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 Aug. 9-10.
• Read the previous batch of updates from Aug. 13-14.
• See the full timeline.
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 12:
8:58 p.m. Marin County health officer to host community Q&A on COVID-19: Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matthew Willis is scheduled to answer questions about the coronavirus during a live-streamed community conversation at 4 p.m. Thursday, according to county officials. Residents can tune in on Zoom or watch live on the Marin County Facebook page. "As we surpass the 150-day mark of our pandemic response, we want to answer questions you may have regarding all things COVID-19," county officials said in a Facebook announcement.
8:50 p.m. Santa Clara County to install touch-free pedestrian signals at busy intersections: County officials are scheduled to demonstrate the installation of touch-free pedestrian signal devices at multiple crosswalks in the county during a Facebook livestream at 10:30 a.m. Thursday . Officials said the devices will allow pedestrians to simply wave a hand in front of the device instead of touching a crosswalk button. Twenty-five devices will be installed at "expressway intersections with heavy pedestrian traffic," county officials said.
4:30 p.m. Trump responds to Harris' comments on his 'failure' to take COVID-19 seriously: In Sen. Kamala Harris' first campaign appearance Wednesday with Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, Harris said people in the United States are dying from COVID-19 because Trump refused to launch testing at the start of the pandemic, flip-flopped his opinion on social distancing and wearing masks, and has the "delusional belief that he knows better than the experts." Trump responded in a statement to reporters during a White House news conference later Wednesday, saying, "I think that's probably one of the reasons she was a terrible candidate that was forced to leave the race because she got her facts wrong." Trump went on to say, without evidence, that the United States has "better testing than anywhere in the world." He said, "When you test that many people, you're going to find cases that normally you wouldn't see."
3:50 p.m. Trump calls for country to reopen, claims vaccine is coming 'soon': President Trump called for the country to reopen, saying, "We understand the disease, we understand who it hits." At a news conference from the White House, he said officials must protect, "elderly people, especially our elderly people that are not well." He said, "We're gonna have the vaccine soon, and were gonna have the therapeutics soon." Trump did not say what vaccine or therapeutics he was referring to and did not provide a timeline for them.
3:42 p.m. Newsom says state turning the corner: California is "turning the corner on this pandemic," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday, but he plans to move more cautiously in reopening businesses that had to shut down a second time during this summer's new coronavirus surge. At a news conference where he touted his administration's economic recovery efforts, Newsom seemed to acknowledge that the state had not done enough this spring to ensure public compliance with safeguards against a resurgence. Read the story here.
3:37 p.m. New cases reported across Bay Area: In Bay Area health agency reports on new coronavirus cases Wednesday, San Francisco recorded another 142 cases, bringing its total to 7,834 to date: Santa Clara county added 97, for 13,059 total cases to date; Alameda County recorded another 435 cases, for 14,099 cases to date; and Contra Costa County reported 316 cases, for 10,103 in all since the start of the pandemic.
3:32 p.m. Oakland police, firefighters hand out free PPE: Oakland police officers and firefighters provided hundreds of pieces of personal protective equipment Wednesday to East Oakland residents, noting the area's high rates of coronavirus infection. As of Wednesday, police said, the agencies have handed out more than 9,000 masks across Oakland, including more than 5,000 in East Oakland.
3:26 p.m. Feds investigate 'malicious' fraud involving COVID-19 loans: A Homeland Security agency is investigating an "unknown malicious cyber actor" that pretends to operate the government's Small Business Administration webpage for COVID-19 loan relief. The fraudster sends phishing emails to "various Federal Civilian Executive Branch and state, local, tribal, and territorial government recipients" to steal credentials, the agency said Wednesday. Officials released recommendations for agencies to strengthen the security of their "internet-facing systems."
3:16 p.m. Nevada in precarious moment, health official says: Nevada is reaching somber coronavirus milestones, topping 58,000 confirmed cases since the pandemic began and approaching 1,000 deaths, state health officials acknowledged Wednesday. Washoe County's health district officer in Reno warned against complacency in the face of recent reductions in the spread of the virus.
3:09 p.m. British scientists attack pandemic response: The British government insists that science is guiding its decisions on the coronavirus pandemic. But a self-appointed group of independent experts says it sees little in the response that is evidence-based, especially after an upturn in new cases forced a delay in lifting more lockdown restrictions. Unlike in other European countries, the critis are notably organized: the group assesses the same outbreak indicators as the government but publicly identifies failings and inconsistencies.
2:56 p.m. Stimulus deal looks unlikely before September: The White House's top negotiator tried to revive stalled talks Wednesday over coronavirus aid, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer dismissed the "overture," saying the Trump administration is still refusing to meet them halfway, the Associated Press reports. The interaction occurred as it becomes increasingly unlikely there will not be any new relief for Americans until Congress resumes in September. The two sides are wide apart.
