SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The tsunami of news about the current coronavirus outbreak and now the shelter-in-place can be overwhelming. To help you navigate through what you need to know — 5 News/CBSN Bay Area — will be publishing a news roundup each morning of the top coronavirus-related stories from the last 24 hours so you can start your day with the latest updated developments.

Good News — Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Strangers Work Together To Feed At-Risk Neighbors In San Francisco Sunset District During Pandemic
SAN FRANCISCO — A pair of strangers got together to make sure their most at-risk neighbors in San Francisco’s Sunset District were cared for during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place. Volunteers package food pantry groceries, then drive them to elderly and at-risk neighbors. It’s the work of the Sunset Neighborhood Help Group, started by Bianca Nandzik and Frank Plughoff. When the city began sheltering in place, Nandzik helped an elderly neighbor get groceries. “I thought, ‘Oh, I could do that for other people as well!'” she recalled. Read More

For Uplifting Stories Of Neighbors Helping Neighbors Visit Our Better Together Section

Coronavirus And The Law

Livermore Cold Case Rape Suspect Released From Custody
LIVERMORE — Gregory Vien, a Livermore man being held on $2.5 million bail for allegedly committing a pair of 1997 East Bay rapes was released on his own recognizance from Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, authorities confirmed on Wednesday. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department said 59-year-old Gregory Paul Vien was released Friday night by a judge’s order. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly told CBS San Francisco the release was based on concern over the spread of COVID-19 at Santa Rita Jail, but not specifically related to the current zero bail order by the California Judicial Council for misdemeanor and non-violent crime suspects. Read More

Coronavirus Beach Shutdown

SAN FRANCISCO — Still angered over images of large crowd gathered along the California coast last weekend, Gov. Gavin Newsom has sent out a memo to law enforcement across the state saying he will be issuing an order Thursday, shutting down access to the state’s beaches beginning on May 1st. Newsom first displayed his ire over the surge to beaches on Monday, warning Californians who have been under strict local and statewide stay at home orders since mid-March that — “This virus doesn’t take the weekends off. This virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts.” Read More

Coronavirus Outbreak

Fauci Calls Foster City-Based Gilead’s COVID-19 NIH Test Results ‘Quite Good News’
FOSTER CITY — Foster City-based Gilead Sciences announced Wednesday that its experimental drug — remdesivir — has proved effective against COVID-19 in a major U.S. government study that put it to a strict test. The drug would be the first treatment to pass such a test against the virus, which has killed more than 218,000 people since it emerged late last year in China. Having a treatment could have a profound effect on the global pandemic, especially because health officials say any vaccine is likely a year or more away. The study, run by the National Institutes of Health, tested remdesivir versus usual care in about 800 hospitalized coronavirus patients around the world. The main result is how long it takes patients to recover. Read More

Dubious Coronavirus Claims By Central Valley Doctors Condemned By Health Experts
BAKERSFIELD — A news conference by two Bakersfield-area doctors that downplayed the threat of the coronavirus and made dubious claims that the disease had already spread widely, and therefore was not dangerous, struck a chord with those itching for states to ease stay-at-home orders — but is being condemned by public health officials and experts. A widely shared local television video of last week’s news conference, which was posted on YouTube, reached more than 5 million views and was amplified by Elon Musk and Fox News, where Dr. Dan Erickson and Dr. Artin Massihi appeared on primetime shows two nights in a row. Read More

UCSF Sets Up COVID-19 Ward At Mount Zion Complex
SAN FRANCISCO — UC San Francisco Health began accepting patients Wednesday at a new Mount Zion medical center ward reserved for COVID-19 coronavirus patients. The ward includes 46 acute care beds and seven intensive care beds that are outfitted with ventilators. The ward will serve as UCSF Health’s primary coronavirus care facility. Patients with comorbidities will receive more intensive care at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at UCSF’s Parnassus Heights facility. Moving patients to the UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion will also free up beds at the Diller Medical Center for complex procedures like tumor removals and heart surgeries. Read More

