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Total coronavirus cases:
12,820 in California, including 3,286 in the Bay Area.
305,820 cases in the U.S., with 8,291 deaths, including 85 in the Bay Area and 285 in California. The five states with the highest death tolls are: New York with 3,565, New Jersey with 846, Michigan with 540, Louisiana with 409, and Washington state with 295. Click here to see a U.S. map with state-by-state death tolls and coronavirus case counts.
More than 1.19 million in the world with more than 64,000 deaths. More than 245,000 people have recovered.
For detailed maps, check out The Chronicle’s Coronavirus Tracker.
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Breaking news developments from today:
6:30 p.m. Napa County extends shelter-at-home order until April 30: Napa County’s order directing residents to shelter at home will continue through April 30, roughly tracking the pandemic-caused directives of other Bay Area counties. The new order, which went into effect Friday, includes closure of playgrounds and other shared recreational facilities and requires essential businesses to implement physical distancing protocols, such as limiting the number of people simultaneously inside a business. Seven other Bay Area counties have extended their stay-at-home orders through May 3 while Solano County’s goes until April 30.
6:20 p.m. S.F. General Hospital has “slighty elevated” usage of key paralytic drugs: San Francisco General Hospital is using two paralytic drugs for COVID-19 patients “at slightly elevated rates,” a spokesman said Saturday, but the hospital’s need is “not acute at the moment.” NBC Bay Area reported the hospital is running short on the paralytics cisatracurium and rocuronium. “There’s a nationwide shortage of those two drugs,” said S.F. General spokesman Brent Andrew. “We don’t have an unusually high number of patients on ventilators right now. So we’re going through it at slightly elevated rates but not numbers that are out of scale.” Andrew said San Francisco General has 26 patients on ventilators, which is “not out of scale with typical.” Of those, 11 are COVID-19 patients. Oveall, the hospital has 23 COVID-19 patients, including 13 in intensive care. Paralytic drugs are sometimes used to help keep intubated patients from resisting the breathing tubes, with hospitals quickly using their supplies as COVID-19 patients need that equipment, an NPR report noteds Saturday.
5:55 p.m. Golden Gate Park turns 150 with muted celebration: It wasn’t the birthday party San Francisco wanted for its beloved Golden Gate Park. The Ferris wheel wasn’t spinning and there wasn’t any birthday cake or balloons, The Chronicle’s Steve Rubenstein reports. But at least the 150th birthday bash, while canceled on Saturday in the park itself, had a virtual acknowledgement. The park’s birthday website offered up footage from old rock performances in the park and a message from a virtual Mayor London Breed. And thousands of San Franciscans did stroll the park, one by one, commanded by large signs to maintain a 6-foot separation.
5:21 p.m. Marin County reports one additional death: Officials in Marin County reported six new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the county’s total to 137 confirmed cases. The county also reported its seventh death from COVID-19. The county has tested 1,435 people and has 16 patients hospitalized, according to its daily update Saturday.
5:13 p.m. Alameda County reports surge in cases: Officials in Alameda County reported 94 new coronavirus cases Saturday, bringing the county’s total to 537 confirmed cases. That includes 27 in Berkeley, which has its own health department. The new numbers mark a 21 percent one-day increase. The county has recorded 12 deaths from COVID-19.
5:05 p.m. Lake Berryessa to temporarily close to public: All public areas at Lake Berryessa will close until further notice, the federal Bureau of Reclamation announced Saturday. Day use, rest rooms and boat launching will close as of Sunday at the popular recreation area, and campgrounds and overnight lodging on Monday. The bureau’s announcement said the closures comply with an order from Napa County health officials and a request by the Board of Supervisors.
4:50 p.m. Santa Clara County eyes long-term care facilities: Santa Clara County will closely monitor long-term care facilities with known or suspected cases of COVID-19, the county said Saturday in issuing long-term facility guidelines. The guidelines came in the wake of Friday’s news that seven residents and four staff members tested positive at Canyon Springs Post-Acute Care in San Jose. The county said it has supplied personal protective equipment to Canyon Springs and will provide coronavirus-related support to all nursing homes, and skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in the county.
4:40 p.m. Study adjusts its death toll projection downward: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington is projecting fewer COVID-19 deaths in California than it forecast a week ago. The institute’s study still projects California’s worst impact will be on April 26, but anticipates 119 deaths statewide that day instead of 148, its earlier projection. It projects a decline to 16 on June 1 (compared to last week’s projection of 22 on June 1) and zero beginning June 25, an earlier cessation than the earlier projected July 4 zero-day. Nationwide, the study projects the worst impact will be on April 16, with 2,644 deaths, compared to a previously projected peak of 2,341 deaths on April 14. Projections can vary based on social distancing impacts, officials say.
4:30 p.m. South Bay telethon will benefit low-income residents: Elected officials and nonprofit and business leaders have planned a fundraising telethon for 7 p.m. Saturday to support low-income residents with financial assistance during the coronavirus pandemic. The telethon will be hosted by and viewed on NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48, and livestreamed at NBCbayarea.com. It will raise money for Silicon Valley Strong, a fund centralizing resources for those hard-hit during this time, under a partnership between government, nonprofit and private groups.