2:31 p.m. Harris lays into Trump on pandemic: In her debut as Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris unveiled a pitbull role Wednesday, lambasting President Trump for mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic in a way that "has plunged us into the worse economic crisis since the Great Depression." Citing mounting hunger, "complete chaos" around school reopening decisions and millions of unemployed, she said, "It didn't have to be this way." "It's because of Trump's failure to take it seriously from the start," that the U.S. has been so hard hit, she said.
2:20 p.m. How the well-heeled still eat out: Fine dining in San Francisco isn't technically dead during the pandemic — it's moved to farms, with additions like limo rides with Champagne, tours of farms and sunset views of Wine Country hills. With the Bay Area's most elite dining rooms closed, restaurants have been offering luxe, elaborate meals, with pricetags to match, on nearby farms in the hope of staying in business. Read the story here.
2:08 p.m. Biden still 'playing by the rules': Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and new running mate Sen. Kamala Harris of California immediately, pointedly and unsurprisingly distinguished themselves from President Trump in a visual way Wednesday with their first joint appearance as a ticket in a historic pandemic-era campaign. Both entered an audience-free gym in Wilmington, Del., wearing face coverings before removing them to speak. "I wish we could talk to the folks outside," Biden said. "We're keeping our social distancing and playing by the rules."
1:59 p.m. Health advisors warn of 'data integrity' lapse from Trump's new coronavirus database: Nearly three dozen current and former members of a federal health advisory committee are warning that the Trump administration's new coronavirus database, and order to divert data collection away from the CDC, is placing an undue burden on hospitals and will have "serious consequences on data integrity." The advisers issued their warning in a previously unpublished letter obtained by the Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg.
1:52 p.m. Masked up and ready to go: CNN aired photos of former Vice President Joe Biden and his newly named running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, as well as aides, in a Delaware gym where they were set to make their first joint campaign appearance as a ticket. Candidates and aides all were wearing face masks, in deference to health experts' and government coronavirus transmission guidance.
1:46 p.m. Pelosi says 'people will die' without federal relief package: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco said Wednesday that delaying the contentious coronavirus relief negotiations into next month means "people will die," The Hill reports. Talks between Pelosi and Democratic leaders and White House officials collapsed Friday, with both sides still pointing fingers. Asked by reporters on Capitol Hill if talks would languish until September, she said "I hope not, no. People will die."
1:31 p.m. SF tourism industry to lose billions before anticipated 2025 recovery: After a decade of record growth, S.F.'s tourism industry is poised to lose $10.7 billion in visitor spending in 2020 and 2021, the San Francisco Travel Association projects. Due to the pandemic downturn, the trade group is forecasting a 53% decline in travel, to 12.9 million visitors, this year, with a slight increase expected next year with hopes for a revival of domestic travel. International tourism is down 67%, for a projected $1.4 billion drop in spending this year, down 72.4 percent from 2019. Convention cancellations piled up about $679 million in losses.
1:25 p.m. Strong day on Wall Street: Stocks rallied to post big gains Wednesday, with the S&P 500 adding 1.4% to close just six points off its February high at 3,380. It has erased all of its pandemic-fueled losses. The Dow Jones industrial average finished up 1.1% at 27,977, and the Nasdaq composite was up more than 2% to close at 11,012 as investors returned to tech stocks.
1:22 p.m. Newsom calls Harris' VP candidacy 'a proud moment': Gov. Gavin Newsom described himself as "proud" Wednesday to have his longtime friend, Sen. Kamala Harris picked by Democrat Joe Biden as a running mate. He called her a compassionate, dogged and competent leader. As to whom he might appoint to fill her Senate seat should Biden oust President Trump, Newsom said that decision would wait until 2021.
1:15 p.m. Trump continues mocking distance guidance: President Trump drew nervous laughter from parents and educators Wednesday when he ad-libbed at a White House event promoting full-time schooling during the pandemic, the Washington Post reports. As speakers described the difficulties of online education, Trump interjected, "So, if you're a presidential candidate and you're sitting in a basement and you're looking at a computer, that's not a good thing?" He and other Republicans regularly mock his Democratic challenger Joe Biden for largely remaining home in keeping with public health coronavirus guidance.
12:59 p.m. Newsom says 11,645 new coronavirus cases counted: California has recorded 11,645 new positive coronavirus cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. He said the number includes 6,212 cases that were backlogged due to a recent computer problem that led the state to underreport new confirmed cases. The backlog amounted to 295,000 cases that had not been counted, and Newsom said officials are still sifting out positive results.
