CBS San Francisco Staff Report

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.

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Bay Area Hospitals Prepare For Sunday Arrivals Of First COVID Vaccine Shipments
SAN FRANCISCO — In just hours, the first doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine will be shipped from its manufacturing plant to hundreds of locations across the country including the San Francisco Bay Area. UPS and Fed-Ex will be delivering to hospitals and other medical facilities starting early Sunday morning. The companies say some shipments will reach locations within a day. That means those at the top of the list to get vaccinated could be getting shots as early as Monday. But with San Francisco hospitals just getting 12,000 doses combined in the first shipment, those shots will mostly only be given to front line health care workers. The vaccine needs to be administered in two doses. A second batch of vaccine was expected to arrive within 21 days for those second doses. Read More

In First Game Since March COVID Shut Down, Warriors Edge Nuggets In Pre-Season Game At Fan-Free Chase Center
SAN FRANCISCO — It’s been 277 days since the Warriors played at Chase Center. It is a night of firsts for the players, staff, and the media. From the stands, it sounded like a game, and on the court, it looked like a game, especially with Steph Curry back in action. It just wasn’t the kind of game anyone’s used to. “It’s a strange atmosphere out on the court, and it’ll be weird tonight to play a game without our fans out there,” said head coach Steve Kerr. The Warriors, playing their first game since the NBA shutdown last March, defeated the Denver Nuggets 107-105 with Curry scoring 10 points and Kent Bazemore, who rejoins the team this year after signing a free agent contract, chipping in a team-high 13 points. Star Draymond Green and NBA No. 2 draft pick James Wiseman did not dress for the game after reportedly testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. Read More

‘We See The Train Coming Down The Track’; San Joaquin Valley Runs Out Of ICU Beds
LODI — The number of available intensive care unit beds in California’s San Joaquin Valley plummeted to zero for the first time Saturday, state officials announced as ICU units fill up statewide amid spiking COVID-19 cases. Just a day earlier, the region’s ICU capacity was at 4.5%, according to the California Department of Public Health. The region comprised of 12 counties in central California, along with the enormous Southern California region, contain more than 60% of the state’s 40 million residents. Last week, the two regions were ordered to follow the strictest anti-COVID-19 rules under a new state stay-at-home order that aims to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed by restricting infectious contacts. The 0% calculated by the state doesn’t mean all hospitals have run out of intensive care unit beds, and in Stanislaus County 3.6% of ICU beds were available as of Saturday, said Kamlesh Kaur, a spokeswoman for the county’s public health department. Read More

Doses Begin Rolling Out Along With Unprecedented Security Challenges
SAN JOSE — The first coronavirus vaccine shipments are expected to arrive in the Bay Area as soon as Monday. With them comes tremendous complexity in terms of logistics and security. Some have called the vaccine the largest cybersecurity risk in history. We asked an expert: is that hyperbole? “You know, it is not,” replied San Jose State professor Ahmed Banafa. “The reason for this one is: you’re talking about 7.5 billion people exposed to this virus.” Banafa said the global clamor for a vaccine presents security threats on multiple levels: intellectual property theft, fraud and phishing scams and something a bit like an old-fashion train robbery. “There are a lot of hospitals, they are told ‘don’t tell them when the vaccine will arrive’ because they are afraid someone will go and wait for them,” Banafa said. Read More

Bay Area Law Enforcement Agencies Carry On Holiday Toy Drives Despite COVID Pandemic Restrictions
SAN FRANCISCO — With Christmas rapidly approaching, the pandemic is having a Grinch-like effect on a lot of the usual traditions. Across the Bay Area those who organize yearly toy drives are finding creative ways to get the job done. “We do not want to be deterred by COVID-19 or anything else going on” said Darrel Cortez, executive director of the Shop With A Cop Foundation of Silicon Valley. “These families need us and we want to give back to them as much as we can.” In normal years, the Shop With A Cop program pairs kids with an officer for a $150 shopping spree but, this year, it was a drive-by event at the local Elks Club. Santa waved at cars from his chair and a machine created a miniature snow flurry for them to drive through. Officers from a range of South Bay agencies, including San Jose PD, Santa Clara sheriff’s office, the FBI, DEA, Los Altos police and Santa Clara County Parks, lined the route handing out bags of gifts and spreading cheer to 240 families. Read More

Oakland Sees Mounting Plague of Gun Violence Deaths in 2020 as COVID Pandemic Rages
OAKLAND — When it comes to crime and safety, Oakland is a tale of two cities. Police say their figures show that, collectively, the Lake Merritt, downtown, uptown and West Oakland neighborhoods experienced 12 homicides in the first 11 months of 2020. For East Oakland that number during the same period was 88 homicides. The farther east you go, the more shootings and killings. From the Eastlake neighborhood to the San Antonio district, 21 people were slain and 93 people injured in shootings. From Fruitvale to 66th Avenue: 24 dead and 91 wounded. When you get deeper in East Oakland — from the Coliseum to the San Leandro border, you’ll see the biggest number of homicides among all the districts — 43 people killed and 172 people shot. Read More