4:11 p.m. Santa Rita Jail inmate tests positive for COVID-19: An inmate at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin has tested positive for the coronavirus, the first inmate case reported there, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. In a news release Saturday, the sheriff’s office said the inmate is recovering in the jail’s medical unit and in stable condition. The inmate previously was housed in a two-person cell, and had limited contact with others, the statement said. Areas with potential exposure are being cleaned and sanitized, and inmates quarantined under monitoring by medical staff. Officials are identifying staff and inmates who might have had contact with the infected person.
4:00 p.m. Stanford antibody test close to FDA approval, Newsom says: Stanford Medicine has developed an antibody test to indicate whether a person has developed some immunity to the coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a briefing Saturday. Newsom said the test was “hours” from being approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Charity Dean of the California Department of Public Health said the serologic, or blood-based, test could determine if a person has been infected and developed antibodies to the virus. People with immunity could theoretically interact with others without risk of catching or spreading the virus. “We’re very excited that this is a California homegrown test that is going to be rolled out in the next week for actual use on Californians,” Dean said.
3:45 p.m. Santa Clara County sees 54 new cases: Officials in Santa Clara County reported 54 new cases of the coronavirus Saturday, bringing the county’s total to 1,148 confirmed cases. Officials also reported one additional death. Santa Clara County has recorded 39 deaths from COVID-19. The county had 287 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, according to its website.
3:31 p.m. Contra Costa County reports jump in cases: Officials in Contra Costa County on Saturday reported 46 new cases of the coronavirus, an increase of 15 percent from Friday. The county reports on its website that it has 353 confirmed cases countywide; the county has tested 4,929 people and has 31 COVID-19 patients hospitalized.
3:22 p.m. Queen Elizabeth II to address UK on coronavirus: Queen Elizabeth II will deliver a rare address to the UK and the Commonwealth regarding the coronavirus. The recorded broadcast will be broadcast Sunday. The BBC reported it will be the fifth televised address the queen has made. The queen’s son, Prince Charles, who recently tested positive for the virus, announced last week he was “on the other side” of the illness. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in isolation after testing positive.
3:05 p.m. Officials watching Pennsylvania, Colorado, Washington D.C.: Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus response, said officials are hoping mitigation efforts can slow spread of the coronavirus in areas of concern in Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington D.C. “We’re watching them because they are starting to go on that upside of the curve,” Birx said at a White House briefing Saturday. “We’re hoping and believing that if people mitigate strongly, the work that they did over the last two weeks will blunt that curve and they won’t have that same upward slope and peak that New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and part of Rhode Island are having. The next two weeks are extraordinarily important … This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not be going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe. And that means everybody doing six feet distancing, washing your hands.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, said avoiding subsequent outbreaks in concentrated areas is critical. “We’ve got to make sure we don’t have multiple waves of peaks,” Fauci said. “That’s going to be the answer to the question of when we can start pulling back. Because if you keep having multiple peaks and different waves that’s going to make it very difficult.”
2:37 p.m. Trump says captain’s letter to sound alarm about coronavirus on Navy ship “not appropriate”: In response to a question about Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, a Santa Rosa native who was relieved of command of the Theodore Roosevelt this week after sounding the alarm about an outbreak of the coronavirus on the ship, President Trump criticized Crozier’s actions in a press conference Saturday. Trump first referenced a decision some have criticized to allow sailors from the ship to go ashore last month in Vietnam, though Navy officials have defended stopping there and said the source of the outbreak is undetermined. “But more importantly, he wrote a letter,” Trump said. “The letter was a five-page letter, from a captain. And the letter was all over the place. That’s not appropriate. I don’t think that’s appropriate. And these are tough people, these are strong people. I thought that looked terrible, to be honest with you. Now, they made their decision. I didn’t make the decision. The Secretary of Defense was involved and a lot of people were involved. I thought it was terrible what he did, to write a letter. I mean, this isn’t a class on literature. This is a captain of a massive ship that’s nuclear-powered, and he shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter. He can call and ask and suggest. But he stopped in Vietnam, a lot of people got off the boat, they came back and they had infections. And I thought it was inappropriate for the captain of a ship.” Crozier was relieved of his command on Thursday, three days after writing a letter to superiors — obtained exclusively by The Chronicle — in which he pleaded for resources to remove crew members from the ship. On Friday, Crozier was cheered by hundreds of sailors from his ship as he left following his dismissal.
1:58 p.m. Trump says sports will return ‘sooner rather than later’: Asked whether he believed professional sports would be back in session by August, President Trump said he wants “fans back in arenas … by whenever we’re ready. As soon as we can, obviously. I can’t tell you a date, but I think it’s going to be sooner rather than later.” Read Ann Killion’s column on Trump’s hope to resume sports soon.
1:56 p.m. Laguna Honda case total rises to 14: An 11th staff member at San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Department of Emergency Management. That boosts the hospital’s total of confirmed cases to 14, including three residents.
1:46 p.m. U.S. brings home Americans stuck overseas: President Trump said his administration has secured the safe return of 40,000 Americans who were stuck abroad. They returned from 75 different countries on 400 flights, he said.
