The Chronicle began covering the coronavirus crisis before the first cases were reported in the Bay Area and a pandemic was declared. We reorganized the newsroom to dedicate nearly every resource to stories focusing on the health and economic disasters. Every day we have published live updates to reflect the most critical local, national and global updates on COVID-19, and this news is free of charge in an effort to keep our community safe and informed.
• Read the previous batch of updates from June 10-11.
• See the full timeline.
Updates from Saturday, June 13:
9:29 p.m. Napa County records highest-ever number of new cases: Napa County, which has had by far the lowest case count in the Bay Area, recorded 15 new cases on Saturday — its highest number to date. Recently, case numbers have been rising in the county: more than one-fifth of its total case count has come in the past week.
4:55 p.m. California surpasses 5,000 COVID-19 deaths: Shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday, California exceeded 5,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to data compiled by The Chronicle.
4:45 p.m. State nears 5,000 COVID-19 deaths: Shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday, California was approaching a milestone of 5,000 COVID-19 deaths. The Bay Area neared a milestone of its own, approaching 500 deaths in the Bay Area region on Saturday afternoon.
3:57 p.m. Wary of transit, Europe fast-tracks bike infrastructure: Bicycles are playing a central role in getting European urban areas moving again as the need for social distancing means they can't fully rely on public transit for commuting. France, Italy, Britain and their neighbors are accelerating hundreds of millions of euros in investments — some changes occurring on streets overnight — on new biking infrastructure and schemes to get people pedaling, the New York Times reports.
3:20 p.m. Studies underscore importance of masks to decrease risk: Several new, published studies support wearing masks to curb the transmission of the coronavirus. The broadest, funded by the World Health Organization and published in the journal Lancet , concluded that data from 172 observational studies indicate face masks reduce the risk of infection. The results come amid discord that's transformed mask wearing into a political symbol, touted by Democrats as a key part of communal responsibility, labeled by some GOP leaders as a sign of government overreach and as a scarlet letter pinned on the weak.
2:55 p.m. Breed to take part in CNN town hall: Mayor London Breed will join three other major-city black mayors Sunday in a CNN town hall on racial inequality and COVID-19, the network announced. "Mayors Who Matter" will air at 6 p.m. Other participants are Mayors Muriel Bowser of Washington, Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta and Lori Lightfoot of Chicago.
2:47 p.m. Arizona cases surging, but no masks required: Arizona had a rolling average of fewer than 400 new coronavirus cases a day when its shutdown was lifted on May 15. It shot up two weeks later and surpassed 1,000 new cases a day by last week, an analysis by the Associated Press found. COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are increasing. Public health and medical officials outside state government have pleaded with Arizonans to wear masks, but Republican Gov. Doug Ducey is not requiring masks in public, apparently following President Trump's lead: Get the state reopened and keep the masks in your pocket.
2:40 p.m. Beijing neighborhood on virus war footing: A district in central Beijing is in "wartime mode" after discovering a cluster of coronavirus cases around the biggest meat and vegetable market in the city, raising the prospect of a second wave of infections in the capital, the seat of the Chinese Communist Party, the Washington Post reports. The discovery of dozens of infections, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, underscores the perniciousness of the virus and its propensity to spread despite tight social controls.
2:10 p.m. UCSF has had 19 employees infected with at coronavirus, exposed at work: UCSF has had 19 hospital employees test positive for the coronavirus after likely on-the-job exposure since the start of the pandemic, spokeswoman Kristen Bole said. Overall, 71 employees have tested positive out of the 2,471 tested across UCSF hospitals and campus combined, she said.
1:24 p.m. Contra Costa records nearly 4 dozen new infections: Contra Costa County on Saturday reported another 44 cases of the coronavirus, one of its larger single-day upticks, bringing its total so far to 1,921 cases. Forty-four people have died of COVID-19 in the county.
12:51 p.m. Favorite Bay Area hikes open: Three months into shelter-in-place, nearly 90% of the Bay Area's 350 outdoor recreation sites have re-opened. Hikers a range of great options and The Chronicle's Tom Stienstra writes that 39 of his 50 favorites are open now. He gives a rundown on 10 of them.
