Total coronavirus cases:
• 82 in California, including 48 in the Bay Area
• 331 in the U.S., including 14 deaths: 1 in California and 13 in Washington state
• Over 101,000 in the world and over 3,400 deaths
For a detailed map, check out The Chronicle’s Coronavirus Tracker
Breaking news developments on March 6, 2020:
8:45 p.m. Man who died after Sunnyvale officers performed CPR did not have COVID-19: The 72-year-old man who had recently been on the Grand Princess cruise to Mexico with passengers who were subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19 did not have the new coronavirus, Sunnyvale public safety officials said a day after the department sent home seven officers who came into contact with the man.
8:15 p.m. Stanford University classes switch to online format: For the last two weeks of Stanford University’s quarter, beginning on Monday March 9, classes will no longer meet in person and instead, classes will be moved to “online formats,” according to university provost Persis Drell.
“Any winter quarter final exams that were scheduled to be administered in person will need to be administered in take-home format, complying with university rules for such exams,” Drell said. “In addition, we encourage all instructors to email students in their courses this weekend to let them know their course plans.”
The university will remain open, as university officials said many employees are “needed physically on campus,” but encouraged employees to explore “possible telecommuting opportunities.”
“We encourage everyone to continue good health practices that minimize the possibility of virus spread,” Drell said.
The university also announced it has cancelled its in-person “Admit Weekend event,” which is for prospective undergraduates who will be offered admission to Stanford. It was originally scheduled for the weekend of April 23-26.
8:06 p.m. War Memorial Performing Arts Center venues, including Davies Symphony Hall, closed: Officials said the venues will be closed for all public events for the next two weeks in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. After tonight, all San Francisco Symphony concerts scheduled at Davies Symphony Hall through March 20 are canceled.
6:55 p.m. Second COVID-19 case in Alameda County: Alameda County’s second confirmed case of the new coronavirus was announced as being a passenger of the Grand Princess cruise ship from February 11 through February 21. The patient, identified only as an older adult who has underlying medical conditions, is hospitalized, county officials said. The patient’s family members are quarantined.
County officials advised Alameda County residents who were aboard the Grand Princess and who have experienced symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing since the cruise to seek tests for the coronavirus from their healthcare provider.
“While over 80 percent of people with COVID-19 have mild disease, we can and should prepare for this new virus to gain a foothold in our county, and we should work together to slow the spread of disease and protect our most vulnerable populations.” said Dr. Erica Pan, the health officer for the Alameda County Public Health Department. “While information continues to evolve, persons who are at higher risk for severe disease include the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions should consider avoiding mass gatherings.
6:10 p.m. SF recommends canceling big sporting events: SF officials recommended sports events be canceled — and people stay away from large gatherings, but the Warriors said Saturday night’s game will be played and health procedures will be followed. More large sports gatherings, in the form of Major League Baseball games and NCAA tournament basketball competition, will begin later this month. To keep athletes, fans and staff safe, organizations have been issuing the same guidelines that the rest of the population has been given: wash your hands, stay home if you are ill.
5:30 p.m. SF health officials reaching out to former cruise ship passengers: San Francisco Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said the city has contacted “over 100” city residents who were former passengers of the Grand Princess cruise ship that sailed from San Francisco to Mexico last month. They’ve been told to contact their health care providers if they begin to show symptoms of a possible coronavirus infection. Those passengers were on the same cruise as a Placer County man who died after contracting the virus.
4:30 p.m. SF issues ‘aggressive recommendations’ to curb virus spread: San Francisco officials urged the public Friday to stay away from large gatherings of people for the next two weeks as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus. Health officials recommended canceling events intended to draw large crowds if possible, and the city intends to follow suit: Upcoming city-sponsored events like the St. Patrick’s Day parade have been nixed. Officials also recommended that people 60 years of age or older, especially those with underlying health conditions, limit their exposure by avoiding crowd-drawing events. They also urged businesses to suspend nonessential employee travel and minimize the number of employees working within arm’s length of one another, including minimizing or canceling large in-person meetings and conferences.
3:20 p.m. COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara County climbs to 24: Four new cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed in Santa Clara County, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the county to 24.
Public health officials did not provide the ages of the new patients, citing privacy laws, but said the four new cases are not related to one another. They were described as being:
• A man who had “household contact of a previously confirmed case” in Santa Clara County. He is currently self-isolating at home.
