COVID-19 live updates: CA sees record number of deaths as remaining Bay Area counties enter stay-at-home order

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Friday, December 18, 2020
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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact across the world and also in cities across Northern California. The latest number of confirmed cases in the U.S. can be found at the CDC's 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the U.S. page. (The CDC updates the webpage on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.)

Join anchor Kristen Sze for ABC7's daily interactive newscast about the novel coronavirus outbreak in the Bay Area and other hot topics. You can check here to stream the show Monday-Friday at 3 p.m.

Here are the latest developments on the respiratory illness in the U.S.:

Dec. 17, 2020

12:30 p.m.
SF orders mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers

Mayor London Breed announced a public health order that includes a mandatory quarantine of 10 days for anyone traveling, moving or returning to San Francisco from anywhere outside the Bay Area amid a surge in coronavirus cases. See more details here.

12:20 p.m.
California shatters record with 379 deaths in one day

A total of 379 Californians died of COVID-19 on Wednesday, marking the highest number of fatalities in one day since the pandemic began and surpassing the previous record set on Tuesday. The state reported another 52,281 new cases of the virus yesterday, just 1,400 cases less than what California saw the day prior. Wednesday's number of deaths is equivalent to a life lost every four minutes in a 24-hour span.

9:30 a.m.
Tony Thurmond holds virtual briefing on schools, education in California

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is holding a virtual briefing at 9:30 a.m. to give an update on schools and education in California.

6:10 a.m.
Stay-at-home order takes effect across entire Bay Area region tonight

The Bay Area's ICU capacity dropped below 15% on Wednesday, forcing the state's stay-at-home order to take effect in the remaining counties still open in the region. San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Napa and Solano counties will be under the stay-at-home order at 11:59 p.m. tonight. The four counties were not under the regional stay-at-home order issued earlier this month, so many businesses, including outdoor dining, will have to shut down

6 a.m.
Vaccine rollout in the South Bay

COVID-19 vaccinations will get underway in Santa Clara County at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Dec. 16, 2020

4:24 p.m.
Bay Area state parks temporarily close

Effective on Thursday, Dec. 17, California state park officials announced the following campgrounds will temporarily closed due to the dwindling Bay Area ICU capacity.

  • Bothe-Napa Valley State Park in Napa County.
  • Half Moon Bay State Beach and Portola Redwoods state park in San Mateo County.
  • Henry Cowell Redwoods state park, Seacliff state park, New Brighton state beach and Sunset state beach in Santa Cruz County.
  • Benicia State Recreation Area in Solano County.

1:30 p.m.
San Mateo health official holds COVID-19 briefing

San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy will held a COVID-19 briefing after the state announced that the Bay Area's ICU capacity dropped below 15%. Watch here.

12:10 p.m.
California breaks records with more than 53,000 new COVID-19 cases reported on Tuesday

California reported a record-breaking 53,711 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the highest number of cases the state has seen in a single day since the pandemic began. The alarming number of new cases surpasses a record set just three days ago when California record 35,729 new cases on Dec. 12. The state now has 1,671,081 cases in total. Read more details here.

11:55 a.m.
Bay Area ICU capacity drops to 12.7%

The Bay Area's regional ICU capacity has dropped to 12.7%, meaning the entire region will be forced to join a stay-at-home order starting Thursday at 11:59 p.m. This will affect Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Solano counties. The rest of the Bay Area counties had already entered the new restrictions voluntarily. Read more details here.

10:15 a.m.
Solano Co. officials to give update on COVID-19, vaccine

Solano County health officials are holding a press briefing Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. as they discuss the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the region. Vaccines are currently prioritized for health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

8 a.m.
Marin Co. ICU capacity falls to 0%

Marin County's ICU capacity has fallen to zero percent, as of Wednesday morning. This comes as the county prepares to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today. The county plans to begin administering vaccines tomorrow.

Dec. 15, 2020

1 p.m.
1st doses of COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine arrive in Santa Clara Co.

Santa Clara County officials announced the county received its first 5,850 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the first of the initial 17,550 doses allocated to Santa Clara County by the state -- 230 of which will go to San Benito County. The rest of the doses in this allocation will ship from the manufacturer directly to hospitals in the county and are expected to arrive later this week.

