SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A surge in coronavirus cases has been reported in the Bay Area and across California as well as the country due in part to the emergence of the highly-contagious delta variant.
The latest number of confirmed cases in the U.S. can be found at the CDC's 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the U.S. page. (The CDC updates the webpage on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.)
Join anchor Kristen Sze for ABC7's daily, interactive newscast about the coronavirus outbreak in the Bay Area and around the world. 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 Bay Area:
Dec. 17, 2021
1st case of omicron variant confirmed in Marin Co.
Marin County health officials confirmed their first case of the omicron variant. The individual had recently traveled from the Eastern U.S. and was fully vaccinated but had not yet received a booster shot. The person is now in isolation with mild symptoms.
COVID-19 positivity rate in New York City nearly doubles in 3 days
Alarmed by a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and the increasing prevalence of the omicron variant, New York City officials were working to distribute one million masks and 500,000 home tests, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Here's more on the increase in cases.
Dec. 16, 2021
Santa Clara Co. health leaders fear surge of new COVID variant cases
Nearly a week after the first case of omicron was detected in the South Bay, Santa Clara County's top health officials are starting to express concern. Ten confirmed cases include four unvaccinated individuals, five vaccinated and one person who recently got a booster. Here's more from Santa Clara Co. Health Director Dr. Sara Cody.
CDC committee recommends opting for Pfizer or Moderna over J&J, if given the choice
Most Americans should be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead of the Johnson & Johnson shot that can cause rare but serious blood clots, U.S. health advisers recommended Thursday. Here's the full story.
Health officials give update on 1st omicron case in Santa Clara Co.
Santa Clara County health officials say the person who contracted the omicron variant was exposed in Florida. The person noticed symptoms on Nov. 30 and was tested on Dec. 1. The person was vaccinated but not boosted and had "very mild" illness, according to Santa Clara Co. Health Director Dr. Sara Cody.
Health officials say they are doing waste water surveillance where they found the omicron variant in a sewer shed that serves 200,0000 people in the north part of the county.
Santa Clara Co. reports 1st omicron case
Santa Clara County is reporting its first case of omicron. The person is in isolation and was fully vaccinated but had not received a booster; they had recently returned from domestic travel out of state.
Free COVID-19 testing, vaccination clinic in Oakland closes due to staffing, vaccine shortages
A free COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinic in downtown Oakland has abruptly closed its doors, city officials announced Wednesday. The clinic at 250 Frank Ogawa Plaza, near City Hall, was scheduled to stay open until at least the end of December. But a shortage of vaccine and of staff forced it to close, according to city officials. City officials said a clinic in the Fruitvale area is open and supplying boosters, vaccinations, and testing for free. The clinic is located at 3411 E. 12th St., Suite 130. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
Fauci: Omicron 'almost certainly' not more severe than delta
Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the omicron variant is "almost certainly" not more severe than delta. He stressed, however, that it is important to not overinterpret early data, as the patients being followed skew younger and are less likely to become hospitalized. Severe illness can take weeks to develop.
Chase Center updates COVID policy for kids
Children ages 5 to 11 now have to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test prior to entry at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The test must be taken no more than 72 hours before the start of the event.
SAP Center updates COVID policy
The SAP Center in San Jose will now require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test (within 72 hours of the event) for any guests ages 3-11 starting Thur. Dec. 9.
NYC mandating vaccines for all private sector employees
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a COVID vaccine mandate for all private-sector employers in New York City. The mandate is set to begin on December 27. The mayor called it a proactive, "First in the nation measure." In addition, de Blasio said there will also be required vaccine proof for indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment for children 5 to 11.
17 people test positive for COVID-19 on cruise ship in New Orleans
At least 17 people aboard a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship docked in New Orleans have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said. The cases were found among both passengers and crew members on the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship. A probable case of the omicron variant was also identified among a member of the crew, who is not a Louisiana resident and did not leave the ship, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
5 cases of omicron variant identified in Alameda Co.
Alameda County health officials announced Friday evening that they have identified five cases of the omicron variant, all individuals are vaccinated, and most had received boosters. Officials say the cases are linked to a Nov. 27 wedding in Wisconsin which one of these individuals attended upon return from international travel.
Hawaii latest state to confirm omicron case
Hawaii became the fifth state to detect the omicron variant, after confirming a case through expedited genomic sequencing, health officials said. The individual is an unvaccinated resident of Oahu who had a previous COVID-19 infection, the state health department said. The person is experiencing "moderate symptoms," the department said. The resident has no recent travel history, indicating that this is a case of community transmission, health officials said.