• A female patient who is currently hospitalized. Her case is under investigation.
• A male patient who recently traveled to India. He is currently hospitalized.
• A male patient who is self-isolating at home. His case is under investigation.
“An increase in cases is not unexpected. The Public Health Department will continue to identify anyone who has come into contact with these cases,” public health officials said. “The department will also be conducting community surveillance to determine the extent of possible disease spread in our community.”
3:15 p.m. Grand Princess will be taken to undisclosed port: The ship, which has a home port of San Francisco, will go to a private, undisclosed port and all 3,400 aboard will be tested, Vice President Mike Pence said in a White House press briefing. All passengers on board will be tested and those who test positive will be quarantined, crew members aboard the ship and guests at yet-unspecified military bases.
2:50 p.m. 21 on Grand Princess test positive for coronavirus: Vice President Mike Pence announced Friday that 21 people aboard the Grand Princess currently anchored off the Northern California coast have tested positive for the coronavirus. Pence said 19 are crew members and 2 are passengers. Twenty-four others tested negative. One was inconclusive.
2:27 p.m. New cases in Contra Costa didn’t require hospitalization: Daniel Peddycord, the public health director for Contra Costa County, said all three cases confirmed Thursday night are under home isolation and don’t require hospitalization. Public health officials are is monitoring their status and investigating any contact they may have had with others. “These cases demonstrate that our public health efforts to identify and monitor known exposures is working,” he said. A person diagnosed earlier this week, however, was in critical condition at a local area hospital. Officials do anticipate more cases.
2:10 p.m. Contra Costa officials say people should avoid mass gatherings: Contra Costa County health officials confirmed in a news conference Friday afternoon that three more people tested positive Thursday night, bringing the county total to four cases. Officials said they are not recommending public events be canceled, but individuals should consider their own health and risk in deciding to go to public events. Schools also should not close, but the public was encouraged to practice good hygiene and try to prevent the spread of the virus to protect the county’s most vulnerable residents. Here are things you should know to avoid contracting the virus.
2:00 p.m. City of Austin cancels SXSW festival: Organizers of the massive music and tech festival in Austin, Tex., said the event will not take place this month due to coronavirus concerns, marking the first time SXSW has not been held in 34 years.
— SXSW (@sxsw) March 6, 2020
1:24 p.m. Visit California encourages travelers to keep plans: Visit California, the non-profit marketing organization that promotes travel to the state, encouraged visitors to stick with their plans despite the coronavirus. “The emergency declaration in California indicates our Governor’s proactive and quick response and commitment to preparedness,” Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta said in a statement. “Fortunately, there are no further travel implications, and visitors should feel safe and welcome to travel the state freely, maintaining the same standard precautions they would at home.”
1:19 p.m. Apple asks employees to work from home: Apple, whose Cupertino headquarters is in Santa Clara County, where 20 cases have been confirmed, has urged its Bay Area employees to work remotely, although the company’s offices remain open.
12:57 p.m. Grand Princess cruise ship still waiting on test results: Princess Cruises officials said they plan to release more information about official COVID-19 test results when they are completed. Officials said earlier they expected the tests to take “several hours” after helicopters took test kits from the Grand Princess cruiseliner back to shore Thursday. Several dozen passengers showed symptoms of the virus, forcing health officials to stop the ship from docking in San Francisco. Cruise personnel are beginning to contact guests who need medication and they are distributing a form to request prescription refills.
12:55 p.m. San Jose mayor calls for moratorium on evictions during coronavirus outbreak: San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo announced a proposal to ban evictions as coronavirus continues to spread throughout Santa Clara County. “These are tough times,” he said. The county had 20 confirmed cases as of Thursday.
Now: I’m joined by Deputy City Manager Kip Harkness with updates to explain the temporary moratorium on evictions in San José to protect renters from COVID-19. https://t.co/pjUiRfOpno
— Sam Liccardo (@sliccardo) March 6, 2020
12:45 p.m. SF virus patient being treated at San Francisco General: Hospital spokesman Brent Andrew confirmed the facility is treating one of the two cases disclosed by city officials on Thursday. He said he could not disclose more information about the patient.
