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Total coronavirus cases:
• 21,379 in California, including 596 deaths.
• 4,648 in the Bay Area, including 130 deaths.
• 501,680 in the U.S., including 18,781 deaths. The five states with the highest death tolls are New York with 7,887; New Jersey with 1,932; Michigan with 1,276; Louisiana with 755; and Massachusetts with 599. Click here to see a U.S. map with state-by-state death tolls and coronavirus case counts.
• More than 1.7 million in the world, with more than 103,000 deaths. More than 389,000 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 developments from today:
9:37 a.m. Unlikely that California has “herd immunity” to coronavirus: The theory goes like this: California has fewer COVID-19 cases than hard-hit places like New York because the coronavirus has spread throughout the state undetected since the fall and most Californians are now immune. But public health experts say there’s a far more probable explanation for California’s comparatively smaller case load: The state’s early shelter-in-place orders have so far prevented many Californians from being exposed to the coronavirus. Read more here.
9:01 a.m. 60 new cases in San Francisco: Officials in the city announced 60 new cases of the coronavirus Saturday morning. The Department of Public Health has reported 857 total cases from a total of 7,308 test results received for COVID-19, the department said.
8:55 a.m. U.S. surpasses Italy for most deaths from COVID-19: The U.S. has recorded the most deaths of any country as a result of the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The U.S. has recorded at least 19,560 deaths after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state saw 783 additional deaths from the virus Friday. Italy has totaled 18,849 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins’ online tracker.
8:53 a.m. Concerns over federal mortgage assistance program: The Cares Act lets homeowners with a federally guaranteed mortgage to postpone payments for up to 12 months if they have a financial hardship related to the coronavirus. That’s a huge relief for borrowers, but it’s creating big concerns for mortgage servicing companies, Kathleen Pender reports.
8:47 a.m. New York curve “continuing to flatten,” Cuomo says: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference Saturday that the curve of coronavirus cases in the hardest-hit state in the U.S. is “continuing to flatten.” Cuomo said New York recorded 783 additional deaths Friday, bringing its total to 8,627 deaths from the virus. However, Cuomo said: “The number of hospitalizations appears to have hit an apex and the apex appears to be a plateau.” New York state had 174,489 confirmed cases as of Saturday morning, per Johns Hopkins University data.
8:24 a.m. Isolation hits deeper for San Franciscans who live alone: So much dialogue about the coronavirus pandemic has been about its effect on families, but the conversation about isolation hasn’t always highlighted the people experiencing it more potently: those who live alone. Read more here.
7:41 a.m. New York City closes public schools for rest of academic year: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Saturday that public schools in New York City will remain closed through the end of the academic year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The closures are affecting about 1.1 million students, per the New York Times. Have questions about schools in the Bay Area? Answers can be found here.
7:34 a.m. Report: Whistle-blower said management kept quiet about outbreak at Santa Clara County hospital: An anonymous whistle-blower complaint alleges management at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose did not adequately respond to an outbreak of cases of the coronavirus among hospital staff, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. According to the Times, six staff with ties to the same medical-surgical unit at the hospital developed symptoms of COVID-19, including four who tested positive and one, a woman in the nurse staffing office, who died March 19. The whistle-blower complaint alleges, “Management is not communicating confirmed positive cases — information that would enable potentially-exposed/infected staff to take extra precautionary measures to not affect their loved ones at home and elsewhere,” the Times reported. Santa Clara County runs the hospital and has begun an investigation.
6:56 a.m. South Korea uses wristbands to enforce coronavirus quarantine: In a controversial step, South Korea’s government says it will strap electronic wristbands on people who defy self-quarantine orders as it tightens monitoring to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
6:52 a.m. Spain records lowest one-day death toll since March 23: Spain, which has recorded the second-most coronavirus cases in the world behind the U.S., saw its lowest daily death toll since March 23 on Saturday with 510 additional deaths, according to reports. Spain has reported 16,353 total deaths from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University data. It the third-highest count after Italy and the U.S.
6:45 a.m. More people watching wildlife online: Many nature webcams in California are seeing record traffic and interest, Gregory Thomas writes. People braced against the coronavirus pandemic are looking for virtual escapes from the doldrums of life indoors.
6:42 a.m. Olympics official indicates 2021 Games not a guarantee: Toshiro Muto, chief executive for the Tokyo Olympics, expressed uncertainty about whether the Games will take place next summer after a year’s delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Associated Press. “I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not,” Muto told reporters. “We certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer.” The 2020 Olympic Games were postponed last month until next July.
6:34 a.m. Some good pandemic news: The Associated Press reports there has been a seismic drop in crime worldwide during the coronavirus pandemic. In Chicago, for example, drug arrests have plummeted 42% in the weeks since the city shut down, compared with the same period last year.
6:12 a.m. U.K. scientist says coronavirus vaccine could be ready by September: A vaccine for the coronavirus could be developed as early as September, a British scientist told The Times of London. Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University who is leading an effort to develop a vaccine, told The Times she is “80% confident” her team’s vaccine will work. Some medical experts have said developing a vaccine for the coronavirus could take at least 12 to 18 months.
