The Chronicle’s Live Updates page documents the latest events in the coronavirus outbreak in the Bay Area, the state of California and across the U.S. with a focus on health and economic impacts.
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Total coronavirus cases:
• 917,346 cases in California, including 17,496 deaths
• 116,276 in the Bay Area, including 1,756 deaths
• More than 8.8 million in the U.S., including more than 227,000 deaths. Other states with the highest death tolls are New York with 33,435; Texas with 18,069; Florida with 16,571; New Jersey with 16,324. Illinois 9,889 and Massachusetts with 9,888. Click on the Chronicle’s Coronavirus Tracker for a state by state case count and tally of deaths.
• More than 44.2 million in the world, with more than 1.1 million deaths. More than 29 million people have recovered.
Resources on COVID-19 and California’s reopening: Use our interactive page to track the state and Bay Area’s reopening by county. For detailed maps and new city-by-city Bay Area data, check out The Chronicle’s Coronavirus Tracker. Information on Bay Area school reopenings can be found here. Find Bay Area COVID-19 testing sites that don’t require doctor referrals in our interactive map. To get regular updates on our coverage, sign up for our coronavirus newsletter.
Latest updates from today:
11 a.m. Eli Lilly antibody study halted, forcing Bay Area researchers to seek a new path: A nationwide trial of synthetic antibodies similar to those President Trump touted as “a cure” for the coronavirus was halted this week after it was found to be ineffective, forcing Bay Area researchers to focus on other potential treatments. Read the whole story here.
10:39 a.m. A dozen infected among Healdsburg hospital staff: Twelve Healdsburg District Hospital employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting testing of nearly all of the hospital’s 320 workers, according to reports this week. Contact tracers were investigating whether the infections were contracted outside of the hospital. No patients were infected, the hospital said.
10:16 a.m. Trump closing message doubles down on corner-rounding: President Trump is not changing his coronavirus-downplaying message as he closes out his reelection campaign, despite an immense new surge sweeping the country, The president says at rally after maskless rally that the nation is “rounding the turn,” or “rounding the corner” as he urges voters to ignore the data and the evidence around them, insisting that COVID-19 is on the way out. He blames “the fake news” for reporting “everything is Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid.” Continuing to ignore federal guidelines and the pleas of health officials, Trump convenes packed rallies as he barnstorms battleground states. He was back in Florida on Thursday.
9:45 a.m. Second in command at Space Force infected: Gen. David Thompson, vice chief of space operations, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Air Force announced Wednesday. He was exposed by a close contact, the Air Force statement said, and he was self-quarantining and working from home. Top officials who tested negative in the past day include Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr., and Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, according to Air Force Magazine.
9:35 a.m. Death rates improve: As the coronavirus infected nearly 8.5 million Americans over summer and fall, survival rates, even for seriously ill patients, appeared to be improving, the New York Times reports. A New York hospital system where 30% of COVID-19 patients died in March saw that drop to 3% by the end of June. Researchers cited a combination of factors: Clinicians were better able to manage the disease, and use steroid drugs and non-drug interventions. Community awareness improved, with patients seeking care earlier. The load on hospitals lightened.
9:20 a.m. Older Californians can renew driver’s licenses by mail: Gov. Gavin Newsom is waiving the requirement that pepole 70 or older renew their driver’s licenses in person. His executive order Wednesday will last until the end of the coronavirus emergency or until a new order is signed. The change is intended to allow vulnerable people to stay home to avoid infection. Those 70 or older were already eligible for a one-year extension if their licenses expired between March 1 and Dec. 31.
8:59 a.m. India moves toward U.S. levels: India’s confirmed coronavirus caseload surpassed 8 million on Thursday, as concerns grew over a major Hindu festival season and winter setting in. India’s trajectory is moving toward the worst-hit country, the United States, which has over 8.8 million cases.
8:52 a.m. Pope goes back online: The Vatican is ending Pope Francis’ general audiences with the public amid a surge in Italy’s coronavirus cases and a confirmed infection at last week’s encounter. Francis is to resume livestreaming his weekly catechism lessons, as he did during the Vatican’s lockdown during the spring and summer. He resumed his Wednesday general audiences Sept. 2 in a Vatican courtyard with limited numbers of faithful. His failure to wear a mask during his audiences has drawn criticism, especially when he greeted prelates afterward.
8:48 a.m. S.F. expert says following S.F. would have saved 50,000 U.S. lives: UCSF Medicine chairman Dr. Bob Wachter recently told the Los Angeles Times that if the entire country had followed San Francisco’s approach to the coronavirus outbreak, the nation would have 50,000 dead from the pandemic instead of more than 225,000. Last week, San Francisco became the first Bay Area county to move to the least-restrictive yellow reopening tier, the first major metro area in California to do so.
8 a.m. S.F.’s positive test rate is lowest among big cities: San Francisco currently has the lowest coronavirus positive test rate among the biggest U.S. cities, a Chronicle review of data reveals. The city’s 7-day average shows just 0.8% of tests coming back positive, though recent daily data show the rate going up to around 1%. Bay Area cases are ticking up though, causing concrens as holidays approach. Read more and see the list of positive test rates for the 20 most populous U.S. cities here.