18 Residents Test Positive For COVID-19 At Vallejo Care Facility
VALLEJO — State health officials have reported that 18 residents at the Windsor Vallejo
Nursing and Rehabilitation Center have tested positive for COVID-19. Vallejo spokeswoman Christina Lee told the Vallejo Times Herald that four staffers at the facility had also tested positive for the virus. The facility notified the Solano County Public Health Department last Friday that there had been confirmed cases at the center. Lee said there were 12 confirmed cases among residents, but the state health department COVID-19 dashboard showed the outbreak had grown to 18 by Tuesday. Read More

No Trace Of Coronavirus Found During Mass Testing Of Bolinas Residents
BOLINAS — Apparently, even the coronavirus has a hard time finding its way to Bolinas. Marin County health officials announced Tuesday evening that a study that involved testing all the residents of the notoriously recluse coastal community has revealed no evidence of COVID-19 among the town’s residents. “It’s a relief,” Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s chief public health officer, told the Marin IJ. “This is a sign to me that we really did get in front of this and interrupt transmission.” Read More

Coronavirus And Schools

San Francisco Unified School District Opts For ‘Credit/No Credit’ Grading
SAN FRANCISCO — Officials with the San Francisco Unified School District late Wednesday announced the approach teachers will be taking as far as grading students for the remainder of the coronavirus-impacted school year. The district made the announcement in an email sent to parents Wednesday evening. Like school districts across the state, San Francisco Unified has been coping with the challenges of distance learning and bridging the so-called “digital divide” with students since schools were officially closed to students in mid-March. Read More

CSU, UC Students Want Some Fees Refunded Since COVID-19 Has Shut Down Campus Life
HAYWARD — When colleges stopped in-person classes, students had to switch to online learning. That cut out much of the campus life that students were enjoying and had paid for in advance. Now some are demanding their money back. The campus of Cal State East Bay looks like a postcard, mainly because nothing is moving. “Yeah, it’s a ghost town up here for sure…for sure it’s a ghost town!” said first year student Angelina Knights, one of the few still living on campus, but it’s not much of a life. Read More

Coronavirus Testing

Stanford Study On MLB COVID-19 Antibodies May Help Settle Debate On Infection Rate Of Virus
PALO ALTO — Some new antibody test studies are claiming COVID-19 death rates are smaller than expected. Whether it is one in ten, or one in 1000, the debate about the value of these studies is intensifying. The results from the first nationwide antibody test study coming from Stanford University and involving Major League Baseball are expected any day now. When Stanford releases the results, the question becomes how do to interpret these studies. Read More

Health Official Says Underused Testing Sites In San Francisco Will Soon Be Up To Capacity
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco is now offering coronavirus testing to every adult in the city with a symptom. The hopes is that it will help close the city’s current testing gap. So far, the testing sites are operating far from capacity, though. “It took like five seconds, the time to put the thing up your nose and rotate,” says Pedro Frota. “Yeah, it’s kind of annoying, but it’s easy.” Frota was among the handful of people who came by the South of Market test site Wednesday morning. He says he does not feel sick, but he has one symptom and wanted to take every precaution. His biggest challenge, he says, was figuring out that he could be here. Read More

Surgical Masks Thrown Onto Southbound I-880 Near Whipple Tie Up Traffic
UNION CITY — Hundreds of surgical masks that were apparently thrown from the back of a truck onto southbound lanes of I-880 in Union City caused a traffic jam Wednesday afternoon as some drivers stopped to gather the masks, according to authorities. The incident was first reported by CHP at approximately 1:40 p.m. when authorities received calls about a white truck stopped on the freeway. A white or Hispanic male on the bed of the truck reportedly threw multiple boxes of masks onto the freeway into lanes of southbound 880 near the Whipple Avenue exit. Read More

Nearly 4,500 Tested In Hayward Over Past 5 Weeks
HAYWARD — Nearly 4,500 people have been tested for the coronavirus for free at a testing center in Hayward, city officials said Tuesday. Over five weeks, firefighter-paramedics and health clinicians completed the tests, which are now being conducted in Lot A of the California State University East Bay campus at 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd. The testing center is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, though it may close early if there are no more tests available or if demand wanes. Read More

