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After landing spots on the County Monitoring List, the state could soon impose restrictions on Sonoma and Alameda counties. Contra Costa County’s tightened health order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Sunday. There’s been an alarming and relatively sudden case spike in the city of Fairfield, pushing the Solano County numbers up significantly.

Overall, there’s not a single county within the greater region that is not experiencing notable increases in cases and hospitalizations.

The situation at San Quentin State Prison is only getting worse. As of Sunday morning, nearly 1,900 inmates have so far tested positive for the virus.

Here are some of the bigger Covid-19 stories from around the state and country with detailed dives into Bay Area county statistics and policy changes made over the last few days.  

U.S.

  • Confirmed Cases: 3,286,025
  • Deaths: 135,089

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 global tracking tool as of Sunday at 12:34 p.m.

New York, California, Florida, Texas and New Jersey rank, in order, as the nation’s five states with the highest cumulative confirmed cases of Covid-19. The five states are reporting more than 1.4 million confirmed cases between them.  

Despite New York and New Jersey still being among the top five in terms of cumulative infections, the statistics are primarily due to the surge experienced in April.  

Florida health officials last reported more than 15,000 new cases in the past 24 hours and a cumulative 4,346 deaths, representing both resident and non-residents. The state-level Covid-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard provides very few details about current hospitalizations and bed capacity. John Hopkins University tracking shows that Florida has reached 269,811 confirmed cases as of Sunday afternoon. 

Florida Department of Health Florida Covid-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard as of Sunday, July 12, 2020.

Donald Trump visited Florida Friday to attend a campaign-organized event and was seen without a mask and mingling without social distancing. Gov. Ron DeSantis, who Thursday equated retail shopping visits to school operations, echoed Trump’s calls to reopen schools in the fall. 

In Texas, where nearly 255,636 cases have been confirmed and nearly 3,200 deaths have been reported to date, some hospitals are being overwhelmed by the recent Covid-19 patient surge, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services

Trauma Service Area M in Waco is reflecting only three remaining ICU beds available, with 45 Covid-19 patients currently hospitalized there. Trauma Service Area U, which serves Corpus Christi and Kingsville, is caring for 341 Covid-19 patients and as of Friday has only three ICU beds open.      

Open SFBay USA coronavirus tracker.

California

  • Confirmed Cases: 319,508
  • Deaths: 7,030

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 global tracking tool as of Sunday at 12:34 p.m.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s daily press briefing was largely focused Thursday on the state of California’s fire season. But, as is recently the case with most topics of import, Covid-19 became part of the discussion as it relates to available hand crews, evacuation procedures and first responder safety in the face of the pandemic. 

Newsom said that the partnership with California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to supply 192 crews for critical groundwork has been impacted by the spread of the virus. At this time, CDCR can only make 94 crews available — prisoners who work with Cal Fire have become an integral part of the firefighting process. He also said the number of crews typically supplied by the California Conservation Corps are down this season.

Cal Fire SCU The Park Fire burns 343 acres along a wooded ridgeline near Anderson Lake outside Morgan Hill, Calif. on Sunday, July 5, 2020.

The state is working to “supplement and augment this reality” by bringing on more than 800 additional seasonal Cal Fire workers, Newsom said. 

Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci said evacuations processes will be modified to reduce the risk of virus spread. Some evacuees may be sent to hotels instead of congregate shelters, meals will no longer be served in buffet style, additional medical staff will be made available and there are plans to segregate Covid-positive people from others. 

Porter also asked that evacuees wear masks during evacuation in order to protect first responders and themselves. 

Porter said:

“We are in peak season. That means that fires aren’t going to just go out as the sun goes down. They’re going to start burning through the night. … This is the time of year where fires start to get bigger and more difficult to control.”  


The California Department of Public Health issued strict guidance Thursday for restaurants and bars in counties without a variance in place. According to the new guidance, outdoor dining in those areas must be shut down — only pickup and delivery operations will be permitted.        

