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:
• 440,318 cases in California, including 8,339 deaths
• 47,076 in the Bay Area, including 758 deaths.
• More than 4.1 million in the U.S., including 145,546 deaths. The five other states with the highest death tolls are New York with 32,596; New Jersey with 15,765; Massachusetts with 8,498; Illinois with 7,577; and Pennsylvania with 7,116. Click here to see a U.S. map with state-by-state death tolls and coronavirus case counts.
• More than 15.7 million in the world, with more than 639,000 deaths. More than 9 million people have recovered.
Resources on COVID-19 and California’s reopening: Use our interactive page to track the state and Bay Area’s reopening by county. For detailed maps and new city-by-city Bay Area data, check out The Chronicle’s Coronavirus Tracker. Information on Bay Area school reopenings can be found here. Find Bay Area COVID-19 testing sites that don’t require doctor referrals in our interactive map. To get regular updates on our coverage, sign up for our coronavirus newsletter.
Latest updates from today:
10:19 a.m. Coronavirus cuts money for safe drinking water: The water is too contaminated to drink in the tiny Fresno County community of Cantua Creek, so residents depend on state money for their fresh water. But with the effects of the coronavirus battering the state budget and California’s economy, that money could disappear.
9:01 a.m. Oregon reports highest daily death toll: Nine more people in Oregon have died from COVID-19, the most daily deaths reported in the state since the pandemic started. According to the Associated Press, the new deaths raise the state’s toll to 282. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s expanded face-covering requirement for everyone 5 years or older went into effect Friday.
7:48 a.m. Answering questions about keeping health, unemployment coverage: Chronicle business columnist Kathleen Pender answers questions about how to get extended benefits when your first 26 weeks run out; when the state will require people on unemployment to begin looking for work; and what the differences between COBRA and Cal-COBRA health care continuation are.
7:33 a.m. Self-driving firm Cruise restarts operations, raising questions: Cruise, the San Francisco self-driving startup backed by General Motors, shut down as the pandemic began; its cars require two safety drivers, who are inevitably in close proximity. But recently Cruice began using its fleet for meal deliveries to needy people in April, an essential service allowed under the rules. However, two drivers told The Chronicle that food deliveries account for a fraction of road time and that they are doing the same types of assignments as before shelter-in-place orders. The Chronicle’s Carolyn Said has the story.
Updates from Friday, July 24
11:38 p.m. Second Alameda County sheriff’s employee dies: An Alameda County sheriff’s employee died Friday evening from coronavirus complications, marking the second sheriff’s employee to die in a 24-hour period, authorities said. The employee, who was a non-sworn staff member, died from COVID-19 complications, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
5:17 p.m. SF Trader Joe’s employee tests positive: An employee at the Trader Joe’s store located at Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco tested positive for the coronavirus, marking that store’s first and only case, a company spokesperson said. The employee was tested on Sunday and informed store management of a positive test result on Tuesday. He or she last worked on July 15. A professional crew cleaned the store Thursday night.
4:39 p.m. San Francisco updates face covering rules: Under a stricter health order that went into effect Friday, people age 10 and up in San Francisco must wear face coverings when approaching a distance of six feet from others, while alone in shared work spaces or building common areas, and when working in food service. Masks are required in “fluid situations” where distances between people change, like walking on a sidewalk or at parks, dining spaces or bars. People who are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition must have a note from a medical professional under the new rule.
4:05 p.m. Salesforce Transit Center still mostly dark: While the Ferry Building has resumed operations after a topsy-turvy week, businesses in the Salesforce Transit Center — another major San Francisco food hub, albeit for office workers grabbing lunch — remain mostly closed. Read the story here.
3:30 p.m. Virus delays workers’ compensation trials, causing hardship: For Californians seeking workers’ compensation, the coronavirus has been cruel, delaying trials and therefore potential payouts. Read the story here.
2:45 p.m. Does California have enough nurses to fight the coronavirus pandemic? California officials are worried about a shortage of specialized health care workers as coronavirus patient numbers rise and more workers fall sick from the virus. Read the story here.
2:38 p.m. More cases in Santa Rita Jail outbreak: There were 110 active coronavirus cases among Santa Rita Jail inmates on Friday, up six from the day before, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Twelve inmates had COVID-19 symptoms and the rest were asymptomatic, sheriff’s officials said. A dozen staff or contractors were also infected as of Friday.
