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:
• 64,510 in California, including 2,628 deaths.
• 9,501 in the Bay Area, including 342 deaths.
• More than 1.2 million in the U.S., including more than 77,000 deaths. The five states with the highest death tolls are New York with 26,243; New Jersey with 8,960; Massachusetts with 4,702; Michigan with 4,399; and Pennsylvania with 3,715. Click here to see a U.S. map with state-by-state death tolls and coronavirus case counts.
• More than 3.9 million in the world, with more than 276,000 deaths. More than 1.3 million people have recovered.
Coronavirus cases by city: For detailed maps and new city-by-city Bay Area data, check out The Chronicle’s Coronavirus Tracker. To get regular updates on our coverage, sign up for our coronavirus newsletter.
Latest updates from today:
9:01 p.m. Bay Area hospitalizations drop below 300: The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 in the Bay Area dropped to 290 on Thursday, according to state data analyzed by The Chronicle. That’s down from 308 on Wednesday, and the 12th straight day of declining or flat hospitalization numbers. The number of Bay Area residents in the intensive care unit held steady at 125 on Thursday, which is the latest day data is available.
8:44 p.m. Bay Area children’s hospitals report no cases of Pediatric Inflammation Multisystem Syndrome: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, Children’s Hospital Oakland and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto have no reported cases of the mysterious, debilitating syndrome linked to COVID-19 that has affected three children at a Los Angeles hospital and dozens in New York.
8:06 p.m. Pleasanton Farmers’ Market reopens Saturday: The Pleasanton Farmers’ Market announced it will reopen Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with social distancing measures in place, like no sampling, no seating and additional spacing. The first hour is reserved for seniors.
7:25 p.m. Napa Valley wineries submit guidelines for tasting room reopening: The Napa Valley Vintners trade association has submitted proposed safety guidelines for reopening tasting room operations to county officials, the Napa Valley Register reports. Masks (presumably not while sipping), occupancy limits and an appointment-only system are among the recommendations.
7:09 p.m. Caltrain may consider full shutdown if unable to secure more funding: A shutdown of all Caltrain service would be under “serious consideration” were it not for the $49.3 million the transportation agency received from the Cares Act — but it’s still a possibility, according to Caltrain spokesman Dan Lieberman. “Without further assistance, severe cost reduction including layoffs, furloughs, and a potential shutdown would need to be considered,” Lieberman said. Read the full story here.
7:05 p.m. Bay Area counties are not close to meeting criteria for reopening: Even though the Bay Area is reopening more slowly than most of the state, none of the six counties are meeting their own criteria for relaxing social distancing instructions. Read the full story here.
6:52 p.m. Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy dies from COVID-19: The 75-year-old German performer, part of the Las Vegas entertainment duo Siegfried and Roy, has died of coronavirus complications at 75, according to his publicist. Horn retired from performing after he was attacked and severely injured by one of the act’s trained tigers in October 2003.
6:08 p.m. State tells reopened rural counties they might lose disaster relief: Rural counties that decided to reopen early might not receive disaster funds to keep their public systems running, the head of California’s Office of Emergency Services said Thursday. In a stern letter, office director Mark Ghilarducci warned officials in Yuba, Sutter and Modoc counties that they may have violated the governor’s March 4 emergency declaration and subsequent string of executive orders by allowing diners, barbershops and other businesses to operate. Read the full story here.
5:44 p.m. Nearly two-fifths of California deaths are from nursing homes: Data released Friday by the state’s Department of Public Health show that residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities account for close to 40% of all deaths from COVID-19. When other senior care facilities are counted, the figure reaches 49%. Read the full story here.
5:31 p.m. Employee at San Rafael Whole Foods tests positive: An employee at Whole Foods located on 3rd Street in San Rafael has tested positive for the coronavirus and is in quarantine, a company spokesperson said. The Marin County store remains open with enhanced cleaning, social distancing and crowd control measures in place, including plexiglass barriers at check-out. Temperature checks and face masks are required for employees.
4:52 p.m. SF General Hospital sending psychiatric patients to the ER for virus testing, despite safety citation: The state’s workplace safety agency, Cal-OSHA, cited and fined San Francisco General Hospital in April for allowing an unsafe environment in the ER department. Nurses say the hospital is now testing safety boundaries in the emergency department. Read the full story here.
4:52 p.m. Three cruise ships with no known COVID-19 cases to dock at Oakland port: Three cruise ships with crew members but no passengers will arrive at the Port of Oakland this weekend where they are expected to idle for two to three months while cruise ships are banned from operating. The ships, which include two Norwegian Cruise Line vessels, have no confirmed cases of the coronavirus and the crew does not plan to disembark. “These ships are under federal requirements to report health concerns, and we understand that they haven’t had a history of coronavirus, so we’ll do what we can to help,” said port director Danny Wan. Read the full story here.
