Photo: Chris Preovolos
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LATEST, April 5, 6 p.m.: One of San Francisco’s most recognizable landmarks, the Palace of Fine Arts, will be used to shelter homeless people during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Supervisor Catherine Stefani said.
The District 2 supervisor said in a message to constituents that the temporary shelter will house 162 people while maintaining a strict curfew and social distancing. The measure is meant to reduce overcrowding in existing shelters.
There was no immediate opening date, but Stefani said in the message that “the first 20-25 neighbors could come to the Palace as early as the end of this week,” and she would personally tour it before it opens.
Fellow San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman thanked Stefani on Twitter for opening the Palace to people in need of housing.
April 5, 3:45 p.m.: Starting Monday, Muni will cut service on about 70 bus and train routes, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin said today.
“Tomorrow will be a disaster,” he told reporters. “We will deliver the worst Muni service since 1906.”
SFMTA was actively working on a list of full service lines that will continue to run. The agency will look at several key factors — being able to maintain appropriate social distancing on its busiest buses and trains, as well as close proximity to hospitals and essential businesses, said Tumlin, adding that riders, too, should be able to walk less than a mile to get to a Muni stop. The limited number of buses will start operating again by Wednesday.
April 5, 1:20 p.m.: A South San Francisco man died hours after leaving the Coral Princess cruise ship in Miami.
Wilson Maa, 71, of South San Francisco died Saturday after contracting COVID-19, his daughter Julie confirmed to ABC7. Wilson Maa’s wife Toyling was on the trip with him and is still on the ship under medical supervision.
According to Maa’s family, it took hours for an ambulance to remove Maa from the docked cruise ship. Eventually, the family says they grew frustrated with the cruise line’s medical team and called 911 themselves.
“We are either hitting dead ends or getting the runaround from all the people we have been calling,” son-in-law Jason Chien told the Miami Herald. “We don’t know who is calling the shots and making the decisions on triage and medical resource usage.”
Shortly after arriving at a hospital in Hialeah, Maa died. Three Coral Princess passengers have now died.
The Coral Princess departed from Chile on March 5; shortly after, Princess Cruises announced it was stopping operations, but only some passengers were able to disembark in Buenos Aires on March 19. Ports in Uruguay and Brazil refused passengers.
The Washington Post reports that “everyone had free run of the ship until Tuesday,” when a number of crew and passengers started showing coronavirus symptoms.
Most of the Coral Princess’ 1,000-plus passengers will be shuttled directly to Miami International Airport for charter flights back home. Twenty passengers and 38 crew members are too ill to be removed from the ship, officials said.
April 5, 10:50 a.m.: Captain Brett Crozier, who was fired after his memo about a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier facing a coronavirus outbreak was leaked to the press, reportedly has tested positive for COVID-19.
The New York Times reports Crozier, who was fired by Navy leaders as commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, showed symptoms before leaving the vessel on Thursday and has since tested positive.
Crozier was fearful that the 5,000 crewmembers aboard the aircraft carrier could find themselves in the epicenter of a widespread outbreak; over 150 sailors have tested positive so far. “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset, our sailors,” Crozier wrote in his memo.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Crozier “demonstrated extremely poor judgment” in copying too many people on the memo and should have gone to his immediate commanders instead.
“What it does, it undermines our efforts and the chain of command’s efforts to address this problem and creates a panic and creates the perception that the Navy is not on the job, the government is not on the job, and it’s just not true,” Modly said.
10:30 a.m.: COVID-19 fatalities in California have crossed the 300 mark.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 324 people have died in the state after contracting the coronavirus. On Saturday, Los Angeles County reported 28 more coronavirus deaths, its biggest single-day increase yet.
The database reports California has 13,929 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That puts the state behind New York (122,056), New Jersey (34,124) and Michigan (14,225).
As of Sunday morning, San Francisco reported 568 confirmed cases, a slight uptick from the day before; the death toll remained at eight.
April 5, 9:30 a.m.: An anti-abortion protestor is reportedly one of the first people in San Francisco to receive a ticket for violating the city’s shelter-in-place order.
KPIX reports 86-year-old Ron Konopaski was first approached by police last week to inform him he was in violation of the order while he was protesting outside of the Planned Parenthood on Valencia. He was then given a verbal warning the next day and finally, on the third day, issued a ticket. Konopaski claimed he was providing an “essential” service by keeping his booth — which he’s manned since February — outside the health care center open.
The ticket will likely result in a fine although Konopaski told KPIX he plans on contesting it. San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott has repeatedly reiterated that police don’t wish to fine anyone for violating the order, and that talking and providing information is their first course of action. Only dangerously egregious or repeat offenders are likely to be ticketed at this time.
“I’m 86 years old. I’ve got to go sometime and if it’s the coronavirus, well, so what’s the difference?” Konopaski told KPIX.