1:55 p.m. Nearly half think job lost for good, new poll shows: A new AP-NORC poll shows 47% of people who lost their jobs in the economic turmoil created by the coronavirus pandemic believe their job will definitely or probably not come back.
1:52 p.m. Nearly 800 hospitalized in Bay Area; more than 200 in Alameda County: The number of COVID-19 patients in Bay Area hospitals surged to a record 797 on Thursday, according to state data released Friday. The jump was in large part due to skyrocketing numbers in Alameda County, where an astounding 35 more people were hospitalized in a single day for an all-time high of 201 patients. San Francisco added one new patient, Contra Costa and Napa counties each recorded two more hospitalizations, and Santa Clara and Sonoma counties hospitalized three more patients each.
1:51 p.m. Stocks decline for a second day: Wall Street indexes fell, following the trend set by markets around the globe attributed to continued jitters over the coronavirus, and increased tension between China and the United States. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.7% to close at 26,469.89. Technology and health care companies accounted for much of the selling, with Santa Clara chip maker Intel posting a loss of more than 16%, the biggest drop in the S&P 500.
12:34 p.m. Rate of people testing positive in the state holds around 7.5%: The rate of people testing positive for the coronavirus has held at an average of 7.5% over the last two weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday. On Thursday, officials confirmed 9,718 new cases of the virus, which was lower than the seven-day average of 9,881 new daily cases. State officials conducted close to 138,000 tests on Thursday, Newsom said.
12:25 p.m. First Bay Area county top reach 10,000 cases: With hundreds more residents testing positive, Alameda County became the first in the Bay Area — and the ninth of California’s 58 counties — to reach the unfortunate milestone of more than 10,000 coronavirus cases. On Friday, with 345 new cases reported, the county recorded 10,214 cases, and 178 deaths since the pandemic began. Oakland topped 4,000 cases Friday, for 4,026 in all. The nine counties with the state’s highest number of cases are Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, Kern, Fresno, Alameda and San Joaquin counties.
11:04 a.m. Death in SF brings city total to 56: A 56th person in San Francisco has died of COVID-19 and 115 more cases of the coronavirus were confirmed Friday, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 5,679, according to The Chronicle’s tracker. In San Mateo County, three additional people died of COVID-19 and 72 more cases were confirmed. The county has recorded at total of 117 fatalities and 4,957 virus cases.
10:11 a.m. McDonald’s to require face coverings: McDonald’s customers will be required to wear a face covering upon entering restaurants in the United States beginning in August, executives said Friday. The fast food chain also plans to add divider panels to parts of its establishments and halt the reopening of any additional dining rooms for 30 days. Face coverings are already required inside all businesses in California.
8:03 a.m. Are pandemic pods an answer for distance learning? Some parents of means are cobbling together an alternative to sticking their kids in front of a screen this fall. On the Fifth & Mission podcast, education reporter Jill Tucker talks about pandemic pods and whether they’re a real solution or just another form of inequality in education. Click here to listen.
6:57 a.m. Pandemic hits brakes on SF’s car break-in crisis: Shelter-in-place orders in mid-March caused big changes in the city’s crime patterns. Vehicle break-ins that month dropped by 38% — with 1,040 incidents reported this year compared to 1,691 last year. The difference since then has been even more pronounced: a decline of more than 50% each month from April through June. Read the full story by Kellie Hwang.
6:50 a.m. Food pop-ups see new life as S.F. businesses adjust to shelter-in-place: Three new pop-ups launched this week that demonstrate the ways San Francisco restaurants are collaborating during the pandemic. Find out more here.
6:44 a.m. Large Bay Area blood bank still turning away gay, bisexual men who meet US rules: Despite the threat of a nationwide blood shortage because of the pandemic, many gay and bisexual men are still being turned away when they volunteer to give blood, even if they meet federal donor criteria. Read the full story by Dustin Gardiner.
6:34 a.m. Stocks extend losses: The Dow dropped again Friday as U.S.-China tensions heated up. Both countries closed the other’s consulates.
