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.
- GET HELP: Resources and information about COVID-19
- CA REOPENING TIERS: Map shows which counties can, can't reopen under Newsom's new 4-tier system
- COVID-19 RISK CALCULATOR: Quiz yourself on the safest, most dangerous things you can do as CA reopens
- LIFE AFTER COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms, schools, sports will look like when they reopen
- LATEST LOCAL CASES: Updated number of COVID-19 cases, deaths in San Francisco Bay Area
Here are the latest developments on the respiratory illness in the U.S.:
Oct. 25, 2020
California approaches 900,000 total cases of coronavirus
California reported another 5,219 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, which state officials say includes a backlog of tests from Los Angeles County. The state also reported another 34 deaths related to the virus. California now has a total of 898,029 cases of coronavirus. The seven-day positivity rate is at 3.4 percent, while the 14-day rate has risen to 3 percent.
Oct. 24, 2020
California reports nearly 6,000 new cases, including case backlog in LA County
California reported an additional 5,945 cases of COVID-19 on Friday, which includes a backlog of cases from Los Angeles County, according to the latest state data. This brings California's total to 892,810 cases of coronavirus. The state reported another 49 deaths related to the virus, marking 17,311 deaths since the pandemic began. The state's seven-day positivity rate stands at 3.3 percent with the 14-day rate at 2.9 percent.
Oct. 23, 2020
Alameda Co. takes step forward in reopening plan
Alameda County is easing restrictions on indoor businesses starting today. Restaurants can offer indoor service at 25% capacity, or fewer than 100 people. That formula also applies to movie theaters and indoor worship services as well as gyms and fitness centers. Indoor stores and malls can even allow more-they can increase their capacity to 50%.
Oct. 22, 2020
San Mateo Co. makes COVID-19 testing easier for kids
San Mateo County is making it easier for children to get tested for COVID-19. A dedicated lane for families is now available at the San Mateo County Event Center. The lane serves children ages 5 to 17 and is open weekdays from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. San Mateo County residents can schedule appointments through the county's website.
Oct. 21, 2020
Several Napa County businesses reopen indoors
Napa County is easing COVID-19 restrictions as it moves into the orange tier. That means wineries can now serve customers inside tasting rooms. Restaurants, fitness centers, worship services and movie theaters can also move people inside starting today.
Oct. 20, 2020
Pro sporting events, theme parks not reopening to guests in Santa Clara Co., officials say
Santa Clara County Public Health officials making it clear on Tuesday, professional sporting events and theme parks will not reopen to guests, despite the state's allowance.
"This is the worst thing in the world to be doing at a time period when California is beginning to see some light. This amounts to another step backward," said Santa Clara County Executive Dr. Jeff Smith.
California's Great America in Santa Clara sent the following statement to ABC7 News:
"Cedar Fair is extremely disappointed and frustrated with the lack of reasonable consideration given to the opening of California's most popular theme parks. Our company has safely operated 7 of its 13 parks across the U.S. this year with zero cases of COVID-19 being traced back to our properties. Our safety protocols have been proven effective exceeding state requirements where we've opened. Following capacity parameters, we feel strongly that both Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park and California's Great America should be allowed to open under the same guidance afforded smaller parks such as Gilroy Gardens, which also operates under Cedar Fair management."
The 49ers organization released a statement as well:
"We appreciate Governor Newsom's leadership and thoughtful approach in creating a framework that allows for a return of fans to Levi's Stadium, and restart the economic activity of the region. We welcome our fans and their support of local businesses and vendors that are critical to our local economy, especially during these difficult times. Our organization will continue to collaborate with local public health officials to implement a plan that ensures the health and wellness of all San Francisco 49ers and Levi's Stadium employees, patrons, and our community."
Napa Co. moves to 'orange' tier of reopening
Napa County announces that businesses may officially be allowed to move to less restrictive, "orange" tier on Wednesday. Here's what that means.
Santa Clara Co. releases statement on sporting events, theme parks
Santa Clara County Public Health Department released a statement Tuesday saying fans at sporting events will not be allowed anytime soon and theme parks will not resume operation. Officials are expected to give an update on this announcement at 3 p.m.
SF moves to least restrictive yellow tier
Now that San Francisco is assigned to the state's "yellow" tier, officials say the city will move forward on reopening offices and expanding capacity at business, including fitness, dining, places of worship, personal services, recreation, and more. More details about tier updates here.
Santa Clara County may offer businesses relief funding
Santa Clara County Supervisors will vote today on a $100 million program to help struggling businesses. It would provide low-interest loans to small businesses.
Oct. 19, 2020
Free COVID-19 testing offered at Union City BART station
BART is partnering with Bay Area Community Health to offer free COVID-19 testing starting today. There's a new pop-up testing site at the Union City BART Station. It will be open today, tomorrow and Thursday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Anyone can get tested for free. Appointments can be made through the Bay Area Community Health website. Walk-in patients are also welcome. You must wear a mask at the testing site.
Oct. 18, 2020
California COVID-19 cases top 867,000
California reported an additional 2,862 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the state's case total to 867,317. California also reported 44 more deaths, marking nearly 17,000 coronavirus fatalities in the state. The state's seven-day positivity rate stands at 2.5 percent, as of Saturday.
Oct. 17, 2020
San Mateo County is set to launch a new COVID-19 Compliance Unit on Monday. The team will be tasked with targeting businesses that aren't following state guidelines. San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa said Sunday that the eight-person task force will start issuing warnings to businesses who continually refuse to enforce face masks and maintain social distancing. Read more here.
The San Francisco Giants said Friday they were eliminating roughly 10% of their 500 full-time jobs in the business and baseball operations departments, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. This means about 50 layoffs, in light of revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the state has 864,455 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
There were 2,979 newly recorded confirmed cases Friday.
The 7-day positivity rate is 2.5% and the 14-day positivity rate is 2.6%.
There have been 16,756,711 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 134,755 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.
As case numbers continue to rise in California, the total number of individuals who will have serious outcomes will also increase. There have been 16,899 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Oct. 16, 2020
Eight million COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States, according to John Hopkins University.
Oct. 15, 2020
New cases, deaths rising rise in US, HHS memo says
The number of new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the United States increased by double digits in week-over-week comparisons, while the number of deaths is also on the rise, according to an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News on Thursday night.
Oct. 14, 2020
State superintendent gives update on schools
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond provided an update on efforts to support schools during the pandemic. "At the end of the day the number one priority needs to be safety," Thurmond said. The superintendent there is no "one size fits all" for reopening schools and helping students and teachers during the pandemic.
SFO kicks off COVID-19 testing program for Hawaii bound travelers
Starting today, people traveling to Hawaii can bypass the state's 14-day quarantine restriction by passing a COVID-19 test. United Airlines is now offering the test to its passengers flying out of SFO to the Islands. The carrier was the first U.S. airline to announce that it would make testing options available to customers.
Oct. 13, 2020
More indoor businesses reopening in Santa Clara Co.
More indoor businesses are reopening in Santa Clara County today and Alameda County will follow in a few weeks. It comes after state health officials announced those counties moved from the red to the less restrictive orange tier. San Francisco is the only other Bay Area county also in that tier. The orange tier allows for expanded indoor dining and larger outdoor gatherings.
Oct. 13, 2020
CA health secretary reveals Halloween guidelines, COVID-19 updates
Dr. Mark Ghaly provided guidelines for celebrating Halloween and Dia de los Muertos amid the pandemic. Dr. Ghaly strongly discouraged usual Halloween activities like trick-or-treating and encouraged families to plan alternative celebrations. See more details here. Watch the full livestream here
More CA counties move to different reopening tiers
Ten California counties were moved to a different reopening tiers on Tuesday. Colusa, Kern, Kings, San Benito, Stanislaus and Sutter counties were moved from "purple" to "red." Alameda, Placer and Santa Clara counties were moved from "red" to "orange." Sierra County was moved into the least restrictive tier, "yellow." Here's what that means.
Calif. announces new guidelines for small gatherings
Governor Newsom and state officials have announced new guidelines for families as we head toward the holidays. The state now saying you can gather with up to two other households, but say the smaller the number of people, the safer.
