Simply, the U.S. is failing to control the 2019 novel coronavirus spread and the more states and localities reopen, the more intense new case spikes become. The rising numbers in both new cases and hospital patients is forcing health officials, like those in Texas, to reconsider reopening strategies.
Two counties in the Bay Area hit pause on upcoming reopening phases and at least one other is strongly considering whether it’s safe to move ahead as planned.
In the Bay Area, the number of confirmed cases is nearing 23,000.
Here’s what’s going in the rest of the Bay Area.
- Confirmed Cases: 2,467,658
- Deaths: 125,045
Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 tracking tool as of Friday at 5:33 p.m.
Based on a three-day moving average, Arizona and Mississippi are reflecting the steepest upward curves — Texas, Florida, Idaho, South Carolina and Georgia are not far behind. By the same measure, Connecticut is performing best in its mitigation of the virus.
- Confirmed Cases: 206,552
- Deaths: 5,868
Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 tracking tool as of Wednesday at 6:14 p.m.
Gov. Gavin Newsom during his Covid-19 briefing Wednesday said the state recorded 7,149 new positive cases in the previous 24 hours — another 10,239 confirmed cases were identified by Friday morning.
Although most areas across the state are experiencing spikes, Los Angeles County accounts for nearly half of California’s total cases and leads in the number of new infections reported each day.
According to the California Coronavirus Covid-19 Statewide Update, hospitalization rates are on an alarming upward trajectory. As of Friday, the state reports that 5,639 Covid-19 patients are being treated in hospitals, which is very near the level on the state’s highest hospitalization reporting day of April 7.
The new case spike is partially due to increased testing, said Newsom.
However, the percentage of people testing positive is 5.6 percent over the last seven days — up from 5.1 percent two weeks ago.
The state administered more than 273,000 tests over the three-day period since Tuesday.
- Confirmed Cases: 5,493
- Deaths: 130
Source: Alameda County Public Health Department as of Friday with data reported through Thursday.
With more than 500 new cases added to the cumulative total over the past five days, the county continues to lead regionally with the most confirmed cases. Sunday marked the highest one-day case increase with reporting of 184 positive results.
Data from the county’s public health department also shows that Covid-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise for the past three days, with 89 people hospitalized as of Wednesday — 31 of which are being treated in intensive care units.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Thursday announced the city’s launch of a Flex Streets Program expansion that will give businesses and residents more space to operate with adequate distance on public sidewalks and in parking areas.
Contra Costa County
- Confirmed Cases: 2,676
- Deaths: 73
Source: Contra Costa Health Services as of Friday at 11:30 a.m.
In a statement issued Friday, health officials said they are evaluating whether the county should revise its reopening schedule, which was expected to hit a milestone July 1. An additional 92 positive Covid-19 test results were added to the cumulative case count Friday, marking the second highest one-day change since the pandemic took hold in the area.
Hospitalizations due to the virus have increased by 42 percent in the past seven days, officials said.
The statement said:
“There is concern that these increases may lead to a surge in very ill people that could overwhelm the local healthcare system.”
Notably, younger people are contracting the virus at a much higher rate now than they were in April. June data reflects that 55 percent of cases are now coming from residents 40 years of age and younger — that’s up 12 percent from the prior month.
In a response to a question posted on Twitter, county health officials said Friday that contract tracing has linked a “very small number of people” to recent protest activity.
On July 1, the county tentatively planned to reopen several business types: gyms, massage parlors, nail salons, tattoo shops, hair and body salons, indoor dining, bars, indoor museums and hotels for tourism and travel.
Though not definite yet, those plans may be paused as health officials analyze the impact of the spike on the county’s ability to handle a potential hospitalization surge.
Similar concerns in San Francisco and Marin County prompted Friday decisions to delay the next phase of reopening, which were scheduled to roll out on Monday.
While the number of the new confirmed cases has steadily increased, the seven-day average positivity rate of infections is at 3.6 percent.
- Confirmed Cases: 1,730
- Deaths: 18
Source: Marin Health and Human Services as of Friday at 4:39 p.m.
*Marin County now reports San Quentin State Prison cases separately, but for the purposes of tracking actual infections with potential impact on local resources, we’ve included prison-derived cases with the county’s cumulative total.
Excluding San Quentin State Prison data, Marin County reported 54 new cases Thursday, its highest one-day gain since tracking began in March. Another 23 cases were added to Friday’s update. In response, health officials said Friday that the next phase of reopening is being postponed.
The county’s reopening Phase 2h would have allowed tourism-based hospitality industries and several personal and beauty care businesses to resume operations Monday.
San Quentin State Prison Friday reported 639 cumulative cases among both inmates and staff, which reflects an additional 16 infections among staff members and two new inmates in past 24 hours.
Three of 550 inmates who tested positive were released with active infections. Only six of the 89 infected staff members have recovered and returned to work.
Officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said they had been working to identify safe locations for incarcerated persons who are at high risk of contracting the virus and believed they could be safely housed at San Quentin. Several inmates were transferred from the California Institution for Men in Chino.
Before arrival, officials said inmates were tested and medically evaluated, but tested positive for Covid-19 when they arrived. The department did not share how many inmates were transferred to the San Quentin facility.
- Confirmed Cases: 270
- Deaths: 4
Source: Department of Health and Human Services as of Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Of the 270 total cases so far identified in Napa County, 131 are still active. Four Covid-19 patients are currently being hospitalized countywide.
- Confirmed Cases: 3,400
- Deaths: 48
Source: San Francisco Department of Public Health with data reported through Thursday.
Mayor London Breed announced Friday that in light of a case spike, San Francisco is hitting pause on its push to reopen more businesses and services Monday.
The state this week approved a variance that granted local leaders more flexibility in how and when certain industries could open doors once again. The plan was to allow businesses like hair salons, tattoo shops, museums and outdoor bars to reopen Monday, but that plan is now on hold.
San Francisco, which had been relatively successful in its virus mitigation efforts, identified an additional 103 Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.
The annual music festival Outside Lands held in Golden Gate Park will not happen this year, event organizers said Wednesday.
In a statement, event organizers said:
“After lengthy discussions with local and state health authorities about the impact of Covid-19 both in our community and throughout the world, we believe it is in the best interest of everyone’s health and safety that Outside Lands not be held in 2020.”
The event is scheduled to come back next year featuring Tame Impala, Lizzo and The Strokes. Anyone holding 2020 passes will be able to use them for the 2021 festival, which is scheduled to take place August 6 through August 8.
Tickets for next year’s festival will go on sale June 25 at 10 p.m.
San Mateo County
- Confirmed Cases: 3,049
- Deaths: 106
Source: San Mateo County Health Department with data reported through Thursday.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Supervisor David Canepa sent a letter Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to enact fines for individuals who are caught not wearing masks or face coverings as mandated statewide.
Many Bay Area counties since the pandemic began had already enacted face mask requirements for residents during most activities outside the home, but enforcement has varied from county to county and people can still be spotted throughout the region without a mask or facial covering.
Canepa told The Chronicle that he would like to see community service officers enforce the mask rule and issue warnings for first-time offenders and incremental citations of $100 and $500 penalties for second and third offenses.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to address a hunger strike among inmates in the jail system. In a news release issued Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office said:
“The inmates are protesting costs of commissary items, lack of free phone calls during the pandemic, and our remote video visiting system.”
The effort to make video visits possible began at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, but department officials admitted to technical difficulties in the new undertaking. Officials also said they discovered that the county’s commissary vendor has been charging higher prices that what is charged in other local jails. The vendor has since agreed to lower prices to match.
Santa Clara County
- Confirmed Cases: 3,984
- Deaths: 155
Source: Santa Clara County Public Health as of Friday.
Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Health Officer, announced in a statement Friday that she anticipates the issuance of a new health order next week. The new order will move away from the “sector-specific” strategy and is expected to allow many activities to resume “with appropriate risk reduction measures in place.”
However, Cody also said:
“[O]f course, many high-risk activities simply cannot safely resume here or elsewhere anytime soon.”
While she acknowledged an increase in the county’s cases, she said the local spike has not reached levels of concern seen in the rest of the country and in several other portions of the Bay Area region.
Changes under the health order will be effective several days after the new order is issued.
Residents in Santa Clara County can still get free Covid-19 testing at the SAP Center in San Jose through Saturday.
The walk-up testing site is in collaboration with Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and the San Jose Shark.
No appointments, health insurance or doctor’s referral are needed and testing is available to everybody regardless of immigration status.
The pop-up site is open from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
- Confirmed Cases: 1,118
- Deaths: 23
Source: Solano Public Health as of Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Vallejo and Fairfield account for 73 percent of Solano County’s cumulative cases, with 460 and 360 positive test results, respectively. Health officials report that 25 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalized — 39 percent of the county’s ICU beds remain available.
- Confirmed Cases: 1,006
- Deaths: 5
Source: County of Sonoma with data as of Thursday at 9:10 p.m.
An additional 32 positive test results were reported by county health officials in the past 24 hours. The highest one-day case gain came Monday when 50 new cases were added to the cumulative county total.
Of the 1,006 total cases, 610 infections have been identified from within the Hispanic/Latino community. People between the ages of 25 and 44 years old represent the bulk — 41 percent — of the county’s infections.
- Confirmed Cases: 9,776,963
- Deaths: 493,604
Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 global tracking tool as of Friday at 5:33 p.m.
The number of global deaths is quickly approaching the 500,000 mark. Although reporting standards and methodology differ between countries, John Hopkins University tracking data reflects a global mortality rate of nearly 5.1 percent.
That same fatality rate holds true in the U.S. as well.