Coronavirus And Shelter In Place

Bay Area Health Officers Extend, Amend Shelter-In-Place Order To Allow Some Outdoor Activities
SAN JOSE — Bay Area health authorities are amending the shelter-in-place order allowing for some outdoor activities such as construction, landscaping, as well as some recreational activities while keeping in place most of the current social distancing protocols. The amended public health order is also being extended until the end of May. The current health order in place was set to expire on Monday, which will now be the day the new health order takes effect. All construction activities, certain businesses that operate primarily outdoors, and some outdoor activities will be allowed to resume with specific conditions, according to the new health orders, which cover everyone living or working in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara as well as the City of Berkeley, an independent public health jurisdiction. Read More

SF Eases Rules On Outdoor Businesses, Activities As City Extends Shelter Order Through May
SAN FRANCISCO — Some restrictions on outdoor business and activities will be eased next week under the extended shelter order to stop the spread of COVID-19 announced by San Francisco Mayor London Breed, on Wednesday. The new Stay Home Order, effective on Monday, maintains social distancing, face covering and other safety measures, but allows some “lower risk outdoor activities and jobs to resume.” Those outdoor activities include construction work, and businesses like flea markets, car washes, and plant nurseries. Some skate parks and golf courses may open, as well. Sports that involve direct contact and shared equipment are still prohibited. Read More

California Food For Seniors Plan Could Run Out Of Money Soon
SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first-in-the-nation plan to pay for and deliver three meals a day to vulnerable seniors during the coronavirus crisis has less than two weeks to launch before federal funding runs out, government documents show. It wasn’t clear how many, if any, cities and counties would be delivering meals in substantial numbers by May 10, when money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is set to end. Also unclear is how much FEMA has budgeted for the program, though it told The Associated Press there is no preset limit. Read More

Coronavirus and Business

Gov. Newsom Introduces New Plan To Connect Farmers With Food Banks
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced a new program that would bring together farmers and ranchers suffering from decreased demand for produce with food banks helping a rising number of families in need amid the COVID-19 crisis. Newsom opened his remarks on Wednesday by reviewing the newly introduced program with FEMA to help get restaurants back to work by providing subsidized meals to seniors in need, saying the state would now spearhead another new pact to help connect businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic with Californians in need. Read More

Lyft To Cut 17% Of Staff, Furlough Hundreds More Due To Coronavirus Pandemic
SAN FRANCISCO — Lyft plans to cut nearly 1,000 staffers and furlough hundreds more as it grapples with the impact of the ongoing pandemic on people using its ride-hailing services. The San Francisco-based company, which went public about a year ago, said in a filing Wednesday that it plans to cut 17% of its workforce, or 982 employees. It has also furloughed about 288 employees on top of that.
In the filing, Lyft cited the downsizing as a means of curbing operating expenses and adjusting its cash flow “in light of the ongoing economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the company’s business.” Read More

Electrostatic Sprayers In High Demand To Disinfect Surfaces From Coronavirus
SAN FRANCISCO — It may look like something right out of Star Wars but, it’s actually the latest tool to help fight the coronavirus. Electrostatic sprayers are increasingly being used to clean surfaces that may have been contaminated. The sprayers apply an electrostatic charge to disinfectant solution during application. “We are positively charging a chemical as it comes through a nozzle,” said Hotsy Pacific Industrial Cleaning Solutions President Jim O’Connel explained. “In our world, everything else is a negative charge, so it basically gets the positive attracted to the negative and the chemical attaches to the product.” Read More

South Bay Lawmakers, Unions Push For Greater Protections For Essential Workers
SAN JOSE — A coalition of workers’ rights groups, labor unions and local elected officials in the South Bay are pushing for greater protections for essential workers during the novel coronavirus pandemic. With much of the country closed for business in an effort to encourage social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19, only those businesses and workers deemed essential have been allowed remain on the job. But there have been ongoing reports that such workers, from ride-hailing service drivers to health care workers to fast food restaurant employees, are being expected to work without protective equipment, access to proper sanitation supplies, hazard pay and paid sick leave. Read More

