Coronavirus Continues To Spread In Bay Area

KCBS Radio Weekend News
March 07, 2020 - 11:14 am
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM

There are now at least 99 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in California, with dozens in the Bay Area.

Officials around the state are ramping up their efforts to slow down the outbreak.

Here is the latest from around the Bay Area.

3:22 p.m. Mar 7: 

  • The Carnival Corp, which operates the Grand Princess cruise ship, has just wrapped up a media briefing with new details about the situation onboard the ship. The company says it is still waiting on instructions from state, federal and port officials about where and when they may be able to dock. The current trip to Hawaii was scheduled to end today. Of the nearly 3,500 people aboard, 938 passengers are from California. All passengers have been isolated to their staterooms under instructions from the CDC. "Our preference is to get guests and crew off the ship as soon as possible and separate them by risk categories,” said Jan Swartz, group president of Princess Cruises. 
  • The two passengers who have tested positive for COVID-19 were not on the earlier voyage to Mexico. Several passengers who were on that trip and disembarked Feb. 21 have since fallen ill, including a Placer County man who was the first to die of the outbreak in California.
  • Officials believe a guest from Placer County who was on that earlier voyage was already exposed to the virus when he boarded on Feb. 11. The man visited the ship's medical center on Feb. 20 and reported he had been experiencing symptoms for 6-7 days, and the average incubation period of the virus is 5-6 according to the company's chief medical officer Dr. Grant Tarling. At least one other case has been linked to this passenger - a waiter who served the man.

3:17 p.m. Mar 7: 

  • Eight more cases have been reported in Santa Clara County. Officials have not released details but the cases are being investigated. This brings the total number in the county to 32.

1:35 p.m. Mar 7:

  • San Francisco officials are now reporting an additional six cases of the coronavirus, bringing the city's total to eight patients. All six have been isolated at home in good condition and have had known contact with a person with COVID-19. Three of the patients are men and three are women. Two are in their 20s, three in their 40s and one is in their 50s. "These newly confirmed cases are an indication of the increasing circulation of coronavirus in the community, as expected, given the patterns in our state, region and our own city," said Dr. Grant Colfax, the city's Director of Health. "San Franciscans should remain calm, and take appropriate steps for heightened precautions."

1:30 p.m. Mar 7:

  • The Cinequest film festival in San Jose is postponing its second weekend of events. Events will continue as planned through Sunday, Mar.7 with the remainder of events being pushed back to Aug. 16-30. Co-founder Halfdan Hussey tells KCBS Radio, "life hasn't come to a standstill, but with the current data and with what's been going on, this is the most responsible decision, we feel."

1:15 p.m. Mar 7:

  • Salesforce, the largest private employer in San Francisco, is now encouraging all employees in California to work remotely for the month of March. The company said in a statement Saturday, "We’ve made this decision out of an abundance of caution and in service to protecting our employees, their families and our communities. During this time, we will continue to pay our vendor hourly service providers, who are an important part of our family." The company had previously advised employees in Washington state to work from home. Other Bay Area-based tech companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter and Pinterest have also encouraged employees to stay home. 

1:05 p.m. Mar 7:

  • Santa Cruz County officials have confirmed their first case of coronavirus. The patient traveled on the Grand Princess cruise ship in February before returning home. Public health officials are investigating to see who may have come into contact with the patient. 

12:35 p.m. Mar. 7:

  • Princess Cruises now confirms that a passenger and their companion were transported off the Grand Princess cruise ship this morning by a USCG cutter. The company says the patient, an American, is seriously ill and was taken ashore for treatment that is not related to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The Coast Guard also delivered supplies include personal protective equipment to the ship. The company says it is still waiting for directions from state and local responses about where the ship might dock. Carnival Corp, the parent company of Princess Cruises, is providing a media briefing at 2 p.m. today. 

Santa Clara County

  • A faculty member at the Stanford School of Medicine has tested positive for the coronavirus. The patient has been self-isolating since they started experiencing symptoms and the university is deep-cleaning the clinic where they work.
  • Four new cases of coronavirus were confirmed Friday, bringing the county’s total to 24, the highest in the state. The four cases are not related. One of the new patients had contact with a previously confirmed case and another had recently traveled from India. It is not clear if the Stanford faculty member is included in these cases.
  • Stanford University is also canceling all in-person classes for the final two weeks of the winter quarter. Classes that can be moved online will be moved online.
  • An elderly man who died in Sunnyvale and was a recent passenger on the Grand Princess cruise ship has tested negative for COVID-19. Seven public safety officers had been put on administrative leave and were self-isolating after performing CPR on the man during a medical call.  

San Mateo County

  • Two students in the San Mateo-Foster City School District have been exposed to the coronavirus and are now under quarantine. One is a student at Laurel Elementary and the other attends Abbott Middle School. District officials say they will deep clean both campuses over the weekend but classes have not been canceled.

San Francisco

  • Mayor London Breed is asking residents to use “social distancing” to limit the spread of the coronavirus and cancel all nonessential large gatherings including concerts, conventions and sporting events, as officials believe the virus is now circulating throughout the city. Businesses are asked to suspend nonessential employee travel, make use of telecommuting where possible and cancel large meetings.
  • The San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival and the Department of Public Works’ Arbor Day celebrations, both scheduled for Saturday, have been canceled, as well as the Sunday Streets season opener. The city’s Rec and Park Department has canceled all senior programming for two weeks and closed the Golden Gate Park Senior Center.
  • Canceled or postponed private events include the International Ocean Film Festival, the Healthy Hearts 5K, SF Symphony performances through Mar. 17 and SF Ballet performances through Mar. 20.
  • Despite Mayor Breed’s urge to cancel sporting events, the Warriors say Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center will go on as scheduled. The team says it has ramped up cleaning of the arena and extra staff, disinfectant and soap and hand sanitizer will be available.

Contra Costa County

  • Three new cases were confirmed Friday, bringing the county’s total to four. Two of the new patients are recent passengers of the Grand Princess cruise ship and one patient had close contact with a previously known case. All three are being quarantined at home.

Alameda County

  • Another recent passenger of the Grand Princess cruise ship has become sick with the coronavirus in Alameda County. This patient is an older adult with an underlying medical condition who has been hospitalized, and their family members are under quarantine. This is the second confirmed case in the county.

Marin County

  • Two recent passengers of the Grand Princess cruise ship have been hospitalized in Marin County and tested for COVID-19. The results have not been returned yet but both patients are showing severe symptoms.

Written by Jessica Yi.