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 VACCINE: Find out where you are in line
- 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.:
Jan. 19, 2021
New COVID-19 variant responsible for large outbreaks in Santa Clara County
In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Dr. Mark Ghaly revealed a new variant of COVID-19, referred to as the L452R variant, has been identified around California. This variant is different from the B117 variant or "UK variant" that appears to be a more contagious variation of the virus.
The L452R variant has been identified in several large outbreaks in Santa Clara County recently, Ghaly said, including some outbreaks in congregate care facilities. It was first detected last year, but is becoming more common in the state.
Little is known at this point about the newest variant. It's not yet clear if this variant is different in any significant way when it comes to how contagious it is, how dangerous it is or how effective the vaccines are against it. Read more here.
Ghaly also shared signs of early hope that California is past the worst of the winter surge. COVID-related hospitalizations are down 8.5% over the past two weeks and ICU hospitalizations are down 2.8% over the past week.
US virus deaths top 400K as Trump leaves office
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed 400,000, providing a grim coda to Donald Trump's presidency. The milestone comes almost exactly a year after health officials diagnosed the nation's first case of the virus, and months of efforts by Trump to downplay the threat and his administration's responsibility to confront it. The number of dead is greater than the population of New Orleans, Cleveland or Tampa, Florida. The coronavirus has killed nearly as many Americans who are lost annually to strokes, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, flu and pneumonia combined. By week's end, the toll is likely to surpass the number of Americans killed in World War II.
Latest California COVID-19 numbers
The state reported 23,794 new COVID-19 cases in a day totalling to 2,996,968. There were 146 new related deaths and 4,693 in the ICU .
7-day average: 35,669
14-day average: 38,902
7-day positivity rate: 9.9% (first time it has been under 10 in a while)
14-day positivity rate: 11.6%
San Francisco projected to run out of COVID-19 vaccines by Thursday
San Francisco is moving full speed ahead on COVID-19 vaccinations and is close to running out of doses, Mayor London Breed said on Tuesday. In a briefing, the mayor said the city is projected to run out of vaccines on Thursday if they don't receive more soon. See more details here.
Vaccine alert system opens in SF today
Starting today, those who live or work in San Francisco can sign up to be notified for when it's their turn for the COVID-19 vaccine. You can register for the alert later today here.
Jan. 18, 2021
Bay Area counties say providers received paused Moderna COVID-19 vaccine lot
Several Bay Area counties -- Alameda, San Francisco,Contra Costa and Santa Clara -- say local health providers received COVID-19 doses from a particular Moderna lot now being paused due to possible allergic reactions. Here's the full story.
UCSF doctors call for schools to reopen Feb. 1
A group of more than 30 doctors and healthcare professionals at UCSF are calling for California schools to reopen by February 1. They say kids at school are not the primary drivers of the spread and distance learning is leading to mental health issues.
Jan. 17, 2021
CA health official recommends pausing single lot of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine due to possible allergic reactions
California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica S. Pan recommended providers to pause the administration of lot 41L20A of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine due to possible allergic reactions that are under investigation.
"Our goal is to provide the COVID vaccine safely, swiftly and equitably," said Dr. Pan said in a statement. "A higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions were reported with a specific lot of Moderna vaccine administered at one community vaccination clinic. Fewer than 10 individuals required medical attention over the span of 24 hours. Out of an extreme abundance of caution and also recognizing the extremely limited supply of vaccine, we are recommending that providers use other available vaccine inventory and pause the administration of vaccines from Moderna Lot 041L20A until the investigation by the CDC, FDA, Moderna and the state is complete. We will provide an update as we learn more." Read more here.
Variant of COVID-19 increasing throughout California, state health officials say
A COVID-19 variant first found in other countries and states has been showing up in rising numbers throughout California, health officials with the California Department of Public Health, Santa Clara County and UCSF announced on Sunday. Authorities say the L452R variant of COVID-19 was first identified last year and is different than the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the United Kingdom. Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody says the 452R variant has been detected in several large outbreaks in the county. Read more here.