7:44 a.m. Californians again on East Coast quarantine list: Travelers from California to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut will be required to quarantine for two weeks, after the state experienced a recent uptick in coronavirus infection rates. Although California is not surging like many other states, the eastern state trio is casting a wide net, and California joins 45 other states and territories on the Tri-State Travel Advisory’s quarantine list, an agreement hatched by the governors of the three states in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
7:24 a.m. California outpaces states where pandemic is surging on job recovery: Jobs in San Francisco and California are slowly coming back, compared to states where the pandemic is less controlled, like Arizona, Illinois and Michigan where new unemployment claims are climbing, federal data shows. California ’s jobless claims dropped from 159,876 a week ago to 152,057 last week. Weekly claims increased by 1,649 in Arizona; 7,871 in Illinois; and 8,763 in Michigan. Continung pandemic economic effects nationwide are likely to hinder recovery of California’s state’s tourism sector. Read more here.
7:15 a.m. Stocks stabilize on GDP, jobless numbers: The economy grew at a 33% annual rate in July, August and September. While a bounce-back from the depths of the pandemic-induced recession was expected, the recovery was better than forecast. Jobless claims also decreased nationwide, despite some increases in states where coronavirus infections surged. The economic indicators kept the stock market flat as shares began trading, a relief after big drops this week.
Updates from Wednesday, Oct. 28:
3:27 p.m. S.F. records 5 more deaths: San Francisco reported another five COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing its total lives lost to the coronavirus so far to 145. San Francisco added another 52 new infections, for a total case count of 12,241 since the start of the pandemic.
3:09 p.m. Boeing to cut 7,000 more jobs due to pandemic losses, media reports say: Boeing said Wednesday that it will slash 7,000 additional jobs because of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, news accounts reported. In its third-quarter report, the aircraft maker said, “As the company resizes its operations to align with market realities, Boeing expects to continue lowering overall staffing levels through natural attrition as well as voluntary and involuntary workforce reductions.” The company said overall its workforce will shrink to about 130,000 by the end of next year, or 30,000 fewer people than it had at the start of 2020.
2:58 p.m. Clinic will address lingering symptoms plaguing some COVID-19 patients: UC Davis Health announced Wednesday that it has launched a Post-COVID-19 Clinic to provide specialty care for so-called long-haul patients who experience weeks or months of lingering, difficult-to-understand symptoms after bouts with COVID-19. “Rather than going from doctor to doctor and not getting all of their issues examined at once, our goal is to evaluate them comprehensively, find the causes and add other UC Davis specialists to their care teams as needed,” said Mark Avdalovic, a pulmonary and critical care specialist and associate professor of clinical medicine.
2:49 p.m. Biden says ending pandemic will be hard work: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Wednesday slammed President Trump for what he characterized as reckless handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and said, “Even if I win, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to end this pandemic,” the Washington Post reports. “I’m not running on the false promise of being able to end this pandemic by flipping a switch,” he said. “We will deal honestly with the American people, and we’ll never, ever, ever quit.” He also blasted Trump for his Tuesday night Omaha rally, where hundreds stood in freezing cold for hours waiting to leave on buses.
2:21 p.m. Mask mandates help limit virus hospitalizations: Research at Vanderbilt University that studied coronavirus hospitalizations across Tennessee concluded that: “Areas with virus mitigation strategies—including but not limited to masking requirements—have seen lower growth in hospitalizations since the summer months; hospitals in these areas are in a much better position to serve the entire spectrum of community health needs, not just COVID-19 patients. The new analysis, which is not peer reviewed, found that hospitals in areas without mandates for people to wear masks are experiencing the highest hospitalization rates.
2:11 p.m. Trump mocks California mask mandate during Arizona rally: Speaking at a campaign event in Bullhead City, President Trump erroneously characterized California’s mask mandate as eating “through a mask. He said, “In California, you have a special mask. You cannot under any circumstances take it off. You have to eat through the mask… It’s a very complex mechanism. And they don’t realize those germs, they go through it like nothing.” While masks are to remain on in restaurants, people can pull them down during bites, and there’s no special mechanism required, just a normal face covering.
2:01 p.m. Longtime Russian diplomat infected: Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, 70, has gone into isolation after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. This news comes one day after Lavrov met with Greek officials in Athens, the Associated Press reports.
1:48 p.m. Alameda County lets middle and high schools open: Alameda County health officials announced Wednesday that beginning Nov. 9, middle and high schools can reopen if they submit a coronavirus health and safety plan to county education and health officials for approval. Schools are not required to open, a county statement said. The greenlight “does not mean all schools have the resources to be ready as soon as opening is permitted. Some schools will need more time and should open classrooms only when they and their school communities are prepared to do so,” said Nicholas Moss, interim county health officer. At the elementary level, which was approved for earlier reopening, officials said 58 schools have opened or submitted a plan to do so.