12:35 p.m. California’s Department of Public Health lags in releasing info: The states bearing the greatest burden of coronavirus disease are California and Washington, but keeping track of the rising case counts can be a challenge — especially in California, where the state Department of Public Health doesn’t provide information about local outbreaks. Washington state’s coronavirus website is updated every day at 11 a.m. and lists cases by county. California’s public health website also is updated daily — though as of noon Friday the case counts were more than 24 hours old — and the agency has failed to release numbers by county. That leaves it up to individual counties — there are 58 in California — to make that information available to the public. (The Chronicle has been tracking cases county by county in California. The information is updated throughout the day, as new cases are reported.)
12:24 p.m. Chocolate festival in SF to proceed as planned: Organizers of the three-day Craft Chocolate Experience, which opens tonight in San Francisco, say the show will go on — including a cacao bean pit festivalgoers are expected to dive into. One change is that guests won’t be allowed to “self-sample.”
11:57 a.m. eBay bans hand sanitizer sales: In a move to combat coronavirus-related price gouging, eBay has banned listings for hand sanitizer, masks and disinfectant wipes on its auction site. “We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and quickly remove any listing that mentions COVID-19, coronavirus, 2019nCoV (except books) in the title or description,” the San Jose-based company wrote in a notice to sellers.
11:43 a.m. Passenger aboard Grand Princess describes ‘mismanagement’: A passenger aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship being held off the coast of California accused cruise officials of “total mismanagement of the situation” after several dozen passengers showed symptoms of coronavirus. Neil Kran, a 69-year-old Sausalito resident and one of more than 2,400 passengers aboard the ship, texted The Chronicle that some guests, himself included, were told to remain in their room for dinner and didn’t receive meals until 10:30 p.m. He said the boat remained in a holding pattern Friday morning and the captain told passengers that test-kit results, which were taken off the ship Thursday, had not returned. “No word on what will happen when they do,” Kran said.
11:35 a.m. CA health officials haven’t released any new info on cruise ship: State health officials have not released any updates since Thursday regarding the status of the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California, which has several dozen passengers suspected of being infected with coronavirus. Tests that were taken from the ship by helicopter on Thursday were expected to take “several hours” to complete. Asked for updates Friday, Department of Public Health officials said they did not “have additional details to share beyond what was provided yesterday.” More than 3,500 people are aboard the ship.
10:44 a.m. Santa Clara fire officials suspend programs and events: Santa Clara County fire officials suspended all scheduled community events and programs at the suggestion of the county health department.
In accordance with @HealthySCC recommendations, and out of caution for our residents and employees, #SCCFD has suspended all community programs and events until further notice.
More info and guidance regarding novel #coronavirus at https://t.co/xgEuw4VdgF @SCCgov pic.twitter.com/lXyU1FdoMx
— Santa Clara Co Fire (@sccfiredept) March 6, 2020
10:40 a.m. Yolo County reports first case, believed to be community transmission: Officials in Yolo County confirmed their first COVID-19 case, a woman with underlying health conditions who is believed to have “acquired the disease through community transmission.” She is in a hospital and her condition is improving, officials said.
10:31 a.m. Contra Costa County reports 3 new cases, 2 from cruise ship: Health officials in Contra Costa County have confirmed three new patients infected with the virus, two of whom are individuals who were on the Grand Princess cruiseliner. The new cases increased the total tally of cases in the county to seven. Officials plan to brief the news media Friday afternoon.
9:34 a.m. San Jose children’s museum employee potentially exposed to virus: The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose will be closed until Tuesday while officials test an employee who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
A museum employee may have been exposed to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is awaiting test results. In an abundance of caution for the safety well-being of our community, we will be closed until Tues, Mar. 10. We’re working closely with @sccgov Public Health Dept. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/O5b6ll0HTZ
— Purple Museum (@PurpleMuseum) March 5, 2020
9:28 a.m. Postmates offers “non-contact” deliveries: Delivery service Postmates said in a blog post Friday that customers can choose to receive deliveries left at the front door, so they do not have to take a direct hand-off from a courier. The San Francisco company’s app will offer the option in a prompt prior to checkout.
9:20 a.m. Cruise company temporary alters trip cancellation policy: Princess Cruises announced it is changing its cancellation policy amid coronavirus concerns. The company operates the ship that is currently off the coast of California while officials test 45 people for coronavirus, and it operated another ship that had an outbreak last month. The policy change can be read here.
