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 omicron 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.
Jan. 11, 2022
San Francisco issues new testing guidelines for health care providers
New San Francisco guidelines require all large health care facilities to provide access to COVID-19 testing for people with symptoms and people who have been a close contact within 24 hours of a request from a member patient. Under the new order, the largest health systems will now be required to produce documentation twice a week to the SF Department of Public Health with proof of meeting patient testing needs in a timely manner.
The city also announced more support for SFUSD, including providing more masks for students and teachers, and adding to the District supply of rapid antigen tests to support educators who are in quarantine being able to test back into the classroom.
An average of 1,386 San Francisco residents a day are testing positive for COVID-19 at testing sites, which is more than four times that of last winter’s peak at 373 cases per day.
Hayward Unified returns to remote learning
Today the Hayward Unified School District is going back to remote learning for one week. More than 500 students have tested positive for COVID and there are fewer teachers available, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Making the switch to online learning means the district risks losing $2.5 million a day in funding. Students received Chromebooks yesterday. The district has set up learning hubs for students who need access to virtual learning from a school facility.
Jan. 10, 2022
Sonoma Co. to temporarily ban large indoor, outdoor gatherings
Sonoma County health officials issued a temporary restriction Monday banning large gatherings as omicron variant spikes in the community. Large gatherings of more than 50 people indoors, or more than 100 people outdoors (where social distancing is not feasible), are prohibited for the duration of the order. The order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12 until Feb. 11.
The county also issued an appeal to residents to stay home as much as possible for the next 30 days and limit interactions with those outside of their immediate household.
West Contra Costa Co. Unified schools closed today
Schools in West Contra Costa Unified will be closed today because of the spike in omicron cases. When classes resume tomorrow all staff will be required to wear a medical grade KN-95 mask. Each person will be provided one new mask every week through the end of the school year. All schools got a deep cleaning on Friday. Students and staff are asked to get a COVID test before returning to class, although this is not a requirement.
Jan. 8, 2022
UC Berkeley to start semester remotely, plans to resume in-person learning Jan. 31
UC Berkeley announced it will begin the semester with most classes being offered remotely.
Some students and staff had expressed concern that Berkeley was the only University of California undergraduate campus not planning to offer virtual learning.
Remote classes will begin January 18, and plans to go full in-person instruction will resume on January 31.
You can read the university’s statement here.
Vallejo City Hall Closed until Feb. 28
Vallejo City Hall will be closed to the public until at least March because of a spike in COVID cases.
City Council, Board, and Commission meetings will still happen in-person for now.
City Council will consider switching to completely virtual meetings in its next session on Tuesday.
If you need to reach a certain department, it’s taking virtual appointment meetings Mondays through Thursdays.
Drop boxes for bill payments are open.
Jan. 7, 2022
Hayward Unified to remote for 1 week
The Hayward Unified School District voted on Friday go back to remote learning for a week starting Monday.
The debate went on for several hours and the majority of the discussion and public comments focused not so much on whether to go back to distance learning, but if one week was actually too short.
There were several parents and even board members urging the kids be kept out of class for two weeks or even until the start of February.
The school board will revisit the decision and its next meeting and consider an extension for remote learning.
Gov. Gavin Newsom sends CA National Guard to help with state’s COVID-19 testing capacity
Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday he has sent the California National Guard to help communities throughout the state with additional testing sites as COVID-19 cases continue to grow.
In a statement by the governor, “the National Guard plan will deploy more than 200 Cal Guard members across 50 Optum Serve sites around the state, providing interim clinical staff while permanent staff are hired adding capacity for walk-ins, assisting with crowd control and back-filling for staff absences – all in an effort to conduct more tests for more Californians. “
The COVID-19 testing site in Antioch located at 4703 Lone Tree Way, Antioch, CA 94531, started receiving aid from the National Guard on Friday, the governor’s office said.
“On Monday, the site will double the number of testing windows to four and double the number of appointments per day. The site is open Saturday from 11a.m. – 7p.m. Additional sites in Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties will also receive assistance from the National Guard beginning today and through the coming days.”
Additional members of the national guard will be deployed next week in similar capacities.