It is with deep sadness that I share that my mother, Gaby O’Donnell, has passed away due to complications from COVID-19. My brother and I are heartbroken. Our mother was the kindest and most compassionate person we’ve ever known.
— Robert Garcia (@RobertGarciaLB) July 27, 2020
1:41 p.m. SFO sets up coronavirus hotline: San Francisco International Airport officials say that with ongoing changes in travel, “bringing some uncertainty,” the airport has set up a 24-hour hotline to answer questions about COVID-19. “Call us at (650) 821-8205. We are always available for assistance,” the airport tweeted Wednesday.
1:27 p.m. Steep slide on Wall Street: Stocks plummeted Wednesday as rising coronavirus cases threaten more shutdowns. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 943 points to close at 26,520, a loss of 3.4%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite also fell sharply, joining the Dow in wiping out their gains for the month. The S&P was down 3.5% and the Nasdaq fell 3.7%.
1:18 p.m. White House says claim of ending pandemic was ‘poorly worded’: After the White House science office listed “ending the COVID-19 pandemic” as President Trump’s the top accomplishment, White House communications chief Alyssa Farah told reporters that was a ‘poorly worded’ claim. As the U.S. sets records for new daily infections and numerous hospitals across the country struggle to keep up, she said the release was meant to say that ending the pandemic was “our goal.”
12:48 p.m. France, Germany reinstate lockdowns as cases soar: France and Germany are reinstating lockdown restrictions as new cases strain health care systems, according to news accounts. German bars, restaurants and theaters will close for a month, though schools will remain open. French President Emmanuel Macron announced Wednesday that starting Friday, schools and work can stay open, but restaurants and bars must close, with more details to come.
12:24 p.m. Giroir says, no, it’s not testing that’s driving the increase: Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump administration’s coronavirus testing czar, on Wednesday contradicted President Trump’s repeated assertion that expanded testing is what is causing the nation’s coronavirus infection numbers to surge.“We do believe and the data show that cases are going up. It’s not just a function of testing,” Giroir said in an interview on NBC’s “Today,” echoing the conclusion of other top health experts. “Yes, we’re getting more cases identified, but the cases are actually going up. And we know that, too, because hospitalizations are going up.”
12:16 p.m. Scooter rentals benefit as people shy away from transit: San Francisco scooter rental company Spin is hiring as it has expanded its citywide fleet by 500 vehicles while the pandemic reduced the need to commute downtown and scared some away from riding public transit. Spin was the only scooter company that has continued operating in the city throughout the pandemic. Scoot and Lime have now resumed service as well. Read more here.
12:12 p.m. U.S. death toll rises above 227,000: The United States now has lost more than 227,000 to COVID-19 as of Wednesday, tracking from Johns Hopkins University shows.
12:02 p.m. Texas surpasses California death toll: Texas, with a population count of about 10 million fewer people than California’s, now tops California’s death toll from COVID-19. As of Wednesday, California had lost 17,486 lives to the virus, while tracking from Johns Hopkins University showed the Lone Star State with 18,069 fatalities to date.
11:47 a.m. Infections up by 8 million since Kushner said Trump had sidelined doctors: On April 18, when President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner told journalist Bob Woodward that the president had taken the country “back from the doctors,” U.S. coronavirus cases numbered 736,166, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University. As of Wednesday, 8.8 million Americans have been infected.
11:31 a.m. Hawaiian Airlines opens drive-through testing near SFO: Hawaiian Airlines announced Wednesday that its passengers will have exclusive access to its drive-through, pre-travel coronavirus testing service near San Francisco International Airport. Travelers who take the shallow nasal-swab test from their vehicle within 72 hours before departure, with a negative result, will be exempted from the state of Hawaii quarantine.
11:19 a.m. Infections follow Trump campaign stops in at least 5 places: President Trump has participated in nearly three dozen rallies since mid-August, all but two at airport hangars. A USA TODAY analysis shows COVID-19 cases grew faster after at least five of those rallies, including in battleground states Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Although there’s no way to determine definitively if cases originated at Trump’s rallies, public health experts say the crowded gatherings defy all recommendations to curb coronavirus spread.
11:10 a.m. Hospitals stagger as COVID-19 patient load rises 46%: Hospitals around the United States are reeling from the coronavirus, many in regions that initially were spared the worst, the New York Times reports. As President Trump downplays the steep rise in cases, attributing much of it to increased testing, the number of COVID-19 hospital patients has climbed an estimated 46 percent from a month ago, 26 states are at or near record numbers for new infections, and more than 500,000 cases were confirmed in the past week.
11 a.m. Dodgers postpone World Series celebrations over pandemic concerns: The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Wednesday that it would hold off on celebrating its seventh World Series championship. In a statement to fans, the team said the festivities would “have to wait until it is safe to do so. We can’t wait to celebrate together!” The team is currently in Texas with no announced plans to return to California, according to CNN. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was removed in the 8th inning from Game 6 on Tuesday after testing positive for the coronavirus.