Alameda County

  • Confirmed Cases: 7,725
  • Deaths: 148

Source: Alameda County Public Health Department as of Saturday with data reported through Friday. Berkeley data last updated through Wednesday. 

The county was placed on the state monitoring list Sunday and will be subject to state-imposed orders and restrictions if it remains on the list for three consecutive days.

Alameda County and other counties without a prior state-approved variance have been ordered to shut down outdoor dining service, according to revised guidance issued Thursday by the California Department of Health. The county issued a statement in response to the change and said:

“We are moving toward obtaining a variance from the State, and a letter of support for a variance is on the agenda for next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting. Alameda County hit pause on reopening on June 29th due to rising case rates and hospitalizations, and delayed plans to apply for variance.”

The statement continued:

“While the data have not become more favorable, applying for a variance is a procedural action that would provide us with the flexibility to ensure that we can continue to allow the activities that the Health Officer determines are lower risk for our community.”

Thomas Hawk/Flickr New guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health Thursday, June 9, 2020 now states that even outdoor dining is now prohibited in counties without an approved Covid-19 reopening variance. The order allows for pickup and delivery service only. Pictured here is Rockridge Cafe in Oakland, Calif., which has been in business since 1973.

Oakland cannot seem to catch a break — nearly 3,000 Covid-19 cases have been reported in just the one Alameda County city, according to the latest health department update provided Friday. For context, Hayward, with the second highest number of positive results, is reporting 1,175 confirmed cases.  

Not surprisingly, the number of Covid-19 ICU patients reached an all-time high of 51 according to the last available data shared on Tuesday — a total of 145 Covid-19 hospitalizations were reported the same day.   

Contra Costa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 4,661
  • Deaths: 90

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

In response to the growing number of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and soaring test positivity rate in the area, county health officials amended the social distancing order with strict rules on mask wearing and gatherings that take effect Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

As outlined in the official order, the amendment mandates:

  • Restaurants and other food facilities: Specific face covering requirements are imposed at establishments that are open for outdoor dining only. Indoor dining remains prohibited under the Social Distancing Order.
  • Providers of religious services and cultural ceremonies: Indoor religious services and cultural ceremonies are prohibited. Outdoor religious services and cultural ceremonies may be held in accordance with applicable State guidance.
  • Protests: Indoor protests are prohibited. Outdoor protests may take place in accordance with applicable State guidance.
  • Social Bubble gatherings: Persons over 12 are required to wear face coverings except when eating or drinking. Under the Social Distancing Order, all gatherings of Social Bubbles must take place outdoors.

In a press release Saturday, Contra Costa Health Services said:

“Local data show that 8.04 percent of Covid-19 tests administered over the past seven days were positive, a sign that the virus is spreading rapidly in the county and the community must take immediate steps to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.”

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

The statement added:

“When Contra Costa received authorization (variance) from the California Department of Public Health in June to allow the reopening of some businesses and activities, the plan we submitted indicated that an 8% testing positivity rate would trigger the review and reconsideration of reopening activities in the county.”


A Costco employee at the Richmond store who has chosen to remain anonymous told SFBay that they were informed by management that three employees have recently tested positive for Covid-19. The cases were not referenced in a coronavirus update posted Thursday on the corporate Costco site. The corporate office did not answer the call when SFBay attempted to confirm the information. However, when the Richmond store was directly contacted, SFBay was told that there have been less than five employees who’ve tested positive “overall.”

Two separate employee communication bulletins obtained by SFBay, dated Monday and Tuesday, confirm that three employees did report positive test results. One infected employee last worked June 29 and the other two last worked July 1. According to the bulletins, the company has contacted the local health department and is “working cooperatively” with their direction. The bulletin further said:

“We are undertaking additional cleaning and sanitation protocols and will continue with our daily enhanced cleaning.”

Paul Sullivan/Fli The Costco in Richmond, Calif. informed employees on Monday and Tuesday, July 6 and 7, 2020 that three staff members had recently tested positive for Covid-19.

