Bay Area coronavirus updates | Sun., Aug. 16

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

  • A federal District Court Judge Vince Chhabria ordered the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to test all detained people and staff at the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center near Bakersfield for COVID-19, after a lawsuit against ICE was filed April 20 by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, the ACLU Foundations of Northern California and Southern California and several law firms and legal groups. As a result of that lawsuit, two-thirds of the population at Mesa Verde was released. As of Saturday, of the 104 detained people at the facility, at least 54 have tested positive for the virus. “This is precisely why we’ve been fighting so hard to release people from custody. People who continue to be held inside congregate spaces like prisons and detention centers in California are in serious risk of contracting this devastating illness, as are their communities”, said Mano Raju, the San Francisco Public Defender. Judge Vince Chhabria cited the “deliberate indifference” of ICE and private company GEO Group, Inc. that manages the facility. “There’s no question that this outbreak could have been avoided,” Chhabria said. Chhabria’s order also directed that the approximately 140 staff members at Mesa Verde be also tested immediately, beginning with their next shift and weekly thereafter. Documents filed in the case showed that ICE intentionally did not test staff for months to avoid impeding immigration enforcement.
  • The University of California at San Francisco, United in Health, Oakland Frontline Healers and a group of Black advocacy organizations will hold a mass COVID-19 coronavirus testing event next weekend for Black residents in the East Bay. The event, which will take place at Eastmont Town Center on Aug. 22 and 23, is intended to offer free coronavirus testing, personal protective equipment and food to some 2,000 Black residents. UCSF’s diagnostic laboratory, adjacent to the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub in Mission Bay, will process the test results in two to three days, according to the university. The lab has also been providing free coronavirus diagnostic testing for counties across the state. UCSF said the two-day event would help to tackle the disproportionate number of Black people who have tested positive since the pandemic began. UCSF will also work with Black community organizations in the Bay Area to provide follow-up care for those who test positive for the coronavirus. Officials with UCSF, United in Health, Oakland Frontline Healers and the university’s allied community organizations will hold a news conference on Monday, Aug. 17 to call on residents to attend the testing event. The news conference will be held from 10 a.m-11 a.m. Monday at the Eastmont Town Center Upper Lot, 7200 Bancroft Ave. in Oakland.
  • As of Sunday at 7 p.m., officials have confirmed the following number of cases around the greater Bay Area region (“+” number added since last check Sat., Aug. 16, unless otherwise noted):
    • Alameda County: 15,123 cases (+214), 219 deaths (Totals include Berkeley Health Department data)
    • Contra Costa County: 11,228 cases (+215), 157 deaths (+1)
    • Marin County: 5,710 cases, 82 deaths (not updated Sunday) (Totals include San Quentin State Prison)
    • Monterey County: 6,461 cases (+404), 46 deaths
    • Napa County: 1,206 cases, 11 deaths (not updated from Saturday)
    • San Francisco County: 8,292 cases (+135), 69 deaths
    • San Mateo County: 6,952 cases, 126 deaths (not updated from Saturday)
    • Santa Clara County: 14,429 cases (+222), 209 deaths
    • Santa Cruz County: 1,454 cases (+36), 6 deaths
    • Solano County: 4,596 cases, 41 deaths as of Friday; not updated since then
    • Sonoma County: 4,293 cases (+136), 54 deaths (+3)
    • Statewide: 621,562 cases (7,873), 11,2247 deaths (+77)

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