“California has led the country’s fight against COVID-19, implementing first-in-the-nation public health measures that have helped save tens of thousands of lives,” said Governor Newsom in written statement. “We continue to support communities in their response to COVID by bolstering testing capacity.”
The activation of the CA National Guard is on top of the additional 6,000 testing sites across the state as well as the nearly 10 million tests given to schools since early December, the governor said.
CA reports more than 100,000 new COVID cases
The state of California released new coronavirus numbers on Friday. See the breakdown below:
103,606 new cases
5,634,357 total cases
292 new deaths
76,341 total deaths
7 day test positivity rate = 21.7%
9,279 hospitalized patients
1,500 icu patients
San Jose City Council set to approve booster mandate
Next week, San Jose’s city council is set to approve an update to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. If approved, it would require people who visit city-owned facilities like SAP Center, where the Sharks play and the San Jose Convention Center to provide proof that they have received a booster vaccination. The proposal would also require city employees to get a booster, if eligible, or prove that they have received one.
Jan. 6, 2022
Cal State East Bay going remote for first 2 weeks of spring 2022 semester
Cal State East Bay is the latest CSU to announce it will delay in-person learning.
The university said it will begin the first two weeks of the spring 2022 semester remotely, according to its website.
Class and labs scheduled between Jan. 18 through Jan. 28 will be “delivered via remote modalities,” the school wrote. “We have made the decision to start the Spring semester virtually to greatly reduce population density on our campuses,” said Cal State East Bay President Cathy Sandeen.
The school plans to return to in-person learning on Monday, Jan. 31.
San Francisco State University announced today it has delayed in-person learning until Feb. 14.
You can read the posting by visiting this page.
Cal State East Bay will temporarily begin the first two weeks of Spring 2022 semester with remote instruction. Classes and labs offered between Jan. 18 through Jan. 28 will be online and will return to the planned instructional modality Jan. 31. https://t.co/63kMhPOnDm
— Cal State East Bay (@CalStateEastBay) January 6, 2022
San Francisco State University to delay in-person learning until Feb. 14
San Francisco State University announced on Thursday it has delayed in-person learning until Monday, Feb. 14 due to the omicron surge.
“The escalation in positivity rates and increased hospitalizations across the state,” said SF State President Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D. in a written statement on the university’s website.
She also said most campus services will be held remotely until February 7.
However, she wrote the school semester will start as planned on Monday, January 24.
You can read the full statement by visiting this page.
CAMPUS ALERT: SF State President Mahoney announced today that the University is temporarily moving to remote modalities until February 14 due to the current Omicron surge. The semester itself will start as planned on January 24.
Read the full message: https://t.co/Q3itFgejhd pic.twitter.com/84spHkzSYn
— SF State (@SFSU) January 6, 2022
Oakley will distribute free at-home COVID test kits
Supervisor Diane Burgis’ office and the city of Oakley will distribute free at-home COVID test kits to families. The testing kits will be given out on a first-come-first-served basis at a drive-through event at the Oakley Recreation Center on O’Hara Avenue, the East Bay Times, reports. It will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. or while supplies last. Test kits are limited to two per family. Each kit contains two tests.
Jan. 5, 2022
West Contra Costa Unified School District cancels classes for Friday and Monday due to omicron surge
The West Contra Costa Unified School District announced it is cancelling classes for Friday, January 7 and Monday, January 10 due to the omicron surge
Dr. Kenneth Chris Hurst, Superintendent of West CoCo unified said on the school’s website on Wednesday all district schools will be closed for students and staff on both days as schools will undergo a deep cleaning on Friday, January 7. You can read the full statement on this page.
CA extends indoor mask mandate
California is extending its indoor mask mandate for at least one more month – through Feb. 15 – state officials said Wednesday.
The state had brought back the mandate last month amid a surge in new COVID-19 infections fueled by the more-contagious omicron variant. Holiday gatherings and related activities are also playing a role in a continuing sharp increase in cases. Here’s the full story.
SJPD taking measures to reduce spread
Local jurisdictions are taking action to try and stop the spread of COVID 19. The San Jose Police Department is reducing services at its main headquarters and it’s temporarily barring any in-person filing of police reports. Fingerprinting will only be available for court orders, bookings, registrations, and warrant requests. San Mateo County is following the lead of Contra Costa County and stopping jury trials for two weeks.