6:15 a.m. ‘Pandemic pods’ raise debate on privilege versus safe practice: In the last week alone, tens of thousands of families in the Bay Area and across the country have found each other on Facebook, created contact lists organized by city or school, and formed “pandemic pods” — in some cases offering educators $100 an hour or more to tutor or teach small groups in the homes of the children or the teachers. Then came the backlash. Read the full story by Jill Tucker.
Updates from Thursday, July 23:
10:07 p.m. California comes close to matching record high number of deaths in a day: The state recorded 154 more deaths on Thursday, coming close to Wednesday’s record of 157, according to data collected by The Chronicle. (Correction: Due to a data input error, The Chronicle’s coronavirus tracker misreported the number of deaths in California on July 23. There were 154 deaths, which was below Wednesday’s record number.)
9:54 p.m. California records 11,742 new cases, most in a day: For the second time this week, the state broke a record for the most new cases recorded in a day. On Monday, the state recorded 11,547 new cases. On Wednesday, it broke that record with 11,742, according to data collected by The Chronicle from the state’s 58 counties.
9:05 p.m. U.S. surpasses 4 million coronavirus cases: The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped 4 million on Thursday evening, reaching another grim milestone as California and other states cope with surges, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University. The country has recorded 144,242 deaths from COVID-19.
7:37 p.m. Increasing infections among young adults triggers spread: Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County health officer, said Thursday that an increasing infection rate among young adults between 18 and 34 years old is cause for concern. People in their 20s and 30s account for 37.7% of the county’s cases, data shows. “This is important because although there may be lower rates of hospitalization and severe illness among young adults, this is where the epidemic is spreading most quickly,” Cody said. “It will eventually spark a train of transition that will ultimately reach someone who is more vulnerable and will become ill enough to require hospitalization.”
7:26 p.m. Five Bay Area counties record more deaths: Alameda, Marin, Napa, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties each recorded additional COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, according to data compiled by The Chronicle. Two more people died in Alameda County, bringing the total to 173 fatalities; one more death in Marin County brought the total to 50; one new death in Napa County was reported for a total of eight; two more San Francisco deaths brought the total to 55; and three more deaths in Santa Clara County were recorded for a total of 181.
6:46 p.m. Ferry Building reopens: Forced to close after it was classified as an indoor mall, San Francisco’s Ferry Building and more than two dozen stores inside it won a reprieve when state regulators ruled instead that it is a transport terminal. The turnabout highlights the somewhat arbitrary nature of the health orders controlling which kinds of businesses can operate during the pandemic.
6:19 p.m. California Assembly will allow proxy voting: When state legislators return from a recess Monday that was extended because of the pandemic, several will begin casting votes by proxy — those who either because of age or health conditions are at elevated risk if they contract the coronavirus. Read the story here.
5:15 p.m. Marin County’s Canal area disproportionately impacted by pandemic: The Canal area in San Rafael, home to a large Latino community, has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, Marin County officials said during a Thursday community conversation. While Latinos make up 16% of the county’s population, they account for 80% of the county’s coronavirus cases and 51% of the hospitalizations. Officials said they created a Canal Surge Plan to improve coordination, culturally-competent communication and community-driven solutions. Omar Carrera, CEO of Canal Alliance, said many Latinos work in essential jobs that lack adequate health care, living wages and paid sick time. That, combined with poor housing conditions, “created the perfect storm.” Carrera added: “If we really want to be serious about containing the virus, we have to make sure that the Canal problems are the Marin County problems.”
5:10 p.m. Santa Clara County officials call on Trump for national response: County officials said in a statement Thursday that they are concerned about the national rise in coronavirus cases and said they “believe that this highlights the need for a coordinated national approach to address this pandemic, something the President has failed to put into effect.” County officials said they are calling on the Trump Administration to “finally implement the national strategy our nation needs to contain COVID-19.”
4:42 p.m. Counties on California’s coronavirus watch list see abrupt shutdowns and reopening disruptions: San Francisco and Napa County were a day away from being removed from the list but saw cases increase. It’s unclear how soon businesses can reopen if a county gets off the list. Read the story here.
4:05 p.m. Additional death in San Quentin State Prison outbreak: Fifteen inmates have died from COVID-19 at San Quentin State Prison as of Thursday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Officials did not identify or provide further information about the latest death. There were 2,106 coronavirus cases, including 864 active infections, on Thursday, marking the state’s largest prison outbreak.
