NEW COVID-19 CASES, DEATHS: Santa Clara County reported 141 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing its total to 5,408. Three additional deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 164. Eighty-six people are hospitalized, seven of which are new. San Mateo County on Sunday reported 13 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,599. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 108 since June 29. Fifty people were hospitalized as of Saturday.
STATE DENIES SANTA CLARA COUNTY'S REOPENING PLAN: Santa Clara County suffered a stinging setback over the weekend in its strategy to reopen the economy, when the state rejected its plan to allow more businesses, including gyms and hair salons, to reopen later this month. Read more here.
AGENCY STEPS UP ENFORCEMENT AT RESTAURANTS, BARS: Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, officers from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control inspected 5,986 bars and restaurants statewide to make sure they were not violating health orders, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a Monday press conference.
Below is comprehensive coverage of the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and Almanac in chronological order. For coverage by subject — how the virus is affecting public health, residents, schools, cities, businesses, nonprofits, arts groups, etc. — please go to our Wakelet page.
Santa Clara County reported 141 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing its total to 5,408. Three additional deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 164. Eighty-six people are hospitalized, seven of which are new.
The county has recorded nearly 102,500 more tests over the past two weeks, during which time its test positivity rate continued to go down. As of Monday, the county registered 229,638 tests, 6,125 of which returned positive and 223,513 of which returned negative. The county's positivity rate has gone down by 0.17%, from 2.84% on June 22 to 2.67% on July 6.
State denies Santa Clara County's reopening plan
Santa Clara County suffered a stinging setback over the weekend in its strategy to reopen the economy, when the state rejected its plan to allow more businesses, including gyms and hair salons, to reopen later this month.
The county's new order, which county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody announced on Thursday, July 2, would have permitted more businesses to reopen on July 13. The plan also outlined a set of rules that all businesses must follow during the pandemic, including allowing telework when possible, shifting operations outdoors and imposing density restrictions, with no more than one employee per 250 square feet of gross floor area.
Santa Clara County Deputy County Executive David Campos said during a morning news briefing on Monday, July 6, that the state had issued an "initial rejection" of the variance application. He also indicated that the county will continue to work with state officials to advance the July 2 order.
Read more here.
California steps up enforcement at restaurants and bars across state
California is stepping up its enforcement of health guidelines across the state as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.
Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, officers from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control inspected 5,986 bars and restaurants statewide to make sure they were not violating health orders, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a Monday press conference. In Santa Clara County, officers reportedly ordered some restaurants in Gilroy and Morgan Hill to halt operations because the county's local health order permitting outdoor dining violates the state's stay-at-home order .
The Department of Industrial Relations and Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration also contacted 441,755 businesses in person, over email or by phone. Only a handful of businesses received citations, Newsom said.
The stepped-up enforcement comes as the number of positive COVID-19 cases and those hospitalized with the virus increase. With an average of 104,000 tests conducted per day in the past week — and a record number of 127,000 tests on Saturday — the two-week average positivity rate increased to 6.8%. (The rate increases to 7.2% for the seven-day average.)
Hospitalization of COVID-19 patients has gone up 50% in the past two weeks, from 3,868 patients to 5,790. The number of patients in intensive-care units is up by 39% over the past 14 days, despite a small 0.3% decrease recorded on Sunday.
Santa Clara County reported 206 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing its total to 5,273. One additional death was reported, bringing the death toll to 161. Eighty-five people are hospitalized, 11 of which are new.
Sunday marks the second straight day in which more than 200 new cases were reported, with Saturday appearing to be the largest single-day increase on record at 234 cases, according to the county's COVID-19 data dashboard. On July 1, the county recorded 210 cases, which appears to be the second-highest total of new cases reported in a single day.
San Mateo County on Sunday reported 13 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,599. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 108 since June 29. Fifty people were hospitalized as of Saturday.
Santa Clara County reported 109 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday. One more person has died of the disease, raising the death toll to 160. Ninety people are hospitalized, one of whom is new since Thursday.
San Mateo County on Friday reported 95 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,536. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 108 since Monday. Fifty-six people are hospitalized as of Thursday.
Santa Clara County reported 185 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing its total to 4,750. One more person has died of the disease, raising the death toll to 159. Eighty people are hospitalized, 10 of which are new.
Over the past month, Palo Alto and Mountain View have seen their case totals, which each make up 0.1% of each city's respective populations, rise by the dozens. Palo Alto's current total is 107, which translates to 160 cases for every 100,000 people. The city added 21 new cases over the past nine days and 29 over the past month. Mountain View's current total is 109, which breaks down to 135 cases for every 100,000 people. The city has seen 26 new cases over the past nine days and 48 over the past month.
San Mateo County on Thursday reported 63 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,376. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 108 since Monday. Forty-seven people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.
The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday, July 2. Menlo Park's total rose by 26 over the past seven days, marking the city's largest one-week increase since the county Health Department began providing data on cases by city. A week earlier, the city's total increased by 13. East Palo Alto's total, 266, is the fourth highest in the county after Redwood City, Daly City and South San Francisco. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:
• Atherton: 18 (increase by five from June 25).
• East Palo Alto: 266 (increase by 55 from June 25). Last week's increase was by 58
• Menlo Park: 154 (increase by 26 from June 25). Last week's increase was by 13
• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from June 25).
• Portola Valley: 18 (increase by two from June 25).
• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from June 25).
• Woodside: 12 (increase by two from June 25).
Santa Clara County to allow more businesses to reopen
Marking a new phase in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Santa Clara County leaders issued an order Thursday that could allow hair salons and gyms to reopen in mid-July and that will require all businesses to strictly follow a new set of rules to ensure social distancing.
The order comes at a time when the county, much like the state at large, is seeing a steady rise in coronavirus cases. The county reported 185 new cases on Thursday and one new death, raising the total death count to 159. The increased number of hospitalizations has prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to include Santa Clara County on the state's "monitoring list" of 19 counties with troubling trend lines.
Sara Cody, the county's health officer, said the order recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic will not go away any time soon. And while it could allow new business sectors to reopen on July 13, pending the state's permission, it also creates new safety requirements for all businesses.
Under the new guidelines, businesses must continue to allow employees to telework where feasible and to move as many operations as possible outdoors. They will have to fill out and submit to the county their social-distancing protocols. They also will be required to follow density limits, with no more than one employee per 250 gross square feet of the facility and no more than one customer per 150 square feet of the space that is open to the public.
Employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to immediately alert the business, which would have to report it to the Public Health Department.
Read more here.
Positivity rate and hospitalization numbers climb ahead of Fourth of July weekend
On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom used the state's latest statistics on COVID-19 to reiterate the importance of wearing face coverings — now a statewide mandate in all indoor settings besides the home and outdoors where maintaining 6 feet of space is not possible — and physical distancing.
The average positivity rate, or the percentage of tests that are positive, over a two-week period is at 6.3%, Newsom said at a Thursday press conference. Over a seven-day period, the rate stands at 6.9%. Hospitalizations have also increased by 56% in the past two weeks.
The governor's office also launched an ad campaign on Thursday, in multiple languages, to promote awareness of the importance of face coverings.
Several reporters pressed Newsom to answer how the state can better enforce the rules on face coverings, physical distancing and household mixing. The governor responded that he can't make sure all 40 million Californians follow the rules, but did mention the $2.5 billion fund that counties can benefit from if they properly enforce health guidelines.
"We're not going into everyone's backyard and enforcing," Newsom said.
Santa Clara County reported 210 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 4,572. Two more people have died of the disease, raising the death toll to 158.
Eighty people with the virus are hospitalized as of July 1, four of which are new, and eight more patients are under investigation for COVID-19.
The number of people hospitalized with the virus has slowly climbed up in nearly two weeks, from 33 on June 18 to 85 on June 29. Tuesday marked the first decline in patients in 12 days, when 80 patients with COVID-19 were hospitalized, 34 of whom were in intensive care unit beds.
San Mateo County on Wednesday reported 67 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,376. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 108 since Monday. Forty-seven people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.
The number of cases in residents between 20 and 29 years old has increased the most over the past month compared to other age groups. This group had 578 cases as of July 1, an increase by 270 compared to June 1. The 30-39 age group, which had 664 cases as of Wednesday, continues to have the highest number of cases across all age groups. This group's total rose by 238 over the past month, the second-highest increase compared to other age groups.
State bans indoor dining in 19 counties, closes parking at state beaches
With COVID-19 cases once again on the rise in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday banned indoor dining in 19 counties for three weeks and announced that parking facilities at state beaches will be closed in the Bay Area and in southern California this weekend.
Newsom made the announcement during a Wednesday news conference, where he addressed the growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The state saw 5,196 positive cases on June 30, he said, a 51% increase from just two weeks ago, when there were 3,439 cases.
California has also seen a growing rate of positive cases among those getting tested. The positivity rate for those tested in the past 14 days is 6%, he said. Two weeks ago, it was 4.6%.
"The bottom line is, the spread of this virus is continuing at a rate that is particularly concerning," Newsom said.
The new restrictions on indoor operations are limited to the 19 counties on the state’s watchlist, which includes Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Contra Costa and Fresno counties (San Mateo County is not on the list). It orders these counties to close indoor operations at restaurants, wineries/tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms. Outdoor dining and retail are allowed to continue.
In Santa Clara County, indoor dining and most other forms of indoor entertainment remain prohibited activities under the county’s own shelter-in-place order. But while Newsom’s Wednesday proclamation will not have an immediate impact, it all but ensures that these activities will not resume until at least late July. Newsom said he anticipates that the guidance for the 19 counties will remain in place for at least three weeks.
Santa Clara County reported 116 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing its total to 4,370. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 156 since Monday. Eighty-five people are hospitalized, 15 of which are new.
A total of 534 cases have been found at 44 long-term care facilities throughout the county, 110 of which have been hospitalized since about mid-February and 70 of which have died, making up nearly half of the county's total deaths.
San Mateo County on Tuesday reported 63 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,311. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 108 since Monday.
Forty-one people are hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 as of Monday, June 29, nearly double the amount patients recorded on June 22. The number of coronavirus patients in ICU has doubled over the course of four days, from eight on Friday, June 26, to 16 on Monday.
State houses more than 14K homeless people through Project Roomkey
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that California has housed roughly 14,200 homeless residents across the state since April in leased hotel and motel rooms through a partnership with the federal government.
Standing outside a motel in Pittsburg, Newsom outlined the progress the state has made with Project Roomkey, which launched in April with a goal of finding shelter for homeless residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, the state has procured 15,679 rooms, Newsom said.