10:42 a.m. Napa, Solano counties could slip back: As the Bay Area sees an uptick in cases, two counties, Napa and Solano, are at risk of moving to a more restrictive tier after reporting worsening local case rates. Elsewhere in the Bay Area, lifting of local restrictions continued Tuesday, with more businesses and activities opening in San Francisco and a handful of other counties. Read more here.
10:15 a.m. Fauci sees normalcy returning in late 2021-early 2022: Dr. Anthony Fauci, told a Melbourne, Australia webinar on Wednesday that normal life won’t return soon in the U.S. “I think it will be easily by the end of 2021 and perhaps into the next year before we start having some semblance of normality,” Fauci said, meaning that “you can get people in a theater without worrying about what we call congregate-setting super infections, if we can get restaurants to open almost at full capacity.”
10 a.m. Young people weaker on health protocols: A new CDC survey released Tuesday finds that U.S. adults ages 18—29 are the least likely to engage in mitigation behaviors such as mask-wearing, handwashing, physical distancing and crowd, restaurant and social activity avoidance. “Although younger people are less likely to suffer the most serious complications of COVID-19, the infection can still be serious in some cases,” the report said. “Even those with mild cases or who are asymptomatic” can infect vulnerable older people.
9:40 a.m. Jared Kushner bragged in April that Trump took country ‘back’ from doctors: In a recording obtained by CNN, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said in mid-April that the president had stopped seeking the advice of doctors and scientists on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic. “Trump’s now back in charge. It’s not the doctors,” he said in the taped interview with journalist Bob Woodward. “It was almost like Trump getting the country back from the doctors.” Kushner added that he expected the president would benefit politically from the move even as cases surged around the country. Hear the audio here.
9:15 a.m. Germany and France prepare for lockdowns as deaths spike: Germany and France are preparing to announce new restrictions on Wednesday, as COVID-19 deaths across Europe rose nearly 40% in a week, Reuters is reporting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was expected to close restaurants and bars, and restrict people to going out in public only with household members. France, with more than 50,000 new cases a day, is expected to impose additional curbs on movement across the country.
9:20 a.m. California prison system hit for weak health protocols: State prison officials did a poor job requiring inmates and staff to wear masks to slow coronavirus spread, and even “perplexingly loosened” their policy as cases were spiking, the state inspector general said this week. More than 15,500 inmates have been infected, and 76 died in outbreaks at San Quentin and other state prisons. Yet there was “frequent noncompliance” by both inmates and staff with department mask and distancing mandates, the report said.
9:14 a.m. Outbreak at UCSF medical center: Two patients and three health care workers at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights tested positive for the coronavirus last week, and it appears the transmission occurred at the hospital, UCSF said Tuesday. The cases prompted 28 additional employees to be quarantined, and 15 additional patients to be placed in “precautionary isolation,” UCSF spokeswoman Kristen Bole said in a written statement. So far, all of those employees and patients have tested negative.
7:02 a.m. Stocks slammed by virus cases: Broad-based selling roiled the stock markets as rising coronavirus infections rattled investors. The major indexes were all down 2% or more. UPS was an outlier as the shipper reported strong earnings; e-commerce seemed like a safe bet heading into the holidays.
Updates from Tuesday, Oct. 27:
5:45 p.m. Cinemark is reopening most of its Bay Area movie theaters this week: The nation’s third-largest cinema chain plans to open its movie theaters in San Francisco and Santa Clara counties on Friday, Oct. 30, but will not be able to serve concessions due to local restrictions. Cinemark announced it plans to bring back more of its Bay Area locations on Tuesday, the same day it reopened five of its venues in Alameda County (where concession sales are allowed). “I know people want to get out of the house and come back to the cinema,” Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi told The Chronicle. Read the full article here.
5:25 p.m. Santa Clara County Fairgrounds “maxed out” tests with 2,500 COVID-19 in a day: The testing site at Santa Clara County Fairgrounds “maxed out on appointments” with 2,500 COVID-19 tests on Tuesday, county health officials said. “Thank you to the community for its commitment to getting tested,” county officials said. Click here to learn how to get tested in Santa Clara County.
5:05 p.m. Danville cancels weekend street closure due to overcrowding concerns: City officials in Danville will no longer close a stretch of Hartz Avenue for outdoor dining on weekends after receiving repeated complaints of COVID-19 health order violations and a “Mardi Gras type of atmosphere,” according to a report by Pleasanton Weekly. At a special meeting of the Danville Town Council, Police Chief Allan Shields cited concerns over social distancing and mask-wearing, as well as bars that serve alcohol and host live amplified music on the stretch between Diablo Road and Prospect Avenue.
4:15 p.m. State unveils vaccine advisory group: The California Department of Public Health on Tuesday announced the formation of a new advisory group that will determine which Californians are prioritized for getting the first coronavirus vaccines. The panel is part of California’s vaccine distribution planning efforts, and follows the creation of a group to analyze the safety and effectiveness of vaccines approved by the FDA. The new 16-member panel includes Bay Area experts from UCSF, Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health.
4:03 p.m. Bay Area counties reopening more services even as case counts inch upward: Despite hints that cases are starting to climb in parts of California , the Bay Area continues to lift pandemic restrictions, including the resumption of more businesses in San Francisco on Tuesday. Here’s how all of the region’s counties fared in the state’s weekly coronavirus report. Read the story here.
