News

Coronavirus central: Santa Clara County sees 123 new cases

San Mateo County records nearly 50 new cases

Latest updates:

SAN MATEO COUNTY ENTERS 'ORANGE' TIER: San Mateo County was one of four Bay Area counties that moved into the less-restrictive "orange" tier on Tuesday, allowing them to reopen more businesses and expand indoor operations for businesses such as restaurants and religious facilities. Read more here.

NEW COVID-19 CASES, DEATHS: Santa Clara County reported 123 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 24,425 The death toll has risen to 392. There were 80 people hospitalized, 12 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is 115. San Mateo County reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 11,232. The death toll remains at 159. There are 17 people hospitalized. View more data through our interactive charts, which can be found here. Data from both counties may be incomplete due to an earlier problem with the state's reporting system for communicable diseases.

FDA APPROVES REMDESIVIR: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the antiviral drug remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients, the first such treatment the FDA has authorized to fight the deadly coronavirus, Gilead Sciences announced Thursday. Read more here.

COVID-19 TESTS AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT: Santa Clara County is operating appointment-only COVID-19 test sites through October. Read more here.

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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.

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Santa Clara County reported 123 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 24,425 The death toll has risen to 392. There were 80 people hospitalized, 12 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is 115, an increase by two from the previous day.

San Mateo County reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 11,232. The death toll remains at 159. There are 17 people hospitalized, which breaks down to 14 confirmed cases and three suspected cases.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 26

Santa Clara County reported 171 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 24,313. The death toll remains at 388. There were 87 people hospitalized, 10 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is 113, a decrease by one from a day earlier.

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San Mateo County reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 11,198. The death toll remains at 159. There are 18 people hospitalized, all of which are confirmed cases.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 24-25

Santa Clara County reported 141 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, raising the total to 24,014. The death toll remains at 388. There were 87 people hospitalized, 15 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 114, a decrease by one from a day earlier.

The county reported 135 new cases on Sunday, raising the total to 24,144. The death toll remains at 388. There were 90 people hospitalized, 16 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 114.

San Mateo County reported 73 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 11,149. The death toll remains at 159. There are 21 people hospitalized, 20 of which are confirmed and one of which is suspected.

PREVIOUS UPDATES OCT. 23

Santa Clara County reported 207 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 23,881. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 388. There were 89 people hospitalized, six of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 115, an increase by six from a day earlier.

San Mateo County reported 71 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 11,075. The death toll remains at 159. There are 21 people hospitalized, 19 of which are confirmed and two of which are suspected.

PREVIOUS UPDATES OCT. 23

Santa Clara County reported 207 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 23,881. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 388. There were 89 people hospitalized, six of whom were new.

The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 115, an increase by six from a day earlier.

San Mateo County reported 71 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 11,075. The death toll remains at 159. There are 21 people hospitalized, 19 of which are confirmed and two of which are suspected.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 22

Santa Clara County reported 95 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 23,679. The death toll remains at 385. There were 92 people hospitalized, 13 of whom were new.

The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 109, an increase by one from a day earlier.

San Mateo County reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 11,002. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 159. There are 22 people hospitalized, 18 of which are confirmed cases and four which are suspected.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 21

Santa Clara County reported 137 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 23,591. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 385. There were 96 people hospitalized, the highest number in nearly a month. Eighteen of those patients were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 108, a decrease by one from a day earlier.

San Mateo County reported 39 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 10,961. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 157. There are 23 people hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 20

Santa Clara County reported 103 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 23,458. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 382. There were 88 people hospitalized, 13 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 109, an increase of nine from the previous day and the highest average so far this month.

San Mateo County reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 10,918. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 157. There are 24 people hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 19

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch Monday of a scientific working group that will examine the safety of any coronavirus vaccine that receives federal approval.

The working group includes 11 epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and other medical experts from across the state that will be tasked with independently reviewing vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Two of the members have ties to Stanford University Health system: Dr. Grace Lee, a professor who specializes in infectious disease at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, and Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, professor and chief of the division of infectious disease within Stanford Medicine's Department of Pediatrics.

Newsom said the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup will do so as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies like Pfizer and Moderna roll out their coronavirus vaccines into next year.

The state's independent review process will also remain in place regardless of who wins the November presidential general election, Newsom said.

"There's been, frankly, a lot of politicization ... around vaccinations and we have to make sure that they're safe and they're effective," he said Monday during a briefing on the state's pandemic response.

Newsom cautioned that the amount of vaccine doses available before the end of the year will be a fraction of the U.S. population and that most Californians should not expect to have access to a vaccine until 2021.

The state was given an estimate of around 45 million total vaccine doses being available across the country by the end of the calendar year, according to Newsom.

That number, he cautioned, was strictly for state planning purposes and was also on the high end of the likely pool of available vaccine doses.

"Don't anticipate or expect that you can go down to a local pharmacy any time in this calendar year and likely get a vaccination," Newsom said.

In addition to the coronavirus' medical novelty, the pace of vaccine development is likely to be hampered because most treatments currently consist of two shots over 21 days.

Those doses must also be kept in either cold storage or ultra-cold storage at temperatures as low as below 70 degrees Celsius.

That necessary cold storage could further affect the availability of commodities like dry ice that would be used to prevent the vaccine doses from spoiling.

"While a small number of doses of an FDA-approved vaccine could be deployed before year's end, the reality is that the COVID-19 pandemic will be with us well into 2021 — and widespread vaccine distribution likely won't occur for many more months," said Dr. Erica Pan, the state's acting public health officer.

However, even when the time comes that a vaccine is widely available, the pandemic will not end overnight, Newsom said, adding that uncertainly still remains whether a vaccine will effectively prevent contracting the virus long-term.

"Even if millions and millions of Americans, millions of Californians, get that vaccination, get that second shot ... it's absolutely essential that we maintain our vigilance," he said.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 135 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 23,355. Five more people have died, raising the death toll to 378. There were 87 people hospitalized, 14 of whom were new. The seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 100, which is within the daily range since Oct. 1 of between 93 and 102.

San Mateo County reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 10,889. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 157. There are 28 people hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 17-18

Starting Monday, Oct. 19, San Mateo County will launch a COVID-19 compliance unit that will warn and cite businesses that fail to follow the county's pandemic-related health order.

During a media briefing on Wednesday, County Manager Mike Callagy said that people will be able to call 211 or go online to report businesses that have not been compliant.

Callagy said the compliance unit will work with businesses to ensure that they understand what is required of them.

Under the county's health order, businesses must implement social distancing protocols, require face coverings, and provide hand sanitizer or soap and water. Businesses must also prepare and distribute a health and safety plan to personnel.

"It's not our intention to go out and cite businesses," Callagy said Wednesday. "We want to go out and work with businesses to make sure that they are compliant and providing a safe and healthy environment for individuals who come to their business."

Read more here.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 80 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, raising the total to 23,052. No additional deaths were reported, keeping the toll at 373. There were 86 people hospitalized, 23 of whom were new. The seven-day rolling average of new cases per day was at 99, which is within the daily range since Oct. 1 of between 93 and 102.

The county reported 173 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the total to 23,224. No additional deaths were reported, keeping the toll at 373. There were 78 people hospitalized, 11 of whom were new. The seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 101, which is within the daily range since Oct. 1 of between 93 and 102.

San Mateo County reported 71 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 10,810. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 157. As of Sunday, 21 people were hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 16

Santa Clara County reported 116 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 22,974. Six more people have died, raising the death toll to 373. There are 83 people hospitalized, 21 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 10,739. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 157. As of Friday, 29 people were hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 15

Santa Clara County reported 69 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 22,859. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 367. There are 85 people hospitalized, 15 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 33 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 10,687. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 157. Twenty-six people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 14

Santa Clara County reported 64 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 22,801. The death toll has stayed at 363 since Tuesday. There are 79 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 34 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 10,655. The death toll has stood at 155 since Oct. 8. Twenty-four people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 13

Santa Clara County reported 100 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 22,741. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 363. There are 80 people hospitalized, 10 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 10,622. The death toll has stood at 155 since Thursday. Twenty-nine people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 12

State's contact tracing capacity on the rise

Roughly 95% of California's local health departments now have the capacity to contact new coronavirus cases and their recent contacts on the same day their test result is reported, the state's top public health official said Monday.

The state's testing numbers have now eclipsed 125,000 per day after late summer heat waves and wildfires prompted some testing centers to temporarily close. Over the weekend, an average of more than 150,000 tests were completed across the state.

Test results are regularly being reported in 24 to 48 hours, at which point the state's corps of more than 10,000 contact tracers are able to alert people who may have been exposed to a positive case.

The state has also collaborated with local epidemiologists and used remote communication tools like Zoom to support state and local disease investigation efforts.

"(We are) really building up this infrastructure across the state so we can continue to box in the virus as much as we can and make sure that a single case doesn't turn into 20 or 30 cases," state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Monday during a briefing on the state's pandemic response.

The state intends to push its daily testing capacity north of 250,000 by next year, due in part to an agreement with the Massachusetts-based diagnostics company PerkinElmer to provide 150,000 of those tests per day.

According to Gov. Gavin Newsom, California will also utilize some $150 million in federal funding and $83 million in philanthropic funds to help counties isolate and quarantine residents who test positive before they have a chance to spread the virus on a large scale.

The increase in testing and focus on contact tracing has also led to a steady downward trend of the state's daily positivity rate.

Over the last seven and 14 days, the state's average daily rate is down to 2.6%, a full percentage point decrease since mid-September.

"We are not going to slip backwards on testing, we are going to forge forward and be much more aggressive," Newsom said.

"We're not ashamed of testing people, we're not ashamed of identifying individuals that have been tested positive, but we must make that meaningful," he said.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 97 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 22,644. Five more people have died since Friday, raising the death toll to 362. There are 78 people hospitalized, 18 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 10,601. The death toll has stood at 155 since Thursday. Thirty-three people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 10-11

Santa Clara County reported 112 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday and 139 on Sunday, raising the total to 22,555. The death toll has stood at 357 since Friday. (The county's data dashboard only updates the death count on weekdays.) There are 75 people hospitalized, seven of whom are new, as of Sunday.

San Mateo County reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and 20 on Sunday, bringing the county's total to 10,573. The death toll has stood at 155 since Thursday. Thirty-three people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 9

Santa Clara County reported 160 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 22,312. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 357. There are 75 people hospitalized, nine of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 10,510. The death toll has stood at 155 since Thursday. Thirty-three people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 8

Santa Clara County reported 101 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 22,154. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 354. There are 74 people hospitalized, nine of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 59 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 10,452. One more person has died since Monday, raising the death toll to 155. Twenty-seven people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 7

Santa Clara County reported 83 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 22,056. Six more people have died, raising the death toll to 353. There are 76 people hospitalized, 11 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 10,395. The death toll has stayed at 154 since Monday. Twenty-eight people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 6

State to start tracking inequity of coronavirus spread

California will start tracking a metric intended to determine the inequity of the coronavirus' spread, the state's two top public health officials said Tuesday.

The state's Healthy Places Index provides coronavirus test positivity data on a census tract-level with the goal of highlighting the areas of the state that are either healthier or unhealthier than others, allowing for more targeted support for communities that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.

Since late August, state public health officials have tracked the case rate per 100,000 residents and the test positivity rate for each of the state's 58 counties to determine how widespread the virus is and whether it is safe for a county to open certain businesses.

Starting Tuesday, the state also began tracking the HPI scores for individual counties. Those with lower scores will be able to move quicker through the state's color-coded, tiered reopening system, according to Dr. Erica Pan, the state's acting public health officer.

"We have to prioritize our interventions to the communities where we're seeing the most disease," Pan said, noting that communities with the most coronavirus transmission are often those inhabited by essential workers.

So far, Humboldt County is the only county to move to a less restrictive reopening tier based on its HPI score, moving to the least restrictive yellow tier.

Pan and state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly argued California is the first state in the country to tie economic reopening to reducing unequal test positivity.

Ghaly also emphasized the importance of "ensuring that we invest dollars that the state has received from the federal government to work on mitigating and reducing transmission, that counties are using those dollars in targeted ways to focus ... on communities with a disproportionate impact."

Only two counties in the greater Bay Area — Sonoma and Monterey counties — are in the most restrictive reopening tier.

None of the Bay Area's other counties changed tiers when the state updated its tier assignments on Tuesday.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 54 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 21,978. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 347. There are 84 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 10,347. The death toll has stayed at 154 since Monday. Thirty people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 5

Santa Clara County reported 108 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 21,926. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 345. There are 88 people hospitalized, 14 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 31 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 10,309. Two more people have died, raising the death toll 154. Thirty-seven people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 3-4

Santa Clara County reported 130 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, raising the total to 21,734. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 333. There are 78 people hospitalized, 10 of whom are new.

The county announced another 107 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the total to 21,840. Eleven more people have died, raising the death toll to 344. The new diagnoses and deaths reported Sunday have occurred over the past several days, according to the county. There are 76 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 70 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 10,275. The death toll has stayed at 152 since Thursday. Thirty-six people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 2

Santa Clara County reported 149 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 21,605. Five more people have died, raising the death toll to 330. There are 82 people hospitalized, 11 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 77 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 10,205. The death toll has stayed at 152 since Thursday. Thirty-four people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: OCT. 1

Santa Clara County reported 85 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 21,457. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 325. There are 87 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 10,126. Two more people have died over the past week, raising the death toll to 152. Thirty-nine people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 30

Santa Clara County reported 87 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 21,379. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 322. There are 87 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 10,069. The death toll has stood at 150 since Sept. 24. Forty-four people are hospitalized

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 29

Santa Clara County reported 73 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 21,294. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 318. There are 89 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 9,900. The death toll has stood at 150 since Thursday. Forty-two people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 28

Outdoor playgrounds are allowed to reopen to the public following certain guidelines for local officials and visitors, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health announced Monday.

Following Newsom's stay-at-home order in March, playgrounds and other outdoor recreational facilities were closed in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Earlier this month on Sept. 16, numerous state lawmakers signed a letter authored by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, asking Newsom to reopen playground and outdoor facilities, citing these spaces as "a critical resource for children and families to access outdoor space, exercise, and relax."

On Monday, Newsom's administration released guidelines for outdoor playground and outdoor recreational facility reopenings.

Guidelines include maintaining social distancing, wearing masks at all times, and limiting visits to 30 minutes per day. Additionally, adults are asked to supervise children at all times to ensure adherence to the guidelines.

Local officials overseeing the playgrounds must post the rules and park capacity at the entrance of the playgrounds.

"Playgrounds don't make money ... but they keep our kids happy and healthy, physically and mentally," Gonzalez posted on Twitter.

Outdoor playgrounds are open in Santa Clara County, where adults and children are required to wear face coverings, with the exception of "very young children," according to a FAQ webpage for the county's COVID-19 public health order. The county also advises adults to practice "rigorous hand hygiene" with children and keep 6 feet of distance from people outside of their households.

San Mateo County's outdoor playgrounds remain closed as of Tuesday morning, Sept. 29, according to county parks communication specialist Carla Schoof. The county is reevaluating its guidelines in response to the new state guidance, she said.

Newsom: Likelihood of COVID-19 resurgence increased in recent weeks

While California's rate of new coronavirus cases is at its lowest point in months, the likelihood of the virus resurging has increased in recent weeks in the state's largest metro areas, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

The state's average daily positivity rate over the last 14 days is now at 2.8%, Newsom said, down from 3.6% on Sept. 14.

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions have also continued to decline in recent weeks, both by around 20% over the last 14 days.

That trend of reduced viral spread has resulted in more than a dozen counties across the state, including several in the Bay Area, moving out of the state's most restrictive reopening tier since the state switched to the color-coded tier system on Aug. 31.

Newsom, however, echoed state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly's recent warning that there are reasons to believe the virus may begin spreading exponentially once again.

"While it's true we have seen a three-fold decrease in the total number of cases since our peak in mid-July, we are seeing early signs that those decreases are beginning to slow down, they're beginning to plateau," Newsom said.

The virus' effective reproduction number, which measures how many people can be infected at any given time, hit its nadir in the Bay Area and Southern California in late August and early September, according to Newsom, and has been trending upward since.

Once that reproduction number, measured as R effective, is higher than one, exponential spread of the virus is likely to occur.

In the greater Bay Area, with the exception of Monterey County, the rate dipped below one in mid-August and fell as low as 0.9 before rising back up to around 0.95 as of Monday.

While there is still time for the state to curb the potential growth in cases, Newsom said, Californians will have to be cautious to avoid spurring a second large wave of cases, particularly in tandem with the seasonal flu.

"We have once again tamed the growth of transmission rate in the state of California," Newsom said.

"But this R effective rate is a point of caution and consideration as it relates to the work that each and every one of us must do to continue to see a decrease, not just a plateauing of transmission rates."

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 97 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 21,241. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 314. There are 89 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 9,950. The death toll has stood at 150 since Thursday. Thirty-two people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 26-27

Santa Clara County reported 151 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, raising the total to 21,030. Five more people have died, raising the death toll to 301.

The county announced another 127 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the total to 21,153. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 312. These figures represent new diagnoses and deaths over the past several days. There are 86 people hospitalized, 10 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 56 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 9,897. The death toll has stood at 150 since Thursday. Twenty-nine people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 25

State's coronavirus case rates trending up

California's coronavirus case and hospitalization rates are trending in the wrong direction and could hamper some counties' plans to reopen businesses, the state's Health and Human Services secretary said Friday.

Case and hospitalization rates have trended up in recent days as the state begins to collect data from cases contracted during Labor Day weekend, according to Dr. Mark Ghaly.

Cases may also be rising slightly as counties have begun moving out of the state's most restrictive reopening tier, allowing them to reopen restaurants and gyms with limited capacities.

In addition, state residents who have been evacuated due to recent wildfires could be contributing to the uptick in cases as evacuees may interact with family or friends who live in different households, raising the chance of spreading the virus, Ghaly said.

"We're seeing some early signs that the positive disease and health care trends that we've been experiencing and, frankly enjoying because of these great behaviors over the last many weeks have started to slow," Ghaly said during a briefing with members of the media.

New cases have trended down statewide since the end of July and beginning of August, even when accounting for a rise in daily reported tests.

The state's 14-day average of daily positive tests has fallen from a peak of 9,504 on July 4 to 3,315 on Monday, the lowest level in three months. Those positive tests have trended up as the week has worn on, Ghaly said.

State public health officers are forecasting a short-term spike in statewide hospitalizations, which have fallen from a high of nearly 9,000 in late July to 2,474 on Friday.

However, those hospitalizations are expected to increase by roughly 89% over the next month to nearly 5,000.

While the state has dealt with that level of hospitalizations before, Ghaly said, the looming threat of flu season in conjunction with rising coronavirus hospitalizations would be uncharted territory.

"We see things coming together that we want to make sure we're very vigilant around to ensure that even if we go up a little bit with our hospitalizations, we don't continue to have high rates and even come close to the numbers we saw during the summer," he said.

Ghaly reiterated his previous stance that it's important for state residents to avoid letting their guard down about the coronavirus and to continue following state public health guidance like wearing a mask and physically distancing to reduce the virus' spread.

"Indeed, there is concern and we have the tools to reduce transmission," he said. "And by doing these simple things, we can hopefully bring these early trends of increase back down and help us get back to where we were just a week or two ago."

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 128 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 20,882. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 306. There are 104 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 9,843. The death toll has stood at 150 since Thursday. Thirty-four people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 24

San Mateo County expands COVID-19 testing via mobile sites

San Mateo County announced this week that it will expand countywide COVID-19 testing through mobile sites and targeted testing in at-risk neighborhoods.

The county currently offers free COVID-19 testing through Verily's Project Baseline program. Testing is available Tuesdays through Saturdays at the San Mateo County Event Center.

Mobile testing through Project Baseline is also available on rotation at Half Moon Bay, Daly City, San Bruno, East Palo Alto and North Fair Oaks.

"At the most fundamental level, increasing access to testing is about equity," said Warren Slocum, President of the county's Board of Supervisors. "We want to make sure that everyone, regardless of income or immigration status or whether they have health insurance or not, has access to a local testing site."

The tests are free and do not require insurance, though people must schedule an appointment to get tested. Volunteers at the testing centers can also help people get registered on site.

The county also launched a new initiative which will provide targeted, neighborhood-level testing in at-risk communities where there is a spike in COVID-19 cases.

For example, East Palo Alto — which has a high case rate compared to other cities in the county — will host a free targeted testing site from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, at 1600 Bay Road, East Palo Alto. No appointment, pre-registration or citizenship information is required for testing.

County Manager Mike Callagy encouraged people to get tested.

"We want to see every available testing appointment filled every single day," Callagy said. "The testing pipeline is open, the turnaround time is fine and we need to get people tested."

For a full list of testing locations and hours in San Mateo County, people can visit smcgov.org.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 109 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 20,756. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 304. There are 101 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 76 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 9,785. Six more people have died since Monday, raising the death toll to 150. Forty people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 23

Santa Clara County reported 70 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 20,648. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 300. There are 103 people hospitalized, 21 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 49 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 9,714. The death toll has stayed at 144 since Monday. Forty-two people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 22

Santa Clara County reported 89 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 20,587. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 299. There are 99 people hospitalized, 11 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 44 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 9,664. The death toll has stayed at 144 since Monday. Thirty-eight people are hospitalized.

The county's COVID-19 hospital data dashboard shows 33 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases and another five people are suspected of having the virus as of Tuesday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 21

Santa Clara County reported 109 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 20,511. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 297. There are 109 people hospitalized, 11 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 29 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 9,625. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 144. Thirty-seven people are hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 19-20

Santa Clara County reported 170 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the total to 20,410. The death toll has stood at 296 since Saturday. There are 108 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday bringing the county's total to 9,598. The death toll stands at 143. Thirty-five people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 18

Santa Clara County reported 240 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 20,129. The death toll has stood at 295 since Thursday. There are 109 people hospitalized, 14 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 82 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 9,519.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 17

Newsom signs bill to expand workers' comp for those affected by COVID-19

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Thursday authored by a Bay Area state legislator that will expand access to workers' compensation for frontline workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Bill 1159 creates a rebuttable presumption of infection for people like grocery store employees, health care workers, firefighters and law enforcement officers who believe they contracted the coronavirus at work.

The law, authored by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, also creates a presumption of infection whenever there is a workplace outbreak over a two-week span of time.

"Everyone who is providing the benefits to our community and our society today, they need to be protected," Hill said. "This legislation … has done that."

SB 1159 will take effect immediately as an urgency statute and will remain in effect through Jan. 1, 2023.

Newsom also signed a bill authored by Assemblywoman Eloise Gomes Reyes, D-San Bernardino, that will require employers to report coronavirus outbreaks to their local public health department within 48 hours and to employees who may have been exposed within one business day.

Assembly Bill 685 also gives the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) the authority to close a worksite or place of employment that is actively exposing workers to the risk of contracting the virus.

"These bills give workers a choice and a voice," California Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary Julie Su said.

AB 685 will also remain in effect through Jan. 1, 2023.

"Protecting workers is critical to slowing the spread of this virus," Newsom said. "These two laws will help California workers stay safe at work and get the support they need if they are exposed to COVID-19."

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 150 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 19,891. Three more people have died since Wednesday, raising the death toll to 295. There are 100 people hospitalized, 14 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 100 new cases on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 9,437.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 16

Santa Clara County reported 82 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 19,760. Six more people have died since Sunday, raising the death toll to 296. There are 102 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 9,332. The death toll has stood at 142 since Monday. Forty-three people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 15

Santa Clara County reported 78 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 19,683. Four more people have died since Sunday, raising the death toll to 287. There are 101 people hospitalized, nine of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 9,264. The death toll has stood at 142 since Monday. Fifty-four people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 14

San Mateo County rolls out process to appeal citation of health order violation

People cited for health order violations in San Mateo County can appeal by submitting a form along with the fine amount within 14 days of receiving the citation.

The request form is available here.

Along with an advance deposit of the fine amount and a copy of the citation, the request form must be submitted to the County Manager's Office at 400 County Center, Redwood City. A dispute officer will then review the citation and appeal and set a hearing date or close-of evidence date within 60 days.

The county announced on Sep. 10, the hearing request process for health order violations after the Board of Supervisors adopted an urgency ordinance on Aug. 4, which imposes fines on individuals, organizations and businesses who violate health orders.

Violations include failure to wear a face covering in public situations when around people outside of one's household. The county's health order also requires social distancing, social gatherings of 50 people or less and implementation of social distancing protocol in business places.

Individuals can be fined up to $100 for a first violation, $200 for a second and $500 for additional violations. Businesses can be fined between $250 and $3,000 per violation depending on the gravity of the violation, prior warnings, efforts to comply or intent to profit.

San Mateo County remains in the purple tier of the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which indicates "widespread" COVID-19 risk. This means that schools must do distance learning (unless they have a waiver), indoor dining is prohibited and restaurants can only operate outdoors with modifications.

New dashboards track COVID-19 testing at Stanford

Stanford has created public dashboards that track the number of COVID-19 tests and results for members of the university.