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2020 COVID Pandemic Killed Many Retail, Restaurant Chains: The Death Toll, Month-by-Month
SAN FRANCISCO — There’s no way to sugarcoat it: 2020 was a brutal year for restaurants and stores. The pandemic, massive amounts of debt and a shift in shopping as well as dining habits created a lethal cocktail of bankruptcies and closures. New data from Coresight Research reveals American retailers have announced 8,400 closures this year. Ascena Retail closed the most locations, at nearly 1,200. Coresight anticipates closures will snowball and set a new record this year, breaking the 2019 record of 9,302 closures tracked by the firm. Business is equally bleak for the U.S. restaurant industry. About 17% of the country’s restaurants — roughly 110,000 — have permanently closed this year, with thousands more on the brink according to a recent National Restaurant Association report. With lockdowns devastating retail and restaurants — many of which that were already in deep trouble, dozens declared bankruptcy this year. Read More

Cal Runs Out Of Healthy Players; Washington State Game Canceled Hours Before Kickoff
SAN FRANCISCO — With the clock counting down to a 1 p.m. kickoff, the Pacific-12 canceled the California-Washington State football game Saturday after the Golden Bears determined they could not dress enough healthy players to compete. A Cal player tested positive just hours before the game and with contract tracing forced several others on the traveling squad to be sidelined. “The Pac-12 has, after consultation with Cal, canceled the Cal at Washington State football game scheduled for later today, Saturday, December 12,” the league said in a release. “This decision was made under the Pac-12’s football game cancellation policy due to Cal not having the minimum number of scholarship student-athletes available for the game as a result of one positive football student-athlete COVID-19 case confirmed via a PCR test today and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols.” Read More

Santa Clara County Hospitals Besieged; COVID Cases Soar, Filling Up Beds And ICUs
SAN JOSE — Cases continued to surge in Santa Clara County Saturday with hospitalizations growing by 72 patients and the ICU availability dropping to 12 percent, well below the state’s red line of 15 percent. According to the county’s COVID dashboard, there were 1,172 new cases reported with 72 additional hospitalizations and seven new deaths on Friday. If history is any judge, the wave of new hospitalizations will continue to soar. “We know from historic data that about 10 percent of individuals diagnosed with COVID will need hospitalization,” said Dr. Ahmad Kamal, Santa Clara County’s Director of Health Care Preparedness. The county, which has already sent the San Francisco 49ers, Stanford Cardinal and San Jose State Spartans packing because of the latest wave of COVID restrictions, was also wrestling with a new major outbreak traced to a Placer County youth basketball tournament. Read More

Other Bay Area Trending COVID Stories

Bay Area Frontline Workers Set to Receive 1st Pfizer Doses Monday
PALO ALTO — Friday night, the FDA approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, the first in the country to get emergency authorization for use in battling the pandemic. Vials of the vaccine could be delivered to pre-designated sites across the Bay Area as soon as overnight Sunday, according to the Office of Emergency Services. The Department of Defense announced earlier Friday the Veterans Administration hospital in Palo Alto will be one of 37 VA medical facilities to get the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. All of the doses will go to doctors and nurses who work there. “327,600 doses now are being shipped in real time to the state of California,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom in a video statement posted to Twitter not long after the FDA approved the vaccine. “They’ll use FedEx and UPS. They drop-ship through a very tightly controlled system to the 636 sites our governors have designated for this initial tranche,” said Alex Azar, U.S. Health and Human Services secretary. Read More

Several Danville Restaurants Defy Outdoor-Dining Ban
DANVILLE — Outdoor dining is banned by the COVID stay-at-home order, but some East Bay restaurants are still serving customers in defiance, with owners saying it’s worth getting fined. A number of restaurants in Danville have decided to defy the outdoor dining ban. The Danville town manager said the police have already issued a handful of citations and a number of warnings to downtown restaurants. Kick N Mule Bar and Restaurant on Hartz Avenue received a $250 ticket on Thursday. “If we weren’t opened the way we’ve been opened, I wouldn’t have been able to pay my own rent. I wouldn’t have been able to pay my own bills. To have this lockdown right before Christmas, it’s not good,” said Joe Medeiros, bartender at Kick N Mule. That establishment and others have continued to offer outdoor dining with support from customers. Read More

Gov. Gavin Newsom Recall Supporters ‘Halfway There’ In Reaching Goal Of 1.5 Million Signatures
SACRAMENTO — The most recent effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom says it’s making progress towards its signature goals, with months to go. “The recall is halfway there,” says Orrin Heatlie of Folsom, near Sacramento. “The courts agreed with us that we need an extension to continue gathering signatures.” Heatlie is the man behind the recall campaign, which has until March 17th to collect about 1.5 million signatures. “820,000 people have weighed in on this already,” Heatlie says. “There’s going to be another 820,000 people, plus, in the next couple of months.” Gavin Newsom may have won his election with 62% of the vote, but 4.7 million Californians did vote against him in 2018. By raw numbers, he was starting with a sizable well of opposition. Read More

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Over 90 Cases, 77 In Santa Clara County, Linked To NorCal Youth Basketball Tournament
SAN JOSE — More than 90 COVID-19 cases in three counties, including 77 in Santa Clara County, have been linked to a Northern California youth basketball tournament conducted against restrictions to slow the virus, health officials said. According to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, the outbreak was linked to teams from a South Bay youth program that traveled to Placer County for a tournament that took place on November 7 and 8. Officials said the tournament took place indoors, with players in close contact. Following the tournament, 33 of the 37 players and all three coaches from the Santa Clara County teams tested positive. As of Friday, the outbreak has infected 39 youth players, three coaches and 35 additional contacts in Santa Clara County, health officials said. Read More