SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — While the wildfires have raged in Northern California, the coronavirus outbreak, reopenings and school classes starting has continued. To keep you updated on the COVID-19 news you need to know here’s a roundup of the top coronavirus and reopening-related stories.

Good News — Neighbors Helping Neighbors

KCBS Reporter Spends Off Hours Delivering Supplies To Those in Need
ANTIOCH — Reporter Bob Butler made a career for himself delivering the news, but in recent weeks he’s made East Bay neighbors grateful he’s delivering essentials during the pandemic. Earlier this week, Butler, a part-time news reporter for KCBS Radio, took notes, but not for a story. He went shopping at Costco in Antioch for those most vulnerable to COVID-19. “I like helping people anyway,” said Butler. “This just seemed natural – people needed help and I had the time and ability to do it. And it made me feel good.” When the Bay Area sheltered in place in March, the US Navy veteran was concerned about senior citizens, those with compromised immune systems, and parents with small kids. Read More

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


Outdoor Dining No Panacea for SF Restaurants Suffering Pandemic Revenue Plunge
SAN FRANCISCO — Popular Moroccan restaurant Aziza has begun outdoor dining just off Geary Boulevard in San Francisco’s Richmond District. It is meant to give the acclaimed restaurant a boost, one that eateries across the city desperately need. “Everybody that I know in the industry — and I know a lot of people — nobody’s making money, everybody’s struggling, everybody’s scraping by and, basically, the amount of revenue that we’re making is just to keep the lights on,” said owner and chef Mourad Lahlou. New data from the Chamber of Commerce reflect that trend. San Francisco restaurant sales have dropped 91 percent since the pandemic began, based on credit card activity. About half of the city’s restaurants are closed, whether temporarily or permanently. “There is … talk among chefs and among restaurant owners that a lot of special places in San Francisco and in the Bay Area are going to be gone,” said Lahlou. Read More

South Bay Baptist Pastor Fined for Violating Ban on Indoor Church Services
SAN JOSE — A Santa Clara pastor posted a video this week after being slapped with $10,000 in fines for violating the health order. “This is not a hot spot, we were told that thousands were going to die,” said North Valley Baptist Church pastor Jack Trieber. “There’s not a pandemic here.” In the nine-minute video, Trieber uses the county’s death rate to justify opening his doors to his congregation. As of Thursday, the county reported 16,607 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 240 deaths. Trieber was fined $5,000 twice over the weekend for holding indoor services and singing, which are both against the state’s order. According to the Mercury News, the pastor was fined another $5,000 on Wednesday for, once again, holding indoor services. Read More

California Devotes $30 Million to Aid Parolees in Pandemic
SACRAMENTO — California has launched a $30 million program to provide thousands of parolees with community services after they complete their prison sentences or are released months early because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced Thursday. The state is providing half the money to aid former inmates with finding housing, jobs, health care, transportation and treatment. The other half is coming from various foundations and philanthropies. Gov. Gavin Newsom said while thanking the program’s organizers that the state is “committed to providing essential services to those who are returning home to their families and communities.” The “Returning Home Well” initiative will provide services to inmates released since July 1. Of the initial $30 million, $26 million has already been committed and services are being provided. Read More

Youth Theater Company Moving Into New Space During Pandemic
DANVILLE — Despite these difficult times, with the pandemic and economic uncertainty weighing us down, one local Theater Company in Danville is moving beyond survival to expansion. The I Can Do That Theater Company (ICDT) attracts youth from all across the East Bay. The company performs four times a year and over time, they outgrew their original 1000 Sq foot-space. “Eighteen kids in the first show and it grew next show to 35, then 45 then 50,” Executive Director ICDT, Shayna Ronen said. “Then we had 75 kids show up for auditions!” After the state ordered a lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, performances stopped at ICDT but socially distanced, mask-required rehearsals did not. Read More