As of Sept. 14, two positive results stemmed more than 8,000 tests on students performed over the past two weeks. No positive results were found in more than 900 faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars.

Testing is provided on a weekly basis to graduate students at the university. It is optional for faculty, staff and postdocs, whom the university encourages to take a test every week. Results are expected in 24-72 hours, according to the dashboard webpage.

The dashboards show data as early as March, when the university recorded its first positive COVID-19 results in students living on or near campus and faculty, staff and postdocs. They also show testing data in Santa Clara County and the state.

Since March, the university has reported 36 confirmed cases and currently has one case in isolation on campus, according to the dashboard.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 100 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 19,613. The death toll has stood at 283 since Sunday. There are 107 people hospitalized, 12 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 66 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 9,242. Three more people have died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 142. Forty-four people are hospitalized as of Monday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 12-13

Santa Clara County reported 280 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday and 147 on Sunday, raising the total to 19,549. Seven people died over the weekend, raising the death toll to 283. There are 107 people hospitalized, 18 of whom are new, as of Sunday.

San Mateo County reported 89 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 9,166. The death toll has stayed at 139 since Thursday. Forty-six people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 11

Santa Clara County reported 180 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 19,143. Eight more people have died, raising the death toll to 276. There are 113 people hospitalized, 14 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 120 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 9,077. The death toll has stayed at 139 since Thursday. Forty-five people are hospitalized as of Friday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 10

Data shows disproportionate rates of COVID-19 cases, deaths among people of color

On Thursday, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly highlighted the ongoing increased risk for people of color across the state, who are dealing with disproportionate contraction and death rates of COVID-19.

"Nearly 60% of our cases in California have been among Latinos," Ghaly said.

"Nearly 50% of the deaths," he said, have been among Latinos and they make up less than 40% of California's population.

The state's populations of Black, Asian and Pacific Islander residents also face higher rates of contracting the coronavirus.

To combat the inequity of the state's coronavirus cases and deaths, Ghaly said state health officials are working with local health officials to sift through testing data for variances between high and low-income areas of a county, for example.

"This may require increasing testing in some of the lower-income communities above where it is today and working to bring culturally competent contact tracing and supportive isolation in levels that we don't have today all in order to close that gap," Ghaly said.

Ghaly added that Californians need to work together to support each other as the pandemic and wildfires continue across the state for the foreseeable future.

"California has rarely seen the confluence of conditions that we're seeing today," he said. "It's really a moment not to be divisive but to come together and move forward together ... so that we see ourselves on the other end of this a stronger and better state."

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 121 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday and five more deaths. The additional cases and deaths were not reflected in the totals posted on the county's data dashboard. There are 113 people hospitalized, five of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 8,966. Three more people have died since Labor Day weekend, raising the death toll to 139. Fifty-five people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 9

State officials: COVID-19 testing will be available when in-person classes resume

The state's acting public health officer reassured educators across the state Wednesday that they will have access to testing for the new coronavirus whenever their county allows in-person classes to resume.

Dr. Erica Pan and Ben Chida, one of Gov. Gavin Newsom's top cabinet secretaries, held a briefing Wednesday to discuss the state's public health guidance for reopening schools during the pandemic.

Schools will not be allowed to open for in-person classes until their county has been out of the highest tier on the state's color-coded reopening framework for at least 14 days.

However, some schools in the highest tier will still be able to submit waiver requests to resume in-person classes for "small cohorts" of students with disabilities.

California Teachers Association Legislative Relations Manager Lori Easterling expressed concern that even with the preparations school districts and counties are making to eventually resume in-person classes, they could still be stuck competing with each other for coronavirus tests.

Pan argued that the state is ramping up its testing capacity daily. A recent agreement with diagnostics company PerkinElmer is also set to increase the state's testing capacity by more than twofold in the coming months.

"As far as supply and demand, we are seeing not as (many) people seeking testing and lots of testing capacity in the state now, so I think there are a lot of resources," for teachers, Pan said.

Pan also added that health insurance companies are supposed to pay for testing for essential workers such as teachers and school staff.

Pan suggested school staff members and their labor representatives reach out to their local health departments to collaborate on a routine testing plan.

"I just want to really emphasize and underscore the point that local collaboration is really, really, really the hinge in a lot of these cases," Chida added.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond lauded the state's teachers and school staff for their efforts to resume in-person classes amid the pandemic as well as the recent wildfires and poor air quality across the state and the nationwide reckoning with police brutality and racial justice.

"All of these things take a toll on us," Thurmond said. "And they add to the many questions that we continue to ask about what we must do to move forward safely."

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 175 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 18,717. Three more people have died since Sunday, raising the death toll to 263. There are 113 people hospitalized, 21 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 91 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 8,895. The death toll has stood at 136 since Labor Day weekend. Sixty-one people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 8

State moves Santa Clara County to red tier, allowing more businesses to reopen

After nearly two weeks of being in the purple, Santa Clara County has moved to the less restrictive red tier in California's color-coded classification system that determines how counties can move forward with reopening businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a lower rate of COVID-19 cases and positive tests that meets the threshold of the state's new reopening criteria, the county will now allow indoor operations of nail salons, gyms and museums; expanding capacity in shopping malls; and reopening K-12 schools if the county can maintain those lower numbers for the next two weeks, starting Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The businesses are required to follow guidelines set by the county's risk reduction order, which outlines directives pertaining to each industry set by the county and state, the release states.

Despite satisfying the state's conditions for reopening indoor operations of restaurants, places of worship and movie theaters, the county will continue prohibiting those sectors until case rates are lower. (California Gov. Gavin Newsom has said on multiple occasions that county health officers can override state guidelines as long as they don't reopen faster than the state.)

At a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, County Counsel James Williams did not say why those businesses won't be allowed to resume indoor operations or provide a timeline for when they might be able to welcome customers back inside. Williams said the county wants to see a lower case rate, but he was not aware if the county aimed to meet a certain threshold.

Read more here.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

San Mateo County reported 55 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 8,807. The death toll has stood at 136 since Labor Day weekend. Fifty-six people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

No new numbers were available for Santa Clara County on Tuesday, Sept. 8, due to an issue with the state's Reportable Disease Information Exchange system, the county said on Twitter.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 5-7

Santa Clara County's total stands at 18,717, which includes 239 new cases reported on Saturday, 190 on Sunday and 119 on Monday.

The county's death toll was 260 as of Monday. The total includes six deaths announced over the weekend, three on Saturday and another three on Sunday. As of Monday, 116 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 21 of whom are new.

San Mateo County's total stands at 8,750, which includes 51 new cases reported on Saturday, 21 on Sunday and 49 on Monday. One more death was announced over the three-day weekend, raising the death toll to 136. There are 48 people hospitalized as of Monday, 35 of which are confirmed cases and 13 of which are suspected cases.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 4

Santa Clara County reported 200 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 18,190. One more death was also reported, increasing the death toll to 254. There are 122 people hospitalized, 10 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 97 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 8,617. Three more people have died since Monday, raising the death toll to 135. Thirty-six people are hospitalized as of Friday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 3

Bay Area health officials warn against social gatherings on Labor Day weekend

Health officials in Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties on Thursday warned residents to avoid social gatherings during the upcoming Labor Day weekend to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Contact tracers in Contra Costa County found many coronavirus cases linked to parties and picnics that occurred during the Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends earlier this year.

That included people who were asymptomatic and unaware they had the virus, later tested positive for the virus and infected family and friends at a gathering during those two weekends.

"Humans are social beings and COVID-19 has interfered with our natural desire to see and hug the people we care about," Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said. "At the same time, we're in an unprecedented situation now and we can't behave like it's business as usual."

Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County's health officer and the director of the county's Public Health Department, suggested residents who do plan to hold gatherings during the holiday weekend do so outside, where the risk of transmitting the virus is lessened.

People should also do what they can to avoid congregating with people who live in other households, Cody and Farnitano said.

In addition to preventing the virus' spread, Bay Area residents are advised to take the expected weekend heat wave into account, as temperatures are likely to rise into the triple digits.

Some sections of the greater Bay Area like Santa Cruz and Monterey counties elected to close their beaches to the public during the weekend to proactively prevent large groups.

"We must all do our part to avoid getting sick or infecting others," Cody said.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 200 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 17,993. Three more deaths were also reported, increasing the death toll at 253. There are 128 people hospitalized, 15 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 65 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 8,452. Three more people have died since Monday, raising the death toll to 135. Thirty-five people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 2

State COVID-19 indicators trending down in recent weeks

State indicators of the new coronavirus' spread have trended down in recent weeks as the state's average daily test positivity rate has fallen below 4.5% in the last seven days, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

Cases have been trending south since mid-July, when the state issued a temporary shutdown of indoor operations for businesses like bars, movie theaters and restaurants.

Since hovering around 7.5% at that time, the state's test positivity rate has also steadily declined. While the seven-day positivity average sits at 4.4%, the state's 14-day average daily positivity rate now sits at 5.1%.

Newsom cautioned that while the rate of positive tests has trended down across the state, the pandemic will still be potent if people let their guard down.

"We saw this a few months back, we started to see progress over an extended period of time and, invariably, people said 'well, looks like we're out of the woods,'" he said.

The drop in the average positivity rate comes as the state begins to ramp its testing capacity back up from the swoon it suffered in recent weeks due to wildfires, poor air quality and a heat wave on the West Coast.

Daily coronavirus tests dipped from about 180,000 in early August to between 80,000 and 100,000 two weeks ago due to the wildfires and subsequent evacuations in the Bay Area.

Since then, the seven-day average of daily tests across the state has risen back above 100,000.

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions have declined at about the same rate, 23% over the past two weeks, Newsom said, adding that it shows "real progress" in containing the virus' spread.

Newsom advised people across the state to continue the steps they've taken to reduce the spread by wearing a face covering and maintaining distance from others, particularly during the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

Following the state and local health guidance, Newsom said, will be critical as the state gets deeper into a flu season that could coincide with a second wave of coronavirus cases and deaths.

"It's more important than ever to be vigilant as we work through the next few months," Newsom said.

As of Wednesday, 712,052 coronavirus cases have been confirmed across the state, including 13,163 deaths.

County advises businesses to seek legal counsel for customer COVID-19 issues

Santa Clara County officials advised business owners Wednesday to seek legal counsel rather than appealing to the county for help on what to do if customers are not respecting local and state public health guidelines to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.

As businesses reopen in the county amid the pandemic, residents are required to follow the state's face covering mandate when indoors or in close proximity to someone who does not live in their household.

State and local public health officials also continue to advise people to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between each other and stay home when feeling sick.

County spokesman Todd Naffziger said a business attorney would be better fit rather than the county to help a business owner determine how they should react and whether they can legally refuse service to a customer who refuses to wear a mask or follow other health and safety rules.

Naffziger said the county also runs a business call center at 408-961-5500 that can help business owners determine the steps they must take to resume operating outside or inside.

Read more here.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 339 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 17,802. Two more deaths were reported, increasing the death toll at 250. There are 128 people hospitalized, 15 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 69 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 8,390. The death toll has stayed at 132 since Monday. Thirty-nine people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: SEPT. 1

Santa Clara County reported 124 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 17,465. Four more deaths were reported, increasing the death toll at 248. There are 131 people hospitalized, 19 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 8,311. The death toll has stayed at 132 since Monday. Forty-six people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 31

Santa Clara County reported 175 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 17,349. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 244. There are 138 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new, as of Sunday.

San Mateo County reported 93 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the county's total to 8,260. One more person has died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 132. Fifty people are hospitalized as of Monday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 29-30

Santa Clara County reported 204 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total to 17,013. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 244. There were 139 people hospitalized, 21 of whom are new.

The county reported another 181 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday reflecting new diagnoses over the past several days, bringing the total to 17,194. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 244.

Due to technical issues, the update was not available on the county's data dashboard Sunday, health officials said on Twitter.

San Mateo County reported 77 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, bringing the county's total to 8,169. The death toll has stood at 131 since Thursday. Forty-two people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 28

State unveils new reopening guidelines

A color-coded, four-level tier system will replace the state's current COVID-19 watchlist in an effort to create a "more stringent, but more steady" process that determines when, and to what extent, counties can move forward with indoor business operations, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday.

The new tiered system aims to simplify the criteria used down to two metrics — the seven-day daily average of the coronavirus case rate and the positive test rate in each county. It also adds a 21-day buffer period, when counties must remain in a specific tier before they're eligible to move to the next one.

Under the tier system, 38 counties, including Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, will fall under the purple tier, which represents 87% of the state's population, Newsom said.

With the new state guidelines, both counties announced Friday evening that they will allow indoor malls to reopen at 25% capacity as well as hair salons and barbershops, which have been restricted from indoor operations.

Read more here.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 210 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 16,814. Five more people have died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 245. There are 138 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 99 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 8,074. The death toll has stood at 131 since Thursday. Forty-five people are hospitalized as of Friday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 27

Santa Clara County reported 218 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 16,607. Three more people have died since Wednesday, raising the death toll to 240. There are 138 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 67 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 7,978. One more person has died since Monday, raising the death toll to 131. Fifty-one people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 26

State aims to more than double testing capacity with new partnership

A new partnership with a public, Massachusetts-based diagnostic testing company will help boost California's COVID-19 testing capacity at a reduced cost, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday.

As the flu-season approaches and more people are expected to want to get tested, the state hopes to more than double its testing capacity through the new contract with PerkinElmer, a global corporation that also provides genetic testing, Newsom said at a press conference.

According to the governor, the deal includes a new laboratory that will take eight to 10 weeks to build out with the proper testing materials, such as reagents, needed to provide the state with an additional 150,000 diagnostic tests or swab tests per day.

"The goal is to stand up a laboratory facility and begin processing tens of thousands of additional tests by November 1 and run at full capacity by ­no later than March 1, 2021," according to a news release from the governor's office.

The contract also promises to reduce the cost of testing. Prices will vary depending on how many tests the state conducts. If 100,000 tests are performed, each test will cost an average of $47.99. Newsom said the state is aiming to conduct 150,000 tests for an average of cost of $30.78 per test. (The state currently conducts an average of 100,000 tests per day and each one costs around $150 to $200, Newsom said.)

"This is exactly what the federal government should be doing," Newsom said. "And had the federal government done this some time ago, you wouldn't see average costs of tests at $150 to $200, costing the taxpayers quite literally tens of billions of dollars."

Newsom also said the deal will help reduce turnaround time for tests results, which currently takes an average of seven days. With PerkinElmer, tests are guaranteed to arrive within 24 to 48 hours, which also will improve conditions for contract tracing, according to Newsom.

Several other conditions outlined in the contract, which the governor said will be made public, include: "favored nation status," which means the price could be reduced should another state also make a deal with PerkinElmer, but at a lower cost; an opt-out provision in case a cure for COVID-19 is made and tests are no longer a priority; and a "zero-cost" upgrade testing package for those who want to get tested for the seasonal flu and the coronavirus.

The announcement arrived just a few days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its previous testing guidance. It now recommends that people who are exposed to COVID-19 through close contact "do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or state or local public health officials recommend you take one."

Santa Clara County health leaders have balked at the new recommendation, including Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody, who called the changes "bizarre." They urged the public to continue to be tested for the virus if they have symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

"I don't agree with the new CDC guidance," Newsom said at the news conference. "We're influenced by our (health) experts in the field that feel very differently. So with respect to the CDC, no, that is not the policy guideline we will embrace or adopt here in the state of California."

At the state's current testing capacity, the positivity rate of COVID-19 continues to decrease. The two-week average now stands at 6.1%. Hospitalizations and intensive-care unit admissions for COVID-19 also continue to decrease at a 14-day average of 17% and 18%, respectively.

In addition, new sectoral state guidelines for reopening will be released on Friday, Newsom said.

County court system extends emergency bail schedule through January

Santa Clara County Superior Court Presiding Judge Deborah Ryan issued an order on Wednesday extending through January an emergency bail schedule intended to force much earlier release of detainees.

The order requires bail be set at $0 for most non-violent felonies and misdemeanors. Exceptions include any violation of a restraining order, for example.

The emergency bail schedule in Santa Clara County was first issued in April as the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown took hold. An earlier announcement cited concern about transmission of the coronavirus among or by arrestees while they are being held in the county jail.

The emergency bail measure comes amid a national movement for lower and more equitable bail amounts.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 94 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 16,393. Four more people have died since Tuesday, raising the death toll to 237. There are 142 people hospitalized, 15 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 70 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 7,911. The death toll has stood at 130 since Monday. Fifty-three people are hospitalized as of Wednesday, 48 of which are confirmed cases and five of which are suspected cases.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 25

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Tuesday that counties should begin issuing guidance for Labor Day weekend as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Tuesday that counties should begin issuing guidance for Labor Day weekend as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Ghaly warned that large family and social gatherings during the holiday weekend could dismantle the progress the state has made in recent weeks in curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

As the state has vacillated between reopening and closing certain medium- and high-risk industries, Ghaly said the most pertinent thing public health officials have learned since the pandemic began is the role individual people play in following health and safety protocol.

"This sneaky virus that we call COVID-19 doesn't take a rest," he said. "It will find every opportunity to transit from person to person because that's what germs do."

Ghaly called the upcoming holiday weekend an "incredible moment" for the state and the country at large to prevent further spread of the virus and likened it to guidance the state issued regarding large gatherings for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

Thousands gathered on beaches throughout the state on Memorial Day weekend and flouted public health guidelines by not wearing masks or maintaining their distance.

As a result, the state partnered with local law enforcement agencies for the Fourth of July weekend to enforce public health guidance while local governments restricted public beach access.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has not yet indicated whether he will take similar measures for Labor Day weekend.

City managers in Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Sand City, Capitola and Santa Cruz have already indicated they will close local beaches during the holiday weekend from Sept. 5-7 to prevent the virus' spread.

"We've learned and continue to learn that any activities or actions that increase mixing among people who haven't been together in quite some time creates a transmission risk," Ghaly said.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 160 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 16,306. Nine more people have died since Saturday, raising the death toll to 233. There are 153 people hospitalized, 16 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 67 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 7,849. The death toll has stood at 130 since Monday. Fifty-two people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 24

Santa Clara County reported 152 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 16,151. The death toll has stayed at 224 since Saturday. There are 157 people hospitalized, 24 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 117 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 7,788. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 130. Fifty-eight people are hospitalized as of Monday.

Wildfires add hurdles to state's handling of pandemic

Wildfires of unprecedented magnitude are adding stress to the state's handling of the coronavirus.

As thousands of residents are being told by local fire authorities to evacuate due to their proximity to the wildfires, many have moved into hotels and congregate facilities that will require health screenings as well as physical distancing and mask protocols, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

At the time of the governor's noon press conference on Monday, the state was experiencing 625 active fires — 17 of which constitute major fires, including the LNU, CZU and SCU Lightning Complex fires in the greater Bay Area. A total of roughly 1.2 million acres have burned in the recent fires, according to Newsom.

Newsom said there are currently 17 active congregate evacuation shelters placed throughout seven counties that are temporarily sheltering 731 people. When asked if he was worried about a potential COVID-19 outbreak, Newsom responded that he wasn't concerned because the health protocols were extensive, requiring health screenings, such as a temperature check for admission, physical distancing and masks. The state also will be seeking more air purifiers for the facilities.

The governor noted, however, that most evacuees are being placed in non-congregate facilities such as hotels. To date, the state has sheltered 1,480 people through partnerships with 31 hotels across 599 rooms, Newsom said.

The governor also said that 11 in-state testing labs, including Verily, have been directly impacted by the fires, though he did not address exactly how that might impact the state's current testing capacity, which stands at 102,672 daily tests over a seven-day average.

Despite these hurdles, Newsom said that the state was making progress with its handling of the pandemic, citing decreased hospitalization rates and fewer counties on the state's monitoring list that tracks counties with troubling COVID-19 trends.

In the past 14 days, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations decreased by 20%, from 5,549 patients reported on Aug. 10 to 4,467 patients reported on Aug. 23. Intensive-care unit admissions for the coronavirus also decreased by 19%, from 1,725 patients to 1,397 patients for the same reporting dates.

Five counties were recently removed from the state's monitoring list, which allows them to loosen health restrictions. There are now a total of 35 counties on the list, including Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

Newsom said that further guidelines on reopening will be released later this week.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 22-23

Santa Clara County reported 196 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total to 15,688, and two more people have died, raising the death toll to 224. There were 155 people hospitalized, 20 of whom were new.

On Sunday, the county added 327 more cases to its total, which rose to 16,011. No new deaths were reported. There are 158 people hospitalized, 20 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 101 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, bringing the county's total to 7,670. The death toll remains at 128. Fifty-seven people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 21

Santa Clara County reported 243 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 15,496. Five more people have died, raising the death toll to 222. There are 153 people hospitalized, 16 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 63 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 7,535. The death toll remains at 128. Fifty-eight people were hospitalized as of Friday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 20

Santa Clara County reported 180 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 15,258. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 217. There are 162 people hospitalized, 23 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 80 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 7,472. One more person has died since Monday, raising the death toll to 128. Fifty people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 19

Santa Clara County reported 221 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 15,085. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 216. There are 166 people hospitalized, 18 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 38 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 7,382. The death toll has stood at 127 since Monday. Fifty people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 18

Santa Clara County reported 249 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 14,872. Four more people have died since Saturday, raising the death toll to 213. There are 171 people hospitalized, 21 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 73 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 7,321. The death toll has stood at 127 since Monday. Fifty-seven people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 17

Santa Clara County reported 229 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 14,636. The death toll has stood at 209 since Saturday. There are 172 people hospitalized, 28 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 116 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 7,228. One more person has died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 127. Fifty-seven people are hospitalized as of Monday.

Stanford radiologist joins Trump COVID-19 health adviser

Stanford radiologist Dr. Scott W. Atlas has been named by President Donald Trump as an adviser to the White House's coronavirus task force, Trump announced during an Aug. 10 press briefing.

Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, is a regular commentator on Fox News who has downplayed the risk of the coronavirus on younger people and has criticized the lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the disease. He supports full school reopenings.

Atlas has served as senior adviser for health care to a number of presidential candidates and counseled members of Congress on health care, testified before federal legislators and briefed directors of key agencies in the U.S. government. He is not an infectious disease expert nor an epidemiologist.

He is a frequent policy adviser to policymakers and U.S. government officials and in other countries, according to his Stanford biography. He previously served as chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center.

Trump expressed confidence in Atlas.

"Scott is a very famous man who’s also very highly respected. ... And he’s working with us and will be working with us on the coronavirus. And he has many great ideas. And he thinks what we’ve done is really good, and now we’ll take it to a new level. And so it’s great to have Scott working along with us," Trump said at the press briefing, where Atlas joined him.

Atlas received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a medical degree from the University of Chicago School of Medicine.

More counties land on state's monitoring list

Though the statewide numbers on COVID-19 hospitalizations and positivity rates have decreased, five more counties landed on the state's monitoring list over the past few weeks.

Since July 25, Amador, Mendocino, Inyo, Calaveras and Sierra counties have been added to the list, which tracks transmission rates and hospitalizations within each county. As of Monday, 42 of California's 58 counties, including San Mateo and Santa Clara, were on the watchlist.

Santa Cruz County was removed from the list last Friday and San Diego County is expected to be removed as early as Tuesday, Newsom said.

The overall rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 throughout the state, however, is decreasing. Now accounting for the backlog of positive cases, which initially caused the state to underreport COVID-19's impact, Newsom said the positivity rate between July 26 and Aug. 2 still decreased from 7.6% to 7.2%.

In the past two weeks, the average positivity rate was 6.5%.

COVID-19 hospitalizations decreased 21%, from 6,302 hospitalizations recorded on Aug. 3 to 4,975 hospitalizations on Sunday. Intensive-care unit admissions also decreased by 16%.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 15-16

Santa Clara County announced 363 new cases on Saturday and 244 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 14,429. The number of deaths in the county stands at 209, one of which was reported on Saturday. There are 173 people hospitalized, 20 of which are new, as of Sunday.

On Saturday and Sunday, San Mateo County added 198 new cases to its total, which is now 7,150. The death toll has stood at 126 since Aug. 13. Out of the 60 people hospitalized as of Sunday, 52 are confirmed with the virus and eight are suspected cases.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 14

Santa Clara County reported 523 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 13,856. There are 176 people hospitalized, 31 of which are new.

In a tweet, the Public Health Department stated it had removed one death from the total after learning it belonged to another county, then learned of additional death in the county. The changes keep the county's death toll at 208.

San Mateo County reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 6,952. The death toll remained at 126 and there were 59 people hospitalized as of Friday.

Supervisor to host COVID-19 town hall

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian will host a telephone town hall on the status of COVID-19 in the county on Sunday, Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. He will be joined by Dr. George Ruther Ford, director of the Prevention and Public Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco, and Assistant County Counsel Greta Hansen.