9:18 a.m. Google says Bay Area employees can work from home: Google is letting employees in the Bay Area and New York work from home if they choose to do so if the nature of their work permits, in order to test the company’s systems.
9:06 a.m. SF Giants meet with health officials to combat coronavirus spread: The Giants have been in contact with San Francisco’s Department of Public Health and Office of Emergency Services, along with medical advisers from Major League Baseball and the CDC.
8:50 a.m. Your questions answered: The Chronicle is collecting reader questions on coronavirus. A common one: What is BART doing in response? Here’s the latest: BART has ramped up cleanings and is instructing crews to frequently douse station floors and other surfaces with disinfectant. At end-of-the line stations, custodial workers scrub train handrails and stanchions with germicidal wipes, in addition to their routine car washings. BART plans to isolate and quarantine any train cars visited by a person suspected or confirmed to have the illness. Workers would then spray the car interiors with hospital-grade cleaning solution. So far, the transit agency doesn’t know of that happening. The Chronicle will be answering more reader questions throughout the day.
8:17 a.m. Oakland A’s taking spring training precautions: Chronicle sports writer Matt Kawahara tweeted a note saying players will have less contact with fans than usual to avoid the spread of coronavirus. “Amid coronavirus concerns, Athletics players will be signing baseballs in the clubhouse and tossing to fans in the stands at spring training instead of regular signing starting today,” Kawahara wrote. “Team wants to still allow for autographs while taking precautions.”
Amid coronavirus concerns, #Athletics players will be signing baseballs in the clubhouse and tossing to fans in the stands at spring training instead of regular signing starting today. Team wants to still allow for autographs while taking precautions.
— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 6, 2020
7:49 a.m. Lessons from SF’s bout with the Spanish flu: The Spanish influenza killed thousands in San Francisco in 1918. Chronicle columnist Peter Hartlaub looks at how the city responded, from a ban on public dances to ordering people to wear masks.
7:18 a.m. Passengers aboard cruise ship off coast await test results: Test results for 45 passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California are expected Friday.
6:59 a.m. Grocery stores prepare for busy weekend: After a run of panic buying that cleared shelves of beans, rice and other staple products last weekend, Bay Area stores have restocked. But hand sanitizer probably won’t be on the shelves — as well as your favorite brands, especially if another frantic wave of buying takes place. This story breaks down what to expect.
6:50 a.m. Trump signs coronavirus spending bill: President Trump approved the $8.3 billion coronavirus emergency spending bill, noting that he “asked for $2.5 (billion) and I got $8.3 (billion). And I’ll take it.” In fact, Democrats and Republicans both considered Trump’s initial proposal inadequate and pushed for a larger spending bill. Trump, sitting behind a desk Friday in a white polo shirt and jacket, called the coronavirus outbreak an “unforeseen problem, not a problem.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2020
6:35 a.m. Facebook tells employees to work from home: Facebook officials told employees to work from home starting Friday based on “guidance” from Santa Clara County, where officials revealed six new cases Thursday afternoon. Thousands of full-time employees and contractors will not be able to work remotely and have to work on site, according to Facebook. The company also plans to cancel all of its events in the Bay Area and recommended that employees cancel all business travel.
6:20 a.m. Number of people infected across the world surpasses 100,000: The number of confirmed cases of the virus across the world reached 100,330 Friday morning, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The number of people who have died reached 3,408.
Updates from March 5, 2020:
8:34 p.m. San Bruno Senior Center closes amid possible COVID-19 exposure: San Bruno city officials closed the San Bruno Senior Center after learning on Thursday that three former passengers of the Grand Princess cruise to Mexico from Feb. 11 through 21 visited the center afterward and assisted in the center’s lunch program, according to city officials. One of the individuals reported “low-level cold symptoms” on Wednesday, which have since subsided, and the other two people have not reported any symptoms. Public health officials advised all three former passengers to self-quarantine. The center, located at 1555 Crystal Springs Road, is expected to be reopened on Tuesday, March 10, officials said.
“It is important to note that the City is not aware of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Bruno at this time and we are working closely with county and state officials to further investigate any potential connections between the passengers on the Grand Princess and individuals who may have visited the Senior Center,” city officials said in a statement.