12 p.m.
Bay Area's ICU capacity at 15.8%

According to the state data released Monday, the greater Bay Area region currently has 15.8% of its ICU capacity remaining. This moves the region very close to triggering stay-at-home orders for the counties that have not already voluntarily enacted them.

11 a.m.

California has refrigerators, body bags on standby as vaccine finally arrives

There may be light at the end of the tunnel, Gov. Gavin Newsom acknowledged Tuesday, but it's a very, very dark tunnel. California has placed an order for 5,000 additional body bags and has 60 53-foot refrigerators on standby at hospitals around the state. This comes as daily coronavirus deaths are four times higher than they were one month ago. Read more from Newsom's press conference here.

9:30 a.m.
First Bay Area doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered to frontline healthcare workers at SF General Hospital

Doses of the coronavirus Pfizer vaccine are now here in the Bay Area. San Francisco General hospital began administering them to their most at-risk workers. Mayor London Breed was in attendance and tweeted this video.

"This really is excellent news but we have to taper this with the realization that we are in a really, really bad spot right now," says Dr. Christopher Colwell who is Chief of Emergency Medicine at SF General Hospital.

5:30 a.m.
FDA releases positive review of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Hundreds more U.S. hospitals are gearing up to vaccinate their workers as federal health officials posted a positive review of a second COVID-19 shot. About 400 hospitals and other health care facilities will get their first shipments of the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday. The expansion comes one day after the nation's death toll surpassed a staggering 300,000. State officials are rationing the first shots to health workers and nursing home residents. The Food and Drug Administration said in an analysis that a second potential COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Moderna, appears safe and effective.

5 a.m.
San Francisco General Hospital to administer its 1st COVID-19 vaccine doses

Doses of the coronavirus Pfizer vaccine are now here in the Bay Area. Some hospitals, including San Francisco General, will start administering them to their most at-risk workers Tuesday. This is one of four locations in California that have received the vaccine.

"This really is excellent news but we have to taper this with the realization that we are in a really, really bad spot right now," says Dr. Christopher Colwell who is Chief of Emergency Medicine at SF General Hospital.

4:45 a.m.
SF Bay Area reaches 200,000 total cases

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Bay Area reached a total of 202,730 COVID-19 cases and 2,168 deaths. It took six months for the Bay Area counties to hit 100,000 cases and less than three months to double, county data reveals. ABC7 News has been tracking the numbers since March. See the latest county-by-county data here.

Dec. 14, 2020

8:15 p.m.
Santa Clara Co. officials shorten quarantine length from 14 days to 10 days

Santa Clara County released new COVID-19 quarantine guidance on Monday, which shortens the length of quarantine from 14 to 10 days. The new guidance applies to both close contacts of COVID-19 cases and those subject to the county's mandatory travel quarantine. "We constantly want to take into account all the best science we have," said Dr. Sarah Rudman, assistant health officer and director of case investigation and contact tracing. "We feel the science that the CDC shared with us over the last several weeks confirmed by the California Department of Public Health's review tells us there is a minimum loss of safety by making the change from 14 to 10 days." Essentially, the new guidelines are about finding the balance between the benefit of quarantining and the benefit of getting people back to school or work, Rudman said.

6:30 p.m.
California youth, adult sports competitions put on hold amid COVID-19 surge

California's Department of Public Health released new guidelines Monday for youth sports and adult recreation sports during the pandemic. Health officials says competition will not be allowed in California until at least January 25. The guidance applies to all organized youth and adult sports, including school and community-sponsored programs, and privately-organized clubs and leagues.

4:30 p.m.
Oakland Unified delays reopening for in-person classes

Oakland Unified School District will delay the reopening of in-person instructions at its schools, officials announced Monday. The district originally planned to reopen Jan. 25, 2021 after winter break.

12:50 p.m.
US passes 300,000 COVID-19 deaths

Johns Hopkins University is reporting at least 300,267 confirmed deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19.

12:35 p.m.
Marin County's shipment of Pfizer vaccine slightly delayed, official says

Marin County's Health Officer Matt Willis told ABC7 News that the county was supposed to receive their doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine today, but due to a revision in the plan, they are getting it on Wednesday. Hospitals were planning to start vaccinating people on Tuesday, but will now begin on Thursday.