Anyone interested in joining the event can register here. A livestream of the event will be available here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 13

Santa Clara County reported 298 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 13,340. The new cases include ones that were diagnosed over the past few days, the county said in a tweet. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 208. There are 169 people hospitalized, 24 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported about 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 6,803. Four more people have died since Monday, raising the death toll to 126. Fifty-four people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 12

Santa Clara County reported 121 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 13,059. The death toll — 207 — remains unchanged since Tuesday. There are 166 people hospitalized, 23 of which are new.

The percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the county has gone down over the past two weeks, from 7.4% on July 28 to 6.56 on Aug. 11.

San Mateo County reported about 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 6,640. The death toll has stayed at 122 since Monday. Fifty-five people are hospitalized as of Wednesday. The county has one patient from out of the county under its care, a reduction by 20 over the past three weeks.

In the past 24-hour reporting period, there were 5,433 new COVID-19 cases across the state — plus another 6,212 cases that were backlogged due to an issue with the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange reporting system, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a press conference during the noon hour Wednesday.

The state is still in the process of properly dating those backlogged COVID-19 cases before it can provide a more accurate positivity rate, Newsom said.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have decreased about 19% over the past two weeks, from 6,743 hospitalized patients reported on July 29 to 5,442 patients reported on Aug. 11. The number of intensive-care unit admissions also decreased by about 16%, Newsom said, with 2,029 people admitted on July 29 compared to 1,699 people admitted on Aug. 11.

Newsom runs down economic recovery plans during COVID-19 pandemic

At a press conference Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed a large package of economic recovery plans that his office is currently negotiating on with the state Legislature.

Newsom said he hopes to move forward with state-funded infrastructure projects, as well as wildfire prevention and green initiatives projects; expanding workforce training programs; improving technological infrastructure for the workforce through the Office of Digital Innovation; and other initiatives to help businesses and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a state tax exemption for small businesses that received federal funding.

The governor also mentioned that he will announce detailed plans on how the state will close the "digital divide" by helping more students and workers get access to high-speed broadband.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 11

Santa Clara County reported 280 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 12,962. Two more people have died since Sunday, raising the death toll to 207. There are 180 people hospitalized, 21 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported about 69 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 6,535. The death toll has stayed at 122 since Monday. Fifty-five people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

Pac-12 Conference postpones all sports

The Pac-12 Conference announced Tuesday that it has postponed all sports through the end of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision affects two Bay Area schools in the conference: Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley.

The Pac-12 CEO Group unanimously voted to postpone the fall sports calendar after consulting with the conference's Medical Advisory Committee over concerns for player and coach safety. Pac-12 officials also said they would consider a return of postponed sports in spring 2021 if conditions improve.

In a statement, Stanford University Athletics Director Bernard Muir said the postponement is "disappointing for many people, but none more than our student-athletes." He remains hopeful that the university will figure out a way to give those student-athletes a chance to participate in their sport in the winter and spring.

Muir also described the safety measures the university rolled out this summer for student-athletes to train at campus facilities. "Even with those protocols in place, however, we are still not prepared to allow our programs to take the next step of moving to the level of physical contact and equipment sharing needed to prepare to compete safely," Muir said.

"Unlike professional sports, college sports cannot operate in a bubble," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. "Our athletic programs are a part of broader campuses in communities where in many cases the prevalence of COVID-19 is significant."

Read more here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 10

Santa Clara County reported 751 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 12,694. The state is working to resolve an issue with its reporting system, the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange, which has led to underreported data in recent weeks, the county said in a statement. The county has started to receive some of the backlogged data, which may result in substantial increases in new cases over the next few days. The 751 cases announced were positive tests from the last week, though some go as far back as July 8.

There are 177 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 25 of which are new. The death toll has stayed at 205 since Sunday.

San Mateo County reported about 44 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 6,431. Two more people have died since Aug. 3, raising the death toll to 122. Forty-seven people are hospitalized as of Monday.

Newsom: State can't afford White House unemployment benefits plan

The state of California does not have the financial wherewithal to afford the White House's plan to extend expanded unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

Newsom said in his daily coronavirus briefing Monday that the state would have to cover 25% of the costs associated with a $400 per week unemployment insurance payment, as outlined in a memorandum President Donald Trump announced over the weekend.

That 25% would amount to the state spending between $700 million and $3 billion in taxpayer funds per week. The state would have to make sharp cuts to public services to foot that bill, Newsom said.

"The state does not have an identified resource of $700 million per week that we haven't already obliged," he said.

While the state received billions from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by Congress in March, Newsom said all of that funding has already been allocated.

Read more here.

State releases guidance for colleges, universities

The state released on Friday detailed reopening guidance for higher education institutions, which, among other restrictions, prohibits indoor classes for college and universities in counties that have been on the state's coronavirus monitoring list for three consecutive days.

The California Department of Public Health noted this guidance is interim, likely to change and "do not reflect the full scope of issues that institutions of higher education will need to address." The implementation also depends on local public health conditions, including that new coronavirus cases and hospitalization rates should be "consistently stable or decreasing over at least 14 days" as well as local availability of testing.

"These guidelines and considerations are based on the best available public health data at this time, international best practices currently employed, and the practical realities of managing operations," the guidance states. "Implementation of this guidance should be tailored for each setting, including adequate consideration of programs operating at each institution and the needs of students and workers. Administrators should engage relevant stakeholders — including students, their families, staff and labor partners in the school community — to formulate and implement plans."

Locally, Stanford University is still planning to alternate bringing half of its undergraduate students to campus during different quarters, with the majority of courses still happening online, even for students who are living there in person. The university said it will provide another update on plans for the fall quarter this month.

Foothill College, the Los Altos Hills community college, has planned for a fully virtual fall quarter, with limited exceptions for students in health programs who need some in-person training to complete their degrees, including for dental hygiene, paramedic, radiologic technology, pharmacy technologist, respiratory therapy and veterinary technology.

Read more here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 8-9

Santa Clara County recorded 221 new cases on Saturday, raising its total to 11,687. One more person died, increasing the death toll to 204.

The county reported another 270 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total to 11,954. There are 172 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 20 of which are new. The county reported an additional death Sunday, bringing the total death toll to 205.

San Mateo County reported 135 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 6,318. The death toll has stayed at 120 since Aug. 3. Forty-five people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 7

Santa Clara County reported 157 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 11,475. The death toll has risen by seven to 203. There are 169 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 23 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 132 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 6,110. The death toll has stayed at 120 since Aug. 3. Fifty-four people are hospitalized as of Friday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 6

Santa Clara County reported 220 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 11,336. The death toll has stood at 196 since Wednesday. There are 169 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 29 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 5,978. The death toll has stayed at 120 since Aug. 3. Forty-eight people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

A data glitch in the state's reporting system for communicable diseases has impacted local public health departments across the state from accurately reporting new cases, according to notices on San Mateo and Santa Clara counties' websites.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 5

Santa Clara County reported 101 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 11,128. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 196. There are 172 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 16 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 54 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 5,891. The death toll has stayed at 120 since Aug. 3. Fifty-three people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.

The state continues to face problems with its reporting system for communicable diseases, which has resulted in incomplete results of COVID-19 tests for local health departments across the state, including San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Notices on both counties' websites don't indicate when the issue is expected to be resolved.

Lack of up-to-date data leaves Santa Clara County 'back to feeling blind'

Statewide technical issues resulting in incomplete COVID-19 testing data have left Santa Clara County "back to feeling blind," County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a news conference Wednesday.

Cody said the lack of data makes her feel like the county has regressed to what it was in February and March when there wasn't enough testing and data to indicate the impacts of COVID-19.

The county's current cumulative case count is over 11,000, according to the county dashboard, but cases have been significantly underreported since mid-July because of the glitch in the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE) disease reporting system.

"We don't know how the epidemic is trending. We don't know where it's heading, how fast it's growing," Cody said.

Though the case count shows a trend downward, Cody expects that case count to increase up after the complete data is processed.

However, Cody indicated that countywide hospitalization rates have declined in the last few weeks. Since July 13, the county has had an average daily death of 1-2 people, according to the county dashboard.

"While we again can't interpret what our last two weeks of data mean as far as the cases, the last week or two of hospitalization data is somewhat reassuring that things are leveling off," Cody said. "But it is not enough to really know."

If data indicates a substantial spike after it is completely processed, Cody said the county may impose stricter health orders, similar to ones from March.

The state is still diagnosing the technical problem, but Cody said it appears that the electronic lab results were not properly routed into the state's system. The health officer also added that the county has offered to assist the state to fix the technical issues.

Appointment-based COVID-19 test sites available in Santa Clara County

Beginning this week, Santa Clara County will provide appointment-based testing sites on a consistently scheduled, rotating basis, according to County Supervisor Joe Simitian.

Testing sites will take place in cities including Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Saratoga, and Sunnyvale.

"Convenience is key," Simitian said. "If we want more people to be tested, providing locally available and convenient sites is essential."

The new sites will require an appointment, which will be open for scheduling three days before the testing date. Appointments can be scheduled online at scl.fulgentgenetics.com/appointment/screen/landing.

Read more here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 4

Santa Clara County reported 240 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 11,030. One more person has died since Friday, raising the death toll to 192. There are 169 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 10 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 5,758. The death toll has stayed at 120 since Aug. 3. Sixty people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

On their websites, each county noted that recent data for several dashboards, including cases, testing and long-term care facilities, are incomplete "due to a significant and unresolved problem" facing the state's reporting system for COVID-19, the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange. There was no estimate of when the issue would be resolved.

State outlines waiver process for schools seeking to hold classes in person

State epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan on Tuesday outlined the state's waiver process for K-6 schools that seek to hold classes in person even if they are in a county on California's coronavirus watchlist.

Pan, the former health officer for Alameda County, said K-6 schools can apply for a waiver to begin in-person instruction if they are located in a county that meets several criteria in spite of being on the state's watchlist.

On the Midpeninsula, several private elementary schools intend to seek a waiver, including Bowman School, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Emerson School and Silicon Valley International School in Palo Alto, Pinewood School in Los Altos and the German International School of Silicon Valley in Mountain View.

Individual schools must submit a site-specific plan to keep students and staff safe, taking into account input from interest groups like labor unions and parent organizations.

Those schools must then publicly post their plan and submit it to their local health officer to apply for a waiver.

California Department of Public Health officials will then review each application on a case-by-case basis, taking into account factors such as which direction indicators like coronavirus positivity rates are trending in a given county.

Read more here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 3

Santa Clara County reported 185 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 10,794. The death toll has stood at 191 since Friday. There are 181 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 21 of which are new.

The county's latest testing data shows a slight dip in the county's test positivity rate between July 19-26, the latest week for which data is available. The week began with a test positivity rate of 4% and went down to 3.73% on July 22 before it climbed up to 4.06% on July 25. The rate currently stands at 3.94%.

San Mateo County reported 40 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 5,744. One more person has died since July 30, raising the death toll to 120. Sixty-six people are hospitalized as of Monday.

The county has tabulated a total of 107,035 coronavirus tests, 5,682 had positive results, 101,301 are negative and 52 are pending results. The county's test positivity rate has stayed around 5% for several weeks. Over the past seven days, the county's test positivity rose by 0.2% to 5.3%. Four weeks ago, the rate was 4.9%.

State's COVID-19 data points on the decline, but "it's still too high," Newsom says

COVID-19 positivity rates and hospitalizations are on a decline statewide, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

At a press conference on Monday, Newsom said California's 14-day average positivity rate — or the number of positive COVID-19 cases out of the total number of conducted tests — is now at 7%, a half-percent decrease since July 20. The seven-day average stands at 6.1%, based on approximately 126,874 daily tests conducted throughout the state over the past week.

"It's not where it needs to be, it's still too high … but it's good to see this number trending down," Newsom said.

The number of hospitalizations also has decreased by 10% over the past 14 days, a marked difference from a few weeks ago when the same data point showed hospitalizations increasing by 50%, Newsom said. On July 20, 7,091 people were hospitalized. There are now 6,383 hospitalized, according to data reported on Aug. 2. In addition, intensive care unit admissions declined by 5%.

Despite the decreasing numbers, counties continue to be placed on the state's monitoring list — an indicator used to show which county has not met the state Public Health Department's criteria for mitigating the impacts of COVID-19. As of Aug. 3, 38 counties were on the list, including Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

San Mateo was placed on the list on July 29, more than a month after the region reopened many businesses, including hair salons. After being on the list for more than three days, the county was forced to roll back those indoor operations on Sunday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: AUG. 1-2

On Saturday, Santa Clara County reported a total of 10,323 cases, 410 of which were new. Another 313 new cases of the coronavirus were reported on Sunday, bringing the total to 10,626. The county's death toll has stood at 191 since Friday.

There were 182 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Saturday. On Sunday, there were 183 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 18 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 121 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 5,683. The death toll has stood at 119 since July 30. Sixty-two people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

San Mateo County under new shutdown order

Officials in San Mateo County announced Saturday that certain indoor businesses and activities must shut down or move to outdoor operations beginning at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 2.

The state gave the order due to the county being on California's COVID-19 watchlist for three days. The businesses affected include gyms and fitness centers, churches, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and shopping malls.

Read more here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 31

Santa Clara County reported 189 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 9,913. One more person has died of the disease, raising the county's death toll to 191. There are 178 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 25 of which are new.

Palo Alto has a total of 155 cases, 11 of which have surfaced over the past week and 26 of which have been recorded over the last two weeks. The city's total makes up about 0.2% of the city population.

Mountain View's total also makes up 0.2% of the city population, but has seen more cases compared to its neighbor to the north. The city has 202 cases as of Friday, an increase of 17 in the last seven days and a rise of 52 in the last two weeks.

San Mateo County reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 5,544. The death toll remained at 119 and 66 people were hospitalized.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 30

Santa Clara County reported 122 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 9,731. Three more people have died of the disease, raising the county's death toll to 190. There are 177 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 23 of which are new.

A total of 4,654 new cases were reported between June 30 and July 30, more than double the amount recorded a month earlier. Between May 30 and June 30, the county saw its total increase with 2,280 new cases.

San Mateo County reported 64 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 5,469. One more person has died since Monday, raising the death toll to 119. Fifty-eight people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday, July 30.

East Palo Alto has 488 cases, which makes up nearly 2% of the city population. The city has seen 303 new cases (which comprises 53% of its total cases) over the past four weeks.

Menlo Park has 226 cases, impacting about 0.65% of the city population. A total of 72 cases have surfaced in the city since July 2. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:

• Atherton: 27 (increase by one from July 23).

• East Palo Alto: 569 (increase by 81 from July 23).

• Menlo Park: 226 (increase by 18 from July 23).

• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from July 23).

• Portola Valley: 23 (increase by one from July 23).

• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from July 23).

• Woodside: 23 (no change from July 23).

Santa Clara County confirms 31 COVID-19 cases at four Costco locations

A public health investigation found that at least 31 employees across four Costco locations in Santa Clara County have tested positive for COVID-19, revealing a cluster of infections that may have occurred in retail stores during the month of July, according to a statement by the county Thursday.

County officials confirmed the most cases, 13, were at the Sunnyvale Costco, followed by eight at the Senter Road location in San Jose. Six cases were reported at the Gilroy Costco, and four were discovered at the Mountain View location.

While the investigation is ongoing, early results indicate that the employees contracted the virus by way of "community transmission," rather than infection between employees, county officials said.

Costco representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 29

Santa Clara County reported 259 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 9,612. Two more people have died of the disease, raising the county's death toll to 187.

Of the 185 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 29 patients are new. Another 25 patients are under investigation for the virus. The seven-day average of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has more than doubled over the past month, from 2.96% on June 29 to 7.4% on July 28.

San Mateo County reported 62 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 5,398. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 118.

Sixty-nine people are hospitalized as of Wednesday. The county's out-of-county patients has significantly reduced from 21 on July 22 (making up 32% of the total COVID-19 patients) to six on July 29 (making up 10% of the total).

There has been little change in the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds, which have ranged between 16 and 20 over the past week. There have been slightly higher fluctuations in the amount of COVID-19 patients in acute care beds, which has ranged from 50 to 65 since July 22.

San Mateo County joins state watchlist

For weeks, San Mateo County has been the only Bay Area county to evade the state's coronavirus watchlist, but on Wednesday it joined the crowd.

The July 29 announcement by county officials saying San Mateo County is joining California's watchlist means that a wide range of businesses and activities must shut down starting Aug. 1, unless they can be modified to operate outside or by pick-up.

According to the county, this order applies means the following must close operation: Gyms and fitness centers; places of worship and cultural ceremonies, such as weddings and funerals; offices for businesses not in essential service sectors; personal care services, like nail salons and body waxing; hair salons and barbershops; and shopping malls.

Among other criteria, the state's threshold for inclusion on the watchlist is a COVID-19 case rate of 100 per 100,000 of the population. The county's case rate as of July 29, based on a 14-day rolling average, was 110.4 positive cases per 100,000.

Read more here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 28

Santa Clara County reported 158 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 9,359. One more person has died of the disease, raising the county's death toll to 185. There are 174 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 23 of which are new.

The latest data shows 770 cases originated at 63 long-term care facilities, which makes up 8% of the county's 9,359 cases. The number of cases at the facilities has continued to take up a smaller portion of the county's total cases over the past few weeks. A total of 119 cases have been reported from the facilities over the past month.

San Mateo County reported 89 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 5,306. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 118. Seventy people are hospitalized as of Monday.

Long-term care facilities have 552 reported cases as of July 22, the latest date for which data is available. No new cases have been reported out of long-term care facilities in the county since July 13.

The facilities, which make up about 6% of the county's total, have seen its case total rise by single digits since June 2, indicating a slowdown in the spread of COVID-19 in those spaces.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 27

Santa Clara County reported 206 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 9,215. No new deaths were recorded Monday; overall, 184 people have died of COVID-19 in the county. There are 174 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 27 of which are new.

The latest testing data shows the county's test positivity rate hit 4.25% on July 17, the highest percentage over the past month. The rate has gone down to 3.93% as of July 19, the latest date for which the average is available. Four weeks ago, the test positivity rate stood at 2.29%.

San Mateo County reported 72 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 5,198. One more person has died of the disease, raising the death toll to 118. Eighty-two people are hospitalized as of Monday.

The county's test positivity rate is 5.1% as of Sunday, a slight increase of 0.1% over the past week and 0.2% over the past month. A total of 98,535 tests have been performed in the county, nearly 6,000 of which were recorded since July 19. A little over 33,000 tests have been collected within the past four weeks.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 25-26

Santa Clara County reported 114 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total to 8,833 since the start of the pandemic. Three more deaths were recorded on Saturday; overall, 184 people have died of COVID-19 in the county. There were 178 people hospitalized on Friday, filling nearly 7% of the hospital beds in the county. That percentage is three times what it was one month ago.

On Sunday, the county announced 218 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 9,041. No new deaths were recorded Sunday; overall, 184 people have died of COVID-19 in the county. There are 175 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, an increase of 32.

San Mateo County reported 102 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, bringing the county's total to 5,124 since the start of the pandemic. No new deaths were recorded over the weekend; overall, 117 people have died of the disease in the county. Seventy-five people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 24

Santa Clara County reported 190 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing its total to 8,719. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 183. There are 176 people hospitalized, 37 of which are new.

Palo Alto has 144 cases, 15 of which were added over the past week. Mountain View has 185 cases, 35 of which have surfaced since July 17, a larger increase within seven days compared to the prior week. Each city's total makes up 0.2% of their respective populations.

San Mateo County reported 65 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 5,022 since the start of the pandemic. There were no new deaths recorded; overall, 117 people have died of the disease in the county. Sixty-seven people were hospitalized as of Friday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 23

Santa Clara County reported 216 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing its total to 8,533. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 181. There are 173 people hospitalized, 32 of which are new.

The latest data shows COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect Latino residents, which had roughly 3,910 (or 45.8%) of the 8,533 cases. This group, which added nearly 1,300 cases over the past two weeks, makes up about 26% of the county's population.

As of Thursday, another 1,075 cases were found in white residents, which had the second-highest number of cases based on race/ethnicity and make up 32% of the county population.

San Mateo County reported 64 new cases on Thursday, raising its total to 4,957. Three more people have died since July 13, raising the death toll to 117. Seventy-four people were hospitalized as of Thursday.

The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday, July 23.

East Palo Alto has 488 cases, an increase by 87 over the past week and, along with South San Francisco, the fourth-highest number of cases across the county. It has 164.7 cases for every 10,000 residents, the highest rate compared to other cities.

Twenty-one more cases in Menlo Park over the past week raised the city's total to 208, the sixth-highest total in the county. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:

• Atherton: 26 (increase by three from July 16).

• East Palo Alto: 488 (increase by 87 from July 16).

• Menlo Park: 208 (increase by 21 from July 16).

• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from July 16).

• Portola Valley: 24 (no change from July 16).

• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from July 16).

• Woodside: 23 (increase by seven from July 16).

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 22

Santa Clara County reported 280 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 8,321. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 180. There are 169 people hospitalized with the coronavirus, 36 of which are new, and another 34 people are under investigation for the disease.

The county has seen 29 more COVID-19 patients hospitalized between July 14 and 21, during which time the average of beds has risen by 1% to 6.53%. Of the 169 patients hospitalized with the virus, 116 are in non-intensive care unit beds and 50 are in ICU. A month earlier, 48 people were hospitalized with the virus, 25 of whom were in ICU.

San Mateo County reported 93 new cases on Wednesday, raising its total to 4,885. The death toll has stayed at 114 since July 13.

Seventy-four people were hospitalized as of Wednesday, 65 of whom were confirmed with COVID-19 and nine of whom had suspected cases. The current number of patients is more than three times the amount recorded on June 23, when 27 people were hospitalized. Over the past month, the county started sharing data on out-of-county COVID-19 patients in its health system. As of Wednesday, 21 of the 74 patients were from outside of San Mateo County, making 32% of confirmed patients.

San Mateo County could wind up on state watchlist

In comments to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, county Health Chief Louise Rogers said two factors could place the county on the state's watchlist — the coronavirus case rate and the local hospital census.

The county's rate is 105.7 per 100,000 in the population, a 14-day rolling average, according to a press release issued Tuesday. Although the county's case rate is lower than that of the Bay Area (109.2), it is just above the state's guideline that the rate should be below 100.

The percentage of COVID-positive patients in local hospitals was 10.8 on Monday, down from 12.1 on July 17.

"Given the relatively small patient census numbers (as of Monday, there were 74 patients, including transfers from San Quentin State Prison), a handful of incoming or discharged patients affects the percentage, increasing the variability," county officials said.

Rogers has asked state officials to evaluate the data "with sensitivity to underlying core issues and local concerns," according to the press release.

San Mateo County was the only Bay Area county not on the watchlist as of The Almanac's press deadline Wednesday, but Rogers said she expects the county to be added soon.

If the county is added to the list and remains on it for three consecutive days, the state would require the closure of gyms and fitness centers; hair and nail salons, as well as other personal care services; barbershops; shopping malls; offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors; and places of worship, as well as weddings and funerals.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 21

Santa Clara County reported 254 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing its total to 8,046. The death toll has stayed at 178 since Monday. There are 167 people hospitalized, 28 of which are new.

Over the past month, the county has seen a lower rate of cases at long-term care facilities make up its total. On June 21, the facilities constituted 14.5% of the county's 3,855 cases at the time. As of July 21, 724 cases were reported from 59 facilities, amounting to 8.9% of the county's total.

The number of infections found in people ages 39 and younger comprises a little over 50% of the county's total cases. Three weeks earlier, people in the 0-19, 20-29 and 30-39 age groups made up 43% of the county's total cases.

San Mateo County reported 72 new cases on Tuesday, raising its total to 4,776. The death toll has stayed at 114 since July 13. Seventy-seven people were hospitalized as of Tuesday.

When it comes to age groups, the county has seen the most cases in people 30-39 years old, which had 970 cases as of Tuesday, an increase of 416 over the past four weeks. Another 922 cases have been found in people ages 20-29, a group that has seen 453 new cases since June 22, the highest growth of cases in the past month compared to other age groups.

Fewer infections appear to be coming out of long-term care facilities in the county, which had 539 cases out of 34 facilities as of July 15, the latest date for which data is available. There have been no new cases reported since July 5.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 20

Santa Clara County reported 347 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing its total to 7,795. One more person has died since Friday, raising the death toll to 178. In a tweet, the county said the new infections and additional death occurred over the past few days. There are 156 people hospitalized, 30 of which are new.

Of the 308,985 tests recorded in the county, 8,654 have returned positive and 300,331 came back negative. Results turn around on an average of 2.15 days.

The county has seen more tests in the past week compared to a week earlier, during which time the test positivity rate has also gone up. Over the last seven days, the county has performed 41,325 tests and a positivity rate of 3.98%, which has risen by 1.22% since July 13.

The same trend could be seen when compared to data from four weeks ago. On June 22, the county collected a total of 127,148 tests (24,300 of which were gathered over the prior seven days) and had a test positivity rate of 2.84%.

Also on Monday, the county unveiled downloadable data tables on testing, cases, deaths and hospitalizations that support its dashboards. The public can view the data here.

