SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The tsunami of news about the current coronavirus outbreak and now the reopenings 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 and reopening-related stories so you can start your day with the latest updated developments.

Good News — Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Bay Area College Student, Foster Child Overcomes Challenge Of COVID-19 Shutdown Of Campus
SAN FRANCISCO — Odalis Millan’s sophomore year at Sonoma State University began as the trip of a lifetime, as she left home to study abroad in Spain. Then COVID-19 hit and the country went into quarantine. The study abroad program shut down and Millan, along with her classmates, frantically made plans to get back to the United States. “We saw [the pandemic coverage] on the news, everything that was going on,” recalled Millan. “[And we were like] Oh my God! Like we gotta go! We gotta pack. All my friends that were with me were like calling their parents and I wasn’t really calling anyone.” Millan had no one to call because she faces an obstacle most of her classmates will never have to worry about. Read More

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Lawmakers, Advocates Question Specifics of Gov. Newsom’s Prison Inmate Release Plan
SAN RAFAEL — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that roughly 8,000 prisoners will be released to try to contain the COVID-19 outbreak at state prisons. Those who have been advocating for early release of certain inmates say this is a step in the right direction but only a hundred or so are expected to be released from San Quentin, where more than 1,600 inmates have been infected with coronavirus. Jacques Verduin, the founder of GRIP — Guiding Rage Into Power — helps inmates transition to life on the outside. Over the past eight years, GRIP has graduated 913 with 321 of them being released. Only one has returned to prison. So far, not one GRIP graduate has been granted early release. The governor’s plan does specify low-level offenders with 180 days or less remaining in their sentences and those who are at risk of COVID-19-related complications. Read More

South Bay Health Officer Warns Coronavirus Could Soon Spread Out of Control Across State
SAN JOSE — One of Santa Clara county’s top health leaders said Friday the state’s approach to the pandemic isn’t working and the virus is just weeks away from spreading out of control in California. “We really need the state to uniformly do something dramatic to stop the spread,” said Santa Clara County executive officer Dr. Jeff Smith. “Otherwise, if we continue the way that we’re going now it’s only four to five weeks before we have the virus totally completely out of control, spreading like wildfire.” Smith said county leaders have reached out to state officials to suggest a more universal risk-reduction plan for California, however, they’ve been brushed away. “At this point they’ve made it clear they’re not interested in that right now,” Smith said. Read More

San Jose Teachers Tell School District They Will Not Return to Classrooms in August
SAN JOSE — San Jose teachers will not return to the classroom for in-person teaching in August, the school district announced Friday. Following “marathon” negotiations, San Jose Teachers Association president Patrick Bernhardt presented the superintendent of the San Jose Unified School District, Nancy Albarra, with a letter saying “Teachers do not feel that it is safe to return to teaching in person and, in large majority, they are unwilling to do so at this time.” In the letter, Bernhardt urged the district to “use the time remaining to prepare a rigorous, robust distance learning program for all students.” On Friday evening, the SJUSD emailed parents about the teachers’ decision and asked for input. Read More

Giants Star Buster Posey Opts Out Of Playing In Coronavirus-Shortened 2020 Season
SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants announced he plans to opt out of playing in the upcoming 2020 baseball season, which has been shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic. Posey said that he and his wife have recently adopted twin girls who were born prematurely and that this would be the best decision for his family.”We feel that this is the best decision for these babies and for our family as well,” Posey said. “That was a factor for me…after weighing it for a long time, talking to doctors, feels like the current state we are right now, and these babies, being as fragile as they are for the next four months, at minimum, this ultimately wasn’t a difficult decision for me,” he added. Read More

Pac-12 Shifts Fall Schedules To Conference-Only Games
SAN FRANCISCO — The Pac-12 has become the second major conference to shift to a conference-only fall schedule amid growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement came after a meeting of the Pac-12 CEO Group on Friday, a day after the Big Ten opted to eliminate nonconference games for all fall sports. Big 10 officials had announced a similar decision on Thursday, whipping out one of the most highly anticipated inter sectional clashes of the upcoming season between Ohio State and Oregon — both among the favorites to win conference titles this upcoming season. The Atlantic Coast, Big 12 and Southeastern conferences are still weighing options for fall sports. Read More

Oakland Unified To Begin School Year With Distance Learning Before Students Return To Classrooms
OAKLAND — The Oakland Unified School District announced Friday that the 2020-2021 school year would begin in one month with all students in distance learning before returning to classrooms in phases. The district made the announcement early Friday evening as district officials outlined the plans for the new school year during a live streamed press conference. The district’s plan to begin with all students in remote learning before gradually moving towards a blended mix of online classes and in-person attendance was recommended by the OUSD COVID-19 Action Team which is made up of school site staff including custodial, clerical, teachers, principals, as well as central office department leaders. The opening phase of distance learning for all students will last up to four weeks, according to officials. During that time, the district will implement its COVID-19 safety plans, attend training in both safety and instruction in addition to orienting students and families to later phases of blended learning. Read More

