Join anchor Kristen Sze for ABC7’s daily interactive newscast about the novel coronavirus outbreak in the Bay Area and other hot topics. You can check here to stream the show Monday-Friday at 3 p.m.
Here are the latest developments on the respiratory illness in the U.S.:
Feb. 4, 2021
SFO workers to hold rally over vaccine priority
Workers at San Francisco International Airport will hold a rally to demand that they get priority for the COVID-19 vaccine. It will be one of multiple statewide rallies held today. They come after Governor Newsom changed the state’s vaccine rollout plan to prioritize older age groups. Airport workers are urging the governor to put them back on the list. They say they are risking their lives every day to provide essential services.
Feb. 3, 2021
California reports more than 10,000 new cases
California reported a total of 10,501 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and another 481 patients died of the virus. The state now has 41,811 reported fatalities connected to the pandemic. Another 13,766 remain hospitalized across California, with 3,667 in the ICU. California has a recorded a total of 3,281,271 cases of coronavirus to date.
Oakland Coliseum, CSU LA to become mass vaccination sites
Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Biden-Harris Administration announced Wednesday a pilot project to create community vaccination sites in Oakland and Los Angeles. These sites, which will be based at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum and California State University, Los Angeles, are part of an effort to establish 100 vaccination sites nationwide in the Biden administration’s first 100 days.
Moscone Center vaccination site may open this week
The setup is underway for a new vaccination site at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. This will be the city’s third vaccination site – along with the Bayview location, and one at City College. It could open as soon as this week. Appointments will be required, but this site is open to anyone eligible to receive a vaccine.
Feb. 2, 2021
Oakland, San Jose to consider grocery store hazard pay
Today, two more Bay Area cities will consider proposals to add hazard pay for workers at large grocery stores. The Oakland and San Jose City Councils will discuss paying employees an additional $5 an hour. In Oakland, it would apply to stores that have more than 500 workers nationwide. In San Jose, it would apply to those with 300 or more. If passed in San Jose, the pay would go into effect immediately.
Feb. 1, 2021
SF launches 1st neighborhood COVID-19 vaccine site in Mission District
Mayor London Breed announced the opening of a new neighborhood COVID-19 vaccine site at 24th Street and Capp Street in the Mission District. This site is the first of a number of neighborhood vaccine sites that will be opening to ensure highly impacted neighborhoods will have equal access to the vaccine. The opening of this site will be followed by a vaccine access site in the Bayview.
Gov. Newsom, unions clash over school reopening plan as deadline arrives
An effort to reopen schools in California is foundering, stoking the frustration of parents and Gov. Gavin Newsom. A $2 billion plan by Newsom to reopen schools by mid-February has not been well received. The proposal, which was introduced last December, would give California schools up to $750 per student to reopen later this month. The plan was meant to encourage students and staff to get back to in-person learning, and Monday is the deadline for school districts to apply. Here’s the full story.
Los Gatos schools reopen for in-person learning
Los Gatos Union School District opened elementary schools for in-person learning on Monday.
Jan. 31, 2020
California’s Great America set to reopen in May
California’s Great America announced the park will reopen its rides and attractions on May 22, 2021. The Santa Clara theme park has been closed for most of 2020 due to the pandemic.
UC Berkeley issues warning advisory as COVID-19 cases surge among students
The University of California at Berkeley on Sunday morning issued an advisory confirming a surge in student COVID-19 cases, “including students who live in campus housing.” The university’s novel coronavirus dashboard shows that 44 people tested positive on Saturday, representing 3.2% of the 1,362 tests analyzed.
California’s 7-day positivity rate at 6.7%, ICU hospitalization numbers drop below 4,000
California’s COVID-19 positivity rate and hospitalization numbers continue to decrease. Here are the latest numbers:
7-day positivity rate: 6.7%
14-day positivity rate: 7.4%
Hospitalized: 14,856 (down 440)
ICU: 3,944 (down 72)
The 7-day positivity rate hasn’t been this low since Nov. 30, 2020 when it was 6.5%, which increased to 7% the next day.
Jan. 30, 2021
CDC says travelers must wear masks on all forms of public transportation
To slow the spread of COVID-19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued late Friday an order that will require people to wear a face mask while using any form of public transportation, including buses, trains, taxis, airplanes, boats, subways or rideshare vehicles while traveling into, within and out of the US. The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday. Read more here.
7-day positivity rate in CA under 7 percent for 1st time in 2 months
COVID-19 numbers are looking good in California. The 7-day positivity rate is 6.9%. The last time California’s seven-day rate was under seven percent was on December 1, 2020.