San Mateo County reported 110 new cases on Monday, raising its total to 4,674. The death toll has stayed at 114 since July 13. Seventy-four people were hospitalized as of Monday.

Over the past month, the county has recorded 37,413 tests and maintained a positivity rate of 5.0%. Of the 92,587 people tested on July 19, 4,674 received positive results, 87,854 received negative results and 59 are pending results.

State on alert as positive cases, hospitalization rise

Gov. Gavin Newsom stressed Monday that the actions of residents across the state will determine how quickly the state reopens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newsom has continuously advocated for the use of masks and face coverings and the need for physical distancing as the pandemic has worn on, encouraging residents that certain activities like in-person schooling and indoor dining are not feasible if people flout the state's public health guidelines.

"We have to minimize the transmission of this disease," Newsom said. "We have to minimize that by practicing physical distancing, wearing the face coverings and doing the kinds of things that are well-described and, obviously, now need to be more vigilantly followed."

The state continues to see an aggregate rise in positive cases and hospitalizations due to the coronavirus as counties started to reopen at the outset of summer. An average of nearly 9,000 people per day tested positive for the coronavirus over the last week, Newsom said.

In addition, the state's positive test rate continues to hover around 7.5 percent despite an average of more than 120,000 tests being completed each day.

"We're going to continue to ramp up those efforts," Newsom said of the state's testing capacity.

Alongside the surge in cases, coronavirus deaths in the state also reached an average of 91 each day over the last week, according to state officials.

"Hospitalizations and (intensive care unit) use continue to be a cause of concern in the state," Newsom said. "That's why we want everybody to double down on everything we have been doing so that we can get back to school, get back to work in the traditional ways."

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 18-19

Santa Clara County reported 179 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 7,300 on Saturday. Another 157 new cases recorded on Sunday raised the total to 7,456. The death toll has stayed at 177 since Friday.

There are 151 people hospitalized, 19 of which are new, according to the county's hospital dashboard last updated Sunday. Of the confirmed cases, 42 are in intensive care unit beds and 107 are in non-intensive care unit beds. Another 35 patients are under investigation for the coronavirus, 33 of whom are in non-intensive care unit beds.

San Mateo County reported 65 new cases since Friday, raising its total to 4,551 as of Sunday. The death toll has stayed at 114 since July 13. Seventy-two people were hospitalized as of Sunday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 17

Santa Clara County reported 98 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 7,131 on Friday. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 177. There are 146 people hospitalized, 28 of which are new.

Palo Alto's total of cases currently stands at 129, which translates to a rate of 192 cases for every 100,000 residents and an increase of 16 over the past seven days. Mountain View's total of cases went up by 29 since July 10. The city's 150 cases convert to a rate of 185 cases for every 100,000 residents.

San Mateo County on Friday reported 58 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 4,465. The death toll has stayed at 114 since Monday. Sixty-nine people were hospitalized as of Friday.

Newsom: Schools in watch-list counties cannot reopen in person

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that public and private schools in counties on the state's coronavirus watch list — including currently, Santa Clara County and likely soon, San Mateo County — cannot reopen for in-person instruction until they've been off the list for 14 days.

This means that schools in these counties must plan for full distance learning in the fall, and those that had hoped to reopen their campuses, including Palo Alto Unified, must switch gears. Counties on the watch list have not met state benchmarks for positive case rates, hospitalizations and hospital capacity.

Counties not being monitored by the state can decide locally in partnership with local health leaders whether to offer in-person instruction, Newsom said.

San Mateo County Health Chief Louise Rogers said Friday that the county is not currently on the state's watch list but "likely" will be soon, given the county's case rate of 101.2 cases per 100,000 in the population (a 14-day rolling average).

Read more here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 16

Santa Clara County reported 101 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 7,046 on Thursday. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 176. There are 145 people hospitalized, 23 of which are new.

The most cases have been found in people ages 20-29, who make up 18.5% of the county's total cases. This group has also seen the highest increase in cases in over two weeks, from about 700 on June 30 to roughly 1,300 on July 16.

People ages 30-39 have also seen a large jump in that same time span, from 772 on June 30 to 1,281 on July 16.

San Mateo County on Thursday reported 63 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 4,403. The death toll has stayed at 114 since Monday. Eighty-seven people were hospitalized as of Thursday.

The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday, July 16.

East Palo Alto added 72 new cases over the past week, the highest increase in cases in seven days since total cases by city data was first released by the county Health Department. Its total, 401, makes up about 9% of the county's total cases.

Menlo Park added 14 cases to its total, which has climbed to 187, a rate of 55.2 cases for every 10,000 residents. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:

• Atherton: 23 (increase by one from July 9).

• East Palo Alto: 401 (increase by 72 from July 9).

• Menlo Park: 187 (increase by 14 from July 9).

• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from July 9).

• Portola Valley: 24 (increase by two from July 9).

• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from July 9).

• Woodside: 16 (increase by two from July 9).

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 15

Santa Clara County reported 235 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 6,951 on Wednesday. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 173.

There are 140 people hospitalized, 25 of which are new. Over the past week, the number of patients confirmed with the virus reached triple digits, from 96 on July 7 to 140 on July 14.

The number of patients under investigation has nearly doubled in that same time span, from 17 to 29. An average of 5.21% of hospital beds have been occupied by COVID-19 patients over the past seven days.

San Mateo County on Wednesday reported 82 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 4,333. The death toll has stayed at 114 since Monday. Sixty-nine people were hospitalized as of Wednesday.

The top two dates of when the highest number of new cases were recorded in a single day occurred in the past week, according to county data. There were 111 new cases reported on Monday, July 13, the highest single-day total of new cases since the pandemic began. Another 109 new cases were reported three days earlier on Friday, July 10. The previous top date was Friday, July 3, when 90 new cases were logged.

San Mateo County permits visits at long-term care facilities

Long-term care facilities in San Mateo County can now accommodate outdoor visits scheduled ahead of time and indoor visits under limited, "necessary" circumstances under a new health order issued Wednesday.

The new order, which goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on July 15, allows family members and friends to visit nursing home residents as long as they follow county safety measures, according to a July 15 press release. Up to two adults can visit one resident, though two residents living together can take part in the same visit.

People charged with legal decisions, such as conservators, for residents are also allowed to make outdoor visits, which must be scheduled in advance and take place in an area with ample space for social distancing. The county press release notes hired service providers, such as hair stylists, aren't authorized.

The visitors are also required to wear a face covering and keep physical distance from others. During the visits, facility staff and residents need to wear surgical masks and staff have to make sure hand sanitizer is available, according to the press release. Nursing homes are also advised to provide a face shield for people at the facility to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

Before offering limited outdoor visits, facilities must submit a written statement to the county Health Department explaining that they have adequate access to COVID-19 tests, practice the department's "COVID-19 Mass Testing Strategy," have a sufficient number of staff members and maintain an adequate amount of personal protective equipment for residents. A facility that finds itself behind on any of the requirements won't be allowed to hold outdoor visits.

The order also permits "necessary indoor and compassionate care visits," which include matters related to urgent health care, legal issues and other affairs, such as end-of-life care. Facilities that make these types of visits available must also meet PPE requirements and other safety measures.

Visitors will be screened and logged by each facility, with the exception of first responders, who under the order, aren't restricted from carrying out their job in the facilities.

In the release, the county noted that all long-term care facilities are required to follow safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, regardless of whether they'll allow visitors. The measures include screening residents and staff for coronavirus symptoms daily, such as taking temperature checks, and following provisions in regards to providing hygiene supplies and PPE.

Congresswoman to hold town hall

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, will hold a "Tele-Town Hall" meeting today to provide an update on how Congress is addressing the COVID-19 crisis and answer questions from her constituents.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 16, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Anyone interested in joining can sign up here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 14

Santa Clara County reported 192 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 6,725 on Tuesday. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 170. There are 144 people hospitalized, 21 of which are new.

Of the 6,725 cases, 658 (or 10%) originated at long-term care facilities. A total of 52 facilities have reported at least one case of the virus. No facilities in Palo Alto, Mountain View or Los Altos reported any cases over the past 14 days.

San Mateo County on Tuesday reported 89 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 4,254. The death toll has stayed at 114 since Monday.

The county recently updated its hospital data dashboard that now shares information on confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 and breaks down who's in intensive care unit beds and acute care beds.

The county has seen nearly triple the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients compared to about a month earlier, from 22 on June 15 to 62 on July 14. The latest data shows 57 patients were confirmed to have COVID-19 and five are suspected cases.

The Health Department also reported 23 patients from out of the county have been admitted to local hospitals, which makes up 40% of the county's total number of hospitalized patients. Over the past week, the county has cared for an average of 22 patients from outside of the county.

COVID-19 town hall set for Sunday

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian will host a telephone town hall on Sunday, July 19, at 3 p.m. to update the public on the status of COVID-19 in the county.

Simitian will be joined by Dr. Jennifer Tong, associate chief medical officer at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and Tony LoPresti, assistant county counsel, who will answer questions from the public.

Anyone interested in joining the discussion can register here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 13

Newsom unveils sweeping rollback of reopening plans

Starting Monday, all California counties must shut down indoor operations for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and card rooms and all bar operations — indoors or out, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced at a press conference.

The sweeping rollback of the statewide stay-at-home modifications is a major push to prevent people of different households from congregating indoors.

"The impact of the spread of the virus outside, we believe, is more favorable than mixing with individuals for an extended period of time … inside where you don't have the air circulation," Newsom said.

The new order will have a stark impact on San Mateo County, which on June 17 reopened most businesses that Newsom said must now shut down.

In addition to the statewide restrictions, 30 counties on the state's monitoring list must also shut down any indoor operations of gyms, worship services, hair salons and other personal care services, malls and offices of "non-critical sectors." Under the state Public Health Department's criteria, these are counties currently most impacted by the virus.

Santa Clara County is among the counties that will have to close additional business sectors, including hair salons and gyms that were allowed to reopen on July 13. More counties are likely to be added to the list, including Alameda County, Newsom said. (Santa Mateo County was not on the monitoring list as of July 13.)

The number of new COVID-19 cases continues to climb statewide, according to Newsom. On July 12, the state reported 8,358 COVID-19 cases in a single day. The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases increased this week to 8,211 cases and the average positivity rate is now at 7.7%.

The number of hospitalizations has increased 28% over a two-week period, and intensive-care unit admissions also have increased 20% during the same time span, he added.

Santa Clara County reverses health order

Less than a day after hair salons and gyms reopened in Santa Clara County, the county's Public Health Department announced those businesses, among other sectors, will have to reclose by this Wednesday, July 15, effectively scrapping its July 2 health order.

The reversal of the county order also comes with closures of additional indoor sectors: worship services, offices of nonessential businesses, personal care services such as nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors, and protests will have to shut down on July 15.

The Monday afternoon announcement follows the sweeping statewide rollbacks Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled during a press conference just hours earlier, closing indoor operations of restaurants, wineries, zoos, museums and movie theaters, among other businesses. This would not have had any impact on Santa Clara County since it had not permitted indoor operations of most of these businesses.

Read more here.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 253 new cases of the coronavirus found over the past few days, bringing its total to 6,542 on Monday. One more person has died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 167. There are 129 people hospitalized, 33 of which are new.

Over the past seven days, nearly 40,000 coronavirus tests have been recorded across the county. Out of the 267,660 tests performed as of July 13, 7,325 returned positive results and 248,954 returned negative results. The county's test positivity rate, which currently stands at 2.76% slightly rose by 0.09% over the past week.

San Mateo County on Monday reported 111 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 4,168. Two more people have died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 114. Sixty-seven people were hospitalized as of Monday.

The county's test positivity rate stands at 5%, which is a rise of 0.1% over the past week but the same rate as recorded a month earlier. A total of 34,060 tests have been performed over the past four weeks. Ninety positive test results were recorded on July 8, the highest number of positive test results found in a single day since the pandemic began. The second- and third-highest days were June 23 and June 25, with 84 and 79 confirmed new cases.

Air district asks employers to 'cut the commute' by expanding remote work options

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District along with Santa Clara County asked Bay Area employers to sign the "Cut the Commute Pledge" that extends teleworking for employees and maintains air quality progress after shelter-in-place orders are eased.

Employers who sign the pledge would commit to extend teleworking by at least 25 percent of employees if their work allows it. Employers would also vow to include a formal work-from-home policy as part of the employee benefits package in an attempt to improve both the air quality and quality of life for Bay Area residents.

In the first seven weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bay Area saw a 32 percent reduction to CO2 emissions. This is in large part due to the significant decrease in vehicle traffic, as transportation is the top source of air pollution in the region.

Read more here.

Union seeks delay in physical reopening of schools

The California Federation of Teachers urged Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday to delay the physical reopening of schools, citing worsening health conditions and a lack of clear guidance from the state.

"COVID-19 presents an invisible, fatal, and long-lasting debilitating threat that is beyond the reasonable bounds of the functions of our public education system," California Federation of Teachers President Jeff Freitas wrote in a letter to Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. "Without meeting the scientific requirements to have a safe environment for our students and our staff, schools should not be open for in-person instruction."

He asked that in-person instruction be prohibited until the number of new cases declines for at least 14 consecutive days both in the state and in the county in which a school is considering reopening.

The labor union's letter came as Newsom announced a statewide retightening of restrictions amid a spike in coronavirus cases. Current state guidance for reopening schools, Freitas said, lacks "definitive clarity," causing difficulty for school districts trying to plan for a new school year that starts in several weeks.

Freitas advocated for stronger support from the state to help schools reopen safely, from providing personal protective equipment to schools and COVID-19 tests to increased education funding.

"With cases surging and individual school districts shouldn't have to address the crisis on their own, we need the governor to assume a greater leadership role — directing school districts to delay reopening and then providing clearer direction and support for when it is safe to do so," Freitas said in a press release. "Only when the state can provide clearer guidance and support should schools reopen."

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 11-12

Santa Clara County reported 321 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing its total to 6,298. On Saturday, the county had reported 126 new cases, bringing its total to 5,983. The death toll has stayed at 166 since Thursday.

Sunday initially appeared to be the single-day record for new cases reported in the county; however the county tweeted after updating its cases dashboard that the 321 new cases are from the past few days "due to some reporting delays."

There are 120 people hospitalized, 15 of which are new, as of Sunday.

San Mateo County on Sunday reported 90 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, raising its total to 4,045. The death toll has stayed at 112 since Thursday. Sixty-three people were hospitalized as of Sunday.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 10

Santa Clara County reported 189 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing its total to 5,863. The death toll has stayed at 166 since Thursday. There are 112 people hospitalized, 19 of which are new.

Palo Alto currently has 113 cases, which translates to a rate of 169 cases for every 100,000 residents. Thirty-three of those cases have surfaced over the past month and six of those cases were discovered since July 2.

Mountain View has 121 cases as of Friday, which indicates that there are 149 cases for every 100,000 residents. Fifty-two of those cases were found over the past month and 12 within the past eight days.

San Mateo County on Friday reported 108 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,949. The death toll has stayed at 112 since Thursday. Fifty-eight people were hospitalized as of Thursday.

County seeks social distancing protocols from businesses

All businesses planning to resume operations under Santa Clara County's new health order, including those already open, must complete a new online social distancing protocol form. The county is urging businesses to do it before the deadline this Monday, July 13.

Filling out the form will help the county ensure that the necessary steps are enacted to prevent transmission of COVID-19 as much as possible.

The county also changed the new health order, issued on July 2, from allowing indoor gatherings of up to 20, to no indoor gatherings allowed. This comes after the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Outdoor gatherings of up to 60 people will still be allowed in accordance with social distance guidelines.

"The new order was created with harm reduction in mind, understanding that COVID-19 will be with us for a while and we must change the way we live and do business to prevent us from infecting one another," said Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. "While the order allows more businesses and activities to resume, this must be done with care and adherence to the new safety and distancing protocols."

The online form and checklist is essential to operating legally under the new health order. It identifies a person responsible for compliance and confirms the business has proper signage, trains its employees, has an adequate plan in place to protect workers and the public as well as in the event of a positive case in the staff.

Read more here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 9

Santa Clara County reported 132 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing its total to 5,678. One more person has died since Tuesday, raising the death toll to 166. One hundred and four people are hospitalized, 25 of which are new.

Latino residents, who make up 25.8% of the county's population, are the most impacted by the virus compared to other races. This group had about 2,620 (or 46.2%) of the county's total cases. By contrast, Asian residents comprise 35.7% of the county population (the highest percentage compared to other races) and have about 780 (or 13.7%) of the county's total cases.

San Mateo County on Thursday reported 49 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,846. One more person has died of the virus since Monday, raising the death toll to 112. Sixty people were hospitalized as of Wednesday.

The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday, July 9. East Palo Alto added 63 new cases over the past week, the highest increase in cases in seven days since total cases by city data was first released by the county Health Department. Its total, 329, reveals a rate of 111 cases for every 10,000 residents. Menlo Park added 19 cases to its total, which has climbed to 173, a rate of 51.1 cases for every 10,000 residents. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:

• Atherton: 22 (increase by four from July 2).

• East Palo Alto: 329 (increase by 63 from July 2).

• Menlo Park: 173 (increase by 19 from July 2).

• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from July 2).

• Portola Valley: 22 (increase by four from July 2).

• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from July 2).

• Woodside: 14 (increase by two from July 2).

Pandemic cuts inmate firefighting crews by more than half

Only 48% of inmate firefighters from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will be available as California enters the peak of wildfire season, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, during which prisoners across the state have tested positive for COVID-19, Newsom said at a Thursday press conference that only 94 out of 192 inmate crew members are available.

From January to July 5, there were 4,112 wildfires, Newsom said, which is substantially higher than the roughly 2,580 wildfires during the same time period last year.

"We are now walking right into the thick of wildfire season," Newsom said. The state will add at least 858 seasonal firefighters through October, according to the governor.

In other news, COVID-19 cases continue to rise across California. On Wednesday, there were 7,031 confirmed positive cases. Newsom said the state's seven-day average is now 8,043 cases per day. The 14-day average and the seven-day average for the state's positivity rate are both 7.3%. The average daily death toll for the past week was 73.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 8

Santa Clara County reported 79 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 5,552. The death toll has stayed at 165 since Tuesday.

The county is seeing an increase in people hospitalized with the virus. Over the past week, the amount has increased by 16, from 80 on June 30 to 96 on July 7. Of the 96 cases, 16 are new. Another 17 patients are under investigation for COVID-19, more than double the number recorded a week ago.

There has also been a notable rise in COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds over the past two weeks, during which time the total has fluctuated between 29 and 40. As of July 7, 40 people with the virus were in ICU, which is nearly twice the amount documented about a month earlier.

San Mateo County on Wednesday reported 45 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,787. The death toll has stayed at 111 since Monday. Sixty people were hospitalized as of Tuesday.

The top two dates of most new cases found in a single day fall within the past 10 days. A review of the county's data shows 91 new cases were recorded on July 3, the highest number of new cases tracked in a single day since March. The second highest number of new cases in a day fell within the same week, June 29, when 87 new cases were documented.

Supply of personal protective equipment, California Health Corps participants on the upswing

At a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state has blown past its previous goals for daily coronavirus testing and the acquisition of personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves.

The state's inventory of medical procedure masks has ballooned from a million in March to 232 million in July while the state supply of N95 masks has risen from 21 million to 79 million in that same time span. Over those months, the state has distributed some 280 million procedure and N95 masks to hospitals and medical centers across the state.

State public health officials have overseen a steady buildup of the state's hospital bed capacity during that time as well, and the addition of pop-up medical care sites such as Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento and Seton Medical Center in Daly City.

More than 35,000 people have also applied to the California Health Corps program, which launched at the end of March with the goal of expanding the pool of active health care workers by drawing from recently retired medical professionals, medical and nursing students and medical disaster response team members.

Nearly 750 of those Health Corps workers have already been deployed to facilities of concern like skilled nursing facilities and the state's prison and jail systems.

State health officials confirmed 11,694 new cases Tuesday, however Newsom stressed that a significant portion of those new cases came from the backlog of several laboratories in Los Angeles County.

The state's seven-day average for new cases sits at 8,116, Newsom said, and while daily testing figures have eclipsed 120,000, the average positivity rate across the state has risen two full percentage points, from 5.1% on June 24 to 7.1% this week.

"I cannot impress upon people ... the potency of your individual decision-making," Newsom said, encouraging the state's residents to continue physical distancing, wearing face coverings and frequently washing their hands.

"The last four months have been meaningful and intentional and we have done an enormous amount to prepare ... But, again, we need your compliance, we need your support," he said.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 7

Santa Clara County reported 80 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing its total to 5,478. One additional death was reported, bringing the death toll to 165. Eighty-eight people are hospitalized, 21 of which are new.

Over the past week, 67 new cases were recorded at long-term care facilities across the county, which have 601 (or 11%) of the county's total cases. Seventy-three deaths are also connected to the facilities, which make up 44% of the county's total deaths.

The county has rolled out a new dashboard with data on COVID-19 testing over a seven-day span at six large health care systems, which were required to test patients who had COVID-19 symptoms, patients exposed to someone with the virus and front-line workers under a June 10 order.

The current data covers tests administered from June 25 through July 1 The county's health system has collected the most tests in that time, 15,151, and has a daily average of 2,164 tests. Stanford Health Care recorded 2,782 tests, Palo Alto Medical Foundation/Sutter Health collected 1,741 and El Camino Health reported 664 tests.

San Mateo County on Tuesday reported 40 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,743. The death toll has stayed at 111 since Monday. Fifty-five people were hospitalized as of Monday.

The number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 has risen by 14 between June 29 and July 6, that latest date for which data is available. The rate of hospitalized patients has slowly climbed up over that seven-day span, with the exception of July 3-4, when the total dropped by 10.

The current number of people hospitalized isn't far off from the rate about a month earlier, when the county recorded 57 with or suspected of having COVID-19.

Santa Clara County gains state clearance for plan to reopen economy

After an initial setback, Santa Clara County received the go-ahead from the state on Monday night for its plan to reopen the economy and allow hair salons and gyms to resume operations on July 13.

The variance attestation, which the state Department of Public Health posted on its website July 6, is a requirement for counties that want to reopen their economies more quickly than allowed under the state's shelter-in-place order. The variance will allow the county to move ahead with the health order that county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody issued on Thursday, allowing hair salons, gyms and other businesses to reopen on July 13.

The July 2 order also includes a set of rules that all businesses must follow during the pandemic. These include 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.

Read more here.

San Mateo County sees significant rise in cases, San Quentin inmates hospitalized locally for COVID-19

San Mateo County health officials on Tuesday reported that the two days with the highest totals of new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began occurred in the last couple of weeks, according to a press release. The new highs — 88 on Monday, June 29, and 89 on Friday, July 3 — come as the average of those testing positive for COVID-19 stands at 4.9%.

This is below the state’s overall seven-day average of 6.7%, but the county's positivity trend is going up, Louise Rogers, chief of San Mateo County Health, told the Board of Supervisors.

Rogers reported that 53 patients in San Mateo County are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, a total that includes approximately 20 inmates from San Quentin State Prison who are being cared for at Seton Medical Center in Daly City.

Rogers said the Health Department is working with California health officials to post local COVID-19 data on the county’s COVID-19 dashboard separate from data from state prison transfers. She added that the state will account for inmate data in assessing the county’s progress toward its Resilience Roadmap and efforts to control the virus locally.

She also reported that 102 contact tracers from the county Health Department and additional county departments will work to interview those who test positive for coronavirus.

California files suit over relief funds for schools

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Tuesday announced a multistate lawsuit against President Donald Trump's administration, accusing U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of preventing COVID-19 pandemic relief funding from being dispersed to K-12 public schools.

Becerra argued that DeVos flouted Congress' intent in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which included $13.2 billion for K-12 schools across the country, about $1.5 billion of which was intended for California public schools.

The CARES Act required educational funding to be dispersed in accordance with Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, ensuring that schools with low-income students would not be passed over.

The lawsuit argues that the Department of Education's interim final rule mandating that private schools are eligible for pandemic relief funds based on the total population they serve rather than income is antithetical to the CARES Act's Title I requirement.

Read more here.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 6

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.

San Mateo County on Monday reported 45 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,692. Three more people have died over the past week, raising the death toll to 111. Fifty-three people were hospitalized as of Sunday.

The county has recorded nearly 9,300 tests over the past eight days, over which time the test positivity rate stayed at 4.9%. Since the pandemic began, a total of 3,671 tests returned positive results and 71,047 returned negative results, while 20 tests are pending results. Between June 29 and July 2, the number of positive test results each day was above 50. The most positive results during the four-day stretch was recorded on June 30, when 66 people were found with COVID-19.

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 4-5

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 3

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 2

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).

• Menlo Park: 154 (increase by 26 from June 25).

• 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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JULY 1

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 30

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 29

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 27-28

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 26

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 25

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 24

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."

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 23

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 20-21

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 19

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 18

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 17

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 16

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 15

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."