12:40 p.m. Newsom proposes 'hiring tax credit': Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a tax credit to help small businesses afford more hiring. He also proposed that small businesses that receive Paycheck Protection Program awards be exempted from state taxes. "Businesses are having a hard time and aren't sure whether they can afford to hire," he said.
12:34 p.m. Newsom says Legislature must act on economic relief: Gov. Gavin Newsom said the clock is ticking for state legislators to pass an economic recovery package. The governor said that before the legislative session ends Aug. 31, lawmakers must increase spending on infrastructure projects and extend social services to families harmed by the pandemic. "We have to get to work," Newsom said. "We have to roll up our sleeves now and get this package across the finish line."
12:25 p.m. Newsom touts efforts to help businesses recover: Gov. Gavin Newsom in a Wednesday news briefing touted his own "passion for entrepreneurialism" and emphasized that "the most urgent economic recovery tool is to stabilize this virus, to bend the curve of this virus." The governor said the state has aimed to help businesses with a number of tax changes, eliminating some taxes — such as a tax on startups — and delayed payment deadlines, including those for sales tax. The state has also worked to support manufacturing and small businesses, Newsom said.
11:51 a.m. San Mateo County logs more cases: San Mateo County reported another 107 cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total to date to 6,535 cases.
11:44 a.m. Ohio limits ballot drop boxes to 1 site per county: Ohio's secretary of state said Wednesday that ballot drop boxes are allowed only at county board of elections sites, a move the state Democratic Party chairman denounced as "an absolute disgrace," as voters seek alternatives to in-person polling places during the coronavirus pandemic, the Washington Post reports. The move comes as the number of voters seeking to vote absentee has risen sharply, and as several other states install more drop boxes to accommodate health concerns.
11:29 a.m. Sen. Harris more aggressive on virus response than Biden: Joe Biden's newly named running mate Sen. Kamala Harris has pushed an aggressive federal government response to the pandemic economic crisis, introducing the bill for monthly checks and a proposal to ban evictions, foreclosures, rent increases and utility shutdowns during the pandemic. She joined two left-leaning Senate Democrats in May to introduce legislation for monthly $2,000 payments to tens of millions of Americans through the pandemic.It has not advanced but could gain more scrutiny now that Biden has tapped Harris for the ticket, the Washington Post reports.
11:21 a.m. Georgia school infections offer cautionary example: More than 900 students and staff members in a Georgia school district have been ordered to quarantine since school opened last week, and one high school closed its doors until at least Aug. 31. The district reveals the perils of returning to classrooms in places where the coronavirus has hardly been tamed, the New York Times reports. Many of the nation's largest systems are starting school online, but in Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and elsewhere, some schools have been open for almost two weeks.
11:15 a.m. SF hosts school resource fair: The usual back-to-school gatherings are missing this year, but San Francisco officials are providing a virtual resource fair Thursday where families can connect with programs and resources as school gets under way. The city's Department of Children, Youth & Their Families and community-based Mo'Magic in the Fillmore and BMagic in Bayview-Hunters Point will offer online information on education, arts, health, family support and more. The event runs 5:30-8 p.m. on Zoom, Facebook and YouTube.
11:06 a.m. San Mateo County installs text line for coronavirus updates: In San Mateo County residents can get text updates on the coronavirus and how to stay healthy from the county health department, officials announced, by texting the word "Coronavirus" to 2-1-1-2-1-1.
10:48 a.m. Santa Clara County institutes fines for mask, health order violators: Santa Clara County is joining several other Bay Area counties in instituting fines for those who ignore mask mandates and other public health orders. By vote of county supervisors Tuesday, fines range up to $500 for individuals and $5,000 for businesses, effective immediately. County health officials said they've been flooded with complaints of violations but have been unable to adequately enforce health orders.
10:21 a.m. Bay Area Kaiser sites to join one of 1st global coronavirus vaccine trials: Kaiser Permanente in California and Oregon, including sites in Santa Clara and Sacramento counties, is joining a global trial of one of the first coronavirus vaccines to begin large-scale testing in humans, the health care provider announced Wednesday. About 1,400 participants at four Kaiser locations will be given the vaccine developed by trial sponsors Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech. They plan to enroll 30,000 people at more than 120 sites around the world. Read the whole story here .
10:15 a.m. No predictions on in-person schooling: Tony Thurmond, state schools superintendent, had no crystal ball Wednesday on when California kids may get back into classrooms and put distance learning behind them. Families "all want to know when schools will open. They want to know. We want to know. But we don't know," he said. State Education officials are working to ensure smooth roll-outs of schools' remote-learning this fall, including ensuring computers and internet access for all districts' students and teachers. "Like every school year, there is much more work to be done," he told an online briefing.
