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 March 1-5.
• Read the next batch of updates for March 9-11.
• See the full timeline.
Updates from Sunday, March 8:
11:11 p.m. U.S. warns against all cruise travel: In a COVID-19-related advisory updated Sunday, the State Department warned that “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.” It noted that cruise passengers may be quarantined abroad and may not be able to get evacuated: “While the U.S. government has evacuated some cruise ship passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.”
8:51 p.m. San Francisco public schools cancel ‘all non-essential events’: Assemblies, field trips, sports games and practices, theater performances and rehearsals and other events will not be held until at least after March 22, the school district announced on Sunday. All public schools except for Lowell High School will open as usual on Monday. The move follows advice by city officials to cancel large events. For a full list of canceled events across the Bay Area, click here.
8:33 p.m. Major tennis tournament canceled: The 2020 BNP Paribas Open, a major tennis tournament in Indian Wells (Riverside County), has been canceled following the county’s declaration of emergency after a confirmed coronavirus case locally.
5:43 p.m. Newsom visits site where Grand Princess will dock: Gov. Gavin Newsom toured the 11-acre site at the Port of Oakland where the Grand Princess will arrive on Monday. The site off Maritime Street in Oakland is an empty site in Oakland’s Outer Harbor not being used to dock vessels. About 50 portable toilets and a lot of portable fencing could be seen at the site. The governor was accompanied by state, local and military officials.
5:27 p.m. Markets brace for tumultuous Monday: Another rough day may be in store for the stock market on Monday, as Dow Jones index futures were down more than 1,000 points, or 4%, on Sunday night. The markets plunged last week as the potential impacts of the coronavirus became clearer.
5:19 p.m. Sen. Ted Cruz in self-quarantine: Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is quarantining himself at home in Texas, according to the Houston Chronicle. Cruz said he shook hands at a Conservative Political Action Conference conference 10 days ago with a person who later tested positive. Cruz said he is feeling fine and the risk is very low. He and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., who was at the same conference, appear to be the first members of Congress to self-quarantine due to the coronavirus.
4:11 p.m. ICA Cristo Rey Academy closes: The San Francisco high school is closed through March 19 after a custodial staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. The school said in a letter to parents on Sunday that the risk of transmission to students or staff members is considered low. For a full list of school closures and other Bay Area cancellations, click here.
3:41 p.m. Lowell High School to stay closed Monday: An email sent from San Francisco’s school district to Lowell staff read: “Lowell High School will remain closed on Monday, March 9, 2020, and we will continue to share updates with the Lowell community as the situation develops.” The school closed last week after a student’s parent tested positive for COVID-19.
3:40 p.m. Gilroy resident tests negative for coronavirus: A Gilroy resident who initially tested positive for the new coronavirus ultimately tested negative for the virus by the Centers for Disease Control, officials said. The Gilroy firefighters who responded to a report of the resident experiencing chest pain on Thursday, March 5 will be removed from further self-monitoring, according to a statement shared by Gilroy Police Department. For an article explaining why coronavirus testing can be inconsistent, click here.
3:39 p.m. High school sports in limbo: Tumult and uncertainty continued to hang over high school sports on Sunday as Elk Grove (Sacramento County) officials sought have two-time defending Northern California Open Division boys basketball champion Sheldon-Sacramento allowed back into the postseason — a day the team announced its withdrawal — and state officials moved Riordan’s game against De La Salle from San Francisco to Concord. The latest round of changes were announced by the California Interscholastic Federation.
3:27 p.m. Getting cruise ship under Bay Bridge is tricky: The Grand Princess is currently 10-12 miles offshore, or about two hours from the Port of Oakland, officials said at a press conference Sunday. The exact time on Monday that the ship will arrive at the port is still being determined based on tides, currents and the need to clear the Bay Bridge. Officials considered bringing the ship into Alameda, at the site of a former Naval Air Station, but it was ruled out because an accumulation of silt could cause the ship to run aground. There is also a jurisdictional issue since the former base remains a federal facility and the Grand Princess is a foreign-flagged ship. San Francisco’s port was considered too close to a populous area, while the Oakland site is isolated. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said she sought assurances that residents, particularly in West Oakland, near the port, would be adequately protected. “This city, this neighborhood in particular has been the victim of environmental racism and injustice for decades,” she said, adding: “We need to keep people informed every step of the way.”
