Live Updates: Northern California’s Coronavirus Outbreak

March 27, 2020 Updated: March 27, 2020
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This is our live blog covering news about the CCP virus* outbreak in Northern California.

For news from beyond California, see The Epoch Times special coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.

California currently has 3,006 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 65 deaths, according to March 25 figures from the California Department of Public Health.

Click here to see all the latest cases by county.

Have any tips? Get in touch with us at sfbay@epochtimes.com

March 27

  • Governor Gavin Newsom issues order to ban eviction orders for renters affected by COVID-19 through May 31, 2020. It prohibits landlords from evicting tenants.
  • Menlo Park closes additional recreation facilities like park restrooms, all public tennis courts and all public basketball courts for better social distancing.
  • San Jose’s Alum Rock Park and the Communication Hill Trail and Staircase are temporarily closed to protect pubic health and safety.
  • California DMV offices are closed due to COVID-19 outbreak starting today.

March 26

  • A Berkeley firefighter tested positive for COVID-19. According to the report, he is in good condition and being isolated at home.
  • Santa Cruz County announces order for all residential healthcare facilities to exclude entry for non-essential persons. This is to prevent spread of the CCP virus.
  • VTA light rail is suspended until further notice after train operator tests positive for COVID-19.

March 25

  • A gate agent at Oakland International Airport tested positive for COVID-19.
  • According to SF Chronicle, San Francisco City Hall is closed to pubic until at least April 7, 2020. Some essential services, including treasurer and clerk’s offices will continue.
  • Today, Wednesday, March 25 at 11 a.m., the Bay Area County superintendents jointly announced an extension of the school closures through Friday, May 1, 2020. The re-opening date of Santa Clara Unified schools is planned for Monday, May 4, 2020.

March 24

  • San Francisco issues order restricting residents from leaving Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehab Center, effective Mar 25 – Apr 7, 2020.
  • El Dorado county announces first confirmed case of COVID-19. The resident acquired it from an unknown source.
  • Some state parks are closed as they have become more popular during the virus outbreak. Here is the full list.
  • Seven Bay Area jurisdictions order laboratories testing for COVID-19 to report testing data to state and local authorities.

March 23

  • Santa Clara and San Jose launches an estimated relief fund of $11 million, funded by tech companies and nonprofits, Mercury News reports.
  • For people in the Bay Area who are left without a job, Bay Area post offices are looking to hire up to 1,000 people throughout the Bay Area, particularly in San Francisco and San Jose areas, according to a press release.
  • Alameda County reports first COVID-19 death.
  • Marin County public health officer tests positive for COVID-19 he announced in a video. He is currently self-quarantining at home with his family.
  • Coronavirus testing center opens in Easy Bay at Hayward Fire Station for sick people, first responders, and health-care workers who may be exposed to the virus.

March 22

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom announces that California secured President Trump’s Major Disaster Declaration to support the state’s COVID-19 emergency response.
  • Merced County announces first case of an individual testing positive for CCP virus. The report says that the cause travel related and that the person is doing well, isolated, and recovering at home.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom sent the White House an application for a disaster declaration that is expected to be approved “very quickly” and “maybe” on Sunday night according to President Trump.
  • Yolo County reports first COVID-19 fatality of an older adult with underlying chronic health problems.

March 21

  • Monterey County reports its first death of a resident due to CCP virus.
  • Mercury News reports that a mom in San Jose began dancing on her front yard every afternoon, with neighbors soon joining from their own homes. “It’s completely transformed my state of mind,” said Glennon, who lives in San Jose’s Northside neighborhood. “They’re singing from the windows and balconies in Italy. I can’t sing, but I can do this.”