8:08 p.m. Lowell team forfeits semifinal soccer game: The top-seeded Lowell girls soccer team forfeited Thursday’s NorCal Division 5 semifinal soccer game against Chico. Lowell was closed for the rest of the week by the San Francisco Unified School District when a relative of a student at the school tested positive for the coronavirus. Initially it was believed that the game would be postponed for a day and moved to Chico. But word of the school closure — and possible postponement of the game — apparently never reached Chico and the Panthers players and coaches drove the 170 miles to San Francisco only to find out the game had been called off.
8:03 p.m. Chan Zuckerberg Initiative worker tests positive: The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative employee whose contact with a relative with the coronavirus prompted the company to do a deep cleaning of its offices and require its employees to work from home until the end of this, has been diagnosed with COVID-19, a company spokesperson said Thursday. All employees have been notified, including those who were in close contact with the person. Employees are being encouraged to work remotely until March 23.
7 p.m. Sunnyvale public safety officers self-isolating: Seven public safety officers who responded to a call of a 72-year-old man who was not breathing were self-isolating on Thursday soon after learning the man, who died, was a former passenger on the Grand Princess during a cruise in which other former passengers have since been diagnosed with COVID-19. Phan Ngo, Chief of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety, said the officers performed CPR on the man. At some point while at the scene, Ngo said a family member of the man advised officers that he had recently been on the cruise.
While Ngo said Santa Clara County public health officials have not yet determined if the man had COVID-19, the department promptly sent the officers home to self isolate.
“We are asking our community to remain calm,” Ngo said. “The precautions we have taken exceed the recommendations by the CDC.”
Captain Craig Anderson of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety, said the officers at the scene did not perform mouth to mouth, and instead followed CPR procedures, which calls for using gloves and a bag valve mask to provide ventilation to the patient.
6:15 p.m. Stanford announces crowd-control measures: In response to concern about the spread of coronavirus, Stanford announced new crowd-control measures at all of its on-campus sports facilities. In an online statement, the university wrote:
“Stanford Athletics has worked closely with Stanford Environmental Health Safety to establish attendance guidelines for each competition venue in order to allow fans the opportunity for social distancing. Public attendance will be limited to approximately 1/3 of each venue’s capacity through April 15 or until further notice.”
There are no known cases of any Stanford student or faculty member having been diagnosed with coronavirus.
6:10 p.m. San Mateo County recommends cancellation of large gatherings: San Mateo County health officer Scott Morrow issued a statement calling for cancellation of large gatherings and increase of telecommuting. He said the coronavirus, while not yet in the county, is in the Bay Area and “has likely been spreading for weeks, perhaps months.”
4:40 p.m. Santa Clara County officials recommend postponing or cancelling large gatherings: To slow the spread of the new coronavirus in the county, officials said people who are at higher risk — generally over the age of 50 with underlying health conditions such as diabetes — should stay at home and away from social events, such as sporting events, conferences, concerts and parades.
“I want to emphasize that in the event that an event does go forward, its particularly important for those who are at higher risk of serious illness with this infection, that they not attend,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County’s public health officer. “
Cody said those are considered to be at higher risk are typically over the age of 50 and have underlying health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer chronic lung disease.
Officials also recommended that employers suspend nonessential travel, minimize or cancel large in-person meetings or conferences, urge sick employees to stay home and not require a doctors note, and consider telecommuting options for appropriate employees. Cody said employers shouldn’t require doctor’s notes from their employees “because we don’t want to further impact the healthcare system with work that they don’t need to be doing.”
4:22 p.m. Quarantined Northern California nurse says CDC won’t test her: A nurse at an undisclosed Kaiser hospital is under quarantine after developing flu-like systems days after treating a patient with a confirmed case of coronavirus. The nurse’s doctor and a county health officer ordered a coronavirus test, but the CDC first declined to issue a test and then put the nurse on a waiting list. “Delaying this test puts the whole community at risk,” the nurse wrote in a statement issued by the California Nurses Association. The CNA did not say which county or which Kaiser hospital.
3:24 p.m. California tells insurers to waive coronavirus testing charges: California ordered insurance companies to waive out-of-pocket costs for customers seeking screening and testing for coronavirus, becoming the second state after New York to do so. The California Department of Insurance and Department of Managed Care on Thursday ordered all full-service commercial and Medi-Cal plans to “immediately reduce cost-sharing — including, but not limited to, co-pays, deductibles, or coinsurance — to zero for all medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19.”