12:14 p.m. Infected East Bay hospital workers did not have to be hospitalized ; None of the 37 workers infected by the coronavirus at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward had to be hospitalized and half were cleared to go back to work after quarantine from the outbreak that occurred in late May, a spokesman said. The hospital as of Friday was looking into whether any patients were exposed.
11:55 a.m. Not the best time for wildfire season to hit: Wildfire season has arrived in California, and PG&E is again preparing to take drastic measures to prevent more catastrophes, even as the whole state grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. PG&E anticipates having to shut off power at times, posing likely problems for those now working at home on computers and using air conditioning. Read more.
11:30 a.m. Sonoma County offers antibody test to county health workers: Sonoma County announced it is making the coronavirus antibody test available for county health care workers. The county already provides the test to first responders, as well as community members who test positive for COVID-19. Healthcare workers and first responders seeking to be tested can call (707) 565-4667 .
10:15 a.m. New York reports lowest number of COVID-19 deaths since start of pandemic: COVID-19 claimed another 32 New Yorkers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday, noting it was the state's lowest number of coronavirus fatalities since the pandemic started. The state also saw its lowest number of total hospitalizations since March 20th.
10:13 a.m. Santa Clara County records uptick: Santa Clara County reported 43 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, bringing its total so far to 3,157.
9:48 a.m. Beaucoup face masks in France: Companies that helped France avoid a feared shortage of virus-filtering face coverings against the coronavirus now need to unload a surplus of 20 million masks. They are asking the French government to help them find buyers for the unsold inventory. Hundreds of textile and clothing manufacturers answered the government's call for millions of masks superior to homemade versions.
9:07 a.m. West Point grads take off masks as Trump addresses them: At a commencement arranged so President Trump could deliver a speech, West Point graduates wore masks as they marched onto the parade field, instead of into Mitchie Stadium, the usual venue. They sat 6 feet apart, in keeping with federal coronavirus guidelines They removed the masks when the ceremony began. Instead of shaking hands with the president, graduates stood before the dais and saluted. Guests and family were not allowed. The graduating class underwent coronavirus testing when they returned to campus in late May.
8:47 a.m. Casino in Rohnert Park set to reopen: Graton Casino just outside Rohnert Park has announced it plans to open its doors again on June 18 some three months after shutting down amid coronavirus restrictions. The casino, owned by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, will observe numerous health precautions.
8:29 a.m. New wrinkle for health coverage for the unemployed: Employees who lose jobs that came with health coverage have several options for staying insured, but a new wrinkle has flown under the radar.The Department of Labor has issued guidance giving laid-off workers a vastly expanded period of time in which to choose and pay for Cobra coverage, and Kathleen Pender explains what's happening .
8:04 a.m. Secrecy ramparts surround who's getting the $600 billion in taxpayer dollars: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is refusing to disclose the recipients of the $600 billion-plus in taxpayer-funded loans in the coronavirus aid program for small businesses. He told Congress that's "proprietary information," using odd terminology for a government program. Ethics advocates and some lawmakers see the move as an attempt to dodge accountability for how the money is spent, the Associated Press reports.
7:59 a.m. China helping Africa with tests, ventilators: African leaders say China will ensure the supply of 30 million testing kits and 10,000 ventilators each month for the African continent as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates there.
6:54 a.m. Stonestown Galleria to reopen Monday: Stonestown Galleria has received permission from San Francisco officials to reopen Monday, the date the city has set for stores to allow people back inside — with significant coronavirus modifications. The Westfield Mall is also reopening on Monday. Read the story here.
Updates from Friday June 12
9:55 p.m. Sonoma County reports another 21 cases: Health officials on Friday evening reported 21 additional confirmed coronavirus cases in Sonoma County. This brings the North Bay county's official total since the pandemic began to 722 cases. Four county residents died who were stricken by the virus, while 370 have recovered.
7:56 p.m. Marin County reports 28 new cases: Health officials confirmed 28 new cases of the coronavirus and no additional COVID-19 deaths in Marin County on Friday. There are now 676 cases and 17 deaths for the county in total, with eight people currently hospitalized.
