The Chronicle began covering the coronavirus crisis before the first cases were reported in the Bay Area and a pandemic was declared. We reorganized the newsroom to dedicate nearly every resource to stories focusing on the health and economic disasters. Every day we have published live updates to reflect the most critical local, national and global updates on COVID-19, and this news is free of charge in an effort to keep our community safe and informed.
• Read the previous batch of updates from June 2-3.
• Read the previous batch of updates from June 6-7.
• See the full timeline.
Updates from Friday, June 5:
9:26 p.m. White House press secretary criticizes Contra Costa County reopen order, supervisor blasts back: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted: “In Contra Costa County, new ‘health’ guidelines allow protests of 100 people, but restrict religious services until June 15. Social distancing should remain data-driven and apolitical: If you can protest, you can pray.” County Supervisor John Goia quickly tweeted back: “Kayleigh, get your facts straight! Contra Costa’s new health guidelines allow both outdoor religious services&outdoor protests. We take public health seriously&make decisions based on #scienceoverpolitics.” Here is the order, which took effect at 5 p.m. Friday and allows outdoor religious services of up to 100 people, among other things.
5:53 p.m. Napa wineries can reopen: Wineries, bars and tasting rooms in Napa County can reopen as of Friday, with social distancing guidelines in place. Also able to reopen: camping activities, hotels, museums, professional sports, casinos and film and TV production. “We are elated to welcome back visitors to Napa Valley who will experience the world-class hospitality they have always enjoyed, with the added assurance that all businesses, including hotels, wineries, as well as restaurants and retail businesses are committed to practice the highest safety standards, above and beyond the mandated requirements, in order to protect the health and welfare of guests, employees and our community,” Linsey Gallagher, president and CEO for Visit Napa Valley, the county’s tourism bureau, said in a statement.
4:49 p.m. A’s owner reverses course, apologizes, says team will pay minor-leaguers: After a significant backlash greeted his decision to end stipends to minor-leaguers during the coronavirus shutdown, A’s owner John Fisher is reversing course, he said in a conversation with The Chronicle on Friday.
4:01 p.m. Off the Grid returning to Fort Mason: After its spring season was interrupted, Off the Grid is returning to San Francisco’s Fort Mason, albeit in a smaller form for the foreseeable future. Read the story here.
3:40 p.m. Shipment of masks saying ‘Stop Killing Black People’ is back in the mail after being seized by postal inspectors: An Oakland printer who specializes in social justice merchandise sent 2,000 face masks to Black Lives Matters protesters ahead of historic protests, but the face coverings were seized by U.S. postal inspectors who considered them suspicious. The masks have since been put back in the mail, according to postal officials, but the incident has raised concerns of racial targeting. Read the full story by Michael Cabanatuan.
3:31 p.m. Alameda County eases rules for childcare providers, libraries: Alameda County said Friday that childcare providers working with children of non-essential workers could reopen, and libraries can offer curbside pick-up. Pet grooming and appliance repair businesses can also resume. The county also permitted outdoor gatherings of “social bubbles” — up to 12 people from different households — though subject to additional restrictions. The new order takes effect on Monday.
3:13 p.m. Three new cases in Napa County: The county, which has the fewest cases in the nine-county Bay Area, now has recorded 129 coronavirus cases. The death toll remains three.
3:01 p.m. California confident it can run November election smoothly even with coronavirus: The pandemic is a significant challenge to officials who were already looking at a busy presidential election, but California will be able to run a smooth and safe operation, Secretary of State Alex Padilla says. The Chronicle’s John Wildermuth reports.
2:35 p.m. Presidio to close some streets to aid walkers and bikers: From June 8 to June 30, the Presidio of San Francisco will close some streets, including Montgomery Street, and limit traffic on others, including Washington Blvd. For a map and further details, click here.
2:24 p.m. White House moves reporters’ Rose Garden seats together: White House reporters have been sitting six feet apart while attending President Trump’s news conferences. That changes on Friday, when the White House — to the surprise and dismay of reporters — rearranged the chairs so they were one foot apart, according to CNN. “Looks much better,” Trump remarked when he saw the change.