West Contra Costa Unified School District Superintendent Matthew Duffy announced Thursday that district campuses will provide exclusively online student instruction when the regular school year begins August 17. The district, basing its decision on Covid-19 data monitoring and community feedback, has proposed a phased approach to resuming in-person instruction; however, Duffy said:

“Any strategy for the new school year that we develop needs to be flexible, adaptable and nimble. Flexible enough to address the unique needs of schools and students. Adaptable enough to adjust to changing circumstances and conditions. Nimble enough to pivot to fully online distance learning quickly without jeopardizing equity and accessibility.”

The WCCUSD is primarily responsible for public schools El Cerrito, San Pablo, Pinole, El Sobrante, Hercules, Kensington and Richmond.

Parents can read the full statement on the district’s website

Mount Diablo Unified School District will hold a meeting Monday to present the reopening progress update to the Governing Board, which will ultimately decide whether and how schools will reopen. 


As of Friday, the county health department has recorded 1,034 cases in Richmond — Antioch has recently surged to 536 cases and Concord is currently reporting 519. Hospitalizations, unfortunately, have also increased substantially. Instead, county health officials reported that 77 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalized, which represents the highest hospitalization toll to date. Two additional deaths were reported Wednesday.    

Marin County*

  • Confirmed Cases: 3,645
  • Deaths: 30

Source: Marin Health and Human Services as of Saturday. CDCR data as of Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

*Marin County began reporting San Quentin State Prison cases separately, but for the purposes of tracking actual infections and potential impact on the county, we’ve included inmate cases with the county’s cumulative total. Staff member infections are detailed below but are included in county of residence totals. 

Excluding data from San Quentin State Prison, Marin County is reporting 1,754 cumulative cases and 23 deaths to date. County health officials said Saturday that 82 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalized.

San Quentin State Prison 

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported Sunday morning that a total of 1,891 inmates have contracted the virus, 27 of whom were released with active infections, 372 have recovered and seven have died as a result. More than 200 San Quentin State Prison staff members have tested positive and 50 have already recovered and returned to work. The combination of inmate and staff infections brings the San Quentin cumulative total up to 2,096. 

There are currently 3,571 people in custody at the San Quentin facility.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation More than 1,800 San Quentin State Prison inmates have tested positive for Covid-9 as of Sunday, July 12, 2020. Seven of those cases have resulted in death.

Napa County

  • Confirmed Cases: 477
  • Deaths: 4

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

County officials posted a “Weekly Trends” update Friday that said there had been a 21 percent increase in confirmed cases from the prior week. Contact tracing data indicate the spike is largely due to community spread, gatherings and occupational exposure.

Cases are primarily concentrated in the city of Napa, where 270 positive test results had been recorded as of Friday.  

San Francisco

  • Confirmed Cases: 4,522 
  • Deaths: 50

Source: San Francisco Department of Public Health as of Saturday. 

The City’s seven-day rolling average of new cases has come back down to 58 cases per day, the level last seen on June 25. Unfortunately, the hospitalization rate has increased fairly steadily and substantially. County health officials last reported a total of 80 Covid-19 hospital patients as of Friday. Of those hospitalized, 35 were being treated in ICU beds.  

A new mobile testing site was launched Thursday at the Latino Task Force Resource Hub in the Mission District. The site will administer free walk-through tests each Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

San Francisco Zoo and Gardens will reopen Monday with approved safety plans. Also Monday, shoppers will again be allowed to bring their own reusable bags. Further moves to reopen will be evaluated according to key health indicator data.

The San Francisco Zoo & Gardens hosted a birthday party Tuesday, June 30, 2020 for its three senior chimpanzees: 62-year-old male Cobby, and 52-year-old females Minnie and Maggie. The trio have lived together at SF Zoo for 50 years.
Marianne Hale/SF Zoo

Mayor London Breed announced Thursday that her Covid-19 test came back negative, though she plans to take another test in the coming week, saying she is “not out of the woods completely. Breed had attended an event Tuesday where she says about 70 people were present. In an interview with ABC7, the mayor said Friday that she discovered one attendee who was actively infected “deliberately” exposed others at the event.

