Night Mode Night Mode
Day Mode Day Mode

Covid-19 update: Swarms of unmasked ‘reopen’ protesters overshadow worker strikes, Oakland expands slow streets, Bay Area death toll reaches 300

The warm Friday May Day drew heated protests up and down the state, some calling for better treatment, pay and protection of workers. Others came out to oppose shutdowns related to Covid-19. 

Here’s a snapshot of Friday’s updates from the Bay Area and beyond. 


  • Confirmed Cases: 1,103,225
  • Deaths: 64,808

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center COVID-19 global tracking tool as of Friday at 6:55 p.m.

Open SFBay USA coronavirus tracker.


  • Confirmed Cases: 51,776
  • Deaths: 2,113

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center COVID-19 global tracking tool as of Friday at 6:55 p.m.

A series of protests against the state’s shelter orders were organized for Friday, including thousands who flocked to key venues in the prescriptive red, white and blue. The “We Have Rights” protests are a call to fully open the state and participants were pointed to the website, where people are encouraged to:

“Be a part of the biggest movement in California.”

Coincidentally or not, the “We Have Rights” slogan has for years been used by the American Civil Liberties Union in an ongoing campaign for immigrant rights. 

Video courtesy of @LakersMamba824 on Twitter.

The scene in Huntington Beach Friday was a health official’s nightmare. What looked to be about 1,000 people or more gathered closely together, mostly without masks or gloves, yelling and waving signs. The vocal and written messages were largely themed around civil rights implications of shelter orders and closing of state parks and beaches during a pandemic.

As of Friday, Orange County, where Huntington Beach is located, had recorded 2,537 confirmed cases and 50 deaths, with 181 Covid-19 patients hospitalized countywide. Newsom ordered the state parks and beaches in Orange County closed effective Friday due to the large crowds that cluttered Newport Beach last weekend.

When the governor was asked during Friday’s press briefing about a lawsuit filed by Orange County in objection to the order, he said:

“All I can say is, it doesn’t surprise me.” 

Among smaller groups scattered around the state, a large gathering of primarily unmasked people took aim at the State Capitol in Sacramento and echoed frustration with public health orders, some claiming the pandemic shutdowns are a form of “fascism.” 

Some protesters from the Sacramento crowd were detained by California Highway Patrol officers after an order to disperse was given.

Meanwhile, Newsom said early Friday afternoon that the state could see meaningful “augmentation” of shelter orders within many days versus the “weeks” he recently discussed. The assessment of faster reopening is based on flat or declining rates of hospitalizations and intensive care unit beds in use. However, the governor also said:

“We can screw all that up … by making bad decisions.” 

Open SFBay Bay Area coronavirus dashboard in new window.

Alameda County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,636
  • Deaths: 62

Source: Alameda County Public Health Department as of Friday with data reported through Thursday.

Hayward is reflecting the county’s highest per capita rate of positive Covid-19 cases, with nearly 205 infections per 100,000 people, though actual number of cases is highest in Oakland, where 469 patients have so far been identified. 

The Alameda County Community Food Bank has entered into a first of its kind agreement with California agricultural producers to supply fresh produce to residents in need of food assistance. The demand on local food banks continues to grow as the region contends with ongoing shelter-in-place orders and subsequent economic downturn.

Suzan Bateson, the food bank executive director, said:

“When the COVID-19 emergency took hold, we experienced a 1,000 percent increase in calls to our emergency food helpline and more than half of those were from households that had never reached out for help before.” 

Food Bank Produce
<a href="">ACCFB</a>/Flickr Volunteers load produce at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, one of several Bay Area organizations whose supply of food could be limited by drought conditions across the state.

The partnership with local farmers will enable the food bank to provide nutritious and fresh items like strawberries and broccoli.  

Oakland added another six routes to the city’s slow streets program that provides additional street space for pedestrians to practice physical distancing during Covid-19 shelter orders. The additional street segments add 5 miles of walkable streets — the city plans to add another 4 to 5 miles next week.

Contra Costa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 907
  • Deaths: 28

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

The number of occupied intensive care unit beds has increased over the past two reporting days, with 92 ICU beds in use as of Wednesday. 

Dr. Chris Farnitano, the county’s health officer, issued an order Friday that authorizes testing of individuals who meet certain criteria but have not been referred by a physician. Testing sites operated by OptumServe or its subsidiary Logistics Health, Inc. can process tests and laboratories will be expected to report results for the expanded group of people under the officer’s order. 

Jesse Garnier/SFBay New confirmed Covid-19 cases per day in Contra Costa County, Calif. as of Friday, May 1, 2020.

Marin County

  • Confirmed Cases: 239
  • Deaths: 13

Source: Marin Health and Human Services as of Friday.

Napa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 68
  • Deaths: 2

Source: Department of Health and Human Services as of Friday at 1:30 p.m.

The number of people pending test results has been reduced to 201 as of Friday, county officials reported Friday.

San Francisco

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,523
  • Deaths: 28* 

Source: San Francisco Department of Public Health with data reported through Wednesday. *The three additional deaths reported May 1 occurred April 1, April 16 and April 29.

County health officials report Friday that the vast majority, 35 percent, of confirmed cases have been seen among the area’s Hispanic/Latino population. However, the Covid-19 death toll has hit the Asian community hardest, representing 15 of the 28 recorded deaths to date.

photographer A woman with a plastic face shield crosses California Street amid the extension of coronavirus shelter orders in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (Ching Wong/

Testing will soon be conducted for each skilled nursing facility resident and staff member in The City, according to a Friday announcement. Widespread testing will begin Monday at Laguna Honda Hospital, where 21 patients have already been identified as of Friday. 

The California Department of Public Health reported Wednesday that 2,697 staff and 4,711 residents have contracted the virus at skilled nursing facilities across the state. 

<a>Peter Kaminski</a>/Flickr Laguna Honda Hospital, a skilled nursing facility in San Francisco, Calif.

About 200 protesters opposing stay-at-home orders were in action at City Hall Friday. The crowd was not nearly as large as what was seen in Huntington Beach or Sacramento, and it did appear that more of those present in San Francisco were wearing face coverings.   

San Mateo County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,197
  • Deaths: 51

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

The county’s Covid-19 hospitalization rate spiked back up to 70 patients Thursday, up from 63 the day prior. Of the 13,451 reported tests administered, about 9 percent have returned positive results. Daly City has the largest number of confirmed cases with 159 patients so far identified.  

Santa Clara County

  • Confirmed Cases: 2,179
  • Deaths: 113

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

Health officials report that of the 113 people who have died from Covid-19, 88 percent had an underlying condition that made them more vulnerable. The number of new daily cases is trending downward but 144 patients remain hospitalized countywide. 

Jesse Garnier/SFBay Cumulative case trend in Santa Clara County, Calif. as of Friday, May 1, 2020.

Solano County

  • Confirmed Cases: 266
  • Deaths: 5

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

Vallejo’s positive case count has reached 125, whereas Fairfield, with the second highest number of cases, has identified 60 Covid-19 patients. Across the county, 4,099 people have been tested in total. 

Sonoma County

  • Confirmed Cases: 244 
  • Deaths: 2

Source: County of Sonoma with data as of Thursday at 8:30 p.m. 

According to county data, the majority of the area’s cases have been among females and people between the ages of 18 to 49 years old.

Open SFBay Worldwide coronavirus tracker.

Special thanks to Steven Styles of Belator Media for photo and video contributions.

Haight Airbnb
Scroll to top