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:
Don't give kids pain reliever before vaccine, CDC says
The CDC is reminding parents to not give kids a pain reliever before the vaccination to try to mitigate side effects. The CDC says pain relievers prior to a shot are not recommended because it's not known how it might affect the vaccine. Instead, the agency urges parents to talk to their doctor about a non-aspirin pain reliever after the shot if needed.
COVID infections rising in 2 Bay Area counties
Alameda and San Mateo Counties have regressed from a "moderate" level of spread to a "substantial" one. San Mateo was in the yellow, or moderate tier for about two weeks. On Monday, the county reported a seven-day case rate of 53 per 100,000 residents, which now puts it into the orange tier that specifies substantial spread. Alameda County was in the yellow for about a week, but its case rate has now climbed to 51 cases per 100,000. Neither county meets local metrics for the removal of indoor masks because vaccination rates are below the required 80% mark.
COVID-19 deaths reach 5 million worldwide
There is a new sobering milestone in the pandemic: COVID-19 has killed 5 million people globally in less than two years, according to Johns Hopkins University overnight.
Marin County to lift indoor mask mandate on Monday
Marin County officials said that it is lifting its indoor mask mandate for public places at noon on Monday, November 1 since the county met all the required metrics.
It's the first Bay Area county to reach the benchmarks including a vaccination rate above 80%. Hospitalizations have declined and remained low.
Marin and San Francisco are the only Bay Area counties currently in the yellow - or moderate category.
The mandate was put in place August 2 as part of a Bay Area-wide public health response to the surge in cases related to the Delta variant. The county joins two other Bay Area counties---Contra Costa and Alameda---in easing mask mandates on the same day.
Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis said he will continue to strongly urge residents to keep wearing masks indoors.
"Face covering has been and will remain a critical tool for preventing spread of the virus," Willis said.
2 counties easing mask mandates on Monday
Contra Costa County and Alameda County are easing indoor mask mandates starting Monday. Fully vaccinated individuals will be able to unmask indoors, but only at businesses not open to the general public like offices and gyms. San Francisco and Marin Counties made similar moves earlier this month.
SFMTA anticipates Muni driver shortage over vaccine mandate
You may notice fewer Muni buses starting Monday. SFMTA is anticipating there will be a driver shortage because of San Francisco's vaccine mandate so they've been forced to suspend a few "short" lines. The lines include 1 California Short, 14R Mission Rapid Short (weekends only), 30 Stockton Short, and 49 Van Ness Short (on weekdays only). The deadline for some city workers to be fully vaccinated is November 1. SFMTA is currently hiring and training new operators.
Santa Clara County to start vaccinating kids 5-11 next week pending approval
Santa Clara County will begin vaccinating children ages 5 to 11 starting next Wednesday pending approval from CDC, health officials said in a press conference Wednesday. The county expects more than 55,000 kids sized doses to arrive next week to medical care providers and pharmacies.
CA health officials to give update on vaccinations
The California Health & Human Services Agency and California Department of Public Health will host a virtual press conference this morning on COVID-19 booster eligibility and vaccination plan for children ages 5-11.
East Bay In-N-Out closed for violating health order
An In-N-Out burger location in Pleasant Hill is temporarily closed after violating Contra Costa County's COVID health policy, health officials announced Tuesday. Officials say the restaurant created a public health hazard by permitting indoor dining without verifying COVID-19 vaccination status or recent negative test proof. The Pleasant Hill In-N-Out location received four citations in recent weeks and fines totaling $1,750, all for the same health order violation, according to the county. In-N-Out restaurants in Pinole and San Ramon have also received notices of violation for this health order violation. Earlier this month, a San Francisco In-N-Out location was also suspended for violating the county's vaccine policy.
Cases dropping across US but rising in some Midwest, Northeast states
In the last month, the daily case average in the U.S. has dropped by nearly 43% thanks to falling metrics in states like Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana, which have all seen their case averages drop by nearly 90% or more since August, according to federal data. But in recent weeks, cases have been creeping up in several states in the Northeast and the upper Midwest, including Minnesota and Michigan.
Apple requiring unvaccinated employees to get tested
Cupertino-based Apple is requiring unvaccinated employees working at its corporate offices to undergo daily COVID tests, according to Bloomberg. The requirement also applies to employees who will not report their vaccination status to Apple. Vaccinated staff who come to the office must undergo rapid testing once per week. Apple wants its corporate employees back in the office at least three days a week starting in January 2022. The tech giant has set a Sunday deadline for employees to report their vaccination status.
Pfizer study shows booster shot brings efficacy past 95%
A new Pfizer study released this morning shows a third booster shot can bring vaccine efficacy past 95%. And this study was conducted when the highly infectious Delta variant was raging. Pfizer says of the 10,000 people who were enrolled in the trial, there were only five COVID cases in the group selected to get the third shot. That's compared to 109 cases in the placebo group. The company says it will send the data to federal regulators to make the case that boosters are safe and beneficial.