New cases: 18,427 (3,224,274 total)
Deaths: 638 (40,216 total)
7-day positivity rate: 6.9%
14-day positivity rate: 7.8%
Hospitalized: 15,113 (down 592)
In ICU: 3,955 (down 190)
Hospitalizations continue to fall and the number of people in ICU is under 4,000. All good signs that we are on the right path. Deaths as always lag by about 4-5 weeks which explains the relatively high total. This is attributed to the surge we saw in December.
Jan. 29, 2021
Mayor Breed expands mental health support for San Francisco students
Mayor London Breed announced on Friday she is providing new mental health resources for students and families in San Francisco. Officials say students from the San Francisco Unified School District are now eligible for services from the Mobile Response Team which gives personalized mental health and wellness services for children and youth referred to the program. The expansion of the program helps the school district’s ongoing efforts to help students cope with complex issues such as stress, trauma, suicide, bullying, depression, self-esteem, drug and alcohol use, sexual health, and relationships.
“For all of us, this has been a hard year on our mental health. But for young people who were already dealing with a lot of stress and mental health challenges before the pandemic, this year has been especially challenging,” said Mayor Breed. You can learn more about the program here.
Newsom to sign bill providing rent relief for Californians impacted by pandemic
Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign a bill Friday providing rent relief for thousands of struggling Californians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Get more details here.
WHO investigative team visiting Wuhan, China today
The World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the coronavirus is visiting a hospital in Wuhan, China today. They also planned to visit hospitals and markets like the seafood market that were linked to many of the first cases. A possible focus for investigators is the Wuhan Institute of Virology. It is one of China’s top virus research labs. It built an archive of genetic information about bat coronaviruses after the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
Jan. 28, 2021
Santa Clara 1st Bay Area county to reach 100K cases
Santa Clara is the first county in the Bay Area to have 100,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, the county said Thursday night.
Officials reported 828 new cases putting it over the 100K benchmark at 100,468 cases.
This comes almost exactly one year since the county reported its first case of the novel coronavirus on January 31, 2020.
SF outdoor dining reopens amid storm
San Francisco is now back in the purple tier, which allows for things like outdoor dining and indoor salon services. However, the weather may put a damper on plans for many businesses to reopen today.
Survey: Majority of Californians say they would get vaccinated
Seventy-one percent of Californians say they would get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available for them, according to a survey by the California Healthcare Foundation and NORC at the University of Chicago. Thirteen percent say they would “probably not” be vaccinated and 16% said they will “definitely not.”
Blue Shield to create vaccine administration network
State health leaders have tapped Oakland-based Blue Shield of California to help with the vaccination effort. California public health officials say the insurance company will create and manage a statewide vaccine administration network. Experts say helping allocate doses to providers could be a huge help as they try to vaccinate. The contract with Blue Shield is still being finalized, but officials hope the transition will happen by mid-February. Kaiser Permanente, also based in Oakland, will also help deliver vaccines.
Bay Area transit agencies to get federal funds
Bay Area transit agencies struggling in the pandemic are getting a cash infusion from a federal coronavirus relief package. According to the Chronicle, the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission says BART will get more than $103 million, Muni is getting nearly $44 million, $20 million is going to the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District and Caltrain is getting $6.9 million.
Jan. 27, 2021
Sharks return to San Jose
The San Jose Sharks will return to the city’s SAP Center for the Feb. 13 and 15 games against the Anaheim Ducks and for the remaining 2020-21 home games. Per County directives, spectators will not be allowed to attend these games.
Monoclonal antibody treatments show promising results
American biotechnology company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced Wednesday that its cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies held up in laboratory experiments against new variants of the novel coronavirus first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
Calif. changes delivery, tracking of vaccine
California is changing the way it delivers and tracks the COVID-19 vaccine. Governor Newsom announced a new secretary in charge of delivery will decide where the state’s supply of vaccine should go. He says a recent 10-day push to get residents shots tripled the weekday vaccination numbers to 125,000 a day. People aged 65 and up can now get vaccinated in Santa Clara County expanding from those 75 and up.
Jan. 26, 2021
SF officials provide update on vaccine distribution
San Francisco Mayor London Breed joins Deputy Director of Public Health Dr. Naveena Bobba and Director of Disease and Prevention Control Dr. Susan Philip to discuss what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine and distribution across the city. Mayor Breed says the current vaccine supply is “insufficient, inconsistent and unpredictable” and remains the consistent restrain from their goal of vaccinating 10,000 people per day. The city has received a total of 144,000 doses from the government and has administered 58% of them. The remaining doses have already been allocated for eligible SF residents to get their second dose. Watch the full conversation here.
Storm to temporarily close some SF vaccination, testing sites
San Francisco city workers are ready to manage potential impacts of the storm to the city’s pandemic response and city operations.
To avoid unnecessary risk, some outdoor COVID-19 testing sites will close or reduce their hours. Residents are encouraged to call 311 or visit www.sf.gov/gettestedsf to see if their testing site will be open.