The program has allowed state officials and local governments to identify vacant hotel and motel rooms during the pandemic that can be used to house homeless residents. The Federal Emergency Management Agency then reimburses the expenses required to procure the unused rooms as well as meal, custodial and security services.
"The state identifies the asset, provides the capacity to get reimbursed from the federal government and get support from the state of California," Newsom said of the program's localism. "But at the end of the day, this program doesn't work without outstanding local officials."
Newsom said most of the 131 rooms in the motel he stood in front of have been filled with 164 tenants who are now receiving three meals a day and other supportive services.
Newsom also touted the state's budget for fiscal year 2021, which he signed Monday, for its support for homeless services across the state in spite of tax revenue shortages due to the pandemic.
The budget includes $1.3 billion in funding to expand Project Roomkey and similar programs like it. The state has also secured philanthropic commitments of roughly $45 million for supportive services through the program.
"Despite the deficit, despite the headwinds of stress that we had to address in balancing our budget, we still made a commitment to lean forward, lean in the future, follow through on our commitment to do more and do better for homeless Californians," Newsom said.
Santa Clara County reported 104 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing its total to 4,265. One more person has died of the disease since Thursday, raising the death toll to 156. Seventy-eight people are hospitalized, 19 of which are new.
The county debuted on Monday redesigned data dashboards, which can be found here. New additions include a search function to find cases by city and ZIP code. Another new feature is a breakdown of cases by source of transmission. As of June 29, 52.4% of cases were classified as either unknown or presumed community transmission and 42.1% were deemed a contact to a case. Another 4.3% were associated with the outbreak and 1.2% were linked to travel.
San Mateo County on Monday reported 71 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,232. Two more people have died since June 25, raising the death toll to 108. Thirty-two people are hospitalized as of Sunday.
The county's test positivity rate currently stands at 4.9%, the first time the number has fallen below 5%. A review of county data shows an increase in testing over the past month, with three dates in June accounting for the most tests collected in a single day since the pandemic began. The most tests collected in one day were on June 15, when 1,775 people were tested, 46 of which returned positive results. Of the 1,598 people tested on June 15, 48 returned positive results. The third-highest date for collected tests was June 22, when there were 1,506 people who were checked for COVID-19, 34 of whom returned negative results.
County previews new COVID-19 reopening plan
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and Public Health Department held a joint meeting Monday with the San Jose City Council to preview the county's new reopening plan that will be released later this week.
Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody discussed the transition from a sector-to-sector reopening plan to a risk-aversion plan.
"In this new phase we hope to create a framework that people will be able to live within for a long time to offer clarities on how to stay as safe as possible while doing the things we all need to do, and to create more certainty about the path ahead," Cody said.
The new plan will include across-the-board guidelines for all open businesses, with some more restrictive guidelines for higher-risk activities that will be applicable for the long-term. This also means that some businesses will be deemed too high-risk to open up for the time being.
"To use an overused phrase, we are entering a new normal that involves significant changes to the ways we do many things," Cody said.
Read more here.
Newsom: Counties on 'watchlist' for more than two weeks must toggle back reopenings
As the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 increases and hospitalization numbers go up throughout California, state leaders are looking to toggle back on reopening businesses, particularly bars.
On Sunday, eight counties, including Santa Clara County, were recommended to shut down indoor bars and seven counties were handed mandatory closures of those businesses.
'"We don't like the trend line," Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a Monday press conference. "That's why, again, this mandatory mask requirement is in effect and that's why unfortunately we're using this dimmer switch to start to pull back on the (current) stay-at-home order."
Several reporters during the press conference questioned the reasoning and the efficacy of closing only bars and not restaurants that may also serve drinks. Though the exact reason is still unclear, Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's Health and Human Services secretary, said that health officials' focus is on places where serving alcohol is the primary source of business.
Further intervention from the state on local health orders can be expected if counties continue to show concerning numbers related to COVID-19, Newsom said.
In the past few weeks, counties experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations entered the state Public Health Department's watchlist. If counties stay on the watchlist for more than two weeks, Newsom said those regions will be told to slow down reopenings and possibly reinstate stricter stay-at-home orders. (Santa Clara County has been on the state's watchlist since June 23.)
"Once over a two-week period and you're still on that watchlist, and we're still seeing an increase in spread and transmission, that then triggers the kind of decision we made yesterday," Newsom said, referencing the mandatory bar closures for some counties.
Nineteen counties are on the watchlist, representing around 72% of the state's population, Newsom said, which reflects the overall increase in COVID-19 cases throughout California.
In the past week, the state's positivity rate, or people testing positive for COVID-19, has increased to 5.9%. (the rate is 5.5% over the past 14 days. Hospitalizations have increased 43% in the past two weeks, and intensive-care unit patients have climbed up by 37%, though the state's health care system can manage the influx, Newsom said.
Though the numbers are not immediately alarming, Newsom said that counties can expect some level of enforcement coming from the state by leveraging $2.5 billion reserved for counties that properly enforce health orders.
Newsom recommends indoor bars stay closed
The California Department of Public Health, along with Gov. Gavin Newsom, said on Sunday that Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties should continue to keep indoor bars closed, in light of escalating confirmed COVID-19 infections.
Those two counties were mentioned in a press release that described mandatory closures for bars in Los Angeles, Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties, and recommended closures of bars in Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus and Ventura counties.
"COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger," Newsom said in the statement. "That's why it is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases."
Bars, in particular, lend themselves to the spread of COVID-19 more readily than most other environments, Sunday's statement said.
"In these environments, alcohol consumption reduces inhibition and impairs judgment, leading to reduced compliance with recommended core personal protective measures, such as the mandatory use of face coverings and the practice of social and physical distancing," the statement said. Also, the statement said bars are generally louder environments requiring raised voices, in turn leading to the greater projection of tiny droplets through which COVID-19 is transmitted.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Santa Clara County's COVID-19 cases dashboard was not updated Saturday due to a "systemwide outage of the Reportable Disease Information Exchange," according to the county Public Health Department's Twitter account. As a result, Sunday's case count will be higher and "not a true reflection of the number of new cases," the tweet said.
On Sunday, the county reported 135 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 4,162. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 155 since Thursday. Eighty-two people are hospitalized.
San Mateo County reported 58 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, raising its total to 3,141 as of Sunday. The death toll remains at 106 since June 25. Twenty-seven people are hospitalized as of Saturday.
Santa Clara County reported 100 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing its total to 3,984. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 155 since Thursday. Seventy-eight people are hospitalized.
According to new data on the county's COVID-19 dashboard, Hispanic residents account for nearly half of all cases reported in the county. The dashboard shows that about 1,840 cases, or 46.2% of total cases, were found in Hispanic residents.
By contrast, roughly 645 Asian residents were confirmed with the virus as of Friday. Asian residents make up 35.7% of the county population, the largest of any other race or ethnicity in the county.
As of June 26, Santa Clara County changed how it tracks coronavirus testing and is now basing data on the number of tests conducted rather than the individuals tested. Now, individuals tested multiple times are counted per test rather than only once.
San Mateo County on Friday reported 34 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,083. The death toll remains at 106 since Thursday. Twenty-seven people are hospitalized as of Saturday.
Santa Clara County plans to issue new shelter-in-place order
Santa Clara County will soon resume many activities once prohibited by its stay-at-home measures through a new order expected to be issued next week, according to a statement county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody sent on Friday.
The new activities will be outlined in an announcement some time in the middle of next week, Cody wrote, but the updated order will no longer follow a "sector-specific strategy," in which the county reopened businesses and public spaces based on the level of risk of infection.
Cody noted, however, that "high-risk activities simply cannot safely resume here or elsewhere anytime soon" and the activities that will be allowed will come with "risk reduction measures in place."
The order will go into effect several days after the announcement, according to the statement.
The new order will come at a time when counties across the state are seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and increased hospitalizations. Recently, Santa Clara County was added to the state's "watchlist" as it reported 122 confirmed positive cases on June 22. A day later, the county recorded 125 confirmed positive cases, the highest one-day rise in cases since the pandemic began, and 61 hospitalizations on June 23.
"We have … seen an increase in cases here in our county, and a smaller uptick in hospitalizations," Cody wrote. "However, thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of our residents, the prevalence of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County remains much lower than most other places." Santa Clara County has the tenth most cases of any county in the state. Alameda County has the most cases across all nine Bay Area counties. The eight other counties with the most cases in the state are in southern California.
Under the current county order that went into effect June 5, most businesses and gathering spaces can resume operations, though with certain restrictions, including restaurants with outdoor dining, churches, manufacturing, small-service businesses and child care programs, among others.
Businesses that remain barred from reopening include hair salons and barbershops, bars, arcades, spas, gyms, concert venues and amusement parks.
State announces new partnership for manufacturers to secure PPE, sees continuing rise in COVID-19 cases
California has partnered with the California Manufacturers & Technology Association to launch a new website to help state-based manufacturers gain access to free personal protective equipment and connect other employers and industries to PPE manufacturers, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced at a Friday press conference.
The online tool, safelymakingca.org, will provide resources on how to obtain protective equipment, such as face masks, face shields, gowns, gloves, sanitizer and wipes, said Newsom, who made the announcement at a manufacturing facility in Sacramento. He called the program a significant step intended to ease the process of putting California back to work. The site is intended to help ensure manufacturers have what they need to stay operational.
Newsom also ran down new statistics on the state's COVID-19 cases, which remain on the rise. In the past 24 hours, there were 4,890 individuals who tested positive for the virus and 79 new deaths recorded throughout the state, Newsom said. There was also a slight increase in the two-week average positivity rate, which rose from 5.1% on Thursday to 5.3% on Friday. The positivity rate indicates the percentage of total tests that return positive.
The increases have slowed down reopenings for counties, including San Francisco, which recently pulled back its plan to reopen barbershops, museums and outdoor bars on June 29, according to Newsom.
Dr. Sonia Angell, the state's health officer, said part of the spike in cases is a direct result of increased movement in the population from more reopenings as counties loosen their stay-at-home orders and from the massive protests staged throughout the state over the past month as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. The extent to which protests have contributed to the higher number of COVID-19 cases is unclear, Angell said.
Santa Clara County reported 64 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing its total to 3,888, 72 of which are hospitalized.
Since Wednesday's total of 154 deaths was reported, the county learned one of the deceased was from another county and updated the number to 153, according to a tweet from the Public Health Department. On Thursday, two more people died, raising the death toll to 155.