2:44 p.m. All Grand Princess passengers required to quarantine: Passenger Neil Kran said all passengers on the cruise ship have been told to quarantine in their staterooms. All public venues on the ship are shut down. Only room service is available for dinner. It is unclear how long the quarantine will last. Previously, only the roughly 100 passengers identified for testing were required to isolate.
2:34 p.m. Six new cases identified in Santa Clara County: Officials held a news conference Thursday afternoon in San Jose to announce six new cases of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the South Bay to 20, according to the county’s Public Health Department. Santa Clara County public health officials are now recommending employers: suspend nonessential travel; minimize or cancel large in-person meetings/conferences; urge sick employees to stay home and not require a doctor’s note; and consider telecommuting options for appropriate employees.
Officials with the County of Santa Clara’s Public Health Department are expected to announce updates on coronavirus cases in the county and new guidelines regarding COVID-19: pic.twitter.com/uC82zLLLht
— Lauren Hernández (@LaurenPorFavor) March 5, 2020
2:25 p.m. SF public high school shuts down midday: Lowell High School in San Francisco shut down Thursday afternoon after officials learned a relative of a student had tested positive for coronavirus. All activities have been canceled. The school will remain closed Friday.
2:22 p.m. Art centers cancel tours through April 15: Public tours at the Cantor Arts Center and Anderson Collection at Stanford University have been canceled through April 15 in response to the coronavirus outbreak that has reached the Bay Area. Other scheduled events canceled include a Bay Area Artadia Artists Panel with Angela Hennessy, Mike Henderson and Aleesa Alexander that was set for March 12; the museum’s Second Sunday Family Day set for March 8 and April 12; and the opening of the “Formed Fired” exhibition scheduled for March 13. See an updated list of canceled events due to the outbreak.
2:06 p.m. Lockheed Martin employee in Sunnyvale tests positive: A Lockheed Martin employee who had identified himself as someone potentially exposed to the COVID-19 virus Wednesday has tested positive, a company official said. The company is taking precautions that include deep cleaning and limiting visitors and employees who recently traveled to areas where the coronavirus has spread.
1:26 p.m. San Francisco school closes over coronavirus concerns: The Presidio Hill School, a private school in San Francisco, was closed Thursday after it discovered an extended family member connected to the school had been on the Princess Cruise to Mexico, which returned Feb. 21. Two passengers from that cruise have tested positive for the coronavirus.
1:15 p.m. San Jose teacher tests positive for virus: Officials at Action Day Primary Plus said they have closed their facility on Moorpark Avenue through the weekend after learning a teacher tested positive for COVID-19. The teacher had not worked since Feb. 26, officials said, and the closure was “out of an abundance of caution.” School officials said they have had “close contact” with the Santa Clara County Department of Health. “Our other nine facilities are not currently impacted and remain open to students and staff,” officials said.
1:05 p.m. Nurses, SF supervisor say city hospitals at risk: The union for San Francisco’s registered nurses held a news conference Thursday saying the city’s hospitals are unprepared for an outbreak of coronavirus — or any disaster, in general — due to understaffing. Supervisor Asha Safaí, who is sponsoring a resolution to address issues raised by the nurses, said the city needs to support nurses who would be on the front line of an epidemic. “We are here to ensure the city and county of San Francisco is ready for the crisis that is on our hands,” he said.
Sup. Asha Safai, who is sponsoring a revolution to address SFGH issues, speaks about the need to support nurses who would be on the front line of an epidemic. “We are here to ensure the city and county of SF is ready for the crisis that is on our hands.” pic.twitter.com/oPxHNJ8z1c
— Anna Bauman (@abauman2) March 5, 2020
12:47 p.m. Sen. Kamala Harris calls coronavirus an economic threat to low-income workers: “The coronavirus presents an interesting convergence between public-health concerns and pay-equity concerns, specifically two-thirds of low-income workers in the U.S. do not have paid sick leave,” she said.
.@SenKamalaHarris: “The #coronavirus presents an interesting convergence between public-health concerns and pay-equity concerns, specifically 2/3s of low-income workers in the U.S. do not have paid sick leave.”
