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 here’s a news roundup of the top coronavirus and reopening-related stories from over the weekend.


State’s Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell Resigns In Wake Of COVID-19 Data Glitch
SACRAMENTO — The state’s top public health official has resigned, just days after the state announced a fix for a glitch that caused a lag in reporting coronavirus test results used to make decisions about reopening businesses and schools. Dr. Sonia Angell said Sunday that she’s departing from her role as director and state public health officer at the California Department of Public Health. Her letter to staff, released by the California Health and Human Services Agency, did not give a specific reason for her departure. Angell often appeared during news conferences about California’s response to the pandemic alongside Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had appointed her to the dual roles. “I want to thank Dr. Angell for her service to the state and her work to help steer our public health system during this global pandemic, while never losing sight of the importance of health equity,” Newsom said in a statement. Read More

Ruby Ibarra’s World: Bay Area Rapper By Night; COVID-19 Researcher By Day
SAN FRANCISCO — Ruby Ibarra is making big moves in the worlds of music and science. During the day, you can find the up-and-coming artist dressed in PPE, and at night and on weekends, entertaining fans virtually. The 29-year-old Hayward resident is a scientist at a Bay Area biotech company, which is working on COVID-19 test kits, and developing a vaccine. “When I’m at work people are always surprised to know that I do music, and when I go out and do shows people are surprised that I still have a full-time 9-to-5 job,” said Ibarra. “But for me, if anything it’s just been kind of a balancing act.” Ibarra grew up in San Lorenzo and has been rapping since she was 13. Her most popular song “Us” touches on female empowerment and celebrates the Filipino culture. Read More

Still No Remote Learning Deal Between Teachers And Oakland District Officials
OAKLAND — Just hours to go before the new school year launches for Oakland students, the teachers’ union and district officials still haven’t finalized a deal on what distance learning will look like this fall. As of Sunday night, negotiations lasting more than 4 weeks were still ongoing with teachers saying they need more help and flexibility with live online instruction. The major points of contention include the number of required teaching hours and the need for smaller group settings online. When Zoom school uploads Monday morning, more than 50,000 students and teachers in Oakland will venture into what school officials say is an ‘improved’ digital classroom setting, but in reality, still very far from perfected according to teachers. Read More

Cal Golf Alum Collin Morikawa Wins Fanless PGA Championship At Harding Park
SAN FRANCISCO — The best shot of his life, the shot that made Collin Morikawa a major champion, was never supposed to happen. He knew the tee on the 16th at Harding Park would be moved forward at the PGA Championship. He said during practice rounds that wouldn’t tempt him to go for the green. But this was Sunday afternoon, right after Morikawa had chipped in for birdie to break out of a seven-way tie, and at this moment was tied again with Paul Casey. “I knew I had to hit a good one,” he said. The shot will be remembered as one of the best in a major that hardly anyone witnessed, not with spectators banned during the COVID-19 era for majors. Read More

San Quentin Prison Guard Battling COVID-19 Dies in San Jose Hospital
SAN JOSE — A 55-year-old San Quentin State Prison guard has become the first employee at that facility to die amid a COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak at the prison, state officials said. Sgt. Gilbert Polanco died Sunday morning, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Sunday in a statement. Polanco had been in a San Jose hospital for more than a month. “Sgt. Gilbert Polanco is an example of the best of CDCR and his passing deeply saddens us all. His dedication to public service will not be forgotten,” CDCR secretary Ralph Diaz said Sunday in a statement. “Our hearts are broken as we awaken to the news of the passing of our beloved Sergeant, colleague, and friend,” said acting San Quentin warden Ron Broomfield. “Sgt. Gilbert Polanco demonstrated unwavering commitment and bravery as a peace officer working the frontline every day during this devastating pandemic. Read More

San Quentin Death Row Inmate Pedro Arias Dies From Complications of COVID-19
SAN QUENTIN — Pedro Arias, on San Quentin State Prison’s death row since 1990, died Sunday at an outside hospital from what appears to be complications related to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said. The Marin County coroner will determine the exact cause of death for the 58-year-old Arias, Corrections Department officials said in a statement. Arias is believed to be the 25th San Quentin inmate and 12th from death row to succumb to the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March. Arias was sentenced to death in Sacramento County on Feb. 22, 1990, for first-degree murder and second-degree robbery while armed with a firearm. Read More

‘Disappointing’ Behavior At Jam-Packed Dolores Park In San Francisco’s Mission District
SAN FRANCISCO — The sunny and mild weather attracted a large crowd of people to Dolores Park in San Francisco’s Mission District Saturday, but not everyone was mindful of the COVID-19 risks. From a view from the top park, it was hard to distinguish the chalk circles meant to encourage social distancing. While some people respected the rules, others spilled outside the circles, or overcrowded them. Required mask-wearing was also spotty. “It doesn’t matter if you’re inside or outside, if you have enough noses and mouths together, it doesn’t take very far for the virus to jump from somebody’s droplet to somebody elses nose or mouth,” said UCSF Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong. Read More