4:41 p.m. Roughly 90 laid-off Yosemite employees told to leave employee housing, Fresno Bee reports: An estimated 90 shuttle bus drivers and transportation workers at Yosemite National Park who were laid off due to the pandemic will be required to move out of employee housing by May 21, the Fresno Bee reported. The employer, hospitality company Aramark, told The Chronicle in a statement that it is assisting impacted employees with finding new housing. “We do not plan to force them to leave or vacate their in-park housing without having something new lined up,” an Aramark spokesperson said.
4:25 p.m. Reporting center gets 1,700 reports of hate incidents targeting Asian Americans: A hate reporting center has received 1,700 nationwide reports of harassment, bullying, assault and other incidents of hate targeting Asian Americans since the pandemic began, said Vincent Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, during a town hall meeting. Of those, 117 were in San Francisco. The reports show that women were disproportionately impacted and seniors and children were also targeted. Mayor London Breed urged people to report hate crimes or incidents so police and city officials can respond.
3:45 p.m. California, coronavirus and crime: California crime levels are down during the pandemic: Will letting prisoners free change that? Inmate advocates say no, and they have statistics to prove their thesis. Read the story here.
3:35 p.m. White House revives some shelved CDC guidance after news report: The decision to shelve detailed CDC advice for reopening communities came from the highest levels of the White House, government emails obtained by the Associated Press show. After the AP reported it had been buried, the Trump administration ordered key parts of it fast-tracked for approval, the AP reports.
3:24 p.m. Who will watch the kids? Bay Area child care programs are shutting down, and many may shut permanently, leaving working parents with a dilemma. Read the whole story here.
3:19 p.m. State health care worker infections rise: The state’s county health departments have confirmed 6,821 health workers with coronavirus infections as of Thursday, and 36 have died. That’s an increase of 196 cases and one death from a day earlier, according to state health department data released Friday. Infection among health workers was up 1,204 cases and five deaths from a week earlier. Included are exposures both on and off the job.
3:13 p.m. Two new cases at Santa Rita Jail: Two more inmates at Santa Rita Jail have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to four active positive cases, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office reported Friday. Thirty-one inmates have recovered and two staff/contractors are currently infected.
2 p.m. Sen. Harris calls for transparent, equitable distribution of remdesivir: In a letter to FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor and HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Sen. Kamala Harris requested that the agencies release more information about the distribution of remdesivir, the antiviral drug approved for COVID-19 patients. Harris said she’s unaware of any California or Washington, D.C., hospitals that have received the drug. “Given the staggering racial and ethnic disparities that have emerged during this pandemic, an equitable distribution of remdesivir is necessary to address and reduce the adverse COVID-19 health outcomes in the African American, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Pacific Islander communities,” Harris wrote.
1:53 p.m. Miss America competition postponed: The Miss America 2021 competition scheduled for December has been postponed due to the pandemic’s impact, organizers said Friday.
1:39 p.m. No new cases, deaths reported in Napa County: Health officials reported 78 total cases of the coronavirus and two deaths in Napa County as of Friday, marking no change from Thursday. Still, 189 people are awaiting test results and 97 people who had close contact with a positive case are being monitored, officials said.
1:37 p.m. LA records 51 more coronavirus deaths: Fifty-one more people in Los Angeles County have died of COVID-19, health officials said. To date, 30,296 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the county and 1,468 people have died of COVID-19.
1:35 p.m. If not this new coronavirus, then another: This moment was bound to come as climate change — twinned with reckless deforestation and development — has demolished Earth’s natural defense systems that hold viruses at bay, scientists told ProPublica. One study estimates more than 3,200 strains of coronavirus exist among bats, awaiting their chance to jump to humans.
1:34 p.m. Contra Costa tops 1,000 cases: Health officials reported 16 new cases of the coronavirus in Contra Costa County, bringing the total to 1,014 on Friday. Sixteen people are currently hospitalized and 29 people have died.
1:21 p.m. Next phase of California reopening may come within a month, Newsom says: The next phase of reopening California “may not even be more than a month away,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “Phase 3 is not a year away, it’s not six months away, it’s not even three months away, it may not even be more than a month away — we just want to make sure that we have a protocol in place to secure customer safety, employee safety and allow the businesses to thrive in a way that is sustainable,” Newsom said while answering a question about nail salons, which are expected to reopen during the third phase.
1:19 p.m. Mayor to Oakland — give the lake a break: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tells KTVU that popular Lake Merritt could be closed if social distancing guidelines continue to be flouted. “We always can consider, you know, measures like shutting down, measures like giving people tickets,” Schaaf said. “But I believe that in this moment, people need to go outside, that we have to attend to people’s mental health as well as avoiding the contagion of this virus.”