3:20 p.m. One more case at Santa Rita Jail: One more inmate at Santa Rita Jail has tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the tally to 104 active cases on Thursday, according to a daily update from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Only 11 inmates showed COVID-19 symptoms, officials said. There were an additional 12 active cases among staff or contractors.
2:35 p.m. Trump cancels Jacksonville part of GOP convention: President Trump announced the cancellation of the part of GOP’s convention scheduled to take place in Jacksonville. Trump said his political team presented him the plans Thursday afternoon for the convention, but the “flare-up” of coronavirus cases in Florida gave him pause. He said during a news conference that it was not “the right time” to have a convention.
2:10 p.m. Bay Area hospitalizations climb to new high: There were 756 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the Bay Area on Wednesday, according to state data released Thursday, setting a record high for the eighteenth consecutive day. Ten more people were hospitalized in Santa Clara County, bringing the total to 180 patients and nearing the county’s April peak. Solano County added six more patients for 57 total and Contra Costa County hospitalized five more people for a total of 106. Meanwhile, Alameda County reported ten fewer patients, bringing the total down to 166.
1:56 p.m. California sees record number of deaths: A record 157 people in California died of COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to numbers kept by The Chronicle. The highest number of deaths previously recorded on a single day occurred on July 8 when 149 people died.
Today, CA reached a somber milestone: 157 deaths. Our highest#COVID19, or simply hope it goes away. We have to take action. TOGETHER.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 23, 2020
1:07 p.m. Stocks have tough day: Technology stocks in particular were clobbered Thursday, with the Nasdaq plunging 2.3%. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.3%, the S&P 500 1.2% and the Russell 2000 index 0.3%
12:55 p.m. Bill to protect county, state fairs introduced: Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, introduced the Protecting Fairs During Coronavirus Act on Thursday, which would establish a $5 billion federal grant program to offset revenue losses for fairs that shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. Harder, who woblue ribbons at the Stanislaus County Fair as a child, said fairs not only provide entertainment and agricultural training but generate $3.5 billion in revenue for communities in and around fairgrounds. States could apply for aid from the United States Department of Agriculture then distribute the funds to fairs in their state.
12:19 p.m. Alameda testing site abruptly closed: A testing site that opened this week in Alameda was shut down due to an “issue with liability insurance coverage,” city officials said. The site at The Research Park at Marina Village opened as scheduled on Wednesday and tested more than 1,000 people before being temporarily closed, city officials said in a statement. An expected reopening date was not released.
11:55 a.m. FDA approves Stanford for pooled testing: Stanford has received permission from the FDA to pursue a promising method of identifying cornavirus cases that could significantly speed up testing in the Bay Area. “Pooled testing” — in which a lab processes specimens from multiple people at one time, rather than just one specimen at a time — could potentially make frequent large-scale testing in schools, dorms, nursing homes and prisons faster and more efficient, and thus help prevent outbreaks in those settings. The Chronicle’s Catherine Ho breaks the story on this promising development here.
11:49 a.m.: California needs to shut down again to contain coronavirus, Bay Area lawmaker warns: State Sen. Steve Glazer of Orinda says his fellow Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom let counties open up too soon, before the coronavirus was contained. He’s calling for a return to a widespread shutdown instead of the governor’s strategy of closing only some businesses. Read the story here.
11:16 a.m. Inmate tests positive at SF jail: An inmate tested positive for the coronavirus at a San Francisco County jail, prompting officials to issue restrictions to mitigate any spread of the virus. The inmate at the jail in San Bruno tested positive on July 19, said Nancy Crowley, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department. After the test, officials prohibited visits, which had already been paused, as well as movement between housing pods, Crowley said.
10:48 a.m. Santa Cruz County added to state’s watch list: Santa Cruz County has been added to a list of counties being monitored by the state, officials said Thursday. The county has recently recorded “dramatically increasing” numbers of coronavirus cases and the case rate increased to the point that state health officials added the county to the list, officials said during a news conference. The county had confirmed 848 known cases as of yesterday, but an official warned there were “many” additional cases that had yet to be reported on the county’s coronavirus data dashboard.