Jan. 4, 2022
Bay Area school district to provide faculty 1 KN95 mask every week through end of school year
The West Contra Costa Unified School District will require all faculty at school sites to wear a KN95 mask while at work starting Jan. 10. The District has ordered enough masks for each employee to have one KN95 mask per week through the end of the school year.
Marin Co. public schools to prohibit indoor gatherings, spectators at indoor sporting events
Marin County public schools plan to prohibit indoor gatherings like assemblies and prohibit spectators, including parents, at indoor sporting events due to the surge of omicron, ABC7 News has learned. Marin County public health officer Dr. Matt Willis says most of the positive cases have been from asymptomatic people, and have more likely to have been involved in indoor sporting activities, attended at least two indoor gatherings over holidays and likely have traveled out of the state.
Stanford announces new winter sports attendance policies
Stanford athletics announced Tuesday that spectator attendance at all indoor winter events will be temporarily reduced to a limited number of student-athlete families, while outdoor events will require social distancing and mask-wearing for all attendees. The changes come as the university sees rising COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant.
Hundreds of SF essential workers in quarantine
SF health officials say 186 SFPD members, including 167 sworn officers, 135 SFFD staff, and 85 SFMTA personnel have been exposed to COVID-19 and have entered or are entering quarantine. These departments say they are prioritizing essential operations and establishing emergency contingency plans to minimize disruption to services.
SF health officials give COVID update
San Francisco health officials provided an update on the surge in omicron cases in the city. An average of 829 SF residents a day are contracting COVID-19 (as of December 27), which is more than double that of last winter’s peak at 373 cases per day. Officials say 81% of SF residents are vaccinated, and 54% have been boosted. San Francisco Department of Public Health sites have expanded to more than 25,000 tests a week across the city, nearly doubling capacity from three weeks ago.
CA releases 1st full update on numbers since Dec. 31
California released its latest coronavirus data on Tuesday, our first full update since Dec 31 so these numbers all look exceptionally high, especially the new cases. The positivity rate sets a new record, but remember you do have more people testing so that contributes to the increase. See a breakdown of the numbers below:
237,084 new cases.
5,428,522 total cases
77 new deaths
75,924 total deaths
7 day test positivity rate = 20.4%
7,914 hospitalized patients
1,343 icu patients
San Mateo reopens vaccine clinic
San Mateo County is reopening a vaccination clinic at the San Mateo Event Center today. The clinic reopens at noon and closes at 7 p.m. It will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays going forward. You are encouraged to sign up through the state’s MyTurn website for an appointment, but people without appointments will not be turned away. The county is offering first, second, and booster doses.
Jan. 3, 2022
FDA takes actions to expand Pfizer vaccine use
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to:
- Expand the use of a single booster dose to include use in individuals 12 through 15 years of age.
- Shorten the time between the completion of primary vaccination of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and a booster dose to at least five months.
- Allow for a third primary series dose for certain immunocompromised children 5 through 11 years of age.
Jan. 2, 2022
SF Unified to offer rapid testing to students starting today
Starting today, San Francisco Unified will offer mobile rapid testing at the district office. Appointments are required. School sites will also be testing students throughout next week.
The site at Franklin St. will be open from 9a.m. to 4p.m. on Sunday at 555 Franklin Street (parking lot). For more information, you can visit this page.
Jan. 1, 2022
SF Unified to offer rapid testing to students
Many families in the Bay Area are struggling to get their children tested for COVID before they return to school on Monday. COVID testing appointments or rapid tests are hard to find in some areas. Starting tomorrow, San Francisco Unified will offer mobile rapid testing at the district office on Franklin Street. School sites will also be testing students throughout next week.
Dec. 31, 2021
California’s positivity rate rises
California’s 7-day test positivity rate is now up to 12.9 percent. It was in the single digits only on Tuesday.
Dec. 30, 2021
SF Sketchfest postponed due to rise in omicron cases, organizers say
The 2022 SF Sketchfest has been postponed due to the rise in omicron cases, organizers said on Thursday.