1:12 p.m. Stocks rise after jobless report: Despite the dismal unemployment figures released Friday, the stock market posted big gains, reflecting hope that the report marks the bottom of the job losses. The Dow Jones industrial average added more than 450 points to close at 24,331, a gain of nearly 2%.
1:08 p.m. Bay Area Rep. Mike Thompson to shave shelter-in-place beard for those in need: The North Bay Democrat says it’s time for his pandemic beard to go, but he’s going to raise money for a good cause in doing it. Chronicle Washington correspondent Tal Kopan has the story.
12:59 p.m. San Jose to allow businesses to operate outside: San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo announced a plan for restaurants and some other businesses to operate outdoors. The program, known as San Jose Al Fresco, will allow outdoor dining and exercise on some city sidewalks and streets as well as in parking lots and parks. Liccardo and other city officials said the plan would be coordinated with the county health department and state shelter-in-place orders. Officials said restaurants, in particular, will need extra room to serve customers while providing social distancing, and that space can be provided outside.
12:49 p.m. Newsom says California unemployment likely more than 20%: Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state’s unemployment rate is “north of 20% right now.” “It’s a very sober reality,” he said. Earlier in the day the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics put the national number at 14.7%.
12:44 p.m. Where’s Pelosi? At work, it turns out: President Trump ripped House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday, accusing the San Francisco Democrat in a Fox News interview of “sitting in her expensive house” in California instead of being at work in Washington. His press secretary Kayleigh McEnany echoed the attack, saying it’s difficult to work with Congress in Pelosi’s absence, the Washington Post reported. The problem was that Pelosi was working in the Capitol and visible to reporters, and she’s been there all week, her spokesman tweeted.
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) May 8, 2020
12:38 p.m. Legislative analyst projects $126 billion total in state budget deficits in 4 years: California’s nonpartisan legislative analyst says the state can expect budget deficits through at least 2024 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Legislative Analyst Gabriel Petek released an analysis on Friday showing the deficits could total up to $126 billion combined depending on the severity of the recession, the Associated Press reports.
12:35 p.m. State closes 33 salons in two counties, Newsom says: Thirty-three salons in two counties were shut down in the past few days after state officials contacted them, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced.
12:25 p.m. Every voter in California can get a mail-in ballot: Every registered voter in California can receive a mail-in ballot, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced. Newsom said he signed an executive order requiring the mail-in option for all. Some physical voting locations will remain open for people who don’t want to or are not familiar or comfortable with voting by mail, he said.
12:23 p.m. Bay Area counties experiment with reopening some retail stores: Sonoma and Solano counties began allowing certain categories of retail businesses to reopen Friday, with restrictions. Sonoma only allows curbside pickup, while Solano is requiring social distancing inside stores.
12:20 p.m. California sees 81 more deaths, nearly 2,000 new cases: Eighty-one more people in California died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours as state officials confirmed 1,898 new coronavirus cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced.
12:18 p.m. Apple to start reopening U.S. retail stores: The iPhone maker will start opening stores in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama and Alaska next week, CNBC reported. It’s unclear if any California stores would reopen for pickup, which is allowed in some areas starting today. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for more details.
12:16 p.m. Counties contact Newsom about reducing stay-at-home order: Nearly two dozen counties contacted Gov. Gavin Newsom in the past 24 hours to start discussions about further reducing stay-at-home orders, he said. Newsom on Thursday afternoon outlined the criteria that counties must meet if they want their orders to vary from the state’s pace.
12:07 p.m. Act fast for quicker stimulus payment: The IRS announced that people have until Wednesday to enter bank account information into the Get My Payment app at IRS.gov to get a direct deposit of their economic impact payment, rather than waiting for a paper check in the mail. After noon Wednesday, the IRS will prepare “millions of files” to send to the Bureau of Fiscal Services to mail paper checks that will arrive in late May into June. Not everyone can use the app; for details click here.
11:59 a.m. White House staffer with coronavirus is close aide to Pence: The White House staffer who tested positive for the coronavirus has been identified as Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary and the wife of White House adviser Stephen Miller, according to multiple media reports. A member of the Navy who works as one of President Trump’s valets also has tested positive.
11:51 a.m. Without driving tests, DMV extends permits: The California Department of Motor Vehicles has extended driver’s license permits expiring between March and June 30 for either six months or 24 months from the date of application, whichever is earlier. Learner’s permits expiring between March and June are now valid through June 30. The permits are extended because DMV has suspended behind-the-wheel drive tests because of the coronavirus. The DMV has informed law enforcement about the extensions so people can continue to drive with expired permits.
11:38 a.m. Santa Clara County announces additional death: One more person in Santa Clara County died of COVID-19, health officials said. The county has confirmed 2,290 cases of the coronavirus and recorded 128 COVID-19 deaths.