Facebook’s Business Looking Resilient Despite Coronavirus Pandemic
MENLO PARK — Facebook’s core advertising business has been upended by the pandemic, but the company said it saw “signs of stability” in the first three weeks of April. On Wednesday, the Menlo Park-based social media giant said it experienced a “significant reduction” in the demand for advertising, as well as a related decline in the pricing of ads, during the final three weeks of the quarter ending in March. The announcement comes as businesses around the world are forced to tighten their budgets or shutter entirely because of the pandemic. Read More

San Jose Furloughing Part-Time Employees To Make Up For Revenue Shortfalls
SAN JOSE — City officials have announced work furloughs for hundreds of part-time employees in non-essential jobs, citing at least $45 million in general fund “revenue shortfalls” by the end of the year. Dave Sykes, the city manager, delivered the news to the San Jose City Council via teleconference Tuesday evening. “After a lot of thought and careful consideration, we’ve come to the decision that we’re going to end administrative leave for part-time, unbenefited and temporary employees,” Sykes said. “This is, in essence, a furlough for the unbenefited and temporary employees, and that furlough will begin on May 4th.” Read More

San Francisco Symphony Cancels Concerts; Employees, Musicians Take 25 Percent Paycut
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Symphony announced Wednesday the cancellation of all remaining concerts in the 2019–20 season and also its summer series in the wake of the continuing coronavirus outbreak. In light of the cancellations, officials said, members of the orchestra, chorus, and stagehands have all agreed to reduce their salaries by an average of 25% during the timeframe of April 19 to September 5. Retiring Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas will also not receive compensation for canceled concerts. Read More

Tesla Posts Surprise First Quarter Profit Despite COVID-19 Plant Shutdown, Losses
FREMONT — Tesla surprised investors and managed to eke out a small first-quarter net profit just as the coronavirus started to affect the electric car and solar panel maker. The company announced Tuesday, that it made $16 million from January through March, or 8 cents per share. It was the third straight profitable quarter for the Palo Alto-based automaker. Excluding one-time items, Tesla earned $1.24 per share. Some analysts had predicted losses of 28 cents a share. Read More

San Mateo County Issues Moratorium On Rent Increases Through May
SAN MATEO COUNTY — San Mateo County supervisors on Tuesday passed an emergency moratorium on rent increases, Supervisor Dave Canepa’s office said. The moratorium lasts until the end of May and affects every county municipality. Canepa and Supervisor Don Horsley jointly sponsored the legislation. In a statement, Canepa said, “Our residents, many who are food insecure, deserve the stability of knowing that their housing is protected during the shelter in place order.” Read More

Marin County Supervisors Extend Eviction Protections
MARIN COUNTY (CBS SF) — The Marin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed an amended resolution that further protects tenants from being evicted because of lost income related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The board adopted a resolution on March 24 that barred evictions due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The county’s amended resolution now aligns with state policy, which prohibits evictions prompted by the loss of income related to COVID-19 through May 31, and gives renters up to 90 days after the expiration of the resolution to repay back rent. The resolution applies to all unincorporated areas of the county, its cities and towns. Read More

Coronavirus And Sports

Bay Area Recreational Golf Permitted Next Week
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Bay Area health authorities are amending current shelter-in-place orders, allowing certain low-risk outdoor activities and outdoor businesses to resume. It’s welcomed news for local golfers and the dozens of facilities that dot the landscape. According to guidelines released today by six Bay Area counties, golf can resume on May 4th with modified social distancing procedures and guidance from government officials. “It’s a good day for golf,” said John Abendroth who is a board member for the Northern California PGA. “I think the golf courses could be ready to play in a matter of hours.” Read More

Dr. Anthony Fauci Says Professional Sports Are Not Yet Ready To Return
SAN FRANCISCO — As the United States progresses towards flattening the curve, and government leaders continue to relax restrictions on shelter-in-place orders, the return of sports seems more and more optimistic. In an interview with the New York Times, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned the curtain that’s been down on professional sports for nearly seven weeks may not be ready to come up. Read More