April 5, 8:45 a.m.: Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park has been closed after a massive influx of visitors violated the state’s shelter-in-place order.
The entire park, trails and parking lot are closed after seeing double its usual daily attendance.
“Signage has been damaged, team sports have continued and complaints have risen,” the city said in a statement. “Many community members have expressed their concerns about what they have experienced in our parks and public spaces. The city has responded by increasing signage and awareness campaigns, and closing additional recreation facilities.”
April 4, 3:57 p.m. Santa Rita Jail in Dublin reported its first confirmed case of coronavirus on Saturday, according to a tweet from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.
The inmate was reported to be in “stable” condition and was being housed in the jail’s Out Patient Housing Unit, according to a press release.
Alameda County’s largest inmate facility reported on March 26 that a nurse who works at the jail received a “presumptive positive” for coronavirus, but that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would need to confirm the test results.
April 4, 1:30 p.m. California Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke to members of the media Saturday to address the state’s ongoing response to the coronavirus.
Newsom said he takes full responsibility for the state’s staggering testing backlog, and also said the number of people in the state’s intensive-care units rose 10.9 percent overnight, to 1,008.
In addition, the governor stated that he does not expect normal NFL or college football games to be played in front of full stadiums in the state of California later in the year.
“I’m not anticipating that happening in this state,” Newsom said. “We’ve all seen the headlines over the last couple days in Asia where they opening up certain businesses and now they’re starting to roll back those openings because they’re starting seeing some spread and there’s a boomerang. One has to be very cautious here, one has to be careful not to overpromise.”
April 4, 1 p.m. Contra Costa County reported 46 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, raising the county total to 353.
April 4, 9:42 a.m. San Francisco County reported its eighth death due to the novel coronavirus on Saturday, the first time the city/county reported a fatality since Wednesday.
SF also reported 32 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday morning, and neighboring San Mateo County reported 52 new confirmed cases. There were no new reported fatalities in San Mateo County.
On Friday, 11 new deaths were reported across the nine counties that comprise the San Francisco Bay Area. Alameda and San Mateo counties each reported three new deaths, while Conta Costa County and Santa Clara county reported new two fatalities apiece. An additional Friday death was reported in Napa County.
The number of daily deaths in the Bay Area on Friday is up from the six that were reported from Wednesday to Thursday, and the eight that were reported from Tuesday to Wednesday.
April 4, 9 a.m. Contra Costa County has ordered a mass isolation and quarantine order for residents infected with COVID-19 and their close contacts.
The order was issued Friday night and tasks those who test positive to notify close contacts so that they could also self-isolate. Officials wrote in a news release, “The county’s public health staff no longer have the capacity to individually notify and track everyone with COVID-19 and their close contacts who may have been exposed to the virus.”
“We’ve reached a critical point in the COVID-19 crisis here in Contra Costa,” Contra Costa County Health Officer Chris Farnitano said. “Our resources are stretched extremely thin and business as usual is not an option. We believe this mass order is a creative and effective way of getting the job done to keep the sick isolated from others.”
Cumulative cases in the greater Bay Area (due to limited testing these numbers reflect only a small portion of likely cases):
ALAMEDA COUNTY: 539 confirmed cases, 12 deaths*
For more information on Alameda County cases, visit the public health department website.
*Number excludes infected patients in city of Berkeley, which has its own health department and 27 cases.
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY: 386 confirmed cases, 6 deaths
For more information on Contra Costa County cases, visit the public health department website.
LAKE COUNTY: 0 confirmed cases
For information on Lake County and coronavirus, visit the public health department website.
MARIN COUNTY: 141 confirmed cases, 7 deaths
Fore more information on Marin County cases, visit the public health department website.
MONTEREY COUNTY: 62 confirmed cases, 2 deaths
For more information on Monterey County cases, visit the public health department website.
NAPA COUNTY: 20 cases, 2 deaths
For more information on Napa County cases, visit the public health department website.
SAN BENITO COUNTY: 23 confirmed cases, 2 deaths
For more information on San Benito County cases, visit the public health department website.
SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY: 568 confirmed cases, 8 deaths
For more information on San Francisco County cases, visit the public health department website.
SAN MATEO COUNTY: 555 confirmed cases, 13 deaths
For more information on San Mateo County cases, visit the public health department website.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY: 1,207 confirmed cases, 39 deaths
Fore more information on Santa Clara County cases, visit the public health department website.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY: 69 confirmed cases, 1 death
For more information on Santa Cruz County cases, visit the public health department website.
SOLANO COUNTY: 73 confirmed cases, 1 death
For more information on Solano County cases, visit the public health department website.
SONOMA COUNTY: 107 confirmed cases, 1 death
For more information on Sonoma County cases, visit the public health department website.
In California, 348 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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