A review of the county's COVID-19 cases dashboard shows 91 cases were identified through tests gathered on June 19, the highest amount reported yet since mid-February. Eighty-seven new cases were identified a day earlier on June 18, followed by 89 cases each reported on June 16 and 17. The four-day span marks a new high on the county's chart of new cases by specimen collection date. The previous high was April 10, when the county recorded 79 new cases.
In a previous statement, the county has said identifying cases by specimen collection date helps indicate the timing of the virus' spread, as opposed to its previous method of listing positive cases based on when they were reported to the state's Reportable Disease Information Exchange. Data for the past five days is subject to change as the county receives more results.
San Mateo County on Thursday reported 49 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,049. Two more people have died of the disease since Monday, raising the death toll to 106. Twenty-nine people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.
The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday, June 25. East Palo Alto saw its largest one-week increase since the county Health Department began providing data on cases by city. East Palo Alto's total, which rose by 58 between June 18 and 25, indicates there are 71.2 cases for every 10,000 residents. Menlo Park's new total, 128, translates to 37.8 cases for every 10,000 residents. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:
• Atherton: 13 (no change from June 18).
• East Palo Alto: 211 (increase by 58 from June 18).
• Menlo Park: 128 (increase by 13 from June 18).
• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from June 18).
• Portola Valley: 18 (increase by two from June 18).
• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from June 18).
• Woodside: 10 (no change from June 18).
State's new open source tool can predict COVID-19's spread by county in the next 2-4 weeks
The state has unveiled new open source data showing forecasts of the spread of COVID-19 throughout each county, which is now accessible to the public.
"The information that we're now making available is exactly the information we make available to county health officials," Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a Thursday press conference. "We want to back up the health professionals because this is the data they use to guide their decision-making."
The new online resource, called the California COVID Assessment Tool, tracks the spread of the coronavirus throughout the state's 58 counties since the beginning of the pandemic. It also forecasts the spread of the virus in the next two to four weeks in each county based on models from various universities and research organizations.
In Santa Clara County, for example,the University of California, Los Angeles's model predicts 36 hospitalizations by July 24. John Hopkins University, however, paints a more grim picture, estimating that the county could potentially have 513 hospitalizations by July 13.
It's not immediately clear how each model forecasts polarizing outcomes.
An additional tool is the ability to play out different scenarios in which users can see what effects measures such as physical distancing or sheltering in place have upon the spread of the COVID-19.
Newsom said that by opening this tool to the public, he hopes to attract coders and researchers to create their own models as well as help the public better understand the thought process behind their local health officials' choices.
In the past few days, the state has reported some of the highest numbers of daily COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. On Wednesday, there were 7,149 confirmed cases and, on Thursday, 5,349 people tested positive for the coronavirus.
The positivity rate has remained at a 5.1% average for the past 14 days, but Newsom said past week's average is 5.6%.
There are also currently 4,240 people hospitalized, which is a 32% increase in hospitalizations over the past two weeks. There are 1,306 people in intensive-care unit beds, which means the state is at a 34% capacity for available ICU beds, according to Newsom.
Santa Clara County reported 125 more coronavirus infections on Wednesday, the highest number of new cases reported in a day since the pandemic began, the county's Emergency Operations Center told this news organization in an email.
The new cases also mark the second consecutive day that new cases reported in a single day have reached triple digits.
The county's total of COVID-19 cases stands at 3,832, 64 of which are hospitalized. There was no change to the county's death toll, which has stayed at 154 since Monday.
The county has also seen more people hospitalized with the virus in about a week. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds has slowly increased in nearly 10 days from 15 on June 15 to 25 on June 24. The number of COVID-19 patients in acute hospital beds has fluctuated over the past seven days. County data shows 41 people with the virus were in those beds on June 17. On June 24, that number went down to 35.
San Mateo County on Wednesday reported 27 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 2,996. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 104 since Monday. Twenty-seven people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.
The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday, June 18. East Palo Alto's total rose by 23 between June 11 and 18. County data shows there are 51.6 cases for every 10,000 residents. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:
• Atherton: 13 (no change from June 11).
• East Palo Alto: 153 (increase by 23 from June 11).
• Menlo Park: 115 (no change from June 11).
• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from June 11).
• Portola Valley: 15 (no change from June 11).
• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from June 11).
• Woodside: Less than 10 (decrease by at least two from June 11).
Newsom: State will withhold COVID-19 funds if counties do not follow guidelines
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise throughout California, Gov. Gavin Newsom is looking to incentivize counties to clamp down on the further spread of the virus by withholding funding from those that don't follow state health guidelines.
Part of the 2020-21 state budget that the Legislature recently approved includes a $2.5 billion reserve to be divided among counties that meet "the criteria under the emergency declaration related to COVID-19," Newsom said at a Tuesday press conference.
If counties do not maintain an effort to reduce the spread of the virus, the state will withhold part of the $2.5 billion fund from those counties.
"If counties simply are going to flaunt the rules and regulations that they attested to … if they decide, 'You know what, even though the numbers are going up … we're just going to dismiss these new rules and regulations,' we're going to attach some considerations and consequences to that," Newsom said. "There's $2.5 billion in this budget that simply will not flow to those counties.
"What we're now looking for is accountability at the local level," he added.
Newsom's stance on funding comes as the state continues to report an increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate, hospitalizations and the number of intensive care unit patients.
Within two days, the state's positivity rate increased from 4.8% to 5.1%. Newsom also reported new two-week averages for hospitalizations and ICU patients: a 29% increase in hospitalizations and an 18% increase in ICU patients.
Newsom emphasized that these increases are happening even in regions with more stringent stay-at-home orders such as San Mateo County. (Santa Clara County was also added to the state's watchlist on Tuesday after observing high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.)
"The increased numbers we've seen — a lot of those numbers are reflected in increases in the Bay Area and that's part of the state that's moved the last into this new phase," Newsom said. "They have moved more slowly and now have experienced an increase, in the last number of days, in cases."
Santa Clara County reported 122 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing its total to 3,727. The new cases represent the second highest number of cases recorded by the county in a single day.
There was no change to the county's death toll, which has stayed at 154 since Monday. Sixty-one people are hospitalized.
The rise in cases is part of a trend that the Public Health Department has seen over two weeks. New hospitalizations also appear to be trending upward, county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
Cody received word during the board meeting that the county is now on the state "watchlist," dashing hope for the time being that the county can petition the state to allow additional reopening.
Palo Alto Sub-Acute and Rehabilitation Center and Bridge Point at Los Altos are among the nine long-term care facilities found with the coronavirus over the past 14 days. The Palo Alto center reported less than 11 cases among its staff as of June 23. Sixty-seven deaths at the county's long-term care facilities make up 43.5% of the county's total 154 deaths.
San Mateo County on Tuesday reported 45 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 2,961. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 104 since Monday.
Twenty-three people are hospitalized as of June 22, a decrease by five patients over the past six days. The county has seen a slight rise in COVID-19 patients in ICU which rose by three between June 16 and 22.
Newsom: State sees highest increases in COVID-19 cases since outbreak
As the state ramps up testing and counties begin to reopen businesses, California is reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and intensive-care unit patients, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
In the past two weeks, 46,735 positive cases were confirmed, which account for 35.6% of all 178,054 cases in the state since the beginning of the pandemic, Newsom said at Monday's press conference.
The state confirmed 4,515 positive cases on Saturday and 4,230 cases on Sunday — the highest numbers reported since the beginning of the pandemic in March, according to state data.
Newsom said the state was able to perform a record number of tests, around 92,000 on Sunday, approximately 85,000 on Saturday and more than 79,000 on Friday. He cautioned, however, that the increase in tests does not solely account for the higher numbers. The positivity rate — percentage of total tests that return positive — has increased from 4.5% to 4.8% in the past week, he said. San Mateo County has reported a 5% positivity rate, and Santa Clara County has reported a 2.88% rate.
There also was an uptick of hospitalized and ICU patients during this time. Hospitalizations increased 16%, while the number of ICU patients increased 11%. Those numbers are "within a capacity that our system can handle," Newsom said.
These reported increases come as counties statewide slowly begin to reopen businesses and public spaces.
Santa Clara County reopened in-store retail services and houses of worship, but with restrictions, on June 5. On Monday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced that the city and San Francisco County are set to reopen hair and nail salons, museums, tattoo parlors and outdoor bars by June 29, which will be among the biggest rollbacks of restrictions for Bay Area counties to date.
To mitigate the further spread of the coronavirus during more reopenings, the state mandated on June 18 that residents wear face masks for all outdoor travel and in all indoor spaces, besides their homes.
"We're still in the first wave of the pandemic," Newsom said.
The governor also announced that the state legislature has come to an agreement on the 2020-21 state budget.
"We have agreed on a budget that is balanced, responsible and protects core services — education, health care, social safety net and emergency preparedness and response," Newsom said in a press release. "This budget also invests in California small businesses harmed by the pandemic."
Newsom did not divulge any specific details of the budget during the press conference, but said more information will be announced in the coming days and week.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Santa Clara County reported 66 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing its total to 3,606. The county also reported two new deaths, increasing the total death toll to 154. Fifty-five people are hospitalized.
Over the past eight days, the county recorded 24,300 more COVID-19 tests. As of Monday, there were a total of 127,148 tests, 3,606 of which returned positive. The county's test positivity rate currently stands at 2.84%, a 0.28% reduction since June 14. Another 123,522 tests returned negative results and 20 are pending results.
San Mateo County on Monday reported 69 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 2,901, and one more death, bringing the death toll to 104. Twenty-one people are hospitalized as of Sunday.
The county also saw its test positivity rate go down over the past week. The rate was cut by 0.3% since June 14 and currently stands at 5%. A total of 58,104 tests were performed in the county as of Sunday, June 21, 55,174 of which returned negative and 39 of which are pending results.
Santa Clara County reported 52 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total to 3,450. Death toll remained at 152, while 55 people were hospitalized.
On Sunday, 89 more cases were confirmed, for a total of 3,547 positive cases, and five more people were hospitalized. Total number of deaths remained at 152.
San Mateo County reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday for a total of 2,825. Death toll remained at 103 since Thursday. Twenty people were hospitalized as of Wednesday.
Santa Clara County reported 40 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing its total to 3,398. The county's number of deaths remains at 152. Fifty-five people — seven more than reported on Thursday — are hospitalized.
San Mateo County reported 46 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its total to 2,770.
Santa Clara County reported 79 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing its total to 3,363. The increase is the largest reported by the county over the past month, when the number of new cases reported each day has fallen below about 50.