2:26 p.m. Quarantined ship will not stay in SF Bay: The crew will remain on board the Grand Princess, after passengers disembark, and the ship will then leave San Francisco Bay, officials said. “This is primarily a federal operation, state operation … not looking to bring in any of the port workers, ILWU workers,” Newsom said. The idea is to “get out of here quickly, and that the site will be completely scrubbed and cleaned up so there there will be no concerns once (regular) people go back in…. The local workers have nothing to fear with regards to being left a safe and secure site.”
No new passengers or crew members have shown COVID-19 symptoms, according to Redd of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
2:21 p.m. Newsom says 788 people in California have been tested: Capacity to test is just under 8,000 people across 15 labs, he said, and commercial labs are starting to kick in. He described the number of people tested, 788, as “very modest.” Later he added: “We have ability to test just shy of 8,000 individuals, and we’ll be increasing that number considerably in the next few days.”
2:18 p.m. Governor says state is ready: “We are not in a position to believe that there are hundreds and hundreds of people that are going to require hospitalization,” Newsom said at the Sunday press event in Oakland. Even if there were, beds are available, he said: “Even in the worse case scenario … we are well-equipped to accommodate the needs of these passengers, even if they’re in an acute condition.” Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf, who received praise from federal and state officials for her assistance, said “This was a fluid situation — (the) official call was not made until 6 a.m. this morning.”
2:08 p.m. Official describes ‘really unprecedented and difficult operation’: Dr. John Redd, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said mobile medical teams will be transported to the Grand Princess cruise ship Sunday afternoon by the Coast Guard and they will assess passengers and make sure their medical needs are met. “Then we’ll know the passengers who need to be transferred most rapidly once the ship ties up at Oakland.” It was, he said, a “ really unprecedented and difficult operation.” Redd said some of the Californians will go to a Marine air base in San Diego. California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said “We are not holding people at the port of Oakland to see if they have positive tests. They will receive the tests at a different location.”
2:05 p.m. Contra Costa County reports 5 new cases: Five additional cases of the new coronavirus were announced in Contra Costa County, bringing the total for the county to nine. Four of the new patients — who had no travel history outside of the United States and have had no known contact with a person confirmed to have the new coronavirus — are being treated at hospitals in the county. The fifth new patient, who had “close contact” with another person who had previously tested positive for the new coronavirus, is currently self-isolating at home under guidance of local health officials. As for the Contra Casta County patients who tested positive last week, public health officials said one patient remains at a local hospital, and the other three patients are currently isolating at home. “As we ramp up our testing, we expect to identify more cases. But there is still a lot we can do to slow down the spread and protect our most vulnerable,” said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, the acting Contra Costa Health Officer.
1:59 p.m. Newsom says 962 passengers on stricken ship are Californians: Of the 2,421 passengers on the Grand Princess, 962 are Californians, Newsom said. “They will be prioritized,” he said. Most will brought to Travis Air Force Base to begin a 14-day quarantine, while some will go to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. The crew and passengers collectively are from 54 countries, he said. Some foreign travelers will go to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, and others will go to Georgia. Newsom expects the turnaround to take 2-3 days “We ask patience as we prepare the site, make sure screening is appropriate, and put all the logistics in place,” he said.
1:55 p.m. Newsom says ship will dock tomorrow: Newsom said the virus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship will “come in sometime tomorrow” to the Port of Oakland, after officials determine the best cross-current and tidal conditions. “We cannot determine the specific time,” he said. Newsom said the San Francisco cruise terminal at Pier 27 on the Embarcadero was considered but ruled out for reasons like proximity to residents and the relatively small size of the terminal. “It was determined not to be appropriate,” he said. The Port of Alameda was also considered but ruled out.