11 a.m.
AG Xavier Becerra holds briefing on COVID-19 in the workplace

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that he is filing a petition in the Sacramento County Superior Court requesting that Amazon will comply with outstanding investigative subpoenas. The state's petition alleges that the company has failed to adequately comply with COVID-19 protocols in its Amazon facilities across the state.

"Amazon has made billions during this pandemic relying on the labor of essential workers. Their workers get the job done while putting themselves at risk," said Attorney General Becerra said in a press release. "It's critical to know if these workers are receiving the protections on the job that they are entitled to under the law. Time is of the essence. Amazon has delayed responding adequately to our investigative requests long enough."

6 a.m.
US set for first COVID-19 shots as shipments begin arriving

Hospital workers begin unloading precious frozen vials of COVID-19 vaccine Monday, with the first vaccinations against a scourge that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans expected later in the day.

"It feels like the cavalry is arriving," Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, said as New Jersey's largest health network awaited delivery.

In New York, Sandra Lindsay, RN, a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center got the first COVID-19 vaccine in the state.

Sandra Lindsay, RN, a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center got the first COVID-19 vaccine in NY.

4 a.m.
Bay Area reports 9,505 new COVID-19 cases over weekend

Bay Area reports 9,505 new cases since Friday, totalling to 196,556 since the pandemic began. See county-by-county numbers here.

3:50 a.m.
FedEx makes first deliveries of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

The delivery company made its first deliveries of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines and shared video on Twitter of workers hauling boxes. "We're honored to be able to use our network to transport these critical vaccines in the U.S., and eventually the world," FedEx tweeted.

Dec. 13, 2020

10:50 p.m.
1st COVID-19 vaccine doses arrive in SoCal Sunday night

As the first shipments of Pfizer's authorized COVID-19 vaccine ship out from Michigan, about 83,000 doses are expected to arrive in Southern California this week. A FedEx plane carrying the region's first shipments landed at Los Angeles International Airport Sunday night, according to the airport.

6 p.m.
LA, SF counties break COVID-19 records over the weekend

In Los Angeles County, more than 4,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19, according to figures released Sunday afternoon. In San Francisco, health officials reported 323 new cases on Saturday, the highest number of new coronavirus infections there yet. Statewide, more than 30K confirmed coronavirus cases were reported Sunday.

5 p.m.
State releases latest ICU numbers

Bay Area: 16.7%

Greater Sacramento Region: 15.1%

Northern California: 29.0%

San Joaquin Valley: 1.5%

Southern California: 4.2%

See the Bay Area county-by-county percentages here.

2:50 p.m.
More than 2,000 new cases reported over 'several' day in Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County reported 2,055 cases of COVID-19 over "several" days, the county health department said. The county has 13 percent of ICU beds available as cases continue to rise in the Bay Area and statewide.

12:05 p.m.
49er's offensive line coach tests positive for COVID-19

The San Francisco 49ers' offensive line coach John Benton tested positive for COVID-19 and will not attend Sunday's game, the team said in a statement.

"Benton immediately went into self-quarantine and the team conducted the appropriate contact tracing as part of the NFL's intensive COVID-19 protocol. We will continue to communicate with the League and medical professionals and take the necessary precautions in the best interest of health and safety," the statement said.

California recorded another 30,334 cases on Saturday

California reported another 30,334 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the state's total to 1,551,766. Another 209 people died of the virus and a total of 13,047 remain hospitalized with 2,820 in the ICU. The seven-day positivity rate is at 10.5 percent, according to the California Department of Health.

11:10 a.m.
US Coast Guard Alameda to be 1 of 16 bases to receive vaccine

The U.S. Coast Guard base in Alameda is one of 16 bases that will receive some of the first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine, officials with the U.S. Department of Defense said this week. The Alameda base was chosen as one of the 16 for its large cold-storage, which is required for the vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, and because it has an on-site immunization health specialist. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted an Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccine Friday night, clearing the way for the DOD to receive nearly 44,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine as soon as next week. Those doses will then be doled out to the 16 bases on a pilot basis. The department will monitor how many people at each base choose to get vaccinated to determine how many doses they will need in the future.

10:05 a.m.
COVID-19 vaccine shipments begin in historic US effort

The first shipments of a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States are headed from Michigan to distribution centers across the country. The first round of the Pfizer vaccine will be given this week to health care workers and at nursing homes. The shipments Sunday morning set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in American history. The shots that are critical to stopping the nation's coronavirus outbreak are destined to reach states a day later. The Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the vaccine Friday, saying it is highly protective and presents no major safety issues.