6:41 p.m. Berkeley closing three streets to through traffic: Berkeley is the latest Bay Area city to try and restrict automobile use on certain streets as a way to encourage people to use them for walking, jogging and bicycling while maintaining social distances. The "Healthy Streets" program implemented in time for this weekend includes three roadways: 9th street from Hearst Avenue to Dwight Way; Russell Street between Adeline and Mabel streets; and Addison Street between Sacramento and Grant streets. Local automobile traffic is still allowed but drivers are asked to restrict their speed to 15 mph. Full information is here.
5:45 p.m. State health officials lift cap on outdoor religious services, protests: Health officials lifted a cap on the number of people allowed to gather outdoors for religious services or other First Amendment-protected gatherings such as protests and marches, according to new guidance released Friday by the California Department of Public Health. Local jurisdictions can still implement caps, however, and health officials stress that people at such gatherings should practice social distancing. Indoor religious services remain limited to no more than 25% of the building capacity or fewer than 100 people. State officials still strongly recommend that places of worship hold remote services.
5:50 p.m. New state guidelines allow nail salons, tattoo parlors to open next Friday — with local approval: More personal care industries, including nail salons, tattoo parlors, skin care and waxing services, can reopen June 19 with tight controls under new guidance released by the California Department of Public Health. Still, businesses must adhere to health orders from their local jurisdictions. There is no indication that San Francisco, which lags behind most California counties, would allow these industries to reopen by next week. Read the story here.
5:02 p.m. COVID-19 death toll hits 150 in Santa Clara County: Two more COVID-19 deaths and 55 new coronavirus cases were reported in Santa Clara County on Friday. There are now 150 deaths and 3,117 cases county-wide.
4:30 p.m. Napa County reports five new cases: Health officials reported five new cases of the coronavirus in Napa County on Friday, bringing the county's total to 168 cases and three deaths. The county is now recommending all residents get a coronavirus test, and those with exposure to the community should get tested every two weeks. People can sign up for a testing appointment online .
4:10 p.m. Grim forecast for Outside Lands, BottleRock, and other Bay Area music festivals in 2020: What's going to happen to the Bay Area's festival season? The Chronicle checked in with promoters of Northern California's biggest concerts, though the decision to pull the plug this year may not rest with them, as coronavirus case counts continue to rise and health departments tighten restrictions. Read the story here.
3:59 p.m. Alameda County allowing retail, and outdoor dining, fitness and museums: Alameda County announced Friday it will allow more activities starting June 19 as it moves to reopen its economy. County health orders will allow all retail, and outdoor reopening of museums, restaurant dining and fitness classes, as well as indoor religious services with up to 100 people or less than 25 percent building capacity, whichever is lower — although the county still recommends outdoor services and those with 25 or fewer people. "Residents should continue to limit contact with people outside their Social Bubble, maintain physical distance, and wear face coverings," the county said.
3:36 p.m. Westfield mall to reopen Monday: San Francisco will allow people inside stores for the first time in three months on Monday — and that includes the Westfield mall downtown, which has weathered not only the pandemic but a fire set during the protests. San Francisco's other two big indoor malls, Stonestown Galleria and the Japan Center Malls, do not yet have a reopening date. Read the story here .
3:29 p.m. CDC predicts up to 140,000 COVID-19 deaths by July 4: Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that a review of national forecasts for COVID-19 deaths suggest there will likely be between 124,000 and 140,000 total reported COVID-19 deaths by July 4th.
3:25 p.m. Major outbreak at Bay Area hospital: More than three dozen workers connected with a single unit at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward tested positive for the coronavirus three weeks ago, a spokesman disclosed on Friday. Read the story here .
3:14: Fauci singles out California, North Carolina, Texas: Dr. Anthony Fauci, pressed on which states' reopening rates give him concern, said Friday that looking at the coronavirus data, "in California, North Carolina Texas, you've got to carefully look at what the result is." Everyone wants to get economies going again, he said in a CNN interview, but "not at the expense of making things worse." A "blip" in isolated increased virus cases is not unusual, but when hospitalizations rise, he said, "that's a sure sign you're going in the wrong direction," and a time to "pause and say 'let's rethink this and see where we're going.' " California's hospitalizations overall have declined.