11:25 a.m. LA hospital has 3 children with potentially coronavirus-related inflammation: Three children at a Los Angeles County hospital have an inflammatory multisystem syndrome that health officials believe is linked to the coronavirus. Specialists at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles diagnosed the three through antibody tests to determine their previous coronavirus infections, hospital officials said in a statement.
11:29 a.m. Many California counties don’t meet state reopening criteria: A Los Angeles Times data analysis finds that Los Angeles and many other urban counties have not yet hit Gov. Gavin Newsom’s criteria to further open businesses, and it’s unclear when they will. It’s likely some rural counties, less blasted by the coronavirus than the Bay Area and Southern California, will reopen at a faster rate.
11:25 a.m. Worshippers are fine with waiting, poll finds: Many religious Americans are fine with waiting longer to return to their churches, synagogues and mosques. Only about a third say that prohibiting in-person services violates religious freedom, according to a poll by the University of Chicago Divinity School and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
11:19 a.m. Border town closes with National Guard at barricades: The modern-day trading post city of Gallup, N.M., staggering under a coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 1,400 and killed 31 in the city and surrounding rural county, has gone into extreme lockdown. Barricades are manned by state police and the National Guard is keeping out anyone who doesn’t live there or face an emergency.
11:10 a.m. Trump says California too slow to reopen, suggests polticial motive against him: The president said Friday that states that are not moving quickly to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, including California, may be doing it to harm his re-election chances. “You look at some cases, some people think they’re doing it for politics,” Trump said. The Chronicle’s Alexei Koseff reports.
11:03 a.m. WHO says COVID-19 more likely to kill smokers: A World Health Organization expert on Friday said a body of evidence shows COVID-19 is more likely — not less likely — to kill smokers, as their respiratory systems are more likely to already be weakened. Maria Van Kerkhove’s comments further cast doubt on a French study’s claim that nicotine offered preventive capabilities; she noted the research had not been successfully replicated or peer reviewed.
10:57 a.m. Most Google employees to work from home for rest of 2020: CEO Sundar Pichai told employees Thursday that most of the company’s 120,000 workers won’t be required back in the office this year, tech website The Information reported. Facebook also said Thursday most workers will work from home for the rest of this year.
10:45 a.m. Alameda County announces three more deaths, total reaches 70: Three more people in Alameda County have died of COVID-19 and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 1,961, according to health officials. The county has recorded 70 deaths.
10:26 a.m. Black barbershop experience may be coronavirus casualty: Odds are high that many black barbershops in the Bay Area won’t reopen once the shelter-in-place order is lifted. For many, they have been safe places to just kick it and share experiences. Columnist Justin Phillips reports the story and wonders if he will ever laugh as much again.
10:14 a.m. New York boy, 5, dies of coronavirus-linked illness: A 5-year-old boy in New York state has died of an illness linked to COVID-19, and dozens of other children in the state have fallen severely ill with a similar malady that scientists have linked to the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.
10:10 a.m. Payday lenders want small-business loans: Payday lenders, including many in California and some that offer loans with more than 400% interest rate, say they have been excluded from loans the federal government is offering small businesses that are struggling with financial setbacks from the pandemic, the Washington Post reports.
9:56 a.m. Bay Area’s arts and culture leaders open up about coronavirus impact: The Chronicle talked to local arts and culture leaders about the area’s beloved institutions and events. Find out what they had to say here.
9:53 a.m. Pence staffer tests positive for coronavirus, reports say: A person on Vice President Mike Pence’s staff has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to multiple news reports. A staffer who tested positive in March has recovered and returned to work.
9:44 a.m. 70% of US Olympic sports groups applied for aid, report says: At least 70% of U.S. Olympic sports organizations have applied for government funds during the coronavirus pandemic, a stark financial reality that underscores the frailties within the world’s most dominant Olympic sports system. The Associated Press surveyed 44 of the country’s governing bodies; all but four of the 36 that responded said they applied for assistance through the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
9:41 a.m. San Francisco’s Exploratorium receives nearly $5.9 million loan, rehires staff: The science museum’s forgivable loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program enabled it to reverse furloughs, layoffs and salary reductions to all employees aside from on-call staff, the museum said. On-call staff members have not had work during the museum’s closure.
9:36 a.m. Spanish army expects 2 more waves of coronavirus: Spain’s army says it expects two more outbreaks of the coronavirus, according to an internal document seen by the Associated Press. The army report predicts “two more waves of the epidemic” and Spain will take “between a year and a year-and-a-half to return to normality.” It says the second wave would be in autumn or winter and possibly less serious than the initial outbreak due to higher immunity in the population.