1:46 p.m. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf discuss virus: At a press conference in Oakland, Gov. Gavin Newsom said 114 Californians had tested positive for the new coronavirus. (Another 10 positives were announced Sunday, bringing the total figure even higher.) Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf said that safety was a top concern as the cruise ship prepares to dock at the Port of Oakland, but “it is the right thing to do have to not let our fears impede our humanity.”
1:05 p.m. San Francisco high school closing Monday: Archbishop Reardon High School, a Catholic boys school in the Sunnyvale neighborhood, has informed parents that it will be closed on Monday for a thorough cleaning after the parents of one student tested positive for COVID-19. Upon learning of the diagnosis Saturday afternoon, “we determined that the immediate course of action is to … in an abundance of caution, perform a deep cleaning of our campus,” Reardon President Andrew Currier and Principal Tim Reardon informed parents in an email sent out overnight Saturday. The administration will update its plans late Sunday — but according to the statement, “at this time we expect classes to continue as usual on Tuesday.”
1:00 p.m. Santa Clara County cases climb to 37: Five additional cases of the new coronavirus were announced in Santa Clara County, bringing the total for the county to 37. County public health officials did not immediately provide information about the new patients, but said they are currently under investigation.
12:35 p.m. Additional cases, deaths in Washington state: Local health officials announced that 12 additional cases of the new coronavirus were reported to Seattle & King County public health officials, bringing the number of cases reported in King County to 83.
Of the 12 new cases reported Sunday, two are deaths, public health officials said. The total number of deaths reported to public health officials rose to 17, sixteen of which were associated with the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash.
The victims, who were not identified, were described as being:
• A woman in her 80s who was a Life Care Center resident. She was hospitalized at EvergreenHealth and died on Friday, March 6.
• A man in his 90s who was a Life Care Center resident. He was hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center and who died March 5.
12:10 p.m. San Leandro Mayor assures safety precautions ahead of Grand Princess dock: Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter said in a statement that San Leandro city officials “will take all necessary precautions to protect our residents” in coordination with other public safety agencies regarding the Grand Princess’s expected dock on the Port of Oakland on Monday.
“I want the public to know that the City of San Leandro is actively monitoring this situation as it unfolds,” she said.
10:54 a.m. Oakland mayor says city will support federal, state officials: Addressing concerns that the disembarkation may pose a danger to residents, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said the city’s role is to support state and federal authorities “as they conduct a critical public health mission to help those impacted by the COVID-19 virus.”
“I appreciate Gov. Gavin Newsom’s leadership and have been assured no one will be quarantined in Oakland, nor will any passengers be released into the general public,” Schaaf said in a series of tweets Sunday.
9:55 a.m. 1,000 cruise ship passengers headed to Travis Air Force Base: About 1,000 California residents on board the Grand Princess will be taken to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield for testing after they disembark from the cruise ship, according to an official with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
9:45 a.m. Lawmaker expresses concern over virus exposure in Oakland: Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan questioned state officials Sunday on how they will protect communities in Oakland from exposure to the coronavirus after passengers disembark from the Grand Princess cruise ship at the Port of Oakland.
“What steps are you taking to make sure people who work with the evacuees aren’t sent in unprotected and spread it into the community?” Kaplan wrote in a tweet addressed to Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mark Ghilarducci, director of the governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “Will you fund hand-washing stations for our communities — (including) homeless — to help stop the spread of disease?”
9:15 Some passengers to be taken to Texas: While final arrangements have yet to be announced, U.S. passengers aboard the Grand Princess who live outside California are to be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states. According to the Associated Press, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said numerous passengers — about 90 of them Texas residents — will be transferred to a military base in San Antonio for testing for the coronavirus.
7:45 a.m. State officials say Oakland port is ‘best site’ for ship to disembark: The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services on Sunday said the Port of Oakland is the “best site” to disembark passengers off the Grand Princess cruise ship because of its large size, among other factors. “The Port of Oakland location was the easiest to seal off, securely move passengers toward their isolation destinations and protect the safety of the public,” officials said in a statement. The mission will be a joint federal and state effort, with local support, the Office of Emergency Services said.