2:59 p.m. University of Houston halts student workouts: Less than two weeks after reopening its facilities for voluntary workouts, the University of Houston is suspending the activities after six positive tests by student-athletes and increasing positive tests in the Houston area over the last week.
2:51 p.m. Santa Clara County closes 4 construction sites: Santa Clara County identified numerous cases of COVID-19 among construction workers this week at four construction sites. All the sites have subsequently closed. The uptick underlines the need for construction firms to practice social distancing and safety protocols, the county said in a statement. The largest outbreak was in Mountain View with 10 confirmed cases and more than 30 potential exposures. Two sites in San Jose and one in Milpitas each had between three and five cases, health officials said.
2:44 p.m. Utah, Oregon pause reopening: Utah and Oregon put further reopening of their economies on hold amid a spike in coronavirus cases, but there was no turning back Friday in states including California, Texas, Arkansas and Arizona despite flashing warning signs there, too. Many governors are coming down on the side of jobs, although an Associated Press analysis this week found cases rising in nearly half the states — partly due to the reopening moves.
2:36 p.m. San Francisco to allow more workers back to the office: San Francisco is allowing some workers to return to office buildings Monday. Here are the rules for businesses that want to reopen workplaces.
2:26 p.m. Judge temporarily blocks Newsom plan for all-voter ballot mailings : A Sutter County judge granted a request Friday by two GOP legislators to temporarily block Gov. Gavin Newsom's order requiring that all active California voters receive a mail ballot for the November election. The Chronicle's John Wildermuth reports.
1:49 p.m. San Mateo looks to reopen indoor dining, salons and gyms: The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed Friday to seek state permission to re-open large sectors of its economy, including dine-in restaurants, hair salons and gyms. The action supports an attestation by the county health chief that the county can satisfy the state's readiness criteria.
1:40 p.m. Americans not ready to give up cautionary behaviors: Even as states and cities relax coronavirus-related restrictions on social and economic life, a new poll finds most Americans aren't ready to abandon the public health behaviors that reduce the risk of contagion. Nine in 10 say they are wearing masks, a NORC poll found, compared to 78% in April. They are still mostly avoiding restaurants. And the vast majority are still staying at least six feet from others when out and about.
1:18 p.m. WHO says indirect impacts worse for women and kids: The World Health Organization warned Friday that the indirect impact of the coronavirus pandemic on women, children and adolescents "may be greater than the number of deaths due to the virus itself," the New York Times reports. "Because the pandemic has overwhelmed health systems in many places, women may have heightened risk of dying from complications of pregnancy and child birth," said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
1:15 p.m. Case count climbs in Alameda County: Health officials reported 92 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday in Alameda County, bringing the county's total to 4,216. There have been 109 deaths from COVID-19 in the county.
1:04 p.m. Stocks up slightly, a day after collapsing: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.9% and the S&P 500 was up 1.3% on Friday, a day after fears of a coronavirus resurgence caused the market to have its worst day since March — the early days of the pandemic and accompanying economic disaster .
1 p.m. Succor for BTS fans: After having to cancel sold-out shows in the Bay Area due to coronavirus concerns, the group BTS will hold a live-streamed concert Sunday, at 2 a.m. Pacific time, from their Seoul home/soundstage. The coronavirus and outrage over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd have lifted BTS and K-pop supporter groups into the spotlight. Read more here .
12:55 p.m. Group hands out protective gear to ride-hail drivers in Daly City: We Drive Progress members on Friday afternoon handed out masks, hand sanitizer and gloves to Uber divers at the company's Daly City facility.
12:51 p.m. SF soda tax helping feed needy during pandemic: To help people struggling to afford food during the coronavirus pandemic, San Francisco is using $1.65 million from its soda tax to bolster local programs feeding vulnerable communities. City officials note the pandemic is worsening "preexisting inequities in our society," so the money is earmarked for low-income people, seniors, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and undocumented immigrants. Read more.