6:10 a.m. Bay Area health system under pressure: Hospitals are a business, too, and the coronavirus is threatening them, columnist and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown writes.
6:06 a.m. Report says Avenatti released from jail due to coronavirus concerns: Michael Avenatti, the attorney who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in legal battles against President Trump, was released from federal jail in Manhattan after his lawyers said Avenatti was at risk for contracting the coronavirus because he had pneumonia last year, CNN reports. Avenatti was convicted in February of attempting to extort money from Nike. He must return to custody in 90 days.
6:03 a.m. 14 new cases in San Mateo County: Officials in San Mateo County reported 14 new cases of the coronavirus late Friday, increasing the county’s total to 652 positive cases.
6 a.m. British leader making “very good progress” in recovery from COVID-19: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is making “very good progress” in his recovery from the coronavirus, a spokesperson said, according to Reuters. Johnson’s office said in a statement Friday he has begun taking “short walks, between periods of rest.” Johnson was moved out of intensive care Thursday.
5:59 a.m. Expert says U.S. daily death toll probably at its peak: Dr. Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, tells CNN the country likely saw the pandemic’s peak Friday when more than 2,000 Americans died from the coronavirus. Murray and the UW team created the model the White House uses to gauge the peak of coronavirus cases.
5:46 a.m. Coronavirus crisis taxing NYC’s 911 system: As New York City staggered through its deadliest week of the pandemic, its emergency response system and army of operators, dispatchers and ambulance crews is being pushed to the brink, the Associated Press reports.
5:44 a.m. Foundation’s drive brings $627,000 to Bay Area nonprofits: The San Francisco Foundation awarded a second round of grants totaling $377,000 to 62 organizations from its SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. The fund has made a total of $627,000 in grants to nonprofits since its launch three weeks ago, according to a release from the foundation. Click here to donate or apply for emergency funding.
Developments from April 10:
11:34 p.m. Sonoma County issues ‘blanket health orders’: The county’s health officer issued “blanket health orders” that require residents diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected to have it to isolate at home and tell close contacts to quarantine themselves. “To get the full benefit of the shelter-in-place order and truly flatten the curve, it is critical for all residents to fully comply with these Orders and protect public health,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Susan Gorin. “Thank you to so many of our community members who are doing their part to stop the spread by staying home.” The new orders replace individual orders.
11:23 p.m. Fremont releases testing results: Of 715 people Fremont tested at its newly opened drive-thru test center this week, 37 tested positive for COVID-19, the city announced. The center, at 7200 Stevenson Blvd., is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free to the public regardless of where people live or their immigration status. People are screened — and tests given only to those who have or had a fever with COVID-19 symptoms.
9:19 p.m. Sonoma County reports second COVID-19 death: County health officials on Friday reported that a second person has died from COVID-19. There were also three new cases reported, bringing the total to 145 cases. More than 3,300 tests have been completed.
8:49 p.m. Popular singer, Jewish leader dies in outbreak: 89-year-old Alby Kass, a beloved Guerneville singer and community leader, was one of nine people to die after contracting the virus at a Hayward nursing home.
8:43 p.m. Twenty UCSF health care workers dispatched to fight COVID-19 in NYC: Twelve doctors and eight nurses from UC San Francisco will begin a month-long voluntary assignment to serve patients in the New York Presbyterian hospital system, where a surge of COVID-19 has strained the healthcare system. The team was chosen from among more 150 nurses and 50 physicians who volunteered. There were more than 20,000 hospitalized patients in New York City as of Wednesday. In comparison, fewer than 100 patients were hospitalized this week in San Francisco, including 20 at UCSF Health. “This is an opportunity for UCSF to support our health care colleagues on the front lines in New York City,” said Dr. Josh Adler of UCSF Health. “We remain focused on our patients here in San Francisco, and are very well resourced with health care workers should we face a surge ourselves, even with our volunteers in New York. But our present capacity allows us to extend our public health mission to those who are facing some of the country’s most challenging conditions during this pandemic.”
8:30 p.m. U.S. exceeds 500,000 coronavirus cases: The United States has recorded more than 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University’s global coronavirus tracker. On Friday night, the U.S. recorded 501,301 coronavirus cases. That’s about one case for every 650 Americans.
8:15 p.m. Temporary parking, staging area park closures in East Bay for Easter weekend: Staging and parking areas at 10 regional parks in the East Bay Regional Parks District will be impacted by new, temporary closures for Easter weekend to prevent overcrowding and maintain social distancing, district officials said. Park District General Manager Robert Doyle asked people not to visit any parks to celebrate the holiday, saying, “We can’t have the huge crowds that we did a few weeks ago.” A full list of parks that will be impacted can be found on the district website.
7:30 p.m. Leftover fabric from AIDS Memorial quilt sewed into masks, report says: Volunteers and Gert McMullin, one of the creators of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, are using leftover material from the quilt to sew masks in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a KTVU report. The masks will be donated to Bay Area Community Services, a nonprofit organization that serves people experiencing homelessness in the Bay Area.
