San Mateo County Reports 63 New Coronavirus Cases, 2 Deaths

SAN MATEO COUNTY, CA — San Mateo County Health reported 63 additional coronavirus cases Friday.

The latest report brings the countywide case count to 11,341.

The county reported two additional coronavirus-related fatalities Friday, bringing its COVID-19 death toll to 161.

There were 18 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Mateo County as of Friday, of which three were being treated in intensive care units.

Elsewhere in the Bay Area and beyond, state officials celebrated the opening of a laboratory Friday that they said will help expand California’s capacity to test for the novel coronavirus.

Speaking from the testing laboratory in Valencia, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the facility is the first step of the state’s testing agreement with the Massachusetts-based diagnostics company PerkinElmer.

Newsom praised state officials for their efforts to expedite the launch of the laboratory at a time when coronavirus cases are on the rise across the country and the annual flu season has begun.

“We were able to take something that, I quite literally am not exaggerating, typically takes three years to get done, and they got it done in eight weeks, under budget,” Newsom said.

Newsom first announced the agreement with PerkinElmer in late August, touting that it will add the capacity to process 150,000 coronavirus tests per day on top of the state’s current daily testing capacity, which is averaging around 120,000 per day.

The contract also includes a requirement that PerkinElmer process and disperse test results in 24 to 48 hours. Newsom has claimed test prices will fall as low as $30.78 as testing capacity expands.

The state has conducted nearly 18.5 million tests at around $150 per test, a cost Newsom said was unsustainable as the pandemic drags on.

Although the city of San Francisco remains on California’s yellow tier, Mayor London Breed announced Friday the city will scale back on the reopening of some activities amid a slight increase in new daily COVID-19 cases.

As new cases continue to rise in California and other parts of the country, city officials have also reported an increase in new cases and hospitalizations locally, forcing them to make changes to the reopening plans set for this Tuesday.

“We are starting to see an uptick in the number of hospitalizations, which puts us in a situation where things could possibly get worse than what they are,” Breed said, speaking from City Hall.

“The rest of the world is looking at restrictions, and it’s not just about what’s happening here in the U.S., it’s still challenging all over the world and it’s just a reminder that we’re still in the midst of this pandemic.”

Earlier this month, city officials announced indoor pools and indoor locker rooms at gyms could reopen on Tuesday, as well as family entertainment venues like blowing alleys, but those activities have now been put on hold.

Additionally, expanded capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent for indoor restaurants, movie theaters, places of worship and indoor museums, aquariums and zoos has also been paused.

Despite these new restrictions, other activities that remain on track to reopen Tuesday include indoor dining for museums at 25 percent capacity; expanded capacity for outdoor film production from 12 to 25 people; live performances with up to six performers in a drive-in setting; and real estate open houses.

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There have been 927,281 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 17,610 coronavirus-related deaths in California as of Friday afternoon according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The United States had 9,029,959 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 229,511 coronavirus-related fatalities as of Friday afternoon.

There have been 45,439,737 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,186,425 deaths reported globally as of Friday afternoon.

— Bay City News contributed to this report

This article originally appeared on the San Mateo Patch

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