Join anchor Kristen Sze for ABC7’s daily interactive newscast about the novel coronavirus outbreak in the Bay Area and other hot topics. You can check here to stream the show Monday-Friday at 3 p.m.
Here are the latest developments on the respiratory illness in the U.S.:
Jan. 26, 2021
SF officials provide update on vaccine distribution
San Francsico Mayor London Breed will be joined by health officials to provide the latest update on vaccine distribution in the city. Check back to watch the briefing in the media player above.
Storm to temporarily close some SF vaccination, testing sites
San Francisco city workers are ready to manage potential impacts of the storm to the city’s pandemic response and city operations.
To avoid unnecessary risk, some outdoor COVID-19 testing sites will close or reduce their hours. Residents are encouraged to call 311 or visit www.sf.gov/gettestedsf to see if their testing site will be open.
People who know they have been exposed to the coronavirus or are having symptoms should remain quarantined while they wait for a test.
Testing at the Potrero Hill Health Center at 1050 Wisconsin St. will end at noon Tuesday and will start again Friday morning. The testing at Pier 30-32 will stop at 4 p.m. Tuesday and other locations may adjust their hours, according to city officials.
COVID-19 vaccinations taking place at City College of San Francisco at 50 Frida Kahlo Way will stop at noon Tuesday and stay closed through Thursday. City officials said people affected will be contacted and their appointments rescheduled.
Santa Clara County may approve ‘hero pay’ today
A pay boost could be coming for frontline workers in the South Bay. Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors will consider approving so-called “hero pay.” It would give an extra $5 per hour to workers at grocery stores, pharmacies and fast food restaurants. If approved, the raise would last 6 months.
Jan. 25, 2021
Santa Clara Co. COVID-19 Update
Effective Monday, Santa Clara County has returned to the purple tier, with some additional local restrictions in place. Outdoor dining can resume, as well as personal care services and professional, collegiate, and adult and youth sports. The county’s mandatory travel quarantine is still in place, requiring a 10-day quarantine for most people who travel into the county from more than 150 miles away.
“We are still nowhere near out of the woods,” a county spokesperson warned, saying that case rates and hospitalizations still remain concerningly high. Both figures are “much higher” than the county was seeing going into the Thanksgiving holiday.
SF to reopen outdoor dining, hair salons, more
Starting Thursday, outdoor dining, hair and nail salons and outdoor museums are among some of the businesses in San Francisco that are able to resume after the state lifted the stay-at-home order Monday. Get more details here.
CA stay-at-home order lifted
California health officials have lifted the regional stay-at-home order for all areas statewide on Monday morning, including the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and the Bay Area, where ICU capacities still remain under 15%. Get the full story here.
Google will turn some of its facilities into vaccination sites. That includes locations in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York City and Kirkland, Washington — outside of Seattle. One Medical is helping facilitate the conversion. Google’s CEO says this is part of the company’s new pledge to promote vaccine education and equitable access. It’s revamping its search pages to make it easy for people to find when and where to get the shot. Google will also spend $150 million to support groups that are distributing the vaccine.
To help get vaccines to more people, Google is providing $150M to promote vaccine education & equitable access, and opening up our spaces for vaccination sites as needed. On Search & Maps, we’re making it easy to find when + where to get a vaccine. https://t.co/Iep0n0Dv47
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) January 25, 2021
Jan. 24, 2021
Gov. Newsom expected to lift strict stay-at-home orders, sources say
Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to lift California’s strict stay-at-home orders he imposed on much of the state in December. In a letter to restaurant owners, the California Restaurant Association says sources tell them that officials with Gov. Newsom’s office plan to lift the stay-at-home orders in all regions of the state on Monday. Read more details here.
California reports new cases, deaths
California reported another 24,111 cases of COVID-19 on Friday and a total of 429 people died of the virus. More than 17,000 remain hospitalized, with 4,459 in the ICU statewide. California has reported a total of 3,109,151 cases of COVID-19 to date.
Bay Area ICU bed capacity rises to 23.4%
The Bay Area now has 23.4% of ICU beds available, according to the latest state data, a significant increase from what the region has seen in recent weeks with the alarming surge of COVID-19 cases. A stay-at-home order was triggered Dec. 17 when the region dropped below 15% of available ICU capacity. Earlier this month, the stay-at-home order was lifted in the Sacramento region, which includes 13 counties. Sacramento’s ICU capacity stands at just 11.9%, several points below the state’s threshold.