One more person has died of the disease, raising the county's number of deaths to 152. Forty-eight people are hospitalized.
San Mateo County on Thursday reported 37 new cases of COVID-19 for a total to 2,721. Four more people have died of the disease, raising the death toll to 103. Twenty people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.
State requires face coverings in public spaces with high risk of COVID-19 spread
The California Department of Public Health issued new public health guidelines Thursday, requiring Californians to wear face coverings when in public spaces that have a high risk of spreading the coronavirus.
People will be required to wear masks when inside an indoor public space, receiving health care services, waiting for or riding on public transit or in a taxi or ride-booking service vehicle, and working at a facility where other people are present.
Masks and face coverings will also be required for people working anywhere food is prepared or packaged, people driving public transit vehicles and people who are outside in a public space when maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance is not possible.
"Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered - putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease," Gov. Gavin Newsom said. "California's strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if people act safely and follow health recommendations."
The state carved out exemptions for several groups of people, including children ages 2 and under, people who are hearing impaired, people at a restaurant or other location offering food and beverage service and people recreating outdoors.
Various counties, including those in the Bay Area, have already implemented a requirement to wear a face covering in public in recent months due to the pandemic. However, statewide guidance had only suggested the use of a mask rather than mandating it.
"Combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing, wearing cloth face coverings when we are with others outside of our household will reduce the spread of COVID-19, which is still a very real threat across our state," California State Public Health Officer and CDPH Director Dr. Sonia Angell said.
The full public health guidance can be found at cdph.ca.gov.
Superior Court jury trials resuming with modifications in Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County Superior Court announced Thursday that jury service and trials will resume this week with modifications due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
People entering the courthouse will be required to wear a face covering in all public areas and should avoid making any unnecessary physical contact. People in the courthouse should also maintain at least 6 feet of distance between each other and follow markings placed on the floor to properly practice physical distancing.
"As jurors are summoned back to Court and trials resume, the Court has implemented the highest levels of safety precautions and social distancing protocols in an effort to keep our community safe and healthy," Presiding Judge Deborah Ryan said.
Fewer jurors will be required to report to court each day and potential jurors will be called into the courthouse in smaller groups to allow for proper physical distancing.
The court has implemented more frequent janitorial service and increased the supply of products like hand sanitizer, sanitation wipes and masks to protect public health. Plastic shields have also been installed in courtrooms to prevent the spread of droplets that may spread the virus.
All people entering the court will be screened at the entrance to ensure they're required to be there. People who have symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to avoid entering the courthouse.
"Jury service is the cornerstone of our democracy and one of our county and court's greatest assets," Ryan said. "Behind every jury trial are numerous citizens who have given their time and energy to further justice in Santa Clara County."
The Palo Alto and Morgan Hill courthouses remain closed to the public until further notice.
Santa Clara County reported 39 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 3,288. The county's number of deaths has stayed at 151 since Sunday.
Fifty-four people are hospitalized with the virus. Between June 10 and 17, the county saw six fewer COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds (which were occupied by 15 patients as of Wednesday) and four fewer patients in acute care beds (which were occupied by 36 patients as of Wednesday).
San Mateo County on Wednesday reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 for a total to 2,678. No more people have died of the disease, holding the death toll to 99. Twenty-eight people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.
Over the past month, the county saw nearly 1,000 new cases. The latest data shows 986 cases were logged between May 18 and June 18. A month earlier, between April 18 and May 18, the county recorded 805 new cases.
San Mateo County allows more businesses, activities to reopen
Effective immediately, a wide range of San Mateo County businesses and activities, from barbershops to gyms, are allowed to reopen, according to a June 17 announcement from the county.
Group gatherings are now limited to no more than 50 people with social distancing and face coverings, and people from multiple households are allowed to interact in "social bubbles" of 12 or fewer people.
The following types of business and services can now reopen, so long as they follow health and safety plans: dine-in restaurants, hair salons and barber shops, casinos, family entertainment centers, wineries, bars, zoos, museums, gyms, fitness centers, hotels (for tourism and individual travel), card rooms, racetracks, campgrounds and outdoor recreation areas.
In addition, personal service businesses like nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors may create safety plans and resume operations starting June 19.
Read more here.
Santa Clara County reported 28 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing its total to 3,254.
The county's number of deaths has stayed at 151 since Sunday. Forty-nine people are hospitalized.
Palo Alto's Channing House and Bridge Point Los Altos are among the eight long-term care facilities found with the coronavirus over the past 14 days. The two local facilities each reported less than 11 cases in residents and less than 11 cases among staff members as of June 16. Channing House, which also appeared on the same list last week, confirmed at least one case in a staff member over the past seven days.
San Mateo County on Tuesday reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 for a total to 2,653. No more people have died of the disease, holding the death toll to 99.
In nearly a week, the number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 has gone down by 50%. Forty-four patients were hospitalized on June 9. Six days later, on June 15, that number went down to 22.
Also, the county recently added residents ages 9 years old or younger to its chart of cases by age group. As of June 16, this group had 101 cases, the second-lowest total across all age groups. Residents ages 90 and older had 83 cases, the lowest total across all age groups, as of Tuesday.
Santa Clara County reported 34 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing its total to 3,230. The county's number of deaths has stayed at 151 since Sunday. Forty-nine people are hospitalized.
The county's test positivity rate continues to decrease as more people are tested for COVID-19. As of Sunday, 102,848 tests have been issued in the county, where the test positivity rate stood at 3.12%.
Of the total of tests issued, 3,197 returned positive results, 99,275 returned negative results and 376 are pending results. Since June 8, 12,644 tests have been performed in the county.
San Mateo County on Monday reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 for a total to 2,625. No more people have died of the disease, holding the death toll to 99. Twenty-nine people are hospitalized as of Sunday.
The latest testing data shows nearly 50,000 tests have been performed throughout the county, which saw its test positivity rate slightly dip in nearly a week to 5.3% as of Sunday.
Of the 49,259 recorded tests, 2,260 returned positive, 46,639 returned negative and 10 were pending results. Since June 8, the county conducted 2,620 tests.
New COVID-19 test site
A new weekday coronavirus testing site is set to launch Monday at the Shoreline Athletic Fields in Mountain View, providing no-appointment tests for all North County residents.
It has a low barrier of entry for anyone looking to get tested. Residents only need to bring a photo ID, and are requested — though not required — to provide health insurance information.
The site is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., McCarthy said, and is run through a partnership with Santa Clara County's public health department and Planned Parenthood
Read more here.
COVID-19 numbers stabilize, but the virus remains at large
As California counties collectively move further into reopening businesses and public spaces, the positivity rate of COVID-19 cases and the number of hospitalizations remain stable, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a Monday press conference.
The positivity rate has remained at around 4.5% over the past 14 days even as the state approaches its testing capacity goal of 60,000 tests per day. The number of hospitalizations and patients admitted to the intensive care unit has stayed relatively flat, Newsom said. However, the rate is still an indication that the virus remains at large.
Cases continue to rise with 2,597 new ones identified across the state on Monday — a 1.7% increase since Sunday — and deaths have increased by 0.5%, with 26 new deaths recorded during the same time span, according to state data.
Newsom said an increase of cases is expected as stay-at-home restrictions are loosened. In the meantime, the state continues to bolster its inventory of personal protective equipment and hospital beds. So far, the state has acquired 73,867 hospital beds and 175.5 million surgical masks, said Newsom.
In addition, 2,243 contact tracers have been trained and an additional 4,855 people are near the end of the training process. The goal is to have 10,000 contact tracers by July 1.
More data also has allowed state officials to highlight which groups of people are most affected by the coronavirus and to what extent.
According to Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state secretary of health and human services, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Latinos and African Americans. Latinos, who make up 38.9% of the state's population, account for 56% of total coronavirus cases and 40.4% of total deaths. African Americans, who make up 6% of the California population, account for 4.7% of total cases and 9.5% of the total deaths.
Nursing home residents also have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus. Newsom said that 50.3% of COVID-19 deaths came from those facilities.
As the governor shared stable numbers and touted increased preparations for surge cases, Newsom stressed that physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands continue to be critical practices.
He displayed a graph charting the death tolls of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which showed a significantly higher peak of deaths later in the year, as a caution to viewers.
"We don't want to experience the second wave as they experienced in 1918 in the fall," Newsom said. "Be smart about physically being distanced; wear a face covering."
On Saturday, Santa Clara County reported a total of 3,157 coronavirus cases, 43 of which were new. There was no change to the death toll, which has stayed at 150 since Friday.
Another 43 new coronavirus cases were reported in the county on Sunday, bringing its total to 3,197. Sixty people are hospitalized.
In a tweet on Sunday, the county explained that a previous death initially categorized as a COVID-19 case has since been removed from the total number of deaths. As a result, while two more have died of the disease, the county's number of deaths rose by one to 151.
San Mateo County on Sunday reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 for a total to 2,594. The death toll has stood at 99 since Thursday. Twenty-seven people are hospitalized as of Saturday.
Construction sites become COVID-19 hot spots
Construction sites in Santa Clara County, including one in Mountain View, have become a new hot spot for coronavirus cases, according to the county Public Health Department.
A Mountain View construction site has confirmed 10 positive cases and more than 30 people potentially exposed to COVID-19, according to a Friday news release. An additional 12 construction sites throughout the county have reported at least one confirmed case of the coronavirus.
Of the 12 locations, two sites in San Jose and one in Milpitas have each reported between three and five cases. These sites as well as the Mountain View location have shut down operations as they cooperate with the health department, the news release stated.
"These cases emphasize the fact that we are still in the midst of a pandemic," Dr. Sara Cody, the county Health Officer said. "With additional sectors reopening, it is vital that everyone carefully follow social distancing protocols to ensure that workers are safe. This includes keeping physical distance and wearing a face covering."
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Santa Clara County reported 55 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing its total to 3,117. Two more people have died of COVID-19, raising the county's number of deaths to 150. Fifty-nine people are hospitalized.
San Mateo County on Friday reported the same number of cases of COVID-19 as Thursday, for a total to 2,533. No more people have died of the disease, holding the death toll to 99. Thirty-three people are hospitalized as of Thursday.
Santa Clara County reported 35 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing its total to 3,063. Two more people have died of COVID-19, raising the county's number of deaths to 148. Fifty-nine people are hospitalized
Out of the total cases, 41.6% (or roughly 1,255) were found in Hispanic residents, who make up 26% of the county's population.