3:31 p.m. Brain damage from COVID-19?: People recovering from COVID-19 may suffer significant brain function impacts, with the worst cases linked to mental decline equivalent to the brain aging by 10 years, according to research cited Tuesday by Reuters. The non-peer-reviewed study of more than 84,000 people, led by a doctor at Imperial College London, linked some severe COVID-19 cases to substantial cognitive deficits for months. Other scientists said the findings should be viewed with some caution, particularly because subjects’ cognitive function was not known pre-COVID, and the results don’t tell whether brain effects would remain long term.
3:14 p.m. High schools get green light in S.F.: For the first time since March, some San Francisco high school kids will get to go back to school in person, with a go-ahead from county health officials. Archbishop Riordan High and the Sterne School both passed city inspections and on Monday received permission to let students return, though it was not immediately clear how quickly they would do so. A handful of other private high schools are close to winning approval. Read the full story here.
2:49 p.m. Counties in state advance: In addition to Contra Costa, Marin and San Mateo counties, Santa Cruz County advanced to the orange tier of California’s reopening blueprint Tuesday. Glen and Mendocino counties moved from the most restrictive purple level into the next tier, orange. Calaveras County advanced into yellow, joining nine other counties, including San Francisco, in the least restrictive tier.
2:28 p.m. U.S. death toll surpasses 226,000: Without a “rounding the turn” trend, the coronavirus continues surging in most U.S. states, and the nation’s COVID-19 fatalities have topped 226,000, standing at 226,436 lives lost as of Tuesday afternoon, data from Johns Hopkins University shows. The nation saw nearly 67,000 new infections on Monday.
2:19 p.m. Where you can go, at last: The Bay Area is slowly coming back to life as California eases coronavirus restrictions, and counties advance on state benchmarks that let them reopen museums, zoos, movie theaters and more. Check out The Chronicle’s running list of the major venues, institutions and attractions that are open. .
2:13 p.m. Autoimmune tendencies seen in virus: A new study has found some survivors of Covid-19 carry worrying signs that their immune system has turned on the body, reminiscent of potentially debilitating diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the New York Times reports. These patients’ defense systems shifted into attacking theselves, rather than the virus. The patients produced molecules called “autoantibodies” that target genetic material from human cells, instead of from the virus.
1:58 p.m. Kansas nursing home with outbreak kicked off Medicare: A Kansas nursing home where all 63 residents became infected with the coronavirus and 10 died is being terminated as a Medicare skilled nursing facility, the Washington Post reports. Administrators at Andbe Home failed to isolate the first two infected residents to prevent spread, inspectors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found. Multiple employees did not wear masks, according to a report released Tuesday.
1:42 p.m. Live theater hurting even more than most: The long term outlook for live theater looks grim in the Bay Area, with no sign audiences being allowed back inside even as other industries start to reopen, albeit with restrictions. Some theaters adapted with events like socially distanced outdoor shows, online events and audio pieces. But they barely break even, and many in the Bay Area industry are looking to a very different future. Read more here.
1:28 p.m. Mixed day on Wall Street: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 222 points to close at 27,463.19, a loss of 0.80%, after the index’s Monday loss wiped out its gains for the month. The benchmark S&P 500 declined 0.3%. But tech stocks gained, sending the Nasdaq composite index up 0.6%.
1:26 p.m. California’s blanket mail-in strategy pays off: With one week to go before the Nov. 3 election, California’s pandemic-driven push for mail-in and early balloting, with mail-in ballots sent to every registered voter, appears to be a success. Ballots cast in California as of Monday have already surpassed 50% of the total cast in 2016, data from California officials and the U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida shows. About one-third of ballots sent out this year have been submitted. Read the details here.
1:14 p.m. S.F. grows support for jobs: San Francisco is expanding its jobs program to support 3,600 job placements by providing employment assistance, training services, and wage subsidies as part of its coronavirus pandemic recovery efforts. Funding for the JobsNow! program, is increasing by $7.4 million compared to the previous year, for a total of nearly $28 million in annual funding. Read more.
12:52 p.m. Newsom holds the line on Disneyland reopening: Gov. Gavin Newsom stood by his decision to keep large theme parks, particularly Disneyland, closed at this time, citing the surge of COVID-19 cases around the country. “That should be self-evident,” he said during his Tuesday press briefing. “We should be concerned about opening up a large theme park where people mix from every walk of life and put themselves and others at risk.”
12:47 p.m. California infection rate rises along with new cases: California has seen a worrisome increase in its daily average of new case numbers over the past 14 days, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday, noting that 14-day average was 3,699 daily new cases, and the 7-day average rose to 4,330 cases. The rate of coronavirus tests coming back positive also has risen, to 3.2% for the 7-day average. In another troubling sign, statewide hospital admissions rose 5.9 % over 14 days. The state and Bay Area numbers remain more stable, however, than the nationwide surges.