10 a.m. SF Symphony announces new programming: New digital offerings have been added to the Symphony’s schedule, plus “1:1 Concerts” that provide in-person intimate musical experiences.
8:37 a.m. Muni to restore 5 bus lines: As riders continue to return, Muni is preparing to restore bus service on five lines starting Aug. 22. The lines include: 7-Haight-Noriega, 37-Corbett, 45-Union-Stockton, 48-Quintara and 67-Bernal Heights. Service was cut in early April when Muni slashed service from 89 routes to just 17 lines as the coronavirus and shelter-in-place restrictions caused a shortage in bus drivers.
8:29 a.m. Pandemic baseball is here: After a four-month delay, it’s Opening Day for the Giants, while the A’s begin their abbreviated season Friday. On the Fifth & Mission podcast, beat writers Henry Schulman and Susan Slusser talk about new rules and safety measures, and how a season played in empty stadiums will look, sound and feel. They’ll also discuss baseball’s social justice awakening, signalled by manager Gabe Kapler and two Giants players kneeling for the national anthem. Click here to listen.
6:45 a.m. Dow down on jobless figures: The Dow stock index dropped 0.3% after the release of unemployment figures showing the first rise in weekly job loss since March.
6:21 a.m. SF restaurants see mixed results since outdoor dining returned: The city’s restaurants have been serving diners outside for about a month — and owners are generally grateful. But the results are mixed, with some restaurants not seeing new customers despite efforts. And San Francisco’s often chilly, windy weather doesn’t inspire alfresco dining. Read the full story by Janelle Bitker.
6:17 a.m. Bay Area students choose gap year over remote or unpredictable college experience: Many students, wary of the virus forcing schools to pivot to distance learning, are choosing to delay the start of their college careers — even though the pandemic also has curtailed traditional gap-year adventures, such as international travel, and made jobs harder to land. Read the full story by Ron Kroichick.
6:03 a.m. Job losses mount as benefits may be cut: Another 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, an increase from the prior week. An extra $600 a week payment, part of a coronavirus relief package passed earlier this year, expires at the end of July, and Congress has not yet agreed on whether or how to extend it.
4:00 a.m. Kern County cases rise: Coronavirus cases have surged in the Central Valley agricultural center. Officials say that increased testing has led to a backlog in getting results.
Updates from Wednesday, July 22:
7:07 p.m. State hospitalizations continue climbing: The number of COVID-19 patients in California’s hospitals reached a record 7,170 people on Tuesday, state health officials reported Wednesday. State-wide hospitalizations are up 17.5% in the past two weeks. The number has increased for the past six days in a row.
7 p.m. Three Bay Area counties record triple-digit caseload: Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Solano counties each recorded triple-digit increases in coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to data compiled by The Chronicle. In Contra Costa County, 129 new cases brought the total to 6,202; in Santa Clara County, 275 new cases were reported for a total of 8,321; and Solano County reported 125 new cases, bringing the total to 2,982.
5:45 p.m. Four more deaths in Alameda County: Four additional people died from COVID-19 in Alameda County, bringing the total to 171 deaths as of Wednesday, according to data compiled by The Chronicle. The county recorded five deaths the day before. In Marin County, one more person died Wednesday for a total of 48 deaths.
3:58 p.m. Unemployment benefits set to drop: Unless Congress acts soon, a $600-a-week boost to unemployment insurance payments will go away on July 31. Here’s why those without jobs aren’t likely to see the full $600, even if Congress comes to an agreement. Read the story here.
2:53 p.m. Another condemned San Quentin inmate dies, virus suspected: John Beames, 67, an inmate at San Quentin State Prison, died Tuesday at a hospital from “what appears to be complications related to COVID-19,” the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Wednesday. Beames is the eighth condemned inmate to die from a suspected case of COVID-19. The massive outbreak at San Quentin State Prison has infected 2,092 inmates — including 857 with active infections on Wednesday — and killed 14 inmates. Beames was convicted of first-degree murder in Tulare County in 1995.
2:45 p.m. Ferry Building closure further threatens its status as a local food oasis: Even before the city forced the main hall to close Wednesday, the coronavirus had already raised big questions about the future of the Ferry Building. The pandemic came right when its tenant makeup had already started dramatically changing. Read our in-depth story here.
