Coronavirus in California: Updates and Daily Briefings

This page will include daily live streams and other updates on the spread of coronavirus in California

A person gets a Covid-19 swab test at a testing site.

Stay-at-home orders issued in mid-March were gradually relaxed during the spring, but spikes in key statistics mean California has tightened its virus restrictions in July during a summer like no other.

Updates on the spread of COVID-19 and California's response can be found here. You also can view daily updates from the governor's office at noon.

Oakland Zoo Is Struggling During Pandemic 

Since the coronavirus pandemic began keeping visitors at home, the jaguars and chimpanzees at the Oakland Zoo have enjoyed the quiet, venturing out to areas of their exhibits they usually avoid. “We have already lost the bulk of our summer revenue and are living off whatever reserves we have left, but they are going to run out at some point,” said Joel Parrott, president of the Oakland Zoo, home to 750 large animals. The Oakland Zoo has laid off more than 100 employees, primarily those who work with guests. Another 200 who care for animals and provide veterinary services and safety for the public and animals are still working and represent part of the zoo’s $1.2 million a month in costs, Parrott said. Read more here

How Coronavirus Has Grown in Each State — in 1 Chart

This chart shows the cumulative number of cases per state by number of days since the 50th case.

Source: The COVID Tracking Project
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC

California Officials Report First Virus Death of a Child

California health officials reported the state’s first coronavirus death of a child on Friday as the statewide tally of fatalities surpassed 9,000, saying the victim was a teenager who had other health conditions. The teenager's death occurred in the Central Valley, but officials at the state Department of Public Health released no other details, citing privacy rules. The Central Valley is the state’s major agricultural region and recently has become one of California’s hot spots for the virus.

Bay Area Hair Stylists and Salon Owners Protest Shutdown

Hair salon owners and stylists in Alameda County are pushing back on what has been a devastating past four months for their businesses. All salons are still unable to open their doors due to rising COVID-19 numbers in Alameda County, so the local hair industry is looking to take matters into their own hands to be seen and heard by county officials. “We have complied and we are done obliging,” said one local stylist.

Another 60+ Deaths Reported Due to Coronavirus in LA County

Long Beach and Pasadena also combined to announced 60 new coronavirus cases Friday. Added to the new cases announced by the county Department of Public Health, the countywide total of cases from throughout the pandemic rose to 188,541. 

Neighbors' Social Connection Starts With a Garage Door Theater

A neighborhood in Ladera Heights has organized a drive-in theater that has expanded over the weeks. It all started with screenings on a garage door. Lonna Spitaleri, organizer of the Drive-In, said everyone would pick a movie and sit six feet a part while wearing masks. They brought their own food and drinks as well. "Since COVID, there's not a lot of things we can do comfortably. People are understandably getting a bit of cabin fever. We wanted to do something fun for the community to get people out of the house, at the same time be in a safe environment where they are not exposed to the coronavirus," resident Ran Craycraft said.

Cases in LA County Expected to Increase

Los Angeles County reported 1,703 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 additional deaths Sunday, bringing the county's totals to 173,995 cases and 4,360 fatalities. Officials said Sunday's figures were incomplete due to delays in the state electronic lab reporting system, and the number of cases is expected to increase in the coming days once the data becomes available. Read more here

Santa Cruz County On State Watch List

Santa Cruz County was officially added to the state’s COVID-19 watch list Sunday, meaning that more restrictions could be coming to the area soon. Eight out of nine bay area counties are already on the list – all except San Mateo County. If a county is on the watch list for three or more days certain businesses have to close. These include indoor gyms and places of worship, indoor malls and salons.

Outdoor Fitness During Pandemic 

To shore up their ailing businesses, gym owners are taking them to the streets. Holding classes outdoors provides these studios, among the last to gain authorization for reopening in many states, an alternative to less profitable online offerings. The fitness industry has taken a huge hit as states, trying to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, forced brick-and-mortar facilities to close. There were approximately 62.4 million members of Health Clubs in the U.S. in 2019, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, with the industry recently valued at $34 billion, according to Ibis World. 

Orange County Cases

Orange County health officials reported 420 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths Sunday, bringing the county's totals to 34,373 cases and 564 fatalities. The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Orange County hospitals rose slightly, from 685 Saturday to 687, while the number of patients in intensive care units dipped from 203 to 201, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

LAFD Loses First Firefighter to COVID-19

A Los Angeles firefighter died Saturday from complications of COVID-19, the first in the department to die from the disease. Firefighter-Paramedic Jose J. Perez was 44 and had been with the LAFD for more than 16 years, officials said.

Firefighters and Lifeguards in Newport Beach Test Positive For COVID-19 

Ten firefighters and 11 lifeguards have recently tested positive for COVID-19 in Newport Beach, officials confirmed Sunday. The numbers are a cumulative total throughout the past month and most have already returned to work, Fire Chief Jeff Boyles told City News Service.