Oct. 12, 2020
Sonoma County business owners warn of permanent closures
Sonoma County business owners who operate bowling alleys, arcades and skating rinks are warning they may be forced to close permanently. Some rallied in downtown Santa Rosa yesterday to let people know COVID-19 restrictions are threatening their livelihoods. Sonoma County is the only Bay Area county that's still in the purple tier because of the number of new cases reported. Under the state's current system, Sonoma County would have to move up two tiers, to Orange, before it could open.
Oct. 11, 2020
California reports 3,803 new cases from Saturday, adding to a total of 846,579 confirmed to date
The 7-day positivity rate increased slightly to 2.6% from previous 2.5%. 64 deaths are reported since Saturday, adding to a total of 16,564 COVID-19 deaths within the state.
Oct. 9, 2020
CA reports more than 3,800 new cases, 7-day positivity rate is at 2.5%
New cases: 3,806 (total cases 838,606)
7-day average: 3,047
14-day average: 3,183
Deaths: 67 (16,428 total)
7-day average: 63
14-day rate: 74
7-day positivity rate: 2.5%
14-day positivity rate: 2.6%
US reports more than 56,000 new cases
There were 56,191 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Thursday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University. The latest daily tally is up by nearly 6,000 from the previous day but is still under the country's record set on July 16, when there were 77,255 new cases in a 24-hour-reporting period. An additional 961 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded Thursday, down from a peak of 2,666 new fatalities reported on April 17.
Oct. 8, 2020
Dr. Fauci to participate in UC Berkeley discussion on coronavirus
The nation's top infectious disease expert Doctor Anthony Fauci will take part in an online fireside chat with the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy today. Dr. Fauci will discuss how the coronavirus could affect the ability of colleges to re-open safely and the broader impact of COVID-19 on the country. The event will begin at 5 p.m.
Oct. 7, 2020
Eli Lilly seeks emergency use authorization for COVID-19 treatment
Eli Lilly announced it is asking the FDA for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 antibody treatment. Based on early results, the company says the drug reduced symptoms, the amount of the virus, hospitalizations and ER visits for patients with mild or moderate COVID-19. The drug is similar to one that President Trump received on Friday from another company. Eli Lilly says it could supply 100,000 doses in October.
Committee for Tokyo Olympics cutting costs
The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, looking to simplify the postponed 2021 Games, on Wednesday announced new initiatives that will help save an estimated $280 million.
Fauci says 300K-400K could die in US before pandemic ends
Dr. Anthony Fauci offered a grim image of the coronavirus pandemic, telling students Tuesday that between 300,000 and 400,000 people could die from the disease in the United States. Speaking at a virtual event hosted by American University, the White House coronavirus specialist said: "If we don't do what we need to in the fall and winter, we could have 300,000-400,000 Covid-19 deaths," according to excerpts tweeted by the school.
Oct. 6, 2020
Santa Cruz County offers residents assistance
Residents of unincorporated Santa Cruz County can apply for money to help pay for rent and/or utilities that are in debt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications can be filed until Oct. 14 at www.cabinc.org. The assistance is limited to residents whose annual income is no more than 80 percent of the area median income, which for a one-person household is $74,350, according to county officials. Unpaid or partially unpaid utilities or rent are eligible if they were incurred on or after April 1, 2020. Households are eligible for assistance of up to $10,000.
10 CA counties change colors on reopening map
Ten California counties were moved to a different reopening tier Tuesday, California's health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced. Merced, Ventura and Yuba counties were moved from "purple" to "red." Inyo County was moved from "red" to "orange." Humboldt, Plumas, Sikiyou and Trinity counties were moved into the least restrictive tier, "yellow." Two counties were moved to more restrictive tiers; Shasta was changed from "orange" to "red" and Tehama was changed from "red" to "purple." See what that means here.
California Liberation Collective activists will gather outside San Quentin to protest COVID-19 deaths throughout the state prison system by calling on Gov. Newsom to release prisoners.
Oct. 5, 2020
Santa Clara Co. announces new COVID-19 risk reduction order
Santa Clara County officials announced a new COVID-19 risk reduction order on Monday that will take effect the day after the county moves into the "orange" tier. When the new order goes into effect, indoor dining may begin, however, the county will only allow 25% capacity or 100 people. The same rules will apply for other indoor businesses.
4 Marin school districts to reopen for in-person learning
For the first time since March, four public school districts in Marin County are reopening for in-person learning today. That includes schools in Larkspur-Corte Madera, Reed Union, Miller Creek, and Kentfield. Teachers say they are excited to welcome back students and are decorating hallways with balloons. They say they want to make it comfortable and fun, and to show the kids how much they have missed them.
Oct. 4, 2020
California reports 4,293 new COVID-19 cases in a day
The state reports more than 4,000 new cases, totalling up to 823,729 cases since the pandemic started. California reports a 7-day average of 3,238 cases and a 7-day positivity rate of 2.6%. The 14-day average totals to 3,238 and the positivity rate is 2.8%.
President Donald Trump briefly leaves Walter Reed Medical Center in motorcade to surprise supporters which to some was a surprising move that suggested that his health - and his understanding of the coronavirus - may be improving. Hours earlier, the president's medical team confirmed that his blood oxygen level dropped suddenly twice in recent days. But they also said he could be discharged as early as Monday. You can read more about it here.
Oct. 3, 2020
Berkeley allows elementary schools to reopen with new COVID-19 guidelines
Berkeley elementary schools can reopen starting a week from Tuesday as the number of COVID-19 cases drop, city officials said Friday. Transitional kindergarten through 5th grade schools can reopen Oct. 13 if they have a plan to limit the spread of the virus among students, faculty and staff. Read the full story here.
Oct. 2, 2020
Coronavirus cases reach more than 106,000 in Bay Area
Coronavirus cases have reached more than 106,000 in the Bay Area with 1,547 COVID-19 related deaths in the region.
Oct. 1, 2020
Oakland Unified to 'likely' remain in distance learning through end of December, superintendent says
Students in the Oakland Unified School District will "likely" remain in primarily distance learning through the end of the year, the district's superintendent announced Thursday night. This announcement from the district comes after Alameda County said elementary schools could reopen as early as Oct. 13 if schools complete a COVID-19 health plan. Under latest county health orders, middle and high school students could return to classrooms in four to 12 week phases "as local disease conditions allow," the county order says. Oakland Unified clarified Thursday night that any return to school under county health orders would be a blended, hybrid learning model.
Alameda Co. reopening update
Alameda County officials announced that starting Oct. 13, elementary schools may reopen. Also, indoor gyms, personal services and libraries may reopen starting Oct. 9 with restrictions.
Starting October 13: @AlamedaCounty Elementary Schools May Reopen if Ready; Starting October 9: Libraries, Indoor Personal Services and Gyms May Open with Restrictions and Capacity Limitations— Alameda County Public Health Department (@Dare2BWell) October 1, 2020
Full Statement: https://t.co/iIOorw1jEv pic.twitter.com/QsFr3p7bhT
Sept. 30, 2020
State superintendent gives update on schools
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond provided an update on schools. Thurmond said the state is working on updating the COVID-19 testing protocols for schools. He also said they are working to get 1 million more computing devices to close the digital divide in the state.
The state superintendent also addressed the wildfires in the state and said his department is helping to provide relief to several schools that been damaged or destroyed in California.
Thurmond discussed racism and hatred in schools: "We have no tolerance for hate and white supremacy. We will not allow you to tear down our schools and communities."
Palo Alto schools move closer to in-person learning
Students and staff in Palo Alto are one step closer to in-person learning. The school board voted in favor of this after several hours of debate last night. The plan calls for staggering the return of elementary students beginning in less than two weeks on October 12. Middle and high school students would go back in January. Parents have the option to choose between distanced learning or in-person classes, but under the plan once they make their choice they can't change it. If they don't make a selection, the default will be distanced learning.
Sept. 29, 2020
San Francisco, Contra Costa County change COVID-19 reopening tiers
San Francisco is moving into the "orange" COVID-19 reopening tier and Contra Costa County is moving into the "red" tier, California officials announced.