2:12 p.m. Contra Costa County allows outdoor dining, religious services: Contra Costa County officials are allowing restaurants to serve patrons outdoors, and also permitting the use of outdoor swimming pools and dog parks under a revised public health order that takes effect at 5 p.m. Religious services can also resume in physical spaces, with up to 100 attendees if outdoors and up to 12 if indoors.
2:03 p.m. California setting new guidelines for reopening: California health officials are releasing new guidance Friday on how schools, day camps, casinos will be allowed to reopen. The guidance also addresses how music, television and film production and professional sports can resume. Read the full story here.
2:02 p.m. Everybody in the Bay Area wants a furry friend for the pandemic: The pandemic has been good for Bay Area rescue animals, but not so good for the humans who want to rescue them. Read the story here.
2 p.m. Why is the Bay Area seeing more critters now? Because we’re home to see them: As the coronavirus keeps Bay Area humans indoors, experts say, we’re finally noticing the fauna, from crows to coyotes. Read the story here.
1:34 p.m. Paycheck Protection Program loans updated: President Trump signed into law a reform to the pandemic-relief loans Congress created in March with the Cares Act. The changes offer businesses more flexibility in using the loans, including a lowered requirement for the amount they must spend on wages.
1:29 p.m. Dow soars more than 800 points: The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 3.2% on May jobless figures that showed an unexpected drop in unemployment. Wall Street took the numbers as a sign that the economy was restarting faster than expected after shelter-in-place restrictions forced many businesses to close and lay off workers.
1:28 p.m. Sonoma to allow indoor dining this weekend: Sonoma County is reopening indoor dining at restaurants and allowing Russian River trips starting Saturday. It’s not the first to allow indoor dining: Napa County and Solano County already permit it. Read the full story here.
1:06 p.m. SF releases guidelines for social interactions: San Francisco officials released a set of guidelines Friday meant to help make social interactions as safe as possible as the city prepares to begin gradually reopening its economy and permitting activities that have been off-limits for months during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city’s stay-home order is still in effect, but officials have recognized the near-inevitability that people will want to begin seeing family, friends and others outside their households again, especially with a broader set of activities — like indoor retail and outdoor restaurant dining — starting June 15.
12:30 p.m. Chronicle readers weigh in on how pets are adapting with their humans at home: As the Bay Area deals with the sheltering lifestyle, our pets are changing their routines as well. Read the full story here.
12:12 p.m. SF opens test site for protesters: The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped mass street protests against police violence so San Francisco has launched a mobile testing site for people concerned about coronavirus exposure. A free, pop-up testing location at the Cathedral of St. Mary on Gough Street opened Friday for anyone with or without symptoms to get swabbed, including demonstrators.
11:59 a.m. 49ers are only NFL team still barred from their facility: On Friday, 31 NFL teams could welcome back coaches to their facility for the first time since they were shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 49ers were the only team not permitted to do so because of Santa Clara County’s health guidelines. Head coach Kyle Shanahan doesn’t feel his team is at a competitive disadvantage. Read more.
11:49 a.m. Domestic violence rises with people stuck at home: Domestic violence has become more frequent and violent, according to indications, as pandemic shelter-in-place orders have confined people with others who abuse them. Calls for help in California “are now indicating a much greater severity of violence, much more physical violence … strangulations,” an advocacy group says. Read the story from Bob Egelko.
11:18 a.m. More favorite outdoor destinations open: Parking is now allowed at Stinson Beach, Muir Beach and Muir Beach Overlook as restrictions aimed at curbing the coronavirus continue to ease. The Angel Island dock and trails (but no mooring) are open. Parking and trails at five staging areas at Mount Tamalpais are also open. Read The Chronicle’s outdoor guide.
11:10 a.m. Boat sales sail along: Interest in boating has taken a surprising upturn during the coronavirus pandemic. Sellers report they are the busiest they’ve been in years, with sales of yachts and other vessels, as people nervous about flying and restricted on trails look toward boating as a safe way to avoid a summer of sitting at home. Read The Chronicle’s story.
10:42 a.m. More deaths in the Bay Area: A day afer recording its first day with no new COVID-19 deaths since May, the Bay Area reported 8 more in just two counties, San Mateo and Alameda, as of Friday morning. Alameda County, reaching 101 recorded fatalities to date, joined Santa Clara County as the only Bay Area counties with deaths in the triple digits.