Marin, Sonoma teachers get COVID-19 vaccine
The school district says it's inviting school staff who interact directly with students to get vaccinated first and that includes janitors and bus drivers. Read more here.
California records 42,229 new COVID-19 cases Saturday
California recorded 42,229 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, adding to the total of 2,942,475 confirmed cases to date. The 7-day positivity rate is at 11.3% and the 14-day positivity rate is at 12.5%. As of Sunday, a total of 3,226,775 vaccine doses, which includes the first and second dose, have been shipped to local health departments and health care systems that have facilities in multiple counties.
Santa Clara County Jail inmates go on hunger strike in response to massive COVID-19 outbreak
More than 40 Inmates at the Santa Clara County Jail have started a hunger strike in response to the largest COVID-19 outbreak since the start of the pandemic. On Wednesday, the sheriff's office reported 109 new cases in the jail, marking the third and the largest outbreak at the jail. Inmates say they are protesting unsanitary living conditions and a lack of policy. The District Attorney's office is working on early releases that could start next week.
Cal postpones basketball games due to COVID-19
UC Berkeley has postponed upcoming basketball games against USC, UCLA, the University of Washington and Washington State University. Cal Basketball said on Twitter Sunday morning that the cancellations were because of "recent COVID-19 developments" within the program.
Due to recent COVID-19 developments within our program, California’s games against USC, UCLA, Washington and Washington State have been postponed. pic.twitter.com/pnaEmCe7nh— Cal Basketball (@CalWBBall) January 17, 2021
Jan. 16, 2021
East Bay doctor hosts drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic
The playground at Stanley Elementary School in Lafayette was transformed into a drive-thru vaccination clinic for seniors this weekend. Dr. Rebecca Parish who is in private practice in Walnut Creek, partnered with the city of Lafayette and local senior organizations to get the vaccine to those who may be homebound or tech challenged. Many seniors have been frustrated trying to get the vaccine, like Wayne Hahn. "I'm feeling relieved, I live in Rossmoor they were unable to get the county to come and give it to the 10,000 seniors who live there like me," he said. Read more here.
California reports more than 600 deaths in 1 day
California reported more than 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and another 669 people died of the virus statewide. Friday's death toll is the second-highest number seen in a single-day since the pandemic began nearly one year ago. A total of 32,960 Californians have died of the virus to date. More than 20,000 remain hospitalized with 4,750 are in ICUs.
Jan. 15, 2021
100 million shots just the start of Joe Biden's COVID-19 plan
Getting 100 million shots in Americans' arms in his first 100 days is only the beginning of his coronavirus plan, President-elect Joe Biden declared Friday. Lasting impact, he said, will come from uniting the nation in a new effort grounded in science and fueled by billions in federal money for vaccination, testing and outbreak sleuths. Read more about his plan here.
San Francisco to open 3 large COVID-19 vaccination sites, mayor says
San Francisco Mayor London Breed provided clarity on the city's plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, saying the city ready to roll out a network of vaccination sites and distribute doses once the supply is available. The city intends to open three large vaccination sites at San Francisco City College, the Moscone Center and in the Bayview District, along with pop-up sites across the city. Here's the full story.
Santa Clara Co. health officials give COVID-19 update
Santa Clara County officials provided an update on the expansion of locations for vaccine distribution and the eligibility guidelines for vaccine recipients.
Instacart, Trader Joe's offer vaccine benefits to workers
Grocery delivery app Instacart is announcing it will pay its workers $25 to get a COVID-19 vaccination, starting next month. The San Francisco-startup says the stipend would be available to shift leads, in-store shoppers and full-service shoppers. Trader Joe's is also offering incentives for getting vaccinated, and shift schedules to give workers time to get their shots. Employees would get two hours of extra pay per dose.
Jan. 14, 2021
Bus Test Express continues Bay Area rollout
The COVID-19 Bus Test Express continues its rollout across the Bay Area today. This free testing site on wheels opens this morning outside the Sonoma Veteran's Memorial Hall. It will be open through Saturday - then again next Thursday and Friday. Each bus is customized with state of the art medical equipment. The Bus Test Express launched in Berkeley earlier this week. It hopes to expand to Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Solano Counties in the coming weeks.