Twenty-one people on board the ship have tested positive for coronavirus, but not all of them have symptoms, cruise officials have said. The ship has been held off the coast for several days while officials decided where it would dock. It will arrive at the Port of Oakland on Monday, but the time of arrival has not yet been announced.
Updates from Saturday, March 7:
10:39 p.m. Grand Princess docking delayed: Princess Cruises said “that further modifications of the plan are necessary and will impact the arrival of the ship. The ship will now arrive in the Port of Oakland on Monday.” No preparations for the ship’s arrival were visible at the Ports America site in Oakland on Saturday evening.
10:26 p.m. Princess Cruises confirms Grand Princess plans: The operator of the infected cruise ship holding off the coast near San Francisco said Saturday the ship has gotten permission to dock at Oakland. “We have received word from state and local response operations that Grand Princess will proceed to the Port of Oakland on Sunday to begin disembarking guests who require acute medical treatment and hospitalization,” the company said. After health screenings are conducted, “guests who are California residents will go to a federally operated facility within California for testing and isolation, while non-Californians will be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states. Crew will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship.”
9:19 p.m. East Bay officials, ship captain say Grand Princess will dock in Oakland: Larry Reid, an Oakland city councilman, told The Chronicle that the Grand Princess, the cruise ship with some coronavirus patients that has been holding outside the Golden Gate, will dock within the next 24 hours at the Port of Oakland. John Bauters, an Emeryville city councilman, shared similar information on Twitter, citing a call he had with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office. Bauters subsequently deleted the tweet. In a direct message, he told The Chronicle that a “federal announcement is forthcoming.” Newsom’s office declined to confirm plans for the ship.
The Chronicle has also obtained a recording of an announcement by the Grand Princess’s captain, who told passengers Saturday that an agreement had been reached to have the ship would dock in Oakland, which he expected to take place Sunday afternoon.
8:35 p.m. California Pops canceled: The California Pops Orchestra show scheduled for Sunday at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center has been canceled due to the rapidly escalating coronavirus situation. This is the first show cancellation for the Pops in its entire 32-year history. “Our shows should be full of happiness but most folks are overcome with worry,” said Cal Pops conductor Kim Venaas. “We’re very sorry to have to do this but given the health circumstances there was simply no other choice.”
8:30 p.m. Chase Center events to continue: The Golden State Warriors played Saturday, with fans walking past a notice advising them that “attending tonight’s game could increase your risk of contracting (the) coronavirus.” The venue just announced it plans to move forward with its scheduled Tame Impala concert on Friday, March 13, telling fans to “wash hands with soap and water (and) do not touch your face.”
7:48 p.m. San Francisco bans events at city buildings: The Department of Public Health has ordered city buildings including Moscone Center and a number of Civic Center entertainment venues closed to large group gatherings for anything but official government business. The order lasts two weeks. The only convention to be held in Moscone Center, the Game Developers Conference, during that time was already canceled by its organizers.
7:12 p.m. California officials release guidelines for public events and large gatherings: The state is urging residents and school districts to limit public gatherings and be prepared for a coronavirus outbreak. Additional information for large events, schools, and colleges and universities has been posted online. In counties where there has been community spread of the virus, the state is asking organizers to consider not holding events; in counties where it has not spread from person to person, the state asks organizers to nonetheless have plans should their events need to be canceled.
6:00 p.m. Marin County Public Health creates hot line for coronavirus concerns: Residents can call 415-473-7191 with questions. Open from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. on weekdays, staff and volunteers will provide vetted medical information. No Marin County residents have yet tested positive for coronavirus.
5:57 p.m. High school basketball team drops out of competition: Sheldon-Sacramento, a national powerhouse in high school basketball, canceled its Open Division semifinal game against Dublin for Saturday night. The decision follows other team pullouts across Northern California.