March 20

  • On March 19, the Superior Court of Alameda County releases 247 inmates from Santa Rita Jail in light of COVID-19. All those released are considered to have served their sentences.
  • Starting March 21, all seven state-owned toll bridges in the Bay Area will be not be collecting cash to minimize exposure to COVID-19. Instead, payment will all be electronic.
  • Napa Valley reduces Vine transit services and waives all fares for Vine buses, community shuttles, and para-transit service starting on Mar. 21, 2020.
  • Due to low ridership, BART will be shortening its hours of operation. Starting Monday, March 23, BART will provide service Monday-Friday from 5am-9pm (currently service is 5am-midnight). Current weekday train frequency will remain.
  • El Dorado County announces first COVID-19 case.
  • NBC News employee, 61, dies after testing positive for coronavirus.
  • First coronavirus-related death confirmed in Contra Costa County. The resident was in their 70s.
  • Alameda County released 300 prisoners, most of whom had sentences of 45 days or less, due to concerns of COVID-19 spreading in prisons. County Public Defender Brenden Woods called for the release, and he hopes to see more releases and delays of cases. Inmates kept in close quarters can be at risk, he said in a press release.

March 19

  • A San Jose Police Department reserve officer has tested positive for COVID-19. The department is checking if other officers may have been exposed, and ordered police facilities and vehicles the officer had recently come into contact with to be deep cleaned.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom expands Bay Area shelter-in-place to all 40 million residents in California.
  • Starting today, 99 Ranch Market will designate their first hour for the elderly, expectant mothers, and people with disabilities in Northern California, Washington State, and Oregon.
  • Sacramento County issues COVID-19 order. Individuals should stay in their residence and only go out for essential activities.
  • County and City of San Francisco announces restrictions for visitors and non-essential from visiting residential facilities from Mar. 19 – Apr. 30, 2020.

March 18

  • A 75-year old male resident at the Los Altos Sub-acute and Rehabilitation Center in Los Altos tested positive for COVID-19. He is currently being isolated in a private room.
  • San Joaquin County announces first deaths of two (2) county residents from the CCP virus. They were among the elderly with underlying medical conditions. “Our hearts and sympathies go out to the loved ones of the individuals,” said Maggie Park, M.D. of SJCPH.
  • Solano County issues shelter at home health order and would be effective immediately through Apr. 7, 2020.
  • Napa County issues shelter in place order starting Mar.20-April 8.
  • Several stores are designating times for seniors to shop: Safeway, Target, Whole Foods Market, Zanotto’s Market, Dollar General, The Fresh Market
  • The BottleRock Napa Valley music festival has been postposed to Oct. 2-4, 2020.
  • City and County of San Francisco prohibits Routine Medical Appointments, Elective Surgery Procedures, in-person Routine Counseling, and Routine Healing Arts Appointments in the county. Essential or emergency appointments may continue, but with caution.
  • Yolo County announces shelter in place order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 from Mar. 19 to Apr. 7. People can only go out for essential needs and essential businesses can to operate.

March 17

  • According to Gov. Gavin Newsom, most schools are not likely to reopen before summer break.
  • Monterey County announces first confirmed cases of two residents testing positive (now in isolation). MCHD believes it was due to international travel.
  • Napa County prohibits gatherings of 50 or more, except to perform essential functions (effective March 18 – April 7). As of the announcement, the county has no confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • Orange County is closing all restaurants. It now has 22 cases of COVID-19 (up from 17 on March 15).
  • San Bernardino County has reported its second case of COVID-19 in a 54-year-old man with underlying health conditions who had come into contact with travelers from Washington state. It’s first case was announced March 15.
  • Kern County announced its first COVID-19 case. A non-resident tested positive while visiting Kern County.
  • Some 7 million Bay Area residents are under orders to stay at home and only go out for essential purposes, starting March 17. It’s the strictest measure in place in the United States so far, reports the Associated Press.
  • San Diego County reported a total 55 cases of which 10 patients have been hospitalized.
  • Jonny Blue, a 33-year-old physical therapist, set up a toilet paper exchange on a street corner in Encinitas, reported the San Diego Union Tribune. He held up a sign saying “Share your toilet paper,” and some people would give him their extra rolls, then he would pass those along to people who needed some.