Breed said:

“I was livid that someone would put not only my health, but other people that have been really struggling and put other people’s health in jeopardy. I was so angry.”

Claiming the infected person was fully aware of their diagnosis, she added:

“In this particular case, it was deliberate and it’s really sad that someone is that selfish that they would do something like this.” 

San Mateo County

  • Confirmed Cases: 3,949 
  • Deaths: 112

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

As of Thursday, county hospitals were caring for 58 Covid-19 patients, with 15 requiring ICU treatment. New cases reported Friday represent the largest one-day gain since the pandemic began — 108 positive test results were recorded by county health officials on the one day.

The latest data for the area’s long-term care facilities was reported Wednesday, showing a total of 538 Covid-19 cases and 78 deaths. 

San Mateo, Redwood City and Daly City are experiencing the county’s highest number of infections, with 773, 704 and 582 cases, respectively.    

Santa Clara County

  • Confirmed Cases: 6,298
  • Deaths: 166 

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

Businesses hoping to reopen or remain open Monday are required to submit new social distancing protocols. The new protocols must be submitted at www.covid19prepared.org and in place prior to Monday operations.

The uptick of new Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations prompted a revised health order issued Friday by Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. In the latest order, all indoor gatherings remain prohibited, though outdoor gatherings of 60 or less people are still permitted. The order also precipitated the new business protocol requirement, which mandates strict face covering, signage and planning measures to protect worker and public safety.

Santa Clara County Public Health Santa Clara County, Calif. Covid-19 cases as of Sunday, July 12, 2020.

Three temporary pop-up testing sites, two in San Jose and one in Gilroy, will be up and running Tuesday. Tests in both locations will be provided free of charge and without need for an appointment, doctor’s referral or insurance. 

The San Jose testing sites will be located at the County of Santa Clara Service Center Auditorium at 1555 Berger Road and the other will be hosted at Independence High School – C Commons at 617 N. Jackson Avenue. Both pop-up sites will be open Tuesday through Friday of this coming week from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

The Gilroy site will also be open this coming Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., but will also offer tests on Saturday between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The site will be located at the South County Annex at 9300 Wren Avenue, which is the former site of Del Buono Elementary School.

Solano County

  • Confirmed Cases: 2,075 
  • Deaths: 28

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

Fairfield is now reporting the highest number of cases countywide. As of Friday, 720 positive test results were recorded in Fairfield — Vallejo reported 706 cumulative cases the same day. Hospitalizations are currently at the county’s peak rate of 40 Covid-19 patients, leaving 39 percent of the county’s ICU beds available.  

Sonoma County

  • Confirmed Cases: 1,703 
  • Deaths: 16

Source: County of Sonoma with data as of Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

The county was placed on the state’s monitoring list Friday, meaning that state-imposed restrictions could take effect as early as Monday. If that happens, which seems likely, dining and winery facilities would be forced to operate only outdoors and all bars would be required to shut down. A complete list of impacted businesses and activities can be found on the California Department of Public Health site or on the county’s Friday announcement posted online. 

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors met Thursday to discuss how to control the case surge, especially among Hispanic/Latino communities where 70 percent of confirmed cases are originating. 

Part of that discussion was the presentation of a Latinx health workgroup aimed at improving the conditions and addressing fears among farmworkers who have tested positive and worry they’ll lose jobs if they speak up.

According to health department data, more than 50 percent of the area’s cases are coming from close contact, whereas community spread is contributing to 13 percent of the cumulative total.   

Global

  • Confirmed Cases: 12,813,864
  • Deaths: 566,790

Source: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center Covid-19 global tracking tool as of Sunday at 12:34 p.m.

Open SFBay Worldwide coronavirus tracker.

Nik Wojcik

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