5:30 p.m. Gilroy resident tests positive for new coronavirus: A Gilroy resident who was taken to the hospital by ambulance after experiencing chest pain tested positive for the new coronavirus, according to a statement shared by the Gilroy Police Department.
Gilroy firefighters responded to a report of a resident with chest pain on Thursday, March 5. At some point after getting taken to Kaiser Santa Teresa, officials said the resident was confirmed to have the new coronavirus. The firefighters “took measures to minimize potential exposure” and have not exhibited any symptoms, officials said. Officials are allowing the firefighters to return to work as normal, but they will be monitored on a daly basis over the next 14 days.
Gilroy city officials are also evaluating any city programs and public events following Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s recent recommendations to suspend any mass gatherings where people are within arms length of one another. City officials expect to provide an update to residents on Monday.
4:55 p.m. Elk Grove Unified School District closes all schools: The Sacramento County district is closing all of its schools, canceling all classes and stopping all student activities after a family from the school district “was put on quarantine because of testing positive” for the new coronavirus. School district officials did not clarify which family member tested positive, but said that no district students or staff have tested positive for the coronavirus.
All activities will be canceled through March 13. District officials called it a “complex decision” and said they would provide an update on March 12 if the closures will be extended further. The district moved its spring break to March 9-13 to “minimize the impact to student learning.”
4:46 p.m. Grand Princess death may shed light on virus’ spread: Details shared about the death of a Placer County man who boarded a Princess Cruises ship in San Francisco on Feb. 11 and soon showed symptoms of the coronavirus suggest the virus has been spreading in the state for weeks. Here’s what you need to know about this development.
4:24 p.m. YMCA cancels SF youth basketball: The YMCA of San Francisco said Saturday it would suspend its Youth Basketball Program for two weeks. “Given that the next two weeks are the final two weeks of the season, we know that you’ll have questions and concerns,” Hannah Bartee, the director of youth sports and community programs, wrote in a note to parents. “We are working on our end to get back to you soon with more information.” See the latest event cancellations here.
3:57 p.m. Disinfecting is a growth industry: Businesses are stocking up on cleaning chemicals, deploying special sprayers and taking other measures to fight the coronavirus. Several have said they engaged in “deep cleaning” after a worker became ill or reported contact with someone infected with the coronavirus though it’s not clear what that involves. See our full report.
2:55 p.m. Santa Clara County coronavirus cases climb to 32: Eight additional cases of the new coronavirus were announced in Santa Clara County, bringing the total for the county to 32. County public health officials did not immediately provide information about the new patients, but said they are currently under investigation. With the new cases in Santa Clara County, there are now over 100 cases in California.
2:30 p.m. Princess Cruises gives details on illnesses: On a call to discuss the status of the San Francisco-bound Grand Princess, where crew and passengers have become infected with the new coronavirus, officials gave more details on those ill. Of the 21 who tested positive for the coronavirus, two were passengers, neither of whom were on a prior sailing to Mexico. A Placer County man on that sailing became the first Californian to die of the disease. 19 crew members who tested positive were largely on both the early Mexico sailing and the current Hawaii itinerary. All 45 who were tested so far were picked because they were experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Princess officials say the Placer County man who died first showed symptoms of illness on Feb. 13 or Feb. 14 — two or three days after he boarded the ship. That suggests that he was infected with the virus before boarding the ship and his illness was “probably community acquired somewhere in California,” said Dr. Grant Tarling, chief medical officer for Carnival Corporation, the parent company of Princess. He said a waiter who served the man’s table on the Mexico cruise has now tested positive for the virus.
2:20 p.m. San Francisco braces for economic impact of the coronavirus: Dependent on tech, travel and tourism, San Francisco will see a “significant reduction to our budget in the coming year,” Mayor London Breed warned. See our in-depth report on what the coronavirus means for the local economy.
1:51 p.m. VP meets with cruise line executives: Vice President Mike Pence said at a Saturday meeting with cruise line executives in Florida that officials were still working on a plan for the Grand Princess, the San Francisco-bound cruise ship with cases of the coronavirus, the Associated Press reports. “All passengers and crew will be tested for the coronavirus and quarantined as necessary,” Pence said. The ship has started to sail south, the VesselFinder.com tracking site showed Saturday afternoon. Track the location of the ship here.