March 16

  • The California Legislature has suspended its work until April 13; it’s believed to be the first time in 158 years for such an unexpected halt to the Legislature’s work, the Associated Press reports. The Legislature also approved up to $1 billion in new spending to combat the virus outbreak.
  • Gov. Newsom issued an executive order authorizing local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slow foreclosures, and prevent utility shutoffs for those affected by COVID-19.
  • Following the announcement that older adults and those at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 should isolate, Gov. Newsom issued an executive order directing state health and social services agencies to redirect resources and staff to facilities caring for these more vulnerable people.
  • Gov. Newsom sent a letter calling on the Legislature to do away with the 72-hour period public notice before a bill can pass into law. He said this will help the state move quickly in keeping with the state of emergency he declared on March 4.
  • UCLA’s Chancellor, Gene D. Block, just confirmed the college’s first case of the new coronavirus. In an email to the UCLA community, the chancellor wrote: “We have learned that a member of our UCLA campus community has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is a UCLA staff member who works off campus, has self-isolated at their off-campus residence and is receiving care. I have spoken to our fellow Bruin to express my hope for a quick recovery.”
  • New guidelines for food and beverage venues were released by the California Department of Public Health.
  • The LA County Department of Public Health confirmed 25 new cases of COVID-19. Five cases have an unidentified source of exposure, one case was exposed during recent travel, one had “close contact” with a confirmed case, and another case was reported by the Pasadena Health Department yesterday. Seventeen cases are pending more investigation.Of the 94 confirmed cases in the county, 15 are “likely due to community transmission.”
  • The Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced March 16 it will temporarily prohibit public visitation and inmate programming at all Orange County Jail facilities. The suspension will be lifted March 27 upon the Sheriff’s Department reassessment. The visitation suspension does not apply to official legal visits between inmates and their attorneys.
  • In San Luis Obispo County, the Public Health Department will stop alcohol sales in the county beginning at 5 pm on Monday. County administrative officer and emergency services director Wade Horton has put out an executive order “to protect the public’s health” by placing a limit on establishments that sell alcohol from 5 pm Monday until 12:01 pm on Wednesday, Mar. 18.“We need to take immediate action to slow the spread of the virus over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and to limit large gatherings in public serving spaces,” Horton said in the release.This comes after the Public Health Department confirmed its third case of the virus in the county. The individual who tested positive is a household member of the second SLO County resident confirmed to have the illness.
  • Seven Bay Area health officers have ordered shelter in place in six counties. People living in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties should only go out for essential needs starting March 17. Health care, law and safety, and essential government functions can continue operations.
  • Although many schools are closed, school districts are providing school meals through the Summer Food Service Program & Seamless Summer Option, according to the California Department of Public Health.
  • A Grand Princess cruise ship has moved from the Port of Oakland to a remote dock in San Francisco, where it will stay for crew and 3,500 passengers to complete a 14-day-quarantine, reported the Associated Press.
  • Senior collegiate athletes shared their disappointment with The Epoch Times that their careers have been cut short by COVID-19-related cancellations. “I hung up my jersey for the last time without even knowing it,” said Cheyenne Eskridge.

March 15

  • Santa Barbara County confirmed its first case of COVID-19. The individual, who is now in self-quarantine, is in his/her 60s and does not have underlying health issues. The case has been classified as a communal transmission since the individual did not travel outside of the U.S. within the last six weeks.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom called on all bars, pubs, breweries, and wineries in California to shut down over virus, adding that there will be new restrictions on restaurants. Restaurants will have their occupancy levels cut in half, he announced on Sunday night in a press conference.  He also recommended home isolation for all seniors 65+ years in age and those with chronic health conditions.
  • San Diego County reported a total 39 cases. The County Public Health Laboratory is now able to test for the virus and no longer has to send all specimens to the CDC, making testing quicker.
  • San Bernardino County reported its first case of COVID-19. The patient is a 53-year-old woman who returned from the United Kingdom.
  • The Orange County Public Health Care Agency announced there is now laboratory evidence of community transmission of the new coronavirus in Orange County. There are a total of 17 cases of the virus in the county, with 11 being travel-related cases, three acquired communally, and three through person-to-person spread. There are a total of 160 people who have been tested by the HCA Healthcare Company.

*The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.