10:09 a.m. State clears data backlog: After fixing the electronic reporting problem that caused an undercount of California's coronavirus cases, the state has cleared its data backlog and is processing new reporting, officials said Monday. "Since Friday, we have processed the roughly 300,000 backlogged records, including both negative and positive test results," they said in a written statement. The technical problem is fixed, and officials are closely monitoring the system.
9:57 a.m. Proof that virus spreads through air: Skeptics of the notion that the coronavirus spreads through the air — including many World Health Organization experts — have held out for missing evidence: proof that floating respiratory droplets called aerosols contain live virus. The New York Times reports that now a team of virologists and aerosol scientists at the University of Florida has produced exactly that : confirmation of infectious virus in the air. While hailed as unambiguous evidence that there is infectious virus in aerosols, the research is not yet peer-reviewed.
9:36 a.m. Cycling world championship canceled: Cycling's road world championships in Switzerland next month were canceled Wednesday after a government ruling on mass gatherings during the pandemic was extended until October. However, cycling's governing body said it still hoped to find a new host for the event on the same dates of Sept. 20-27.
9:25 a.m. Companies focus on antibody drugs: With a coronavirus vaccine still months off, companies are rushing to test what may be the next best thing: drugs that deliver antibodies to fight the virus right away, without having to train the immune system to make them, the Associated Press reports. These drugs are believed to last for a month or more and could give quick, temporary immunity to people at high risk of infection, such as health workers and housemates of someone with COVID-19.
9:14 a.m. Stanford researchers zero in on why some people get really sick and others don't: Researchers from Stanford School of Medicine and other institutions have found that immunological deviations and lapses appear to determine who gets severe COVID-19 symptoms and who is affected just mildly. The difference may stem from how the innate immune system responds to the coronavirus, according to the study published in the journal Science.
9:02 a.m. Amtrak riders can check train capacity: To let riders decide whether a train is too crowded for their comfort levels, Amtrak announced an online tool Wednesday by which passengers booking a trip can check how full the train will be. Amtrak has reduced train capacity, and the tool on its website and mobile app will show the percentage of seats available in real time.
8:50 a.m. Fauci not impressed with Russia claim of vaccine: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government's leading infectious disease expert, suggests Russia's claims of having a coronavirus vaccine are dubious. "I hope that the Russians have actually definitively proven that the vaccine is safe and effective," Fauci said in a National Geographic interview set to air Thursday. "I seriously doubt that they've done that."
8:42 a.m. Marin County cases concentrated among Latino residents: Latinos are 16% of Marin County's population, but account for 75% of coronavirus infections — closer to 90% since mid-June, California Healthline reports, citing county officials. The county now has the highest per capita rate in the Bay Area, and the concentration in one Latino community helped land the county on the state's watch-list.
8:28 a.m. San Mateo County moves location of jury selection: San Mateo County Superior Court, facing a backlog of trials, is moving its jury selection location to "a large well-ventilated space" for safe social distancing. For trials at the Redwood City courthouse — and perhaps later for South San Francisco courthouse trials — jury selection will move to a large building at the San Mateo Event Center, site of the county fair. "The Court hopes to address the large backlog of jury trials that has accumulated as a result of the pandemic and the associated social distancing and shelter-in-place orders," Neal Taniguchi, court executive officer, said in a release.
8:12 a.m. Pandemic, not fans, takes front row in Biden-Harris appearance: Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his new running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, make their first appearance as a ticket Wednesday in the odd reflection of the coronavirus panemic. There will be no cheering rally with adoring throngs that would traditionally greet the pair. They instead will appear at a school near Biden's Delaware home to discuss leading the country through a pandemic and a reckoning with systemic racism. Then they will sit together for an online fundraiser.
7:59 a.m. GOP targets race in pandemic-blasted Orange County: In a House race that is fast becoming one of the nastiest in the country, a Republican super PAC is betting on Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel who accuses incumbent Democrat Harley Rouda of politicizing the pandemic. Rouda is blaming the supervisor for the county's coronavirus problems as the county endures one of the state's highest tolls. The GOP PAC, Congressional Leadership Fund, is spending $600,000 to help Steel, in one of three California seats it is targeting with big TV buys. Read the story here.
7:43 a.m. SF's Prairie is latest restaurant to shutter: The San Francisco restaurant Prairie, which gained attention during the early days of the pandemic for dropping its meal service to operate as a general store, will permanently close on Friday. Chef and owner Anthony Strong described the restaurant's reinvention as a "Hail Mary" to save the business during the pandemic, but it was never meant to be a permanent solution. Read the story here.
7:29 a.m. Mozilla laying off 250 workers: Mozilla, the Mountain View maker of the Firefox web browser, is laying off 250 employees and closing its operations in Taipei, Taiwan, the company said in a blog post . The previously had layoffs in January, said to affect 70 people. Changes were underway already, but pandemic-related losses figured into the new plan, the company said.