1:35 p.m. San Francisco coronavirus cases climbs to 8: The San Francisco Department of Public Health said six more San Francisco residents have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the city to eight. All of the people who were newly diagnosed are isolating at home and in good condition, public health officials said. Each new patient has had contact with a person confirmed to have the virus, officials said. Of the six new patients, three are women and three are men. Two patients are in their 20s, three in their 40s, and one in their 50s, officials said.
1:23 p.m. Critically ill Grand Princess passenger transported by Coast Guard: A woman in her mid-70s who was experiencing a “non-COVID19 medical emergency” was transported along with her husband from the Grand Princess by a Coast Guard crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Tern, according to officials with the U.S. Coast Guard 11th District Pacific Southwest. The couple was taken to the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco on Yerba Buena Island, where EMS and Centers for Disease Control officials were waiting. The woman was reported to be in stable condition on Saturday afternoon.
1:01 p.m. Cinequest reschedules second week of events: The Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival in Redwood City and San Jose has postponed its second week of events. The festival events will continue through Sunday, March 8, Cinequest officials said, but the second week of programming will be rescheduled for August 16 through August 30. Festival officials said they plan on doing “something special” for attendees when the program returns in August. See the latest event cancellations here.
12:50 p.m. More than 1 million test kits sent to private labs: The Food and Drug Administration reports that the federal government has shipped enough test kits to state public health laboratories to test 75,000 people. As of Saturday, 1,583 people had been tested by state labs.
In addition, 1.1 million tests have been sent to non-public health labs, meaning facilities run by hospitals, universities and other public and private institutions; that’s enough to test roughly half a million people, according to the FDA. The manufacturer of the 1.1 million tests is IDT, a Virginia-based testing company. The first batch of those tests were sent to California and Washington, which have the most cases in the country so far.
The FDA said IDT hoped to ship another batch of 400,000 tests on Monday. A second manufacturer expected to ship 640,000 tests, also on Monday.
12:43 p.m. FBI employee in San Francisco diagnosed: The FBI in San Francisco also announced that an employee in a satellite office has been diagnosed with coronavirus. Other employees were sent home as a precaution, the FBI said. It did not identify the employee or the location of the office. ”Everyone known to have been in contact with the infected employee has been notified or possible exposure,” the FBI said in a statement.
12:39 p.m. Jewish festival in SF canceled: The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco canceled its Purim festival scheduled for Sunday. The center is offering “do-it-yourself Purim kits” for home celebrations. While the holiday runs Monday and Tuesday, many planned to celebrate it over the weekend. See the latest event cancellations here.
12:29 p.m. Salesforce tells San Francisco workers to stay home: Salesforce, the largest private employer in San Francisco, asked its nearly 10,000 employees who work in its headquarters city and the rest of California not to come to the office Monday. The company had previously closed its Seattle offices. “We are strongly encouraging all employees across California to work remotely for the month of March,” the company wrote on its website Saturday.
12:21 p.m. U.S. death toll rising: Two more people have died in the Washington state outbreak of coronavirus, bringing the total U.S. death toll to 19, public health officials said. All but three of the deaths have come from a single outbreak near Seattle involving a long-term care facility. Florida reported two deaths on Friday, and one person has died in California.
12:05 p.m. Critically ill Grand Princess passenger, companion taken to shore: A United States passenger and their travel companian were “medically disembarked” from the Grand Princess Saturday morning by a Coast Guard vessel. They were transported to an unidentified “shoreside medical facility for treatment unrelated to COVID-19,” Princess Cruises officials said. The patient’s condition was unknown.
As of shortly before noon Saturday, Princess Cruises officials said the ship was 50 miles off the coast of San Francisco awaiting “specific directives from state and local response operations about where the ship will proceed.”