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 13-14

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 12

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 11

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 10

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 9

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 8

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 6-7

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 5

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 4

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).

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 3

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 2

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: JUNE 1

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: May 30-31

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: MAY 29

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: MAY 28

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: MAY 27

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."

PREVIOUS UPDATES: MAY 26

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATE: May 23-25

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: MAY 22

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.

Reopening congregations

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.

PREVIOUS UPDATES: MAY 21

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).

PREVIOUS UPDATES: MAY 20

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.

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Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Coronavirus central: Santa Clara County sees 123 new cases

San Mateo County records nearly 50 new cases

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 10:08 am
Updated: Wed, Oct 28, 2020, 9:07 am

Latest updates:

SAN MATEO COUNTY ENTERS 'ORANGE' TIER: San Mateo County was one of four Bay Area counties that moved into the less-restrictive "orange" tier on Tuesday, allowing them to reopen more businesses and expand indoor operations for businesses such as restaurants and religious facilities. Read more here.

NEW COVID-19 CASES, DEATHS: Santa Clara County reported 123 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 24,425 The death toll has risen to 392. There were 80 people hospitalized, 12 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is 115. San Mateo County reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 11,232. The death toll remains at 159. There are 17 people hospitalized. View more data through our interactive charts, which can be found here. Data from both counties may be incomplete due to an earlier problem with the state's reporting system for communicable diseases.

FDA APPROVES REMDESIVIR: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the antiviral drug remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients, the first such treatment the FDA has authorized to fight the deadly coronavirus, Gilead Sciences announced Thursday. Read more here.

COVID-19 TESTS AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT: Santa Clara County is operating appointment-only COVID-19 test sites through October. Read more here.

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.

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Santa Clara County reported 123 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 24,425 The death toll has risen to 392. There were 80 people hospitalized, 12 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is 115, an increase by two from the previous day.

San Mateo County reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 11,232. The death toll remains at 159. There are 17 people hospitalized, which breaks down to 14 confirmed cases and three suspected cases.

Santa Clara County reported 171 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 24,313. The death toll remains at 388. There were 87 people hospitalized, 10 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is 113, a decrease by one from a day earlier.

San Mateo County reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 11,198. The death toll remains at 159. There are 18 people hospitalized, all of which are confirmed cases.

Santa Clara County reported 141 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, raising the total to 24,014. The death toll remains at 388. There were 87 people hospitalized, 15 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 114, a decrease by one from a day earlier.

The county reported 135 new cases on Sunday, raising the total to 24,144. The death toll remains at 388. There were 90 people hospitalized, 16 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 114.

San Mateo County reported 73 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 11,149. The death toll remains at 159. There are 21 people hospitalized, 20 of which are confirmed and one of which is suspected.

Santa Clara County reported 207 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 23,881. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 388. There were 89 people hospitalized, six of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 115, an increase by six from a day earlier.

San Mateo County reported 71 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 11,075. The death toll remains at 159. There are 21 people hospitalized, 19 of which are confirmed and two of which are suspected.

Santa Clara County reported 207 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 23,881. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 388. There were 89 people hospitalized, six of whom were new.

The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 115, an increase by six from a day earlier.

San Mateo County reported 71 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 11,075. The death toll remains at 159. There are 21 people hospitalized, 19 of which are confirmed and two of which are suspected.

Santa Clara County reported 95 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 23,679. The death toll remains at 385. There were 92 people hospitalized, 13 of whom were new.

The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 109, an increase by one from a day earlier.

San Mateo County reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 11,002. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 159. There are 22 people hospitalized, 18 of which are confirmed cases and four which are suspected.

Santa Clara County reported 137 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 23,591. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 385. There were 96 people hospitalized, the highest number in nearly a month. Eighteen of those patients were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 108, a decrease by one from a day earlier.

San Mateo County reported 39 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 10,961. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 157. There are 23 people hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 103 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 23,458. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 382. There were 88 people hospitalized, 13 of whom were new. The most recent seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 109, an increase of nine from the previous day and the highest average so far this month.

San Mateo County reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 10,918. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 157. There are 24 people hospitalized.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch Monday of a scientific working group that will examine the safety of any coronavirus vaccine that receives federal approval.

The working group includes 11 epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and other medical experts from across the state that will be tasked with independently reviewing vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Two of the members have ties to Stanford University Health system: Dr. Grace Lee, a professor who specializes in infectious disease at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, and Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, professor and chief of the division of infectious disease within Stanford Medicine's Department of Pediatrics.

Newsom said the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup will do so as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies like Pfizer and Moderna roll out their coronavirus vaccines into next year.

The state's independent review process will also remain in place regardless of who wins the November presidential general election, Newsom said.

"There's been, frankly, a lot of politicization ... around vaccinations and we have to make sure that they're safe and they're effective," he said Monday during a briefing on the state's pandemic response.

Newsom cautioned that the amount of vaccine doses available before the end of the year will be a fraction of the U.S. population and that most Californians should not expect to have access to a vaccine until 2021.

The state was given an estimate of around 45 million total vaccine doses being available across the country by the end of the calendar year, according to Newsom.

That number, he cautioned, was strictly for state planning purposes and was also on the high end of the likely pool of available vaccine doses.

"Don't anticipate or expect that you can go down to a local pharmacy any time in this calendar year and likely get a vaccination," Newsom said.

In addition to the coronavirus' medical novelty, the pace of vaccine development is likely to be hampered because most treatments currently consist of two shots over 21 days.

Those doses must also be kept in either cold storage or ultra-cold storage at temperatures as low as below 70 degrees Celsius.

That necessary cold storage could further affect the availability of commodities like dry ice that would be used to prevent the vaccine doses from spoiling.

"While a small number of doses of an FDA-approved vaccine could be deployed before year's end, the reality is that the COVID-19 pandemic will be with us well into 2021 — and widespread vaccine distribution likely won't occur for many more months," said Dr. Erica Pan, the state's acting public health officer.

However, even when the time comes that a vaccine is widely available, the pandemic will not end overnight, Newsom said, adding that uncertainly still remains whether a vaccine will effectively prevent contracting the virus long-term.

"Even if millions and millions of Americans, millions of Californians, get that vaccination, get that second shot ... it's absolutely essential that we maintain our vigilance," he said.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 135 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 23,355. Five more people have died, raising the death toll to 378. There were 87 people hospitalized, 14 of whom were new. The seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 100, which is within the daily range since Oct. 1 of between 93 and 102.

San Mateo County reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 10,889. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 157. There are 28 people hospitalized.

Starting Monday, Oct. 19, San Mateo County will launch a COVID-19 compliance unit that will warn and cite businesses that fail to follow the county's pandemic-related health order.

During a media briefing on Wednesday, County Manager Mike Callagy said that people will be able to call 211 or go online to report businesses that have not been compliant.

Callagy said the compliance unit will work with businesses to ensure that they understand what is required of them.

Under the county's health order, businesses must implement social distancing protocols, require face coverings, and provide hand sanitizer or soap and water. Businesses must also prepare and distribute a health and safety plan to personnel.

"It's not our intention to go out and cite businesses," Callagy said Wednesday. "We want to go out and work with businesses to make sure that they are compliant and providing a safe and healthy environment for individuals who come to their business."

Read more here.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 80 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, raising the total to 23,052. No additional deaths were reported, keeping the toll at 373. There were 86 people hospitalized, 23 of whom were new. The seven-day rolling average of new cases per day was at 99, which is within the daily range since Oct. 1 of between 93 and 102.

The county reported 173 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the total to 23,224. No additional deaths were reported, keeping the toll at 373. There were 78 people hospitalized, 11 of whom were new. The seven-day rolling average of new cases per day is at 101, which is within the daily range since Oct. 1 of between 93 and 102.

San Mateo County reported 71 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 10,810. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 157. As of Sunday, 21 people were hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 116 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 22,974. Six more people have died, raising the death toll to 373. There are 83 people hospitalized, 21 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 10,739. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 157. As of Friday, 29 people were hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 69 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 22,859. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 367. There are 85 people hospitalized, 15 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 33 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 10,687. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 157. Twenty-six people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 64 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 22,801. The death toll has stayed at 363 since Tuesday. There are 79 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 34 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 10,655. The death toll has stood at 155 since Oct. 8. Twenty-four people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 100 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 22,741. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 363. There are 80 people hospitalized, 10 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 10,622. The death toll has stood at 155 since Thursday. Twenty-nine people are hospitalized.

State's contact tracing capacity on the rise

Roughly 95% of California's local health departments now have the capacity to contact new coronavirus cases and their recent contacts on the same day their test result is reported, the state's top public health official said Monday.

The state's testing numbers have now eclipsed 125,000 per day after late summer heat waves and wildfires prompted some testing centers to temporarily close. Over the weekend, an average of more than 150,000 tests were completed across the state.

Test results are regularly being reported in 24 to 48 hours, at which point the state's corps of more than 10,000 contact tracers are able to alert people who may have been exposed to a positive case.

The state has also collaborated with local epidemiologists and used remote communication tools like Zoom to support state and local disease investigation efforts.

"(We are) really building up this infrastructure across the state so we can continue to box in the virus as much as we can and make sure that a single case doesn't turn into 20 or 30 cases," state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Monday during a briefing on the state's pandemic response.

The state intends to push its daily testing capacity north of 250,000 by next year, due in part to an agreement with the Massachusetts-based diagnostics company PerkinElmer to provide 150,000 of those tests per day.

According to Gov. Gavin Newsom, California will also utilize some $150 million in federal funding and $83 million in philanthropic funds to help counties isolate and quarantine residents who test positive before they have a chance to spread the virus on a large scale.

The increase in testing and focus on contact tracing has also led to a steady downward trend of the state's daily positivity rate.

Over the last seven and 14 days, the state's average daily rate is down to 2.6%, a full percentage point decrease since mid-September.

"We are not going to slip backwards on testing, we are going to forge forward and be much more aggressive," Newsom said.

"We're not ashamed of testing people, we're not ashamed of identifying individuals that have been tested positive, but we must make that meaningful," he said.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 97 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 22,644. Five more people have died since Friday, raising the death toll to 362. There are 78 people hospitalized, 18 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 10,601. The death toll has stood at 155 since Thursday. Thirty-three people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 112 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday and 139 on Sunday, raising the total to 22,555. The death toll has stood at 357 since Friday. (The county's data dashboard only updates the death count on weekdays.) There are 75 people hospitalized, seven of whom are new, as of Sunday.

San Mateo County reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and 20 on Sunday, bringing the county's total to 10,573. The death toll has stood at 155 since Thursday. Thirty-three people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 160 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 22,312. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 357. There are 75 people hospitalized, nine of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 10,510. The death toll has stood at 155 since Thursday. Thirty-three people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 101 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 22,154. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 354. There are 74 people hospitalized, nine of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 59 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 10,452. One more person has died since Monday, raising the death toll to 155. Twenty-seven people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 83 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 22,056. Six more people have died, raising the death toll to 353. There are 76 people hospitalized, 11 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 10,395. The death toll has stayed at 154 since Monday. Twenty-eight people are hospitalized.

State to start tracking inequity of coronavirus spread

California will start tracking a metric intended to determine the inequity of the coronavirus' spread, the state's two top public health officials said Tuesday.

The state's Healthy Places Index provides coronavirus test positivity data on a census tract-level with the goal of highlighting the areas of the state that are either healthier or unhealthier than others, allowing for more targeted support for communities that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.

Since late August, state public health officials have tracked the case rate per 100,000 residents and the test positivity rate for each of the state's 58 counties to determine how widespread the virus is and whether it is safe for a county to open certain businesses.

Starting Tuesday, the state also began tracking the HPI scores for individual counties. Those with lower scores will be able to move quicker through the state's color-coded, tiered reopening system, according to Dr. Erica Pan, the state's acting public health officer.

"We have to prioritize our interventions to the communities where we're seeing the most disease," Pan said, noting that communities with the most coronavirus transmission are often those inhabited by essential workers.

So far, Humboldt County is the only county to move to a less restrictive reopening tier based on its HPI score, moving to the least restrictive yellow tier.

Pan and state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly argued California is the first state in the country to tie economic reopening to reducing unequal test positivity.

Ghaly also emphasized the importance of "ensuring that we invest dollars that the state has received from the federal government to work on mitigating and reducing transmission, that counties are using those dollars in targeted ways to focus ... on communities with a disproportionate impact."

Only two counties in the greater Bay Area — Sonoma and Monterey counties — are in the most restrictive reopening tier.

None of the Bay Area's other counties changed tiers when the state updated its tier assignments on Tuesday.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 54 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 21,978. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 347. There are 84 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 10,347. The death toll has stayed at 154 since Monday. Thirty people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 108 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 21,926. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 345. There are 88 people hospitalized, 14 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 31 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 10,309. Two more people have died, raising the death toll 154. Thirty-seven people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 130 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, raising the total to 21,734. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 333. There are 78 people hospitalized, 10 of whom are new.

The county announced another 107 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the total to 21,840. Eleven more people have died, raising the death toll to 344. The new diagnoses and deaths reported Sunday have occurred over the past several days, according to the county. There are 76 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 70 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 10,275. The death toll has stayed at 152 since Thursday. Thirty-six people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 149 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 21,605. Five more people have died, raising the death toll to 330. There are 82 people hospitalized, 11 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 77 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 10,205. The death toll has stayed at 152 since Thursday. Thirty-four people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 85 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 21,457. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 325. There are 87 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 10,126. Two more people have died over the past week, raising the death toll to 152. Thirty-nine people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 87 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 21,379. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 322. There are 87 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 10,069. The death toll has stood at 150 since Sept. 24. Forty-four people are hospitalized

Santa Clara County reported 73 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 21,294. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 318. There are 89 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 9,900. The death toll has stood at 150 since Thursday. Forty-two people are hospitalized.

Outdoor playgrounds are allowed to reopen to the public following certain guidelines for local officials and visitors, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health announced Monday.

Following Newsom's stay-at-home order in March, playgrounds and other outdoor recreational facilities were closed in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Earlier this month on Sept. 16, numerous state lawmakers signed a letter authored by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, asking Newsom to reopen playground and outdoor facilities, citing these spaces as "a critical resource for children and families to access outdoor space, exercise, and relax."

On Monday, Newsom's administration released guidelines for outdoor playground and outdoor recreational facility reopenings.

Guidelines include maintaining social distancing, wearing masks at all times, and limiting visits to 30 minutes per day. Additionally, adults are asked to supervise children at all times to ensure adherence to the guidelines.

Local officials overseeing the playgrounds must post the rules and park capacity at the entrance of the playgrounds.

"Playgrounds don't make money ... but they keep our kids happy and healthy, physically and mentally," Gonzalez posted on Twitter.

Outdoor playgrounds are open in Santa Clara County, where adults and children are required to wear face coverings, with the exception of "very young children," according to a FAQ webpage for the county's COVID-19 public health order. The county also advises adults to practice "rigorous hand hygiene" with children and keep 6 feet of distance from people outside of their households.

San Mateo County's outdoor playgrounds remain closed as of Tuesday morning, Sept. 29, according to county parks communication specialist Carla Schoof. The county is reevaluating its guidelines in response to the new state guidance, she said.

Newsom: Likelihood of COVID-19 resurgence increased in recent weeks

While California's rate of new coronavirus cases is at its lowest point in months, the likelihood of the virus resurging has increased in recent weeks in the state's largest metro areas, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

The state's average daily positivity rate over the last 14 days is now at 2.8%, Newsom said, down from 3.6% on Sept. 14.

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions have also continued to decline in recent weeks, both by around 20% over the last 14 days.

That trend of reduced viral spread has resulted in more than a dozen counties across the state, including several in the Bay Area, moving out of the state's most restrictive reopening tier since the state switched to the color-coded tier system on Aug. 31.

Newsom, however, echoed state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly's recent warning that there are reasons to believe the virus may begin spreading exponentially once again.

"While it's true we have seen a three-fold decrease in the total number of cases since our peak in mid-July, we are seeing early signs that those decreases are beginning to slow down, they're beginning to plateau," Newsom said.

The virus' effective reproduction number, which measures how many people can be infected at any given time, hit its nadir in the Bay Area and Southern California in late August and early September, according to Newsom, and has been trending upward since.

Once that reproduction number, measured as R effective, is higher than one, exponential spread of the virus is likely to occur.

In the greater Bay Area, with the exception of Monterey County, the rate dipped below one in mid-August and fell as low as 0.9 before rising back up to around 0.95 as of Monday.

While there is still time for the state to curb the potential growth in cases, Newsom said, Californians will have to be cautious to avoid spurring a second large wave of cases, particularly in tandem with the seasonal flu.

"We have once again tamed the growth of transmission rate in the state of California," Newsom said.

"But this R effective rate is a point of caution and consideration as it relates to the work that each and every one of us must do to continue to see a decrease, not just a plateauing of transmission rates."

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 97 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 21,241. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 314. There are 89 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 9,950. The death toll has stood at 150 since Thursday. Thirty-two people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 151 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, raising the total to 21,030. Five more people have died, raising the death toll to 301.

The county announced another 127 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the total to 21,153. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 312. These figures represent new diagnoses and deaths over the past several days. There are 86 people hospitalized, 10 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 56 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 9,897. The death toll has stood at 150 since Thursday. Twenty-nine people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

State's coronavirus case rates trending up

California's coronavirus case and hospitalization rates are trending in the wrong direction and could hamper some counties' plans to reopen businesses, the state's Health and Human Services secretary said Friday.

Case and hospitalization rates have trended up in recent days as the state begins to collect data from cases contracted during Labor Day weekend, according to Dr. Mark Ghaly.

Cases may also be rising slightly as counties have begun moving out of the state's most restrictive reopening tier, allowing them to reopen restaurants and gyms with limited capacities.

In addition, state residents who have been evacuated due to recent wildfires could be contributing to the uptick in cases as evacuees may interact with family or friends who live in different households, raising the chance of spreading the virus, Ghaly said.

"We're seeing some early signs that the positive disease and health care trends that we've been experiencing and, frankly enjoying because of these great behaviors over the last many weeks have started to slow," Ghaly said during a briefing with members of the media.

New cases have trended down statewide since the end of July and beginning of August, even when accounting for a rise in daily reported tests.

The state's 14-day average of daily positive tests has fallen from a peak of 9,504 on July 4 to 3,315 on Monday, the lowest level in three months. Those positive tests have trended up as the week has worn on, Ghaly said.

State public health officers are forecasting a short-term spike in statewide hospitalizations, which have fallen from a high of nearly 9,000 in late July to 2,474 on Friday.

However, those hospitalizations are expected to increase by roughly 89% over the next month to nearly 5,000.

While the state has dealt with that level of hospitalizations before, Ghaly said, the looming threat of flu season in conjunction with rising coronavirus hospitalizations would be uncharted territory.

"We see things coming together that we want to make sure we're very vigilant around to ensure that even if we go up a little bit with our hospitalizations, we don't continue to have high rates and even come close to the numbers we saw during the summer," he said.

Ghaly reiterated his previous stance that it's important for state residents to avoid letting their guard down about the coronavirus and to continue following state public health guidance like wearing a mask and physically distancing to reduce the virus' spread.

"Indeed, there is concern and we have the tools to reduce transmission," he said. "And by doing these simple things, we can hopefully bring these early trends of increase back down and help us get back to where we were just a week or two ago."

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 128 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 20,882. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 306. There are 104 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 9,843. The death toll has stood at 150 since Thursday. Thirty-four people are hospitalized.

San Mateo County expands COVID-19 testing via mobile sites

San Mateo County announced this week that it will expand countywide COVID-19 testing through mobile sites and targeted testing in at-risk neighborhoods.

The county currently offers free COVID-19 testing through Verily's Project Baseline program. Testing is available Tuesdays through Saturdays at the San Mateo County Event Center.

Mobile testing through Project Baseline is also available on rotation at Half Moon Bay, Daly City, San Bruno, East Palo Alto and North Fair Oaks.

"At the most fundamental level, increasing access to testing is about equity," said Warren Slocum, President of the county's Board of Supervisors. "We want to make sure that everyone, regardless of income or immigration status or whether they have health insurance or not, has access to a local testing site."

The tests are free and do not require insurance, though people must schedule an appointment to get tested. Volunteers at the testing centers can also help people get registered on site.

The county also launched a new initiative which will provide targeted, neighborhood-level testing in at-risk communities where there is a spike in COVID-19 cases.

For example, East Palo Alto — which has a high case rate compared to other cities in the county — will host a free targeted testing site from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, at 1600 Bay Road, East Palo Alto. No appointment, pre-registration or citizenship information is required for testing.

County Manager Mike Callagy encouraged people to get tested.

"We want to see every available testing appointment filled every single day," Callagy said. "The testing pipeline is open, the turnaround time is fine and we need to get people tested."

For a full list of testing locations and hours in San Mateo County, people can visit smcgov.org.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 109 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 20,756. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 304. There are 101 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 76 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 9,785. Six more people have died since Monday, raising the death toll to 150. Forty people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 70 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 20,648. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 300. There are 103 people hospitalized, 21 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 49 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 9,714. The death toll has stayed at 144 since Monday. Forty-two people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 89 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 20,587. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 299. There are 99 people hospitalized, 11 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 44 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 9,664. The death toll has stayed at 144 since Monday. Thirty-eight people are hospitalized.

The county's COVID-19 hospital data dashboard shows 33 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases and another five people are suspected of having the virus as of Tuesday.

Santa Clara County reported 109 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 20,511. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 297. There are 109 people hospitalized, 11 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 29 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 9,625. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 144. Thirty-seven people are hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 170 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the total to 20,410. The death toll has stood at 296 since Saturday. There are 108 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday bringing the county's total to 9,598. The death toll stands at 143. Thirty-five people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

Santa Clara County reported 240 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 20,129. The death toll has stood at 295 since Thursday. There are 109 people hospitalized, 14 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 82 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 9,519.

Newsom signs bill to expand workers' comp for those affected by COVID-19

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Thursday authored by a Bay Area state legislator that will expand access to workers' compensation for frontline workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Bill 1159 creates a rebuttable presumption of infection for people like grocery store employees, health care workers, firefighters and law enforcement officers who believe they contracted the coronavirus at work.

The law, authored by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, also creates a presumption of infection whenever there is a workplace outbreak over a two-week span of time.

"Everyone who is providing the benefits to our community and our society today, they need to be protected," Hill said. "This legislation … has done that."

SB 1159 will take effect immediately as an urgency statute and will remain in effect through Jan. 1, 2023.

Newsom also signed a bill authored by Assemblywoman Eloise Gomes Reyes, D-San Bernardino, that will require employers to report coronavirus outbreaks to their local public health department within 48 hours and to employees who may have been exposed within one business day.

Assembly Bill 685 also gives the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) the authority to close a worksite or place of employment that is actively exposing workers to the risk of contracting the virus.

"These bills give workers a choice and a voice," California Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary Julie Su said.

AB 685 will also remain in effect through Jan. 1, 2023.

"Protecting workers is critical to slowing the spread of this virus," Newsom said. "These two laws will help California workers stay safe at work and get the support they need if they are exposed to COVID-19."

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 150 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total to 19,891. Three more people have died since Wednesday, raising the death toll to 295. There are 100 people hospitalized, 14 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 100 new cases on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 9,437.

Santa Clara County reported 82 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the total to 19,760. Six more people have died since Sunday, raising the death toll to 296. There are 102 people hospitalized, 13 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 9,332. The death toll has stood at 142 since Monday. Forty-three people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.

Santa Clara County reported 78 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the total to 19,683. Four more people have died since Sunday, raising the death toll to 287. There are 101 people hospitalized, nine of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 9,264. The death toll has stood at 142 since Monday. Fifty-four people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

San Mateo County rolls out process to appeal citation of health order violation

People cited for health order violations in San Mateo County can appeal by submitting a form along with the fine amount within 14 days of receiving the citation.

The request form is available here.

Along with an advance deposit of the fine amount and a copy of the citation, the request form must be submitted to the County Manager's Office at 400 County Center, Redwood City. A dispute officer will then review the citation and appeal and set a hearing date or close-of evidence date within 60 days.

The county announced on Sep. 10, the hearing request process for health order violations after the Board of Supervisors adopted an urgency ordinance on Aug. 4, which imposes fines on individuals, organizations and businesses who violate health orders.

Violations include failure to wear a face covering in public situations when around people outside of one's household. The county's health order also requires social distancing, social gatherings of 50 people or less and implementation of social distancing protocol in business places.

Individuals can be fined up to $100 for a first violation, $200 for a second and $500 for additional violations. Businesses can be fined between $250 and $3,000 per violation depending on the gravity of the violation, prior warnings, efforts to comply or intent to profit.

San Mateo County remains in the purple tier of the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which indicates "widespread" COVID-19 risk. This means that schools must do distance learning (unless they have a waiver), indoor dining is prohibited and restaurants can only operate outdoors with modifications.

New dashboards track COVID-19 testing at Stanford

Stanford has created public dashboards that track the number of COVID-19 tests and results for members of the university.