9:15 a.m. Sonoma NASCAR race canceled: NASCAR canceled the Toyota/Save Mart 350, which was slated for June 14 at Sonoma Raceway. The logistics of returning to the West Coast plus the uncertainty around holding large events in the Bay Area led to the decision not to reschedule. The Sonoma event has been part of NASCAR since 1989 and will return to the schedule in 2021. A substitute for the race will be held without spectators May 27 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a move approved by North Carolina’s governor.
9:07 a.m. At-home, saliva-based coronavirus test approved: U.S. health regulators approved the first saliva-based coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home then ship it to a lab for processing, the Associated Press reports.
8:55 a.m. Transit leaders seek emergency federal aid: Leaders of 15 public transportation agencies across the United States, including BART, Caltrain and SFMTA, sent a letter this week to congressional leaders asking for emergency federal aid, officials said Friday. “All funding sources, including those from our supporting localities, that our systems rely upon are taking massive hits as a result of COVID-19, shelter-in-place orders, and the general economic downturn,” leaders of the transit systems wrote in the letter dated May 6. “Our systems will not be able to support the regions we serve without replenishing those losses. Our regions cannot recover without public transportation, and the nation cannot recover without resurgent economies in our regions.”
8:46 a.m. ‘Ian’s gone’: Another lost soul has died on the streets in the Tenderloin — with its concentration of SRO hotels, services and drug dealers packed in tight — as San Francisco dithers during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here from columnist Heather Knight.
8:33 a.m. Can you get the coronavirus from touching or eating food? Answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about food safety can be found here.
8:29 a.m. San Mateo County confirms 20 new cases: Twenty more people in San Mateo County have tested positive for the coronavirus, increasing the number of infections to 1,397, according to health officials.
8:23 a.m. Why can’t the Bay Area reopen yet? On the Fifth & Mission podcast, Dr. Mark Shapiro of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital explains why it’s important to keep sheltering in place despite the region’s coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations being lower than most of the rest of the country. Click here to listen.
8:20 a.m. Trump offers Biden rapid coronavirus test: President Trump told Fox News that he is willing to give Joe Biden, his presumptive Democratic opponent, a rapid coronavirus testing system so Biden can return to the campaign trail. “I’d love to see him get out of the basement so he can speak,” Trump said, needling Biden for holding virtual campaign events and media interviews from a studio in his home.
8:16 a.m. WHO opposes shutdown of live animal markets despite coronavirus: The World Health Organization said Friday that although a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan selling live animals likely played a significant role in the emergence of the new coronavirus, it does not recommend that such markets be shut down globally.
7:58 a.m. Looking for the best takeout places during the pandemic? The Chronicle has chosen eight that are nailing it.
7:56 a.m. Mexican government not reporting deaths in capital, report says: Officials in Mexico’s government are not reporting hundreds and possibly thousands of coronavirus deaths in Mexico City, the New York Times reports. Federal officials have dismissed Mexico City officials who have recorded more than three times as many fatalities in the capital than government officials have acknowledged publicly, according to the report.
7:42 a.m. Harris seeks $2,000 monthly relief aid for all: Sen. Kamala Harris joined two other Senators in drafting legislation that would give $2,000 per month to every American during the pandemic, Congressional Quarterly’s Roll Call reports. “Bills will continue to come in every single month during the pandemic and so should help from government,” said Harris, who tweeted that the plan is for the payments to continue until three months after the crisis ends. Similar proposals to the one being announced today by Harris and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Edward Markey are being circulated.
7:39 a.m. San Francisco announces additional death: One more person in the city died of COVID-19 and 47 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed, bringing the number of cases there to 1,853, according to the Department of Public Health. Officials have recorded 33 deaths.
7:18 a.m. Hospital chaplains comfort from afar during pandemic: Chaplains look to provide a compassionate presence to those in need, but they are finding it more difficult these days, when they’re not able to be physically present. Tony Bravo’s full story is here.
7:09 a.m. White House struggles to distribute remdesivir: Miscommunication and poor coordination among White House officials have slowed the distribution of remdesivir, which helps treat the coronavirus, to high-priority hospitals, Axios reports. Foster City’s Gilead Sciences donated hundreds of thousands of doses of the drug, but officials shipped the doses to “less impacted counties,” according to the report.
6:50 a.m. Minorities hit hardest by coronavirus in Bay Area: A Chronicle review of state and county data found that Latino and black people are disproportionately testing positive for, and dying of, the coronavirus in three of the region’s largest counties, magnifying inequities that predate the health crisis. Addressing the disparities will be crucial in slowing the spread of the virus, experts said, especially as social restrictions are loosened. Read more here.
6:47 a.m. Tesla’s Fremont factory to reopen: Tesla CEO Elon Musk informed employees in an overnight email that some work will resume at the company’s shuttered Fremont factory Friday afternoon, according to internal emails obtained by The Chronicle. The car factory is not allowed to operate under Alameda County health orders that are still in effect.