1:39 p.m. 1,000 military personnel to deploy to NYC: Speaking at the daily briefing of the White House’s coronavirus task force, President Trump said, at his direction, 1,000 military personnel will be deploying to assist in New York City, where the president said they are needed the most. Additional resources are being sent to other coronavirus hot spots such as New Jersey.
1:17 p.m. Newsom not expecting regular NFL season: Asked about whether the NFL would be back in the fall with fans, Gov. Gavin Newsom said: “I’m not anticipating that happening in the state.” He added that decisions would be made on the basis of facts and the advice of health experts.
1:16 p.m. Brazil unprepared, government warns: Brazilian health officials grappling with the coronavirus outbreak issued a stark warning about a lack of hospital beds, masks, testing devices and trained staff across Latin America’s largest nation. A Health Ministry report said Brazil can currently carry out 6,700 COVID-19 tests a day, but that it will need to process as many as 30,000-50,000 tests daily during the peak of the outbreak, expected in June. This latest assessment of the public health care system raises serious questions about its capacity to face the outbreak in a country of nearly 210 million. It also calls for the maintenance of quarantine measures in states that are most badly hit, challenging President Jair Bolsonaro’s more laid-back approach to the virus.
1:08 p.m. 300,000 cases in U.S.: The total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. stands at 300,915, according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s about 175,000 more than in Spain, which has the second most cases in the world.
1:33 p.m. Six COVID-19 cases at SF veterans hospital: Six veterans have tested positive at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. That includes two in-patients and four out-patients, according to data from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. A total of 2,184 veterans across the country have tested positive, as of Friday, and 78 have died. The latest numbers can be found here.
12:29 p.m. 11% increase in California’s ICU patients: Gov. Gavin Newsom said the number of people in intensive-care units in California rose 10.9% overnight, to 1,008. The number of people hospitalized in the state is 2,300, he said.
12:27 p.m. State’s new website helps with supply donations: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch of a new website dedicated to providing information to businesses abd individuals who want to donate supplies. Supplies sought include ventilators, surgical masks, hand sanitizer and goggles. The governor said he feels like a “full-time operator” fielding calls and text messages from people asking for information on how to help. Also, Newsom said over 79,000 health care workers have signed up at healthcorps.ca.gov to help with COVID-19 response.
12:11 p.m. California has tested 126,000: More than 126,000 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 in the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday at the start of his daily briefing. He said he hopes that number will increase five-fold in the coming weeks. Results are still pending on 13,000 of the tests. “We have substantially reduced that backlog,” Newsom said.
12:05 p.m. Another cruise ship with COVID-19 victims docks in Miami: The Coral Princess, with 1,020 passengers and 878 crew members, was in limbo for days awaiting permission to dock. At least seven passengers and five crew members have tested positive for the coronavirus. Two have died on the ship, the Associated Press reports.
11:38 a.m. Alameda County EMTs could be furloughed: Alameda County’s contracted 911 ambulance provider may soon furlough EMTs and paramedics despite a potential surge in coronavirus cases. An official with the contractor, Denmark-based Falck, said they are still hoping to prevent the furloughs. Read more of The Chronicle exclusive here.
11:35 a.m. Grand Princess crew’s quarantine over, ship to sail, then return to SF: Nearly 650 crew members of the Grand Princess completed their 14-day quarantine, ending a nearly month-long period of self-isolation that began when the cruise ship was struck with the coronavirus. The cruise line said the crew members can finally leave their staterooms and roam around the ship as long as they wear personal protective equipment and stay at least 6 feet from each other. The ship will leave San Francisco Bay and sail out to sea for several days of routine marine operations, the Associated Press reports. Early next week, the ship will dock temporarily at the Port of San Francisco to stock up on provisions. The cruise line was still working out a plan on where it will go next.
10:59 a.m. In Puerto Rico, old hurricane relief now helpful: The suspected mismanagement of essential supplies during Hurricane Maria has turned out to be a boon for Puerto Rico as it fights a rise in the coronavirus cases, the Associated Press reports. Health Secretary Lorenzo Gonzlez said Saturday that officials discovered a cache of personal protective equipment at a hospital that remains closed since the Category 4 storm hit in 2017. Puerto Rico has reported 18 deaths, including that of a nurse, and more than 450 confirmed cases, including police officers who have demanded more personal protective equipment.
10:42 a.m. Nearly 10,000 Americans have recovered: According to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University, 9,853 people in the U.S. have recovered from COVID-19. Can you get it again if you already had it? Here is what we know about coronavirus immunity.
10:31 a.m. Another resident at Laguna Honda Hospital tests positive: A total of 10 staff members and three residents at the nursing home have now tested positive, according to a news release Saturday from the Department of Public Health. Seven of the 10 staff members have been in patient-care positions. All 13 people are in good condition, according to the release.
9:41 a.m. San Francisco tops 500 confirmed cases: City health officials announced one additional death and 32 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed, increasing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the city to eight and total positive cases to 529.
9:34 a.m. Bay Area is best at sheltering in place: Data compiled by location-tracking app Foursquare suggests that when it comes to sheltering in place, Bay Area residents have been particularly compliant. Through March 27, the latest data available, the number of Bay Area residents heading into workplaces has declined by 72%. Read more here.