2:14 p.m. Marin County lifts reusable shopping bag ban: Shoppers in Marin County can once again bring reusable bags to the store as long as they bag their own items, county officials said Wednesday. Many grocery chains and health officials banned reusable bags when the pandemic hit, fearing that they could be a means of viral spread. “Recent studies have shown that virus transmission through reusable bags is a much lower risk than originally believed, and the risk is even lower if shoppers are the only ones to touch the bags,” Marin County health officials said in a statement.
2:03 p.m. San Mateo County ‘faring better’ than other Bay Area counties, local leaders say: San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy said during a news briefing that the area remains off the state’s watch list because it is “faring better” than other counties in the region that were ordered to pull back on reopening. Still, depending on how the county’s coronavirus numbers shift, that could change. “(Health officer) Dr. Morrow does believe that we’re in a pretty good position here that doesn’t warrant the type of measure of closing more businesses down,” Callagy said. “I think if you look at the metrics, we are close on many of them, but doing very well on others. … The totality of the circumstances have to be taken into consideration.”
1:46 p.m. A New York-like situation is ‘plausible’ in SF, health official says: San Francisco could face a “New York-like” situation late in the summer or early fall, the city’s health director warned Wednesday. Answering a question about what lessons health officials learned from New York’s surge, Dr. Grant Colfax said that more people become sick and die when sophisticated, well-resourced health systems like New York’s get overwhelmed. He noted that it’s impossible to take “adequate” care of everyone. “When we talk about the curve and our surge, I’m very concerned that as cases increase, it’s plausible we could get in a New York-like situation in the late summer or early fall — that’s why everyone needs to do their part to flatten the curve,” Colfax said. Health officials have learned that flattening the curve is possible with hygiene, social distancing, staying at home and face coverings. “I just hope that we can do that before a massive surge,” he said.
1:33 p.m. Grim figures cloud California’s fight against coronavirus: It was a bad day for California’s fight against the coronavirus. First, the state surpassed New York for the highest number of aggregate cases in the country. Then, Gov. Gavin Newsom reported a record number of new daily cases, with 12,807 Californians testing positive Wednesday. All told, the rate of people testing positive over the last week increased to 7.6% in California, which Newsom called a cause for “concern.” On Tuesday, 115 people died of COVID-19 across the state. Read the full story.
1:26 p.m. SF mayor announces testing expansion: San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Wednesday announced an expansion of the city’s testing offerings. Capacity will be increased at an existing site, the city will launch two mobile pop-up sites and another site will be erected in a undetermined location in the southeast of the city. A site at the Embarcadero for essential workers will have 400 new testing slots a day, while the two mobiles sites — one that is expected to roll out this week and the second next week — will go to neighborhoods currently affected by the virus and test up to 250 people a day, Breed said. Officials expect to open the new site in August to begin conducting 500 in August. Breed urged residents to practice social distancing and wear face coverings, adding that the city can’t test its way out of the current surge.
1:15 p.m. Stocks close in positive territory: Wall Street recorded gains Wednesday ahead of earnings reports from Tesla and Microsoft, as investors assessed new trade tensions with China. Major averages were up less than 1%: The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 27,005.84, the Nasdaq at 10,706.13 and the S&P 500 at 3,276.02.
1:12 p.m. Hospitalizations in Bay Area climb to new high: The number of COVID-19 patients in Bay Area hospitals surged to a record 747 on Tuesday, according to state data released Wednesday, marking the seventeenth consecutive day the number has grown. Five new patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Alameda County for a total of 176. And eight more people were hospitalized in Contra Costa County for a record total of 101. Marin, Napa and Santa Clara counties each reported two more hospitalizations, and San Francisco and San Mateo counties each hospitalized one additional patient.
12:56 p.m. California is the state with the most coronavirus cases: In a grim distinction, the number of people in California who are infected with the coronavirus exceeded New York’s total of 413,595 on Wednesday for the first time, making California the state with the most infections.
12:55 p.m. Seattle school district suggests all-online learning for the fall: Seattle Public Schools is recommending all schools conduct remote, online instruction in the fall, The Seattle Times reports, citing an email from a top district official that the newspaper obtained. The recommendation marked a change of plans for one of the largest public school districts in the nation.
