SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The death toll from the current coronavirus outbreak in the San Francisco Bay Area grew to 90 on Saturday with new fatalities reported in Santa Clara County, Marin County and San Francisco and the total number of confirmed cases since late January rose to over 3,500.
As of late Saturday night, there had been 3,520 confirmed coronavirus cases regionally.
Among the nine Bay Area counties, Santa Clara has been the hardest hit with 39 deaths and 1,148 residents having received a positive test results as of Saturday night. There has been one death in the 21-30 age group, but the vast majority of the others have been in residents 60-and-older.
County officials also report that of those fatalities — 69 percent have been among men. There were currently 268 patients being treated in local hospitals for moderate to severe cases of the virus with 218 of the county’s 407 available ventilators being used to treat patients.
San Francisco also reported a fatality Saturday, although no other information was released as to the victim’s age, gender or how they may have been exposed to the illness. There have now been eight deaths in the city and with the 32 new cases reported Saturday increasing the overall number of residents who have received a positive test to 529.
San Mateo saw the number of its local residents receiving a positive coronavirus test swell to 538 with 52 new cases on Saturday.
Alameda County saw the most dramatic rise in the number of new cases of the virus with 77 new positives reported, elevating its total number to 510 patients (excluding the City of Berkeley). The county’s death toll remained at 12. Berkeley, one of three California cities with its own health department, last reported 27 residents had tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.
In Contra Costa County, health officials were reporting 353 positive tests up from 307 Saturday morning. Of those 353, 31
were hospitalized. Five people have died. A total of 4,929 people in Contra Costa County had been tested for the illness.
Meanwhile, Marin health officials say the advanced age base of the county’s residents was playing a major role leading to nearly 10 percent of their coronavirus tests coming back with a positive result.
County officials reported the death toll of local residents had grown to 7 on Saturday, but did not release any additional details about the victim. The county has had 137 total cases of the coronavirus among its residents since the outbreak began. 1,435 local residents have been tested for the illness.
“Nearly 10 percent of the patients have tested positive,” Dr. Lisa Santora, the acting county health officer, said on a Youtube video Friday night. “In Marin County we are seeing higher rates of deaths and hospitalizations because we are an older community.”
And the cases across the Bay Area were expected to continue to rise as the state was about to launch a new hub testing system in conjunction with UC Davis and UC San Diego.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the new testing strategy at a Saturday news conference where he admitted the current system was failing to provide a sufficient number of tests.
Newsom said, so far, 126,700 Californians had been tested for the virus.
“That testing number may sound high to some,” he said. “It is low to many others and certainly to me. Let me just acknowledge on the outset — the testing space has been a challenge for us and I own that. It has been my responsibility as governor to do better.”
The governor acknowledged that, over recent weeks, there was a period when the backlog of those awaiting results grew by 59,500 people, many of them waiting in fear and anxiety for as long as 12 days. Currently, Newsom said, there were 13,000 awaiting their results as of Saturday.
“All of that has frustrated you and it has frustrated me,” he said.