7:01 p.m. Burning Man cancels 2020 event: Leaders of the Burning Man Project announced Friday that they will not build Black Rock City this summer in response to the pandemic. Instead, event leaders will create a virtual version of the event, which they referred to as “The Multiverse.” People who have already purchased tickets can get a refund, but event leaders encouraged ticket-holders to consider donating part of all of the ticket value to support the project. “Given the painful reality of COVID-19, one of the greatest global challenges of our lifetimes, we believe this is the right thing to do,” a statement said. “Yes, we are heartbroken. We know you are too. In 2020 we need human connection and Immediacy more than ever. But public health and the well-being of our participants, staff, and neighbors in Nevada are our highest priorities.” Read the full story here.
5:59 p.m. Newsom not worried Trump will force California to reopen: The governor said Friday evening that he doesn’t expect the president to “override” California if state officials seek to keep its stay-at-home order in place longer than Trump thinks is necessary. “I don’t anticipate that will happen,” Newsom said in an interview on CNN. The president has pushed back against some health experts’ suggestions that shutdown orders may be needed into late spring at least, and he said at a news conference Friday that he had “absolute authority” to order the country to reopen, though he added, “We’re not doing anything until we know that this country is going to be healthy.” Newsom and Trump have been on good terms throughout the crisis, and on Friday the governor said, “Every single direct request that he was capable of meeting, he has met. … I have to be complimentary. Otherwise, I would be lying to you, misleading you.”
5:47 p.m. Santa Clara County reports three more deaths: County health officials reported three additional deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 50. Officials also reported 42 new cases, bringing the total to 1,484. See a breakdown of data here.
5:51 p.m. City Lights fundraiser surpasses its goal: The San Francisco bookstore started a GoFundMe campaign to help its staff during the coronavirus shutdown. In just one day, it raised more than its goal of $300,000. The money helps City Lights keep its 20 workers on payroll and on health insurance. Read the full story here.
5:43 p.m. 447 positive cases aboard naval carrier Theodore Roosevelt: With more than 90% of the crew tested, 447 cases of coronavirus have emerged on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which is docked in Guam. 3,284 people have tested negative, and 3,155 Sailors have been moved ashore. The carrier has been at the center of a controversy that resulted in the resignation of Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, after he harshly criticized the ship’s now-dismissed commanding officer, Capt. Brett Crozier, who sent a letter outside of the chain of command asking for help for the virus-stricken ship.
5:30 p.m. Contra Costa County Fairgrounds Event Center prepped for potential COVID-19 patients: County officials are converting the fairgrounds event center, located in Antioch, as an alternate care site in the event of a “likely surge of patients” in local hospitals who test positive for the coronavirus, county officials announced Friday. The site will have the capacity to treat 43 people who test positive but do not require hospitalization, officials said. The site will free up “critical hospital beds in our healthcare system to fight COVID-19,” said county District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover.
5:25 p.m. Was 49ers’ Super Bowl loss a life-saver? In a recent video town hall, Dr. Niraj Sehgal — who heads the UCSF COVID-19 Command Center — presented a chilling scenario: “People may not remember this that well, but (on) Super Bowl weekend, in some ways, with apologies to the 49ers’ fans, the gift we may have been given was the 49ers losing.” Read Scott Ostler’s column on how a parade on Market Street could have been disastrous here.
5:21 p.m. California expands child care for essential workers: The state will spend $100 million to expand access to child care for essential workers who cannot stay home during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that the state would pay $50 million for up to 20,000 temporary subsidized child care slots and $50 million for protective equipment, cleaning supplies and labor to keep child care centers clean. The money will come from the $1 billion emergency aid package approved by the Legislature last month. “Many of California’s workers on the front lines of this pandemic are parents, and as a father, I know the importance of making sure our children are kept healthy and safe,” Newsom said in a statement.
5:05 p.m. UCSF study investigates coronavirus impact on pregnancy: UCSF’s Pregnancy Coronavirus Outcomes Registry began enrolling pregnant women across the country with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on March 24. It will track participants for a year to learn how the virus impacts maternal health, fetal development, preterm delivery, newborn health and outcomes for underserved women at higher risk of mortality during pregnancy. “We need answers right now, and the only way we can get answers is by doing a large-scale national study,” says researcher Vanessa Jacoby. Read the full story here.
4:37 p.m. San Francisco’s troubled Tenderloin District is getting more troubled: Roll through San Francisco’s gritty Tenderloin any time of day, and the street doesn’t look normal. It’s worse. Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan has the story.
4:21 p.m.: Trump recycles evidence-free charge of California voter fraud: With Democrats calling for wider mail balloting to protect voters from possible coronavirus exposure at the polls, President Trump is pushing back with a charge that California and its vote-by-mail system are plagued by fraud. He’s made the argument before without evidence, and now is pointing to a 2019 lawsuit settlement in which he misrepresents the facts of the case. Chronicle political writer John Wildermuth has the story.
