Bay Area coronavirus updates | Sun., Aug. 9

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

  • A 55-year-old San Quentin State Prison guard has become the first employee at that facility to die amid a COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak at the prison, state officials said. Sgt. Gilbert Polanco died Sunday morning, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Sunday in a statement. Polanco had been in a San Jose hospital for more than a month. “Sgt. Gilbert Polanco is an example of the best of CDCR and his passing deeply saddens us all. His dedication to public service will not be forgotten,” CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said Sunday in a statement. Added acting San Quentin Warden Ron Broomfield, “Our hearts are broken as we awaken to the news of the passing of our beloved Sergeant, colleague, and friend. Sgt. Gilbert Polanco demonstrated unwavering commitment and bravery as a peace officer working the frontline every day during this devastating pandemic.” As of Friday, 2,226 San Quentin inmates had tested positive for COVID-19. Polanco’s death was the first employee there to die.
  • Also on Sunday, CDCR officials said that 58-year-old Pedro Arias, on San Quentin’s death row since 1990, died Sunday at an outside hospital from what appears to be complications related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. He was the 24th San Quentin prisoner to die from the coronavirus.
  • Santa Cruz County and the University of California at Santa Cruz have announced a partnership to expand the county’s COVID-19 coronavirus testing and analysis capacity. Using $805,000 in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, UCSC’s Molecular Diagnostic Lab acquired additional testing analysis equipment like robotic liquid handling platforms and a PCR system that will allow local testing capacity to reach up to 800 tests per day. The Molecular Diagnostic Lab is increasingly one of the most popular testing locations for local health organizations, according to county officials. The lab has generally been able to return test results in 24 to 48 hours. It will take several weeks for the lab to have the new testing equipment fully operational, according to the county. Testing capacity is expected to increase over the course of several months.
  • Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, D-Walnut Creek, will host a virtual town hall to discuss coronavirus and the economy at 3:30 p.m. Monday. His guest will be Jesse Rothstein, professor of public policy and economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a former senior economist at the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers and chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor. The one-hour town hall is open to the public and participants will be able to ask questions about the effects of COVID-19 on jobs, savings, and the economy. DeSaulnier will also provide an update on the latest coronavirus relief negotiations. To RSVP and submit a question visit
  • As of 6 p.m. Sunday, officials have confirmed the following number of cases around the greater Bay Area region. However, due to a significant and unresolved problem with the State of California’s CalREDIE reporting system, county public health departments statewide are experiencing significant underreporting of COVID-19 testing results. Because of this problem, the information presented by all counties is incomplete (“+” number added since last check Sat., Aug. 7, unless otherwise noted):
    • Alameda County: 13,199 cases (+414), 205 deaths (+1) (Totals include Berkeley Health Department data)
    • Contra Costa County: 9,182 cases (+160), 139 deaths (+1)
    • Marin County: 5,287 cases, 79 deaths (not updated since Friday) (Totals include San Quentin State Prison)
    • Monterey County: 5,293 cases (+81), 35 deaths
    • Napa County: 1,046 cases, 10 deaths (not updated from Friday)
    • San Francisco County: 7,548 cases (+116), 67 deaths
    • San Mateo County: 6,110 cases, 120 deaths (not updated from Saturday)
    • Santa Clara County: 11,954 cases (+479 since Friday), 205 deaths (+9 since Friday)
    • Santa Cruz County: 1,238 cases, 6 deaths (not updated from Saturday)
    • Solano County: 4,029 cases, 40 deaths (not updated from Saturday)
    • Sonoma County: 3,556 cases (+125), 47 deaths
    • Statewide: 554,160 cases (+8373), 10,293 deaths (+104)

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