10:33 a.m. Parking tickets are back for street-cleaning days: San Francisco will resume enforcing parking violations related to street sweeping on June 15 as businesses reopen from coronavirus closures. “As we’re reopening, we’ve reached the point where we must resume parking enforcement so that we can clean our streets. We’ll of course continue waiving tickets for people who face issues related to COVID-19,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.
10:15 a.m. Outdoor dining now OK in Santa Clara County: Outdoor dining is allowed as of Friday in Santa Clara County restaurants, with those meeting COVID-19 requirements displaying a large blue check mark as health officils ease coronavirus restrictions. Food service is allowed on patios, decks or other outside eating areas, including food trucks. Servers must wear masks and wash their hands often. Face coverings and physical distancing, when away from tables, are urged for customers. “It’s important people continue to the excellent job they’ve done,” said Michael Balliet, county environmental heaalth chief.
10 a.m. San Mateo County announces four new deaths: Four more people in San Mateo County have died of COVID-19 and 55 more cases of the coronavirus were confirmed, increasing the number of cases to 2,299, health officials said Friday. The county has recorded 88 COVID-19 fatalities.
9:42 a.m. Workers’ compensation evolves due to pandemic: The coronavirus pandemic ushered in a new era of workers’ compensation claims in California, with the state creating a unique injury category for COVID-19, and politicians pushing to change standards of proof for compensation. Read The Chronicle’s story.
8:59 a.m. San Francisco confirms 54 new cases: Fifty-four new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in San Francisco, bringing the number of known cases to 2,698, according to the Department of Public Health on Friday.
7:09 a.m. Face masks for BLM protesters seized, Oakland printer says: The owner of Oakland’s Movement Ink printing company, who said U.S. postal inspectors seized thousands of cloth face masks printed with the words “Stop killing black people” and the logo for the Movement for Black Lives, told The Chronicle that workers at the small, family-owned business “are angry, concerned and feel threatened by the situation. Our family and a few community members have sacrificed sleep to support the Movement for Black Lives and we are committed to do so moving forward.” The masks, which were intended to protect protesters from the coronavirus, were being shipped to Washington D.C., St. Louis, New York City and Minneapolis.
6:31 a.m. Job news spikes stocks higher: The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 2.6% on unexpectedly positive unemployment numbers, nearing 27,000. The rise in payrolls defied expectations of continued job losses.
5:45 a.m. Job loss eases: The unemployment rate dropped to 13.3% in May as businesses called workers back and the economy partially reopened. Economists said it was a hopeful sign that the worst damage may be behind us.
Updates from Thursday, June 4:
11:30 p.m. Sonoma County considers resuming in-store retail, religious services this weekend: Health officer Dr. Sundari Mase said in-store retail, barbershops and hair salons and religious services of up to 100 people or 25% of capacity may be allowed to resume this weekend in Sonoma County with health protocols in place if the county’s epidemiological data stays stable. Mase said in a video update Wednesday the county’s case rate has held at about 38-to-40 cases per 100,000 residents for two weeks. “These are three areas that we’re considering opening as of this weekend if all goes well and we don’t see any increases or other warning signs that would limit us as this time,” Mase said.
10:47 p.m. Bay Area reports no new deaths: The nine Bay Area counties reported zero deaths Thursday due to the coronavirus. It’s the Bay Area’s first day with no new deaths since the nine counties reported no increase on consecutive days May 18 and 19.
10:45 p.m. Solano, Sonoma counties update case counts: Sonoma County reported 17 new cases of the coronavirus for an updated total of 610 cases. Of those, 302 were active as of Thursday, the county reported. Officials in Solano County confirmed six new cases of the virus for a total of 565, including 63 active cases.
10:42 p.m. New cases in Alameda, Contra Costa county: Officials in Alameda County reported 32 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday, bringing the county’s total to 3,641 cases. The total represents a 4.9% positive rate among residents tested for the virus through Wednesday, per the county website. Contra Costa County confirmed 27 new cases for an updated total of 1,547, marking a 4% positive rate out of 38,420 people tested, according to the county’s website.
10:19 p.m. Second state prison employee dies: The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Thursday that a second employee has died from COVID-19. The employee, a plant operations worker at Ironwood State Prison in Blythe (Riverside County) died Wednesday, according to the CDCR website. No further information about the employee was provided. The CDCR said it “extends our sincerest sympathies to the family during this difficult time.”
