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 24 hours.


SF Ballet’s Nutcracker Marches On With All-New Virtual Experience
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Ballet was the first company in the United States to perform the Nutcracker and now it’s leading the way with a digital version of the holiday tradition in the era of the coronavirus. The War Memorial Opera House is all dressed up for the holiday season, but San Francisco Ballet goers can only visit through an all-new interactive, virtual experience from home. It features a previous live performance of the holiday classic, backstage access and other activities “Unfortunately, we’re not able to be live in the Opera House for you, but we are going to be streaming it,” said SF Ballet Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson. “It’s really quite remarkable what technology can do for us today.” Tomasson has choreographed the Nutcracker since 2004. He says dancers that would have normally spent the next month performing the show are now rehearsing for the all-digital 2021 season, which begins early next year. The company is working on four different works. Read More

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Good News On COVID Vaccine Front; Moderna Will Seek Emergency Approval Of Its Virus Shot
SAN FRANCISCO — With new cases soaring to all-time highs across the San Francisco Bay Area, there was more hopeful news on the vaccine front Monday as Moderna Inc. said it would seek emergency approval of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection. Multiple vaccine candidates must succeed for the world to stamp out the pandemic, which has been on the upswing in the U.S. and Europe. U.S. hospitals have been stretched to the limit as the nation has seen more than 160,000 new cases per day and more than 1,400 daily deaths. Since first emerging nearly a year ago in China, the virus has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide. Moderna is just behind Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in seeking to begin vaccinations in the U.S. in December. Across the Atlantic, British regulators also are assessing the Pfizer shot and another from AstraZeneca. Read More

Fear, Prejudice Contribute to Pandemic Slump in San Francisco Chinatown
SAN FRANCISCO — Chinatown is one of the most colorful and historic districts in San Francisco but, despite a relatively low infection rate, the area is fighting for its life as fear of the pandemic is causing longtime businesses to fail. “It’s desolate and there’s nothing here anymore,” said area resident Mark Lobell. Grant Avenue on a Sunday morning would normally be jammed with shoppers and diners but, these days, it’s quiet and empty. Steven Lee co-owns the Sam Wo restaurant which has been operating in Chinatown for more than a century. “You see? This is the result of a pandemic,” Lee said as he climbed stairs to the dark, second-floor dining room. The tables were empty and a restaurant that once had people lined up down the block is reduced to take-out. “We’re down to maybe like three, three and a half people from 23 (employees). Three shifts down to three people,” Lee said. Read More

Thousands Seek Tests for Coronavirus in Santa Clara County
SAN JOSE — Santa Clara County health officials said Sunday that, within the past 24 hours, they’ve seen 574 new COVID-19 cases. That number is down from the previous single-day case number of 760 cases. The alarming numbers prompted the county to open for testing even on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and it was very busy at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. All 2,500 test slots were taken and no appointments are required for people exhibiting symptoms. “No appointment — I woke up, I wasn’t feeling great — they said ‘come down’ and they can squeeze me in,” said San Jose resident Jonathan Parisi. Parisis was hoping it’s the flu and not COVID-19. “It’s just a fever, just stomach problems. A little bit of a cough and stuff,” Parisis said. Read More

How the Pandemic Powered San Jose-Based Zoom to Worldwide Infrastructure Mainstay
SAN JOSE — The tweet was when Eric Yuan knew something had to change. Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, shared a photo from his first ever virtual cabinet meeting. The cybersecurity red flags jumped out immediately. Some cabinet secretaries’ Zoom screen names were visible, you could see which platform the cabinet was running its computers on, and most glaringly, the meeting ID was visible for all to see. The significance of the moment was not lost on the team at Zoom. “That was the big aha moment,” Zoom board member Santi Subotovsky told CNN Business. Zoom grew into a vastly profitable business selling software to businesses that could enable a venture capital firm to seamlessly take virtual pitch meetings from around the globe or an executive to deliver an all-hands to a remote workforce. Powering British Cabinet meetings was never on the radar. Read More

San Francisco Museums Shut Down Under New Health Order
SAN FRANCISCO — Several San Francisco museums have announced they were once again shutting down after the city backslide into the state’s most restrictive Purple Tier amid a surge of new COVID cases and hospitalizations. Among them are the California Jewish Museum, the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor that had originally closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, and had recently reopened to the public. Although these museums remain closed until further notice, many offer virtual and online experiences and visits open to all. Read More