The group with the second-highest total of cases were Asian residents, who had 18.8% (or roughly 575). They make up 36% of the county's population. White residents (who cover 32% of the county population) or those of unknown race each had 15.8% (or nearly 485) of the total cases.
San Mateo County on Thursday reported 39 more cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 2,533. Six more people have died of the disease, raising the death toll to 99. Forty people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.
The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday. East Palo Alto's total rose from 97 on June 4 to 130 on June 11. County data shows there are 43.9 cases for every 10,000 residents. Menlo Park also saw 15 cases added to its total, though the increase is less than the week prior, when the city saw 20 new cases. The latest total, 115, indicates the city has 34 cases for every 10,000 residents. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:
• Atherton: 13 (no change from June 4).
• East Palo Alto: 130 (increase by 33 from June 4).
• Menlo Park: 115 (increase by 15 from June 4).
• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from June 4).
• Portola Valley: 15 (increase by three from June 4).
• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from June 4).
• Woodside: 12 (no change from June 4).
Pop-up test site coming to Palo Alto
For the first time, Santa Clara County is opening a pop-up test site in Palo Alto for free COVID-19 tests at City Hall for a four-day stretch starting this Tuesday.
The site is open to anyone, regardless of age or immigration status. Those seeking a test don't need an appointment, doctor's note or health insurance. Tests will be provided at the lobby of City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave., from June 16 to June 19 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
There is no defined limit to the total number of nasal-swab tests the site can provide, but the county's target goal is to perform around 500 tests per day in Palo Alto, according to Ky Le, director of Santa Clara County's Office of Supportive Housing.
The pop-up is mainly geared towards asymptomatic individuals — those who do not show any symptoms of the coronavirus. People who do have symptoms should get tested by contacting their medical provider, Le said.
Read more here.
New order requires COVID-19 testing for high-risk groups
A new Santa Clara County order issued Wednesday requires large health care systems to provide COVID-19 tests to patients in high-risk categories. These groups include those who have shown symptoms, had contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and those who have a higher risk of exposure to the virus, such as people who frequently ride public transportation.
"Just as we expect all health care providers to test their patients for other communicable diseases and conditions that put their health at risk, healthcare providers need to test their patients for COVID-19," county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a statement. "Many healthcare providers have already stepped up to meet this expectation, and we are grateful for their partnership as we all work to reduce severe illness and death from COVID-19."
The order applies to health systems that run acute care hospitals, plus clinics and urgent care facilities that operate an acute care hospital in the county or elsewhere. The providers include the county's Health and Hospital System, El Camino Hospital, Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Stanford Health Care.
"Without the participation of all healthcare providers in ensuring access to testing for those who need it most, we will not be able to protect the public from communicable diseases like COVID-19," Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, the county's COVID-19 testing officer, said in the statement. "As we continue to reopen activity in the community, ensuring everyone has access to testing will be critical to keep the community safe," he said.
The county has recorded an average of 2,354 tests per day over the past week, which is 120 tests per 100,000 residents. About 850 to 3,500 have been given each day over the past seven days, according to the county.
Read more here.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Santa Clara County reported 15 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 3,032. The county's number of deaths has stayed at 146 since Tuesday. Sixty-one people are hospitalized as of June 10, an increase by 15 since the beginning of the month.
The number of COVID-19 patients in acute and intensive care beds has ebbed and flowed in the first 10 days of June. Twenty-nine COVID-19 patients were in acute beds on June 1 and 11 more were added the day after, raising the total to 40. Another 10 patients raised the number to 50 on June 4, but has since decreased by single digits. As of June 10, there were 37 people in acute beds.
There has been less variation in the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care beds since June 1. County data shows 17 patients were in ICU at the beginning of the month. That number has increased and decreased by single digits leading up to Wednesday, when 22 patients were reported to be in ICU.
The number of Latino/Hispanic residents with COVID-19 — 1,130 — is nearly triple that of other races in the county and makes up 45% of its cumulative cases. About two weeks ago, this group had double the number of cases compared to other races countywide. Latino/Hispanic residents make up about 24% of the county's total population, according to 2019 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A total of 542 residents of unknown race had the second-highest total in the county, followed by 383 white residents and 374 Asian residents. The total of cases for other races each fell below 25.
Congresswoman to host town hall
U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, will host a "Tele-Town Hall" meeting about Congress' response to the coronavirus crisis and answer questions from her constituents on Thursday, June 11.
"During these challenging and uncertain times, It's important for me to stay close to everyone, answer the many questions my constituents have, and learn from you and your important ideas that help shape legislation," she said in a special announcement issued Wednesday.
Anyone interested in joining the meeting, scheduled from 4:30-5:30 p.m., can do so at vekeo.com/repannaeshoo.
Santa Clara County reported 46 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing its total to 3,017. The county's number of deaths has increased by one, raising the total to 146. Sixty-nine people are hospitalized.
Palo Alto's Channing House is among the seven long-term care facilities found with the coronavirus over the past 14 days.
The Webster Street community reported less than 11 cases in residents and none among staff as of June 9.
Sixty-two people who have died from the coronavirus were cases that originated at the facilities, which makes up 42% of the county's total number of deaths, a slight increase from a month earlier when the facilities made up 40% of the county's COVID-19 deaths.
San Mateo County on Tuesday reported 33 more cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 2,475. There was no change to the death toll, which stands at 93, since Monday.
In nearly a week, the number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 has decreased by 20. Thirty-nine people were hospitalized as of June 8, a 66% drop from June 2 when 59 people were hospitalized.
View more data through our interactive charts, which can be found here.
On Monday, Santa Clara County reported 33 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 2,973. The county's number of deaths has increased by one to 145. Seventy-three people are hospitalized.
A total of 90,204 tests have been performed by the county, where the test positivity rate is 3.31%, the lowest rate since the pandemic began.
Between May 31 and June 8, the county recorded nearly 16,300 tests, which greatly contrasts with numbers from a month ago, when the county recorded a little over 9,400 tests between April 30 and May 8.
Thirty-seven new cases were reported in San Mateo County, where the total has gone up to 2,437, 57 of which are hospitalized. Five more people have died of the disease since June 4, raising the county's total number of deaths to 93.
As of Monday, 43,540 tests have been performed in the county, where the test positivity rate stands at 5.6%. An interactive county chart shows the highest number of tests that returned negative results — 1,529 — were conducted on June 1.
State issues guidance on reopening schools:
The California Department of Education released on Monday much-anticipated guidance for reopening schools this fall, with officials emphasizing that the document is not meant to be a mandate for local school districts.
The California Department of Education released on Monday much-anticipated guidance for reopening schools this fall, with officials emphasizing that the document is not meant to be a mandate for local school districts.
The 62-page document covers in detail everything from personal protective equipment for teachers and staggered schedules to seating assignments on school buses. It was compiled with guidance from public health experts and educational leaders, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, a statewide reopening schools task force and focus groups with educators and health officials.
"We recognize that COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on everything that we know about providing an education," state Superintendent Tony Thurmond said in a virtual press conference on June 8. "It forces us to enter into new conversation about the way educational programming looks and will look going forward."
The California Department of Education is leaving it to school districts, in collaboration with local public health officials, to decide the specifics of when to reopen. The state guidance also will likely be adjusted as more information becomes available, Thurmond said.
Read more here.
State prosecutor: Beware of phony COVID-19 contact tracers
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday warned residents to be on guard against scammers pretending to be coronavirus contact tracers in order to trick people into providinG personal information.
By convincing victims they've come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the scammers are able to get information like social security numbers, health insurance information, and financial information, according to Becerra.
The scammers find victims via phone calls, email and text messages.
"Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for personal information such as your Social Security number or financial information. It sickens the soul that there are people out there who make it their business to scam you as most of us seek to band together to respond to the coronavirus pandemic," Becerra said in a statement.
"I ask all Californians to be alert and protect your personal information. And if you see something, say something. We are working to track these imposters," he said.
Becerra encourages anyone who believes they've been a victim or who may have come across a scammer to file a complaint at oag.ca.gov/report.
Santa Clara County reported 27 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing its total to 2,942. The county had decreased its total number of deaths by one on Saturday to 143 due to "a mix-up (that) led to a misclassification of a COVID death," according to a tweet from the Public Health Department. On Sunday, the total went back up to 144. Seventy-five people are hospitalized.
San Mateo County on Sunday reported 24 more cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 2,394. The total number of deaths remains at 88 since Thursday. Fifty-eight people are hospitalized as of Saturday.
Santa Clara County reported 52 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing its total to 2,892. The number of deaths, 144, has remained unchanged since Wednesday. Fifty-seven people are hospitalized.
Two more cases in Mountain View were reported on Friday, bringing the county's total to 64, which makes up 0.08% of the city population. Over the past month, the city has seen 18 new cases.
There were slight changes in how many COVID-19 cases and deaths were tied to long-term facilities when compared to the county's overall totals a month earlier. As of Friday, a total of 469 cases originated in long-term care facilities across the county, which makes up 16% of the county's overall cases, That's a decrease of 2% compared to May 5, when the facilities' 424 cases made up 19% of the county's overall cases.
As of Friday, the facilities reported 61 deaths, which encompasses 42% of the county's 144 deaths. That's an increase of about 3% compared to May 5, when the 48 deaths from the facilities made up 39% of the county's total of deaths.
County leader: Schools need more PPE
Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools Mary Ann Dewan said Friday that school staff and faculty still do not have the required amount of personal protective equipment necessary to reopen campuses to students.
Dewan said the district would need both state and local assistance, not only in acquiring protective equipment but also in maintaining uncovered costs for certain educational programs and after-school child care as schools begin to reopen later this year.
Dewan said reopening schools would depend on several local factors such as testing capacity and the availability of sanitizing and disinfecting products. The county's public schools must also welcome students back to class with equity in mind, she said.
"It's likely that we can assume that those who were struggling when school was in session have continued to struggle with distance learning," Dewan said. "And if that's the case, our decisions to continue to operationalize equity moving forward will be important to both our budget and to our plans for safe operations."
Gov. Gavin Newsom and state and local public health officials have signaled that public schools are on track to reopen in the late summer, albeit with various modifications such as staggered schedules and fewer students per classroom.
In addition, state education funding is likely to be stagnant due to lost tax revenue during the pandemic. How that will affect public schools later this year that are already struggling to accommodate students remains to be seen.
San Mateo County to permit outdoor dining, indoor funerals beginning Saturday
Outdoor dining and indoor funerals with up to 10 people present will be allowed in San Mateo County beginning Saturday, June 6, under a new shelter-at-home order announced by county Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow on Thursday.