7:16 a.m. Deep recession confirmed in Britain: Official numbers published Wednesday confirm the British economy has plunged into a record-shattering deep recession, shrinking by a fifth in the second quarter, in the steepest decline of any Group of Seven nation, the Washington Post reports. Alongside huge job losses announced a day earlier, Britain now finds itself with the worst economy and behind only the United States, Brazil and Mexico in COVID-19 deaths.
7 a.m. Stocks rise with earnings: The Dow was up 0.94% in early trading. Foxconn, a key iPhone supplier, said in its earnings report that smartphone demand was recovering, lifting Apple shares.
6:39 a.m. Everything you need to know about the new school year: Most Bay Area schools are heading back to class remotely over the next few weeks as the coronavirus pandemic keeps their campuses shuttered for at least the first part of the fall. Chronicle education reporter Jill Tucker has answers to many common questions about the new school year.
6:27 a.m. Drivers crossing Bay Area bridges feeling free to skip paying the toll: Scofflaws crossing the seven state Bay Area bridges have racked up $16 million in unpaid tolls since the coronavirus pandemic forced toll takers out of their booths and prompted an overnight switch to all-electronic toll collection. And the problem keeps growing. Chronicle columnist Phil Matier has the full story.
6:18 a.m. UCSF scientists create molecules for nose spray they say can kill coronavirus: Synthetic antibodies that researchers believe neutralize the coronavirus have been created at UCSF and could be available for use in nose sprays or inhalers within a few months if clinical trials go well. They hope the development will be a game changer in the worldwide effort to halt the pandemic. Read the full story from Peter Fimrite.
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 11:
4:35 p.m. State superintendent of instruction to discuss plans to 'resume learning' this fall: State Superintendent of Instruction Tony Thurmond is scheduled to discuss the California Department of Education's "ongoing efforts to support schools as they make plans to resume learning this fall," according to a department tweet . The discussion is scheduled to be streamed Facebook.com/CAEducation at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
4:20 p.m. San Quentin officials ignored coronavirus guidance from top Marin County health officer, letter says: Two days after California prison officials in late May shipped busloads of prisoners from a coronavirus hot spot in Chino to San Quentin State Prison, Marin County's top public health officer issued urgent guidance to the prison's leadership. This advice was the first in a series of public health recommendations to be issued and ultimately dismissed by prison officials, Dr. Matthew Willis said in a letter to a Marin County Superior Court judge and in an interview Tuesday with The Chronicle. Read the full story by Megan Cassidy.
3:35 p.m. SF State entrants get easier transfer path: Students will be able to transfer in to San Francisco State University in fall 2021 after taking as few as two classes at community colleges in a new admission policy announced Tuesday. The university has lost thousands of students this year due in large part to the pandemic. Read the story here.
3:33 p.m. March on D.C. to adjust for virus concerns: A national commemoration of the 1963 civil rights March on Washington is being reconfigured to comply with coronavirus protocols in the District of Columbia, the Associated Press reports. Although many marchers will arrive via charter buses on Aug. 28, the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the organizers, will ask some to join satellite marches planned in states that are considered hot spots for COVID-19.
3:27 p.m. Santa Clara County reports more cases: Santa Clara County recorded 280 more cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing its total to 12,962 cases so far. Officials also reported two additional deaths, bringing the county's death total to 207 deaths. Officials said these new cases and deaths reflect "new diagnoses and deaths occurring over the past several days."
3:20 p.m. Los Angeles County exceeds 5,000 COVID-19 deaths: Los Angeles County reached what public health officials called a "somber milestone" Tuesday, in marking 5,057 COVID-19 deaths to date. "The number of new cases reported today is missing lab reports from one of the larger labs which is contributing to the lower number of new cases," public health officials said in a statement. "Today's numbers do not include backlog numbers." By comparison, the Bay Area counties have recorded 930 deaths in all.
3:15 p.m. American Airlines extends exit deadline for workers: American Airlines told employees Tuesday the company is extending the window to apply for voluntary exit packages or long-term voluntary leave through Monday. The announcement comes amid uncertainty on whether Congress will approve another $25 billion in payroll assistance for passenger airlines to keep tens of thousands of workers employed after Sept. 30.
3:10 p.m. Florida governor wants college football to go ahead: Gov. Ron DeSantis wants college football in Florida this fall despite the coronavirus outbreak. Speaking Tuesday at Florida State's practice facility, DeSantis said the sport can be played safely. Florida on Tuesday announced 277 more deaths from the virus, including deaths from the weekend. While the Big 10, Mid-American and Mountain West and Pac-12 have canceled fall football, the South's two primary conferences, the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast, still plan to play.
