SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — With a surge in coronavirus cases, the information you need to know is coming fast and furious. Here’s a roundup of the COVID stories we’ve published over the last 48 hours.


Treasure Island Restaurateur Leads Team Building Desks for At-Home Schoolkids
SAN FRANCISCO — A restaurant owner on Treasure Island is leading an effort to help local students struggling with remote learning by giving them a locally-built study desk to call their own. Two and half years ago, the restaurant Mersea opened on Treasure Island to serve its working-class residents, many who live in crowded project housing. When the pandemic hit, co-owner MeeSun Boice read about a man building student desks for his community and she approached some local carpenters about it. “And I thought, ‘we are a community, we’ll pay the materials if you’ll partner with us,'” Boice said. “Two days later they had prototypes ready. All of a sudden, the whole shop got excited.” Sunday morning they delivered the first 20 desks. Read More

As New Cases Surge; 2nd Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Early Success
SAN FRANCISCO — As new cases of COVID soar in the San Francisco Bay Area and local business wrestle with renewed restriction, there was a word of some hope on the vaccine front Monday. Pharmaceutical giant Moderna announced its shots provide strong protection, a dash of hope against the grim backdrop of coronavirus surges in the U.S. and around the world. Moderna said its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s still ongoing study. A week ago, competitor Pfizer Inc. announced its own COVID-19 vaccine appeared similarly effective — news that puts both companies on track to seek permission within weeks for emergency use in the U.S. Read More

Official Warns Of Solano County Moving Back Into Restrictive Purple Tier
FAIRFIELD — A Solano County supervisor took to social media Sunday, warning that the county will be reverting to the most restrictive “purple tier” of the state COVID monitoring scale meaning further restrictions on businesses and social activities. Erin Hannigan, whose supervisorial District 1 covers much of Vallejo, said on Facebook that California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly that told her that “Solano County will move BACK to the Purple tier MONDAY. A much more restrictive tier for most businesses.” State health officials typically update their data and tier assignments every Tuesday. It would be the latest Bay Area response to increasing COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations. Within the past week, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Marin counties all announced that they would shut down higher-risk indoor activities like indoor dining to help fend off moves to more restrictive tier classifications. Read More

Health Officials Concerned Over Trump Stonewalling Biden Administration
SAN FRANCISCO — Health officials say shutting out the incoming President-Elect Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration on a smooth transition of the White House could endanger public health at a critical time. The U.S. surpassed 11 million cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, with the most recent million coming in less than a week. As the Trump administration stonewalls the transition process, cases are rising. Hospitalizations across the country are at a record high of more than 69,000. An influential COVID-19 model projects the U.S. death toll may reach 439,000 by March 1st. “The biggest thing at risk in the rocky transition in terms of COVID is indifference…the current administration is winding down, they never were excited about having a national strategy anyway,” said UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong. Read More

San Francisco CrossFit Forced to Close After 15 Years
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco CrossFit helped broaden the appeal of a type of training that was considered unconventional in the fitness industry when it opened 15 years ago. Now the popular business has become another victim to the pandemic. CrossFit held a final training session on Sunday then closed for good. Longtime members of the facility said the loss is much bigger than just a gym. They said they will miss the community and the relationships that they’ve built over the years. “You can lift weights anywhere,” said Mike Puente, a 10-year S.F. CrossFit member. “It’s not even a job, it’s a life, it’s my dream life,” said CrossFit Coach Yesmen Mehta. Read More

UCLA Bruins Roll Over Cal Golden Bears 34-10 in COVID Season Opener at Rose Bowl
PASADENA — Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw three touchdown passes, rushed for another TD and accounted for 248 yards of total offense as UCLA rolled to a 34-10 victory over California on Sunday morning. The Bruins and Golden Bears weren’t originally slated to face each other this season but the conference scheduled the Rose Bowl matchup on Friday after Cal’s game against Arizona State and UCLA’s matchup against Utah were canceled due to the Sun Devils and Utes having several positive COVID-19 tests. The Sunday morning time slot was available because the Cal-Arizona State game was pushed back from Saturday before it was called off. Cal was playing its season opener after its Nov. 7 opener against Washington was canceled following one positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing. Read More

West Coast Travel Advisory In Effect — But Will People Follow It?
SAN FRANCISCO — A strict COVID advisory to avoid non-essential travel from Gov. Gavin Newsom is coinciding with what would normally the busiest travel period of the year. The governors of Oregon and Washington also urged people to avoid out-of-state travel, and if they leave the region, quarantine for 14 days upon return. “I think it’s a great recommendation,” said Rashad Froz of Napa. “However, I don’t think people will follow it, I think people at the end of the day are going to do what they would like to do. They’re going to go and see their friends and family regardless of where it is.” Bay Area health officials also warned people to rethink their holiday plans and not gather in large groups or beyond immediate families, where the virus could easily spread. Read More