12:22 p.m. State panel will draft ethics guidelines for vaccine: California is creating a 16-member panel to draft guidelines for distrubtion of coronavirus vaccines, once approved, that incorporate ethics considerations, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday. The focus will be on how to allocate the vaccine by prioritizing the most vulnerable and those who should receive vaccines early, based on ethics, epidemiology, health equity and pharmacy practice, he told a briefing.
12:17 p.m. Three Bay Area counties move to new reopening tiers: Contra Costa, Marin and San Mateo counties advanced into the orange tier in the state’s reopening strategy on Tuesday. Those counties can now resume more activities and increase capacity for some indoor operations including churches and restaurants. It was not immediately clear whether those counties would lift restrictions right away.
12:14 p.m. Three Western states join California in reviewing any vaccine: Washington, Oregon and Nevada are joining California to independently review any coronavirus vaccine before distributing it to the public, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday. Newsom said the three states would identify their own public health experts to participate in the scientific review committee he announced last week, which has been charged with ensuring that any vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is safe and effective. The Chronicle’s Alexei Koseff has the story.
11:30 a.m. EU warns that vaccines for all will not be available until 2022: The European Union will not be able to innoculate its population of 450 million before 2022, officials said in an internal meeting. “There will not be sufficient doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the entire population before the end of 2021,” a European Commission official told diplomats in a closed-door meeting on Monday, according to a Reuters report. The 27-nation bloc has ordered more than 1 billion doses of potential vaccines from three drugmakers and is negotiating the advance purchase of another billion vials with other companies, the news agency said.
10:45 a.m. Cal men’s basketball workouts paused after infection: A member of the Cal men’s basketball program has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting a halt in workouts, Cal Athletics said in a Tuesday statement. The positive result came from regularly scheduled testing and is Cal Athletics’ the first infection since daily testing began earlier this month, the statement said.
10:29 a.m. Trump says stimulus package will come after election: President Trump on Tuesday appeared to close the door on the on-off hopes for a coronavirus relief deal between the White House and Democrats before election day Nov. 3. “After the election we’ll get the best stimulus package you’ve ever seen,” he told reporters as he left the White House to campaign in Michigan. He again lambasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, mentioning Pelosi’s insistence on aid for pandemic-battered local and state governments. Pelosi “is only interested in bailing out Demcrat-run, crime-ridden cities and states,” he said, although the virus is surging through Republican-led states and aid would benefit them, too.
10:14 a.m. Nearly 800,000 children in U.S. infected , 14% rise in cases in 2 weeks: Children represent 11% of all reported COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics. There are 792,188 infections in children reported, according to the academy’s latest data, marking a 14% jump over the past two weeks. Children now account for 1%-3.6% of COVID-19 related hospitalizations.
10:13 a.m. Obama eviscerates Trump on virus: Former President Barack Obama, campaigning Tuesday for his former vice president Joe Biden, again laid into President Trump’s “incompetence and indifference” in handling the pandemic. “He’s turned the White House into a hot zone,” a fiery Obama told a car rally in Orlando, Fla., in reference to the numerous infections tied to the White House. “They’re waiting the white flag of surrender,” he added in reference to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ comment that the administration was “not going to control the pandemic.”
10:03 a.m. Maybe waiting for shot is a good thing: People desperate for a coronavirus cure might not want to take the first vaccine that comes along if a better one is likely to come around later. Dr. Jay Levy, a UCSF professor of medicine, said the so-called Hoskins doctrine suggests that a person inoculated with a vaccine might develop an immunological memory to that specific vaccine, which would prevent benefit from stronger vaccines produced later. Read the story here.
9:26 a.m. Bold repeat of White House superspreader event, but with a twist: The White House made some concessions to the coronavirus when President Trump held a large swearing in ceremony for the new Supreme Court justice Monday even as five of the vice president’s staff were positive for the coronavirus. Unlike the Rose Garden Sept. 26 event that turned out to be a superspreader, the White House ceremony Monday had chairs spaced several feet apart and guests were required to wear masks.
8:37 a.m. Eli Lilly drug test ended: U.S. officials are putting an early end to a study testing an Eli Lilly antibody drug for hospitalized COVID-19 patients because it doesn’t seem to help them. Independent monitors had paused enrollment in the study two weeks ago because of a possible safety issue. But on Monday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said a closer look did not verify a safety problem but found a low chance that the drug would prove helpful. It is a setback for one of the most promising treatment approaches for COVID-19.
8:27 a.m. Virus batters battleground states at bad time for Trump: The coronavirus is getting worse in states that President Trump needs most in his reelection fight. A week before election day, new infections are raging in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the upper Midwest. In Iowa, where Trump won in 2016, polls suggest a toss-up race. Trump’s pandemic response appears to threaten his hold on Wisconsin, where he won by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016.
7:58 a.m. Virus antibodies diminish with time: Tests on more than 365,000 people in England show that the antibody response to the coronavirus wanes over time, a new study by Imperial College London found. Finger-prick tests between June 20 and Sept. 28 found that the number of people testing positive dropped by 26.5% across the study period. The findings suggest there may be a decline in population immunity levels in the months after the first wave of the epidemic.
