Cases Piling Up As Life Slows Down

All News KCBS Radio
March 23, 2020 - 6:01 pm
 cyclist parks his bicycle in front of a business that has the windows covered with plywood on Valencia Street on March 20, 2020 in San Francisco

Justin Sullivan/KCBS Radio

As the Bay Area enters its second week at a standstill, Alameda County has reported its first death from coronavirus while an assisted living center in Burlingame was the site Monday of another fatality attributed to the outbreak.

As of Monday afternoon, there were 858 confirmed cases in the Bay Area, with 15 deaths across the region.

The last county to report cases was Napa, which now has two confirmed infection. Both patients are under quarantine.

With more testing sites opening, there were 230 new cases confirmed in the Bay Area over the weekend alone.


Health care workers and public servants were especially hit hard. 

Two health care workers at the Laguna Honda hospital and nursing home in San Francisco have tested positive. San Francisco’s Director of Public Health, Dr. Grant Colfax, said the unit they work in is under quarantine and the patients are being monitored.

During Monday’s press conference, Colfax warned the public that the, “worst is yet to come.”

“Every community where the virus has taken hold has seen a surge in coronavirus patients who need to be hospitalized,” Dr. Colfax said.

A Vallejo police officer tested positive, according to a press release Monday from the police department. The officer traveled internationally in early March, but has not been to the police department facilities since returning. He is currently self-quarantining at home in Solano County.

Marin County Public Health Officer, Matt Willis, announced on the county’s YouTube channel on Monday morning that he has been diagnosed as the county’s 39th confirmed coronavirus case, and he is at home quarantined away from his family.

Milpitas Fire Department announced on Monday three of its firefighters, as well as two of their spouses, have tested positive outbreak there. All five of them are in quarantines, while several others from the department await their results.

The virus is starting to make its way into the prison system, as well. 

A 31-year-old San Jose Jail inmate tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday after he was booked on Friday, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. After police arrested the infected man, he said he felt sick and revealed that a family member returned from Europe some days ago. He remains quarantined after being sent into a booking area isolation cell and tested at the infirmary.

As cases across the region went up, many Bay Area residents flocked to public parks and beaches this past weekend, leading Marin County to close off their outdoor facilities, with counties in the East Bay considering the same move.

Both Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor London Breed publicly condemned the droves of people ignoring shelter rules, and warned them to start taking the shelter order seriously to keep others safe.

Breed announced in San Francisco’s first live, streamed press conference on Monday that the city is closing its playgrounds, and asked residents to do their part by taking social distancing seriously so she doesn’t have to close parks, too. 

Breed said that while people are mostly complying, she had a message for those who refuse to take the orders seriously.

“You are putting lives at stake,” Breed said. “You are putting public health in jeopardy.”

At a press conference on Monday afternoon, Newsom announced he is closing state park parking lots to keep residents from “overburdening” the system.

“We are our behaviors,” Governor Newsom said. “The young and healthy have the unique obligation to the seniors to keep them safe.”

He added that he does not want to completely close the “big, beautiful open spaces” that California has to offer, he instead challenged residents to visit parks with “intention and purpose.”

Written by Mallory Somera, with contributions from Kathy Novak and Jim Taylor.