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The country is still grappling with the virus and impact of the virus on economic, health and social levels. Scientists and doctors are still trying to understand the illness and how best to treat it. The Congress is still fighting over the $3 trillin HEROES Act federal stimulus proposal. 

We are still living in the thick of a Covid-19 world, but there are signs of hope and sighs of relief as business and life slowly begin to reopen. Two Bay Area counties are headed deep into Stage 2 and others are loosening restrictions dependent on the area’s case data. 

Here’s an update on the Covid-19 progress around the Bay Area and beyond.

U.S.

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,600,782
  • Deaths: 95,972

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

Donald Trump Friday announced that he is “calling houses of worship essential” and vows to “override the governors” who choose not to open places of worship just yet. 

Before quickly exiting the White House James Brady Briefing Room, without taking questions, Trump said:

“In America we need more prayer, not less.”

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany took to the podium after Trump’s abrupt departure and sparred with reporters over what legal authority the president believes he has over governors’ state-level decisions, if Trump supports churches that have defied state orders and whether in fact it is safe to reopen places of worship. McEnany said:

“The president would like churches to reopen and do it in accordance with the guidelines.”

The “guidelines” the press secretary referred to and held up for cameras is a revised 60-page version of guidance the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention originally proposed and the administration shelved. Guidelines were since revised at the direction of the White House and shared Friday with the president’s near demand to open churches and other religious places of worship.  

Also Friday, the CDC published findings in a study of Covid-19 infection and mortality rates stemming from Arkansas church attendees during the month of March. The study found that of 92 attendees, 35 tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus and three people died as a result.  

Open SFBay USA coronavirus tracker.

California

  • Confirmed Cases: 90,252
  • Deaths: 3,666

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

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch of the “California Connected” initiative during Friday’s daily press briefing. The program aims to recruit and train about 20,000 Covid-19 contact tracers who will reach out to people to identify patients with symptoms and refer testing and further help.  

California Department of Public Health A graphic depicting how Covid-19 contact tracing works.

Orange County 

  • Confirmed Cases: 4,941
  • Deaths: 118

Source: Orange County Health Care Agency as of Friday, 22 days after the May 1 Huntington Beach protest.  

Sacramento County 

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,272
  • Deaths: 56

Source: Sacramento County Public Health as of Friday, 22 days after the May 1 State Capitol protest.

Regional

Napa and Solano counties Thursday became the first in the Bay Area granted permission from the state to move further into the second reopening stage. Both counties filed readiness attestations with the California Department of Public Health and both were granted, according to the state agency Thursday.

The variance allows each county to open up manufacturing, office-based businesses for employees who cannot work from home, child care for non-essentials workers and some other businesses, including car washes and pet groomers. The counties will also have the option to reopen more retail stores, shopping malls, schools and dine-in restaurants with layout modifications and adherence to distancing and face covering guidelines. 

However, eligible businesses are not required to reopen and large gatherings are still prohibited. 

Nik Wojcik/SFBay
Open SFBay Bay Area coronavirus dashboard in new window.

Alameda County

  • Confirmed Cases: 2,708
  • Deaths: 90 

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

Skyline High School in Oakland held a virtual commencement ceremony for the graduating class Friday, an increasingly common solution for schools around the nation. But unlike at other schools, the message to the Skyline Class of 2020 got a little boost from alumnus Tom Hanks. 

The county averaged 61 new cases per day over the 10-day period between May 11 and May 21, according to the most recent data provided by health officials.

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Superior Court functions in Alameda County will be expanded June 1 to remotely hear small claims trials in Oakland and Hayward via the court’s BlueJeans platform. Revised rules were released Wednesday as the previous Emergency Order issued by Judge Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye is set to expire May 31.

In addition, the court will also begin remotely hearing cases for civil harassment, elder abuse, gun violence and domestic violence restraining orders. 

Jesse Garnier/SFBay SFBay Covid-19 dashboard, Alameda County. Friday, May 22, 2020.

Oakland International Airport lost 96 percent of its passengers in April compared to the same month in the prior year. The Port of Oakland Director of Aviation Bryant Francis said in a Thursday press release that the “decline is a necessary sacrifice in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.” 

The airport has adapted to health concerns with distance marking, expanded seat spacing and plexiglass ticketing and check-in barriers, but non-essential extended distance travel is still prohibited in most areas under shelter-in-place orders.

The airport has so far received more than $44.66 million in federal funding assistance stemming from the CARES Act.

Scot Tucker/SFBay A Delta Airlines plane takes off from San Jose Mineta Airport as Cleveland Browns face the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday, October 7, 2019. (Scot Tucker / SFBay.ca)

Contra Costa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,259
  • Deaths: 36

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

County officials Thursday released a list of basic industries and facilities and their operating status in accordance with the three health orders issued since March 16. The chart reflects the latest changes made possible by the May 18 order include opening of manufacturing and warehouse facilities, and partial opening of retail stores, places of worship and gun stores. Dog parks are still off limits.  

Marin County

  • Confirmed Cases: 369
  • Deaths: 14

Source: Marin Health and Human Services as of Friday.

Marin County, like San Francisco, shared guidelines Friday for the opening of summer camps and child care as of June 1. Operators of all facilities and programs are expected to adhere to protocol for physical distancing, face covering and hygiene. Groups will be limited to 12 children or less for minimum three-week sessions. Further details about the guidance can be accessed online on the county’s website.

Napa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 96 
  • Deaths: 3

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

Jesse Garnier/SFBay SFBay Covid-19 dashboard, Napa County. Friday, May 22, 2020.

San Francisco

  • Confirmed Cases: 2,320
  • Deaths: 40

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

No additional deaths related to Covid-19 have been reported in San Francisco since Sunday. Officials report that about 60 percent of the total confirmed cases were transmitted by way of community spread, 31 percent were traced to another case and the origin is unknown in about 8 percent of the identified patients.  

Miles Garnier Parkgoers within socially-distant marked circles are seen at Dolores Park in San Francisco, Calif. on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

City leaders joined Mayor London Breed in a teleconference Friday to announce that summer camps will be open by June 15. City-run camps will consist of groups of 12 kids to a “pod” for three-week sessions, with two camp staff members assigned at each pod for the session duration. 

San Mateo County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,783
  • Deaths: 76

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

Hospitalization and intensive care unit rates were up slightly according to Wednesday reporting. Of the 24,660 Covid-19 tests administered, the county is reporting a 7.2 positivity rate with the majority of cases coming out of San Mateo and Daly City.  

Santa Clara County

  • Confirmed Cases: 2,546
  • Deaths: 138

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

In Santa Clara County, which only recently fell to the second highest number of cases in the Bay Area, reports that 58 people from skilled nursing facilities have died countywide as a result of the virus.  

Solano County

  • Confirmed Cases: 455
  • Deaths: 20

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

County health officials report that 18 of the county’s 47 active Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalized. Solano County joined Napa County Thursday in the state-granted variance move toward accelerated reopening.  

Sonoma County

  • Confirmed Cases: 467
  • Deaths: 4

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

Jesse Garnier/SFBay SFBay Covid-19 dashboard, Sonoma County. Friday, May 22, 2020.

Global

  • Confirmed Cases: 5,210,065
  • Deaths: 338,142

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

Open SFBay Worldwide coronavirus tracker.

Nik Wojcik

City to permit summer camps, though ‘a lot has changed’

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