Today, she grilled Trump officials on that: https://t.co/6MVqtgGhNF
— Dustin Gardiner (@dustingardiner) March 5, 2020
12:20 p.m. SF health officials monitoring potential cruise ship outbreak: In addition to announcing Thursday that two people in San Francisco have tested positive for coronavirus, city health officials said they are working alongside state and federal officials to monitor the condition of travelers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, which is currently at sea but could anchor in San Francisco. No cases have been confirmed aboard the ship, but Mary Ellen Carroll, director of the city’s Department of Emergency Management, said the CDC was administering tests Thursday and results are expected early Friday. Nearly 2,400 passengers are aboard the ship, along with more than 1,000 crew members. Thirty-five people have exhibited flu-like symptoms during the ship’s 15-day trip, Carroll said, but some have recovered.
12:16 p.m. Number of Bay Area school closures grows: Black Pine Circle, a private school in Berkeley, joined a growing list of schools to close because of concerns over the coronavirus. Family members connected to the school had possible exposure from an international trip, school spokeswoman Lesley Jones said. No cases have been connected to the school, she added. The 330 students were told to stay home Thursday in addition to an already scheduled day off Friday. The closure was not based on a recommendation from public health officials, Jones said. “We were told we don’t need to do that,” she said. “We just decided to do that as the cautious route.” School officials will do a thorough cleaning over the next few days.
12:03 p.m. Bay Area legislators slam hospital closure: State senators Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo, as well as assemblymen Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo) released the following statement about Verity Health System’s decision to close Seton Medical Center in Daly City: “Verity Health System’s decision to close two facilities will have a terrible impact to our communities in the southern portion of San Francisco and northern San Mateo County. With COVID-19 posing a public health challenge and our homelessness crisis worsening — both of which are increasing trips to the ER — the closure of Seton Medical Center in Daly City is a huge problem for the community. We demand that Verity follow state law mandating they give 90-day notice when shutting down an emergency room. We further demand that they follow the 30-day requirement for Seton Coastside in Moss Beach. With the nearest hospitals now farther away from Daly City, it’s possible that patients won’t get timely care because of the additional travel time. We are also concerned that the nearby facilities may become overcrowded. We will continue to work with local health departments to ensure residents will have access to affordable healthcare. Now is not the time to close down a hospital, and we ask Verity to reverse this decision.”
12:01 p.m. SF Mayor London Breed says city is ready after two cases arise: “We have been planning for this for weeks, and so we are prepared as a city,” she said.
11:57 a.m. Video of helicopters approaching the cruise ship: A San Francisco resident whose relatives are aboard the ship posted a video on Twitter of helicopters approaching the ship:
Two helicopters approaching the #GrandPrincess with #coronavirus test kits. Again, my parents are on board (as well as many other parents and siblings and children). Please pray for them. @PrincessCruises @GavinNewsom @KTVU #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/XwlqTdV1uJ
— Keane Li (@keaneli) March 5, 2020
11:25 a.m. Second case announced in Sonoma County: A second person in Sonoma County who traveled on the Grand Princess cruise from San Francisco to Mexico has tested positive for the coronavirus, public health officials said. Both patients are in isolation at a local hospital.
11:16 a.m. San Francisco’s Department of Public Health lab confirmed patients: Dr. Grant Colfax said the positive test results were runrelated and patients were being cared for at separate hospitals in the city. The patients did not travel to other countries or have contact with persons known to have the virus, he said. The patients are in fair and serious condition and being treated in isolation. Health department officials told families this morning. Patient No. 1 is in his 90s and is listed in serious condition. He has an underlying health condition. Patient No. 2 is a woman in her 40s, and she was listed in fair condition.
11:11 a.m. Two cases confirmed in San Francisco: Mayor London Breed announced the positive tests at a news conference Thursday morning while insisting city officials are prepared.
First 2 cases of coronavirus diagnosed in Sf. Breaking
— Dominic Fracassa (@DominicFracassa) March 5, 2020
11:00 a.m. Aircraft approaches cruise ship: Passenger Neil Kran, a Sausalito resident who is aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, sent The Chronicle a photo of aircraft approaching the cruise ship. Company officials said helicopters were expected to arrive Thursday morning to drop off test kits after passengers showed symptoms of the virus. Fewer than 100 passengers were identified for testing. The medical team onboard will administer the tests and send them by helicopter to a lab in Richmond, officials said. No passengers will be allowed off the ship until the results return, officials said. Kran said the captain of the Grand Princess announced on Thursday that the day’s group activities, including an auction and bingo session, were canceled, per guidance from the CDC.