San Francisco officials announced the city will move forward with indoor dining and places of worship at 25% capacity up to 100 people starting on Wednesday, September 30. In addition, San Francisco will expand the capacity of outdoor places of worship, outdoor political demonstrations, and indoor malls, and will reopen additional family entertainment, hotel fitness centers, and more.
In Contra Costa County, officials announced that places of worship, restaurants, movie theaters and museums can be operated indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less. Gyms can reopen indoors at 10% capacity, all personal care services, including massage, can move indoors. Indoor shopping malls can operate at 50% maximum occupancy (instead of 25%). Food courts can also open following the state's guidelines for restaurants. Indoor retail stores can now operate at 50% capacity (instead of 25%).
INTERACTIVE: Here's the reopening status of every Bay Area county
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California's top health expert to give COVID-19 update
Today, California's top health expert will provide an update on the state's response to COVID-19. On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly warned we could see an 89% rise in coronavirus-related hospitalizations as a result of Labor Day gatherings and reopenings. (Watch Dr. Ghaly's update live at noon in the media player above)
Sept. 26, 2020
California reports nearly 4,200 new cases of COVID-19
California reported 4,197 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, according to new data released Saturday by the state. The seven-day average case number stands at 3,443. The state now has a total of 15,532 deaths related to the virus with 134 additional deaths Friday. The 14-day positivity rate is now at 2.9 percent. This is the first time that number has fallen below 3 percent. California now has 798,237 total cases of COVID-19.
San Quentin inmate dies of COVID-19, marking 27th inmate death
An inmate at San Quentin State Prison died Friday of complications from COVID-19, the department of corrections announced Saturday morning. This marks the 27th death of a San Quentin inmate related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The prison now has three people who are positive for the virus. The inmate who died Friday has not been identified.
Sept. 25, 2020
Alameda Co. gives nail salons green light to open indoors
Alameda County officials announced Friday they are giving nail salons the go ahead to open indoors after California announced an update to it's four-tier reopening plan earlier this week.
'Early signs' COVID-19 transmission is increasing in California, health secretary says
There are "early signs" that coronavirus transmission is on the rise again, said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in an afternoon briefing. He said he wanted to "raise an early flag" that things aren't trending in the right direction, especially in the Greater Sacramento area and Northern California.
If current trends hold, short-term forecasts predict hospitalizations to go up 89% in the next month, Ghaly said.
We may be starting to see the effects of Labor Day socializing, which was two and a half weeks ago. Increased transmission may also be a result of more reopening allowed by California's switch to a four-tier reopening plan three and a half weeks ago.
"With reopening we know that there's more opportunities for mixing and exposure to others that we're not frequently around," said Ghaly. "We've seen that before and we've done a good job to bring it down."
Free weekend COVID-19 testing in Oakland
UCSF will provide a weekend of free coronavirus testing in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood, which was hit hard by COVID-19. It's happening Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for people living in the Fruitvale District -- the 94601 zip code.
The site will be at 35th Avenue and East 12th Street. People are asked to register online in advance, but no one will be turned away.
Sept. 24, 2020
Yosemite National Park is set to reopen tomorrow
Yosemite National Park is set to reopen tomorrow, after closing because of hazardous smoke levels. Park officials say conditions have improved since last week, when the air was extremely unhealthy because of nearby wildfires. More campsites will be available for visitors this weekend. You do still need a day use reservation to enter Yosemite, because of the pandemic.
Sept. 23, 2020
4 Napa Co. school districts to reopen for hybrid learning
Napa Valley Unified School District, St. Helena Unified School District, Calistoga Joint Unified School District, Howell Mountain Elementary School District - announced Wednesday that the districts will open for a hybrid of in-person instruction and distance learning on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. This decision was reached jointly and is based on the guidelines provided by the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the California Department of Education and the California and Napa County Departments of Public Health.
North Bay caregivers to rally for more COVID-19 protections
North Bay caregivers including nurses and medical technicians will be holding a rally today to demand more protections against COVID-19. The demonstration is set to take place outside Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital at noon. Medical staff say more testing and stronger infection control measures are needed after infected 26 hospital workers and four patients got COVID-19. Caregivers are calling on the hospital to ramp up testing and strengthen safety protocols to avoid another outbreak.
Sept. 22, 2020
SFUSD gives update on fall learning plan
Officials with the San Francisco Unified School District will be giving an update at 3 p.m. Tuesday on its fall learning plan and approval of the proposed learning continuity and attendance plan.
11:30 a .m.
3 Bay Area counties moved to less restrictive reopening tiers
Three Bay Area counties -- Alameda, San Mateo and Solano -- have been moved to the "red" category on the state's reopening map. Visit this page for more on what that means. California health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly also announced that nail salons reopening indoors would now be part of the "purple" tier of reopening and are allowed to reopen statewide.
US COVID-19 death roll reaches 200K
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has topped 200,000, according to new data from Johns Hopkins University.
More counties expected to move up in reopening tiers today
California counties will learn their newest color-coded risk tier today based on new average daily COVID-19 cases and positivity rate. This will determine whether counties have to scale back or can push forward in reopening. Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly is expected to reveal the changes at noon.
Sept. 21, 2020
US death toll from COVID-19 inches closer to 200,000
An additional 230 coronavirus-related fatalities were recorded in the U.S on Sunday, as the country's death toll inches closer to 200,000.
Sept. 20, 2020
California nears 15,000 deaths
Almost 15,000 people have died of COVID-19 in California as of Saturday. More than 774,000 Californians have been diagnosed with the virus since the pandemic began.
Sept. 19, 2020
Bay Area surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 cases
On Saturday evening, the San Francisco Bay Area reports a total of 100,274 COVID-19 cases and 1,411 deaths from nine Bay Area counties, including Santa Cruz. See county by county numbers here.
Bay Area near 100,000 cases of COVID-19
The San Francisco Bay Area reported 820 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, approaching a grim milestone of 100,000 total cases for the region. This includes the nine Bay Area counties and Santa Cruz County. As of Saturday morning, the region had 99,625 cases of coronavirus.
Sept. 18, 2020
Pres. Trump says US to have 100M COVID-19 vaccine doses before 2021
President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. will have 100 million doses of an approved coronavirus vaccine manufactured by the end of 2020. Get the full story here.
California positivity rates continue to decline, hit new low
Some good news: California's 7-day and 14-day positivity rates have hit a new low. They remain under four percent.
New cases: 3,630
7-day average: 3,377
14-day average: 3,396
7-day average: 103
14-day average: 94
7-day positivity rate: 3.3%
14-day positivity rate: 3.4%
San Francisco announces timeline for reopening indoor restaurant dining
The city announced it is working with restaurants to reopen indoor dining soon, officials announced Friday. San Francisco is technically allowed to reopen indoor dining right now since it is classified as "red" in the state's four-tier reopening plan. However, San Francisco is opting to take a more cautious approach and wait until it is moved to the "orange" category.
At that point, San Francisco plans to reopen restaurants at 25% capacity or 100 diners, whichever is smaller. That will occur "no sooner than the end of the month," said the city in a press release.
San Francisco was recently moved from "purple" (the worst category) to "red," and needs to remain at that tier for at least two weeks before progressing.
MAP: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
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The University of California's top health executive is warning campuses to prepare to continue online learning beyond the fall. Dr. Carrie L. Byington, who heads UC Health says to expect at least another year of disruption to university operations. So far, UC campuses have not announced plans for winter and spring. UC Berkeley and Merced are the only two of nine campuses that have started the fall term. Berkeley has reported 61 new cases of the coronavirus since classes began. Merced has reported none.
Sept. 17, 2020
Sonoma County reports outbreak at school, child care facilities
Sonoma County has reported 62 cases of COVID-19 at school and child care facilities, a county health officer confirmed Wednesday. This includes 25 students, 10 staff members and 27 parents and siblings. The outbreak spans across early care learning centers, elementary schools and child care facilities in the county.
Three "clusters" have more than five cases of COVID-19 and one "cluster" has more than 30 cases.