7:39 a.m. Vaccine wariness spurs Bay Area efforts: Amid signs that a growing number of people will not take a coronavirus vaccine, Bay Area health officials and community groups are starting to strategize about how to reach people who are the hardest hit by the coronavirus — immigrants, Indigenous populations and day laborers — to assure them vaccines, once available, will be beneficial. Read the story here.
6:45 a.m. Shares mixed at open: The Dow was down slightly and the Nasdaq was up as trading began on Wall Street. A rotation out of travel-related stocks and into work-from-home software companies continued. Salesforce rose while Uber and Lyft fell.
Updates from Monday, Oct. 26:
4:29 p.m. Bay Area sees notable uptick in coronavirus cases: The Bay Area experienced its first notable uptick in positive coronavirus cases since early September over the weekend. But the region continues to hold steady overall even as the United States registers record-breaking surges. Read the whole story here.
3:39 p.m. Running for school board beset by pandemic: San Francisco public schools face a tumultuous future: classrooms likely closed until at least January and a budget shortfall combined with declining enrollment that could force big cuts to programs and staffing. Amid this uncertainty, 10 candidates are scrapping for four school board seats, including two incumbents and eight challengers. Read the full story here.
3:28 p.m. San Jose State football game moved due to virus: Because of high coronavirus prevalence in New Mexico’s Bernalillo County, the Mountain West Conference announced Monday that Saturday’s football game between San Jose State and New Mexico will be switched from Albuquerque to San Jose’s CEFCU Stadium. Kickoff remains at 4 p.m. Read more here.
3:09 p.m. Napa County records another death: Napa County reported another life lost to the coronavirus Monday, bringing its death toll from the pandemic to 15 to date. The county confirmed another 24 infections, for a total of 1,961cases since the pandemic began.
3:02 p.m. What you need to know about voting in a pandemic: Voting by mail is nothing new to a lot of Californians, but as a pandemic precaution, the Nov. 3 election will mark the first time every registered voter in the state is getting a ballot in the mail. Check out The Chronicle’s story with everything you need to know, from early voting and drop-boxes to mail-in and voting centers.
2:45 p.m. Trump administration seeks to block pandemic food help: President Trump’s Agriculture Department is fighting in federal court to block states from giving billions of dollars in emergency food stamps to the lowest-income Americans during the coronavirus crisis. California and Pennsylvania residents are suing the department over a policy that has kept roughly 40% of households who rely on the the food aid from receiving any emergency benefits during the pandemic, Politico reports. A federal judge last week ordered the payments to proceed in the Pennsylvania case. The administration is continuing to appeal.
2:28 p.m. Officials flee Trump health agencies ahead of election: At least 27 political appointees have exited the embattled Health and Human Services Department since the pandemic began in February, according to a Politico review, and leaders are bracing for dozens more quick departures if President Trump loses re-election. That would leave only a shell staff shepherding the department in a challenging winter of coronavirus outbreaks and drug and vaccine authorizations until Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. Many current and former officials told Politico of morale suffering during the coronavirus crisis, with round-the-clock response at agencies like CDC and FDA, and unrelenting headlines about administration fumbles and policy battles.
2:16 p.m. UC Berkeley among schools slashing big: UC Berkeley has paused admissions to its Ph.D. programs in anthropology, sociology and art history, while other universities across the nation are dropping majors, cutting programs, laying off staff and otherwise penny-pinching, forced by the coronavirus to upend education as usual. By one estimate, the New York Times reports, the pandemic has cost colleges at least $120 billion, with even Harvard University reporting a $10 million deficit that has prompted belt tightening.
2:06 p.m. Large COVID-19 outbreak linked to air travel, study says: A seven-hour flight with 17% occupancy led to infection in 13 passengers and 59 additional cases through community spread in Ireland, according to a new study published by the European CDC. The commercial flight had 49 out of 283 seats occupied, and at least four cases traced back to passengers who “were not seated next to any other positive case, had no contact in transit lounge, wore face masks in-flight and would not be deemed close contacts”
1:50 p.m. Pelosi says testing is a snag in stimulus talks: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco blasted the Trump administration Monday for declining to sign on to Democrats’ plan for a COVID-19 testing strategy, despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s earlier public indication of accord. “Ten days after Secretary Mnuchin went on CNBC to declare that he was accepting our testing plan, the Administration still refuses to do so,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to colleagues. She and Mnuchin have yet to reach a deal on a COVID-19 relief package, in which the testing plan was put forward.
1:38 p.m. Montana calls National Guard for virus help in prison: The Montana Army National Guard has been activated to help officers at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge contain a coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Steve Bullock said Monday. The 67 volunteer soldiers are to assist with duties such as distributing mail and meals, laundry and inmate counts. An outbreak since early October has affected 166 inmates and 61 staff.
1:22 p.m. Texas city imposes curfew: Residents in the Texas border city of El Paso have been urged to stay home for two weeks as a spike in coronavirus cases overwhelms hospitals, prompting the state to dedicate part of the city’s civic center as a makeshift care center for the ill. An El Paso judge on Sunday night issued a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. stay-home order except for those going to or from work or out for essential services. On Monday, the county reported a new record high in daily coronavirus cases, 1,443 infections.