10:36 a.m. Markets fall as fears rise: The Dow Jones was down more than 800 points, or 3.1%, in intraday trading, as investors continued to show concern about the spreading coronavirus and its impact on the economy. The SP 500 was down 2.9%.
9:55 a.m. Helicopters nearing quarantined SF cruise ship, passenger says: Neil Kran, a 69-year-old currently aboard the Grand Princess, told The Chronicle that passengers were informed that helicopters will soon arrive at the ship to drop coronavirus testing kits. Passengers with balconies were asked to stay inside and told the crew is on “firefighting” alert because helicopter drops can be dangerous, Kran said. The mood aboard the ship is somber, Kran said, adding that he thinks the ship should return to San Francisco’s port as soon as possible to prevent further exposure to infection. “By delaying the ship’s arrival to San Francisco, you’re going to be putting people who may be sick at great risk,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense in my mind.”
9:25 a.m. Placer County officials focus on cruise ship passengers: Katie Combs Prichard, a public health spokeswoman for Placer County, said officials have a list of residents who traveled aboard a San Francisco cruise ship with an elderly man who died after contracting coronavirus. Combs Prichard said she did not know how many people from Place County are on the list. She added that several people who were aboard the ship have also contacted county officials. “Certainly we are doing more testing relating to the cruise,” Combs Prichard said.
9:06 a.m. LinkedIn tells Bay Area employees to work from home through March, if possible: The San Francisco-based company said is it also asking employees to postpone all non-essential business travel and will not participate in external events in March and April. Microsoft, which owns LinkedIn, is also urging all employees to work from home, as are Twitter and Square.
8:44 a.m. Bay Area counties being notified of residents on earlier Grand Princess cruise: Seventy-eight Sonoma County residents were aboard the Grand Princess cruise to Mexico when the ship docked in San Francisco on Feb. 21. The lone person to die from coronavirus in California was a Placer County resident who was of a passenger on that Grand Princess cruise, which left San Francisco on Feb. 11. A second person on that cruise, a Sonoma County resident, also tested positive.
The Centers for Disease Control and Princess Cruises are notifying county health department across the state if they have residents who were aboard the cruise. Public health officials will contact the former passengers and determine if they have symptoms or need to be tested. Rohish Lal, a Sonoma County public health spokesman, said those who aren’t tested will be asked to monitor their health until Friday, which is 14 days after the cruise docked. Information from other Bay Area counties is not yet available.
7:39 a.m. Starbucks suspends use of personal cups: Starbucks officials said they will temporarily halt the use of personal cups “for here” in coffee shops, but will honor a $.10 discount for people who try to use their own cup or request “for here.” Rossann Williams, an executive vice president for the company, wrote in a letter, “Our focus remains on two key priorities: Caring for the health and well-being of our partners and customers and playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus.” Starbucks officials said they have modified or postponed large meetings throughout the U.S. and Canada, restricted air travel for employees through March and are in the process of cleaning stores.
7:06 a.m. BART director releases details on extra safety measures: BART director Rebecca Saltzman tweeted a message about extra steps the transit agency is taking to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including increased station and train car cleanings, as well as the procurement of disinfectants, hand sanitizer stands and face masks for “positions” that need them. Ridership in the past week was actually up from the previous week, officials said.
Since folks have been asking me about BART’s coronavirus plans, I asked staff for a memo. Here’s the memo BART’s chief safety officer sent to the BART Board Monday evening. It includes what BART is doing now, and what BART would do if there’s coronavirus exposure on BART. pic.twitter.com/KhwzyazUOS
— Rebecca Saltzman (@RebeccaForBART) March 4, 2020
6:35 a.m. Reports of computers shortages: Factory closures in Asia due to the coronavirus have created a shortage of certain types of computer hardware, Bay Area companies told The Chronicle.
6:21 a.m. Why coronavirus test results vary: As California ramps up testing, including for a number of passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, some people who have taken the test say their results have fluctuated — positive one day, negative the next. This story explains why the results can be confusing, and how health officials are handling the situation.
12:13 a.m. Princess Cruises releases statement: The cruise line said that the U.S. Coast Guard will deliver test kits to the Grand Princess by helicopter this morning and that no one will be allowed to disembark the ship until the test results are complete. Fewer than 100 guests and crew members on board will be tested.