9:17 a.m. UCSF doctors rising stars on Twitter: Word that the Bay Area may be flattening the coronavirus curve swept across the nation this week thanks in part to a few UCSF physicians who’ve become social media stars of sorts, taking to Twitter to help educate the public about the frightening and evolving outbreak while adding commentary and a little levity along the way. Read more here.
8:54 a.m. Health care workers losing jobs: Tens of thousands of medical workers across the U.S. are suddenly out of work as operating rooms and doctor’s offices go dark, casualties of urgent calls to prioritize coronavirus patients at overwhelmed hospitals and of the economic waves the crisis is churning. Even as hospitals scrounge for professionals to treat people with COVID-19, others are on the sidelines as elective procedures, diagnostics and appointments are canceled or postponed. “I certainly never thought there would be a day as a nurse that I would be filing for unemployment, so it’s quite surreal for all of us,” said Jess Poole, a nurse anesthetist in the Pittsburgh area.
8:43 a.m. 1,000 ventilators donated to New York from China: The ventilators were scheduled to arrive on Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his daily briefing. Cuomo thanked Alibaba co-founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai for the donation, as well as the Chinese government.
8:22 a.m. BART ridership way down: BART stations with the largest ridership drops between March 3 and March 31 saw decreases of 96-97%, according to a tweet from the transit agency. They included stations in Lafayette, West Dublin, Rockridge, Orinda and the Embarcadero in San Francisco. The stations showing the lowest drops from the coronavirus pandemic saw a reduction of 80 to 85%. They include Coliseum Station in Oakland, Pittsburg, Richmond, Fruitvale in Oakland and South Hayward.
8:13 a.m. Bay Area caregivers face physical, financial peril: While doctors and nurses have been on the front lines fighting for patients infected with the coronavirus, other caregivers have played an instrumental role in helping the elderly and infirm stay out of an already overburdened medical system. That comes with personal risks for some home health aides. Others have had to stop working to protect their clients. Chase DiFeliciantonio reports the story here.
8:02 a.m. ‘Light at end of tunnel’ in Spain: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Snchez says that his nation ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic is “starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Snchez said that if the current slowdown of the outbreak continues then Spain is on course to reduce its cases of COVID-19. Current numbers show Spain has 124,000 cases of coronavirus (only the U.S. has more) and over 11,000 deaths. Strict stay-at-home measures helped Spain reduce its rate of contagion that was over 20% last week to 6% on Saturday, the Associated Press reports.
7:58 a.m. The ethics of which patients get ventilators, and how hospitals will decide: The model for determining who gets the needed resources if the system is overwhelmed uses a point system to assess patients’ likelihood of survival, Carolyn Said reports. Some of its considerations resemble those already used to allocate transplant organs. It calls for triage teams of a doctor, nurse and database manager to allocate resources, thus avoiding doctors having to make bedside decisions on the fly. “It’s an incredibly emotionally difficult decision if you are taking care of a patient to also think about ‘Do I give this resource to someone else?’” said Dr. Douglas White, chair of ethics in critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
7:51 a.m. UK coronavirus hospital death toll up 20% in one day: The United Kingdom’s hospital death toll from the coronavirus rose by 20% to 4,313, Reuters reports. A total of 183,190 tests have been given, with 41,903 positive results.
7:38 a.m. East Bay congressman slams Trump: Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, a former presidential candidate, took a swipe at the president’s leadership during the coronavirus crisis in a tweet.
Holy smokes. Watching @realDonaldTrump it’s pretty clear we are not going to get through this because we have presidential leadership. We are going to get through this because of you. Your resilience. Your faith. Your humanity.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) April 3, 2020
7:21 a.m. Looking into grocery delivery options during the pandemic? Check out The Chronicle’s directory to help you order produce, meat and pantry goods during shelter in place. Also, here’s a list of Cnet’s best options for having healthy food delivered.
7:05 a.m. Medical supply marketplace frustrates states: Governors across the U.S. have described in unbelievable terms the dog-eat-dog global marketplace they have to navigate in pursuit of protective gear for medical workers, the Associated Press reports. Cutthroat suppliers, shady middlemen, phantom shipments, prices soaring by the hour. That has led many to call on the Trump administration to centralize the purchases, so far to no avail. “It is the greatest frustration,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who heads the National Governors Association.
6:19 a.m. Unemployment system overwhelmed: Many Americans seeking unemployment benefits are finding more frustration than relief, the Associated Press reports. State websites and phone lines across the country have been overwhelmed with applicants — causing sites to crash, phone lines to ring busy and much-needed payments to be delayed. While many states are doing their best to respond — adding staff, updating technology and streamlining the process — it’s tough to keep up with the pace of demand. About 10 million people applied for unemployment benefits in the two weeks ended March 27.
6:06 a.m. Having trouble paying rent? There’s help available. Read answers to frequently asked economics questions here.
5:47 a.m. Pink tested positive for COVID-19: In a pair of tweets, the singer said she and her 3-year-old son were displaying symptoms two weeks ago, and she tested positive after accessing tests through a primary care physician. Her family had already been sheltering at home and continued to do so, she said. They were tested again “just a few days ago,” and were negative. The Grammy Award-winning artist called for free and widespread testing and announced she’s donating $1 million to coronavirus-related relief funds.