8:32 p.m. Marin County reports more cases: Marin County public health officials reported five more cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the county’s case total to 530, according to Marin Health & Human Services data. The county’s death total remained unchanged at 17 deaths.
5 p.m. Newsom concerned about virus spike following protests: Gov. Gavin Newsom said he’s concerned about the spread of coronavirus on Thursday as protests against police brutality continue across the state. “If you’re not (concerned), you’re not paying attention to the epidemiology, to the virulence of this disease,” he said during a visit to Stockton, adding the state should prepare for an increase in the positive test rate. Read the full story here.
4:12 p.m. State handed out $22 billion in unemployment benefits so far during pandemic: State unemployment benefits from March 14 to May 30 reached $22.2 billion, a sign of the deep economic scars left by COVID-19. For comparison, the state issued $22.9 billion in unemployment benefits in 2010, as the economy was recovering from the Great Recession.
4:05 p.m. Caltrain deepening discounts for low-income riders: Board directors for the Peninsula commuter rail unanimously voted to deepen the discount for qualified low-income Clipper users — from 20% to 50%. Caltrain has hemorrhaged a significant share of riders, and revenue, during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown, yet it’s had to balance those losses against the needs of people who rely on public transit. Board Chair and San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine deemed it an opportune moment to try the 50% discount, rewarding essential workers while perhaps luring in new riders.
3:55 p.m. Napa County reports two new cases: A day after reporting a jump of 11 new cases, Napa County, which added another two cases for a total of 126. Napa still has by far the lowest case count in the Bay Area.
3:25 p.m. Bay Area hospital cases lowest since April 1: The number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the nine Bay Area counties was reported at 229 on Wednesday, the area’s lowest one-day total since at least April 1, according to state data reviewed by The Chronicle. The previous low was 230, reported on May 17. There were 82 confirmed COVID-19 intensive care patients in the area Wednesday, also the lowest mark since at least April 1. Statewide, 3,109 confirmed hospitalizations were reported Wednesday, a one-day increase of 0.6%, while confirmed ICU cases declined by 1.9% to 1,058.
2:48 p.m. New suit filed over Princess cruise: A second group of former Grand Princess cruise ship passengers is suing Carnival Corp. and its Princess cruise line in a federal court in Los Angeles after a similar suit against the companies was filed this week.
2:38 p.m. Nordstrom lays off 3,108 Bay Area employees: The retailer said in state filings that eight stores were affected, with the largest cuts in San Mateo, Pleasanton, San Francisco and Walnut Creek. President Pete Nordstrom said in April the virus caused “unprecedented challenges,” and 16 stores around the country will permanently close, including in Pleasanton and Sacramento. The Chronicle’s Layoff Tracker lists over 132,000 layoffs during the pandemic, or over 3% of the entire Bay Area’s jobs.
2:24 p.m. Free pop-up testing available Saturday in Petaluma: Sonoma County health officials are offering free coronavirus testing to members of the general public from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Lola’s Market shopping center parking lot on N McDowell Boulevard in Petaluma. Call (707) 565-4667 to make an appointment.
2:12 p.m. Oakland expands Slow Streets program: Oakland has added four new intersections to its SlowStreets: Essential Places program, which aims to make it easier for residents to walk or ride their bikes to stores, medical offices and other necessary services. Adjustments are planned at San Pablo Avenue and Myrtle Street in west Oakland and three locations in the Eastmont Mall area: 73rd Avenue and Garfield Avenue, Bancroft Avenue and Church Street and Bancroft Avenue and 73rd Avenue.
2:06 p.m. Outdoor dining, charter boats allowed starting Saturday in San Mateo County: Health officials issued an updated public health order allowing for outdoor dining, charter boats with passengers and indoor funerals with up to 10 people to resume on Saturday. Each sector must follow county health guidelines to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.
1:45 p.m. Dozens of Stanford doctors show support for Black Lives Matter: Dozens of Stanford physicians, health care workers and faculty participated in a mid-day rally, “White Coats for Black Lives,” on the Stanford campus Thursday. The rally was organized by the Stanford Pediatrics Residency Advocacy Council.