6:41 a.m. Stocks jump, confounding many: The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 300 points, prompting cries on Twitter that the stock market seemed disconnected from the economic pain reflected in Friday’s economic report. Investors appeared to look past those numbers to prospects for reopening the U.S. economy.
6:04 a.m. Buffet-style restaurant chain closes permanently due to the coronavirus: Souplantation, a chain that includes the Sweet Tomatoes restaurants in the Bay Area, will cease operations as self-serve establishments struggle during the pandemic. The company has 97 restaurants, 44 in California. CEO John Haywood told the San Diego Union-Tribune that FDA guidelines discouraging self-serve stations could remain forever and that makes the company’s model “very difficult.”
5:31 a.m. Unemployment soars to 14.7%: The national unemployment rate rose to 14.7% in April, more than tripling the rate seen in March and setting a post-World War II record for joblessness, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. Employment fell in all sectors, showing the broad impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy. A staggering 33.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance in seven weeks. Read more here.
12:07 a.m. Additional deaths at Chino state prison: Three inmates at the California Institution for Men in Chino (San Bernardino County) died due to the coronavirus, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported Thursday, increasing the prison’s death toll to four. There have been 330 confirmed cases among inmates at the Chino prison, with 321 of those inmates still in custody and five released with active cases, per the CDCR website. That accounts for a majority of 460 inmates who have tested positive in the state prison system.
News from Thursday:
10:54 p.m. Outbreak at Santa Barbara County federal prison: As of Thursday, 574 inmates and 25 staff had tested positive for the coronavirus at a federal prison complex in Lompoc in Santa Barbara County, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Nearly half of prisoners at the low-security Federal Correctional Institute Lompoc, where 100% of inmates are reportedly being tested, have confirmed cases of the virus — 541 of 1,162, according to data on the BOP website. Two inmates have died at the medium-security United States Penitentiary Lompoc, where there are 33 inmates and 14 staff with active cases, according to the BOP site. All visits to the Lompoc complex are suspended until further notice.
9:08 p.m. Sonoma County amends health order, will allow curbside retail Friday: Health officials have amended Sonoma County’s shelter-in-place order to allow some businesses to reopen for curbside retail starting Friday. That includes stores selling books, clothing, toys, shoes and home furnishings, with social distancing and safety protocols in place. Manufacturers of goods for essential businesses and retail stores can also resume operations, the county said. Officials noted Sonoma County meets many state criteria for reopening more businesses, but its rate of new cases in the last two weeks does not qualify.
9 p.m. SF rapper breaks world record during coronavirus relief fund: George Watsky, who raps by the moniker Watsky, freestyled for 33 hours, 33 minutes and 33 seconds during a live streamed performance, smashing a previous record for the Guinness World Record for the Longest Continuous Rap Performance. The stint helped raise more than $140,000 for three coronavirus relief funds. Read the story here.
8:32 p.m. Solano County amends shelter-at-home order, allows low-risk businesses to re-open Friday: Health officials amended the county shelter-at-home order and issued a roadmap to recovery that loosens restrictions similar to California’s guidelines, but allowing for a wider scope of essential businesses to reopen than the state. On Friday, low-risk businesses including retailers, manufacturers, pet grooming, florists, offices and some local parks can reopen with social distancing in place. The county is developing criteria that “medium-risk” businesses like restaurants, bars and barbershops, must meet before reopening.
8:28 p.m. Los Angeles won’t shut off anyone’s utilities for rest of the year: Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will not shut off service for nonpayment for the rest of 2020. Those able to their bills “absolutely should,” Garcetti said, but people facing financial hardship amid the coronavirus pandemic “won’t have to worry about whether the water will come out of the faucet.” The policy covers residential and commercial customers, who will still owe any deferred amount after the year, Garcetti said in a news briefing.
7:50 p.m. Marin County Board Supervisors to consider approving food program: The county plans to launch the Marin Great Plates program on May 18, officials said in a statement. The program will deliver three meals from 50 participating local restaurants five days a week to 1,000 seniors in need. The Board of Supervisors will consider approving the state and FEMA-funded program on May 12. If approved, the program will run through May 29 with the possibility of extension through June 10, officials said. Restaurants and seniors can check eligibility requirements and sign up here.
7:47 p.m. TSA workers must wear face coverings: The Transportation Security Administration announced Thursday its officers will have to wear face coverings at screening checkpoints to guard against spread of the coronavirus. The policy will take effect in the coming days, according to a TSA news release, and comes as some airlines have also begun requiring face coverings for travelers and flight crews during the travel process. TSA administrator David Pekoske said in a statement the change is “to protect our employees and travelers as social distancing cannot always be maintained in the screening process.”