2:58 p.m. Ballot boxes for pandemic voting are new front in election battle: A voting alternative to in-person polling places that's gaining popularity — and attracting controversy — is the use of drop boxes, where voters can deposit their absentee ballots for election officials to collect. NPR reports that though tens of thousands of primary ballots have been rejected around the country after arriving in the mail too late, some say ballot boxes left outside aren't safe, even though many are protected with security cameras.
2:39 p.m. Feinstein calls for extending Census data deadlines as part of new relief package: California's Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, along with other senators, called Tuesday for extending Census deadlines, and for including that extension as part of the next coronavirus relief package. The extension is needed to ensure time for "a full, fair, and accurate 2020 Census" including accuracy of data for redrawing of legislative districts, the senators wrote in a letter to congressional leaders.
2:29 p.m. McConnell wants stimulus package talks to start up again: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling for the Trump administration and congressional Democrats to restart negotiations on a fifth coronavirus deal after talks collapsed late last week. McConnell told Fox News it's "time for everybody to get back to the table," rather than leave talks at an "impasse."
2:17 p.m. Young Floridians losing battle with coronavirus: In Florida, more than 100 adults aged 25 to 44 died of the coronavirus last month, a troubling trend that does not align with what the state's governor has said throughout the pandemic — that the toll was largely limited to the very old, a review of state data by The New York Times shows. In July, deaths of residents under 65 outnumbered those over 90. More Floridians age 25-44 died that month than in the previous four months combined.
2:08 p.m. Virus centers in Americas: The Americas continue to be the center of the coronavirus, with more than 100,000 new cases a day, the head of the Pan American Health Organization said Tuesday. The United States accounts formost of the new infections, but cases are spiking in Latin America, and in countries that previously had the virus under control, including Colombia and Argentina, the New York Times reports. Cases are rising in Central America .
1:59 p.m. Choice of Harris for VP offers assets in pandemic-era campaign: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's selection of Sen. Kamala Harris for his running mate brings strength to the ticket's ability to campaign amid pandemic-forced limits on traditional campaigning. The California senator has become an active user of Instagram Live to engage with the public from her home, offering what feels like a personal interaction. Read The Chronicle's story.
1:47 p.m. California, 7 other states will mail ballots to all voters: Thanks to concern about spread of the coronavirus, at least three-quarters of U.S. voters will be eligible to receive a ballot in the mail for the 2020 election — the most in U.S. history, according to a New York Times analysis. If recent election trends hold and turnout increases as experts predict, roughly 80 million mail ballots will flood election offices this fall, more than double the number returned in 2016. California is among eight states sending ballots to every registered voter, while other states will enable absentee applications.
1:38 p.m. Pac-12 postpones fall football: The Pac-12 conference has postponed its fall football season until the spring, a conference source confirmed with The Chronicle.
1:33 p.m. Tech stocks drag market down: A late slide in big technology companies left indexes broadly lower on Wall Street, erasing an early Tuesday gain and breaking a seven-day winning streak for the S&P 500, which was down 0.8%. The Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 0.4%. Gains for banks, industrial and energy companies were offset by drops in big-name tech stocks, with Apple slipping nearly 3% and Microsoft down 2.3%. The Nasdaq fell 1.7%.
1:28 p.m. Biden picks California's Harris: Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden has selected Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, telling a nation gripped by economic catastrophe that has slammed the nation's most vulnerable businesses and individuals that she is "a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country's finest public servants."
12:58 p.m. Global case count tops 20 million: It took six months for the world to reach 10 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus — and just over six weeks for that number to double. The global count of known infections was more than 20.1 million as of Tuesday. More than half of cases are from the U.S., India and Brazil, according to Johns Hopkins University tracking. Average new cases per day in in the U.S. have declined but still number over 54,000, compared to almost 59,000 in India and nearly 44,000 in Brazil .
12:45 p.m. Big Ten sports conference delays fall sports: The Big Ten college conference will delay all fall sports to the spring, league officials announced Tuesday. The decision affects football, soccer, cross country and dozens of other sports, and follows Mid-Atlantic Conference action last week. "… It became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall," Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said.
12:40 p.m. Bay Area death toll creeps toward 1,000: Lives lost to the coronavirus in the Bay Area numbered 928 as of midday Tuesday, with the region's overall case count since the start of the pandemic at 64,304.
12:31 p.m. Dome dining option stirs debate: News of $200-a-person plastic dome-covered tables , and quirky improvised patios erected outside of restaurants — solutions from beleaguered restaurateurs to keep from going under during the pandemic — drew vehement responses, The Chronicle's Soleil Ho reports. The dome is seen as a symbol of the inadequacy of our social safety net: it's a shield against, not for, the ones who need sheltering the most.