5:35 a.m. U.S. might fly Americans home from Russia: The U.S. Embassy in Russia says it is trying to arrange a charter flight to repatriate Americans but warns it could be the last flight for some time. A planned Aeroflot flight to New York was canceled while on the taxiway Friday. Russia has banned all international airline flights, including those bringing Russians back to their homeland, in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Ross advised Americans that if the charter flight happens “this will likely be the final charter opportunity to depart Russia.” Russia has reported 4,731 coronavirus infections and 44 deaths.
Breaking news developments from April 3:
11 p.m. Newsom issues order protecting consumers from price gouging: Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Friday that expands consumer protections against price gouging as part of California’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The order prohibits sellers from increasing prices on food, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and “certain other items” by more than 10 percent, officials said. The order also allows officials with the California Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Office to take action against sellers who price gouge consumers, officials said. “This crisis has impacted every Californian and our normal way of life, and we are ensuring that all consumers are able to purchase what they need, at a fair price,” Newsom said.
10:59 p.m. Santa Clara County places all homeless people with COVID-19 in shelters: When tech-fueled Silicon Valley became an epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in California, one of the biggest concerns for political leaders was how to help the sprawling homeless population. On Friday, Santa Clara County leaders announced a small victory: every street dweller with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is now in a shelter. Additionally, the county found shelter beds or temporary housing for 174 other vulnerable community members, and 215 more people will obtain some type of shelter in the next few days. The county has secured 200 hotel and motel rooms hotel and motel rooms in San Jose, Gilroy, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. Last month, its biggest city, San Jose, led the charge on protecting homeless people from coronavirus, when Mayor Sam Liccardo issued a moratorium on encampment sweeps.
10:57 p.m. Gov. Gavin Newsom expands telehealth services: Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Friday that expands protections to medical providers so that they can use video chat applications to provide routine and non-emergency medical appointments in an “effort to minimize patient exposure to COVID-19,” according to a statement issued by the governor’s press office. The order also “relaxes certain state privacy and security laws” so that health providers can provide services to customers without being penalized. Newsom said that the order will, “will allow providers to assess a greater number of patients while limiting the risk of exposure and infection of other persons from in-person consultations.”
10:35 p.m. Livermore police officer tests positive for COVID-19: A Livermore police officer tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday and is currently quarantined at home, “exhibiting only minor symptoms,” the department wrote on its Facebook page. All other staff who were exposed to the officer have tested negative. The department assures residents its officers are wearing protective equipment and practicing social distancing.
8:29 p.m. Delta lets travelers rebook flights for up to two years if their plans are changed by coronavirus: The airline announced Friday that it will waive change fees and grant flexibility for people with flights scheduled until the end of May, allowing them to switch to any date up through May 31, 2022. Delta offered the same terms to people with e-credits or canceled flights in March, April or May. And the airline will annul change fees for up to a year for tickets purchased between March 1 and May 31. Coronavirus has battered the airline industry, which would otherwise be enjoying a lucrative spring break.
7:39 p.m. Alameda County District Attorney condemns hate speech against Chinese Americans: “Hate and racism-driven conduct is spreading as rapidly as the COVID-19 pandemic,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said in a video message to residents Friday. Citing an uptick in harassment and crimes targeting Chinese Americans, she directed her staff to be on “heightened alert” as the crisis persists, and to swiftly respond to reports of hate crimes. Fremont Mayor Lily Mei and Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President Carl Chan also issued video statements to condemn bigotry and xenophobia.
7:35 p.m. Bay Area hospitals brace for surge: The scramble for supplies continues at Bay Area hospitals. Seton in Daly City, for example, got enough masks and goggles for a month just before it was due to run out — but still has only three ventilators. The Chronicle’s Mallory Moench reports on how Bay Area hospitals are preparing for a surge that could peak statewide in May.
7:19 p.m. Oakland firefighter tests positive: The Oakland Fire Department said an employee tested positive for the coronavirus — the first in the department. The worker is recovering in self-quarantine and has not worked since March 15, officials said.
6 p.m. PG&E says fire-prevention work continues: The pandemic will not stop Pacific Gas and Electric Co. from trimming trees and performing other work to reduce the likelihood that its power lines will start fires, the company said Friday. Utility employees qualify as essential workers, and the company will restore electricity if the power goes out, manage vegetation around power lines, prepare for fire-prevention blackouts this summer and perform critical maintenance, according to a company news release.
4:50 p.m. Bay Area costume makers make masks: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and Opera San Jose join other grassroots efforts from local arts organizations putting their employee’s skills to use while shows have been canceled due to shelter in place orders. Read the full story here.
5:44 p.m. Alameda, Contra Costa counties issue blanket orders for people who test positive to self-isolate: Overwhelmed by an escalating number of coronavirus cases, health officers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties issued mass orders Friday for anyone who tests positive to isolate and quarantine themselves. That means staying at home unless they need urgent medical care or have to evacuate because of an emergency. Close contacts, meaning people who live with, care for, or are intimately involved with the infected person, must also isolate, according to the two orders. The quarantine period lasts 7 days for people with no symptoms. People who get ill must wait at least 7 days for their symptoms to pass. “Our resources are stretched extremely thin and business as usual is not an option,” Contra Costa Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said. The county currently has 307 cases, and Alameda County has 443.