Sonoma County's health officer said cases occurred at two facilities in the northern part of the county, seven facilities in the central part of the county and two facilities in the eastern part of the county.
The exposures to COVID-19 occurred "on-site," the health officer said.
The facility with a cluster of 30 cases closed for a two-week period, beginning Sept. 3. To hear more on COVID-19 in Sonoma County, watch Wednesday's briefing in its entirety here.
Medical providers in Santa Clara Co. may be fined over lack of testing
In the South Bay, private medical providers are being threatened with fines if they don't make COVID-19 testing more accessible. Santa Clara County now requires providers like Kaiser and Palo Alto Medical Foundation to test all essential workers who make a request. Those who don't comply face a $5,000 fine for every violation.
Sept. 16, 2020
San Jose Unified to continue distance learning through December
San José Unified announced it will continue distance learning for all students through December 31, 2020. The announcement comes after Santa Clara County moved into the 'red' tier on California's new COVID-19 blueprint, allowing K-12 schools to reopen at full capacity once the county has remained in the 'red' tier for two weeks.
"We believe our schools should be a reflection of our community," Superintendent Nancy Albarrán said in a release. "While we believe in-person instruction is the best option for our students, we cannot ignore the data on viral transmission in Santa Clara County and potentially compromise the health and safety of our students, families, and staff by bringing students back at this time."
Officials give COVID-19 update on reopening schools in Sonoma Co.
Sonoma County Health Officer, Dr. Sundari Mase, held an online community briefing regarding updates on reopening schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sonoma County is still in the 'purple' tier of the state's reopening framework, meaning that schools are not allowed to open. However, Dr. Mase said the county will begin reviewing school waivers in preparation for when the county moves to the 'red' tier and stays in the category for two weeks.
Trump Administration releases COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DoD) released two documents outlining the Trump Administration's detailed strategy to deliver safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses to the American people as quickly and reliably as possible. More details here.
More businesses allowed to reopen in Contra Costa County
Contra Costa County's updated health order starts today and more businesses will be able to reopen. Personal care services that involve close contact with the face like facials and waxing can operate outdoors. Racetracks and cardrooms may operate outdoors. Film and TV production can resume. Contra Costa County is in the purple tier on the state's system
Sept. 15, 2020
COVID-19 related deaths reach 1,323 in Bay Area
COVID-19 related deaths have reached 1,323 in the Bay Area with 97,383 confirmed cases in the region, health officials report.
Sept. 14, 2020
Additional businesses allowed to resume in Contra Costa Co. starting Wednesday
Contra Costa County aligned its COVID-19 social distancing health order with California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, so the county no longer has different reopening rules for businesses and activities beyond what the state requires or allows.
The following businesses are allowed to resume on Wednesday:
- Personal-care services that involve close contact with the face may begin operating outdoors, except for tattooing, piercing and nonmedical electrolysis
- Racetracks and cardrooms may operate outdoors
- Music, television and film productions may resume
- Professional sports without live audiences may resume
See more details from the county here.
BART adds more trains, increases service
BART is adding more trains as ridership begins to pick up again. Trains will run more frequently during peak commute hours on select lines. BART says this is the largest weekday service increase since the pandemic hit. Service hours will remain the same - 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.
Sept. 13, 2020
Bay Area reports 983 new COVID-19 cases, 12 more deaths in one day
983 new COVID-19 cases and 12 more deaths have been reported in the Bay Area Sunday morning, adding to a total of 96,943 cases and 1,303 deaths.
New cases in Alameda, Marin, Sonoma and Santa Clara counties add up to the total number since Saturday, with deaths in Alameda and Santa Clara counties.
Sept. 12, 2020
Positivity rates for 7- and 14- day average under four percent
Some good news, the seven and fourteen day- positivity rates for California are both under four percent for the first time in a while.
California COVID cases for today:
New: 4,107 (750,298 total)
7-day average: 3,294
14-day average: 4,033
Deaths: 162 (14,251 total)
7-day positivity rate: 3.6%
14-day positivity rate: 3.9%
AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial after pause due to reported side-effect
Oxford University says trials of a coronavirus vaccine that it is developing with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will resume, days after being paused due to a reported side-effect in a patient in the U.K.
In a statement, the university said in large trials such as this "it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety."
Sept. 10, 2020
Indoor nail, hair salons to open Monday in San Francisco, mayor says
Businesses like hair salons, nail salons and gyms will soon be able to operate inside in San Francisco at limited capacity, Mayor London Breed announced late Thursday. Beginning Monday, hair salons, barbershops, massage services, nail salons, gyms and fitness centers can resume operation indoors with limited capacity.
Hotels, outdoor family entertainment centers, outdoor movie theaters will also open Monday, but under specific "rules for outdoor gatherings," the mayor's office said.
The mayor also said Thursday indoor museums and galleries may also be able to open as soon as Sept. 21, but will require safety plans beforehand.
State health officials give update on COVID-19 in California
Despite smoky skies covering much of the state, California health officials encouraged people to refrain from gathering with extended family and friends in higher risk situations.
"Poor air quality is not a reason to gather indoors," said State Health Officer Erica Pan.
The state is also working on improving COVID-19 test turnaround times, said Pan. Sixty-six percent of test results are reported within one day, and 88% are reported within two days.
Sept. 9, 2020
Newsom: CA 'getting closer' to issuing reopening guidance for Disneyland, other theme parks
Gov. Gavin Newsom says California is "getting closer" to issuing guidelines for theme parks, which have been closed since mid-March and are pushing the state to tell them when they can reopen. Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California and other theme parks remain closed indefinitely while they await safety guidance from the state. Get the full story here.
15 schools in Marin County reopen for in-person learning
Fifteen schools in Marin County are back open for in-person learning. Lycee Francais in Sausalito is one of the schools that was granted a special waiver. It's now becoming the model for other schools in the county, after working all summer to refine its safety protocols. They include masks, temperature checks, and frequent hand washing. Younger students are kept in pods of about 10 to 12 kids. The older students are kept six feet apart and for families who aren't comfortable with all that, the school is still offering remote learning. Teachers will continue to be tested on a monthly basis.
Sept. 8, 2020
Santa Clara Co. officials give update on reopening
Santa Clara County moved from "purple" to "red " or Tier 2 on California's reopening blueprint. Officials gave more details on which businesses can reopen. Watch the full briefing here.
The following businesses and activities are now allowed to resume under the State's framework as well as the County's Risk Reduction Order:
- Personal care services: allowed to open indoors with modifications
- Museums, zoos, aquariums: allowed to open indoors at 25% capacity
- Gyms and fitness centers: allowed to open indoors at 10% capacity
- Shopping malls: allowed to open indoors at 50% capacity (previously open at 25% capacity)
- Schools: K-12 schools can open after the County has been in the Red Tier for 14 days. All schools must follow mandatory guidance set by the County of Santa Clara and the State of California
INTERACTIVE: Here's the reopening status of every Bay Area county
Marin County to stay in Tier 1
It could be a little longer before gyms, movie theaters, and other businesses can reopen in Marin County. The county will stay in Tier 1 of California's new reopening plan. It was set to move into Tier 2, but it was delayed while the state conducts a further review. This means businesses like indoor dining, indoor gyms, movie theaters, churches, and malls could be closed a while longer. Marin Public Heath has requested an adjudication process with state officials before a final determination is made. A final determination of the status regarding Marin's tier standing is anticipated before the end of the week. Read the full story here.
Sept. 7, 2020
Santa Clara County supervisors discuss COVID-19 health order violation fines
The Santa Clara County supervisors discussed health order violation fines related to COVID-19, emphasizing the education part of the ordinance which was passed in August. The county has started to educate the community on ways to stay safe and social distance through outreach programs.
Health experts concerned about Labor Day surge
Health experts are worried Labor Day celebrations across the nation could spell more trouble for the fight against the coronavirus. This comes as the number of states are seeing an increase in cases tripled in just one week -- going from 10 to 30 states. Experts say it could take weeks to determine how activities over this holiday weekend affect the number of coronavirus cases across the country.