4:15 p.m. Health care worker infections continue to rise: As of April 9, local health departments recorded 2,024 confirmed coronavirus cases, up from 1,803 a day earlier, according to updated data released Friday by the California Department of Public Health. The data refers to both on-the-job exposures and non-occupational exposures, such as travel and close family contact. Previously, state public health officials only reported health care worker infections that were acquired while on the job, but have since shifted to reporting all infection data — regardless of where the health care worker was exposed.
4:11 p.m. Oakland closing streets to traffic, enabling ‘physically distant’ recreation: Oakland will close 74 miles of streets to through traffic in a bold plan to enable pedestrians and bicycles to “recreate in a physically distant manner,” Mayor Libby Schaaf announced on Friday. The initiative, unprecedented in size for a major U.S city, would ban through traffic from streets currently designated as bike routes, or streets that have been proposed as future bike routes. They would include long stretches of Chabot Road, Shafter Avenue, Colby Street, MacArthur Boulevard, Webster Street and 32nd Street, 42nd Street and 45th Street. The traffic closure would extend through all parts of the city, from the popular bike routes leading to the Oakland hills to the thoroughfares of downtown and east and west Oakland. Read the full story here.
3:58 p.m. Results from study of Gilead drug for virus treatment encouraging, but more trials needed: Results of an early study of the Gilead drug remdesivir, published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine, show promise, but it’s far too early to say whether the drug is effective for treating COVID-19, the Associated Press reported. Some 53 hospitalized patients — some very sick — were given the drug, and 68% improved. But it’s not knowable how many would have improved without the drug. The study is the first to look at the effectiveness of remdesivir in coronavirus patients, according to the AP.
3:45 p.m. California updates racial breakdown of who has COVID-19: The California Department of Public Health released updated data Friday based on 54% of COVID-19 cases and 53% of deaths. Here’s the new breakdown: Latinos: 32% of cases and 27% of deaths (39% of the state’s population); whites: 33% of cases and 42% of deaths (37% of the state’s population); African Americans/Black: 7% of cases and 9% of deaths (6% of the state’s population); Asian: 13% of cases and 17% of deaths (15% of the state’s population); multiracial: 2% of cases and 0.9% of deaths (2% of the state’s population); Native American or Alaska Natives: 0.2% of cases and 0.7% of deaths (0.5% of the states’ population); Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders: 2% of cases and 0.7% of deaths (0.3% of the state’s population); other: 10% of cases and 3% of deaths.
3:38 p.m. UC lecturers want university to provide resources to teach classes from home: The union representing University of California lecturers stepped up its demands Friday for UC to provide suitable working conditions as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Union leaders, speaking during a virtual news conference, expressed frustration at what they characterized as the university’s refusal to address the challenges of teaching from home. All UC campuses moved to online instruction last month because of the pandemic. Read the full story here.
3:33 p.m. Study says California’s rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases remains below average: The rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases in California is well below the national average, and the virus appears to be spreading less rapidly compared to much of the country, according to a Centers for Disease Control study released Friday. Researchers found wide variations in the number of confirmed cases of the disease. California in early April recorded 40 cases per 100,000 people — well below the national average of 120 cases per 100,000 people — but the state has also tested relatively few people, meaning the true figures are likely higher.
3:28 p.m. Two more deaths at Hayward nursing home, more infected: Two more residents at Gateway Care and Rehabilitation have died, bringing the total to nine deaths, Alameda County officials reported Friday. There are 66 total infections: 41 residents and 25 staff. At East Bay Post Acute in Castro Valley, 15 residents and 21 staff are infected and no one has died, officials said. (Note: This post has been updated with corrected information from Alameda County. The number of staff infected at the Gateway facility is 25, and the total number of infections is 66.)
3:23 p.m. Community Foods Market finds workaround for EBT cardholders: The West Oakland grocery store introduced online ordering with curbside pickup Friday as well as free delivery for seniors in the neighborhood. That includes customers using food stamps, who are typically not able to take advantage of such systems. Read more on the program here.
3:20 p.m. SF fundraising tops $8.7 million: San Francisco has raised more than $8.7 million in private donations to help residents and businesses hurt by the coronavirus. The money comes from venture capitalists, CEOs, banks and more. Read the full story here.
2:45 p.m. Gavin Newsom “stars” in Trump ad: The California governor makes an appearance in a campaign ad for President Trump produced by the Republican National Committee. The ad portrays Trump as a bipartisan leader in the pandemic response, and shows Newsom in a brief news conference clip saying the president has “said everything that I could have hoped for.” Newsom and Trump have been consistently complimentary of each other during the crisis. At a news conference Friday, the president said, “I’ve gotten very friendly with Gavin Newsom. He’s done a very good job.”
2:31 p.m. Newsom hints at California path to ‘some semblance of normalcy’ on coronavirus: The governor and state public health officials said hospitalizations from the coronavirus appear to be rising slower than projected, potentially signaling a lower peak of the disease in California. Sacramento-based Chronicle reporter Alexei Koseff has the story.
2:15 p.m. S.F. putting pressure on businesses staying open despite regional orders: San Francisco police have made 53 notifications to people ignoring last month’s call for the closing of nonessential businesses, Police Chief Bill Scott said Friday at an update on the city’s response to the coronavirus. The businesses approached had been staying open despite any reasonable need; according to Scott, none of them has reopened after the warning.