7:39 p.m. Eight new cases in Marin County: Health officials reported 8 new confirmed coronavirus cases in Marin County on Thursday, bringing the county’s total to 255 cases. In total, 196 people have recovered, 46 people have been hospitalized and 14 people have died, county officials said.
7:34 p.m. Marin County ramping up contact tracing: Health officer Dr. Matt Willis said in a video update that Marin County plans to grow its contact-tracing team from 15 employees to 50 over the next several weeks. Those workers investigate new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and their close contacts to attempt to isolate infections and slow transmission of the virus. Willis said the county’s goal is to reach 90% of county residents who test positive within 24 hours of their diagnoses to “nip these chains of transmission in the bud.”
7:24 p.m. Solano County reports five new cases: County health officials reported five new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 342 cases, according to Solano County’s website. Of those, 59 people have been hospitalized and seven people have died.
7:05 p.m. Bodega Bay to reopen for recreational fishing: Sonoma County is amending its health order to open Bodega Bay for residents to fish for the purpose of gathering food, county officials said in a statement. Boat launch ramps and trailer parking areas at Bodega Bay can reopen Friday, per the amended order. Fishing boats must include only people from the same household and fishers cannot use coastal parks for other recreation, the county said.
6:46 p.m. NFL releases schedule but ‘prepared’ to adjust: The NFL released its 2020 schedule Thursday with an opening date of Sept. 10 and is “preparing to play the season as scheduled” but “will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary,” league commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. Goodell said the league will “continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice, in compliance with government regulations, and with appropriate safety protocols” for teams and fans. Read the NFL’s schedule for the 49ers here.
6:03 p.m. Bay Area counties, providers receive federal funds to increase testing: Counties and health centers in the area were among recipients of nearly $583 million in total federal funds distributed nationwide to enhance testing for the coronavirus through the last virus relief bill, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a release. About $97 million went to 179 entities in California, with Alameda ($260,734), Contra Costa ($411,499), San Mateo ($184,144) and Santa Clara ($206,629) counties receiving funds along with other Bay Area health centers, according to the release. A full list of recipients in California can be found here.
6:01 p.m. Five miles added to Oakland Slow Streets program: Oakland has added five more miles to its Slow Streets Program for a total of 20 miles of soft road closures to promote physically distanced outdoor exercise, city officials said. These new streets will be closed to through-traffic and open for pedestrians, bikers and joggers starting Friday. See a list of streets here.
5:01 p.m. San Mateo County sets testing capacity goal: Srija Srinivasan, deputy chief of San Mateo County health, said in a tele-town hall Thursday the county aims at being able to test 1,600 to 1,800 people per day to gather the data needed to gauge spread of the coronavirus. Srinivasan said testing has been “constrained” in areas including availability of materials, and the county has been focused on testing people in high-risk populations. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) said in the town hall that she believes the Trump Administration has “punted” on the issue of testing and is “putting it on the states.”
4:45 p.m. Alameda County Fair canceled: Organizers have canceled the 2020 Alameda County Fair due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The fair had been scheduled for June 19 to July 12. In a statement, organizers noted that events such as fairs will not be permitted until Stage 4 of the state’s roadmap for reopening. Fair CEO Jerome Hoban said in a statement that fair officials are updating protocols, “so that when allowed, we can safely welcome the community back to the venue.”
4:24 p.m. Feds give $97 million to California clinics and counties to expand coronavirus testing: About 30 Bay Area clinics and five Bay Area counties — Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Solano — will receive millions of dollars from the federal government to expand testing. Testing needs to expand statewide to fully reopen the economy. Read the story here.
4:05 p.m. Outbreak reported at meat packing plant in central California, media reports say: At least 138 people have tested positive for the coronavirus at Central Valley Meat Company in Hanford (Kings County), the Associated Press reported. The company, which employs about 900 workers at two plants in Hanford and Vernon, continues to operate.
4 p.m. Frontier Airlines to start temperature checks for passengers: Travelers on Frontier Airlines will be subject to temperature screenings starting June 1 and will not be allowed to fly if they register a temperature above 100.4 degrees, the airline said in a statement Thursday. Frontier is reportedly the first U.S. airline to implement the policy. “The health and safety of everyone flying Frontier is paramount and temperature screenings add an additional layer of protection for everyone onboard,” airline CEO Barry Biffle said in a statement.
3:56 p.m. Napa County amends health order, defers to state guidelines: Napa County issued a revised shelter-at-home order that loosens some restrictions in alignment with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order, which allows some retail businesses to open for curbside pickup on Friday. “It is anticipated that Early Stage 2 non-essential businesses may be able to open as early as Friday, May 8, 2020,” county officials said in an online FAQ document. “The list of those businesses, and how they will be allowed to operate, will be provided by the State.” The Napa County order is effective immediately and has no end date. The order allows outdoor recreational sports such as golf and tennis, real estate viewings for potential buyers and all construction. Animal care facilities, swimming pools and some lower-risk businesses can reopen with physical distancing and other restrictions in place. People are required to wear face coverings inside businesses and workplaces.