5:11 p.m.: California Legislature staying out until May: Legislative leaders now say the Assembly and Senate will be out of session until May 4 to avoid the possibility of spreading the coronavirus. The Legislature went into emergency recess last month and had set a return date of April 13, but leaders had expected it to be pushed back. They set the new target date late Friday. “Our priority continues to be bending the curve of infection,” Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said in a statement.
4:45 p.m. Stanford, UC Berkeley still planning to charge full tuition for spring term: Stanford, like most colleges and universities around the Bay Area and the country, will not reduce tuition for the spring term, despite moving to online-only instruction. This has frustrated many students, who circulated petitions demanding relief for students. Chronicle staff writer Ron Kroichick examines how students and administrators are coping with the financial squeeze resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
4:35 p.m. Trump opposes mail-in voting for general election: President Trump said in a White House news conference that the general election will continue as planned on November 3 and said without citing evidence that “a lot of people cheat” when voting by mail. When asked by a reporter if he thinks states should prepare for mail-in voting procedures in the event that shelter-in-place orders are active because of the coronavirus pandemic, he said no. Trump said voters should vote in person so they can “proudly display” themselves at voting booths with their voter IDs in hand.
4:31 p.m. Small-business loans hard to get: Banks were supposed to begin taking applications for $349 billion in loans promised to small businesses in the Cares Act. Only $1.8 billion were handed out Friday. Here are the many obstacles business owners face from the federal government and the banks.
4:30 p.m. Trial by video conference? Not yet, but courts are embracing more virtual proceedings: Changes in the legal system resulting from the pandemic, including remote hearings, may turn out for the best, say some lawyers and academics. Read Chronicle legal affairs reporter Bob Egelko’s analysis of how coronavirus is changing court proceedings in the Bay Area and beyond.
4:14 p.m. Santa Clara County reports 75 new cases, two more deaths: Health officials reported 75 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County on Friday, bringing the total to 1,094 cases. Two more people died, for a total of 38 deaths. People in their 30s, 40s and 50s account for nearly 60% of cases, while nearly 60% of those who died are in their 70s and 80s. There are 287 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the county, and 88 of them are in intensive care, officials said. Nearly 10,000 people have been tested in total, and more than 11% were positive.
4:06 p.m. CDC recommends people wear face coverings in public: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance on Friday that recommends people wear cloth face coverings in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Recent studies show that a “significant portion” of people infected with the virus do not show symptoms, according to the CDC. Asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people can still transmit the virus by speaking, coughing or sneezing. To prevent that from happening, the CDC recommends people wear cloth coverings over their nose and mouth in public settings where distancing is difficult, like the grocery store, especially in regions with significant community transmission. Face coverings can be made at home from scarfs, shirts, towels or other means. The CDC does not recommend people wear N95 respirators or surgical masks, which are in short supply. People must continue following all previous prevention guidelines like hand washing and social distancing. The federal guidance follows similar recommendations from several Bay Area counties yesterday. Read The Chronicle’s FAQ on wearing masks.
3:30 p.m. Trump comments on treatment coverage for immigrants: When asked in a Friday White House news conference if coronavirus treatment will be covered for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, President Trump said, “We’ll be talking about that at a different time,” and did not elaborate further.
3:35 p.m. Eleven residents, staff at San Jose skilled nursing facility test positive: Seven residents and four healthcare workers at Canyon Springs Post-Acute Care have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday, a spokesperson said. The San Jose skilled nursing and rehabilitation center had reported on Thursday that six people were infected and 26 other patients and staff were being monitored and tested. The facility has stopped admitting new people, isolated all of its patients and monitors them every four hours for signs and symptoms. “Our top priority remains the health and well-being of everyone in our facility as we continue to provide care based on county, state, and federal guidelines. We are grateful for our dedicated staff as they continue to selflessly serve others,” a statement from the facility said.
3:15 p.m. Trump defends Kushner’s comments on U.S. federal stockpile: President Trump told a reporter that she should “be ashamed of” herself for asking for clarification on Jared Kushner’s Thursday comments calling the federal stockpile “our stockpile” and not the states’ stockpile. In his Friday White House news conference, Trump said some states were ill prepared for responding to the coronavirus pandemic. He said that while the federal stockpile is designed so that federal officials distribute goods to states, the federal government is not an “ordering clerk.” Trump said, “But it’s also needed for the federal government. We have a very big federal government.”
3:11 p.m. Trump says shelter-at-place orders are ‘up to the governors’: When asked during a White House news conference if he agreed with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Thursday statement that all states should launch shelter-in-place orders to reduce spread of the coronavirus in the country, President Trump said that, “I’ll leave it up to the governors.” Trump said that he didn’t know why Fauci was not at the news conference on Friday, but assured reporters, “we’re doing great together.”