12:30 p.m. San Mateo jury trials to resume Monday: The San Mateo Superior Court will resume hearing jury trials on Monday, court officials announced Friday, following a three-month suspension due to coronavirus concerns. Jurors have been summoned and selection will begin for a criminal jury trial that begins Monday. Another trial is set to resume later in June, and another in July.
12:18 p.m. SF to remove 70% of homeless tents in Tenderloin: San Francisco, following a federal court suit by residents and business owners amid coronavirus contagion concerns, agreed Friday to remove 70% of the tents crowding the Tenderloin's sidewalks by July 20 and to get the tent residents into hotel rooms or sanctioned tent camps. The Tenderloin residents — led by the UC Hastings School of Law — agreed to stop litigation. About 415 tents were scattered throughout the Tenderloin's 49 blocks as of June 5. Read more.
12:08 p.m. Harrassed, stressed county health leaders stepping down: Amid coronavirus pressure and criticism, many health officials are choosing to leave their jobs or have been pushed out, including the Orange County health officer who resigned Monday after receiving threats at a public meeting and on social media over her order for residents to wear face coverings in public. A review by Kaiser Health News and The Associated Press finds at least 27 state and local health leaders have resigned, retired or been fired since April across 13 states. They have left due to a mix of backlash and stressful, nonstop work, all while facing with chronic staffing and funding shortages.
11:48 a.m. Texas, Florida report their highest case counts: Two of the nation's most populous states, Texas and Florida, both reported this week their highest daily totals of new virus infections, a concerning sign as all 50 states move to ease social distancing and allow more businesses to reopen. The trend has affected California as well, with recent days seeing new daily highs
11:40 a.m. July 20 is deadline for decision on high school fall sports season: As schools plan their fall terms, the California Interscholastic Federation, the state's governing body for high school sports, announced Friday, that by July 20 it will announce whether — or possibly how — the fall sports season will be played.
11:15 a.m. SF's jobless residents misled about $138 million fund to help with expenses: San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced six weeks ago that the city would be returning $138 million held in two medical reimbursement accounts maintained by the city. The idea was to help unemployed residents who have money in the funds afford rent, groceries and other necessities. But the plan has fallen apart for vague reasons that nobody at City Hall will fully explain. Chronicle columnist Heather Knight has the full story.
10:14 a.m. CDC officials say the U.S. has 'flattened the curve' : In its first press conference since March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that the U.S. has "flattened the curve" and on the whole has seen a plateau in new cases, but they noted worrisome surges in some areas. Read the full story by Erin Allday .
7:14 a.m. CDC to provide COVID-19 update: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will brief the news media at 9 a.m. Friday on the COVID-19 pandemic in the agency's first teleconference in weeks. CDC Director Robert Redfield is expected to participate in the call.
6:45 a.m. Weighing the risk factors as life returns to semi-normalcy: While the safest option remains staying home until a vaccine or effective treatment option is developed for COVID-19, for those who feel the need to venture out during the pandemic, The Chronicle asked infectious disease experts to rate the risks of some popular Bay Area activities based on a scale of 1 (lowest risk) to 5 (highest risk). Read the full story by Aidin Vaziri.
6:40 a.m. If you attended a Bay Area protest, should you self-quarantine? Get a coronavirus test? George Rutherford, head of the division of infectious disease and epidemiology at UCSF, said he would suggest testing before a self-quarantine. " full story by Kellie Hwang.
6:35 a.m. Dow recovers from Thursday rout: Stocks rebounded after the Dow Jones industrial average dropped nearly 7% Thursday. The stock index added back 800 points in early trading, soaring 3%. The volatility reflected continued jitters over the lengthy impact the pandemic could have on the U.S. and world economies.
12:05 a.m. California records highest number of new cases: California counties reported 3,461 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, the state's new highest single-day total, according to county data compiled by The Chronicle. The previous high was 3,451 cases reported June 4. The state has surpassed 3,000 new cases on four of the last eight days after reaching the 3,000-case mark for the first time on May 30.
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