Jan. 13, 2021
Santa Clara County allows residents 75 and older to sign up for COVID-19 vaccine
Individuals 75 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Santa Clara County, officials announced on Wednesday. Eligible South Bay residents, in addition to health care workers in Phase 1A of the county's rollout plan, can go to sccfreevax.org to schedule a vaccination. Read more here.
Morgues in Santa Clara County are almost at full capacity, health leaders said on Tuesday
Already three local morgues can no longer store bodies, and four others are nearly full. To address the shortage of space, the county has brought in three refrigerated trailers that can hold up to 60 bodies. Two trailers are located at the county medical examiner's office and the other is at Bay Area Mortuary Services in San Jose. The sobering news comes as the county faces increased COVID-19 cases and deaths. Read more here.
Calif. opens scarce vaccines to those 65 and older
California is allowing residents 65 and older to get scarce coronavirus vaccines. Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement Wednesday puts seniors in line before emergency workers, teachers, childcare providers and food and agriculture workers even as counties complain they already don't have enough doses to go around.
Sonoma Co. to start mass vaccinations at fairgrounds
Sonoma County will start mass vaccinations at the county fairgrounds. Safeway pharmacists are partnering with the county to start administering shots for more healthcare workers, including in-home caregivers. The county Human Services Department was contacting eligible residents for appointments. At last check, the county has already vaccinated about 12,000 people. Read more here.
Jan. 12, 2021
Stay-home order lifted in Sacramento region
California is lifting its stay-at-home order for the 13-county Sacramento region. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the region's coronavirus hospitalizations have stabilized sufficiently to allow the region to be the first in the state to exit the order imposed last month as virus cases exploded. The move means restaurants may again serve diners outdoors, hair salons and other businesses can reopen, and retail stores can serve more customers. The Bay Area, the Central Valley and Southern California all continue to have more pronounced shortages of ICU space in hospitals and remain under the order. Get the full story here.
CDC to require negative COVID-19 test for international passengers flying to US
The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to sign today or Wednesday an order requiring all international passengers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding flights to the United States, a federal health official said. Get the full story here.
Cases, hospitalizations surge in San Francisco
There are 249 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in San Francisco -- twice as many as during the last surge in July, officials said. Since the pandemic began, there have been 27,000 COVID-19 cases in SF and 235 deaths. ICU capacity in the city is currently at 29%.
Coronavirus death toll reaches 30,000 in California
The coronavirus death toll in California reached 30,000 on Monday, another staggering milestone as the nation's most populous state endures the worst surge of the nearly yearlong pandemic.
US asking states to vaccinate everyone older than 65
The Trump administration is asking states to speed delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to people 65 and older and to others at high risk by no longer holding back the second dose of the two-dose shots, officials said Tuesday.
Jan. 11, 2021
Bay Area's ICU capacity below 1%, stay-home order likely to be extended
Less than 1 percent of the Bay Area's intensive care unit beds remain available amid the region's latest coronavirus surge, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday. Approximately 0.7% of the 11-county greater Bay Area region's ICU beds remain open, according to state public health data. Once ICU capacity hits 0%, the region would then pivot to its surge capacity of additional ICU beds. Statewide, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have risen 6 percent over the past two weeks to 21,668 while ICU admissions have increased 13 percent to 1,868 as of Sunday.
UC campuses plan to resume in-person classes for fall 2021 semester
The University of California announced that it is planning for in-person classes to resume during the fall 2021 semester at all 10 of its campuses. Get the full story here.
Santa Clara Co. update on vaccination plan
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez, Supervisor Joe Simitian, and Community Health Partnership CEO Dolores Alvarado discussed the need for a transparent, coordinated vaccination plan for the county that will be considered at the board of supervisors meeting on Tuesday.
Mill Valley requests permission to reopen outdoor dining
The city of Mill Valley is asking Governor Newsom for permission to reopen outdoor dining. The City Council approved two letters asking the Governor and county health officials to exempt outdoor dining from restrictions. In the letters, they stressed that local restaurants and their employees are struggling to survive. The letters also asks the state provide evidence that there is a risk associated with outdoor dining.
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