1:22 p.m. Stocks pull back: Wall Street markets closed with mixed results after four sessions of gains, with the Dow Jones industrial average posting a slight gain to close at 26,281.82. The broader S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq indexes each dropped less than 1%. Economists have expressed concerns about unemployment, because even though first-time filings have eased, according to in a report released Thursday, the total number of people collecting benefits rose slightly after dropping the prior week.
12:39 p.m. More data collection: The U.S. government is requiring the collection of additional demographic details from people tested for COVID-19, including their sex, age, race and ethnicity. The extra data requirements apply to hospitals and laboratories and are intended to help track the virus’ impact on various racial, age and regional groups. The mandate comes amid growing concern about the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on minorities, particularly African Americans.
12:19 p.m. The Lancet retracts findings on study of hydroxychloroquine: The Lancet has retracted its hydroxychloroquine study at the request of the authors. “We can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources,” the medical journal said. See the full reasoning here.
11:19 a.m. Huge mall owner sues Gap: San Francisco’s Gap Inc. is getting sued by one of the biggest mall owners in the country for failing to pay $65.9 million in rent during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story by Shwanika Narayan.
10:40 a.m. Protests suspend, delay some coronavirus test sites: Black Lives Matters protests that started in the region this past weekend prompted some coronavirus test sites in the East Bay to close temporarily or delay opening to ensure the safety of health care workers and patients. The testing site at the Henry J. Kaiser Center in Oakland has been suspended, but there are plans to reopen at a later date. A mobile testing site that was slated to open this week at Hayward’s Southland Mall has been delayed.
8:58 a.m. Las Vegas casinos reopen: Casinos in Las Vegas reopened Thursday after a historic closure prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, tribal casinos in the Bay Area remain shuttered despite others in the state reopening their doors for business.
8:40 a.m. What will school look like in the fall? With the strangest school year in memory coming to an end, education reporter Jill Tucker joins the Fifth & Mission podcast to talk about what’s next, and how the coronavirus shutdown has laid bare the inequities in our public education system. Click here to listen.
7:11 a.m. Protesters defy police order to commemorate Tiananmen Square: Thousands of people in Hong Kong defied a police ban Thursday evening, breaking through barricades to hold a candlelight vigil on the 31st anniversary of China’s crushing of a democracy movement centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Read the full story.
6:33 a.m. Shares pull back as economic worries grow: After an upward run, stocks fell slightly but the Dow remained above 26,000 in early trading. Hedge fund managers are growing worried that the market has gotten ahead of grim economic realities, the Financial Times reports.
5:53 a.m. New jobless claims drop below 2 million: In a somewhat hopeful sign for the economy, 1.9 million Americans claimed unemployment in the week of May 30. But the rate of job loss remains at historically unprecedented levels.
- Oakland opens Bay Area’s first 24/7 safe parking area for homeless RV dwellers
- Three Bay Area residents among 34 dead in boat fire as officials continue to investigate cause
- Bay Area parents, schools mobilize against teen vaping: ‘We have quite a fight ahead of us’
- Homelessness: Regional plan needed to solve Bay Area crisis, business group says
- Targeting Bay Area gridlock, groups floating $100 billion tax measure
- Bay Area’s winds decrease, lowering fire risk into weekend
- Bay Briefing: Bay Area forecast — a dark and smoky weekend
- Here’s what you need to know about the controversial Bay Area housing plan
- Bay Briefing: Distressed state: Fires, smoke and outages keep Bay Area, California on edge
- Bay Area’s biggest storm of 2019 douses, disrupts, damages region
- Storm brings blustery, wet conditions to Bay Area, snow in Sierra
- 1,400 acres of Bay Area redwood forest will soon be opened up to the public
- When PG&E cuts power Saturday, much of Bay Area will be in dark
- UC Berkeley, Bay Area schools announce canceled classes, closures ahead of PG&E shutoff
- Bay Area’s wild week: What we learned from fires, outages and evacuations
- Ambitious plan to ease Bay Area housing crunch draws heat, but passes
- 28 African Americans with ties to the Bay Area who made history
- Stuck in the dark? Here’s where to find power in the Bay Area during the PG&E outage
- PG&E monitoring winds, considering more shut-offs as Bay Area heats up
- Light showers, cool temps expected to sweep through Bay Area
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