Judge Blocks Rule That Moves Relief Funds to Private Schools
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge blocked a rule Thursday that Michigan, seven other states and four big-city school districts said would unlawfully allow too much pandemic relief aid to be diverted from K-12 public schools to private ones. U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled late Wednesday that the Education Department “went well beyond” its authority in trying to replace a funding formula mandated by Congress “with ones of its own choosing.” The decision came days after a different federal judge issued a similar injunction in a lawsuit filed by Washington state. Michigan has said the rule could cost its public schools $16.5 million, including $2.6 million each in Detroit, the state’s largest district, and Grand Rapids, another big district. Donato wrote that if the state lost that much funding, it would be the equivalent of laying off 466 teachers in Flint. Read More

Santa Clara County Judge Extends Zero Bail Order Through January
SAN JOSE — Santa Clara County Superior Court Presiding Judge Deborah Ryan issued an order on Wednesday extending through January an emergency bail schedule intended to force much earlier release of detainees. The order requires bail be set at $0 for most non-violent felonies and misdemeanors. Exceptions include any violation of a restraining order, for example. The emergency bail schedule in Santa Clara County was first issued in April as the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown took hold. An earlier announcement cited concern about transmission of the coronavirus among or by arrestees while they are being held in the county jail. The emergency bail measure comes amid a national movement for lower and more equitable bail amounts. Read More

Salesforce To Cut 1000 Jobs After Record Sales, Stock Surge
SAN FRANCISCO — Salesforce plans to cut about 1,000 jobs, or less than 2% of its workforce, after it announced record-high sales of more than $5 billion. The announcement pushed the cloud computing company’s stock to a new all-time high, Wednesday. “In many ways this moment is very humbling and also very bittersweet, because we’ve seen so many of our customers go through so much difficulty this quarter,” said CEO Marc Benioff in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “But I think that we can look at this quarter and look at everything that’s happened with Salesforce and we so strongly believe that business is the greatest platform for change.” Benioff said it is reallocating resources to create more growth. “This is actually not a sign that anything is wrong with Salesforce. In fact, just the opposite, salesforce is thriving as a company,” said President of Joint Venture Silicon Valley Russell Hancock. “That company is going like gangbusters, the layoffs are simply because they’re restructuring.” Read More

UC Berkeley Freshmen Start College Under Surreal COVID Restrictions
BERKELEY — Students at UC Berkeley attended all classes online Wednesday for the first day of the new academic year under COVID-19 restrictions. As you would imagine, college life is looking a lot different than it normally would due to the pandemic. The area near the ASUC Student Union building would usually be bustling with students and staff. Instead, it was eerily quiet. “It’s definitely pretty strange,” said UC Berkeley freshman Mai Sandell, who moved from Boston to Berkeley for his first year in the UC system. “I know that I wouldn’t have a good time if I were just sitting at home at my desk not being able to meet any new people. Maybe online, but that’s not fun,” said freshman Dylan Crump. Read More

CDC Posts Relaxed COVID-19 Testing Guidelines From White House That Health Experts Call ‘Bizarre’
NEW YORK — U.S. health officials sparked criticism and confusion after posting guidelines on coronavirus testing from the White House task force that run counter to what scientists say is necessary to control the pandemic. The new guidance says it’s not necessary for people who don’t feel sick but have been in close contact with infected people to get tested. It was posted earlier this week on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “When I first heard about this change in guidelines, I actually didn’t believe it for it seemed entirely bizarre, in that it undercuts our very basic tenets of how we control an infectious disease. Testing and having individuals know their status is foundational in our ability to control an infectious disease and certainly our ability to control COVID,” said Santa Clara County Public Health Director Dr. Sara Cody. Read More

Coronavirus Case In California State Capitol Delays Senate Session
SACRAMENTO — A person who works at the California Capitol has tested positive for the coronavirus, delaying the Legislature in the critical final week of session as hundreds of bills face a Monday deadline. Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins’ office confirmed the case on Wednesday. Her office could not say if the case was a lawmaker or a staffer. The Senate delayed a 10 a.m. session to vote on legislation, including several police reform bills filed following the death of George Floyd in May. The California Legislature has already been delayed twice because of the coronavirus. The first delay happened in March at the start of the pandemic and lasted for two months. The second delay happened in July after seven people in the Capitol tested positive, including two lawmakers. Read More

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