The event was originally slated for Jan. 7 to Jan. 23. Organizers said in a statement online, in part:
“The safety of our artists, staff and audiences is our number our priority. Over the past week, we have had many artists reach out to us to express concern about traveling and performing at a time when the COVID omicron variant is causing increased positive cases and breakthrough infections around the country. We have also had some artists and staff members test positive for COVID.”
The site says a new date will be announced in the coming weeks.
To read the full statement, you can visit this page.
California’s positivity rate is 12.9%, new data shows
The state positivity rate is now at 12.9%, according to the California Department of Public Health which just released new data today.
There are a reportedly 37,673 new cases with a total of 5,135,071 COVID-19 cases.
Here are the latest numbers:
109 new deaths
75,738 total in deaths
5,516 hospitalized patients which has increased by 318
1,194 ICU patients, up 115
64,562,129 individuals have been vaccinated in California
California’s COVID positivity rate now 11.2%
California’s COVID positivity rate now 11.2%
Here in California, the test positivity rate is now in the double digits, at 11.2%. Remember, before Christmas it was around 5%. The week of Thanksgiving, it hovered around 2%.
Dec. 29, 2021
Sonoma County to reinstate indoor mask mandates
Sonoma County joined other Bay Area counties Wednesday in rescinding exemptions that allowed stable groups of fully vaccinated people to remove their masks indoors in some workplaces, gyms, churches and other public settings. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask in all indoor public settings according to the updated guideline, set to begin at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.
San Francisco temporarily tightens vaccine, indoor masking requirements
San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Wednesday a updated vaccine and indoor masking requirements due to the surge of the omicron variant, effective February 1, 2022.
The changes include:
1) Requiring boosters among workers in healthcare and high-risk settings as well as some additional higher-risk settings not covered by the State requirements
2) A temporary suspension of the indoor universal mask exemption that allowed removal of masks for stable groups of 100% fully vaccinated individuals in certain settings
3) Attendees and staff of indoor megaevents are up-to-date on vaccinations, including boosters if eligible
In addition, San Francisco Department of Public Health plans to align its guidance on the quarantine with the recently announced modifications recommended by the CDC and California Department of Public Health.
Alameda and Marin counties update indoor masking mandate
Marin County, Alameda County and the city of Berkeley announced that their health officers are rescinding the facemask amendments allowing fully vaccinated people to go unmasked in some limited settings, effective 12:01 am on December 30, 2021. Everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, must mask in all indoor public settings. This change does not impact face masking requirements for school and youth settings.
Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose offers free passes to vaccinated guests
Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose is offering to help families get vaccinated and visit the museum for free. It’s happening this Sunday, January 2, and on the 23. All you have to do is show up on one of those dates, get vaccinated, and the museum will give you a free museum pass. You can use it the day you’re vaccinated or anytime within 6-months.
Dec. 28, 2021
Contra Costa Co. updates indoor masking mandate
Contra Costa County health officials announced a new order requiring masks in all public indoor places without exceptions for certain indoor settings. The order, which goes into effect on Dec. 29, 2021, now requires all people in Contra Costa, regardless of vaccination status, to mask in public indoor settings.
Previously, fully vaccinated public speakers and performers, and fully vaccinated groups of 100 or fewer people were allowed to remove their face coverings under controlled conditions.
Santa Clara Co. updates vaccination requirement for high-risk work settings
Santa Clara Co. health officials issued a health order requiring up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination for workers in certain higher-risk settings in light of the rapid surge in cases due to the omicron variant.
Under the new order, by Jan. 24, 2022, workers must be up-to-date on their vaccination (both fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 if eligible for a booster) in these higher-risk settings:
- Skilled nursing facilities, long-term care facilities, adult day care facilities, and memory care facilities
- Healthcare delivery facilities (such as hospitals, clinics, medical offices, dialysis centers) where patient care is provided, as well as medical first responders
- Jails and other correctional facilities
Contra Costa Co. mandates booster shots for first responders
Contra Costa County has mandated booster shots for first responders and other at-risk workers. The order will take effect on January 10. Workers who don’t get the booster shot will have to test weekly for COVID. The mandate covers law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel as well as workers in homeless shelters.
VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine
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