2:09 p.m. Santa Clara County officials to release names of infected nursing homes: County health officials will release the names of roughly 100 skilled nursing facilities and other senior homes across the county with COVID-19 infections, officials said during a press conference. The county told the Chronicle that there are 164 COVID-19 cases at nursing homes. Officials said they will post the updated information on the county website this afternoon.
2:04 p.m. Santa Clara physician says it’s likely virus was in U.S. in December: It’s likely that the novel coronavirus was circulating in the U.S. back in December, Santa Clara County executive and physician Jeff Smith said during a news conference on Friday. “It just wasn’t recognized because we were having a severe flu season,” Smith said. Roughly 80% of people infected with the virus experience mild symptoms, which are similar to symptoms of the flu.
1:48 p.m. San Francisco mayor urges people to stay home on Easter weekend: Mayor London Breed asked people to stay home this weekend, despite the temptation to go outside to enjoy the nice weather or gather with friends and family for Easter. Officials will monitor parks and gathering spots this weekend to make sure people are complying with the shelter-in-place order. “We know that it’s so tempting, especially because it’s also Easter … folks are probably thinking, ‘Just this one time,’” Breed said. “I’m going to ask, just one more time, that you don’t tempt yourself, that you don’t do it this one time, because that one time could be problematic.”
1:35 p.m. San Francisco school enrollment deadline extended: The San Francisco school district extended the deadline to accept school assignment offers by one week. Acceptances of offers or applications for May placement are now required by April 17.
1:28 p.m. Mayor announces outbreak at San Francisco shelter: Seventy people at a San Francisco shelter have tested positive for COVID-19, Mayor London Breed said Friday afternoon. Sixty-eight residents and two staffers at MSC South tested positive. “We have a situation that we knew could potentially happen,” Breed said. City officials are converting the shelter into a hospital, Breed said. She added it could have been worse: “The fact is that we were on top of it.” Read the full story here.
1:20 p.m. Emeryville automates pedestrian crosswalk signals: Councilmember John Bauters tweeted that the city is temporarily automating pedestrian walk signs, eliminating the need for people to touch the signal buttons when crossing the street. The change implemented in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 applies to all city intersections.
1:14 p.m. Ninth coronavirus death in Contra Costa, total of cases surpasses 500: A ninth person has died in Contra Costa County of COVID-19 and the number of confirmed cases increased to 511, according to health officials.
1:10 p.m. 164 coronavirus cases at Santa Clara County nursing homes: Santa Clara County health officials revealed Friday that 164 people at long-term care facilities in the county have tested positive for the coronavirus, including 50 employees. The county did not say which facilities are affected or how many deaths have occurred. Dr. Sarah Rudman, a county health officer, said in a press conference that the county has supported nursing homes by deploying a special team to help with their needs and provide testing.
1:01 p.m. Three new deaths in Alameda County, more than 50 new cases confirmed: Three additional people in Alameda County died of COVID-19 as 53 new cases were confirmed, increasing the total to 766, officials said. The county has recorded 20 deaths.
12:43 p.m. FEMA to deliver meals to seniors: FEMA officials will help deliver meals to more than a million seniors isolating at home throughout California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday, saying Warriors basketball star Steph Curry and his wife Ayesha inspired the partnership.
12:40 p.m. Increase in patients in California ICU beds: There are 1,145 COVID-19 patients in the state’s intensive care unit beds, Gov. Gavin Newsom said. That’s up from 1,132 a day earlier.
12:31 p.m. Navy hospital ship to be used for non-coronavirus patients from senior homes: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the Mercy hospital ship docked in Los Angeles will be used for non-coronavirus patients from nursing homes and facilities. Newsom said state officials have also identified seven sites that will offer more beds to separate coronavirus and non-coronavirus seniors.
12:27 p.m. State monitoring 191 nursing homes because of staff or residents who’ve tested positive: Gov. Gavin Newsom said state officials are watching 191 nursing homes across the state because either staffers or residents have tested positive for the coronavirus. Throughout 1,224 facilities, 1,266 people have been diagnosed with the infection. Additionally, out of 7,461 small homes mostly with Medi-Cal patients licensed throughout the state, 370 patients and staff have tested positive. Ninety-four of those facilities were being monitored as well, Newsom said.
12:20 p.m. Source: More than a dozen cases in city’s hotels for low-income residents: Coronavirus is threatening San Francisco’s densely populated residential hotels for low-income residents. The Department of Public Health says it does not have data specific to cases in single-room-occupancy hotels. But a source familiar with the matter said there are more than a dozen cases in SROs. The confirmed cases in such buildings are sprinkled throughout Civic Center, SoMa, Nob Hill, Bernal Heights, the Mission and other neighborhoods, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak to the media about the cases. The Chronicle is withholding the source’s name in accordance with the paper’s anonymous source policy.
