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.


Travelers Arriving At SFO Learn About San Francisco’s Mandatory Quarantine Order
SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT — Travelers visiting San Francisco and residents returning to the city on Friday faced strict new guidelines for the mandatory quarantine order that just went into effect. KPIX 5 spoke to some travelers who found out about the new rules just after they landed. The timing of the new 10-day quarantine order for travelers is no accident. Christmas is a week away, and health officials know people are going to be coming into the city even though they’ve been told to stay home. The only notifications about the quarantine at the San Francisco International Airport came in the form of PA announcements played about once every 30 minutes and digital signs displayed at baggage claim. Read More

Plan to Return San Francisco Students to Classrooms in January Nixed by School District
SAN FRANCISCO — Plans for some kids to return to school in San Francisco have hit another roadblock and now some parents are left wondering if their kids will see the inside of a classroom at all this school year. The goal was to start reopening schools on January 25 but, according to the district, it just can’t meet the latest round of demands from the teachers union. Mayor London Breed weighed in Friday with some heavy criticism of the latest stalemate between the teachers union and the school district. “The people who are suffering are our children because we can’t get grownup business together to do what’s best for their interests,” Mayor Breed said. “Protecting people’s lives against this virus has to be paramount and it has been and we have been conservative but we should already have a plan in place as soon as time presents itself to open the doors,” the mayor added. The San Francisco Unified School District says labor unions have proposed significant new requests that go beyond Department of Public Health guidance. One calls for San Francisco to hold back from in-person learning until the city has been in the orange tier for two weeks. Some parents are frustrated at how the demands keep changing. Read More

Stanford Medicine Staff Say Residents, Fellows Passed Over for First COVID-19 Vaccinations
PALO ALTO — On the same day the FDA granted emergency approval for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, disputes are breaking out over who should be prioritized. Stanford Medicine doctors and nurses protested Friday over the distribution of coronavirus vaccinations to frontline workers. Protesters said vaccines have not been given to some doctors who are in close contact with coronavirus patients. Stanford Medical Center was scheduled to start vaccinating frontline health care workers Friday morning with the 5,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine already on hand. More than 100 doctors staged a demonstration Friday morning, saying the way Stanford Medicine is prioritizing who gets those doses doesn’t make sense. “First in the room, back of the line!” That’s what the residents and fellows were chanting as they demonstrated at Stanford. They said that, even though they’re the ones who are taking care of COVID patients, they are not included in the first round of vaccinations. Read More

Uber Will Offer 10 Million Free Rides to COVID-19 Vaccination Sites
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco-based Uber announced on Friday that it will offer 10 million free or discounted rides to people who need to get to a COVID-19 vaccination site to get their shots. The move marks the second time the ride-sharing giant has committed 10 million free or discounted rides to those in need. At the start of the pandemic, Uber offered to provide the rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, seniors and other people in need worldwide. Uber is beginning the effort in partnership with the National Urban League, the Morehouse School of Medicine and the National Action Network, organizations with deep ties to communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Read More

City of Dublin Hands Out $10,000 Grants to Small Businesses Hit by Pandemic
DUBLIN — Small businesses hit hard by the pandemic may see some financial relief in the city of Dublin. The city started accepting online applications Friday morning for $10,000 grants to qualifying local businesses. City leaders said small businesses are the backbone of Dublin and their survival is important and they’re handing out the money to help those businesses get through the holidays and the pandemic. Mariam Nasiri heard about the Small Business Recovery Grant Program and was in the process of applying for the money. She opened Khyber Pass Afghan Restaurant with her sister nine years ago. The ban on in-person dining means more than 80 percent of their business is gone. “We went from a staff of 10 down to only three,” Nasiri said. She said the restaurant is barely getting by. Every dollar coming in is going toward the commercial rent and groceries. Read More