San Francisco Chinatown Business Woes Deepen as Pandemic Persists
SAN FRANCISCO — With the drop in tourism and anti-China rhetoric from national politicians, San Francisco’s Chinatown has been one of the areas especially hard-hit in the pandemic. An exuberant Lion Dance helped celebrate the 58th anniversary of the Golden State Fortune Cookie Factory on Saturday. The colorful lions and loud music is meant to bring prosperity by scaring bad spirits away but factory owner Kevin Chan said this one was for Chinatown itself. “I thought we could just bring a little life for the community and, hopefully, more people will come to Chinatown and support the community because our community is dead,” Chan said. Chinatown relies heavily on tourists and there are few of them around these days. Read More

Oakland School Administrators Await Official Plans With School Set to Start Monday
OAKLAND — Oakland Unified and its teachers’ union are still trying to reach an agreement over how much remote learning will be conducted live, versus lessons that are pre-recorded. With details like that still up in the air, how do school principals prepare for Day One, now just hours away? They’re trying to be flexible. “You kind of have to be, right?” asks Kilian Betlach, principal at Elmhurst Middle School. “So we are trying to create a schedule that is going to be able to accommodate whatever we hear as a final agreement, maybe whatever is coming out as an interim agreement.” Betlach says he has always had a good bit of freedom within the Oakland system. While that can present challenges it has allowed him to prepare for the coming year with his school’s specific needs in mind. Read More

Tour Pro Paul Casey Struggling With Golf In The COVID-19 Era
SAN FRANCISCO — England’s Paul Casey finds himself in the thick of the battle for the PGA Championship title at TPC Harding Park as Round Three begins Saturday, but it’s a very strange and alien world right now in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. Thousands of fans are not lining the fairways as they normally would at a major championship to cheer and, at times, jeer the players. The electricity is gone. Still Casey has grinded through the first two rounds of the championship and at 5-under par is just three strokes off the lead going into Saturday play. “My game has not been good,” said Casey, who has missed two cuts and placed 67th last week in Memphis since the PGA Tour restart. “I commented yesterday — I’ve actually struggled with not having fans out. I’ve really missed it — plain and simple.” Read More

Rental Assistance Program Launched For Hayward Tenants
HAYWARD — Applications are being accepted for two rental assistance grant programs that are open to Hayward tenants facing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alameda County started accepting applications Aug. 4 for the Emergency Rent Assistance Program and applications can be submitted until 8 p.m. Aug. 11. Eligibility will be determined by a lottery. ERAP money is for low and very low income tenants who need temporary help with delinquent rent. The money is paid directly to the landlord. The program provides for up to two months of rent or $3,500, according to city officials. If the tenant has previously received rental assistance from another program, the ERAP will provide up to one month’s rent or $1,750. Tenants must meet certain requirements to quality for the grant. https://cbsloc.al/3ktCtG3″>Read More

‘You Deserve Better’; State Health Officials Fixed Glitch That Backlogged COVID-19 Data
SAN FRANCISCO — With fall classes set to begin across California next week, a technical glitch that has plagued the data system the state relies for COVID-19 tracking to make decisions about reopening businesses and schools has been fixed. But it could take until Sunday to get the numbers updated, California’s top health official said Friday. “Our data system has failed,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said, leaving up to 300,000 records backlogged, though not all of them are coronavirus cases and some may be duplicates. California reported 8,436 new confirmed cases Friday and surpassed 10,000 deaths from the coronavirus. “We apologize. You deserve better, the governor demands better of us and we are committed to doing better,” Ghaly said. County health officials say they have been flying blind, unable to conduct robust contact tracing or monitor health factors without timely information, especially at a time when parents are on edge about school plans. Read More

Pac-12 Player Group ‘Disappointed’ After Commissioner Call
SAN FRANCISCO — The Pac-12 players of the “WeAreUnited” movement said they were “disappointed and deeply concerned” after a recent meeting with the conference’s commissioner. The players sent an email to Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott late Friday accusing him of not taking the issues they have raised seriously enough. The email was also shared with members of the media. The group’s correspondence came after Scott followed their Thursday call with an email to the players that struck a very different tone, thanking them for the “passion and honesty with which you spoke yesterday evening.” The group is pushing the conference to address their concerns about COVID-19 protocols, racial injustice in college sports and economic rights for college athletes. Players threatened opting out of practices and games if their demands aren’t addressed. Read More

Study To Help Shape San Jose’s COVID-19 Response To Aid Immigrants
SAN JOSE — A study released by the nonprofit organization New American Economy, in partnership with the city of San Jose, will help shape immigrant-inclusive COVID-19 relief measures. The report highlights how immigrants in San Jose are both essential to rapid response efforts but also especially vulnerable because of gaps in federal relief packages, language barriers and increased risks of infection because of frontline and essential work, according to the city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. The study found that while immigrants made up 38.5 percent of city residents, they “make outsized contributions to several essential industries,” making up 68 percent of agriculture workers, more than 62 percent of all food processing workers, 50 percent of restaurant and food service employees and 43.5 percent of healthcare workers in San Jose. “The immigrant population is essential to keeping San Jose running, yet especially vulnerable to gaps in our social safety nets,” said Mo Kantner, director of state and local initiatives at New American Economy. Read More

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