The updated order, which will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, comes less than a week after Morrow issued a new shelter-at-home order effective Monday, June 1, that allows places of worship to hold services and retail stores to have customers inside with restrictions and safety measures implemented.
The latest order states that restaurants and other food facilities that were previously licensed to provide sit-down food service can serve outdoor, sit-down meals "by working with local agencies to ensure compliance with local laws, regulations, and permitting requirements," according to a press release issued Thursday.
In addition to cleaning and sanitary measures, tables must be arranged to ensure customers are not sitting within 6 feet of one another at separate tables. There can't be more than six customers at a single table, and they must be from the same household, according to the county. Lounge areas, like fire pits, can be occupied by multiple households if 6-foot distancing is maintained.
Alcohol can be sold with food, but not independently, and bar areas must remain closed to customers. Patrons must wear a mask except when sitting at a table.
Eateries are also required to designate "COVID-19 supervisor/person(s) in charge" who must be present on-site during business hours to ensure implementation of social distancing protocol and the facility's health and safety plan, according to the new order.
Restaurants that offer outdoor dining must also offer curbside pickup, takeaway and/or delivery alternatives and keep lines for pickup away from the outdoor dining area.
The new order also allows charter boats to operate with passengers with capacity limits to ensure social distancing, and permits indoor funerals with up to 10 people present. Outdoor funerals are limited to 25 or fewer.
The announcement comes after Santa Clara County on Monday announced it will allow outdoor dining and in-store retail starting Friday, June 5.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Santa Clara County reported 19 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing its total to 2,850. The number of deaths, 144, has remained unchanged since Wednesday. Forty-six people are hospitalized.
San Mateo County on Thursday reported 47 more cases of COVID-19, the highest increase in cases over the past week, bringing its total to 2,299. Over the past seven days, 232 new cases were reported in the county.
The total number of deaths now stands at 88, four of which were reported June 4. Sixty-six people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.
The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through June 4. East Palo Alto's 97 cases mean there are 32.7 cases for every 10,000 residents and Menlo Park's 100 cases indicate 29.5 cases for every 10,000 residents. Here's a list of those totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:
• Atherton: 13 (no change from May 28).
• East Palo Alto: 97 (increase by 21 from May 28).
• Menlo Park: 100 (increase by 20 from May 28).
• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from May 28).
• Portola Valley: 12 (increase by two from May 28).
• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from May 28).
• Woodside: 12 (no change from May 28).
Santa Clara County reported 20 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 2,832, and one more person who died of the disease, raising the number of deaths to 144. Forty-six people are hospitalized.
Palo Alto and Mountain View each saw one more case added to their totals, which are 79 and 62, respectively.
Palo Alto's total indicates 0.1% of the city population has COVID-19 and Mountain View's total translates to 0.08% of the city population.
As of June 3, a total of 82,843 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, where the test positivity rate is 3.4%. Wednesday's total of tests is an increase of 4,777 compared to Tuesday's total.
San Mateo County on Wednesday reported 17 more cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 2,244. The total number of deaths remains at 84 since last Thursday. Fifty-nine people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.
Expanding polling places
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday to expand the state's number of polling places ahead of the November general election, which state officials expect to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The executive order requires each county to offer at least one polling place for every 10,000 registered voters between Oct. 31 and Election Day on Nov. 3. The expansion is intended to reduce the number of voters at each location, allowing for shorter lines and smaller crowds.
"Expanded vote-by-mail, coupled with ample in-person voting on and before Election Day, is the best formula for maintaining the accessibility, security, and safety of our election," California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said.
Newsom signed an executive order last month requiring the state to mail a ballot to all registered voters for each election, beginning in November. In-person voting will still be available and voters will be allowed to drop off their mail ballots at a polling place as usual.
Nearly 30 counties across the state — including Napa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties -- have already conducted elections in accordance with the Voters Choice Act, which requires at least one vote center for every 10,000 registered voters in a county.
Voters living anywhere in a county operating under the Voters Choice Act can drop off their ballots at a voter center, regardless of where their nearest polling place is.
"While we don't know exactly how widespread COVID-19 will be this fall, the policies outlined in ... this executive order will help protect both the public's health and every voter's right to vote," said Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto.
Seventeen new COVID-19 cases were reported in Santa Clara County, where the total of cases has climbed to 2,819 as of Tuesday. One more person has died of the disease since Monday, raising the total number of deaths to 138.
Thirty-eight people are hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases, 11 of whom were in intensive care unit beds and 27 of whom were in acute hospital beds.
A seven-day comparison of the county's data shows dozens of new cases emerged among people ages 50 and younger. Those ages 20 and under showed the largest increase of any other age group in the county with 39 new cases reported since May 26.
Age groups 21-30 and 41-50 each saw 28 new cases in the past week. The age group with the third-highest increase of cases over the past week was those ages 30-39, which saw 24 new cases.
San Mateo County on Tuesday reported 22 more cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 2,122. The total number of deaths remains at 84 since last Thursday.
As of Monday, 46 people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. Eleven of those patients are in intensive care unit beds, a drop of nine patients compared to May 26.
New county order allows outdoor dining, in-store retail
Churches, retailers and restaurants that offer outdoor dining will be allowed to start welcoming back customers on June 5 under a revised shelter-in-place order that Santa Clara County issued Monday afternoon.
The updated order, which will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, is the latest step in the county's incremental approach to reopening the economy. It eases restrictions for all manufacturing, small service businesses and child care programs. This means "low contact" in-home services like house cleaning and shops like shoe repairs, will be allowed to reopen on Friday, subject to social-distancing guidelines. Churches will be able to have outdoor gatherings for up to 25 people.
The Monday order also eases restrictions for outdoor activities that do not involve physical contact, including swimming pools, tennis and golf. It also allows stores that have been restricted to curbside service since May 22, to start opening up their stores for in-store retail. It also allows dog grooming businesses to reopen.
The decision to ease some of the restrictions that have been in effect since March 17 is based on the county's recent success in reducing the number of new cases, increased testing and other key metrics that officials are using to guide their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more here.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
More than 2,800 people have been infected with the coronavirus in Santa Clara County as of Monday, according to new data posted online by the county. Twenty-nine new cases were reported on June 1, raising the county's total to 2,805.
One more has died of the disease, bringing the total number of deaths to 142.
Mountain View added one more case to its total since Thursday. Its 60 cases make up 0.08% of the city population.
Eleven of 46 people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 were in intensive care unit beds, a 42% drop from the week before, when 26 patients with the virus were in ICU.
San Mateo County on Monday reported 21 more cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 2,188. The total number of deaths remains at 84 since last week. Fifty-six people are hospitalized as of Sunday.
Residents ages 30-39 have persistently had the most cases in the county compared to other age groups. As of Monday, this group had 426 cases, an increase by 56 from a week earlier, when it had 370 cases.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Santa Clara County has recorded 2,776 cases of the coronavirus as of Saturday, 46 of which were new, according to data posted Sunday on the county's data dashboard. One new COVID-19 death was announced on Saturday, bringing the total to 141.
The gap between positive and negative test results continues to grow in the county. As of Sunday, 73,934 tests were performed throughout the county, 3.7% returned positive. A majority of the tests — 70,804 (or 95.7%) — returned negative results and 354 are pending results.
The latest hospital data shows 52 people are hospitalized with suspected or confirmed cases as of Wednesday.
San Mateo County on Sunday reported 23 more cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 2,165. The total number of deaths remains at 84. Forty-seven people were hospitalized as of Saturday.
Stanford preparing to reopen Dish hiking area
Stanford University aims to reopen the Stanford Dish in early July, according to a post on the university's website. The popular hiking and walking area has been temporarily closed since April 3 due to a "persistent minority" of people not complying with public health and safety measures.
To comply with Santa Clara County health orders and promote physical distancing, the university is adding a new pedestrian access gate at Stanford Avenue where crews are also adding new striping and installing temporary signs throughout the area. The university is also smoothing out areas near the path to give visitors more room to pass.
Santa Clara County has recorded 2,707 cases of the coronavirus as of Friday, 14 of which were new cases, according to data posted Friday on the county's data dashboard. There was no change to the county's total of COVID-19 deaths, which has stood at 140 since Wednesday.
The latest hospital data shows 52 people are hospitalized with suspected or confirmed cases as of Wednesday.
The gap between positive and negative test results continues to grow in the county. As of Friday, 71,037 tests were performed throughout the county, 3.8% returned positive. A majority of the tests — 67, 929 (or 956%) — returned negative results and 401 are pending results.
San Mateo County OKs reopening of places of worship, retail
San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow on Friday issued a revised shelter-in-place order effective Monday, June 1, that will allow places of worship to hold services and retail stores to have customers inside with restrictions and safety measures implemented.
The new order also removes prior limitations on access and activities at county beaches. Beaches can operate normally as long as visitors adhere to social distancing and mask guidelines, according to a press release issued Friday.
The move comes after the California Department of Public Health announced Monday that places of worship and in-store retail shopping could reopen statewide with limitations.
Under new guidance, places of worship can hold religious services and funerals that limit attendance to 25% of a building's capacity — or up to 100 attendees, whichever is lower.
The new guidance for religious services and cultural ceremonies encourages institutions to continue online services and activities to protect those who are most at risk for more severe cases of COVID-19, including older adults and people with specific medical conditions.
Organizations wanting to reopen for services and funerals must develop a COVID-19 prevention plan for each location; train staff and evaluate for compliance; implement cleaning and disinfecting protocols; set physical distancing guidelines; recommend that staff and guests wear cloth face coverings; screen staff for temperature and symptoms at the beginning of their shifts; and set parameters or consider eliminating singing and group recitations. San Mateo County also notes that eating and drinking inside places or worship is prohibited, as are after-service gatherings.
New guidance for retailers, which allows in-store shopping and follows previously issued rules for certain counties that advanced their reopenings, now applies statewide. The guidelines require social distancing and health protocols to help reduce the risk for workers and customers. Retail does not include personal services such as hair salons, nail salons and barbershops.
“These modifications seek to increase the immunity of the population slowly and methodically, while minimizing death," Morrow said. "We are trying to keep equity in mind and minimizing economic damage, while not overloading the health care system. The virus continues to circulate in our community, and the increase in interactions among people that these modifications allow is likely to spread the virus at a higher rate."
University, California avenues could close to traffic
Palo Alto's two main thoroughfares, University and California avenues, could be closed to traffic four days a week as soon as Thursday, June 4, allowing restaurants to use the streets to serve diners once permitted to do so by Santa Clara County.