3:09 p.m. Don’t force fire victims to rebuild during outbreak, Lara says. California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a notice Friday telling insurance companies to stop enforcing deadlines on policyholders for claims or coverage until 90 days after any state of emergency has ended related to COVID-19. The notice applies to deadlines for claim forms, proof of loss, medical exams, physical inspections and any other deadlines which, if not met, could result in a policy cancellation. Lara said the notice came after the department received complaints from people who said their insurance companies told them they must continue to repair or rebuild homes lost in the November 2018 wildfires if they wished to obtain full replacement cost and additional living expenses due under their policies. State law, however, requires insurers to provide up to 36 months, plus additional 6-month extensions for “good cause,” for policyholders to collect full replacement cost and additional living expenses for reconstruction delays that result from circumstances beyond their control. The department has determined that the coronavirus pandemic constitutes a “good cause” beyond their control.
3:05 p.m. High school federation cancels spring sports: As anticipated, California Interscholastic Federation executive director Ron Nocetti canceled the spring sports season. The state’s high school sports governing body head said Friday the CIF was following the lead of California state school Superintendent Tony Thurmond, who announced earlier this week that schools will not reopen this academic year. Read the full story here.
3:01 p.m. More testing, donation sites available: The Chronicle is maintaining a list of Bay Area sites where people can get tested for the coronavirus. We’ve just added Brown & Toland and NEMS sites. There are also many hospitals looking for donations of N95 masks and other supplies. See the latest requests.
2:38 p.m. Rafters shut down across Western U.S.: Dozens of rafting groups across California and the Western U.S. agreed during on a Zoom call on Friday to put their white-water seasons on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic. The news comes after Sierra snowpack was found to be much lower than usual and outdoor parks across California shut down operations.
2:30 p.m. Trump says he won’t follow CDC’s face covering recommendation: President Trump said in a Friday White House news conference that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that people to wear face coverings in public, but it is voluntary. “You can do it. I’m choosing not to do it,” he said. He reminded people that medical-grade masks should be prioritized for health care workers and other first responders, saying that the CDC is recommending that people instead use a cloth or fabric mask.
2:12 p.m. Why does COVID-19 kill some, not others? It is scary enough that a dangerous virus is multiplying throughout the world, but one of the most frightening aspects of COVID-19 is the mysterious way it affects its victims, killing some people and leaving others with mild or no symptoms. It is a puzzle that has baffled medical professionals and prompted a batch of studies in the Bay Area and around the world to try to figure out what is going on. The early evidence is sobering. Read the full story by Chronicle science reporter Peter Fimrite.
2:11 p.m. Contra Costa officials release more information on outbreak at nursing facility, launch investigations into two more facilities: At least 27 people who live or work at a 45-resident nursing facility in Orinda have tested positive for the coronavirus, health officials said Friday, in what appears to be one of the largest outbreaks in the Bay Area. Contra Costa officials have also started testing at two other senior care facilities in the county. Officials started investigating the Orinda Care Center this week when two staffers sought sought medical care, according to the county Health Services. The two staffers and two patients tested positive on Wednesday. County health officials tested all patients and staff Thursday, they said, and confirmed 24 patients and three staffers had the virus. They are still awaiting some test results. Two of the residents are being treated at hospitals. As of Friday morning, no staffers or patients had died of the virus. Staffers and residents who do not have serious symptoms are medically isolated but not hospitalized, officials said. “The situation is very serious, and we are deeply concerned about residents of our senior care facilities in Contra Costa County,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, the county’s health officer. “That is why we need everyone to follow the stay-at-home order, social distancing guidance and other measures in recent health orders — to protect the people in our community who are vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19.” Read the full story here.
2 p.m. Golden Gate Park celebrates anniversary online: The 150th anniversary party for the park, which had live events set for Saturday, April 4, been postponed — but there are still plans to celebrate online. An online concert series will feature footage of an array of iconic musical events from the park’s history, starting 9 a.m. tomorrow. Read the full story here.
1:37 p.m. Napa County has 20 cases: Twenty people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Napa County, officials said Friday, hours after announcing a resident had died of the infection while being treated in another county. Officials said 422 individuals have been tested in the county, and 298 came back negative, with 104 results pending. Approximately 73 people are currently being monitored because they came into close contact with a confirmed case, officials said. (Correction: An earlier version of this post described the Napa County case count figure incorrectly. It is 20 cases total.)
1:32 p.m. Bay Area case total tops 3,000: The latest numbers of those infected with COVID-19 show 3,013 confirmed cases in the Bay Area. Statewide, there are 11,474 cases. For more, see The Chronicle’s tracker.
1:27 p.m. Shares close down 1.7%: The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 21,052.53, down 1.7%, as traders took the March jobs report — a monthly snapshot of the labor market from mid-March released Friday — as further evidence of the coronavirus’ impact on the economy.
1:25 p.m. More than 150 California health care workers infected: State health officials reported Friday there are 156 health care workers with a confirmed case of COVID-19, a 13% increase from Thursday, when the state reported 138 cases among health care workers. The state resumed reporting the number of infected health care workers after The Chronicle reported that it had stopped disclosing the information.
1:12 p.m. 20% of first U.S. deaths are people in middle age: A first look at recent U.S. death certificate data confirms that most of the initial American coronavirus deaths were people age 65 and older. But it also notes that nearly 1 in 5 were middle-aged. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 56% of deaths were people 75 and older, and another 23% were people in their late 60s and early 70s. But another 17% were ages 45 to 64, and 3% were 35 to 44.