Mask mandate on public transportation extended through March 18
Required masks on public transportation, including airplanes, rails and buses, will be extended through March 18, according to a new plan from the Biden administration.
1st US case of Omicron variant reported in San Francisco
The first case of the Omicron variant in the United States is reported in San Francisco, city health officials said on Wednesday.
The city's health department confirmed that the infected person returned from South Africa on November 22, and is a San Francisco resident.
The patient had mild symptoms.
This is the first known case detected nationwide.
Omicron has been named a "variant of concern" and the CDC has been monitoring for it since before Thanksgiving.
Pfizer requests FDA authorization to expand booster eligibility
Pfizer has officially requested Food and Drug Administration authorization of its COVID-19 booster for 16- and 17-year-olds, the company's CEO said.
Global case count of omicron variant tops 200
More than 200 confirmed cases of the omicron variant, first identified in Southern Africa, have been reported in over a dozen countries around the world, according to an open-source tracker run by Newsnodes and BNO News.
US imposes travel ban from South Africa, 7 other countries
Starting today, the U.S. will impose a new travel ban from South Africa and seven other countries. Israel has also banned foreign travelers from entering the country for two weeks. But the International Air Transport Association has warned against travel bans. It says these restrictions are "not a long-term solution" when it comes to managing variants. Health officials say anyone who has traveled through southern Africa in the last 14 days should get a COVID test and quarantine until they get a negative test result.
US to restrict travel from South Africa, 7 other countries Monday
The Biden administration announced the U.S. will be restricting travel from South Africa and seven other countries starting Monday in response to the new Omicron variant. These other countries include Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.
WHO names new variant 'omicron,' classifies it as highly transmissible virus of concern
A World Health Organization panel named the variant "omicron" and classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern, the same category that includes the delta variant, the world's most prevalent. The panel said early evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection. Get more details here.
1st European case of new variant from South Africa confirmed
Belgium's health department has confirmed its first case of the new B.1.1.529 variant. The patient, a woman, had traveled to Belgium from Egypt via Istanbul. She developed symptoms 11 days after her return and was not vaccinated. Her family members have tested negative for COVID and the woman is not in a life-threatening condition, officials said.
Bay Area testing sites see increase ahead of Thanksgiving
COVID testing sites around the Bay Area have been pretty busy leading up to Thanksgiving. Test site organizers at the Santa Clara County fairgrounds say the line has picked up after a plateau in recent weeks. Everyone ABC7 News spoke with, including a number of college students, say they just want to do the right thing before seeing family.
Judge orders vaccine mandate for CA prison employees
A federal judge has ordered California prison employees to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Jan. 12, potentially reducing the number of COVID-19 cases among young and adult inmates. Inside the state's four youth correctional institutions, a total of 255 youth and 278 staff members have contracted the virus since the onset of the pandemic, even as the number of incarcerated youth dwindles at the state level.
Plus, a federal report found that half of the outbreaks in California's state prisons between May and July were traced back to employees. The order comes after months of uncertainty as the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and Gov. Gavin Newsom requested a postponement of a vaccination mandate for prison staff.
Pediatric COVID cases rise for 3rd week
The U.S. has reported an increase in pediatric COVID-19 cases for the third week in a row. Nearly 142,000 children tested positive in the last week, which is a 16% increase from the week prior and a 41% jump over the last three weeks, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association. Nearly 6.8 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
Newsom gives update on boosters while visiting Bay Area vaccine clinic
Gov. Gavin Newsom is in the Bay Area on Monday, where he discussed the importance of boosters during an event held at a vaccine clinic.
Indoor mask mandate in effect in Santa Cruz Co.
An indoor mask mandate is now in effect in Santa Cruz County and it covers private settings like a home. If you are getting together with others who don't live in the same household the county says you should mask up regardless of vaccination status. Businesses are also required to follow the guidelines. You can take off your mask when eating or drinking.
Apple sets Feb. 1 deadline for employees to return to office
Apple has a new deadline of February 1 for employees to return to the office. Many will have to come in at least three days a week, but some workers will have to be in the office four to five days a week. The company will offer some teams up to four weeks of remote work each year. Vaccinations aren't mandatory, but unvaccinated workers will have to test every day.
VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine
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