12:18 p.m. State officials have distributed nearly 300 million masks: State officials have distributed 297 million procedure masks to frontline workers over the last few months, Gov. Newsom said, announcing a new contract to procure more than 100 million more masks. As of Wednesday, Newsom said the state had an inventory of 111 million N95 masks and about 147 million procedure masks in storage.
12:08 p.m. Nearly 13,000 test positive for virus: Gov. Gavin Newsom reported that 12,807 people in California tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday, the highest number of confirmed cases in a day in the state. The rate of people testing positive over the last week increased to 7.6%, which Newsom called a cause of “concern.” The state has averaged 90 daily COVID-19 deaths and 9,420 new cases a day cases over the last week, Newsom said. Also on Tuesday, 115 people died of COVID-19.
12:06 p.m. Ferry Building closes under coronavirus orders: With San Francisco on the state watch list, indoor malls have had to close again. And now the city has ruled that the Ferry Building is a mall, forcing 26 shops inside the market hall to close. A handful of businesses with exterior doors can stay open for curbside pickup, and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market will continue.
10:30 a.m. Cases across the globe hit 15 million: The number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus across the world reached 15,008,046 as of Wednesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University.
9:44 a.m. California passes New York for most cases in U.S.: California reported the highest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. Wednesday, according to one prominent tracking database, providing a grim tally that highlights the rapid spread of infections. Read the story here.
9:22 a.m. Bay Area health care workers prioritize help over praise: Friends and colleagues held a vigil Tuesday in Oakland for Janine Paiste-Ponder, a 59-year-old nurse who died of COVID-19 after treating patients for the disease. On the Fifth & Mission podcast, reporter Mallory Moench talks about health care workers who say they appreciate being called heroes, but they feel more like sacrificial lambs as they cry in vain for hospital executives to do more to protect them. Click here to listen.
7:20 a.m. California expected to soon pass New York in total cases: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday morning in California reached 409,049 cases as of Wednesday morning, according to The Chronicle’s tracking of numbers. New York, which has led the nation in infections since the early days of the pandemic, reported 412,889 total cases as of Tuesday. (Correction: This item previously had an incorrect total number of cases in New York.)
6:53 a.m. Shares flat at open: The Dow was barely in the positive in early trading as some tech stocks saw investors selling to take profits. Pfizer was up 3.6% on news that the U.S. government committed to pay nearly $2 billion on vaccine purchases if the company’s candidate drug proves effective.
6:48 a.m. Testing site to open in Alameda: A new coronavirus testing site is scheduled to open Wednesday morning in Alameda, city officials said. The site at The Research Park at Marina Village, which will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., plans to return test results within 15 minutes on site. The testing will be free for people who can present proof of insurance, as well as people who do not have insurance but have government-issued identification.
6:52 a.m. BART workers get a raise despite huge losses: BART’s ridership is only 12% of what it was before the coronavirus pandemic, and the transit agency is facing a projected loss of $975 million over the next three years. Nonetheless, the transit agency’s workers got a small raise on July 1. Chronicle columnist Phil Matier has the full story.
6:36 a.m. United Airlines extends mask requirements: United Airlines will require customers to wear a face covering at airports, including at service counters and kiosks as well as the airline’s gates and baggage claim areas, company executives said Wednesday. Customers who don’t comply may be refused travel and banned from flying on the airline “at least while the mask requirement is in place,” officials said. The new rule starts Friday. Only children younger than 2 will be exempt from the face covering requirement.
6:29 a.m. U.S. pays Pfizer $1.95 billion to develop vaccine: United States officials on Wednesday announced a $1.95 billion contract with Pfizer and a German biotechnology company its working with to produce and deliver the first 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to Americans. The government will also have the ability to acquire 500 million additional doses under the deal, according to Health and Human Services officials. Pfizer is working with BioNTech, the German company, to develop the vaccine. Phase 1/2 clinical trials were underway for the vaccines.
6:20 a.m. Child care is on the verge of collapse in the Bay Area: Many child care programs across the state have closed their doors permanently. Others opened reluctantly, fearing that a long-term closure would drive them out of business. Many are on the edge, unable to pay the rent and lacking money to buy snacks or cleaning supplies to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Read the full story by Rachel Swan.
See previous updates in The Chronicle’s comprehensive timeline of the coronavirus outbreak in the Bay Area.
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