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San Francisco Businesses Prepare For Restrictive Purple Tier
SAN FRANCISCO — Saturday nights are some of the busiest for Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach. That will likely change when San Francisco moves back to the Purple Tier. With new COVID cases soaring, positivity rates rising and hospitalizations increasing, state health officials moved both San Francisco and San Mateo counties from the Red Tier to the most restrictive Purple Tier on Saturday. Among the new restrictions is a ban on indoor dining and a stay at home curfew order that begins at 10 p.m. “A lot of our business is going to be until 10 o clock, and later, we have a lot of dates, and stuff like that. And unfortunately this does dig completely into our regular dinner time,” said Tony’s Assistant GM Ro Hart. Read More

Hawaiian Businesses Launch Campaign To Attract Remote Silicon Valley Tech Workers
SAN FRANCISCO — While the steady exodus of tech workers from the San Francisco Bay Area continues, a group of Hawaii leaders launched a campaign Sunday to promote the islands as an appealing location for a remote office with a view. Now that many companies, especially in the Silicon Valley and Bay Area, allow employees to work from anywhere during the pandemic, they hope Hawaii will be alluring. Some say high-paid workers will bolster an economy decimated by dramatically fewer tourists. Others worry what those with Silicon Valley money will mean for housing, especially when there’s already a crunch for affordable places to live. Coinciding with the approach of winter in other parts of the U.S., “Movers & Shakas” — a reference to the Hawaii term for the “hang loose” hand gesture — launched Sunday as a campaign to attract former residents and those from elsewhere to set up remote offices. Read More

Other San Francisco Bay Area Trending COVID Stories

Santa Clara County Residents Brace For Life In COVID’s Purple Tier
SANTA CLARA — Santa Clara County issued new emergency health directives Saturday, reporting record numbers for new cases and hospitalizations in a single day since the outset of the pandemic. According to the Santa Clara health officials, the state had no choice but to move the county into the most restrictive tier after there were 760 new cases of COVID-19 and 239 COVID-related hospitalizations. Now local residents, businesses and sports teams including the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers will have to change their plans because of the new mandates. The 49ers won’t be allowed to host their next two games at Levi’s Stadium or practice at their facility for at least the next few weeks since the directive bans contact recreational sports. Read More

Coronavirus Restrictions Push 49ers, Other South Bay Teams to Relocate Temporarily
SANTA CLARA — The San Francisco 49ers and other teams may need to find a temporary new home after Santa Clara County on Saturday banned all contact sports from holding games and practices for the next three weeks. County officials issued the directives in response to rising cases of the coronavirus in the area. The rules take effect Monday and will last until Dec 21. The 49ers have home games scheduled for Dec. 7 against Buffalo and Dec. 13 against Washington at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The team also practices at that site in the county. “We are working with the NFL and our partners on operational plans and will share details as they are confirmed,” the team said in a statement. Read More

San Francisco, San Mateo Counties Backslide Into COVID Purple Tier
SAN FRANCISCO — With new COVID cases surging across the Bay Area, San Francisco and San Mateo counties were relegated Saturday from the Red Tier to the Purple Tier on the state’s COVID monitoring scale, triggering a new wave of restrictions on local businesses. Marin remained the only San Francisco Bay Area county not in the highly restrictive Purple Tier. San Mateo County officials also announced a new stay-at-home order – prohibiting residents from leaving their homes to gather with other households from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning Monday night. During those hours, no gatherings are allowed among households, with certain exemptions. Under Purple Tier restrictions, businesses and activities that may have been operating indoors in the county – including places of worship, movie theaters, gyms and museums – must move outdoors or close. Shopping malls and all retail must operate at no more than 25 percent capacity. Read More

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Santa Clara County Issues New Tougher Restrictions On Businesses And Travel
SANTA CLARA — With new COVID cases and hospitalizations continuing to surge, Santa Clara County health officials Saturday announced further restrictions on local businesses, discouraged non-essential travel and will now require a 14-day quarantine on anyone returning to the county from a trip of more than 150 miles. The restrictions in Santa Clara County include a ban on contact sports like the San Francisco 49ers and reduced capacity inside businesses and facilities open to the public. The 49ers have home games scheduled for Dec. 7 against Buffalo and Dec. 13 against Washington at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The team also practices at that site in the county. “We are working with the NFL and our partners on operational plans and will share details as they are confirmed,” the team said in a statement. While not issuing a shelter-in-place order, Director of Public Health Dr. Sara Cody urged people to stay at home as much as possible. Read More