Sonoma County Added To State Monitoring List Because Of Spiking COVID-19 Infections
SANTA ROSA — The California Department of Public Health notified Sonoma County on Friday it has been placed on the state’s coronvirus monitoring list because of increasing infections in the county. Sonoma joining 29 other counties in the state on the watch list due to sharp increases in new coronavirus infections, including Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara and Solano counties. Sonoma County’s rate of infections per 100,000 residents has increased five-fold from 20 in early June to more than 100 over the past several days, according to Dr. Sundari Mase, the county’s Public Health Officer. Read More

Thousands Of California Prison Inmates Set To Be Released Because Of COVID-19 Outbreaks
SAN FRANCISCO — California Governor Gavin Newsom was set to announce the release of thousands of prison inmates in a move prompted by a worsening coronavirus outbreak at San Quentin State Prison and a number of other prison facilities. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on Friday said it estimates 8,000 currently incarcerated persons could be eligible for release by end of August under release authority granted to the CDCR Secretary allowing alternative confinement or release in any case in which an emergency endangering the lives of incarcerated persons has occurred or is imminent. The 8,000 inmates to be released are in addition to the state’s reduction of about 10,000 inmates since the start of the pandemic. Read More

Church Singing Ban Strikes Sour Note With NorCal Pastor
YUBA CITY — Crossroads Community Church Senior Pastor Jim Clark wants to keep his 1,500 parishioners safe during the coronavirus pandemic but he’s drawing the line at a new California ban on singing or chanting at religious services. “I said enough’s enough,” Clark said. “We will be singing and praising the Lord. … We don’t chant, but if we did chant, we’d be chanting too.” The California ban was one of a number of restrictions on indoor businesses and gatherings put in place last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom amid fast-rising virus cases and hospitalizations. It”s unclear if any similar prohibition on singing exists in the United States, though there is one in England. Read More

West Contra Costa Unified To Continue Online Learning When School Resumes In August
RICHMOND — The West Contra Costa Unified School District will continue educating students exclusively online when classes resume Aug. 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the district’s multi-phased draft plan released Thursday, students will continue distance learning at the outset of the school year until it is deemed safe to return to campuses in person. The second phase of the district’s plan would open some school buildings as support facilities for small groups of students. District officials would continue monitoring the pandemic with the goal of moving toward all students safely returning to school. “We hope this is an opportunity to serve the students who need the most support while following the health and safety guidelines issued by local, state and federal health officials,” district Superintendent Matthew Duffy said. Read More

San Francisco Zoo Preparing To Open Gates Amid City’s COVID-19 Reopening Pause
SAN FRANCISCO — While the San Francisco Zoo is preparing to reopen its gates for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, many businesses awaiting reduced health order restrictions remain in limbo as the city’s pause in reopening continues. On Friday, Mayor London Breed and city health officials confirmed that the planned reopening of the businesses that started on June 29 would remain paused “until the COVID-19 Key Health Indicators improve and the spread of the virus is brought under control once again.” While San Francisco County has not been added to the state’s monitoring list, the city and county are experiencing a rise in coronavirus transmission, cases, and hospitalizations that are forcing the city to slow down reopening. Read More

Santa Clara County Health Recommends Businesses Submit Online Form To Resume Operations Early
SAN JOSE — Health officials in Santa Clara County are urging all businesses planning to resume operations under the new COVID-19 health order — including those already open — to complete the new online social distancing protocol form before the Monday deadline. Filling out the form will help the county ensure that the necessary steps are enacted to prevent transmission of COVID-19 as much as possible, officials said. The county also changed the new health order, issued on July 2, from allowing indoor gatherings of up to 20 to no indoor gatherings allowed. This comes after the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Outdoor gatherings of up to 60 people will still be allowed in accordance with social distance guidelines. Read More

Golden Gate Transit To Cut Bus Service, Cites Reduced Ridership Over Pandemic
MARIN COUNTY — Golden Gate Transit is among several Bay Area transit agencies making service changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes taking effect on Sunday are temporary and could be reversed once shelter orders lift and riders return, Golden Gate Transit said in an announcement on Thursday. The transit agency said ferry service to San Francisco will continue to be limited and on weekdays only, and bus service on commute routes to and from San Francisco will be cut in half, but service will rise on “basic routes” where ridership has increased in recent weeks to compensate for cuts on other routes. Ridership fell about 90 percent when the shelter orders first hit in March, Golden Gate Transit said, and it remains off by 75 percent. The full table of changes can be found at Read More

Once Defiant Yuba, Sutter Counties See Rise In COVID-19 Cases
YUBA CITY — At a bus stop in Yuba City, Ron Starkey sat on a concrete wall watching videos on his phone, a white face mask tightly folded in his right hand. He wears the mask at work because his employers make him, and he wears it on the bus because his girlfriend asks him to. But he’s not happy about it. “I think this is all a hoax,” Starkey, 57, said Thursday. “They are trying to distract everybody. They are trying to panic everybody. They are trying to control everybody. That’s how I feel.” Sutter County, where Starkey lives, was one of the first places in California to more broadly reopen its economy. It and neighboring Yuba County defied Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order to let restaurants, hair salons, gyms and a shopping mall reopen in early May. Read More