Alameda Business Owners Fear Fiscal Impact Of COVID Restriction Rollbacks
OAKLAND — Alameda County is currently in the orange-moderate spread tier, but health officials say they anticipate a move backward into a more restrictive tier soon as new COVID cases soar. That warning has many businesses wondering if they can survive yet another shut-down. Alameda’s beloved Ole’s Waffle Shop has been around for 93 years. They’ve had indoor dining for a little over a month, but owner Ken Monize fears another round of shutdowns and restrictions will mean the end of his family restaurant. “We’re at the point where it doesn’t make sense anymore,” Monize said. Monize and his wife says they haven’t laid off a single worker since the pandemic started, and even sold their retirement property to keep all 40 of their staff. Read More

For 49ers And NFL Remain ‘Committed To Completing The Season As Scheduled’
SANTA CLARA — Even as the surge in COVID cases nationwide creates increasing havoc across the college football landscape, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell remains lasered focused on his league completing its season. On Sunday, Cal will play a rare morning game against UCLA after both teams and the Pac-12 Conference were forced to rework the schedule because of COVID outbreaks. Meanwhile, at least half a dozen high profile college football games were cancelled on Saturday. Is that a foreshadowing of what’s in store for the NFL and its Super Bowl? Currently, the crown jewel of American sports, is scheduled for the first Sunday in February at Raymond James Stadium in Florida at a time when total US deaths from the coronavirus are projected to be nearly 400,000 — about six times the venue’s seating capacity. Read More

Pilot Contract Tracing Mobile Phone App Expanded To Cover UC Berkeley
BERKELEY (CBS SF) — A pilot program that will provide COVID-19 contact tracing to members of the University of California at Berkeley community via smartphone may go statewide, according to university officials. UC Berkeley community members are being asked to enroll Monday when the program goes live. It alerts them if they have been exposed to the coronavirus and it’s meant to help slow the spread of the virus. The program launched at UC San Diego and UC San Francisco in September and has been valuable on those campuses. “California COVID Notify is a privacy-first approach to using smartphones to alert you when you have been exposed to COVID-19,” UC Berkeley
Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost A. Paul Alivisatos said in a statement. Read More

SF Indoor Dining Ban Wallops Indian Restaurants on First Day of Diwali
SAN FRANCISCO — The ban on indoor dining that started Saturday in San Francisco couldn’t come at a worse time for Indian restaurants. Saturday marked the start of Diwali, the most important holiday for Hindus and Indian-Americans. Diwali is a celebration of lights and lasts for five days. New Delhi restaurant, near Union Square, was expecting to be very busy having booked many reservations from families who wanted to celebrate Diwali. Instead of preparing the food, restaurant staff spent the past couple of days canceling reservations. “The timing, I think nobody really paid attention to small business — Indian businesses — that it has played havoc,” said Ranjan Dey, owner of New Delhi restaurant. Read More

Contra Costa County Rolls Back Reopening for Gyms, Restaurants as Virus Spikes
ANTIOCH — Backward, forward, backward — Contra Costa County is trying to slow the virus spread and, once again, health officials are targeting gyms and restaurants. “Full-service restaurant type of dining, I think it’s going to take a big hit,” said J.B. Balingit, chef and owner at Vic’s in Martinez. “Most of our restaurants are full-service.” Balingit runs four restaurants in Contra Costa County. He says that, while he’s fortunate to be in a good position to do takeout, losing indoor dining will come with a tremendous cost. “Come Tuesday, we have to scale back,” Balingit said. “That’s the only way that our businesses will stay afloat and scaling it back means you’re going to have to lay off … some employees. How do you choose? They’ve all been willing to work through this pandemic. They’ve all been part of our success.” Read More

San Francisco Opera Moves Costume Sale Online to Raise Funds for Opera House Staff
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — The San Francisco Opera has been silenced by the pandemic but, over the weekend, they’ve offered their fans something special — a way to own a piece of the pageantry of the art form they love. For the first time in six years — and the first time ever virtually — the San Francisco Opera hosted an online costume sale to benefit the cast and crew of the War Memorial Opera House. “Opera is the culmination of all the great art forms together,” said San Francisco Opera costume shop manager, Jai Alltizer. “You have dance, you have singing, you have orchestra and movement. And so, grand costumes help to tell the stories of those characters on the stage.” Read More

CHP Stops Drivers Traveling At Raceway Speeds; ‘Our Freeway Systems Are Not The Autobahn’
CONCORD — The California Highway Patrol continues to stop and ticket drivers traveling at raceway speeds exceeding 100 mph on local San Francisco Bay Area freeways. On Friday, CHP Contra Costa posted photos on Facebook of two of the latest offenders. One of the drivers was clocked at 131 mph and they did not even have a license. A second was pulled over hours later going 121 mph on Highway 4. Between March 19 and April 19, the CHP issued 2,493 citations statewide to drivers speeding more than 100 mph, compared to 1,335 during the same period a year earlier. CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley has called the jump in tickets written for excessive speeds alarming. Read More

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