In a Friday message to owners of businesses on the two streets, City Manager Ed Shikada said that the city is anticipating "hopefully soon" an updated health order from the county that will allow for on-site and outdoor dining.
Local restaurant owners up and down the Peninsula have been advocating for street closures to help sustain their businesses as they gradually reopen with restrictions. Cities including Palo Alto, Mountain View, Redwood City, Los Altos, San Carlos and San Mateo are considering closing streets to traffic and giving restaurants more outdoor space to operate.
Palo Alto is looking at closing University Avenue between Waverley Street and Emerson Street, and California Avenue between El Camino Real and Birch Street. The pilot closures would initially run from Thursday mornings through Sunday evenings, starting June 4 or the first Friday after on-site dining is allowed by the Santa Clara County Health Officer through the month of June.
Newsom allows extension of local eviction moratoriums
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order late Friday giving local governments the authority to extend eviction moratoriums for residential and commercial renters through July 28.
Newsom in March signed an executive order granting cities and counties broad authority to impose eviction moratoriums, and that order was set to expire on Sunday, May 31.
On Friday, May 29, the Mountain View City Council voted unanimously to extend its own eviction moratorium through Aug. 31, largely mirroring the county rules but with a few notable exceptions. The city measure covers mobile home renters and mobile home owners who rent space at a mobile home park.
Newsom: Counties can move into Phase 3 of reopening, but none are ready to enter Phase 4
Local health officials can move their counties into Stage 3 of the state's stay-at-home order, which includes loosened restrictions for personal-care facilities such as hair salons and barbershops, Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Friday. But the governor stressed that not a single region is anywhere near proceeding to Stage 4, which includes allowing concerts and sports events.
"We're simply not there," Newsom said at a press conference. "There's no sectoral guidance that's been given, there's no authority for local health officials to move into that phase."
So far, most Bay Area counties have not moved into Stage 3 of reopening; however, San Mateo County announced Friday that it will reopen houses of worship and in-store retail services with restrictions.
Newsom also provided a sweeping overview of the state's handling of the pandemic.
California is now conducting more than 50,000 COVID-19 tests per day, Newsom said. More than 1.8 million people have been tested. The governor also said the state is on track to have 10,000 contact tracers trained by July 1.
About 44.3 million procedural masks were delivered to the state over the last two weeks: The social services sector received 12.5 million masks; non-emergency medical sectors received 5.5 million; and public health services received 4.3 million, according to the governor.
Newsom also showed how the pandemic has affected various communities by ethnicity, which can be seen here. Data shows that COVID-19 disproportionately affects black communities as they make up only 6% of the state's population, but have experienced 10.1% of all COVID-19-related deaths so far.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Santa Clara County's total of coronavirus cases has surpassed 2,700. Of the 2,701 cases reported Thursday, 52 are hospitalized. There was no change to the county's total of deaths, which remains at 140.
One more case in Palo Alto has raised the city's total of cases to 78, which makes up 0.1% of the city population. There was no change Thursday to Mountain View's total, which stands at 59 and represents 0.07% of the city population.
Of the 52 people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus, 36 were in acute hospital beds, a nearly 50% reduction from a week earlier, when there were 75 patients in acute beds.
San Mateo County saw 36 more coronavirus cases on Thursday, raising its overall total to 2,061. Two more people have died of the disease, raising the county's total number of deaths to 84, 55 of which were people connected to long-term care facilities. Forty-one people with or suspected with COVID-19 are hospitalized as of Wednesday.
The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through May 28. East Palo Alto and Menlo Park each of their totals increase by double digits. Here's a list of those totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:
• Atherton: 13 (increase by two from May 21).
• East Palo Alto: 76 (increase by 14 from May 21).
• Menlo Park: 80 (increase by 21 from May 21).
• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from May 21).
• Portola Valley: 10 (no change from May 21).
• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from May 21).
• Woodside: 12 (increase by two from May 21).
State launches hiring effort to process unemployment claims
The state Employment Development Department plans to hire nearly 2,000 temporary full-time and hourly staff members in the coming weeks to hasten the delivery of unemployment benefits to workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The EDD is collaborating with the California Department of Human Resources, the California Highway Patrol and California Correctional Health Care Services to screen, interview and hire about 1,800 state employees.
Those hired will be trained to work in the state's unemployment call centers, process unemployment insurance claims and analyze documents from applicants and their former employers to determine their applicable benefits.
"This urgent hiring effort will further enhance the department's ability to process an unprecedented surge of benefit claims, while offering an opportunity for employment to Californians during this difficult time," EDD Director Sharon Hilliard said.
The EDD currently has about 1,200 regular staff members processing unemployment insurance claims as well as 1,300 state employees who have been redirected to assist the agency in dispersing benefits to the millions across the state who are out of work due to the pandemic.
Since the pandemic began, the state has processed some 5.1 million unemployment claims and dispersed more than $16.1 billion in benefits as of the week of May 10-16.
New hires will have the option to work from home or in office locations throughout the state. Bilingual applicants, particularly those who speak Spanish, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Mandarin, are encouraged to apply.
Applications to work with the EDD can be found and submitted at calcareers.ca.gov.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Santa Clara County reported 15 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 2,688. One more person has died of COVID-19, raising the number of deaths to 140. Fifty-two people are hospitalized.
Since the pandemic started, the county's test positivity rate has gone below 4%. The county's testing data shows out of a total of 67,694 tests that have been performed, 64,628 returned negative and 378 are pending results.
San Mateo County reported 28 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 2,022, and no change to its total of deaths, which remains at 82. Fifty-four people were hospitalized as of Tuesday.
The number of Latino/Hispanic residents with COVID-19 — 818 — is nearly double that of other races in the county and makes up 40% of its cumulative cases. Latino/Hispanic residents make up about 24% of the county's total population, according to 2019 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A total of 458 residents of unknown race had the second-highest total in the county, followed by 339 Asian residents.
Three Santa Clara County inmates test positive for COVID-19
The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday announced three new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus among inmates at its jails since last weekend.
The first of the three was an inmate who tested positive Saturday after being arrested on suspicion of numerous felonies on May 9.
He was housed in one of the county Main Jail's nine "14-day separation units" established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Inmates in the units receive daily temperature checks and COVID-19 tests before being able to integrate into the larger jail population, according to the sheriff's office.
There were 24 inmates in the separation unit with the one who tested positive. All were tested for COVID-19 and tested negative, but will remain housed together with a restarted 14-day separation period.
Then on Tuesday, an inmate at the Elmwood Correctional Facility's Minimum Camp tested positive for COVID-19. After showing flu-like symptoms, the inmate was moved to a medical unit with a negative airflow isolation cell and all 29 inmates in the same housing barracks were moved to isolation cells and tested for COVID-19.
The next day, a second inmate from Elmwood's rehoused barracks tested positive and was also moved to a negative airflow isolation cell.
As a precaution, the sheriff's office is in the process of testing all 344 inmates at Elmwood's Minimum Camp as well as employees who have had contact with the inmates, and also has investigators doing contact tracing to determine possible exposures from the inmates who tested positive.
Ensuring internet access for students during pandemic
California will need at least $500 million to ensure all students across the state have internet access and the technology required for at-home education during the COVID-19 pandemic, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said Wednesday.
According to Thurmond, about 600,000 students in California are in need of a computer or tablet and as many as 400,000 students lack internet access at home. Thurmond said the state wouldn't discriminate in reaching that total, whether the funds came from a federal stimulus package or philanthropic internet service providers.
"You can just break it down into small parts," Thurmond said in a Wednesday morning briefing on the so-called "digital divide." "That means 100 companies that make a commitment of at least $5 million to help our students have the success that they need. We can get there in any different way."
Thurmond praised some companies for the steps they have already taken to help students in California secure internet access at home and a computer or a tablet.
In the Bay Area, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pledged last week to give $10 million to a fundraising campaign organized by the city of Oakland, Oakland Unified School District, Oakland Public Education Fund and the nonprofit organization Tech Exchange to provide internet access and computers to the district's roughly 50,000 students in need.
"We just need to have the commitment from the companies to say that these are all of our California kids and we're going to do everything we need to do to help them," Thurmond said.
Thurmond maintained that he expects the state's public schools to reopen for in-person classes in August and September with health and safety modifications like the use of face coverings, smaller class sizes and increased distance between desks to prevent the spread of the virus.
The state's Department of Education plans to announce its school reopening plans in early June, according to Thurmond.
"We've got 10,000 schools (in California)," Thurmond said of the state's re-opening guidance. "There is no one size fits all. ... (W)e've actually been talking with school districts about the guidance so that we can calibrate it with the work that they're doing, with the plans that they're making so that we also can address questions that they have."
Latest COVID-19 statistics
On Tuesday, 24 new cases of the coronavirus were reported in Santa Clara County, which has a cumulative total of 2,675 cases, 54 of which are hospitalized.
The number of deaths stands at 139, which remains unchanged since Saturday, 59 (or 42%) of which are from long-term care facilities.
San Mateo County on Tuesday reported 35 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 1,963. The total number of deaths remains at 82. Fifty-seven people are hospitalized as of Monday.
The gap is growing in cases between females and males. As of Tuesday, the county reported 1,038 females and 925 males have the coronavirus, which is a difference of 113. About a week earlier, the difference was 97.
Most counties can reopen barbershops and hair salons
A majority of counties in California will be able to reopen barbershops and hair salons, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Newsom said that 47 out of 50 counties in California can now add barbershops and hair salons to the list of businesses that can reopen in their stay-at-home modifications. Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, which have stricter stay-at-home orders, have not announced whether they will be among those reopening these businesses.
Some of the guidelines for reopening these businesses include asking customers if they are showing any flu-like symptoms before making an appointment, requiring employees and customers to wear masks and disinfecting all tools.
Despite the looser restrictions, Newsom was emphatic that the state is still in the thick of the pandemic.
"We're not even out of the first wave of this pandemic," Newsom said. "People are talking about the second wave — that's many, many months off."
New guidelines for summer camps and child care facilities will be announced on Wednesday.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
As of Monday, San Mateo County reported 1,904 cumulative cases of COVID-19, six of which are new. Fifty-two people are hospitalized as of Sunday.
Six more deaths since Friday have brought the total number of deaths to 82. White residents make up more than half of the total with 52. The county's data shows a combined total of 30 Asian, Black, and Latino/Hispanic residents who have died of the disease.
On Monday, Santa Clara County had 36 new cases, totaling 2,652. There was no change to the county's total number of deaths, which remains at 139.
Palo Alto has 77 cases of COVID-19, which translates to 0.1% of the city population. Mountain View has 57 cases, which make up 0.07% of the city population.