1:15 p.m. WHO warns countries not to give up on pandemic fight: A day after White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the administration “is not going to control the pandemic,” the World Health Organization on Monday urged countries not to give up on coronavirus containment efforts, Stat reports. “Giving up on control is dangerous,” said Tedros Adhamon Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director-general. “Control should … be part of the strategy.”
1:03 p.m. Stocks close down as stimulus hopes fade: A combination of stalled stimulus talks and discouraging health news walloped stocks Monday. The Dow, which at one point fell as much as 800 points, closed down 2.3% at 27,685.71. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 indexes also fell, with travel-related stocks hit hard.
12:41 p.m. Virus is pounding Europe: The World Health Organization’s emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan noted Monday that 46% of all global COVID-19 cases last week were reported in Europe. “There’s no question that the European region is an epicenter of disease right now,” he told a briefing. Ryan said that the normally open European Union borders might need to be shut down to “take the heat out of this phase of the pandemic.”
12:28 p.m. The coronavirus isn’t bad enough?: CDC officials are reporting a resurgence of a superbug called Candida auris, a pathogen that can evade drugs made to kill it; early signs suggest the COVID-19 pandemic may be propelling infections of the highly dangerous yeast because it is particularly prominent in hospital settings, where it’s been seen in COVID-19 units, National Geographic reports. The superbug sticks stubbornly to surfaces such as sheets and medical devices, making it easier to colonize skin and pass from one person to another.
12:13 a.m. ‘Encouraging’ interim results for vaccine candidate in older adults: The drug company AstraZeneca on Monday called immune system response of its coronavirus vaccine candidate “encouraging” It said the vaccine produced an immune response and low levels of adverse reactions, and an interim analysis shows positive outcomes for adults over 56, including those over 70 who are considered especially high risk, according to the Wall Street Journal. .
11:54 a.m. New park at Bay Bridge is latest outdoor respite: A new park featuring a 600-foot pier, a few feet south of the eastern span of the Bay Bridge, is the latest outdoor attraction for pandemic-weary Bay Area residents. Accessible by foot and bike path, the pier runs alongside and is supported by six pilings from the old incline section of the eastern span, the bridge section that was replaced after a deck collapse in the 1989 earthquake. Read the details here.
11:35 a.m. Vaccine said to produce immune response: AstraZeneca said Monday that a coronavirus vaccine it is developing with the University of Oxford produces an immune response in both the elderly and the young, Reuters reports. The UK drugmaker also said that adverse reactions were lower among the elderly. Britain’s Financial Times reported the vaccine triggers protective antibodies and T-cells in older age groups.
10:59 a.m. Daily deaths rising again in nation: COVID-19 deaths per day are on the rise again in the United States and daily infections are climbing in 47 states, despite a drumbeat of assurances from President Trump that “we’re rounding the turn.” Just over a week before election day, deaths per day are rising in 34 states, with average daily fatalities up 10% nationwide over the past two weeks, from 721 to nearly 794 as of Sunday, according Johns Hopkins University data.
10:35 a.m. San Francisco, Alameda County sever ties with Verily over privacy: S.F. and Alameda County will no longer work with Google’s health-focused sister company, Verily, which was to expand testing in the state’s low-income communities. Alameda County’s COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force raised concerns about Verily’s protocols, including the handling of patients’ data privacy, and complaints that funding intended to boost testing in low-income Black and Latino neighborhoods instead was benefiting higher-income residents in other communities, according to a report by Kaiser Health News.
10:29 a.m. S.F. waives fees for nightclubs, bars and music venues: The nightlife industry has been hit hard by the shutdown triggered by the pandemic. San Francisco officials hope a new $2.5 million program will help. Click here for details from The Chronicle’s Shwanika Narayan.
9:57 a.m. Kentucky, with record cases, anticipates new measures: Last week Kentucky set a record for its highest number of #COVID19 cases since the pandemic began, Gov. Any Beshear tweeted Monday. “We must take action.” Beshear was to announce new recommendations Monday, on top of the state’s mask mandate, to combat the surge, as the nation’s escalating outbreak centered increasingly on rural-oriented states.
9:45 a.m. Mike Pence to skip Supreme Court confirmation vote: The vice president was not planning to attend Monday’s Senate confirmation vote on Amy Coney Barrett after five of his aides tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, according to CNN. Pence would go only if needed to cast a tie-breaking vote for the Supreme Court nominee. Pence was campaigning in Minnesota and “is not planning to be at the Senate tonight unless his vote is needed,” a spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. Pence reportedly tested negative on Monday.
9:19 a.m. S.F. held up as model in handling virus: If the entire country had followed San Francisco’s approach to the coronavirus outbreak, the nation would have 50,000 dead from the pandemic instead of more than 225,000, UCSF Medicine chairman Dr. Bob Wachter Chesa Boudin’s Election Is an Opportunity for San Francisco. Will They Embrace It?
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