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew delivered personal protective equipement, including gloves and face masks, to the Grand Princess Friday evening, Princes Cruises officials said Saturday.
11:02 a.m. Santa Cruz confirms first case: A Santa Cruz County resident who was a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise to Mexico has tested positive for coronavirus. The case is the first in Santa Cruz County, and the ninth in California that is connected to a February cruise from San Francisco to Mexico.
10:45 a.m. Stanford University faculty member tests positive for COVID-19: A Stanford University faculty member who has “ not been in the work environment since experiencing symptoms” tested positive for the new coronavirus, according to university officials. University officials said they began notifying people who may have been exposed to this faculty member and requested that they self-isolate at home to “prevent the possibility of spread.”
10:35 a.m. Passenger from a Princess Cruise tests positive for COVID-19 in Madera County: Public health officials announced that a passenger who recently returned from a Princess Cruise has tested positive for the new coronavirus, which is Madera County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19.
Officials with the Madera County Department of Public Health started monitoring a wife and husband who had recently returned from a cruise. The couple self-isolated in their Madera County home.
When one of them developed symptoms, public health officials said they coordinated with the Madera Community Hospital, where the couple was “masked, and lead directly to an isolation room” for medical care and testing. The couple did not enter any public areas, public health officials said.
“This is an isolated case with a known source of transmission. The couple received one visitor at their home prior to reporting symptoms,” public health officials said. “Communicable disease staff are monitoring this individual who is isolated and does not show symptoms at this time.”
The patient, who was not identified, is currently in stable condition. Public health officials declined to provide additional information about this case, citing privacy laws.
10:22 a.m. NY declares state of emergency: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency as the number of coronavirus cases there shot up to 76. The bulk of the cases — 57 — are part of an outbreak in Westchester County just north of New York City. There are 11 cases in New York City.
8:00 a.m. Coast Guard vessel approaches Grand Princess: Robert Archer, a 65-year-old resident of San Francisco’s Excelsior district, is holed up with his wife in their state room on the Grand Princess, the cruise ship being held off the coast of San Francisco after 21 people on board tested positive for the coronavirus. On Saturday morning, Archer spotted from his balcony a white U.S. Coast Guard boat near the cruise ship. An orange tender boat from the cruise ship had gone to meet the Coast Guard, and Archer said a critically ill passenger was transferred and evacuated. It was not immediately known if the illness was virus related.
Passengers have received very little information — learning many of the developments from watching TV news in their rooms — and Archer described the mood on the ship as “apprehensive.” He said the cruise ship appears to be near the Farallon Islands, though passengers have received no word about exactly where they are, where they’re headed or when.
Updates from Friday, March 6:
9:50 p.m. Passenger to be airlifted from Grand Princess: Robert Archer, an SF resident aboard the ship, told The Chronicle that the captain told passengers that an ill passenger will be airlifted from the ship, which is 20 miles off the San Francisco coast, and that authorities have not yet told the captain where the ship will dock, and that passengers can expect to spend another day on the ship.
9:09 p.m. Uber to pay sick drivers: Uber said it would pay drivers and couriers diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined by public health officials for up to 14 days. “This has already begun in some markets and we are working to implement mechanisms to do this worldwide,” said Andrew Macdonald, senior vice president of rides and platform, in a statement. The move came in response to letters from Sen. Mark Warner, D.-Va., to the CEOs of Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Instacart asking them to financially assist drivers who were infected or quarantined.
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,” said university provost Persis Drell. The university will remain open, as university officials said many employees are “needed physically on campus,” but employees were encouraged to explore “possible telecommuting opportunities.” The university also announced it has canceled its in-person “Admit Weekend event,” which is for prospective undergraduates who will be offered admission to Stanford. It was originally scheduled for April 23-26.
8:06 p.m. War Memorial Performing Arts Center venues 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 Feb. 11 through Feb. 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% 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.
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. Health officials in SF reach 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 they said the four new cases are not related to one another. The patients were described as:
• 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,” 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. Twenty-one 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 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. Coronavirus 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, 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.#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 t
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