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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The San Francisco Bay Area is in waiting mode right now, hoping its first-in-the-nation adoption of shelter-in-place policies give it a shot at dodging the virus crisis' worst-case scenarios.

Yes, but: The area, which has lately struggled to deal with widening economic inequality engendered by tech industry wealth, now also faces significant county-by-county variations in coronavirus impact, with Santa Clara County hardest hit.

Driving the news: On Monday, seven Bay Area counties extended their shelter-in-place orders, first effective on March 17, from the original April 7 end date to May 1 (and possibly longer).

  • The counties ordered all nonessential activities to be curtailed, shutting down bars, dine-in restaurants, gyms and more, and telling residents to stay home except for emergencies and food shopping.
  • Sara Cody and Scott Morrow, Santa Clara County and San Mateo County’s respective public health officers, have served as the region’s own versions of Anthony Fauci, delivering regular updates and pushing elected officials to make bold moves.
  • Early signs suggest the early moves helped: The number of hospitalized cases in one of the city’s main hospitals has remained low and steady, according to daily Twitter reports from Bob Wachter, department of medicine chair at UC San Francisco.

By the numbers: As of Monday, six patients in San Francisco have died from COVID-19, with 374 total confirmed cases (though testing continues to lag, making it difficult to grasp the true level of virus spread).

The crisis has also highlighted Silicon Valley’s penchant for problem-solving.

  • A number of health care startups, including Everlywell, Carbon Health and Nurx, shifted quickly to working on developing COVID-19 testing kits.
  • Other companies are tapping into their existing supply chains and expertise, including freight management firm Flexport, which is using its supply chain expertise to work on procuring medical supplies, and fuel cell company Bloom Energy, which took on the task of repairing broken ventilators procured by the state.

The catch: It’s still unclear whether the Bay Area has truly "flattened the curve."

  • A new model from the University of Washington predicts that California's need for medical resources like hospital beds will peak around April 26.
  • While the city of San Francisco is still seeing a low and steady rate of hospitalization, nearby Santa Clara County, home to San Jose and the place where the region's first case emerged, has seen a wider spread. Santa Clara is now the county with the second highest number of cases in the state, behind Los Angeles.
  • Despite best efforts, it’s undeniable that San Francisco will permanently lose a number of beloved restaurants, bars, shops and other businesses.
  • The city also has to figure out how to help more vulnerable groups, including the homeless and those living in single-occupancy rooms with shared amenities that make it hard not to interact with strangers.

The big picture: Since 2017, the Bay Area has already dealt with a major wildfire crisis, and the threat of a massive earthquake is never far from the collective consciousness.

  • Despite that backdrop, San Francisco remains determined to show it is once again “the city that knows how,” as President Taft dubbed it after it recovered from the 1906 earthquake to host the World's Fair nine years later.

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.