Sept. 6, 2020
Parking to close at Ocean Beach after large gathering
Parking lots at San Francisco's Ocean Beach will be closed Sunday after more than 1,000 people crowded at the beach Saturday for a Burning Man event.
Mayor London Breed called the actions of the beachgoers "reckless and selfish."
The mayor said the crowd put people's lives at risk and putting the city's COVID-19 progress at risk.
"We've heard people may return tonight. Don't do it," Breed tweeted. "We will be closing the parking lots at Ocean Beach. Law enforcement will be patrolling."
The mayor asked that San Franciscans stay home and stay safe, despite people wanting to get together during the Labor Day Weekend.
Last night, over 1,000 people crowded on Ocean Beach to celebrate Burning Man. This was absolutely reckless & selfish. You are not celebrating. You are putting people's lives at risk. You are putting our progress at risk. No one is immune from spreading the virus.— London Breed (@LondonBreed) September 6, 2020
Sept. 5, 2020
California COVID-19 cases top 727,000
California has a total of 727,239 cases of COVID-19, according to latest data released Saturday morning. The state reported nearly 5,000 new cases Friday. The seven-day positivity rate stands at 4.1 percent. A total of 13,643 Californians of died of the virus, the state reported.
Bay Area cases approach 92,000
Alameda, Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties reported new COVID-19 cases Saturday as the Bay Area approaches a total of 92,000 cases across the region. As of Friday morning, California had a total of 722,283 cases of COVID-19 and 13,490 people had died.
September 4, 2020
Marin County approved to move to 'Tier 2' of reopening
Marin County has been approved to move into 'Tier 2' of reopening on Sept. 8. That means indoor malls are allowed to open at 50% capacity, personnel care services are allowed to open indoors and places of worship are allowed to open with 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. To find out what else can reopen under 'Tier 2' click here.
California reports more than 5,000 new cases today
California reported 5,106 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 163 more deaths related to the virus. The average number of new cases over the past seven days in the state is now at 4,775, with today's numbers being slightly higher. California has a total of 722,283 cases and 13,490 people have died. More than 11 million Californians have been tested so far, according to state data.
Officials encourage social distancing on Golden Gate Bridge with one sidewalk closed Labor Day
The Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District said its west sidewalk will be closed on Monday, September 7 due to operational needs over the Labor Day holiday. People biking across the Bridge will be redirected to the east sidewalk, which will remain open for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the weekend. Officials are warning you to be careful with social distancing.
Bay Area tops 90,000 COVID-19 cases
The Bay Area has now reached 90,701 cases and the death toll stands at 1,206. There have been 773 new cases and 31 more deaths in the past 24 hours.
15 Marin Co. schools to reopen for in-person classes next week
Fifteen schools in Marin County have been granted waivers to reopen for in person learning on Tuesday. The assistant superintendent said they've had great experience with reopening already. They ran programs all summer long in their special education and alternative education programs, which they've been able to learn from. They'll have to follow 30 guidelines to reopen. Learning hubs are being set up in the community for kids that will not being going back. The hubs will provide an environment for connectivity or just having a place in to do work.
"Classrooms look very different. Desks are spaced and we have in some cases areas delineated to let students know that's their area. There's a six foot separation between the teacher and the students that will be maintained. A separation between students will also be maintained. And so all those protocols are in place. It makes the classroom look a little different. In some cases, partitions, clear plexi-glass partitions are being utilized, so students can continue to work in a group environment to be protected from each other. And, outdoor for sure. Schools have really taken a long, hard look about how to utilize the outdoor spaces that we have for instruction, and that's really been a strong recommendation from public health," said Ken Lippi, Asst. Superintendent, Marin County Office of Education.
Marin County might move into next tier of reopening
Today, Marin County will find out if it can move on to the next tier of the state's reopening plan. New virus cases have dropped enough for the county to qualify for Tier 2 starting next week. If it remains there for two weeks all schools can reopen for in-classroom instruction. There are
September 3, 2020
Alameda County is set to allow hair salons and barbershops to reopen for indoor services starting Friday, as long as the businesses follow strict safety protocols. The change comes after Gov. Newsom's announcement that hair salons can open indoors in any county -- even those classified as "purple" -- as long as local health officers give them the green light to reopen.
We're closely tracking what can and can't reopen in the Bay Area. See the latest county-by-county here:
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Santa Clara Co. gives tips to stop spread of COVID-19 ahead of holiday weekend
The Santa Clara County Health Department is holding a press conference on how residents can stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the Labor Day weekend.
Researchers call for more testing of Latinx community
UCSF researchers are calling for more COVID testing of essential workers, especially among the Latinx community. A new study conducted at the Mission's 24th Street BART station reinforces what researchers have been saying for months - that Latinx people are testing positive at higher rates that other groups. Demographic data collected during the six-day study revealed the majority of people affected are low-wage earners who live in high-density housing.
September 2, 2020
Beaches in Santa Cruz, Monterey counties to close for holiday weekend
A warning if you're thinking about spending the holiday weekend on the beach. Officials are reminding everyone beaches in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties are closed to try and stop the spread of coronavirus. The closure is from 5 a.m. Saturday through 5 p.m. Monday with the exception of a few hours on Saturday and Sunday evening. As with previous closures, you're still allowed to walk across the sand to participate in water activities, but sunbathing and beach walks are off-limits.
September 1, 2020
CA Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly gives COVID-19 update
California's Public Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly is giving an update on the state's COVID-19 response and testing. Dr. Ghaly said the state is creating a standalone COVID-19 data reporting system, with details announced later Tuesday, which will be ready to go in October. He also discussed the new framework for counties to reopen amid the pandemic. Officials also say they're working with communities in the Central Valley, where they're seeing a higher rate of transmission, increasing capacity, supplies and testing for staff at hospitals. Ghaly also said, "We are continuing to learn how to address this broad geography in our response around COVID-19. I'm sure we'll have some counties that experience increased transmission in the months to come. We feel better equipped... to address those."
Dr. Ghaly is also urging the public to stay home and not join large gatherings on Labor Day Weekend, as beach closures may push more people to have inside gatherings. "We encourage people to have small experiences that are short and outside," he said.
Personal services reopen outdoors in SF
Personal services like hair salons, barbershops and nail salons have approval to open outdoors in San Francisco starting today. Mayor London Breed is hinting at a big announcement about future plans at 11:30 this morning.
CA eviction moratorium extended
State lawmakers and Governor Newsom beat a midnight deadline to extend a bill on eviction moratoriums. The state's moratorium on evictions expired Wednesday and now new protections are in place for renters that will last thru February 2021. Get the full story here.
Aug. 30, 2020
California surpasses 700,000 COVID-19 cases
On Monday, California reported 4,147 new cases with a seven-day positivity rate of 4.9%. The state's total now adds up to 704,085 cases. The seven day average of new cases is 5,067 cases and the two-week average is 5,432 cases. Nationally, the United States has surpassed six million cases according to data from Johns Hopkins University. See the latest Bay Area numbers here.
SF small businesses to receive delivery of personal protective equipment from state
San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced face shields, masks, and sanitizers from the state will be distributed to thousands of small businesses and their workers in neighborhoods most impacted by COVID-19.
21 schools in Contra Costa Co. apply to bring kids back
Several private schools in Contra Costa County have applied for waivers to bring elementary-aged students back into the classroom. The East Bay county is designated as a purple county - which means it has widespread COVID transmission and must keep schools online. Schools are allowed to apply for waivers, although only two waivers have been granted in the Bay Area so far.
Aug. 29, 2020
Enrollment drops at SF State, City College of SF
Enrollment at City College of San Francisco dropped 18% from last fall, according to the Examiner. A spokesperson says it's because of the "uncertainty" surrounding the pandemic and challenges with distance learning. San Francisco State saw a decrease of 8% this fall. The pandemic is also affecting housing at SF State; only 364 students are living on campus out of 4,500 available beds.
Aug. 29, 2020
California surpasses 690,000 cases of COVID-19
California has a total of 693,839 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 4,981 cases in a 24-hour-period, according to latest state date released Saturday morning. The seven-day positivity rate is at 5.5 percent. California saw an increase of 144 deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the death toll to 12,834. More than 4,000 patients are hospitalized with the virus and nearly 1,300 are in the ICU, the data shows.