3:37 p.m. One additional death in Alameda County: Officials in Alameda County reported 51 new cases of the coronavirus to increase the county’s total to 1,917 confirmed cases. One additional person in Alameda County died from the virus. Officials have reported 67 deaths in the county, according to the county’s coronavirus tracker.
3:30 p.m. Bay Area ICU cases rise slightly, hospital cases continue decline: The number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in intensive care in the nine Bay Area counties rose to 125 on Wednesday, an increase of eight ICU cases from the previous day, with Alameda County reporting six additional cases, according to state data reviewed by The Chronicle. The overall number of confirmed hospitalized patients in the Bay Area dropped to 308, the area’s lowest one-day figure since at least April 1. Statewide, confirmed hospital cases declined 0.4% to a total of 3,319 reported Wednesday and confirmed ICU cases fell 1.3% to 1,125.
3:22 p.m. Newsom offers big tax break: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order giving counties the right to waive late penalties, fees and interest for many home and small-business owners who can’t pay their property taxes because of the coronavirus extends way beyond what some counties asked for or expected. The order issued Wednesday extends through next May 6 and covers not just the second half of this year’s property taxes that were due April 10, but also the first and second payment for 2020-21 taxes due Dec. 10 and April 10. Read the story here.
3:20 p.m. Coronavirus forces Bay Area colleges to consider fall semester solutions: Stanford and other Bay Area colleges, moved classes online in mid-March and committed to that model through the summer. Now, the schools are considering a mix of in-person and online instruction, and even outdoor classes, for the fall semester. Read the story here.
2:40 p.m. Some SF retailers could resume storefront pick-up on May 18: Mayor London Breed announced some retail businesses, such as bookstores, florists and music stores, could reopen for curbside pickup as soon as May 18 if San Francisco keeps making progress in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. More details will come next week and many of the health order requirements will remain in place. “Giving businesses the option to reopen and provide storefront pickup will provide some relief for everyone in our city—allowing some people to get back to work, while still protecting public health,” Breed said in a statement.
2:31 p.m. Bay Area shelter-in-place orders remain in effect: Non-essential retailers cannot open for curbside pickup on Friday in the six Bay Area counties where shelter-in-place orders remain in effect through May, the county health officers said in a joint statement. Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the state would allow some retail businesses to reopen with restrictions on Friday, but more restrictive county orders take precedent over the state’s orders, health officials said. “We share the urgency to reopen and restore our economies and our normal activities, and the equal importance of doing so in a way that is safe, responsible and does not cause a significant increase in serious illness and death, or overwhelm our healthcare delivery systems,” the Bay Area statement said.
1:54 p.m. Los Angeles announces 51 new deaths: Fifty-one more people in Los Angeles County have died of COVID-19 and 815 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed, increasing the number of known cases to 29,427, health officials said. The county has recorded 1,418 deaths.
1:51 p.m. Contra Costa County nears 1,000 cases: Health officials reported 13 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the county’s total to 999. There are 21 patients currently hospitalized and 29 people have died.
1:48 p.m. Uber rides decline, food deliveries up: Uber reported first-quarter earnings, showing the divergent impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its businesses. Its core ride-hailing business declined in the first three months of the year, while food deliveries grew 54% over the same period last year.
1:47 p.m. State outlines Phase 2 of reopening to start Friday: Retailers should only sell from the curbside or by delivery, manufacturers should close break rooms and create outdoor break areas and warehouses should carry sanitation materials during deliveries if they want to reopen Friday, state officials said. Officials added a checklist of key guidelines for businesses to follow if they want to reopen, including hours for seniors and other at-risk groups and separate entrances and exits. Read the list here.
1:37 p.m. SF reports 12 new cases at SROs since last week: As of Wednesday, there were 88 known coronavirus cases at 42 single-room occupancy hotels in San Francisco, according to the Department of Public Health. That is 12 more cases since last Thursday, when the department said there were 76 cases at 37 SROs, many of which have shared bathrooms and kitchens. Residents are often elderly or have chronic health conditions. The department would not say whether any infected SRO residents have died.
1:25 p.m. SF rents 51 hotel rooms for homeless people exiting jail during pandemic: San Francisco officials have secured a six-month lease for 51 rooms in a downtown hotel that will soon become temporary supportive housing for people eligible for pretrial release from jail but have no home. The rooms will be available to homeless individuals already released from jail under a pretrial diversion initiative and unhoused people who are currently in pretrial detention. The first residents could be moved in as soon as next week.
1:24 p.m. Stocks up despite jobless filings: The three major indexes closed in positive territory Thur
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