According to the Associated Press, the region’s ICU capacity is expected to surpass 15% in the next four weeks, which prompted the state to lift the stay-at-home order in Sacramento.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed shared promising news Saturday, saying the city’s “reproductive rate” of COVID-19 is below one, meaning ever person who contracts COVID-19 is passing it to less than one other person.
“If this continues, we could start reopening under CA’s guidelines,” Breed tweeted. “But we all need to keep doing what we know slows the spread of this virus: wear a mask, avoid indoor gatherings with people you don’t live with, ventilate indoor spaces when you’re around other people, and wash your hands frequently.”
The lifting of the stay-at-home order would allow the Bay Area region to enter the state’s purple tier, meaning outdoor dining could resume. Read more here.
Jan. 23, 2021
California reports nearly 23,000 new cases in one day
California reported another 22,972 cases of COVID-19 on Friday and a total of 593 people died of the virus. More than 18,000 remain hospitalized, with 4,534 in the ICU statewide. California has reported a total of 3,085,040 cases of COVID-19 to date.
Jan. 22, 2021
New state record with COVID-19 deaths
Today, state officials say 764 deaths have been in reported in a single day in California. The last highest single-day record was 708 on January 8.
Here are the latest numbers:
23,024 new cases
7 day average = 28,921
14 day average = 35,245
3,062,068 total cases
7 day positivity rate = 8.9%
14 day positivity rate = 10.5%
764 new deaths
7 day average = 497
14 day average = 511
35,768 total deaths
Hospital & ICU data not available
Regional ICU Availability:
Southern CA = 0.0%
San Joaquin Valley = 0.0%
Greater Sacramento = 9.0%
Bay Area = 6.6%
Northern CA = 28.5%
Contra Costa County health officials give update on vaccination plan
Contra Costa Health Services provided an update regarding the status of COVID-19 distribution in the county. So far, the county says it has given 65,000 vaccinations since Dec. 15 with an average of up to 5,800 a day.
ICU capacity in the county is at 2.3% with 288 hospitalized.
They hope to open a mass vaccination site similar to City College of San Francisco.
WATCH: Contra Costa County health officials provide update on vaccination plan
SF to open first mass vaccine site today
The city of San Francisco is opening its first mass COVID-19 vaccine site today. It’s at City College, but health officials say due to extremely limited vaccine supply there are currently no drop-ins or appointments available.
Jan. 21, 2021
San Mateo Co. to open second drive-thru vaccine clinic
San Mateo County is planning to open a second drive-thru vaccine clinic so people can get their second dose. The county says its plans to post more information about vaccines on its website by next week. Right now, the county is still focusing on Phase 1-A, which is healthcare workers and people who live in care facilities.
Jan. 20, 2021
San Mateo Co health officer gives update on COVID-19 vaccine
San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow said that he does not yet have a full understanding of how the COVID-19 vaccine is flowing through the county. Via a statement released Tuesday, Morrow said that a lack of data and the various routes of vaccine distribution make it difficult to grasp how many people and exactly who has received the vaccine in the county. He urged people to be patient as uncertainty and ambiguity are expected in the early phases of such a large endeavor.
“If you are confused, don’t be alarmed. We are all confused,” he said. “I share your frustration of not having good, clear, understandable data on the efficiency of the vaccine roll out. There is no single entity that has a good understanding of the whole process.”
In San Mateo County, the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed through three major routes or “pipelines.” One is through the federal government’s partnership with CVS and Walgreens. Next is health care providers like Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health and the third is the county’s health department which receives a small amount of vaccine doses, between 100 to a few thousand a week. Of the 25,800 first vaccine doses received, the county has administered 22,354 doses, a spokesperson for San Mateo County Health said via email on Tuesday.
“Despite what you may have heard, we do not yet have any real understanding of how vaccine is flowing into our county through these three pipelines, except for the small portion flowing to the health department,” Morrow said.
In addition, there is high demand but a limited supply of the vaccine, and Morrow said the federal government is behind schedule with its vaccine allocations.
Morrow estimates that in order to vaccinate most of the population by July, entities in the county need to vaccinate 40,000 people a week, or about 6,000 daily. However, the supply coming to the county’s entities is about one-tenth of that rate.
San Mateo County’s COVID-19 vaccination information is available at smchealth.org/covidvaccine.
CA hits 3M COVID-19 cases
California is now the first state in the country to have three million coronavirus cases. In comparison, Texas has more than two million cases, and only Florida, Illinois and New York have more than one million cases.
There were 694 deaths reported in the state Wednesday.
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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