Aug. 28, 2020
SF restaurant sales down 91%, study finds
A new study finds restaurant sales are down in San Francisco by 91 percent since the pandemic began in Mid-March. Eater SF reports: the chamber of commerce received data from credit card companies on city businesses. The data does not include cash sales, although most businesses now accept credit cards because of concerns of spreading the virus.
Specific businesses reopening in Alameda County
A round of new reopenings is set for Alameda County today, including hair salons, nail salons and wineries -- with a big asterisk. The county is only allowing businesses to reopen for very limited outdoor activities. What that means is hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, waxing services, skincare services and massage shops can all offer services outside, as long as they follow the rules laid out by Gov. Newsom earlier this summer.
Aug. 26, 2020
Gov. Newsom denounces new CDC guidelines
Gov. Newsom denounced the new guidelines set by the CDC which now says people do not have to get tested if they came into contact with someone who contracted COVID-19. "I don't agree with the new CDC guidance, period, full stop. It's not the policy in the state of California. We will not be influenced by that change. We're influenced by those who are experts in the field who feel very differently." See more on today's press conference here.
23 more COVID-19 deaths in Bay Area
Health officials say there have been 23 more deaths and 1,518 new COVID-19 cases in the Bay Area in the past 24 hours.
UCSF gives update on COVID-19
UC San Francisco professors and health experts are giving an update on COVID-19 and the flu season.
Aug. 25, 2020
Alameda Co. to allow outdoor hair salons, nail salons, barbershops to open
The Alameda County Public Health Department has issued a new health order that will allow several outdoor activities and services to resume on Aug. 28. Those include outdoor swimming pools and outdoor hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, waxing services, skin
care and non-medical massages. However, services that would require a person to remove their face mask like eyebrow threading and waxing and eyelash treatments are excluded from this order. For more information click here.
CA gets federal funds to pay additional $300 per week in benefits
Millions of out-of-work Californians will soon be able to receive an additional $300 in unemployment benefits. The announcement comes after the federal government approved the state's application for funding for the Lost Wages Assistance Program. Get the full story here.
Dr. Mark Ghaly gives COVID-19 update in CA
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly gives an update on the coronavirus pandemic in California. Watch live here.
49ers to hold season opener without fans at Levi's Stadium
The 49ers will begin the season on Sept.13 against the Arizona Cardinals without fans in attendance at Levi's Stadium. See details here.
Aug. 18, 2020
Positive tests after SF police academy
Several people have tested positive following the most recent San Francisco Police Academy graduation. First, a class member tested positive on Friday, then members of the staff. More tests have come back positive since then, and those who are infected are self-quarantining. There are two other academy classes in session and so far there are no positives in those classes.
Aug. 17, 2020
First day of school for SFUSD
San Francisco Unified students start today with distance learning. There will be at least two hours of live instruction per day. Those without access to computers can connect with their teachers by phone.
Aug. 14, 2020
SF Unified gives update on distance learning
San Francisco Unified School District officials gave an update on the impact of COVID-19 and what distance learning will look like this year. The school year starts on Monday.
Aug. 13, 2020
Alcatraz Island to reopen for outdoor tours Monday
Alcatraz Island will reopen to the public Monday after being closed for five months due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the East Bay Times. For now, only outdoor tours will be available to prevent the spread of the virus. The cell blocks and other indoor areas of the historic prison will remain closed.
Stanford scraps on-campus housing for undergraduate students amid pandemic
Freshman, sophomore and undergraduate transfer students at Stanford will not able to live in on-campus housing during the fall quarter due to COVID-19, the university's president announced Thursday. This news comes as nearly all undergraduate course instruction is expected to be done remotely because of the pandemic. Students with special circumstances will still be allowed in the on-campus housing, according to the university. California issued new guidelines for higher education just last week as the state still grapples with the virus. The guidance does not allow for communal dining or the use of indoor common spaces.
"If public health conditions allow, we plan to invite frosh, sophomores and new transfer students to be in residence on campus for the winter quarter, and juniors and seniors for the spring quarter," the university president said in a statement.
Oakland teachers to vote on distance learning deal
Over the next week, the Oakland Teachers Union and the board of education will vote on a deal over how to handle distance learning. After months of talks and negotiations, the district and its teachers' union reached a tentative agreement. The new school year started on Monday. Specific details were not released, but the terms would offer teachers flexibility and ensure students have live interactions.
Aug. 12, 2020
UCSF scientists develop nasal spray to fight COVID-19
As the world waits for a coronavirus vaccine, scientists at UCSF say they have developed molecules which can help fight the virus. They say these synthetic antibodies, called AeroNabs, can administered as a nasal spray to protect people from coronavirus.
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond to give update on reopening schools
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond will give an update on the California Department of Education's efforts to support schools as they resume learning this fall.
Contra Costa Co. to open new testing sites
Contra Costa County health officials say two new testing centers in Richmond should be up and running this week. The county is also providing additional equipment at its two lab facilities to get test results in one-to-two days.
Aug. 11, 2020
Pac-12 postpones fall sports amid pandemic
The Pac-12 Conference postpones fall sports and plans to return in the spring. Read latest here.
Update on the 2020-21 Pac-12 season below.https://t.co/G6VxDO2VM2— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) August 11, 2020
Santa Clara Co. health officials give update on COVID-19
Health officials are giving the latest on COVID-19 in Santa Clara County through the lens of race and equity at a board of supervisors meeting.
Big Ten Conference postpones fall sports season amid coronavirus pandemic
The Big Ten Conference has decided to postpone fall sports, including football, sources confirmed to ESPN's Mark Schlabach on Tuesday. Read the latest here.
Contra Costa Co. to vote on CARES Act funds
Contra Costa County supervisors are expected to vote on whether to use CARES Act money to pay for 24 new sheriff's deputies rather than health services.
Santa Clara County supervisors to vote on eviction moratorium
Today the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors may vote to extend the eviction moratorium through September. If they don't, more than 43,000 families will be at risk of homelessness. Read the full story here.
Aug. 10, 2020
CCSF faculty, students give update on back-to-school challenges
City College of San Francisco instructors and students are giving an update on back-to-school challenges as the fall semester begins, mostly online, on August 15.
Self-administered testing kiosk reopens in Berkeley
A self-testing site is back open in Berkeley. ABC7 News first reported the testing kiosk last month. You swab your own mouth. City officials say it was so popular they brought it back for an extended pilot program. The kiosk at the Berkeley Adult school parking lot on San Pablo Avenue will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Friday. You need an appointment to get tested. Results are expected within two days.
Aug. 9, 2020
Another San Quentin death row inmate dies from COVID-19 complications
Condemned inmate Pedro Arias, 58, died Sunday from COVID-19 related complications, authorities said. Arias is believed to be the 25th San Quentin inmate to succumb to coronavirus related complications. A coroner will determine the exact cause of his death.
Arias was sentenced to death in Sacramento County on Feb. 22, 1990, for first-degree murder and second-degree robbery while armed with a firearm. He was also sentenced to life without parole for kidnapping for ransom/extortion, penetration with a foreign object, attempted sodomy, lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, sodomy of a child under 14, two counts of forcible rape, second-degree robbery and enhancements for the use of a firearm.
He was admitted onto death row on March 5, 1990.
California tops 554,000 COVID-19 cases
California reported another 8,373 cases of coronavirus Saturday, marking a total of 554,160 cases statewide. Another 104 people died of the virus, bringing the death toll to 10,293. California's seven-day positivity rate stands at 5.7 percent, as of Sunday.
San Quentin State Prison guard dies of COVID-19
A guard at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County has died of coronavirus, the California Department of Corrections reported Sunday morning. State records show this is the first COVID-19 related death of a staff member at the prison. Eight other staff members at California prisons have died of COVID-19 so far.
The wife of Sgt. Gilbert Polanco told ABC7 News her husband died this morning at a hospital in San Jose.