12:19 p.m. SF virus reproduction number drops to crucial threshhold: San Francisco's coronavirus contagion rate has reached a level at which the outbreak is considered on the decline, officials said Tuesday. The reproduction ratio is just below 1. This indicator is an epidemiologic metric on contagiousness, meaning the average number of people that one infected person will pass the virus to. An outbreak is expected to end if the number is less than 1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
12:10 p.m. Breed's coronavirus spending plan includes homeless housing, food services: Mayor London Breed's budget proposal allocates nearly $183 million for housing, shelter and medical programs for San Francisco's homeless population and for hotels for coronavirus-stricken people who cannot safely self-isolate. Another $45.8 million is proposed for food and human services programs, including a $16 million expansion of the public Pit Stop restrooms.
12:04 p.m. SF coronavirus spending to reach more than $400 million over year: Over the next year, San Francisco is expected to spend about $446 million on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor London Breed revealed Tuesday. She said about $353 million is expected to come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, state grants and federal stimulus money. Breed's budget assumes the city will cover the remainder, about $93 million. Read The Chronicle's story here.
11:51 a.m. Trump: Father of nation no match for him without virus: President Trump says only the coronavirus could have prevented him from winning a hypothetical matchup against George Washington. Contradicting, and obliquely acknowledging, polls his plunging ratings, he told radio interviewer Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday: "I don't know if you've seen, the polls have been going up like a rocket ship. George Washington would have had a hard time beating me before the plague came in, before the China plague. … Like other countries, when you get hit, it affects you. And we went down a little bit."
11:39 a.m. San Mateo adds to case count: San Mateo County reported another 43 cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to date to 6,428 cases. The county also recorded an additional two deaths for a total of 122 fatal cases so far.
11:30 a.m. Challenger dings Wiener for support of coronavirus-based budget cuts: Jackie Fielder, a 25-year-old candidate challenging state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, is slamming the incumbent Democrat for, among other things, "trying to balance the budget on the backs of students, teachers and public employees" by supporting coronavirus-based cuts in the current state budget. Read The Chronicle's story on the race here.
10:38 a.m. Big spike in homicides: The onset of warm weather typically brings a spike in violent crime, but after weeks of shutdown, the increase this year has been much steeper than usual , the New York Times reports. Across 20 major cities, the murder rate at the end of June was on average 37% higher than it was at the end of May, University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist finds. The increase over the same period a year ago was just 6%.
10:01 a.m. Marin County to allow personal care services outdoors: Nail salons, massage therapy and esthetic, cosmetology and skincare services can reopen outdoors, effective immediately, in Marin County, Public Health Officer Matt Willis announced at Tuesday' Board of Supervisors meeting. He cited leveling off of coronavirus transmission rates. Tattoo, piercing and electrolysis businesses must remain closed, per California restrictions. The county also plans to allow hotels and short term rentals to open if virus cases remain below 200 per 100,000 residents through August 21 .
9:45 a.m. Marin County to apply for school reopening waiver this week: Marin County officials on Friday will apply for a state go-ahead to reopen county schools, county Public Health Officer Matt Willis said Tuesday. He told the Board of Supervisors the earliest schools could open would be Sept. 8, with site-specific protection plans needed for each facility. He also discouraged families from forming independent learning pods, saying it could increase risk of coronavirus transmission.
9:20 a.m. New York refuses full accounting on nursing home deaths: The coronavirus death toll in New York's nursing homes could actually be a significant undercount, the Associated Press reports. Unlike other states, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property, not those who were taken to hospitals and died there. That could add thousands to the state's official count just over 6,600 nursing home deaths. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration has refused to divulge the number, leading to speculation the state is manipulating the figures for appearances.
9:11 a.m. UMass cancels football: Massachusetts is the latest school from the Football Bowl Subdivision, college football's highest level, to cancel its fall season. UMass is an independent in football and its decision affects only that sport. Athletic director Ryan Bamford said the school will try for a spring season if possible. UMass joins UConn, Old Dominion and all Mid-American Conference and Mountain West schools, a total of 27, in postponing its football season.
9:01 a.m. Chain stores flee NYC: Five months into the pandemic, economic damage to businesses that are part of national chains has in many cases been far worse in New York than elsewhere in the country, the New York Times reports. In Manhattan, national chains including J.C. Penney, Kate Spade, Subway and Le Pain Quotidien have shuttered branches for good. Other brands, like Victoria's Secret and the Gap, have their kept high-profile locations closed, while reopening in other states. New York looks nothing like it did just a few months ago.