1:05 p.m. Another CNN anchor has coronavirus: Brooke Baldwin is the second CNN anchor to test positive for COVID-19, she confirmed in an Instagram post. Chris Cuomo tested positive earlier in the week. Baldwin said she’s doing OK but the effects — chills, aches and fever — came on quickly Thursday.
1:02 p.m. 27 test positive at Contra Costa senior facility: At least 27 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at a facility that houses seniors in Contra Costa County, officials said. More details are expected to be released Friday afternoon at a news conference.
12:52 p.m. State has tested nearly 100,000: As of Thursday, approximately 94,800 COVID-19 tests had been conducted in California, the state’s health department reports. At least 35,267 results have been received and another 59,500 are pending. The state is using at least 27 public and private labs around California.
12:48 p.m. Second Riverside deputy dies of coronavirus: A second deputy at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has died of the coronavirus, authorities said. David Werksman died Thursday. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones during this difficult time,” officials from the Sheriff’s Department wrote on Twitter.
12:43 p.m. NYC mayor wants national plan to shift personnel to hot spots: New York Mayor Bill De Blasio called for a national enlistment program for doctors and nurses to handle an expected surge in coronavirus cases in New York and other places around the country where virus cases are straining existing health care systems. “Next week in New York City is going to be very tough — next week in New York City and Detroit and New Orleans and a lot of other places,” de Blasio said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And unless the military is fully mobilized and we create something we’ve never had before, which is some kind of national enlistment of medical personnel moved to the most urgent needs in the country constantly, if we don’t have that we’re going to see hospitals simply unable to handle so many people who could be saved.”
12:36 p.m. Pandemic will mean longer detention for some immigrants: The right to a speedy criminal trial was suspended for a year in federal courts along California’s Mexico border to avoid spreading the coronavirus, meaning a growing number of immigration detainees may be locked up longer — and exposed to the virus. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco extended an earlier one-month emergency declaration for federal courts in San Diego and Imperial counties by a year to April 17, 2021, Bloomberg News reports.
12:26 p.m. Cases stagnant at Laguna Honda, but officials fear spread: The number of COVID-19 cases at San Francisco’s 780-bed nursing home, Laguna Honda, has remained at 12 for the past few days. While Dr. Susan Philip, San Francisco Deputy Health Officer, said those numbers are “encouraging,” she said a wider outbreak is still possible and that officials must remain “vigilant.” Containing the virus in the facility — where the majority of residents are elderly with underlying health conditions — is one of the city’s top priorities, she said.
12:25 p.m. Nearly 75,000 professionals sign up to bolster state’s health system: More than 74,000 people have signed up for the state’s initiative to grow the medical workforce in an attempt to increase hospital capacity, Gov. Gavin Newsom said. State officials have also distributed more than 38 million N95 masks, but Newsom said the state will still need more medical equipment.
12:23 p.m. California Legislature’s return date in doubt: State lawmakers went into an emergency recess last month to avoid the chance of spreading the coronavirus. The plan was to return on April 13, but on Friday the head of the Senate said that was unlikely. Read Alexei Koseff’s story.
12:22 p.m. California has 901 coronavirus patients in ICU beds: Gov. Gavin Newsom said there are 901 coronavirus patients in the state who are in intensive-care units, roughly a 10% increase from the last reported number. Across the state, 2,188 are hospitalized, Newsom said.
12:13 p.m. Business, taxpayer groups urge Newsom to extend property tax deadline: The California Taxpayers Association, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, California Chamber of Commerce and 75 local business and taxpayer groups urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to extend the April 10 deadline for paying the second installment of this year’s property tax until July 15. In a press conference Thursday, Newsom noted that counties “disproportionality rely on” property taxes. He had a call from the California State Association of Counties “and they have requested that we not impose upon them any mandate or dictate from on high unless we are prepared to backfill the impacts of that mandate,” Newsom said. In a statement, the association said, “County Public Health Departments, public hospitals, health systems, schools and more basic services of life would be seriously impacted by a property tax funding delay of even a few months. In most cases, property tax payments have already been made or funds have been set-aside for 11 months. It’s the banks and escrow companies (holding property taxes made with mortgage payments) that would be the big winners of a change — at the direct expense of those impacted by the pandemic.”
12:09 p.m. State begins moving homeless into hotel rooms: Gov. Gavin Newsom said at news conference that the state is planning to acquire 15,000 hotel rooms for homeless people to shelter during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has 6,867 rooms so far and is beginning to move people, he said. FEMA is providing a 75% reimbursement for the hotel rooms, but Newsom said that funding is “not limitless” and is focused on sheltering homeless people who are most at risk of a severe infection or those who have already tested positive.
12:06 p.m. SFPD ticketing some who violate health order: San Francisco police Chief Bill Scott said authorities issued a citation to one business and at least one individual within the past 24 hours for violating the health order to stay at home, practice social distancing and close nonessential businesses. Scott said police are warning people, but won’t warn them more than once. “We understand that not everybody is watching the news,” he said. “That’s why we are giving the benefit of the doubt.” He added,
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