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The nation faced Thursday with a Covid-19 death toll quickly nearing 102,000 people. Here in the Bay Area, that number remains under 500 as counties independently evaluate how and when to reopen more businesses and facilities. 

Here’s some of the latest from around the Bay Area and beyond.  

U.S.

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,721,479
  • Deaths: 101,597

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 global tracking tool as of Thursday at 7:10 p.m.

Donald Trump is in a fight with Twitter over fact-checking the president’s claims of mail-in ballot fraud. The saga stemmed from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order requiring counties to provide mail-in ballots for eligible voters to reduce the threat of Covid-19 spread at physical polling sites in the upcoming November election. 

The Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit Sunday against California in objection to the Newsom’s order, and Trump took to the social media platform to express his feelings and make claims widely seen as inaccurate. Twitter attached a fact-check link to the bottom of Trump’s posts on the topic, which he expressed anger about several times over the past days.

Thursday, Trump signed an executive order the White House described, on Twitter, as action “to fight online censorship by tech corporations, including social media platforms.” 

The order has no impact on federal law or court rulings and may not have much bite without support from Congress. It does pressure an inquiry into whether legal protections afforded social media companies by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act can be weakened.

Several states have implemented similar election provisions as a precaution during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Open SFBay USA coronavirus tracker.

California

  • Confirmed Cases: 103,606
  • Deaths: 3,983

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 global tracking tool as of Thursday at 7:10 p.m.

The Employment Development Department announced plans to hire about 2,000 people to temporarily staff the overwhelmed agency as it struggles to keep up with the 5.1 million claims Californians have filed since the widespread shelter orders were issued.

New workers will be trained to process claims and follow up on documentation to determine Unemployment Insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance eligibility. The state has so far paid out more than $16 billion in UI and PUA claims since the pandemic began 

Those interested in applying can do so at www.calcareers.ca.gov.


National and state news collided again Thursday with the above-mentioned brawl between Trump and Twitter, which originated in response to Newsom’s executive order requiring counties to provide eligible voters with mail-in ballots for the November election. 

The point, despite the storyline tangent, is to curb the spread of Covid-19 at physical polling locations. 

Regional

Jesse Garnier SFBay Covid-19 dashboard as of Thursday, May 28, 2020.
Open SFBay Bay Area coronavirus dashboard in new window.

The proposed BART budget presented to the Board of Director Thursday projects $145 million in cuts due to catastrophic revenue loss during Covid-19 shelter order. While the revised budget aims to maintain employees and avoid furloughs, it does call for a one-year hiring freeze and cuts deeply across multiple sectors.

The board has until June 25 to approve or reject the fiscal year 2021 budget and adjustments can still be made.

Alameda County

  • Confirmed Cases: 3,097 
  • Deaths: 94

Source: Alameda County Public Health Department as of Sunday with data reported through Wednesday.

Alameda County, now with the region’s highest number of Covid-19 cases, provides an unsettling data set that reflects a substantially disproportionate impact on the area’s black and brown population. 

Of the county’s total cumulative cases, “African American/Black” residents make up 9 percent, but represent 23 percent of Covid-19 deaths. 

The Latino community is experiencing extremely high rates of infection — nearly 41 percent of the case total — and make up one-quarter of the county’s total death toll.

In an interview for The Aspen Institute published Thursday, Mayor Libby Schaaf said:

“Going into this pandemic, we already knew we had these structural inequalities…they are only getting worse.” 

The county’s hospitalization rate has been steadily rising since May 21. Public health officials announced Thursday that the walk-through testing site at the REACH Ashland Youth Center will now be open through June 6. The site was originally scheduled to shut down May 30. 

Contra Costa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,384 
  • Deaths: 37

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

Richmond, Concord and Antioch have all reported more than 100 confirmed cases, although the highest concentration of cases per capita is in San Pablo. More than 33,000 of the county’s roughly 1.2 million residents have been tested for Covid-19 as of Thursday data.

Residents are looking to county leaders and health officers for a sign of hope in reopening more of the city than the revised May 18 order permits. Dr. Chris Farnitano Thursday refused to make any promises he couldn’t keep, saying instead that science and data will drive the decisions into next stages. Farnitano did say the area is seeing a “flattened curve” in new cases. 

Nik Wojcik/SFBay The Old Spaghetti Factory staff in Concord, Calif. awaits customers to order and pick up food through front windows.

However, the caution is understandable in light of the case jump in neighboring Alameda County. The frustration is equally understandable, given that some counties are moving much faster into later stages and San Francisco announced a reopening timeline Thursday. But despite Contra Costa’s relatively low trendline, the fatality rate is nearly 2.7 percent.

Marin County

  • Confirmed Cases: 436
  • Deaths: 14

Source: Marin Health and Human Services as of Thursday.

Napa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 111 
  • Deaths: 3

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

County officials report that 56 of the 111 people who were confirmed to have the virus have fully recovered and there are no Covid-19 patients currently hospitalized countywide.  

San Francisco

  • Confirmed Cases: 2,347
  • Deaths: 40

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

Mayor London Breed and health officials Tuesday gave residents and local businesses a better sense of when The City will come back to life after months of being shuttered. Staggered out beginning June and into August, businesses and facilities will slowly and carefully begin to reopen with strict adherence to local health orders requiring space, face coverings and personal protective equipment for employees. 

Christopher Michel/Flickr Washington Square Park in San Francisco, Calif. is seen in this drone photograph on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

The first reopening round begins June 1 and allows child care providers, gardens, outdoor museums and historical sites to begin public operation. The June 1 change also permits additional curbside retail service, like shoe repair.     

Details of the plan were shared the same day as a revised health order was issued that now requires people to generally wear face coverings when outside their own homes. The new order builds on previous guidelines that called for face coverings inside businesses and when using public transit or facilities, and for essential employees while working.  

San Mateo County

  • Confirmed Cases: 2,022 
  • Deaths: 82

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

The county is reporting 54 patients currently hospitalized for Covid-19 treatment. The cities hit hardest in terms of number of infections are San Mateo and Daly City, with 500 and 325 reported cases, respectively. 

Santa Clara County

  • Confirmed Cases: 2,701
  • Deaths: 140

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

Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office officials announced Wednesday that an additional three inmates have tested positive for Covid-19; one from the Main Jail and two from the Elmwood Correctional Facility’s Minimum Camp in Milpitas. Testing is being conducted on staff with exposure risk and all inmates at the Elmwood facility. 

Google Maps Sheriff’s officials announced Wednesday, May 27, 2020 that three more Santa Clara County, Calif. inmates tested positive for Covid-19, including two at the Elmwood Minimum Camp in Milpitas.

Solano County

  • Confirmed Cases: 509 
  • Deaths: 22

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

Covid-19 cases are most rampant in Vallejo, where 289 people have so far tested positive. Vallejo alone makes up nearly 57 percent of all confirmed infections throughout Solano County. Twenty patients are currently being hospitalized for the virus, according to county health officials Thursday.  

Sonoma County

  • Confirmed Cases: 530
  • Deaths: 4

Source: County of Sonoma with data as of Wednesday at 8:45 p.m. 

County health officials last reported that of the total number of identified cases, 304 people have fully recovered.

Global

  • Confirmed Cases: 5,808,672
  • Deaths: 360,289

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 global tracking tool as of Thursday at 7:10 p.m.

Open SFBay Worldwide coronavirus tracker.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article inaccurately reported that Contra Costa County’s Covid-19 fatality rate. The text has since been corrected.

Nik Wojcik

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