Dec. 12, 2020

8:05 p.m.
Bay Area hospitals prepare to receive first shipment of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

The first doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 will soon be on the way to California and the Bay Area. An army of medical personnel is ready to take delivery of the long-awaited shots.

"It's a bright shining time, even though the weather is not great today," said Desi Kotis.

UCSF Chief Pharmacy executive Desi Kotis is excited for a special delivery of about a thousand doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, she's leading the distribution and says, "We hope to receive the vaccine Monday, we'll start vaccinating on Wednesday."

1 p.m.
UC Berkeley at Washington State football game canceled after confirmed COVID-19 case

UC Berkeley's football game Saturday against Washington State has been canceled because of COVID-19, the Pac-12 said in a tweet Saturday. Cal does not have the minimum number of scholarship athletes because of a confirmed COVID-19 case and other players needing to isolate. The game will be declared a no contest, Pac-12 said.

12:15 p.m.
California records record-breaking case numbers

The state reported 35,729 new cases of coronavirus and 225 people died on Friday. A total of 12,444 remain hospitalized in California and another 2,752 are in the ICU. The state's seven-day positivity rate is at 10.6 percent, while the 14-day rate is at 10.2 percent. The state has 1,521,432 cases of COVID-19 to date, the data shows. The Bay Area's ICU capacity is at 17.6 percent, as of Friday. The San Joaquin Valley region has no available ICU beds, according to the state.

10:45 a.m.
Vaccine rollout to U.S. states begins Monday, officials say

Federal officials expect coronavirus vaccines to be distributed to states on Monday, and in the Bay Area, a spokesperson with UCSF says vaccines are likely to be delivered Tuesday and administered Wednesday. The university is supposed to receive a total of 975 doses, which will go to first responders and health care workers.

UCSF has two "ultra-cold" freezers to hold the vaccine, up to 600,000 doses, the university told ABC7.

Dec. 11, 2020

6:45 p.m.
CA to receive 327,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine, Gov. Newsom says

The U.S. gave the greenlight to the first COVID-19 vaccine in the country Friday night. Health care workers and nursing home residents are likely to get the first doses in just a matter of days. Gov. Gavin Newsom said California is slated to receive 327,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

10:30 a.m.

Bay Area reports more than 3,200 new cases and nearly a dozen new deaths

Health officials say the Bay Area gained 3,284 new cases and 22 deaths. Santa Clara County had the highest gain with 1,038 cases and four deaths.

Alameda County had 581 new cases and seven deaths.

Solano County had 410 cases and one death

San Francisco had 307 cases and three deaths.

San Mateo County is up 292 new cases and two deaths.

Sonoma County is reporting 256 new cases.

Santa Cruz County has 119 additional cases and three deaths.

8:15 a.m.

Apple CEO says majority of teams won't be back until June

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the majority of teams won't be back in the office before next June. Cook has been publicly vocal about his desire to bring staff back -- saying there's no replacement for in-person collaboration. Because of current stay-at-home orders, Apple is giving employees in many regions extra paid day off on January 4.

6:30 a.m.

SF restaurant workers to protest stay-at-home order

San Francisco restaurant workers are planning to protest the current stay-at-home order today. They are calling on Governor Newsom to reopen outdoor dining and allow them to work. Organizers are also asking for more financial support for restaurant owners. The rally is expected to start at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

Dec. 10, 2020

4:20 p.m.
Sonoma Co. to enact stay-at-home order

Due to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Sonoma County officials announced Thursday they will be joining six other Bay Area counties and the city of Berkeley in adopting the California Department of Public Health's stay-at-home order. It will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020.

3:30 p.m.
Mayor Breed gives COVID-19 vaccine distro update

Following an FDA panel's vote to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for widespread use in the U.S., San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the city will soon begin receiving its first 12,000 vaccine doses, which will go to frontline healthcare workers. "It will take many months before we have widespread access to vaccines but hope is on the way," she tweeted.

2:45 p.m.
Advisory panel endorses widespread use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in US

A U.S. government advisory panel has endorsed Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, in a major step toward an epic vaccination campaign that could finally conquer the outbreak. Here's the full story.