Counties Try to Put Bite in Health Order

More California counties are trying to put some bite behind public health orders as hospitalizations and positive tests for the coronavirus continue rising in many parts of the state.

California to Buy More Masks, But Will They Get to the Workers Who Need Them?

California will spend $315 million more to buy hundreds of millions of protective masks as the coronavirus continues to ravage the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday. But there are questions as to whether they'll get to frontline workers.

High School Sports Season Delayed

High school football, volleyball, gymnastics and other fall sports will not start until winter under a revised calendar issued Monday by the California Interscholastic Federation. The governing body for prep sports in California released a statement on the 2020-2021 calendar after it became increasingly likely that most schools in the state will begin the school year with online instruction

Salon Owners Face Mounting Bills

Those who run salons say California's order to close their doors in an effort to slow the rise of coronavirus cases threatens their ability to survive after months of mounting bills. Nail and hair salon owners say they feel they're being unfairly punished because they can't move outdoors like restaurants. They also say their workers are trained in sanitizing procedures and that stylists and customers all wear masks. Some said they'll have to stay open, at least partly, to survive. The closures this week hit especially hard in an industry filled with mom-and-pop shops and nail salons.

Rose Parade Canceled for First Time Since 1945

The Rose Parade has been canceled and San Francisco is doubling down on business restrictions as California hits a near-record level of confirmed coronavirus cases.

Coronavirus Hospital Use Projections Across the Country

This interactive chart uses model data provided by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to predict how the coronavirus will affect health care resources in different states. In states such as Florida and California, hospital bed use is projected to continue to grow into September and October. Most states have enough general hospital and ICU beds to meet demand, according to additional data from The Associated Press.

Sources: State hospital bed capacity data from the Associated Press. Model data provided by IHME. Note: The model assumes mask use continues at currently observed rates and the gradual easing of social distancing mandates continues. It also assumes the mandate would be re-imposed for six weeks if daily deaths reach 8 per million.
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC

Cases Surge to Record Levels in LA County

Coronavirus cases have surged to record levels in the Los Angeles area. Health officials said Wednesday the nation's most populous county is in "an alarming and dangerous phase" that if not reversed could overwhelm intensive care units and usher in more sweeping closures. The three-day average of hospital patients in the county is above 2,000 for the first time. Many indoor businesses were ordered closed Monday. On Wednesday, the 2021 Rose Parade, a New Year's Day tradition, was canceled for the first time in 75 years. County officials say testing will be expanded for people with the highest need, mainly in low-income communities.

Gov. Newsom Shuts Down Indoor Dining Statewide

Gov. Gavin Newsom closed indoor activities at restaurants and movie theaters statewide Monday, while also singling out 30 counties, including LA and Orange, to shut down businesses like salons and places of worship. Learn more here.

Prison Virus Deaths Continue as Newsom Meets With US Judge

Another California death row inmate at San Quentin State Prison near San Francisco died Tuesday in the midst of an outbreak that has infected about 40% of inmates there. And an inmate from a Central Valley state prison in Corcoran died Wednesday at an outside hospital, though that prison has been much less seriously affected. There have now been 31 deaths from COVID-19 in California’s prison system, according to state figures. Nearly 2,300 inmates are listed as actively having the infection, along with more than 600 employees. 

Downtown Disney Reopens: Here's What You Need to Know Before You Go

Stores and restaurants reopening in the Downtown Disney District include their flagship World of Disney retail store, Sephora, Pandora Jewelry, the LEGO store, Salt & Straw, Starbucks and more. Restaurants that are opening up in Downtown Disney will not allow indoor dining. Guests will be seated outside, at tables six feet apart, with digital or single-use menus. 

Hope Dims for Classroom Instruction

Surging coronavirus cases in California prompted a warning on Wednesday from the nation’s most populous county of a possible delay to classroom instruction in public schools next month -- a setback Gov. Gavin Newsom said he hopes to avoid by convincing more people to wear face coverings and stay away from gatherings.

White House Reopening Guidelines Leave Room for Interpretation

For states considering lifting quarantine measures, the official guidelines propose either a downward trajectory of COVID-19 cases within two weeks or a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests.

As shown below, when you compare yesterday’s new case count with that of two weeks ago, the number is often lower, simply because the counts fluctuate. The criteria has been criticized by some for being vague, creating the opportunity for any governor to argue the numbers are favorable enough to start reopening.

Source: The COVID Tracking Project
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC

Northern Counties Beginning to Feel COVID-19 Bite

Some of California’s northern counties, which saw few cases of the coronavirus and were the first to begin reopening their economies, are cracking down again as the state’s rising tide of infections hits home. Supervisors in Yolo County, near Sacramento, passed a measure on Tuesday that allows fines of up to $10,000 for businesses that don’t follow state and local health orders such as banning indoor dining areas and requiring clients to wear masks. Read the full story.

