Bay Area coronavirus updates | Sat., Aug. 22

The latest developments around the region related to the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, as of Saturday afternoon include:

  • A new program in the works in San Francisco could allow for gyms, personal trainers and other fitness providers to hold outdoor classes and one-on-one sessions in city parks, as fitness facilities remain closed due to COVID-19. The proposed program, announced by Recreation and Park Department officials Friday, is inspired by the city’s Shared Spaces program, which allows restaurants and other businesses to operate in public spaces. Under the program, small fitness operators and personal trainers can apply for an annual permit to train up to three clients at a time at a price reduced from $250 to just $25, as long as gyms in the city remain closed. For group classes of between four to 11 people, instructors requiring a designated space in the park would be able to hold classes for 10 weeks at a consistent day and time for a price reduced from $15 an hour to $1.25 an hour, recreation and park officials said.
  • San Francisco Supervisor Gordon Mar announced Thursday evening he tested positive for COVID-19, but said so far he hasn’t had any symptoms and is doing well. Mar’s family is also getting tested and for now he plans to continue working remotely, while in quarantine. “I have worn a mask, followed public health guidelines, practiced social distancing, and been regularly tested. And still, none of us are immune from this pandemic,” he said in a statement. “We cannot afford to lower our guard. These are not normal times, and we can’t act normally. I will continue working remotely with my colleagues to expand critical protections for workers, businesses, and residents. I ask every person in San Francisco to please take this pandemic seriously, take the steps required by our public health orders, and take care.” Last month, Mayor London Breed announced she was limiting public events after she learned she attended an event where someone who recently tested.
  • Napa County is no longer on the COVID-19 monitoring list, making it the first of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties to come off the list since all were added in July. The county was removed from the state’s county-by-county chart on the watch list Thursday, but still appeared on the watch list’s main page with detailed explanations for why each county is on the list. As of Friday morning, the county has been removed from both, seemingly confirming that the county is no longer subject to state-mandated indoor business closures, and local schools can reopen schools for in-person education 14 days from now. Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that San Francisco County was “likely” to come off the watch list this week, but the county reactivated the watch list’s case-per-capita and intensive care unit bed capacity indicators Thursday. The soonest that San Francisco County can come off the list is Tuesday of next week.
  • A fund has been set up to raise money for funeral expenses for a Richmond police sergeant who died due to complications from COVID-19.police sergeant who died due to complications from COVID-19. The department announced Thursday that Sgt. Virgil Thomas had died due to COVID-19 after serving as a police officer for 24 years in Richmond, as well as time with the Albany and Novato police departments before that. Thomas while off-duty last November fatally shot 38-year-old Eric Reason during a confrontation in a Vallejo shopping center parking lot. He later returned to work and the fundraiser created following his death says he contracted COVID-19 while on the job and died after spending a month in the hospital. The fund established by the Richmond Crime Prevention Foundation — a nonprofit created by the Richmond Police Officers’ Association — is to support Thomas’ wife and four children to have “the proper burial and services that are needed while any COVID-19 LODD (line of duty death) financial issues are worked out.” More than $6,000 had been raised as of Friday night at the fund at porac.org/fundraiser/line-of-duty-death-richmond-police-sergeant-virgil-thomas-family-fund/.
  • As of 3 p.m. Saturday, officials have confirmed the following number of cases around the greater Bay Area region (“+” number added since last check Fri., Aug. 20, unless otherwise noted):
    • Alameda County: 16,696 cases (+227), 234 deaths (Totals include Berkeley Health Department data)
    • Contra Costa County: 12,527 cases (+165), 168 deaths (+4)
    • Marin County: 5,879 cases (+27), 86 deaths (+2) (Totals include San Quentin State Prison)
    • Monterey County: 7,023 cases (+59), 52 deaths (+1)
    • Napa County: 1,317 cases (+10), 13 deaths
    • San Francisco County: 8,791 cases (+89), 74 deaths (+2)
    • San Mateo County: 7,535 cases (+63), 128 deaths
    • Santa Clara County: 15,496 cases (+238), 222 deaths (+5)
    • Santa Cruz County: 1,617 cases (+12), 7 deaths
    • Solano County: 5,048 cases (+42), 44 deaths
    • Sonoma County: 4,942 cases (+79), 70 deaths (+5)
    • Statewide: 656,892 cases (+6556), 11,988 deaths (+167)

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