FDA could authorize Moderna, J&J booster shots
The FDA could authorize Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots for some populations as soon as today. Meanwhile, the CDC independent advisory committee is meeting Wednesday to discuss vaccines in general. The committee is expected to debate Moderna and Johnson & Johnson on Thursday, discussing who boosters should be recommended for and if mixing and matching vaccines should be permitted. A non-binding vote is expected at the end of Thursday.
11 Berkeley school bus drivers exposed to COVID
School bus service for Berkeley elementary school students is suspended after 11 drivers were exposed to COVID. Most of them at the city's transportation department. Some 1,400 children rely on the bus service. It's now unavailable through Thursday while exposed staff members quarantine. The district says it didn't see any significant change in attendance yesterday.
SF mayor to give update on vaccination incentives
Mayor London Breed will be talking about vaccination incentives at San Francisco State University. Representatives from the Department of Public Health, SF State, and San Francisco Unified will also be there. The city and university have no revealed any other details about their announcement. The news conference starts at noon.
FDA panel endorses booster shot for J&J COVID-19 vaccine
A panel of U.S. health advisers has endorsed booster doses of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration panel said Friday that the booster should be offered at least two months after immunization but didn't suggest a firm time.
CDC advising states to preorder Pfizer's vaccine for young children
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising states to order Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine doses for children ages 5 to 11 ahead of a vote on its authorization. An independent Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is scheduled to discuss the vaccine on Oct. 26, and a vote is expected soon after. In planning documents posted by the CDC, the agency is advising states to order their doses in advance of the meeting, with preorders starting Oct. 20.
BART to require all employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 13
(Bay City News) BART announced it will require all employees and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or prove their full vaccination status by Dec. 13 under an adopted policy on Thursday.
Board Directors Rebecca Saltzman, Lateefah Simon, Bevan Dufty and Janice Li drafted the policy. It will require the full vaccination of BART's employees and board members by mid-December, save for those who have a valid medical or religious exemption.
The board also voted as part of the vaccination policy to direct BART General Manager Bob Powers to implement a vaccination requirement for the agency's contractors and bargain with the agency's labor unions to determine how employees who decline to get vaccinated will be handled.
"By adopting this policy today, nobody is getting fired tomorrow," Li said. "No one is being forced to get the vaccine, but this policy states that being vaccinated is a condition of employment."
Several board members framed the policy as a necessity to keep both the transit agency's employees and its riders, particularly children under 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination, protected against the virus.
BART officials estimated that around 20 to 25 percent of BART's nearly 4,000 employees remain unvaccinated, which Board Director Mark Foley argued could lead to further outbreaks and potential service disruptions.
Contra Costa Co. to lift masking requirements in some indoor settings on Nov. 1
Contra Costa County will lift masking requirements on Nov. 1 in certain indoor settings where everyone is fully vaccinated. Eligible settings are in controlled spaces not open to the general public, including offices, gyms and fitness centers, employee commuter vehicles, indoor college classes and organized gatherings in any other indoor setting, such as a religious gathering.Underthe order, participating businesses, organizations and hosts must verify that all patrons, employees and attendees are fully vaccinated before allowing people inside their facilities not to wear face coverings. There can be no more than 100 persons present at these facilities, and the group of those present must gather on a regular basis. Those present should also not have COVID-19 symptoms.
Kids vaccine distribution to be based on population
Initial distribution of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old will be based on a state's population of eligible children, according to a new planning document distributed to state immunization managers by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Biden vaccine order moves closer to enforcement
The Biden administration's mandate that employers with 100 or more workers require coronavirus vaccinations or institute weekly virus testing has moved one step closer to enforcement. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has submitted the text of a new rule to the OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The agency has 90 days to review the rule or send it back to OSHA for revision. Text of the proposed order won't be published until OMB completes its review.
Contra Costa Co. could declare COVID misinformation a public health crisis
COVID-19 misinformation could soon be declared a public health crisis in one Bay Area county. The Contra Costa County board of supervisors will meet later this morning to talk about this resolution. The board says health misinformation has created "a culture of mistrust" and prolonged the pandemic. More than 900 people in the county have died and nearly 100,000 COVID cases have been reported there.
The first cruise ship has arrived in San Francisco since the pandemic began. The Majestic Princess marks an important milestone in the city's economic recovery. The City welcomed 280,000 cruise visitors in 2019. The last time a high-profile ship was here was back in March 2020. The cruise line says passengers had to be vaccinated and show a negative COVID test taken within two days. In all, there will be 21 cruise calls in San Francisco through the end of the year, and a record 127 in 2022.
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