Californians Avoid Holiday Crowds as Coronavirus Cases Surge

Californians mostly heeded warnings to stay away from beaches and other public spaces during the long weekend as state officials urged social distancing amid a spike in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations. Volunteers were acting as “goodwill ambassadors” to remind people about closures at Los Angeles County waterfronts, Department of Beaches and Harbors spokeswoman Nicole Mooradian said Sunday.

Coronavirus Deaths in Your City and State — and Across the US

These charts use daily coronavirus death data from Johns Hopkins University to show the seven-day moving average of deaths at the city, state and country level.

The impact of coronavirus varies enormously in the United States from one place to another.

Source: Johns Hopkins University.
Credit: Visuals by Amy O’Kruk/NBC, data analysis by Ron Campbell/NBC

At SoCal's Largest Healthcare Provider, COVID-19 Tests Aren't Available For Everyone With Symptoms

On it's website, Kaiser Permanente tells it's 4.6 million Southern California members that "we're testing all symptomatic members for COVID-19." But the NBC4 I-Team found out that that's apparently not the case. Here is the full story. 

Coronavirus Cases, Hospitalizations Continue to Rise in LA County

Health officials said that the latest figures, which include Saturday's, indicate that 1,947 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 countywide. That number excludes patients in Long Beach and Pasadena, which have their own health departments. The figure is up from 1,889 on Wednesday, and continues an upward trend. It also echoes statewide figures, with Gov. Gavin Newsom announcing Thursday that hospitalizations across the state had increased by 56% in the past two weeks.

Hospitalizations Rise, as Orange County Reports Another 663 COVID-19 Cases

Orange County reported 663 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths Sunday, bringing the county's totals to 16,854 cases and 366 deaths. The new numbers came as most county beaches prepared to reopen Monday after closing for the Fourth of July weekend to prevent further spread of the virus.

Strike Teams to Enforce Rules at Businesses

For months now, the governor says state agencies have mostly been trying to educate businesses about the safety rules when dealing with COVID-19, but new strike teams will be going after businesses that keep flouting regulations. Here's the full story.

California Puts the Brakes on Reopening

Responding to continued spikes in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday ordered a halt to indoor dining and barred other indoor activities at businesses such as wineries, museums and casinos in counties that have been on the state's COVID-19 "watch list,'' including Los Angeles and Orange.

California Added to NY Tri-State Quarantine List

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut imposed a 14-day quarantine on all travelers from California Tuesday as the nation's most populous state grapples with a spike in new coronavirus cases and other unsettling statistics. California was one of eight states added to the tri-state quarantine list, which was introduced last week. The list now has 16 states as pandemic numbers soar in several regions.

Return to Restrictions Appear Likely

Gov. Gavin Newsom hinted Tuesday that restrictions eased in the past few weeks will likely be rolled back as California's coronavirus numbers soar. Newsom planned Wednesday to announce he will “tighten things up” only weeks after loosening his March 19 stay-at-home order and reopening most businesses.

LA County Beaches Closed for Fourth of July Weekend

All LA County beaches, piers, access points and bike paths were to close for the Fourth of July weekend, county officials announced Monday.

Gov. Newsom Orders Bars to Close

On Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered bars, pubs, brew pubs, wineries and tasting rooms in Los Angeles County to close, unless they offer dine-in services.  This news comes after recent increases in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Los Angeles County Public Health COVID-19 Update 

Los Angeles County Public Health reported Sunday: 2,542 new positive cases and 20 deaths related to COVID 19. This brings the total amount of cases to 97,894 and deaths to 3,305. 41% of cases come from people between the ages of 18-40 years old. More information can be found here

The Ebb and Flow of New Coronavirus Cases and Deaths

The graphs below illustrate the distribution of new coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. While New York accounted for the lion’s share of new cases and deaths in March and April, its numbers have declined in May as some states have increased. Hover or tap to see new daily cases and deaths across the country. States with the most are ordered top to bottom.

Source: The COVID Tracking Project
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC

California Officials COVID-19 Update

The California Department of Public Health reported on Sunday that there are 211,243 confirmed cases to date in the state. A total of 3,955,952 tests have been done so far in the state. They expect positive cases to increase as a result of increasing testing. The total amount of deaths is now 5,905 in the state. 

Governor Declares a Budget Emergency

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday declared a state budget emergency, citing California's $54.3 billion budget deficit, clearing the way for more funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic, according to a release from his office. The move ensures the availability of funding for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and other expenditures necessary to support a recent spike in COVID-19 cases and the potential for a hospital surge.

Californians Urged to Wear Face Coverings After Virus Surge

Gov. Gavin Newsom pleaded with Californians Wednesday to wear face masks and take other precautions to stop the spread of the coronavirus and put the brakes an unsettling uptick in cases. Newsom pointed to recent increases in statewide coronavirus cases, the rate of people testing positive and hospitalizations during a late morning news conference.  He also warned individual counties that fail to enforce health requirements, saying those that fall short will lose funding from the state.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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