8:30 a.m. SF creates street response teams for mental health: In spite of the budget woes brought on by the shattering coronavirus pandemic, San Francisco is beefing up mental health care, including with the city's first street-crisis response teams to deal with psychiatric emergencies, a duty that previously fell to police. The pandemic has been accompanied by concern over clusters of people living on the streets. Read the story here.
8:20 a.m. South San Francisco schools delay start: The South San Francisco Unified School District has pushed back the start of its school year from Wednesday to Monday, Aug. 17. Classes will start remotely, for at least three weeks, then phase in to in-person learning. Depending on conditions and health officials' approvals, the most vulnerable students could return first, with all students back at school another three weeks or more later, the district said.
8:10 a.m. Another Assembly member tests positive : A California Assembly member has tested positive for the coronavirus, officials announced Monday. The person was last in the Capitol Aug. 6, and wore a face mask the entire time, according to a letter to Assembly employees. It is the first case since an early July outbreak caused the Legislature to delay its session to July 27. The Capitol remains open to essential employees.
7:55 a.m. Free phone calls for SF inmates: Inmates in San Francisco's jails now can make all phone calls free of charge, which is particularly important during the pandemic, Mayor London Breed said Monday. A special fixed-rate deal with a jail phone services provider will enable the calls, she said. "When people are in jail they need to be able to stay connected with their family without being concerned about how much it will cost," she said. "Being able to stay in touch with family is always important, but it is even more critical during a health emergency like COVID-19."
7:40 a.m. White House considers barring citizens crossing back from Mexico: White House officials are circulating a proposal to give U.S. border authorities the extraordinary ability to block U.S. citizens and permanent residents from entering the country from Mexico if they are suspected of coronavirus infection, the Washington Post reports, citing two administration officials and a person familiar with the plans. The legal basis for the move is unclear. Medical experts say such restrictions would make little difference because The U.S., world leader in case numbers, already has widespread transmission, the Post reports.
7:29 a.m. New Zealand reports first cases in more than 100 days: New Zealand confirmed its first cases of COVID-19 in 103 days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday. Four cases were discovered in four members of a family in Auckland, which was placed in lockdown with the rest of the country, and asked to resume social distancing and wearing masks.
7:23 a.m. UCSF works on two-drug solution for virus treatment: Researchers at UC San Francisco have begun testing a mixture of two of the most promising treatments for COVID-19 in hopes it will be the answer to neutralizing the coronavirus. The study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, treated its first patient last week with a combination of Gilead's remdesivir and the anti-inflammatory interferon. Read the story here.
7:14 a.m. Russia approves vaccine, offers no proof: Russia on Tuesday became the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine for use in tens of thousands of people despite international skepticism about injections that have not completed clinical trials and were studied in only dozens of people for less than two months. President Vladimir Putin said the vaccine underwent appropriate tests. Russian authoritieshave offered no proof to back up the claim of its safety or effectiveness.
6:33 a.m. Dow back to February levels: The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 1.2% in early trading, passing 28,000 to hit a level it had not seen since February. The market rally appeared to be prompted by signs of recovering demand in Asia, where many countries have managed the coronavirus pandemic better than the U.S.
6:14 a.m. Salesforce donates $20 million to SF, Oakland and other U.S. schools: The tech company, San Francisco's largest private employer, is giving $9 million to San Francisco Unified School District and $9 million to Oakland Unified School District amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story by Roland Li.
- Bay Area leaders propose aggressive housing fix, and new agency to get it done
- Doobie Brothers frontman explains how '70s Bay Area vibes have changed
- PG&E power outage: Roughly 450K Bay Area residents are without power
- CHP made 173 arrests in the Bay Area for impaired driving over Thanksgiving holiday
- New agency would raise public dollars to build thousands of housing units in the Bay Area
- Local leaders find that supporting Bay Area housing plan spurs anger at home
- PG&E considers cutting power amid Bay Area fire warning
- Drenching rain across Bay Area, deep snow in Sierra pound holiday travelers
- ‘Hazardous travel’ conditions to Tahoe expected as cold front moves on Bay Area
- Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants: N-Z
- Nasty storm battering Bay Area leads to 6 deaths, flooding, power outages
- Wet weather not leaving Bay Area any time soon, but downpours should taper off
- Rain across the region a prelude to bigger Bay Area storm
- Bay Area transportation commission picks Therese McMillan to be new chief
- This Bay Area couple's BART proposal is adorable
- Owner says Bay Area traffic is killing her once-popular roadside stand
- Outdoor burning banned in parts of Bay Area, Central Valley
- 1998 El Niño pounded an unready Bay Area: Are we prepared now?
- Weather gauge just south of Bay Area measures 17.26 inches of rain in 3 days
- The air quality in the Bay Area right now is as bad as Beijing
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