As of Monday, 54 people were hospitalized with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. Nineteen of those patients are in intensive care unit beds, which is 26 fewer coronavirus patients a week earlier.
Santa Clara County adds test sites
Santa Clara County announced on Monday that it is launching or expanding six new test locations for free COVID-19 tests. The locations were chosen based on data showing a higher incidence of infection in these areas, the county said in a statement.
"The County is bringing testing capacity to where it's needed. Please take advantage of this opportunity to get tested in your neighborhood: it's fast, free and you don’t need insurance," Cindy Chavez, president of the county Board of Supervisors, said in a May 25 statement.
The county has also set parameters for how often people should be tested. Essential workers with regular interaction with the public should be tested now and once every month thereafter. People in this group include grocery store clerks, food delivery workers, retail associates, first responders and many other types of workers. The county recommends that these frontline workers get tested even if they have no symptoms at all. People can also be tested through their regular doctor.
The county and city of Mountain View launched mobile testing services this week at Rengstorff Park, one of the areas of highest need, according to Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga.
The public can walk up to the site and receive a test without an appointment. Insurance and a doctor’s note are not required.
Here's a schedule for the county's pop-up test sites:
• Monday, May 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Wednesday, May 27, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Rengstorff Park Pool Area, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View.
• Friday, May 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at La Placita Tropicana Shopping Center parking lot, 1630 Story Road, San Jose.
Drive-thru test sites are available daily at four existing county health system locations in Milpitas, Morgan Hill and San Jose.
The public can visit the sites by making an appointment online through sccfreetest.org or over the phone at 888-334-1000.
Drive-thru sites are located at:
• 1325 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas (location subject to change).
• 18550 De Paul Drive, Morgan Hill.
• 777. E Santa Clara St., San Jose.
• 1993 McKee Road, San Jose.
With the addition of these six sites, there are now at least 46 sites throughout the county offering COVID-19 viral detection testing. All new and expanded test sites and additional sites operated by other organizations are mapped on the county's website. The site is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Tagalog. Information is also available by calling 211.
San Mateo County houses homeless through state funds
Ninety homeless people considered at high risk have been sheltered at a San Mateo County hotel as part of the county's efforts to stem the spread of novel coronavirus among vulnerable populations.
The county project known as Bayfront Station leases a block of rooms at an undisclosed hotel in the county for homeless people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms, but are categorized as high risk under federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
The county has been granted $750,000 in funding from the California Department of Social Services as part of Project Roomkey, a statewide initiative by Gov. Gavin Newsom to provide non-congregate shelter to high-risk homeless people during the pandemic.
"The County of San Mateo is committed to offering and expanding shelter and housing to our homeless residents who want it," County Manager Mike Callagy said in a statement issued Thursday. "We are grateful of this funding from the state to support the mission of Project Roomkey and the county's commitment to protecting the entire community while we are required to shelter in place."
People placed in the rooms are expected to stay as long as the shelter order remains active and are expected to observe safety protocols such as physical distancing and wearing face coverings when needed.
Occupants are provided with three meals a day, the same as the county provides for those in its shelter program.
Bayfront Station is staffed through a contract with Samaritan House, a nonprofit organization that provides safety net services to low income residents of the county.
"This critical funding will allow our partnership with Samaritan House and the hotel operator to continue moving forward during this crisis," said county Human Services Agency Director Ken Cole.
The county said another portion of the Project Roomkey funds could be used to expand shelter capacity and implement additional protocols at facilities, as well as conduct outreach to those who remain unsheltered.
Newsom announces statewide COVID-19 contact tracing campaign
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced the launch of a public awareness campaign for the state's COVID-19 case investigation program.
The state launched a partnership with the University of California at San Francisco and UCLA earlier this month to begin training thousands of coronavirus contact tracers that will attempt to limit the spread of the virus in real time.
The "California Connected" public awareness campaign — which will include radio and social media ads, billboards and videos in multiple languages — is intended to get state residents to "answer the call" when their local public health department reaches out to recruit them as a contact tracer, according to Newsom.
"That simple action of answering the call could save lives and help keep our families and communities healthy," Newsom said.
Newsom has said the state hopes to train roughly 20,000 contact tracers by the first week of July through the partnership program and disperse them throughout the state's 58 counties. The state has received some $5.1 million in private financial support to spur the California Connected campaign and reach the 20,000-tracer goal.
The state's 58 counties and three cities with separate health departments have roughly 3,000 contact tracers already in the field, according to Newsom. More than 500 have already been trained through the state's program as well, with another 300 scheduled to complete the 20-hour training course this week.
"We are bringing together the best minds in public health, academia and private industry to design a program that can help lower the risk for COVID-19 in all of our communities and keep us on the path to reopening," California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell said.
Information on the state's contact tracing program can be found at covid19.ca.gov/contact-tracing.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Santa Clara County reported 26 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing its total to 2,546, an increase by 33 from Thursday. The number of deaths remains at 138 deaths. Ninety-six people were hospitalized as of Friday, a decrease by four from Thursday.
Palo Alto has 78 cases, a rate of 116 cases per 100,000 residents. Its total makes up 0.2% of the city population. Mountain View has 56 cases, which reveals a rate of 69 cases per 100,000 residents. Its total makes up 0.07% of the city population.
State guidelines for reopening houses of worship will be released on Monday, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
At the Veterans Home of California in Yountville, Newsom said on Friday that a guideline for congregations of all sizes will be released. The governor's announcement comes as President Donald Trump deemed religious institutions "essential" hours before Newsom's press briefing, calling on governors to open them "right now."
Newsom said that he expects the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to also issue guidelines on congregations later in the day on Friday.
As counties move forward with the phased reopening of businesses, Newsom also briefly noted that he expects hair salons and barbershops to welcome customers again in the coming days. So far, 43 out of the 50 state's counties have filed attestation forms, which outline COVID-19 containment and protection plans, and have been approved to move further into Phase 2 of the stay-at-home order modifications, Newsom said.
No Bay Area counties except for Napa County have received the state's clearance to move deeper into Phase 2, according to the state Department of Public Health's website.
Testing continues to ramp up across California. The state now averages around 45,000 tests a day, while the positivity rate holds steady at 4.1% over the last seven days, Newsom said.
The number of hospitalizations and intensive care unit patients have remained stable. Over the past two weeks, hospitalizations were down 7.5% and ICU numbers were down 6.1%, according to Newsom.
New COVID-19 test site opens
Hundreds of people have registered to receive a free coronavirus test at a new site at the Lewis and Joan Platt East Palo Alto Family YMCA. The Bell Street location began operating on May 22 and will continue to provide tests on Saturday, May 23.
All appointments have been booked for both days. More than 250 people signed up for a test on Friday and over 300 people have registered for Saturday, according to a city press release.
The site, operated by Verily, will be available to the public on May 29 and 30. Appointments can be made here.
More information on the test site can be found here.
Santa Clara County called on residents Thursday to volunteer for its COVID-19 coronavirus contact tracing team with a goal of getting at least 1,000 tracers.
About 50 county employees are already working to trace the contacts of coronavirus patients to stop the virus' spread as early as possible. A contact tracing force of more than 1,000 people would allow the county to reach its tracing goal of 21,000 contacts per week, according to county public health officials.
"It's not just enough to have your county employees doing this work," county Assistant Health Officer Dr. Sarah Rudman said. "We need members of the community, especially those of you who speak other languages like Spanish and Vietnamese, to come work with us and help with this case investigation and contact tracing."
Volunteers can complete contact tracing and case investigation work from home, according to the county, as long as they have a stable internet connection, access to a computer and private area to make phone calls to patients and their potential contacts.
The county is seeking volunteers who can investigate cases between 24 and 40 hours per week for at least three months. Volunteers should also have strong writing, communication and data entry skills.
"The county must build a strong and robust contact tracing team to prepare for an expected increase in COVID-19 cases as some of our shelter-in-place orders are loosened," county Supervisor Dave Cortese said in a statement. "Thank you in advance to those who will give the time and effort to help fill this critical role."
Residents can apply to be contact tracing volunteers at sccgov.org/icanhelp.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Santa Clara County reported 100 people hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Thursday, an increase by 21 from Wednesday and the highest number of patients hospitalized so far this week.
Santa Clara County did not release an update on the total of coronavirus cases and deaths in the county on Thursday due to technical issues.
San Mateo County recorded a total of 1,783 COVID-19 cases and 76 total deaths on Thursday, up from 1,738 cases and 75 deaths on Wednesday. Seventy-four people are hospitalized as of Wednesday, an increase by three from Tuesday.
The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through May 21. Here's a list of those totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:
• Atherton: 11 (decrease by one from May 14).
• East Palo Alto: 62 (increase by six from May 14).
• Menlo Park: 59 (increase by four from May 14).
• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from May 14).
• Portola Valley: 10 (no change from May 14).
• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from May 14).
• Woodside: 10 (no change from May 14).
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Santa Clara County's total of coronavirus cases is inching closer to the 2,500 mark. Out of its 2,492 cases reported on Wednesday, 79 people are hospitalized. One more person has died of the disease, raising its total number of deaths to 138.
Hispanic residents account for the most COVID-19 cases in the county, according to the data, which breaks down cases by race/ethnicity. This group, which represents 26% of the county's population, makes up about 970 (or 39%) of the county's 2,492 cases.
Forty-eight new cases were reported Wednesday in San Mateo County, where the total rose from 1,690 to 1,738. The jump is the highest recorded in the county since April 3, when 78 new cases were recorded, according to county data.
Of the total 1,738 cases, 71 are hospitalized, an increase by 11 from Tuesday. The county's number of deaths remains at 75.
Santa Clara County opens new COVID-19 test sites
COVID-19 tests are now available to all Santa Clara County residents at two new locations in San Jose, county and city officials said Wednesday.
Verily Life Sciences, the life science research arm of Alphabet Inc., will offer free testing to all county residents, even if they don't have symptoms or health insurance, at Police Athletic League Stadium at 680 S. 34th St. and the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds at 344 Tully Road.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez implored residents to get tested as soon as they can as the county seeks to reach an average of 4,000 tests per day. Chavez also said that local officials can and will help residents who struggle to sign up for testing due to obstacles like language barriers.
Patients can self-administer the test in their vehicle by using a smaller swab similar to a Q-tip to swipe the inside of each nostril for 10 seconds. The entire testing process can be completed in as little as three minutes, according to Verily.
Read more here.
Read our previous updates dating back to late February here.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.