As of Sept. 14, two positive results stemmed more than 8,000 tests on students performed over the past two weeks. No positive results were found in more than 900 faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars.

Testing is provided on a weekly basis to graduate students at the university. It is optional for faculty, staff and postdocs, whom the university encourages to take a test every week. Results are expected in 24-72 hours, according to the dashboard webpage.

The dashboards show data as early as March, when the university recorded its first positive COVID-19 results in students living on or near campus and faculty, staff and postdocs. They also show testing data in Santa Clara County and the state.

Since March, the university has reported 36 confirmed cases and currently has one case in isolation on campus, according to the dashboard.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 100 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, raising the total to 19,613. The death toll has stood at 283 since Sunday. There are 107 people hospitalized, 12 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 66 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 9,242. Three more people have died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 142. Forty-four people are hospitalized as of Monday.

Santa Clara County reported 280 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday and 147 on Sunday, raising the total to 19,549. Seven people died over the weekend, raising the death toll to 283. There are 107 people hospitalized, 18 of whom are new, as of Sunday.

San Mateo County reported 89 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 9,166. The death toll has stayed at 139 since Thursday. Forty-six people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

Santa Clara County reported 180 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total to 19,143. Eight more people have died, raising the death toll to 276. There are 113 people hospitalized, 14 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 120 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 9,077. The death toll has stayed at 139 since Thursday. Forty-five people are hospitalized as of Friday.

Data shows disproportionate rates of COVID-19 cases, deaths among people of color

On Thursday, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly highlighted the ongoing increased risk for people of color across the state, who are dealing with disproportionate contraction and death rates of COVID-19.

"Nearly 60% of our cases in California have been among Latinos," Ghaly said.

"Nearly 50% of the deaths," he said, have been among Latinos and they make up less than 40% of California's population.

The state's populations of Black, Asian and Pacific Islander residents also face higher rates of contracting the coronavirus.

To combat the inequity of the state's coronavirus cases and deaths, Ghaly said state health officials are working with local health officials to sift through testing data for variances between high and low-income areas of a county, for example.

"This may require increasing testing in some of the lower-income communities above where it is today and working to bring culturally competent contact tracing and supportive isolation in levels that we don't have today all in order to close that gap," Ghaly said.

Ghaly added that Californians need to work together to support each other as the pandemic and wildfires continue across the state for the foreseeable future.

"California has rarely seen the confluence of conditions that we're seeing today," he said. "It's really a moment not to be divisive but to come together and move forward together ... so that we see ourselves on the other end of this a stronger and better state."

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 121 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday and five more deaths. The additional cases and deaths were not reflected in the totals posted on the county's data dashboard. There are 113 people hospitalized, five of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 8,966. Three more people have died since Labor Day weekend, raising the death toll to 139. Fifty-five people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

State officials: COVID-19 testing will be available when in-person classes resume

The state's acting public health officer reassured educators across the state Wednesday that they will have access to testing for the new coronavirus whenever their county allows in-person classes to resume.

Dr. Erica Pan and Ben Chida, one of Gov. Gavin Newsom's top cabinet secretaries, held a briefing Wednesday to discuss the state's public health guidance for reopening schools during the pandemic.

Schools will not be allowed to open for in-person classes until their county has been out of the highest tier on the state's color-coded reopening framework for at least 14 days.

However, some schools in the highest tier will still be able to submit waiver requests to resume in-person classes for "small cohorts" of students with disabilities.

California Teachers Association Legislative Relations Manager Lori Easterling expressed concern that even with the preparations school districts and counties are making to eventually resume in-person classes, they could still be stuck competing with each other for coronavirus tests.

Pan argued that the state is ramping up its testing capacity daily. A recent agreement with diagnostics company PerkinElmer is also set to increase the state's testing capacity by more than twofold in the coming months.

"As far as supply and demand, we are seeing not as (many) people seeking testing and lots of testing capacity in the state now, so I think there are a lot of resources," for teachers, Pan said.

Pan also added that health insurance companies are supposed to pay for testing for essential workers such as teachers and school staff.

Pan suggested school staff members and their labor representatives reach out to their local health departments to collaborate on a routine testing plan.

"I just want to really emphasize and underscore the point that local collaboration is really, really, really the hinge in a lot of these cases," Chida added.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond lauded the state's teachers and school staff for their efforts to resume in-person classes amid the pandemic as well as the recent wildfires and poor air quality across the state and the nationwide reckoning with police brutality and racial justice.

"All of these things take a toll on us," Thurmond said. "And they add to the many questions that we continue to ask about what we must do to move forward safely."

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 175 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 18,717. Three more people have died since Sunday, raising the death toll to 263. There are 113 people hospitalized, 21 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 91 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 8,895. The death toll has stood at 136 since Labor Day weekend. Sixty-one people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.

State moves Santa Clara County to red tier, allowing more businesses to reopen

After nearly two weeks of being in the purple, Santa Clara County has moved to the less restrictive red tier in California's color-coded classification system that determines how counties can move forward with reopening businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a lower rate of COVID-19 cases and positive tests that meets the threshold of the state's new reopening criteria, the county will now allow indoor operations of nail salons, gyms and museums; expanding capacity in shopping malls; and reopening K-12 schools if the county can maintain those lower numbers for the next two weeks, starting Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The businesses are required to follow guidelines set by the county's risk reduction order, which outlines directives pertaining to each industry set by the county and state, the release states.

Despite satisfying the state's conditions for reopening indoor operations of restaurants, places of worship and movie theaters, the county will continue prohibiting those sectors until case rates are lower. (California Gov. Gavin Newsom has said on multiple occasions that county health officers can override state guidelines as long as they don't reopen faster than the state.)

At a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, County Counsel James Williams did not say why those businesses won't be allowed to resume indoor operations or provide a timeline for when they might be able to welcome customers back inside. Williams said the county wants to see a lower case rate, but he was not aware if the county aimed to meet a certain threshold.

Read more here.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

San Mateo County reported 55 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 8,807. The death toll has stood at 136 since Labor Day weekend. Fifty-six people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

No new numbers were available for Santa Clara County on Tuesday, Sept. 8, due to an issue with the state's Reportable Disease Information Exchange system, the county said on Twitter.

Santa Clara County's total stands at 18,717, which includes 239 new cases reported on Saturday, 190 on Sunday and 119 on Monday.

The county's death toll was 260 as of Monday. The total includes six deaths announced over the weekend, three on Saturday and another three on Sunday. As of Monday, 116 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 21 of whom are new.

San Mateo County's total stands at 8,750, which includes 51 new cases reported on Saturday, 21 on Sunday and 49 on Monday. One more death was announced over the three-day weekend, raising the death toll to 136. There are 48 people hospitalized as of Monday, 35 of which are confirmed cases and 13 of which are suspected cases.

Santa Clara County reported 200 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 18,190. One more death was also reported, increasing the death toll to 254. There are 122 people hospitalized, 10 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 97 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 8,617. Three more people have died since Monday, raising the death toll to 135. Thirty-six people are hospitalized as of Friday.

Bay Area health officials warn against social gatherings on Labor Day weekend

Health officials in Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties on Thursday warned residents to avoid social gatherings during the upcoming Labor Day weekend to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Contact tracers in Contra Costa County found many coronavirus cases linked to parties and picnics that occurred during the Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends earlier this year.

That included people who were asymptomatic and unaware they had the virus, later tested positive for the virus and infected family and friends at a gathering during those two weekends.

"Humans are social beings and COVID-19 has interfered with our natural desire to see and hug the people we care about," Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said. "At the same time, we're in an unprecedented situation now and we can't behave like it's business as usual."

Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County's health officer and the director of the county's Public Health Department, suggested residents who do plan to hold gatherings during the holiday weekend do so outside, where the risk of transmitting the virus is lessened.

People should also do what they can to avoid congregating with people who live in other households, Cody and Farnitano said.

In addition to preventing the virus' spread, Bay Area residents are advised to take the expected weekend heat wave into account, as temperatures are likely to rise into the triple digits.

Some sections of the greater Bay Area like Santa Cruz and Monterey counties elected to close their beaches to the public during the weekend to proactively prevent large groups.

"We must all do our part to avoid getting sick or infecting others," Cody said.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 200 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 17,993. Three more deaths were also reported, increasing the death toll at 253. There are 128 people hospitalized, 15 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 65 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 8,452. Three more people have died since Monday, raising the death toll to 135. Thirty-five people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

State COVID-19 indicators trending down in recent weeks

State indicators of the new coronavirus' spread have trended down in recent weeks as the state's average daily test positivity rate has fallen below 4.5% in the last seven days, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

Cases have been trending south since mid-July, when the state issued a temporary shutdown of indoor operations for businesses like bars, movie theaters and restaurants.

Since hovering around 7.5% at that time, the state's test positivity rate has also steadily declined. While the seven-day positivity average sits at 4.4%, the state's 14-day average daily positivity rate now sits at 5.1%.

Newsom cautioned that while the rate of positive tests has trended down across the state, the pandemic will still be potent if people let their guard down.

"We saw this a few months back, we started to see progress over an extended period of time and, invariably, people said 'well, looks like we're out of the woods,'" he said.

The drop in the average positivity rate comes as the state begins to ramp its testing capacity back up from the swoon it suffered in recent weeks due to wildfires, poor air quality and a heat wave on the West Coast.

Daily coronavirus tests dipped from about 180,000 in early August to between 80,000 and 100,000 two weeks ago due to the wildfires and subsequent evacuations in the Bay Area.

Since then, the seven-day average of daily tests across the state has risen back above 100,000.

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions have declined at about the same rate, 23% over the past two weeks, Newsom said, adding that it shows "real progress" in containing the virus' spread.

Newsom advised people across the state to continue the steps they've taken to reduce the spread by wearing a face covering and maintaining distance from others, particularly during the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

Following the state and local health guidance, Newsom said, will be critical as the state gets deeper into a flu season that could coincide with a second wave of coronavirus cases and deaths.

"It's more important than ever to be vigilant as we work through the next few months," Newsom said.

As of Wednesday, 712,052 coronavirus cases have been confirmed across the state, including 13,163 deaths.

County advises businesses to seek legal counsel for customer COVID-19 issues

Santa Clara County officials advised business owners Wednesday to seek legal counsel rather than appealing to the county for help on what to do if customers are not respecting local and state public health guidelines to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.

As businesses reopen in the county amid the pandemic, residents are required to follow the state's face covering mandate when indoors or in close proximity to someone who does not live in their household.

State and local public health officials also continue to advise people to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between each other and stay home when feeling sick.

County spokesman Todd Naffziger said a business attorney would be better fit rather than the county to help a business owner determine how they should react and whether they can legally refuse service to a customer who refuses to wear a mask or follow other health and safety rules.

Naffziger said the county also runs a business call center at 408-961-5500 that can help business owners determine the steps they must take to resume operating outside or inside.

Read more here.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 339 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 17,802. Two more deaths were reported, increasing the death toll at 250. There are 128 people hospitalized, 15 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 69 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 8,390. The death toll has stayed at 132 since Monday. Thirty-nine people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

Santa Clara County reported 124 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 17,465. Four more deaths were reported, increasing the death toll at 248. There are 131 people hospitalized, 19 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 8,311. The death toll has stayed at 132 since Monday. Forty-six people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

Santa Clara County reported 175 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 17,349. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 244. There are 138 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new, as of Sunday.

San Mateo County reported 93 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the county's total to 8,260. One more person has died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 132. Fifty people are hospitalized as of Monday.

Santa Clara County reported 204 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total to 17,013. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 244. There were 139 people hospitalized, 21 of whom are new.

The county reported another 181 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday reflecting new diagnoses over the past several days, bringing the total to 17,194. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 244.

Due to technical issues, the update was not available on the county's data dashboard Sunday, health officials said on Twitter.

San Mateo County reported 77 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, bringing the county's total to 8,169. The death toll has stood at 131 since Thursday. Forty-two people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

State unveils new reopening guidelines

A color-coded, four-level tier system will replace the state's current COVID-19 watchlist in an effort to create a "more stringent, but more steady" process that determines when, and to what extent, counties can move forward with indoor business operations, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday.

The new tiered system aims to simplify the criteria used down to two metrics — the seven-day daily average of the coronavirus case rate and the positive test rate in each county. It also adds a 21-day buffer period, when counties must remain in a specific tier before they're eligible to move to the next one.

Under the tier system, 38 counties, including Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, will fall under the purple tier, which represents 87% of the state's population, Newsom said.

With the new state guidelines, both counties announced Friday evening that they will allow indoor malls to reopen at 25% capacity as well as hair salons and barbershops, which have been restricted from indoor operations.

Read more here.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 210 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 16,814. Five more people have died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 245. There are 138 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 99 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 8,074. The death toll has stood at 131 since Thursday. Forty-five people are hospitalized as of Friday.

Santa Clara County reported 218 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 16,607. Three more people have died since Wednesday, raising the death toll to 240. There are 138 people hospitalized, 17 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 67 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 7,978. One more person has died since Monday, raising the death toll to 131. Fifty-one people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

State aims to more than double testing capacity with new partnership

A new partnership with a public, Massachusetts-based diagnostic testing company will help boost California's COVID-19 testing capacity at a reduced cost, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday.

As the flu-season approaches and more people are expected to want to get tested, the state hopes to more than double its testing capacity through the new contract with PerkinElmer, a global corporation that also provides genetic testing, Newsom said at a press conference.

According to the governor, the deal includes a new laboratory that will take eight to 10 weeks to build out with the proper testing materials, such as reagents, needed to provide the state with an additional 150,000 diagnostic tests or swab tests per day.

"The goal is to stand up a laboratory facility and begin processing tens of thousands of additional tests by November 1 and run at full capacity by ­no later than March 1, 2021," according to a news release from the governor's office.

The contract also promises to reduce the cost of testing. Prices will vary depending on how many tests the state conducts. If 100,000 tests are performed, each test will cost an average of $47.99. Newsom said the state is aiming to conduct 150,000 tests for an average of cost of $30.78 per test. (The state currently conducts an average of 100,000 tests per day and each one costs around $150 to $200, Newsom said.)

"This is exactly what the federal government should be doing," Newsom said. "And had the federal government done this some time ago, you wouldn't see average costs of tests at $150 to $200, costing the taxpayers quite literally tens of billions of dollars."

Newsom also said the deal will help reduce turnaround time for tests results, which currently takes an average of seven days. With PerkinElmer, tests are guaranteed to arrive within 24 to 48 hours, which also will improve conditions for contract tracing, according to Newsom.

Several other conditions outlined in the contract, which the governor said will be made public, include: "favored nation status," which means the price could be reduced should another state also make a deal with PerkinElmer, but at a lower cost; an opt-out provision in case a cure for COVID-19 is made and tests are no longer a priority; and a "zero-cost" upgrade testing package for those who want to get tested for the seasonal flu and the coronavirus.

The announcement arrived just a few days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its previous testing guidance. It now recommends that people who are exposed to COVID-19 through close contact "do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or state or local public health officials recommend you take one."

Santa Clara County health leaders have balked at the new recommendation, including Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody, who called the changes "bizarre." They urged the public to continue to be tested for the virus if they have symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

"I don't agree with the new CDC guidance," Newsom said at the news conference. "We're influenced by our (health) experts in the field that feel very differently. So with respect to the CDC, no, that is not the policy guideline we will embrace or adopt here in the state of California."

At the state's current testing capacity, the positivity rate of COVID-19 continues to decrease. The two-week average now stands at 6.1%. Hospitalizations and intensive-care unit admissions for COVID-19 also continue to decrease at a 14-day average of 17% and 18%, respectively.

In addition, new sectoral state guidelines for reopening will be released on Friday, Newsom said.

County court system extends emergency bail schedule through January

Santa Clara County Superior Court Presiding Judge Deborah Ryan issued an order on Wednesday extending through January an emergency bail schedule intended to force much earlier release of detainees.

The order requires bail be set at $0 for most non-violent felonies and misdemeanors. Exceptions include any violation of a restraining order, for example.

The emergency bail schedule in Santa Clara County was first issued in April as the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown took hold. An earlier announcement cited concern about transmission of the coronavirus among or by arrestees while they are being held in the county jail.

The emergency bail measure comes amid a national movement for lower and more equitable bail amounts.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 94 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 16,393. Four more people have died since Tuesday, raising the death toll to 237. There are 142 people hospitalized, 15 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 70 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 7,911. The death toll has stood at 130 since Monday. Fifty-three people are hospitalized as of Wednesday, 48 of which are confirmed cases and five of which are suspected cases.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Tuesday that counties should begin issuing guidance for Labor Day weekend as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Tuesday that counties should begin issuing guidance for Labor Day weekend as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Ghaly warned that large family and social gatherings during the holiday weekend could dismantle the progress the state has made in recent weeks in curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

As the state has vacillated between reopening and closing certain medium- and high-risk industries, Ghaly said the most pertinent thing public health officials have learned since the pandemic began is the role individual people play in following health and safety protocol.

"This sneaky virus that we call COVID-19 doesn't take a rest," he said. "It will find every opportunity to transit from person to person because that's what germs do."

Ghaly called the upcoming holiday weekend an "incredible moment" for the state and the country at large to prevent further spread of the virus and likened it to guidance the state issued regarding large gatherings for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

Thousands gathered on beaches throughout the state on Memorial Day weekend and flouted public health guidelines by not wearing masks or maintaining their distance.

As a result, the state partnered with local law enforcement agencies for the Fourth of July weekend to enforce public health guidance while local governments restricted public beach access.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has not yet indicated whether he will take similar measures for Labor Day weekend.

City managers in Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Sand City, Capitola and Santa Cruz have already indicated they will close local beaches during the holiday weekend from Sept. 5-7 to prevent the virus' spread.

"We've learned and continue to learn that any activities or actions that increase mixing among people who haven't been together in quite some time creates a transmission risk," Ghaly said.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 160 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 16,306. Nine more people have died since Saturday, raising the death toll to 233. There are 153 people hospitalized, 16 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 67 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 7,849. The death toll has stood at 130 since Monday. Fifty-two people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

Santa Clara County reported 152 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 16,151. The death toll has stayed at 224 since Saturday. There are 157 people hospitalized, 24 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 117 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 7,788. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 130. Fifty-eight people are hospitalized as of Monday.

Wildfires add hurdles to state's handling of pandemic

Wildfires of unprecedented magnitude are adding stress to the state's handling of the coronavirus.

As thousands of residents are being told by local fire authorities to evacuate due to their proximity to the wildfires, many have moved into hotels and congregate facilities that will require health screenings as well as physical distancing and mask protocols, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

At the time of the governor's noon press conference on Monday, the state was experiencing 625 active fires — 17 of which constitute major fires, including the LNU, CZU and SCU Lightning Complex fires in the greater Bay Area. A total of roughly 1.2 million acres have burned in the recent fires, according to Newsom.

Newsom said there are currently 17 active congregate evacuation shelters placed throughout seven counties that are temporarily sheltering 731 people. When asked if he was worried about a potential COVID-19 outbreak, Newsom responded that he wasn't concerned because the health protocols were extensive, requiring health screenings, such as a temperature check for admission, physical distancing and masks. The state also will be seeking more air purifiers for the facilities.

The governor noted, however, that most evacuees are being placed in non-congregate facilities such as hotels. To date, the state has sheltered 1,480 people through partnerships with 31 hotels across 599 rooms, Newsom said.

The governor also said that 11 in-state testing labs, including Verily, have been directly impacted by the fires, though he did not address exactly how that might impact the state's current testing capacity, which stands at 102,672 daily tests over a seven-day average.

Despite these hurdles, Newsom said that the state was making progress with its handling of the pandemic, citing decreased hospitalization rates and fewer counties on the state's monitoring list that tracks counties with troubling COVID-19 trends.

In the past 14 days, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations decreased by 20%, from 5,549 patients reported on Aug. 10 to 4,467 patients reported on Aug. 23. Intensive-care unit admissions for the coronavirus also decreased by 19%, from 1,725 patients to 1,397 patients for the same reporting dates.

Five counties were recently removed from the state's monitoring list, which allows them to loosen health restrictions. There are now a total of 35 counties on the list, including Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

Newsom said that further guidelines on reopening will be released later this week.

Santa Clara County reported 196 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total to 15,688, and two more people have died, raising the death toll to 224. There were 155 people hospitalized, 20 of whom were new.

On Sunday, the county added 327 more cases to its total, which rose to 16,011. No new deaths were reported. There are 158 people hospitalized, 20 of whom are new.

San Mateo County reported 101 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, bringing the county's total to 7,670. The death toll remains at 128. Fifty-seven people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

Santa Clara County reported 243 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 15,496. Five more people have died, raising the death toll to 222. There are 153 people hospitalized, 16 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 63 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 7,535. The death toll remains at 128. Fifty-eight people were hospitalized as of Friday.

Santa Clara County reported 180 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 15,258. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 217. There are 162 people hospitalized, 23 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 80 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 7,472. One more person has died since Monday, raising the death toll to 128. Fifty people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

Santa Clara County reported 221 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 15,085. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 216. There are 166 people hospitalized, 18 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 38 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 7,382. The death toll has stood at 127 since Monday. Fifty people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.

Santa Clara County reported 249 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 14,872. Four more people have died since Saturday, raising the death toll to 213. There are 171 people hospitalized, 21 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 73 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 7,321. The death toll has stood at 127 since Monday. Fifty-seven people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

Santa Clara County reported 229 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 14,636. The death toll has stood at 209 since Saturday. There are 172 people hospitalized, 28 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 116 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 7,228. One more person has died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 127. Fifty-seven people are hospitalized as of Monday.

Stanford radiologist joins Trump COVID-19 health adviser

Stanford radiologist Dr. Scott W. Atlas has been named by President Donald Trump as an adviser to the White House's coronavirus task force, Trump announced during an Aug. 10 press briefing.

Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, is a regular commentator on Fox News who has downplayed the risk of the coronavirus on younger people and has criticized the lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the disease. He supports full school reopenings.

Atlas has served as senior adviser for health care to a number of presidential candidates and counseled members of Congress on health care, testified before federal legislators and briefed directors of key agencies in the U.S. government. He is not an infectious disease expert nor an epidemiologist.

He is a frequent policy adviser to policymakers and U.S. government officials and in other countries, according to his Stanford biography. He previously served as chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center.

Trump expressed confidence in Atlas.

"Scott is a very famous man who’s also very highly respected. ... And he’s working with us and will be working with us on the coronavirus. And he has many great ideas. And he thinks what we’ve done is really good, and now we’ll take it to a new level. And so it’s great to have Scott working along with us," Trump said at the press briefing, where Atlas joined him.

Atlas received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a medical degree from the University of Chicago School of Medicine.

More counties land on state's monitoring list

Though the statewide numbers on COVID-19 hospitalizations and positivity rates have decreased, five more counties landed on the state's monitoring list over the past few weeks.

Since July 25, Amador, Mendocino, Inyo, Calaveras and Sierra counties have been added to the list, which tracks transmission rates and hospitalizations within each county. As of Monday, 42 of California's 58 counties, including San Mateo and Santa Clara, were on the watchlist.

Santa Cruz County was removed from the list last Friday and San Diego County is expected to be removed as early as Tuesday, Newsom said.

The overall rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 throughout the state, however, is decreasing. Now accounting for the backlog of positive cases, which initially caused the state to underreport COVID-19's impact, Newsom said the positivity rate between July 26 and Aug. 2 still decreased from 7.6% to 7.2%.

In the past two weeks, the average positivity rate was 6.5%.

COVID-19 hospitalizations decreased 21%, from 6,302 hospitalizations recorded on Aug. 3 to 4,975 hospitalizations on Sunday. Intensive-care unit admissions also decreased by 16%.

Santa Clara County announced 363 new cases on Saturday and 244 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 14,429. The number of deaths in the county stands at 209, one of which was reported on Saturday. There are 173 people hospitalized, 20 of which are new, as of Sunday.

On Saturday and Sunday, San Mateo County added 198 new cases to its total, which is now 7,150. The death toll has stood at 126 since Aug. 13. Out of the 60 people hospitalized as of Sunday, 52 are confirmed with the virus and eight are suspected cases.

Santa Clara County reported 523 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 13,856. There are 176 people hospitalized, 31 of which are new.

In a tweet, the Public Health Department stated it had removed one death from the total after learning it belonged to another county, then learned of additional death in the county. The changes keep the county's death toll at 208.

San Mateo County reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 6,952. The death toll remained at 126 and there were 59 people hospitalized as of Friday.

Supervisor to host COVID-19 town hall

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian will host a telephone town hall on the status of COVID-19 in the county on Sunday, Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. He will be joined by Dr. George Ruther Ford, director of the Prevention and Public Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco, and Assistant County Counsel Greta Hansen.

Anyone interested in joining the event can register here. A livestream of the event will be available here.

Santa Clara County reported 298 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 13,340. The new cases include ones that were diagnosed over the past few days, the county said in a tweet. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 208. There are 169 people hospitalized, 24 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported about 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 6,803. Four more people have died since Monday, raising the death toll to 126. Fifty-four people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

Santa Clara County reported 121 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 13,059. The death toll — 207 — remains unchanged since Tuesday. There are 166 people hospitalized, 23 of which are new.

The percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the county has gone down over the past two weeks, from 7.4% on July 28 to 6.56 on Aug. 11.

San Mateo County reported about 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 6,640. The death toll has stayed at 122 since Monday. Fifty-five people are hospitalized as of Wednesday. The county has one patient from out of the county under its care, a reduction by 20 over the past three weeks.

In the past 24-hour reporting period, there were 5,433 new COVID-19 cases across the state — plus another 6,212 cases that were backlogged due to an issue with the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange reporting system, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a press conference during the noon hour Wednesday.

The state is still in the process of properly dating those backlogged COVID-19 cases before it can provide a more accurate positivity rate, Newsom said.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have decreased about 19% over the past two weeks, from 6,743 hospitalized patients reported on July 29 to 5,442 patients reported on Aug. 11. The number of intensive-care unit admissions also decreased by about 16%, Newsom said, with 2,029 people admitted on July 29 compared to 1,699 people admitted on Aug. 11.

Newsom runs down economic recovery plans during COVID-19 pandemic

At a press conference Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed a large package of economic recovery plans that his office is currently negotiating on with the state Legislature.

Newsom said he hopes to move forward with state-funded infrastructure projects, as well as wildfire prevention and green initiatives projects; expanding workforce training programs; improving technological infrastructure for the workforce through the Office of Digital Innovation; and other initiatives to help businesses and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a state tax exemption for small businesses that received federal funding.

The governor also mentioned that he will announce detailed plans on how the state will close the "digital divide" by helping more students and workers get access to high-speed broadband.

Santa Clara County reported 280 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 12,962. Two more people have died since Sunday, raising the death toll to 207. There are 180 people hospitalized, 21 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported about 69 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 6,535. The death toll has stayed at 122 since Monday. Fifty-five people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

Pac-12 Conference postpones all sports

The Pac-12 Conference announced Tuesday that it has postponed all sports through the end of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision affects two Bay Area schools in the conference: Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley.

The Pac-12 CEO Group unanimously voted to postpone the fall sports calendar after consulting with the conference's Medical Advisory Committee over concerns for player and coach safety. Pac-12 officials also said they would consider a return of postponed sports in spring 2021 if conditions improve.

In a statement, Stanford University Athletics Director Bernard Muir said the postponement is "disappointing for many people, but none more than our student-athletes." He remains hopeful that the university will figure out a way to give those student-athletes a chance to participate in their sport in the winter and spring.

Muir also described the safety measures the university rolled out this summer for student-athletes to train at campus facilities. "Even with those protocols in place, however, we are still not prepared to allow our programs to take the next step of moving to the level of physical contact and equipment sharing needed to prepare to compete safely," Muir said.

"Unlike professional sports, college sports cannot operate in a bubble," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. "Our athletic programs are a part of broader campuses in communities where in many cases the prevalence of COVID-19 is significant."

Read more here.

Santa Clara County reported 751 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 12,694. The state is working to resolve an issue with its reporting system, the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange, which has led to underreported data in recent weeks, the county said in a statement. The county has started to receive some of the backlogged data, which may result in substantial increases in new cases over the next few days. The 751 cases announced were positive tests from the last week, though some go as far back as July 8.

There are 177 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 25 of which are new. The death toll has stayed at 205 since Sunday.

San Mateo County reported about 44 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 6,431. Two more people have died since Aug. 3, raising the death toll to 122. Forty-seven people are hospitalized as of Monday.

Newsom: State can't afford White House unemployment benefits plan

The state of California does not have the financial wherewithal to afford the White House's plan to extend expanded unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

Newsom said in his daily coronavirus briefing Monday that the state would have to cover 25% of the costs associated with a $400 per week unemployment insurance payment, as outlined in a memorandum President Donald Trump announced over the weekend.

That 25% would amount to the state spending between $700 million and $3 billion in taxpayer funds per week. The state would have to make sharp cuts to public services to foot that bill, Newsom said.

"The state does not have an identified resource of $700 million per week that we haven't already obliged," he said.

While the state received billions from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by Congress in March, Newsom said all of that funding has already been allocated.

Read more here.

State releases guidance for colleges, universities

The state released on Friday detailed reopening guidance for higher education institutions, which, among other restrictions, prohibits indoor classes for college and universities in counties that have been on the state's coronavirus monitoring list for three consecutive days.

The California Department of Public Health noted this guidance is interim, likely to change and "do not reflect the full scope of issues that institutions of higher education will need to address." The implementation also depends on local public health conditions, including that new coronavirus cases and hospitalization rates should be "consistently stable or decreasing over at least 14 days" as well as local availability of testing.

"These guidelines and considerations are based on the best available public health data at this time, international best practices currently employed, and the practical realities of managing operations," the guidance states. "Implementation of this guidance should be tailored for each setting, including adequate consideration of programs operating at each institution and the needs of students and workers. Administrators should engage relevant stakeholders — including students, their families, staff and labor partners in the school community — to formulate and implement plans."

Locally, Stanford University is still planning to alternate bringing half of its undergraduate students to campus during different quarters, with the majority of courses still happening online, even for students who are living there in person. The university said it will provide another update on plans for the fall quarter this month.

Foothill College, the Los Altos Hills community college, has planned for a fully virtual fall quarter, with limited exceptions for students in health programs who need some in-person training to complete their degrees, including for dental hygiene, paramedic, radiologic technology, pharmacy technologist, respiratory therapy and veterinary technology.

Read more here.

Santa Clara County recorded 221 new cases on Saturday, raising its total to 11,687. One more person died, increasing the death toll to 204.

The county reported another 270 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total to 11,954. There are 172 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 20 of which are new. The county reported an additional death Sunday, bringing the total death toll to 205.

San Mateo County reported 135 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 6,318. The death toll has stayed at 120 since Aug. 3. Forty-five people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

Santa Clara County reported 157 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 11,475. The death toll has risen by seven to 203. There are 169 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 23 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 132 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 6,110. The death toll has stayed at 120 since Aug. 3. Fifty-four people are hospitalized as of Friday.

Santa Clara County reported 220 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 11,336. The death toll has stood at 196 since Wednesday. There are 169 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 29 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 5,978. The death toll has stayed at 120 since Aug. 3. Forty-eight people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

A data glitch in the state's reporting system for communicable diseases has impacted local public health departments across the state from accurately reporting new cases, according to notices on San Mateo and Santa Clara counties' websites.

Santa Clara County reported 101 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 11,128. Four more people have died, raising the death toll to 196. There are 172 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 16 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 54 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 5,891. The death toll has stayed at 120 since Aug. 3. Fifty-three people are hospitalized as of Wednesday.

The state continues to face problems with its reporting system for communicable diseases, which has resulted in incomplete results of COVID-19 tests for local health departments across the state, including San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Notices on both counties' websites don't indicate when the issue is expected to be resolved.

Lack of up-to-date data leaves Santa Clara County 'back to feeling blind'

Statewide technical issues resulting in incomplete COVID-19 testing data have left Santa Clara County "back to feeling blind," County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a news conference Wednesday.

Cody said the lack of data makes her feel like the county has regressed to what it was in February and March when there wasn't enough testing and data to indicate the impacts of COVID-19.

The county's current cumulative case count is over 11,000, according to the county dashboard, but cases have been significantly underreported since mid-July because of the glitch in the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE) disease reporting system.

"We don't know how the epidemic is trending. We don't know where it's heading, how fast it's growing," Cody said.

Though the case count shows a trend downward, Cody expects that case count to increase up after the complete data is processed.

However, Cody indicated that countywide hospitalization rates have declined in the last few weeks. Since July 13, the county has had an average daily death of 1-2 people, according to the county dashboard.

"While we again can't interpret what our last two weeks of data mean as far as the cases, the last week or two of hospitalization data is somewhat reassuring that things are leveling off," Cody said. "But it is not enough to really know."

If data indicates a substantial spike after it is completely processed, Cody said the county may impose stricter health orders, similar to ones from March.

The state is still diagnosing the technical problem, but Cody said it appears that the electronic lab results were not properly routed into the state's system. The health officer also added that the county has offered to assist the state to fix the technical issues.

Appointment-based COVID-19 test sites available in Santa Clara County

Beginning this week, Santa Clara County will provide appointment-based testing sites on a consistently scheduled, rotating basis, according to County Supervisor Joe Simitian.

Testing sites will take place in cities including Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Saratoga, and Sunnyvale.

"Convenience is key," Simitian said. "If we want more people to be tested, providing locally available and convenient sites is essential."

The new sites will require an appointment, which will be open for scheduling three days before the testing date. Appointments can be scheduled online at scl.fulgentgenetics.com/appointment/screen/landing.

Read more here.

Santa Clara County reported 240 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 11,030. One more person has died since Friday, raising the death toll to 192. There are 169 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 10 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 5,758. The death toll has stayed at 120 since Aug. 3. Sixty people are hospitalized as of Tuesday.

On their websites, each county noted that recent data for several dashboards, including cases, testing and long-term care facilities, are incomplete "due to a significant and unresolved problem" facing the state's reporting system for COVID-19, the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange. There was no estimate of when the issue would be resolved.

State outlines waiver process for schools seeking to hold classes in person

State epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan on Tuesday outlined the state's waiver process for K-6 schools that seek to hold classes in person even if they are in a county on California's coronavirus watchlist.

Pan, the former health officer for Alameda County, said K-6 schools can apply for a waiver to begin in-person instruction if they are located in a county that meets several criteria in spite of being on the state's watchlist.

On the Midpeninsula, several private elementary schools intend to seek a waiver, including Bowman School, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Emerson School and Silicon Valley International School in Palo Alto, Pinewood School in Los Altos and the German International School of Silicon Valley in Mountain View.

Individual schools must submit a site-specific plan to keep students and staff safe, taking into account input from interest groups like labor unions and parent organizations.

Those schools must then publicly post their plan and submit it to their local health officer to apply for a waiver.

California Department of Public Health officials will then review each application on a case-by-case basis, taking into account factors such as which direction indicators like coronavirus positivity rates are trending in a given county.

Read more here.

Santa Clara County reported 185 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 10,794. The death toll has stood at 191 since Friday. There are 181 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 21 of which are new.

The county's latest testing data shows a slight dip in the county's test positivity rate between July 19-26, the latest week for which data is available. The week began with a test positivity rate of 4% and went down to 3.73% on July 22 before it climbed up to 4.06% on July 25. The rate currently stands at 3.94%.

San Mateo County reported 40 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 5,744. One more person has died since July 30, raising the death toll to 120. Sixty-six people are hospitalized as of Monday.

The county has tabulated a total of 107,035 coronavirus tests, 5,682 had positive results, 101,301 are negative and 52 are pending results. The county's test positivity rate has stayed around 5% for several weeks. Over the past seven days, the county's test positivity rose by 0.2% to 5.3%. Four weeks ago, the rate was 4.9%.

State's COVID-19 data points on the decline, but "it's still too high," Newsom says

COVID-19 positivity rates and hospitalizations are on a decline statewide, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

At a press conference on Monday, Newsom said California's 14-day average positivity rate — or the number of positive COVID-19 cases out of the total number of conducted tests — is now at 7%, a half-percent decrease since July 20. The seven-day average stands at 6.1%, based on approximately 126,874 daily tests conducted throughout the state over the past week.

"It's not where it needs to be, it's still too high … but it's good to see this number trending down," Newsom said.

The number of hospitalizations also has decreased by 10% over the past 14 days, a marked difference from a few weeks ago when the same data point showed hospitalizations increasing by 50%, Newsom said. On July 20, 7,091 people were hospitalized. There are now 6,383 hospitalized, according to data reported on Aug. 2. In addition, intensive care unit admissions declined by 5%.

Despite the decreasing numbers, counties continue to be placed on the state's monitoring list — an indicator used to show which county has not met the state Public Health Department's criteria for mitigating the impacts of COVID-19. As of Aug. 3, 38 counties were on the list, including Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

San Mateo was placed on the list on July 29, more than a month after the region reopened many businesses, including hair salons. After being on the list for more than three days, the county was forced to roll back those indoor operations on Sunday.

On Saturday, Santa Clara County reported a total of 10,323 cases, 410 of which were new. Another 313 new cases of the coronavirus were reported on Sunday, bringing the total to 10,626. The county's death toll has stood at 191 since Friday.

There were 182 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Saturday. On Sunday, there were 183 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 18 of which are new.

San Mateo County reported 121 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, bringing the county's total to 5,683. The death toll has stood at 119 since July 30. Sixty-two people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

San Mateo County under new shutdown order

Officials in San Mateo County announced Saturday that certain indoor businesses and activities must shut down or move to outdoor operations beginning at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 2.

The state gave the order due to the county being on California's COVID-19 watchlist for three days. The businesses affected include gyms and fitness centers, churches, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and shopping malls.

Read more here.

Santa Clara County reported 189 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 9,913. One more person has died of the disease, raising the county's death toll to 191. There are 178 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 25 of which are new.

Palo Alto has a total of 155 cases, 11 of which have surfaced over the past week and 26 of which have been recorded over the last two weeks. The city's total makes up about 0.2% of the city population.

Mountain View's total also makes up 0.2% of the city population, but has seen more cases compared to its neighbor to the north. The city has 202 cases as of Friday, an increase of 17 in the last seven days and a rise of 52 in the last two weeks.

San Mateo County reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 5,544. The death toll remained at 119 and 66 people were hospitalized.

Santa Clara County reported 122 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total to 9,731. Three more people have died of the disease, raising the county's death toll to 190. There are 177 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 23 of which are new.

A total of 4,654 new cases were reported between June 30 and July 30, more than double the amount recorded a month earlier. Between May 30 and June 30, the county saw its total increase with 2,280 new cases.

San Mateo County reported 64 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county's total to 5,469. One more person has died since Monday, raising the death toll to 119. Fifty-eight people are hospitalized as of Thursday.

The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday, July 30.

East Palo Alto has 488 cases, which makes up nearly 2% of the city population. The city has seen 303 new cases (which comprises 53% of its total cases) over the past four weeks.

Menlo Park has 226 cases, impacting about 0.65% of the city population. A total of 72 cases have surfaced in the city since July 2. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:

• Atherton: 27 (increase by one from July 23).

• East Palo Alto: 569 (increase by 81 from July 23).

• Menlo Park: 226 (increase by 18 from July 23).

• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from July 23).

• Portola Valley: 23 (increase by one from July 23).

• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from July 23).

• Woodside: 23 (no change from July 23).

Santa Clara County confirms 31 COVID-19 cases at four Costco locations

A public health investigation found that at least 31 employees across four Costco locations in Santa Clara County have tested positive for COVID-19, revealing a cluster of infections that may have occurred in retail stores during the month of July, according to a statement by the county Thursday.

County officials confirmed the most cases, 13, were at the Sunnyvale Costco, followed by eight at the Senter Road location in San Jose. Six cases were reported at the Gilroy Costco, and four were discovered at the Mountain View location.

While the investigation is ongoing, early results indicate that the employees contracted the virus by way of "community transmission," rather than infection between employees, county officials said.

Costco representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more here.

Santa Clara County reported 259 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 9,612. Two more people have died of the disease, raising the county's death toll to 187.

Of the 185 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 29 patients are new. Another 25 patients are under investigation for the virus. The seven-day average of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has more than doubled over the past month, from 2.96% on June 29 to 7.4% on July 28.

San Mateo County reported 62 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to 5,398. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 118.

Sixty-nine people are hospitalized as of Wednesday. The county's out-of-county patients has significantly reduced from 21 on July 22 (making up 32% of the total COVID-19 patients) to six on July 29 (making up 10% of the total).

There has been little change in the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds, which have ranged between 16 and 20 over the past week. There have been slightly higher fluctuations in the amount of COVID-19 patients in acute care beds, which has ranged from 50 to 65 since July 22.

San Mateo County joins state watchlist

For weeks, San Mateo County has been the only Bay Area county to evade the state's coronavirus watchlist, but on Wednesday it joined the crowd.

The July 29 announcement by county officials saying San Mateo County is joining California's watchlist means that a wide range of businesses and activities must shut down starting Aug. 1, unless they can be modified to operate outside or by pick-up.

According to the county, this order applies means the following must close operation: Gyms and fitness centers; places of worship and cultural ceremonies, such as weddings and funerals; offices for businesses not in essential service sectors; personal care services, like nail salons and body waxing; hair salons and barbershops; and shopping malls.

Among other criteria, the state's threshold for inclusion on the watchlist is a COVID-19 case rate of 100 per 100,000 of the population. The county's case rate as of July 29, based on a 14-day rolling average, was 110.4 positive cases per 100,000.

Read more here.

Santa Clara County reported 158 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 9,359. One more person has died of the disease, raising the county's death toll to 185. There are 174 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 23 of which are new.

The latest data shows 770 cases originated at 63 long-term care facilities, which makes up 8% of the county's 9,359 cases. The number of cases at the facilities has continued to take up a smaller portion of the county's total cases over the past few weeks. A total of 119 cases have been reported from the facilities over the past month.

San Mateo County reported 89 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 5,306. No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 118. Seventy people are hospitalized as of Monday.

Long-term care facilities have 552 reported cases as of July 22, the latest date for which data is available. No new cases have been reported out of long-term care facilities in the county since July 13.

The facilities, which make up about 6% of the county's total, have seen its case total rise by single digits since June 2, indicating a slowdown in the spread of COVID-19 in those spaces.

Santa Clara County reported 206 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 9,215. No new deaths were recorded Monday; overall, 184 people have died of COVID-19 in the county. There are 174 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, 27 of which are new.

The latest testing data shows the county's test positivity rate hit 4.25% on July 17, the highest percentage over the past month. The rate has gone down to 3.93% as of July 19, the latest date for which the average is available. Four weeks ago, the test positivity rate stood at 2.29%.

San Mateo County reported 72 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 5,198. One more person has died of the disease, raising the death toll to 118. Eighty-two people are hospitalized as of Monday.

The county's test positivity rate is 5.1% as of Sunday, a slight increase of 0.1% over the past week and 0.2% over the past month. A total of 98,535 tests have been performed in the county, nearly 6,000 of which were recorded since July 19. A little over 33,000 tests have been collected within the past four weeks.

Santa Clara County reported 114 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total to 8,833 since the start of the pandemic. Three more deaths were recorded on Saturday; overall, 184 people have died of COVID-19 in the county. There were 178 people hospitalized on Friday, filling nearly 7% of the hospital beds in the county. That percentage is three times what it was one month ago.

On Sunday, the county announced 218 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 9,041. No new deaths were recorded Sunday; overall, 184 people have died of COVID-19 in the county. There are 175 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19, an increase of 32.

San Mateo County reported 102 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, bringing the county's total to 5,124 since the start of the pandemic. No new deaths were recorded over the weekend; overall, 117 people have died of the disease in the county. Seventy-five people are hospitalized as of Sunday.

Santa Clara County reported 190 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing its total to 8,719. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 183. There are 176 people hospitalized, 37 of which are new.

Palo Alto has 144 cases, 15 of which were added over the past week. Mountain View has 185 cases, 35 of which have surfaced since July 17, a larger increase within seven days compared to the prior week. Each city's total makes up 0.2% of their respective populations.

San Mateo County reported 65 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county's total to 5,022 since the start of the pandemic. There were no new deaths recorded; overall, 117 people have died of the disease in the county. Sixty-seven people were hospitalized as of Friday.

Santa Clara County reported 216 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing its total to 8,533. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 181. There are 173 people hospitalized, 32 of which are new.

The latest data shows COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect Latino residents, which had roughly 3,910 (or 45.8%) of the 8,533 cases. This group, which added nearly 1,300 cases over the past two weeks, makes up about 26% of the county's population.

As of Thursday, another 1,075 cases were found in white residents, which had the second-highest number of cases based on race/ethnicity and make up 32% of the county population.

San Mateo County reported 64 new cases on Thursday, raising its total to 4,957. Three more people have died since July 13, raising the death toll to 117. Seventy-four people were hospitalized as of Thursday.

The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday, July 23.

East Palo Alto has 488 cases, an increase by 87 over the past week and, along with South San Francisco, the fourth-highest number of cases across the county. It has 164.7 cases for every 10,000 residents, the highest rate compared to other cities.

Twenty-one more cases in Menlo Park over the past week raised the city's total to 208, the sixth-highest total in the county. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:

• Atherton: 26 (increase by three from July 16).

• East Palo Alto: 488 (increase by 87 from July 16).

• Menlo Park: 208 (increase by 21 from July 16).

• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from July 16).

• Portola Valley: 24 (no change from July 16).

• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from July 16).

• Woodside: 23 (increase by seven from July 16).

Santa Clara County reported 280 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 8,321. Two more people have died, raising the death toll to 180. There are 169 people hospitalized with the coronavirus, 36 of which are new, and another 34 people are under investigation for the disease.

The county has seen 29 more COVID-19 patients hospitalized between July 14 and 21, during which time the average of beds has risen by 1% to 6.53%. Of the 169 patients hospitalized with the virus, 116 are in non-intensive care unit beds and 50 are in ICU. A month earlier, 48 people were hospitalized with the virus, 25 of whom were in ICU.

San Mateo County reported 93 new cases on Wednesday, raising its total to 4,885. The death toll has stayed at 114 since July 13.

Seventy-four people were hospitalized as of Wednesday, 65 of whom were confirmed with COVID-19 and nine of whom had suspected cases. The current number of patients is more than three times the amount recorded on June 23, when 27 people were hospitalized. Over the past month, the county started sharing data on out-of-county COVID-19 patients in its health system. As of Wednesday, 21 of the 74 patients were from outside of San Mateo County, making 32% of confirmed patients.

San Mateo County could wind up on state watchlist

In comments to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, county Health Chief Louise Rogers said two factors could place the county on the state's watchlist — the coronavirus case rate and the local hospital census.

The county's rate is 105.7 per 100,000 in the population, a 14-day rolling average, according to a press release issued Tuesday. Although the county's case rate is lower than that of the Bay Area (109.2), it is just above the state's guideline that the rate should be below 100.

The percentage of COVID-positive patients in local hospitals was 10.8 on Monday, down from 12.1 on July 17.

"Given the relatively small patient census numbers (as of Monday, there were 74 patients, including transfers from San Quentin State Prison), a handful of incoming or discharged patients affects the percentage, increasing the variability," county officials said.

Rogers has asked state officials to evaluate the data "with sensitivity to underlying core issues and local concerns," according to the press release.

San Mateo County was the only Bay Area county not on the watchlist as of The Almanac's press deadline Wednesday, but Rogers said she expects the county to be added soon.

If the county is added to the list and remains on it for three consecutive days, the state would require the closure of gyms and fitness centers; hair and nail salons, as well as other personal care services; barbershops; shopping malls; offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors; and places of worship, as well as weddings and funerals.

Santa Clara County reported 254 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing its total to 8,046. The death toll has stayed at 178 since Monday. There are 167 people hospitalized, 28 of which are new.

Over the past month, the county has seen a lower rate of cases at long-term care facilities make up its total. On June 21, the facilities constituted 14.5% of the county's 3,855 cases at the time. As of July 21, 724 cases were reported from 59 facilities, amounting to 8.9% of the county's total.

The number of infections found in people ages 39 and younger comprises a little over 50% of the county's total cases. Three weeks earlier, people in the 0-19, 20-29 and 30-39 age groups made up 43% of the county's total cases.

San Mateo County reported 72 new cases on Tuesday, raising its total to 4,776. The death toll has stayed at 114 since July 13. Seventy-seven people were hospitalized as of Tuesday.

When it comes to age groups, the county has seen the most cases in people 30-39 years old, which had 970 cases as of Tuesday, an increase of 416 over the past four weeks. Another 922 cases have been found in people ages 20-29, a group that has seen 453 new cases since June 22, the highest growth of cases in the past month compared to other age groups.

Fewer infections appear to be coming out of long-term care facilities in the county, which had 539 cases out of 34 facilities as of July 15, the latest date for which data is available. There have been no new cases reported since July 5.

Santa Clara County reported 347 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing its total to 7,795. One more person has died since Friday, raising the death toll to 178. In a tweet, the county said the new infections and additional death occurred over the past few days. There are 156 people hospitalized, 30 of which are new.

Of the 308,985 tests recorded in the county, 8,654 have returned positive and 300,331 came back negative. Results turn around on an average of 2.15 days.

The county has seen more tests in the past week compared to a week earlier, during which time the test positivity rate has also gone up. Over the last seven days, the county has performed 41,325 tests and a positivity rate of 3.98%, which has risen by 1.22% since July 13.

The same trend could be seen when compared to data from four weeks ago. On June 22, the county collected a total of 127,148 tests (24,300 of which were gathered over the prior seven days) and had a test positivity rate of 2.84%.

Also on Monday, the county unveiled downloadable data tables on testing, cases, deaths and hospitalizations that support its dashboards. The public can view the data here.

