which is higher than what’s been reported out of Santa Clara County.

Santa Clara County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,987
  • Deaths: 95

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

The county reports Thursday that the number of confirmed cases in San Jose alone has reached 1,324 people. Testing data updated Thursday reflects a 9.61 percent test positivity rate. 

As of Sunday, 11 skilled nursing facilities in Santa Clara County had reported confirmed cases among residents and staff, according to a list provided by the CDPH. Canyon Springs Post-Acute in San Jose, Cedar Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Sunnyvale and Valley House Rehabilitation Center in Santa Clara present alarming infection rates, with all three reporting more than 50 cases each, according to Sunday’s CDPH data.  

Solano County

  • Confirmed Cases: 191
  • Deaths: 4

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

The number of confirmed cases in Vallejo has reached 80, nearly double Fairfield’s 47 cases, which represents the second highest number of cases in Solano County. Nine people are currently hospitalized while the county reports a “moderate” level of available ICU beds.  

Sonoma County*

  • Confirmed Cases: 194
  • Deaths: 2

Source: County of Sonoma with data as of Wednesday at 8 p.m. *Sonoma County provides daily information fairly late into each night. This story will be updated if and when Thursday’s data is made available.

The Sonoma Tuesday Night Market on the Plaza will be temporarily replaced with a revised market concept selling only farm and agricultural products during the Covid-19 pandemic. Beginning May 5, people can stop by the market behind First Street East Little League fields to buy produce while practicing safe physical distancing.

Open SFBay Worldwide coronavirus tracker.

Jesse Garnier of SFBay contributed to this report

Nik Wojcik

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