Bay Area coronavirus updates | Wed., Aug. 26

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

  • The state of California has secured a contract with a Massachusetts-based company to more than double COVID-19 coronavirus testing capacity, shorten result turnaround times and lower testing costs, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. The agreement with the diagnostics company PerkinElmer will add the capacity to process 150,000 coronavirus tests per day to the state’s current testing average of about 100,000 tests per day. The contract also includes a requirement to process and disperse test results in 24 to 48 hours. The increased testing capacity will not only help the state track the virus’ spread at a more granular level but also help public health officials make more efficient reopening decisions for both businesses and schools, according to Newsom.
  • Contra Costa Health Services will open a community testing hub in Richmond this week, offering fast COVID-19 coronavirus testing to residents in the western part of the county. The new testing site, located in the parking lot of Richmond’s Civic Center Plaza, will open Wednesday and accept both appointments and walk-in patients, according to CCHS. In September, the county also plans to add drive-thru testing service to the site, which would expand its testing capacity to 400 people per day.
  • Health officials in Contra Costa County said Wednesday that slight declines in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and in positive COVID-19 test results reflect progress in slowing the spread of the coronavirus, and are prompting a slight easing of some social distancing rules. Given that improvement, Contra Costa County on Wednesday announced minor changes to its health order to allow certain business sectors to begin operating again outdoors. The changes, which take effect Friday, include:
    • Personal care services that don’t involve close contact with the face, including nail salons and massage, may begin operating outdoors in accordance with the state-issued industry guidelines.
    • Gyms and fitness centers may begin operating outdoors in accordance with their own state guidelines.
    • Hotels, motels and short-term rental units (like Vrbo or Airbnb) in Contra Costa may open for personal or recreational travel, not just for essential business purposes.
  • As of Wednesday at 3 p.m., officials have confirmed the following number of cases around the greater Bay Area region (“+” number added since last check Tues., Aug. 25, unless otherwise noted):
    • Alameda County: 17,385 cases (+647), 243 deaths (Totals include Berkeley Health Department data)
    • Contra Costa County: 13,259 cases (+136), 172 deaths (+1)
    • Marin County: 5,965 cases (+23), 95 deaths (+1) (Totals include San Quentin State Prison)
    • Monterey County: 7,451 cases (+58), 53 deaths
    • Napa County: 1,377 cases (+12), 13 deaths
    • San Francisco County: 9,060 cases (+79), 80 deaths (+3)
    • San Mateo County: 7,849 cases (+61), 130 deaths
    • Santa Clara County: 16,306 cases, 233 deaths (+1)
    • Santa Cruz County: 1,714 cases (+16), 7 deaths
    • Solano County: 5,280 cases (+49), 46 deaths
    • Sonoma County: 5,351 cases (+139), 75 deaths (+2)
    • Statewide: 679,099 cases (+6,004), 12,407 deaths (+150)

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