San Mateo County reported 110 new cases on Monday, raising its total to 4,674. The death toll has stayed at 114 since July 13. Seventy-four people were hospitalized as of Monday.

Over the past month, the county has recorded 37,413 tests and maintained a positivity rate of 5.0%. Of the 92,587 people tested on July 19, 4,674 received positive results, 87,854 received negative results and 59 are pending results.

State on alert as positive cases, hospitalization rise

Gov. Gavin Newsom stressed Monday that the actions of residents across the state will determine how quickly the state reopens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newsom has continuously advocated for the use of masks and face coverings and the need for physical distancing as the pandemic has worn on, encouraging residents that certain activities like in-person schooling and indoor dining are not feasible if people flout the state's public health guidelines.

"We have to minimize the transmission of this disease," Newsom said. "We have to minimize that by practicing physical distancing, wearing the face coverings and doing the kinds of things that are well-described and, obviously, now need to be more vigilantly followed."

The state continues to see an aggregate rise in positive cases and hospitalizations due to the coronavirus as counties started to reopen at the outset of summer. An average of nearly 9,000 people per day tested positive for the coronavirus over the last week, Newsom said.

In addition, the state's positive test rate continues to hover around 7.5 percent despite an average of more than 120,000 tests being completed each day.

"We're going to continue to ramp up those efforts," Newsom said of the state's testing capacity.

Alongside the surge in cases, coronavirus deaths in the state also reached an average of 91 each day over the last week, according to state officials.

"Hospitalizations and (intensive care unit) use continue to be a cause of concern in the state," Newsom said. "That's why we want everybody to double down on everything we have been doing so that we can get back to school, get back to work in the traditional ways."

Santa Clara County reported 179 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 7,300 on Saturday. Another 157 new cases recorded on Sunday raised the total to 7,456. The death toll has stayed at 177 since Friday.

There are 151 people hospitalized, 19 of which are new, according to the county's hospital dashboard last updated Sunday. Of the confirmed cases, 42 are in intensive care unit beds and 107 are in non-intensive care unit beds. Another 35 patients are under investigation for the coronavirus, 33 of whom are in non-intensive care unit beds.

San Mateo County reported 65 new cases since Friday, raising its total to 4,551 as of Sunday. The death toll has stayed at 114 since July 13. Seventy-two people were hospitalized as of Sunday.

Santa Clara County reported 98 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 7,131 on Friday. One more person has died, raising the death toll to 177. There are 146 people hospitalized, 28 of which are new.

Palo Alto's total of cases currently stands at 129, which translates to a rate of 192 cases for every 100,000 residents and an increase of 16 over the past seven days. Mountain View's total of cases went up by 29 since July 10. The city's 150 cases convert to a rate of 185 cases for every 100,000 residents.

San Mateo County on Friday reported 58 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 4,465. The death toll has stayed at 114 since Monday. Sixty-nine people were hospitalized as of Friday.

Newsom: Schools in watch-list counties cannot reopen in person

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that public and private schools in counties on the state's coronavirus watch list — including currently, Santa Clara County and likely soon, San Mateo County — cannot reopen for in-person instruction until they've been off the list for 14 days.

This means that schools in these counties must plan for full distance learning in the fall, and those that had hoped to reopen their campuses, including Palo Alto Unified, must switch gears. Counties on the watch list have not met state benchmarks for positive case rates, hospitalizations and hospital capacity.

Counties not being monitored by the state can decide locally in partnership with local health leaders whether to offer in-person instruction, Newsom said.

San Mateo County Health Chief Louise Rogers said Friday that the county is not currently on the state's watch list but "likely" will be soon, given the county's case rate of 101.2 cases per 100,000 in the population (a 14-day rolling average).

Read more here.

Santa Clara County reported 101 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 7,046 on Thursday. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 176. There are 145 people hospitalized, 23 of which are new.

The most cases have been found in people ages 20-29, who make up 18.5% of the county's total cases. This group has also seen the highest increase in cases in over two weeks, from about 700 on June 30 to roughly 1,300 on July 16.

People ages 30-39 have also seen a large jump in that same time span, from 772 on June 30 to 1,281 on July 16.

San Mateo County on Thursday reported 63 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 4,403. The death toll has stayed at 114 since Monday. Eighty-seven people were hospitalized as of Thursday.

The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday, July 16.

East Palo Alto added 72 new cases over the past week, the highest increase in cases in seven days since total cases by city data was first released by the county Health Department. Its total, 401, makes up about 9% of the county's total cases.

Menlo Park added 14 cases to its total, which has climbed to 187, a rate of 55.2 cases for every 10,000 residents. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:

• Atherton: 23 (increase by one from July 9).

• East Palo Alto: 401 (increase by 72 from July 9).

• Menlo Park: 187 (increase by 14 from July 9).

• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from July 9).

• Portola Valley: 24 (increase by two from July 9).

• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from July 9).

• Woodside: 16 (increase by two from July 9).

Santa Clara County reported 235 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 6,951 on Wednesday. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 173.

There are 140 people hospitalized, 25 of which are new. Over the past week, the number of patients confirmed with the virus reached triple digits, from 96 on July 7 to 140 on July 14.

The number of patients under investigation has nearly doubled in that same time span, from 17 to 29. An average of 5.21% of hospital beds have been occupied by COVID-19 patients over the past seven days.

San Mateo County on Wednesday reported 82 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 4,333. The death toll has stayed at 114 since Monday. Sixty-nine people were hospitalized as of Wednesday.

The top two dates of when the highest number of new cases were recorded in a single day occurred in the past week, according to county data. There were 111 new cases reported on Monday, July 13, the highest single-day total of new cases since the pandemic began. Another 109 new cases were reported three days earlier on Friday, July 10. The previous top date was Friday, July 3, when 90 new cases were logged.

San Mateo County permits visits at long-term care facilities

Long-term care facilities in San Mateo County can now accommodate outdoor visits scheduled ahead of time and indoor visits under limited, "necessary" circumstances under a new health order issued Wednesday.

The new order, which goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on July 15, allows family members and friends to visit nursing home residents as long as they follow county safety measures, according to a July 15 press release. Up to two adults can visit one resident, though two residents living together can take part in the same visit.

People charged with legal decisions, such as conservators, for residents are also allowed to make outdoor visits, which must be scheduled in advance and take place in an area with ample space for social distancing. The county press release notes hired service providers, such as hair stylists, aren't authorized.

The visitors are also required to wear a face covering and keep physical distance from others. During the visits, facility staff and residents need to wear surgical masks and staff have to make sure hand sanitizer is available, according to the press release. Nursing homes are also advised to provide a face shield for people at the facility to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

Before offering limited outdoor visits, facilities must submit a written statement to the county Health Department explaining that they have adequate access to COVID-19 tests, practice the department's "COVID-19 Mass Testing Strategy," have a sufficient number of staff members and maintain an adequate amount of personal protective equipment for residents. A facility that finds itself behind on any of the requirements won't be allowed to hold outdoor visits.

The order also permits "necessary indoor and compassionate care visits," which include matters related to urgent health care, legal issues and other affairs, such as end-of-life care. Facilities that make these types of visits available must also meet PPE requirements and other safety measures.

Visitors will be screened and logged by each facility, with the exception of first responders, who under the order, aren't restricted from carrying out their job in the facilities.

In the release, the county noted that all long-term care facilities are required to follow safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, regardless of whether they'll allow visitors. The measures include screening residents and staff for coronavirus symptoms daily, such as taking temperature checks, and following provisions in regards to providing hygiene supplies and PPE.

Congresswoman to hold town hall

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, will hold a "Tele-Town Hall" meeting today to provide an update on how Congress is addressing the COVID-19 crisis and answer questions from her constituents.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 16, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Anyone interested in joining can sign up here.

Santa Clara County reported 192 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 6,725 on Tuesday. Three more people have died, raising the death toll to 170. There are 144 people hospitalized, 21 of which are new.

Of the 6,725 cases, 658 (or 10%) originated at long-term care facilities. A total of 52 facilities have reported at least one case of the virus. No facilities in Palo Alto, Mountain View or Los Altos reported any cases over the past 14 days.

San Mateo County on Tuesday reported 89 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 4,254. The death toll has stayed at 114 since Monday.

The county recently updated its hospital data dashboard that now shares information on confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 and breaks down who's in intensive care unit beds and acute care beds.

The county has seen nearly triple the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients compared to about a month earlier, from 22 on June 15 to 62 on July 14. The latest data shows 57 patients were confirmed to have COVID-19 and five are suspected cases.

The Health Department also reported 23 patients from out of the county have been admitted to local hospitals, which makes up 40% of the county's total number of hospitalized patients. Over the past week, the county has cared for an average of 22 patients from outside of the county.

COVID-19 town hall set for Sunday

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian will host a telephone town hall on Sunday, July 19, at 3 p.m. to update the public on the status of COVID-19 in the county.

Simitian will be joined by Dr. Jennifer Tong, associate chief medical officer at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and Tony LoPresti, assistant county counsel, who will answer questions from the public.

Anyone interested in joining the discussion can register here.

Newsom unveils sweeping rollback of reopening plans

Starting Monday, all California counties must shut down indoor operations for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and card rooms and all bar operations — indoors or out, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced at a press conference.

The sweeping rollback of the statewide stay-at-home modifications is a major push to prevent people of different households from congregating indoors.

"The impact of the spread of the virus outside, we believe, is more favorable than mixing with individuals for an extended period of time … inside where you don't have the air circulation," Newsom said.

The new order will have a stark impact on San Mateo County, which on June 17 reopened most businesses that Newsom said must now shut down.

In addition to the statewide restrictions, 30 counties on the state's monitoring list must also shut down any indoor operations of gyms, worship services, hair salons and other personal care services, malls and offices of "non-critical sectors." Under the state Public Health Department's criteria, these are counties currently most impacted by the virus.

Santa Clara County is among the counties that will have to close additional business sectors, including hair salons and gyms that were allowed to reopen on July 13. More counties are likely to be added to the list, including Alameda County, Newsom said. (Santa Mateo County was not on the monitoring list as of July 13.)

The number of new COVID-19 cases continues to climb statewide, according to Newsom. On July 12, the state reported 8,358 COVID-19 cases in a single day. The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases increased this week to 8,211 cases and the average positivity rate is now at 7.7%.

The number of hospitalizations has increased 28% over a two-week period, and intensive-care unit admissions also have increased 20% during the same time span, he added.

Santa Clara County reverses health order

Less than a day after hair salons and gyms reopened in Santa Clara County, the county's Public Health Department announced those businesses, among other sectors, will have to reclose by this Wednesday, July 15, effectively scrapping its July 2 health order.

The reversal of the county order also comes with closures of additional indoor sectors: worship services, offices of nonessential businesses, personal care services such as nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors, and protests will have to shut down on July 15.

The Monday afternoon announcement follows the sweeping statewide rollbacks Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled during a press conference just hours earlier, closing indoor operations of restaurants, wineries, zoos, museums and movie theaters, among other businesses. This would not have had any impact on Santa Clara County since it had not permitted indoor operations of most of these businesses.

Read more here.

Latest COVID-19 statistics

Santa Clara County reported 253 new cases of the coronavirus found over the past few days, bringing its total to 6,542 on Monday. One more person has died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 167. There are 129 people hospitalized, 33 of which are new.

Over the past seven days, nearly 40,000 coronavirus tests have been recorded across the county. Out of the 267,660 tests performed as of July 13, 7,325 returned positive results and 248,954 returned negative results. The county's test positivity rate, which currently stands at 2.76% slightly rose by 0.09% over the past week.

San Mateo County on Monday reported 111 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 4,168. Two more people have died since Thursday, raising the death toll to 114. Sixty-seven people were hospitalized as of Monday.

The county's test positivity rate stands at 5%, which is a rise of 0.1% over the past week but the same rate as recorded a month earlier. A total of 34,060 tests have been performed over the past four weeks. Ninety positive test results were recorded on July 8, the highest number of positive test results found in a single day since the pandemic began. The second- and third-highest days were June 23 and June 25, with 84 and 79 confirmed new cases.

Air district asks employers to 'cut the commute' by expanding remote work options

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District along with Santa Clara County asked Bay Area employers to sign the "Cut the Commute Pledge" that extends teleworking for employees and maintains air quality progress after shelter-in-place orders are eased.

Employers who sign the pledge would commit to extend teleworking by at least 25 percent of employees if their work allows it. Employers would also vow to include a formal work-from-home policy as part of the employee benefits package in an attempt to improve both the air quality and quality of life for Bay Area residents.

In the first seven weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bay Area saw a 32 percent reduction to CO2 emissions. This is in large part due to the significant decrease in vehicle traffic, as transportation is the top source of air pollution in the region.

Read more here.

Union seeks delay in physical reopening of schools

The California Federation of Teachers urged Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday to delay the physical reopening of schools, citing worsening health conditions and a lack of clear guidance from the state.

"COVID-19 presents an invisible, fatal, and long-lasting debilitating threat that is beyond the reasonable bounds of the functions of our public education system," California Federation of Teachers President Jeff Freitas wrote in a letter to Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. "Without meeting the scientific requirements to have a safe environment for our students and our staff, schools should not be open for in-person instruction."

He asked that in-person instruction be prohibited until the number of new cases declines for at least 14 consecutive days both in the state and in the county in which a school is considering reopening.

The labor union's letter came as Newsom announced a statewide retightening of restrictions amid a spike in coronavirus cases. Current state guidance for reopening schools, Freitas said, lacks "definitive clarity," causing difficulty for school districts trying to plan for a new school year that starts in several weeks.

Freitas advocated for stronger support from the state to help schools reopen safely, from providing personal protective equipment to schools and COVID-19 tests to increased education funding.

"With cases surging and individual school districts shouldn't have to address the crisis on their own, we need the governor to assume a greater leadership role — directing school districts to delay reopening and then providing clearer direction and support for when it is safe to do so," Freitas said in a press release. "Only when the state can provide clearer guidance and support should schools reopen."

Santa Clara County reported 321 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing its total to 6,298. On Saturday, the county had reported 126 new cases, bringing its total to 5,983. The death toll has stayed at 166 since Thursday.

Sunday initially appeared to be the single-day record for new cases reported in the county; however the county tweeted after updating its cases dashboard that the 321 new cases are from the past few days "due to some reporting delays."

There are 120 people hospitalized, 15 of which are new, as of Sunday.

San Mateo County on Sunday reported 90 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, raising its total to 4,045. The death toll has stayed at 112 since Thursday. Sixty-three people were hospitalized as of Sunday.

Santa Clara County reported 189 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing its total to 5,863. The death toll has stayed at 166 since Thursday. There are 112 people hospitalized, 19 of which are new.

Palo Alto currently has 113 cases, which translates to a rate of 169 cases for every 100,000 residents. Thirty-three of those cases have surfaced over the past month and six of those cases were discovered since July 2.

Mountain View has 121 cases as of Friday, which indicates that there are 149 cases for every 100,000 residents. Fifty-two of those cases were found over the past month and 12 within the past eight days.

San Mateo County on Friday reported 108 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,949. The death toll has stayed at 112 since Thursday. Fifty-eight people were hospitalized as of Thursday.

County seeks social distancing protocols from businesses

All businesses planning to resume operations under Santa Clara County's new health order, including those already open, must complete a new online social distancing protocol form. The county is urging businesses to do it before the deadline this Monday, July 13.

Filling out the form will help the county ensure that the necessary steps are enacted to prevent transmission of COVID-19 as much as possible.

The county also changed the new health order, issued on July 2, from allowing indoor gatherings of up to 20, to no indoor gatherings allowed. This comes after the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Outdoor gatherings of up to 60 people will still be allowed in accordance with social distance guidelines.

"The new order was created with harm reduction in mind, understanding that COVID-19 will be with us for a while and we must change the way we live and do business to prevent us from infecting one another," said Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. "While the order allows more businesses and activities to resume, this must be done with care and adherence to the new safety and distancing protocols."

The online form and checklist is essential to operating legally under the new health order. It identifies a person responsible for compliance and confirms the business has proper signage, trains its employees, has an adequate plan in place to protect workers and the public as well as in the event of a positive case in the staff.

Read more here.

Santa Clara County reported 132 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing its total to 5,678. One more person has died since Tuesday, raising the death toll to 166. One hundred and four people are hospitalized, 25 of which are new.

Latino residents, who make up 25.8% of the county's population, are the most impacted by the virus compared to other races. This group had about 2,620 (or 46.2%) of the county's total cases. By contrast, Asian residents comprise 35.7% of the county population (the highest percentage compared to other races) and have about 780 (or 13.7%) of the county's total cases.

San Mateo County on Thursday reported 49 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,846. One more person has died of the virus since Monday, raising the death toll to 112. Sixty people were hospitalized as of Wednesday.

The county has updated its dashboard displaying case totals by city through Thursday, July 9. East Palo Alto added 63 new cases over the past week, the highest increase in cases in seven days since total cases by city data was first released by the county Health Department. Its total, 329, reveals a rate of 111 cases for every 10,000 residents. Menlo Park added 19 cases to its total, which has climbed to 173, a rate of 51.1 cases for every 10,000 residents. Here's a list of case totals for communities on the Midpeninsula:

• Atherton: 22 (increase by four from July 2).

• East Palo Alto: 329 (increase by 63 from July 2).

• Menlo Park: 173 (increase by 19 from July 2).

• North Fair Oaks: Less than 10 (no change from July 2).

• Portola Valley: 22 (increase by four from July 2).

• West Menlo Park: Less than 10 (no change from July 2).

• Woodside: 14 (increase by two from July 2).

Pandemic cuts inmate firefighting crews by more than half

Only 48% of inmate firefighters from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will be available as California enters the peak of wildfire season, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, during which prisoners across the state have tested positive for COVID-19, Newsom said at a Thursday press conference that only 94 out of 192 inmate crew members are available.

From January to July 5, there were 4,112 wildfires, Newsom said, which is substantially higher than the roughly 2,580 wildfires during the same time period last year.

"We are now walking right into the thick of wildfire season," Newsom said. The state will add at least 858 seasonal firefighters through October, according to the governor.

In other news, COVID-19 cases continue to rise across California. On Wednesday, there were 7,031 confirmed positive cases. Newsom said the state's seven-day average is now 8,043 cases per day. The 14-day average and the seven-day average for the state's positivity rate are both 7.3%. The average daily death toll for the past week was 73.

Santa Clara County reported 79 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 5,552. The death toll has stayed at 165 since Tuesday.

The county is seeing an increase in people hospitalized with the virus. Over the past week, the amount has increased by 16, from 80 on June 30 to 96 on July 7. Of the 96 cases, 16 are new. Another 17 patients are under investigation for COVID-19, more than double the number recorded a week ago.

There has also been a notable rise in COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds over the past two weeks, during which time the total has fluctuated between 29 and 40. As of July 7, 40 people with the virus were in ICU, which is nearly twice the amount documented about a month earlier.

San Mateo County on Wednesday reported 45 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,787. The death toll has stayed at 111 since Monday. Sixty people were hospitalized as of Tuesday.

The top two dates of most new cases found in a single day fall within the past 10 days. A review of the county's data shows 91 new cases were recorded on July 3, the highest number of new cases tracked in a single day since March. The second highest number of new cases in a day fell within the same week, June 29, when 87 new cases were documented.

Supply of personal protective equipment, California Health Corps participants on the upswing

At a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state has blown past its previous goals for daily coronavirus testing and the acquisition of personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves.

The state's inventory of medical procedure masks has ballooned from a million in March to 232 million in July while the state supply of N95 masks has risen from 21 million to 79 million in that same time span. Over those months, the state has distributed some 280 million procedure and N95 masks to hospitals and medical centers across the state.

State public health officials have overseen a steady buildup of the state's hospital bed capacity during that time as well, and the addition of pop-up medical care sites such as Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento and Seton Medical Center in Daly City.

More than 35,000 people have also applied to the California Health Corps program, which launched at the end of March with the goal of expanding the pool of active health care workers by drawing from recently retired medical professionals, medical and nursing students and medical disaster response team members.

Nearly 750 of those Health Corps workers have already been deployed to facilities of concern like skilled nursing facilities and the state's prison and jail systems.

State health officials confirmed 11,694 new cases Tuesday, however Newsom stressed that a significant portion of those new cases came from the backlog of several laboratories in Los Angeles County.

The state's seven-day average for new cases sits at 8,116, Newsom said, and while daily testing figures have eclipsed 120,000, the average positivity rate across the state has risen two full percentage points, from 5.1% on June 24 to 7.1% this week.

"I cannot impress upon people ... the potency of your individual decision-making," Newsom said, encouraging the state's residents to continue physical distancing, wearing face coverings and frequently washing their hands.

"The last four months have been meaningful and intentional and we have done an enormous amount to prepare ... But, again, we need your compliance, we need your support," he said.

Santa Clara County reported 80 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing its total to 5,478. One additional death was reported, bringing the death toll to 165. Eighty-eight people are hospitalized, 21 of which are new.

Over the past week, 67 new cases were recorded at long-term care facilities across the county, which have 601 (or 11%) of the county's total cases. Seventy-three deaths are also connected to the facilities, which make up 44% of the county's total deaths.

The county has rolled out a new dashboard with data on COVID-19 testing over a seven-day span at six large health care systems, which were required to test patients who had COVID-19 symptoms, patients exposed to someone with the virus and front-line workers under a June 10 order.

The current data covers tests administered from June 25 through July 1 The county's health system has collected the most tests in that time, 15,151, and has a daily average of 2,164 tests. Stanford Health Care recorded 2,782 tests, Palo Alto Medical Foundation/Sutter Health collected 1,741 and El Camino Health reported 664 tests.

San Mateo County on Tuesday reported 40 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,743. The death toll has stayed at 111 since Monday. Fifty-five people were hospitalized as of Monday.

The number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 has risen by 14 between June 29 and July 6, that latest date for which data is available. The rate of hospitalized patients has slowly climbed up over that seven-day span, with the exception of July 3-4, when the total dropped by 10.

The current number of people hospitalized isn't far off from the rate about a month earlier, when the county recorded 57 with or suspected of having COVID-19.

Santa Clara County gains state clearance for plan to reopen economy

After an initial setback, Santa Clara County received the go-ahead from the state on Monday night for its plan to reopen the economy and allow hair salons and gyms to resume operations on July 13.

The variance attestation, which the state Department of Public Health posted on its website July 6, is a requirement for counties that want to reopen their economies more quickly than allowed under the state's shelter-in-place order. The variance will allow the county to move ahead with the health order that county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody issued on Thursday, allowing hair salons, gyms and other businesses to reopen on July 13.

The July 2 order also includes a set of rules that all businesses must follow during the pandemic. These include 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.

Read more here.

San Mateo County sees significant rise in cases, San Quentin inmates hospitalized locally for COVID-19

San Mateo County health officials on Tuesday reported that the two days with the highest totals of new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began occurred in the last couple of weeks, according to a press release. The new highs — 88 on Monday, June 29, and 89 on Friday, July 3 — come as the average of those testing positive for COVID-19 stands at 4.9%.

This is below the state’s overall seven-day average of 6.7%, but the county's positivity trend is going up, Louise Rogers, chief of San Mateo County Health, told the Board of Supervisors.

Rogers reported that 53 patients in San Mateo County are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, a total that includes approximately 20 inmates from San Quentin State Prison who are being cared for at Seton Medical Center in Daly City.

Rogers said the Health Department is working with California health officials to post local COVID-19 data on the county’s COVID-19 dashboard separate from data from state prison transfers. She added that the state will account for inmate data in assessing the county’s progress toward its Resilience Roadmap and efforts to control the virus locally.

She also reported that 102 contact tracers from the county Health Department and additional county departments will work to interview those who test positive for coronavirus.

California files suit over relief funds for schools

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Tuesday announced a multistate lawsuit against President Donald Trump's administration, accusing U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of preventing COVID-19 pandemic relief funding from being dispersed to K-12 public schools.

Becerra argued that DeVos flouted Congress' intent in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which included $13.2 billion for K-12 schools across the country, about $1.5 billion of which was intended for California public schools.

The CARES Act required educational funding to be dispersed in accordance with Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, ensuring that schools with low-income students would not be passed over.

The lawsuit argues that the Department of Education's interim final rule mandating that private schools are eligible for pandemic relief funds based on the total population they serve rather than income is antithetical to the CARES Act's Title I requirement.

Read more here.

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.

San Mateo County on Monday reported 45 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total to 3,692. Three more people have died over the past week, raising the death toll to 111. Fifty-three people were hospitalized as of Sunday.

The county has recorded nearly 9,300 tests over the past eight days, over which time the test positivity rate stayed at 4.9%. Since the pandemic began, a total of 3,671 tests returned positive results and 71,047 returned negative results, while 20 tests are pending results. Between June 29 and July 2, the number of positive test results each day was above 50. The most positive results during the four-day stretch was recorded on June 30, when 66 people were found with COVID-19.

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).

• Menlo Park: 154 (increase by 26 from June 25).

• 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.

Reopening congregations

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.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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