RELATED: San Quentin coronavirus: Army veteran, corrections sergeant on life support, battling COVID-19
Last month, the army veteran and corrections sergeant at San Quentin was in the ICU battling COVID-19 on a ventilator. Sgt. Polanco was a South Bay native and had worked at the prison since the late 1980s.
In a statement Sunday afternoon, CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz expressed his condolences.
"Sergeant Gilbert Polanco is an example of the best of CDCR and his passing deeply saddens us all. His dedication to public service will not be forgotten," Diaz said. "On behalf of a grateful department we extend our prayers of comfort and condolences to the Polanco family during these difficult times."
The acting warden at San Quentin said Polanco was a beloved colleague and friend.
"Our hearts are broken as we awaken to the news of the passing of our beloved Sergeant, colleague, and friend," said Acting San Quentin Warden Ron Broomfield. "Sgt. Gilbert Polanco demonstrated unwavering commitment and bravery as a peace officer working the frontline every day during this devastating pandemic. His memory is carried on in the hearts of all the men and women who continue to battle this deadly virus at San Quentin. We mourn together with his family and pray for their peace and comfort in the midst of their immeasurable loss."
Aug. 8, 2020
California case total rises by more than 7,000
California saw an increase of 7,371 COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the state's total to 545,787. Another 178 Californians have died of the virus, marking 10,189 fatalities. The seven-day positivity rate in the state is at 5.6 percent. Alameda County has the eighth highest number of cases in California and Santa Clara County, once the epicenter of the virus, ranks 10th.
Aug. 7, 2020
More than 10K COVID-19 deaths reported in CA
California has surpassed 10,000 deaths from the coronavirus, making it the U.S. state with the third-highest number of deaths since the pandemic broke out earlier this year
Sonoma is joining the growing list of counties where you can be fined for not following health orders. The Board of Supervisors has voted to fine individuals $100 if they're caught not wearing a mask or ignoring social distancing guidelines. Fines for businesses now start at $1,000. Enforcement will focus on education first before fines are handed out. San Mateo County passed a similar ordinance this week.Marin, Napa, and Contra Costa counties are also issuing fines.
Aug. 6, 2020
Santa Clara University to begin school year online
Santa Clara University has announced it will begin the year with nearly all of its courses held online and will keep on-campus housing closed, with some exceptions. Some 5,500 undergraduates attend Santa Clara.
Aug. 5, 2020
Reps call for extension of unemployment benefits
Reps. Mike Thompson, Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney are giving an update on extending emergency unemployment benefits in the next COVID-19 package.
"Many employees all same the same thing -- these benefits are vital to them and their survival. What opponents often don't take into consideration is when someone loses their job, they don't just lose their salary, but they also lose their health benefits," said Rep Thompson.
Negotiations are set to continue today on Capitol Hill on the stimulus bill. Both top Democrats and White House officials say a deal could be reached by the end of the week and approved as early as next week.
Misreported data makes COVID-19 situation look better than it is, Santa Clara Co. health officer says
The coronavirus pandemic is far from over, Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody warned in a press conference, and misreported COVID-19 data at the state level may be making the situation look rosier than it actually is.
Brace for 3rd wave of coronavirus, says top epidemiologist at UCSF.
While some experts say California is still in the first wave of coronavirus cases, UCSF's head of disease and global epidemiology Dr. George Rutherford told reporters Wednesday that a "third wave" -- or surge -- of cases is essentially inevitable.
Tech issue led to COVID-19 cases being underreported in California
California officials now say numbers of COVID-19 cases are being underreported because of a technical problem. It's a technical problem with the electronic system used by state and local health departments. Monday the state saw a significant drop in cases, leading the governor to say the state had possibly turned a corner in its fight against COVID-19, but now it looks like that might just be because of this technical problem. They are not sure when or if they are going to be able to fix the problem, so they are also working on a manual process to get the information through the system and to local health departments.
Aug. 4, 2020
San Mateo Co. passes ordinance to implement fines for not wearing face masks
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an urgency ordinance also implementing fines for violating health orders, refusing to wear a face covering. Individuals can receive a $100 fine for the first violation, $200 for the second and $500 for additional violations with the same year. Businesses risk a minimum fine of $250 and a maximum of $3,000 per violation depending on the gravity of the health risk.
Santa Cruz Co. passes ordinance to impement fines for not wearing face coverings
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an urgency ordinance implementing fines for violations of a state or local health order regarding COVID-19. The ordinance allows law enforcement officers or designated administrative staff to issue citations rather than penalize violations through misdemeanors, which carry fines of $1,000 and up to six months in jail. The citations will result in fines of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense and $500 for a third within a calendar year, and is effective immediately.
Great America to remain closed for rest of 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic
Great America officials announced Tuesday that the Santa Clara theme park will remain closed for the rest of 2020 due to the pandemic and its uncertainty. Park officials say they are disappointed they can't welcome guests back this season but safety is a top priority.
San Francisco Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax said the city remains in the "red zone" on at least one of its key COVID-19 indicators. The city is seeing about 90 new cases a day. Any number of 50 lands the city in the "red zone," meaning reopening will stay paused.
As of Tuesday, there are 6,989 known coronavirus cases in San Francisco and there have been 61 deaths.
"It took us 38 days to go from 2,000 to 3,000 cases. It took half as long to go from 3,000 to 4,000. And in just 10 days in July, we went from 5,000 to 6,000 cases of COVID-19," said Colfax. "And now, as August begins, we are about to cross the 7,000 mark."
The Department of Disability and Aging Services Executive Director Shireen McSpadden and SFAC Galleries Director Meg Shiffler also gave updates on the city's efforts to address food insecurity and art commissioned to recognize healthcare workers.
Today the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will consider an emergency ordinance imposing fines for businesses and individuals who violate the state's public health orders. The first offense would cost $100, the second time it would double and a third offense is $500. At first, officials will approach a person or business not implementing mask wearing and provide a free mask. Multiple county departments would be allowed to cite. If the board approves the ordinance, it goes into effect immediately.
Aug. 3, 2020
Public health officials, doctors, state lawmakers and renters are holding a virtual news conference on potential health impacts of California's impending eviction crisis with statewide emergency eviction protections expected to end Aug. 14.
13 PAC-12 football players threaten to boycott season
Three Bay Area college football players, two from Cal and one from Stanford, have reportedly joined other PAC-12 student-athletes in threatening to boycott the coming season. The 13 players are demanding greater protections against COVID-19, money paid to student-athletes, and ending racial injustice. The group also believes coaches, the PAC-12's commissioner, and school leaders should take voluntary pay cuts. Another demand calls for Stanford to use endowment money to fund eleven sports due to be cut, that's according to the Players Tribune.
Aug. 2, 2020
San Quentin death row inmate dies from complications related to COVID-19
Condemned San Quentin inmate Orlando G. Romero, 48, died from COVID-19 complications on Sunday, officials announced. Romero was sentenced to death in Riverside County on Aug. 28, 1996, for first-degree murder and second-degree robbery while armed with a firearm. He was also sentenced to three life-with-parole sentences: one for attempted first-degree murder armed with a firearm, another for attempted first-degree murder and other numerous offenses, and the third for kidnap/robbery while armed with a firearm and several robbery offenses. He was admitted onto death row on Sept. 4, 1996. There are currently 715 people on California's death row.
Romero is the 11th condemned prisoner at San Quentin to die since late June, the Department of Corrections said. He was the 20th San Quentin prisoner overall to die from complications of COVID-19, according to the Marin County Health and Human Services.
California reports 132 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, total cases top 509,000
California now as 509,162 cases of COVID-19, according to latest data from state officials. A total of 132 people died Saturday of the virus, bringing the state death toll to 9,356. California has tested more than 8 million people during the pandemic.
Aug. 1, 2020
State orders specific indoor businesses to close in San Mateo Co.
The state has informed San Mateo County that due to being more than 3 days on the COVID-19 watch list, specific indoor businesses must cease operations beginning 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020.
Businesses that must close include, gyms, places of worship and cultural ceremonies, personal care services, hair salons and shopping malls. The businesses that cannot operate outside must close, according to county guidance here.