12:16 p.m. Social distancing keeps California close to best-case scenario: Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly demonstrated graphs Friday that indicate people across the state are staying at home, according to data that tracks movement, but cautioned people must continue following the orders. The social distancing has helped decrease the number of projected hospital bed occupancy and recent models indicate the state is progressing toward the low end of projections. “This is a point of pride for Californians,” Ghaly said. “But I caution you that this line could easily start to see an upwards slope.”
Noon, Non-filers can use new IRS tool to get stimulus payments: The IRS has created a new web tool where some people can provide the personal information needed to get those $1,200 “economic impact payments.” The tool is called, “Non-filers: Enter your payment here,” and it’s for people who did not file a tax return in 2019 or 2018 and are not receiving Social Security retirement or disability insurance benefits, or railroad retirement or survivor benefits. People who have filed a return or receive those benefits will get their payments automatically, if they have a valid Social Security number, are below the program’s income limits and cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. The new non-filer tool asks for names, Social Security numbers for spouses and dependents, address and bank account information for a direct deposit. People do not have to have income to qualify and using the tool won’t result in any taxes due. By April 17, the IRS will introduce another web tool called, “Filers: Get your payment,” where people who have filed a tax return can check on the status of their payment and enter or update their bank account information for direct deposit of the payment, which includes $500 per eligible dependent. For details, see irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments. The IRS said payments will begin going out next week.
11:57 a.m. Trump says testing not an issue despite experts advice: President Trump said widespread coronavirus testing in the United States is “unnecessary” before reopening sectors of economy, weeks after he said anyone who wanted to be tested eventually would have the access to get tested. “You don’t have to test every person in the state of Iowa, as an example,” Trump said. “If there is a little hot corner some place, we’ll be testing.” Experts have consistently said mass testing should take place before reopening the country.
11:35 a.m. Pence urges churches to follow social distancing guidelines: Vice President Pence urged faith leaders to follow social distancing guidelines and not host large gatherings. “Continue to heed the guidelines,” Pence said, adding that he knew it was “difficult” this time of year with Easter on Sunday.
11:30 a.m. CDC studying virus’ impact on communities of color, may issue new guidelines: Vice President Mike Pence said CDC officials are studying the impact the coronavirus is having on communities of color and may issue new guidelines, as early data has indicated disproportionate rates of infection and death.
11:27 a.m. White House expert says signs encouraging but pandemic’s peak to come: Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House’s coronavirus task force said social distancing success so far has been encouraging but the nation has yet to have its peak. “Every day we need to continue to do what we did yesterday,” Birx said.
11:24 a.m. 100,000 coronavirus deaths worldwide: The grim milestone was reached Friday morning as 100,376 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 370,000 have recovered from the disease.
11:19 a.m. Nearly two dozen temporary hospitals erected, Trump says: Twenty-three temporary hospitals have been built in 12 states and the District of Columbia with the use of the Defense of Production Act, President Trump said Friday. “We used it like a hammer,” he said of using the act. Trump said officials are also building “thousands” of ventilators.
11:13 a.m. Over 2 million coronavirus tests done in U.S.: More than 2 million coronavirus tests have been conducted across the United States, Trump said, adding officials are conducting about 1,000 tests a day. Officials are also working to introduce blood tests into the market so people can determine if they have immunity. “Some people don’t even know they had it,” Trump said. “It could be sniffles, it could be they don’t feel perfect but they’ve had it and they are the lucky ones.”
11:11 a.m. Department of Defense to hand over 10 million masks: Department of Defense officials will give other federal officials 10 million N95 masks that they had, President Trump announced Friday. “We are getting very few calls from governors or anybody else needing anything. They are in great shape for this surge that’s coming in certain areas in particular,” Trump said.
11:08 a.m. Task force, health workers union deliver coronavirus supplies: Personal protective equipment is being delivered to Bay Area hospitals in a partnership between the COVID-19 Relief Bay Area Task Force and the Service Employees International Union — United Healthcare Workers West, according to a release by the union. Almost 3,500 N95 masks, 33,000 surgical masks, 20,000 gloves and 400 gowns have been donated, the release said. The task force is raising money in the Chinese American community to buy personal protective equipment in China and ship it to the Bay Area.
11:02 a.m. Trump says coronavirus fatalities may be fewer than 100,000: President Trump said new estimates indicate fewer than 100,000 people in the United States could die of COVID-19 as social distancing has helped slow the spread of the coronavirus. “You can never be happy but that is a lot fewer than we were originally told and thinking,” Trump said during a news conference. “We will see what it will end up being.”
10:56 a.m. No in-person ceremony at San Francisco’s Lotta’s Fountain: There will be no congregating at Lotta’s Fountain this year to mark the April 18 anniversary of the 1906 earthquake that killed 3,000 and destroyed 60,000 buildings, San Francisco officials said. No less, Public Works stationary engineer John Lamonte will ensure the monument, where city dwellers gathered after the quake to search for survivors, is maintained and ready for its annual commemorative wreath, officials said in a tweet.