12 p.m.
Contra Costa Co. fair canceled

The 2021 Contra Costa County Fair, scheduled for May 13-16 at the county Event Park (fairgrounds) in Antioch, has been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, fair officials said.

10:25 a.m.

3,595 new COVID-19 cases, 15 more deaths in Bay Area

Bay Area health officials are reporting 3,595 new cases, 15 more deaths in region since yesterday. Santa Clara County had the largest increase with 1,685 cases and 3 deaths. Alameda County had the second most increase of 564 news cases and 1 death. Contra Costa County gained 303 cases and 3 deaths.

7:15 a.m.

Sonoma Co. opening free COVID-19 testing site

Sonoma County is opening a new free COVID-19 testing site. It will be located at Herzog Hall at the Petaluma Fairgrounds. The center will be able to provide 330 tests a day. Today, it will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., but starting tomorrow the hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments can be made on Logistics Health Incorporated's COVID testing website.

Dec. 9, 2020

6:30 p.m.
US daily death toll highest since start of pandemic

3,054 COVID-19 deaths were reported Wednesday in the United States -- the most the country has ever reported in a single day -- as health care officials say their staff and facilities are struggling to support burgeoning numbers of patients. The number of COVID-19 patients in US hospitals Wednesday -- 100,226, according to the COVID Tracking Project -- also is the highest reported on a given day during the pandemic.

1:30 p.m.
31 ICU beds left in Santa Clara County

Three hospitals in Santa Clara County are now at capacity, officials said Wednesday afternoon. About 31 ICU beds are left in the entire county.

11:15 a.m.
10,000 new COVID-19 cases in Bay Area cases in 2 days

Bay Area health officers are reporting 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in the past two days, the fastest pace since the pandemic began. The previous record was 10,000 cases in four days.

9 a.m.
CA updates stay-at-home rules, allows playgrounds to stay open

California updated its guidelines to allow playgrounds to stay open as essential: "Playgrounds may remain open to facilitate physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise." See the latest on the stay-at-home rules here.

6:45 a.m.

Santa Clara County supervisors expect to be briefed on the county's plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccines once they're available. The county's health and hospital committee will meet virtually at 2 p.m. County Public Health Officer Doctor Sara Cody, along with other health officials, will also attend the meeting.

Dec. 8, 2020

2:30 p.m.

SJ pastor faces up to $50K in fines for defying health orders

The senior pastor of Calvary Chapel in San Jose faces up to $50,000 in fines after he defied Santa Clara County health orders and held indoor services. In a court hearing Tuesday, a judge ruled that the pastor should be fined $1,500 for each violation. Lawyers representing the pastor say they will be appealing the judge's decision.

10:40 a.m.

1 CA county changes tiers as COVID-19 crisis worsens

Amador County was moved from the red to the purple tier Tuesday, leaving just one red and one orange county left in the state. The other 56 counties are in the purple tier or under a stay-at-home order.

9 a.m.

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine around 70% effective, studies suggest

New results on a possible COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca suggest it is safe and about 70% effective, but questions remain about how well it may help protect those over 55 - a key concern for a vaccine that health officials hope to rely on around the world because of its low cost, availability and ease of use.

8:30 a.m.

US sees deadliest COVID-19 week since April

The US is nearing 15 million total reported COVID-19 infections, and daily deaths are near a record levels. The country averaged about 2,237 daily coronavirus deaths across a week -- just below its highest-ever average of 2,241, set on April 24, Johns Hopkins University data show.

7:50 a.m.
Report: 10,000 restaurants expected to close in the next 3 weeks because of COVID-19

About 17% of America's restaurants have already permanently closed this year, with thousands more on the brink according to a new report. The National Restaurant Association is publicly pleading with Congress to pass new stimulus to help the industry that has been damaged by the pandemic. The group said Monday that 10,000 restaurants could close in the next three weeks, in addition to the 110,000 that have already shuttered in 2020.

6:22 a.m.

US regulators post positive review of Pfizer vaccine data

Documents released by U.S. regulators Tuesday confirmed that Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine was strongly protective against COVID-19 -- offering the world's first detailed look at the evidence behind the shots.

5:30 a.m.

Marin County closure begins at noon

Starting today at noon, Marin County will be under a self-imposed shutdown. The county is holding a virtual town hall for businesses tomorrow to answer any questions about the new restrictions.