People who know they have been exposed to the coronavirus or are having symptoms should remain quarantined while they wait for a test.
Testing at the Potrero Hill Health Center at 1050 Wisconsin St. will end at noon Tuesday and will start again Friday morning. The testing at Pier 30-32 will stop at 4 p.m. Tuesday and other locations may adjust their hours, according to city officials.
COVID-19 vaccinations taking place at City College of San Francisco at 50 Frida Kahlo Way will stop at noon Tuesday and stay closed through Thursday. City officials said people affected will be contacted and their appointments rescheduled.
Santa Clara County may approve ‘hero pay’ today
A pay boost could be coming for frontline workers in the South Bay. Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors will consider approving so-called “hero pay.” It would give an extra $5 per hour to workers at grocery stores, pharmacies and fast food restaurants. If approved, the raise would last 6 months.
Jan. 25, 2021
Santa Clara Co. COVID-19 Update
Effective Monday, Santa Clara County has returned to the purple tier, with some additional local restrictions in place. Outdoor dining can resume, as well as personal care services and professional, collegiate, and adult and youth sports. The county’s mandatory travel quarantine is still in place, requiring a 10-day quarantine for most people who travel into the county from more than 150 miles away.
“We are still nowhere near out of the woods,” a county spokesperson warned, saying that case rates and hospitalizations still remain concerningly high. Both figures are “much higher” than the county was seeing going into the Thanksgiving holiday.
SF to reopen outdoor dining, hair salons, more
Starting Thursday, outdoor dining, hair and nail salons and outdoor museums are among some of the businesses in San Francisco that are able to resume after the state lifted the stay-at-home order Monday. Get more details here.
CA stay-at-home order lifted
California health officials have lifted the regional stay-at-home order for all areas statewide on Monday morning, including the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and the Bay Area, where ICU capacities still remain under 15%. Get the full story here.
Google will turn some of its facilities into vaccination sites. That includes locations in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York City and Kirkland, Washington — outside of Seattle. One Medical is helping facilitate the conversion. Google’s CEO says this is part of the company’s new pledge to promote vaccine education and equitable access. It’s revamping its search pages to make it easy for people to find when and where to get the shot. Google will also spend $150 million to support groups that are distributing the vaccine.
To help get vaccines to more people, Google is providing $150M to promote vaccine education & equitable access, and opening up our spaces for vaccination sites as needed. On Search & Maps, we’re making it easy to find when + where to get a vaccine. https://t.co/Iep0n0Dv47
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) January 25, 2021
Jan. 24, 2021
Gov. Newsom expected to lift strict stay-at-home orders, sources say
Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to lift California’s strict stay-at-home orders he imposed on much of the state in December. In a letter to restaurant owners, the California Restaurant Association says sources tell them that officials with Gov. Newsom’s office plan to lift the stay-at-home orders in all regions of the state on Monday. Read more details here.
California reports new cases, deaths
California reported another 24,111 cases of COVID-19 on Friday and a total of 429 people died of the virus. More than 17,000 remain hospitalized, with 4,459 in the ICU statewide. California has reported a total of 3,109,151 cases of COVID-19 to date.
Bay Area ICU bed capacity rises to 23.4%
The Bay Area now has 23.4% of ICU beds available, according to the latest state data, a significant increase from what the region has seen in recent weeks with the alarming surge of COVID-19 cases. A stay-at-home order was triggered Dec. 17 when the region dropped below 15% of available ICU capacity. Earlier this month, the stay-at-home order was lifted in the Sacramento region, which includes 13 counties. Sacramento’s ICU capacity stands at just 11.9%, several points below the state’s threshold.
According to the Associated Press, the region’s ICU capacity is expected to surpass 15% in the next four weeks, which prompted the state to lift the stay-at-home order in Sacramento.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed shared promising news Saturday, saying the city’s “reproductive rate” of COVID-19 is below one, meaning ever person who contracts COVID-19 is passing it to less than one other person.
“If this continues, we could start reopening under CA’s guidelines,” Breed tweeted. “But we all need to keep doing what we know slows the spread of this virus: wear a mask, avoid indoor gatherings with people you don’t live with, ventilate indoor spaces when you’re around other people, and wash your hands frequently.”
The lifting of the stay-at-home order would allow the Bay Area region to enter the state’s purple tier, meaning outdoor dining could resume. Read more here.
Jan. 23, 2021
California reports nearly 23,000 new cases in one day
California reported another 22,972 cases of COVID-19 on Friday and a total of 593 people died of the virus. More than 18,000 remain hospitalized, with 4,534 in the ICU statewide. California has reported a total of 3,085,040 cases of COVID-19 to date.
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