Shelter in place means no in-person ceremony at Lotta’s Fountain this year to mark the April 18 anniversary of the 1906 #SanFrancisco Earthquake & Fire. But our stationary engineer, John Lamonte, makes sure the monument is in good shape & ready for annual commemorative wreath. pic.twitter.com/eaQc6PVAiR
— SF Public Works (@sfpublicworks) April 10, 2020
10:53 a.m. Five new cases in San Mateo County: Five additional people in San Mateo County have tested positive for COVID-19, increasing the total to 638, officials said.
10:51 a.m. San Francisco caps fees delivery services charge restaurants: Mayor London Breed announced she placed a cap on the fees that delivery services can charge restaurants during the coronavirus outbreak “because it can make the difference between them staying afloat or laying-off staff.” “Restaurants are struggling to survive and delivery is their main option for staying open,” Breed said in a tweet.
Restaurants are struggling to survive and delivery is their main option for staying open. I’m instituting a cap on the fees that delivery services can charge restaurants during this emergency, because it can make the difference between them staying afloat or laying-off staff.
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) April 10, 2020
10:29 a.m. San Francisco announces 9-1-1 text service: People in San Francisco can now text 9-1-1 when they are unable to safely call authorities, officials announced Friday. Text messages should be kept short and include the location of the emergency, and specify if police, fire or medical officials are needed. This more discreet alternative is seen as especially useful to women threatened by abusive partners while sheltering in place: “It is a particularly difficult and dangerous time for people experiencing domestic violence,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. One statistic that bears this out: 911 calls have decreased by 24% since the sheltering orders were imposed last month compared to the same period in 2019, but the number of calls related to domestic violence remained constant.
10:26 a.m. Coronavirus patients will be tracked through phones: Apple and Google are adding technology to their smartphone platforms that will tell users if they have come into contact with a person who has COVID-19. People have to opt in, but it could monitor about a third of the world’s population, Bloomberg News reports.
10:17 a.m. Signs of pandemic relief in Italy: Pressure on Italy’s hospitals fighting the coronavirus pandemic continued to ease Friday with 108 fewer intensive care cases and 157 fewer hospital admissions in the last 24 hours. But the number of deaths and new cases continued to grow even at a restrained pace, the Associated Press reports: 570 people died in the period, up 3% to 18,849, while the number of cases grew by 3,951 to 147,577.
10:16 a.m. Brain damage from coronavirus? The World Health Organization’s emergencies chief says the agency is aware of some anecdotal reports of neurological effects in some COVID-19 patients from China, but says it’s unclear whether the virus is directly affecting the brain or whether those may simply be due to oxygen deprivation. Dr. Mike Ryan says while some viruses cause complications like encephalitis and meningitis when they infect the brain, there is no indication yet that is the case with COVID-19 patients. Many infectious diseases can prompt deliriousness or a change in consciousness when their oxygen levels drop dramatically, the doctor told the Associated Press, but giving patients more oxygen often resolves the issue.
9:57 a.m. Early coronavirus data points to disproportionate impact on African Americans: Limited numbers on COVID-19 deaths released by eight states including California show that black residents are 2.6 times more likely to die from the disease than expected based on population estimates, according to American Public Media. Researchers said racial and ethnic data was only available for about one-third of deaths recorded in the United States. Black Americans have accounted for 34% of known deaths in the places that have released data while representing 13% of the population in those places, researchers said.
9:48 a.m. Berkeley offers testing for first responders, vulnerable without health care: Berkeley will open a COVID-19 testing site for firefighters, nurses, police officers and vulnerable residents who don’t have access to health care, city officials said. Increased testing can help curb spread among high-risk groups and essential workers while offering health officials more data to further understand the virus, officials said.
9:31 a.m. Letting ourselves go during pandemic: The phrase “the COVID-15” is gallows humor for potentially universal weight gain with so many people holed up in their homes, the Associated Press reports. Gyms are closed, bicycle trails are cordoned off, and even walking outside can be risky. And makeup? Why bother.
9:12 a.m. 13 dead, nearly 800 confirmed infections in S.F.: Three additional people in San Francisco have died of COVID-19 as 73 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed, bringing the total to 797, according to the Department of Public Health. The deaths announced Friday increased the total of fatalities in the city to 13.
9:06 a.m. Ideas for Easter Sunday activities: Shelter-in-place orders may keep everyone from gathering for Easter on Sunday, but there are many ways to celebrate at home. Check out some ideas here.
8:54 a.m. Families left in dark as coronavirus hits Bay Area nursing homes: Many senior living centers remain dangerously unprepared and poorly equipped and they are also leaving families and the public in the dark about the severity of the threat. Read more here.
8:48 a.m. 777 more coronavirus deaths in New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed the new number at his daily briefing Friday as the number of deaths recorded in the state inched toward 10,000. The state had recorded 7,844 deaths by Friday morning, Cuomo said. The three-day average of hospitalizations decreased in the state, as did intensive care unit admissions. “Overall New York is flattening the curve and we have to flatten the curve,” Cuomo said.
8:40 a.m. Polish priest fined for holding services: Authorities in Poland have fined a priest the equivalent of $2,400 for celebrating Palm Sunday Mass for 60 people. Cycling and long walks are also forbidden there. A cyclist and a strolling woman were each fined $2,800, the Associated Press reports.