UPDATE: The state has informed San Mateo County that due to being more than 3 days on the COVID monitoring list, specific indoor businesses must cease operations beginning 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. Details: https://t.co/Kd1z6v2Hch— County of San Mateo (@sanmateoco) August 2, 2020
California surpasses 500,000 cases
California has more than a half-million cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday, according to latest data from state health officials. The seven-day average of new cases is at 7,819, down from more than 10,000 the previous week.
The state has a total of 500,130 cases with 9,224 deaths, an increase of 219 deaths in the previous 24 hours.
A total of 6,459 are hospitalized in California with the virus, the data shows.
Businesses open for now in San Mateo County
Certain businesses in San Mateo County that were likely to close Saturday because of the county's status on the state's COVID-19 watch list are able to stay open for now, the county said Saturday morning. The county said it remains in discussion with state officials and as of today, San Mateo County's status remains the same. The county said it will inform businesses and the public when something changes.
County officials had said earlier this week that gyms, places of worship, salons and shopping malls should be prepared to close at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 1.
The County of San Mateo remains in discussion with the state and as of Aug. 1 our status on the COVID-19 Monitoring List remains the same, without the additional business closures being required. We will inform businesses and public when we have confirmation of any status change.— County of San Mateo (@sanmateoco) August 1, 2020
July 31, 2020
Contra Costa County asks residents to stop the spread of COVID-19
Contra Costa Health Services implored residents to do their part to contain the coronavirus pandemic. ICU beds in the county are already at 47% capacity, health officials said. A Richmond doctor gave an impassioned speech, imploring people to wear masks and socially distance.
"A grocery clerk should not have to fight a grown man to wear a mask. That's not their job," said Dr. Desmond Carson. "Our rights are going to kill us. Our rights to not wear a mask, that bulls--t is going to kill us." Hear his full speech here.
California teenager dies of COVID-19
A teenager in the Central Valley has died of COVID-19, marking the first death of a young person related to the virus, according to state health officials. The California Department of Health said in a statement the patient had underlying health conditions.
"Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of this young person whose death is a tragic and powerful reminder of how serious COVID-19 can be," said Dr. Sonia Angell, public health officer and director of the California Department of Public Health.
State officials have not given any more information on the teenager's death.
RELATED: Central Valley teenager dies of COVID-19, marking 1st death of a young person in state, officials say
Lowe's announces it will help associates impacted by COVID-19 with additional $100 million in bonuses
Lowe's announced today it will provide an additional $100 million in bonuses to assist associates with unforeseen expenses and hardships, increasing the company's total commitment to associates and communities during the pandemic to nearly $600 million, the company said on its website. Full-time hourly associates will receive $300, and part-time and seasonal associates will receive $150 on Aug. 21 - matching the funds provided to all hourly associates in March, May and earlier this month.
Lawmakers hold virtual town hall for businesses impacted by COVID-19
Assemblymember Kansen Chu is hosting a virtual Town Hall with California State Treasurer Fiona Ma to discuss the resources available to small business owners impacted by COVID-19.
Field hospital set up at SF's Presidio
A building in San Francisco's Presidio has been turned into a medical facility to care for coronavirus patients. City officials are concerned hospitals could become overrun with patients.
July 30, 2020
California Pizza Kitchen files for bankruptcy
California Pizza Kitchen's CEO announced that the company is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story here.
COVID-19 cases rise above 51,000 in Bay Area
Confirmed COVID-19 cases have risen to 51,155 in the Bay Area, an increase of 1,336 in the past 24 hours. Total deaths have reached 797 with eight more deaths since yesterday.
COVID-19 hospitalizations are highest ever and getting worse, health director says
More than four months into the pandemic, the coronavirus is still spreading at an alarming rate in San Francisco, the city's health director warned in a press conference Thursday. The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in the city is "higher than it's ever been before and continues to climb," Dr. Grant Colfax said. As of Thursday, 107 people were in the hospital and 25% of those were in intensive care, he said. Read more on his warning here.
Distance learning plan approved for Berkeley schools
Berkeley's school board has approved a distance-learning plan for when classes begin next month. For elementary students, teachers will meet with families online during the first two weeks. Middle and high school students will attend classes remotely four days per week. Schools will follow strict safety rules if campuses are allowed to re-open.
July 29, 2020
US COVID-19 death toll passes 150K
The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.3 million diagnosed cases. On Wednesday, the U.S. death toll climbed over 150,000 and now stands at 150,034.
California breaks record for single-day COVID-19 deaths
An additional 197 lives were lost to COVID-19 in California Tuesday, the state reported. That breaks the record for most single-day deaths since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Another 8,755 people also tested positive.
San Mateo Co. added to state watch list
San Mateo County was added to the state's COVID-19 watch list. With the addition of San Mateo, every Bay Area county is now on the watch list.
COVID-19 testing to take place at BART hub in SF
A new testing initiative is believed to be the first in the nation program to offer COVID-19 testing at a transit hub. Health officials are hoping to make it as easy as possible for members of the LatinX community to get tested on their way to work. The testing will take place at the 24th Street Mission BART Plaza Wednesdays and Fridays from 7am to 6 pm. starting today and for the next three weeks.
July 28, 2020
Contra Costa Co. to fine those who violate health order
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance establishing administrative fines for violating public health orders related to the novel coronavirus, including not wearing face coverings, social distancing and improper gatherings. Contra Costa County supervisors said that voluntary compliance with the COVID-19-related county health order was not enough.
87 hand sanitizer products recalled due to methanol, FDA warns
87 different hand sanitizers are now being recalled because they've tested positive for a toxic chemical called methanol, or wood alcohol. See more about the products on the FDA's expanded list here.
Contra Costa Co. to consider fines for health order violations
You may soon be fined if you violate Contra Costa County health orders including not wearing a mask. Today, the Board of Supervisors will consider citations ranging from $100 for individuals and up to $1,000 for businesses.
July 27, 2020
Santa Cruz Co. added to state's watch list
The California Department of Public Health has added Santa Cruz County to the state's COVID-19 watch list. The orders go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. They include the closure of indoor services and modifications for:
- Gyms and fitness centers
- Personal care services
- Places of worship and cultural ceremonies
- Offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors
- Indoor shopping malls
Regal movie theaters to reopen Aug. 21
Regal has announced its plans to reopen theaters on Aug. 21. The reopening plans include guidelines that require all movie goers to wear masks in the lobby, however, once in the auditorium they can remove the masks to eat and drink. Regal says where required by state or county mandate, auditorium capacity will be reduced by 50%. For more on the new guidelines click here.
Newsom announces $52M investment to aid Central Valley
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $52 million investment in the Central Valley to enhance COVID-19 response. The money comes from a grant from the federal government. Get the full story here.
Contra Costa Co. considering fines for health order violations
You may soon be fined if you violate Contra Costa County health orders during this pandemic. Health orders allow for small gatherings of up to 12 people from multiple households. Masks are required for everyone over the age of two. The Board of Supervisors is considering fines ranging from $100 to $500 dollars for individuals and up to $1,000 for businesses. The board will take up the issue at its meeting tomorrow.
Santa Clara Co. rolling out wristband system at testing sites
Santa Clara County is rolling out a new wristband system at its walk-up COVID-19 testing sites to reduce the amount of time waiting in line. Officials say when wristbands run out, people will be directed to other testing options nearby.
July 26, 2020
Another inmate from San Quentin dies from COVID-19, officials say
San Quentin inmate Johnny Avila Jr., 62, was pronounced dead Sunday morning at an outside hospital from what appears to be complications related to COVID-19, a release from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said. An exact cause of death will be determined by the coroner. Avila was sentenced to death in Fresno County on March 21, 1996, for two counts of first-degree murder. He had been on death row since March 31, 1995. There are currently 716 people on California's death row.
Santa Cruz County added to CA watch list
Santa Cruz County is the latest to be added to California's COVID-19 monitoring list, according to county officials Sunday. The county has been flagged since Thursday after reporting a continuous rise in positive cases. This would force closures of non-essential offices, malls, indoor dining and more.
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