FDA Authorizes Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine for Emergency Use
WASHINGTON — The FDA on Friday authorized Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, offering a new source of hope in the nation’s fight against the pandemic. Moderna’s vaccine is the second to be authorized for emergency use in the U.S., after Pfizer’s vaccine was given the green light last week. The Moderna vaccine has been authorized for people aged 18 or older. Six million initial doses will soon be shipped out across the country. “With the availability of two vaccines now for the prevention of COVID-19, the FDA has taken another crucial step in the fight against this global pandemic that is causing vast numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States each day,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in a press release announcing the decision. Read More

Oakland Nurse, Coronavirus Victim, Remembered For Her Work Helping People And Dogs
OAKLAND — A beloved Oakland nurse who worked at Highland Hospital for more than 30 years and had a passion for saving more than one kind of life is being mourned after she died of COVID. When away from the hospital, Valerie Louie spent much of her time volunteering at Rocket Dog Rescue in Oakland, helping rescue dogs to give them a second chance. Her friends say she saved thousands of dogs during her lifetime and brought them joy. She spent most of her days and nights working as a nurse for over three decades. “I knew she worked until 10 or 11 o’clock at night. We would be out looking for a dog that was missing and here she would come,” said Rocket Dog Urban Sanctuary volunteer and friend Tammy Hilrich. Read More

SFUSD Says In-Person Learning Not Happening In January; Mayor London Breed Blasts Delays
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Unified School District said the phased return of students back to in-person learning won’t begin in late January after SFUSD and teachers couldn’t reach a labor agreement in time, prompting criticism from Mayor London Breed. In a statement posted Friday, the district cited new health and safety requests sought by the unions before returning to in-person learning. The criteria, which the district said it received on Tuesday, includes not resuming in-person learning until San Francisco returns to the Orange Tier in the state’s reopening plan and stays there for two weeks. “The District cannot meet all of the new requirements SFUSD’s labor unions have proposed, and there is not sufficient time to complete bargaining in order to reopen any school sites on January 25, 2021,” the district said. Read More

California Sends Emergency Alert Urging Bay Area Residents To Stay Home
SACRAMENTO — The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) sent out a mobile phone emergency alert across the Bay Area on Friday urging residents to stay home except for essential activities.The alert comes as the Bay Area region shows hospital ICU capacity dropping below 15%, triggering a mandatory stay-home order across the region. CalOES emphasized the phone alert, sent at noon on Friday, was informational only and people who receive wireless alerts should not contact law enforcement or call 9-1-1. The alert read: “State of California: All Bay Area Counties now under state stay at home order. This builds on previous local orders. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. Stay home except for essential activity. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Visit covid19.ca.gov.” Read More

Models Plot Dire Scenarios For California Hospitals In Coming Weeks
SACRAMENTO — When Gov. Gavin Newsom provided a dire view of California’s out-of-control surge of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations at his weekly COVID-19 briefing, he referred to projection models of future death and misery that he said were becoming “alarmingly” more accurate. If true, then over the next four weeks the state’s hospitals could be overflowing with 75,000 patients — about five times the current level — and an average of 400 people will die every day. Hospitals were on the brink of being overrun with nearly 15,000 patients with COVID-19 when Newsom made the announcement Tuesday. The hospitalization projection is based on cases continuing to increase at the current rate of infection without people taking additional precautions to prevent spreading the virus. At that trajectory, it doesn’t take long before the state is in a very bad place, said Marm Kilpatrick, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Read More

Mineta San Jose Airport Begins Offering Preflight Virus Testing
SAN JOSE — Mineta San Jose International Airport announced Friday that they are now offering preflight COVID-19 testing ahead of the upcoming holidays. Airport officials said the traveler testing program is being offered by appointment daily from 7:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. As of Friday, the program is only for travelers on Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines, but the program will be expanded to all travelers as of next week. “While we look forward to the return of the record-breaking traffic we experienced just last year, we are committed to getting there safely. Our promise is to continue working hard to maintain a safe and sanitized environment for those utilizing our facilities,” said John Aitken, the airport’s Director of Aviation. Two providers, Carbon Health and WorkSite Labs, are offering testing, which is performed at a drive-thru testing site located at the airport’s Taxi Staging Area on 2470 Airport Boulevard. Read More