8:33 a.m. 1918 flu debacle offers lessons for coronavirus era: The flu roared back after San Francisco let down its guard. The Bay Area, up until then a national pandemic success story, became a cautionary tale. History is full of lessons, but this one seems to be screaming through the decades, carrying a message for this exact moment, Peter Hartlaub writes.
8:29 a.m. Air pollution over Northeast drops 30%: Air pollution in the northeastern United States was 30% lower during March than in previous years because of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, according to NASA, which studied satellite images to determine the change. Average concentrations of atmospheric nitrogen dioxide in the region of the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston were lower than the mean levels recorded for March between 2015 and 2019, NASA officials said.
8:12 a.m. S.F. death count probably not accurate: Ten San Franciscans have died from COVID-19. That’s the count from public health officials. An infectious disease fellow at UCSF says it’s “exceedingly unlikely” that total is accurate. We may never know the real tally, Heather Knight reports.
8:04 a.m. New York revamps overwhelmed unemployment system: The state is getting help from Google to overhaul a decades-old unemployment benefits system that has left laid-off workers frustrated and awaiting help. Google helped design a revamped website that launched Thursday evening.
7:54 a.m. Will you get a stimulus check? Answers to frequently asked money questions during the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.
7:45 a.m. San Mateo to dismiss or refund parking tickets: The city of San Mateo plans to dismiss or refund 1,241 parking tickets issued between March 17 and April 8 as officials shift toward enforcing shelter-in-place violations that present safety concerns. Authorities said they have issued roughly 40% fewer parking tickets since the coronavirus outbreak started compared to the same period last year.
7:44 a.m. Police stopping motorists in Italy to enforce stay-at-home order: Italian authorities are using helicopters, drones and stepped-up police checks to make sure Italians don’t slip out of their homes for the Easter holiday weekend, a time when millions in the country head to second homes by the sea, in the mountains or countryside. Police on Thursday stopped some 300,000 motorists or pedestrians nationwide to demand proof they can be on highways or local streets, the Associated Press reports.
7:17 a.m. Wisconsin tracing coronavirus cases for links to election: Wisconsin health officials say they are tracing new coronavirus cases to determine if Tuesday’s election had an impact on the spread of COVID-19. “Even with the safeguards polling places and workers put in place, there is some risk that people were exposed to COVID-19 while waiting to vote, casting their vote, or working the polls,” health officials said in a statement.
7:15 a.m. Relief operations redirected to U.S.: Several U.S. charities that traditionally operate in countries stricken by war and natural disaster are now sending humanitarian aid to some of the wealthiest communities in America to help manage the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reports.
7:03 a.m. Brain surgery in the coronavirus era: Bay Area hospitals redefine “elective” procedures.
6:52 a.m. State Farm to give customers $2 billion dividend: State Farm plans to give its customers a $2 billion dividend. The nation’s largest auto insurer said it will give customers a credit equal to 25%, on average, of their premium for the period March 20 through May 31. Exact percentages will vary but will average $20 per month per insured vehicle. Other companies announcing refunds on personal auto policies this week because customers are driving less include: Amica Insurance (20% credit on April and May premiums), Kemper (15% credit on April and May premiums), Nationwide (one-time flat-rate refund of $50 per policy), GEICO (15% credit on auto and motorcycle policies that renew or are purchased between April 8 and Oct. 7), Travelers (15% credit on April and May premiums) Liberty Mutual/Safeco (15% Oarefund on two months of their annual premium), Allstate (15% average refund on April and May premiums), American Family Insurance (one-time refund of $50 for each car it covers, Farmers/21st Century (25% off April premiums) Progressive Insurance (20% off April and May premiums), Mercury Insurance (15% off April and May premiums) and The Hartford (15% off two months of premiums). Discounts are pending approval by state regulators.
6:47 a.m. Stock markets closed for Good Friday: The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq markets are closed for the holiday. Trading resumes Monday.
6:10 a.m. 50 coronavirus cases on board French vessel: France’s only aircraft carrier has confirmed 50 cases of the virus aboard and is heading back to port, the Associated Press reports. The French military says three of those aboard the Charles de Gaulle with the virus have been flown to a French hospital for treatment. Medics are staying aboard to track the infections and prevent further spread among the 1,700 crew after 50 of the 66 tests were positive.
6:06 a.m. To quell coronavirus anxieties, some turn to cannabis: Many customers are “looking to non-inhalable sources of cannabis, as COVID is a respiratory virus.”
5:48 a.m. Golden Gate Transit offers S.F. bus rides to help Muni customers: Golden Gate Transit is allowing local bus rides in San Francisco to help Muni and its riders after the coronavirus outbreak pared down transit service. More details about bus fares and routes here.
5:41 a.m. Nearly 100,000 coronavirus deaths around the world: The number of COVID-19 deaths reached 96,787 Friday morning as the number of confirmed cases grew to 1,612,646, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, officials have confirmed 466,299 coronavirus cases while 16,686 people have died.
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