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Covid-19 update: Alameda County outpaces region in case count, DOJ threatens state over religious freedom, Napa County aims for Stage 3 by June 1

As most of the nine counties kick into Stage 2 reopening activity, Alameda County quietly becomes the region’s Covid-19 hot spot, with more confirmed cases now than in Santa Clara County.

Here are some key Tuesday Covid-19 updates related to the Bay Area. 


  • Confirmed Cases: 1,527,895
  • Deaths: 91,878

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center COVID-19 global tracking tool as of Tuesday at 6:32 p.m.

In a series of tweets Tuesday, Donald Trump was “proud to announce” about $2 billion in federal funding to support transit agencies in four states, including California.

It was later pointed out by BART Board of Directors member Janice Li that the $700 million Trump referenced were allocated weeks ago from the federal CARES Act bill passed by Congress in March.

Li said on Twitter:

“If he cared about BART (he doesn’t), he and Mitch McConnell would move forward with passing and signing the HEROES Act for the next $3T of critical emergency relief funding.”

Open SFBay USA coronavirus tracker.


  • Confirmed Cases: 83,459
  • Deaths: 3,,379

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center COVID-19 global tracking tool as of Tuesday at 6:32 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Justice under Attorney General Bill Barr issued a letter to California state leaders warning that the state’s reopening strategy could violate protected religious freedoms. Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed the state through reopening stages that aim to balance the need for commerce with the need to regulate crowding. The DOJ alleges the state has done too little to accommodate religious worship.

Gatherings outside vehicles have not yet been permitted throughout much of the state. Many schools around the state are planning regulated drive-through graduation ceremonies.  

Orange County 

  • Confirmed Cases: 4,500
  • Deaths: 88

Source: Orange County Health Care Agency as of Tuesday, 19 days after the May 1 Huntington Beach protest.  

Health officials reported 229 Covid-19 patients hospitalized countywide, with 86 requiring intensive care unit treatment. 

Sacramento County 

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,250
  • Deaths: 56

Source: Sacramento County Public Health as of Tuesday, 19 days after the May 1 State Capitol protest.

Alameda County

  • Confirmed Cases: 2,522
  • Deaths: 86

Source: Alameda County Public Health Department as of Tuesday with data reported through Monday.

A fourth Oakland Police Department employee has tested positive for the virus and has been in self-quarantine since Thursday, according to a department statement. 

The Covid-19 hospitalization rate in Alameda County spiked with the latest reporting. Eighty-seven patients were hospitalized with 42 requiring ICU treatment as of Monday. Those numbers are up from 74 and 38, respectively.  The county as a whole recorded the most Covid-19 cases regionally, surpassing Santa Clara County for the first time since the pandemic start.

Jesse Garnier SFBay Covid-19 dashboard as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

Oakland alone, with 841 confirmed cases, represents one-third of the county’s total. Hayward is experiencing the second highest number of cases with 512 patients identified.       

Contra Costa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,192
  • Deaths: 33

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

Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord shared plans with parents and seniors for a drive-through graduation to be held May 28. The school has divided students alphabetically into groups that will each be given one hour to complete the diploma pickup.

Marin County

  • Confirmed Cases: 336
  • Deaths: 14

Source: Marin Health and Human Services as of Tuesday.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Marin County is relatively low, but the area’s ethnic and racial demographic data largely mirrors much of what the Bay Area is experiencing. As is also seen in several more populous counties, the rate of infection is substantially higher for Latino/Hispanic residents, though the hospitalization and death rates are notably and significantly lower than what’s been seen among white residents. 

Marin County Human and Health Services Ethnic/racial breakdown of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths with consideration to population as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

Napa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 92
  • Deaths: 3

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

The county issued a Tuesday directive to supersede the previous Covid-19 shelter-at-home order. The revisions allow for some recreational sports and activities, not including contact or person-to-person sports, and for vehicle gatherings like what’s been recently permitted in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

Travel outside the county is still prohibited and physical distancing requirements are still intact with the revised order, and masks will now be required in places of business with limited exclusion. 

Officials also announced that shopping malls, dine-in restaurants and schools can reopen beginning June 1 as part of California’s third reopening stage. Each establishment would first have to meet minimum state guidelines that can be accessed online and adapt service to allow for physical distancing and other Covid-19 safety measures.  

San Francisco

  • Confirmed Cases: 2,719
  • Deaths: 36

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

The Department of Recreation and Parks reached an agreement with Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer and volunteered to provide a list of potential “safe sleeping sites” on its properties. The compromise thwarts legislation Fewer introduced that would require department compliance. It was also announced Monday that The City’s Real Estate Division will deliver their own list of potential sites outside Rec and Parks jurisdiction. 

Jesse Garnier/SFBay Tents and cardboard boxes are seen on the front steps of Everett Middle School in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

The sites are meant to provide regulated encampment space and enable unsheltered residents to better comply with and benefit from Covid-19 health orders. The sleep sites will be marked off to allow safe buffers and basic sanitation stations will be supplied.

San Francisco launched a program Monday to connect seniors in need of meals with local restaurants in need of business. A state-sponsored Covid-19 funding program enables local restaurants to contract with The City to feed the most vulnerable seniors three healthy meals per day. The Great Plates Delivered SF program is available to individuals over the age of 65 and people between the ages of 60 and 64 with underlying conditions with income limitations. Additional information can be found by visiting or calling (415) 355-6700.

Daderot/Wikimedia Twenty-nine residents and staff members have tested positive for Covid-19 at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, Calif. as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

Laguna Honda Hospital universal resident Covid-19 testing has been completed — staff testing is still in process. Four additional cases have been recently identified, bringing the total number of cases since March to 29, consisting of 11 residents and 18 members of the staff.   

San Mateo County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,687
  • Deaths: 75

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

The county is showing a 7.7 percent positivity rate based on 22,177 tests so far administered. One state measure for Stage 3 readiness is a positivity rate of 8 percent or lower.

Santa Clara County

  • Confirmed Cases: 2,483
  • Deaths: 137

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

Santa Clara County, where there’s an unfortunately large dataset, reports that there were no underlying conditions in about five percent of patients who died from Covid-19.  

Solano County

  • Confirmed Cases: 430
  • Deaths: 16

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

The county reported 18 Covid-19 patients hospitalized as of Tuesday with ICU beds in “good” supply. Vallejo maintains the highest number of cases by far with 259 positive tests. 

Jesse Garnier SFBay COvid-19 dashboard, highlighting Solano County cumulative case trend as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

Sonoma County

  • Confirmed Cases: 391
  • Deaths: 4

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

Sonoma County Symptoms reported among people with confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Sonoma County as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.


  • Confirmed Cases: 4,896,312
  • Deaths: 323,221

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center COVID-19 global tracking tool as of Monday at 6:32 p.m.

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