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 Seniors Seeking COVID-19 Vaccine Face ‘Logistical Nightmare’
SAN JOSE — Some Bay Area residents over age 65 got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday but others are finding out that — just because they’re eligible — it doesn’t mean the shot is easy to get. “It ended up being two hours and 15 minutes,” said Erik Duran, describing how long he was on hold Thursday waiting to talk to someone at Kaiser to schedule an appointment for his 66-year-old mother, Susan, to get her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. “When they knew this was all going to be happening so fast, you’d think that they would start planning,” Duran said. He says when he first got on the phone, a recording told him to be prepared for a four-hour-long wait. San Francisco supervisor Matt Haney posted a tweet Thursday saying that Kaiser patients were telling him they were on hold for more than five hours. Read More

Rollout Seeing Mixed Results Around Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO — How’s the COVID-19 vaccine rollout going? Well, that depends on where you live. In Contra Costa County, resident Sandra Bauer was able to sign up herself and her husband for their doses via the county portal on Wednesday. “They’ll check it out and see if you qualify, probably double checking your age and they’ll send you an email and then they’ll send you how to apply for the appointment,” Bauer told KPIX 5. In Sonoma County, home health care workers were getting their first doses in a drive-thru mass vaccination site. In Alameda County, the public health department opened a website portal to sign up, that briefly crashed from too many people logging on to register for appointments. Read More

Bay Area Health Officials Challenged By Some Frontline Workers Choosing To Defer Shots
SAN JOSE — While public health officials have focused on distribution and supply issues as the main culprits in the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, they also acknowledge it’s been a challenge convincing some eligible healthcare workers to get their shots. “There is a lot of vaccine hesitancy among people – even among healthcare providers,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. Santa Clara County prioritized getting healthcare workers the first doses of the vaccine, an estimated workforce of 140,000. According to an update provided to the county Board of Supervisors, roughly 52,000 healthcare workers have been vaccinated, just 37%. That’s far below the expectations when the vaccine first arrived nearly a month ago. “I would say from my understanding that it’s not necessarily refusal. From my understanding, it’s possibly deferral,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at UCSF. Read More

Mount Diablo Unified School District Extends Distance Learning Into March
CONCORD — Schools in the Mount Diablo Unified School District will continue with distance learning at least into March, the district superintendent said Wednesday night. With no known date for the lifting of the “purple tier” restrictions in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy COVID-19 response plan, the school district has no choice but to continue distance learning for the immediate future, district Superintendent Adam Clark told the school board Wednesday. Schools that are already closed cannot reopen under purple tier rules. On Thursday, in a letter to Mount Diablo district parents, Clark said, “This is not where we had hoped to be right now, but it is the reality of the pandemic in our area.” The school board on Oct. 26 had approved a hybrid virtual/classroom plan that would have had kindergarteners, first-graders, sixth-graders and ninth-graders do their first in-class learning this week, on Jan. 11. Second-, third-, seventh- and 10th graders were to have it on Jan. 19; and fourth-, fifth-, eighth-, 11th and 12th-graders on Jan. 25. Read More

San Jose State Women’s Basketball Cancels Remainder Of 2020-21 Season Amid Virus Issues
SAN JOSE — Citing COVID-19 safety concerns, the women’s basketball team at San Jose State University announced it is canceling the rest of its 2020-2021 season. In a statement, the Spartans said COVID-19 issues within the program had prompted the Spartans to pause basketball activities twice during the season so far, including for two weeks in December after a member tested positive. The team had temporarily relocated to the Phoenix area last month after Santa Clara County banned all contact sports to slow the spread of the coronavirus. “This was an incredibly tough decision, but one that is in the best interest of the health and safety for our program’s student-athletes, coaches and staff,” SJSU athletics director Marie Tuite. “We look forward to watching the continued and exciting growth of our women’s basketball program in the 2021-22 season,” Tuite went on to say. Read More

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Stanford Medicine Accepting Patients to Alleviate Crowded Hospitals
STANFORD — Stanford Medicine, Stanford University’s department overseeing its medical school as well as its hospitals, said on Thursday that it’s treated hundreds of patients from other regional hospitals to help alleviate the recent crush of COVID-19 patients in the area. Stanford Medicine transferred and treated over 500 patients from other local hospitals over the past two months, according to Stanford officials. The university accepted the patients because of an agreement it has with hospitals in the region. “We owe it to the broader community to help in this manner,” said Dr. Stephen Ruoss, medical director of Stanford Medicine’s Transfer Center. “Stanford Medicine has robust services supported by numerous and well-trained staff to care for patients, and an obligation to provide those services to care for patients when other hospitals become overwhelmed.” After the holidays, the Bay Area saw a spike in COVID-19 cases. The crush of new patients has overwhelmed regional hospitals in recent weeks; on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared that the region’s ICU capacity had tumbled to 0.7%. Read More

COVID Vaccine Wait Could Be Weeks For Eligible Recipients In Contra Costa County
MARTINEZ — Although people 65 and older are now eligible to register to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, Contra Costa Health Services said Thursday the wait for county residents to get a vaccine appointment could be weeks. In response to new expanded guidelines from the state, Contra Costa Health Services and other health care providers in the county are now offering no-cost COVID-19 vaccine to residents 65 or older. But Contra Costa officials stressed that someone in a higher-risk group — especially someone who is 75 or older — might receive an earlier appointment than will a younger person, even if the older resident requested a later appointment. “Contra Costa Health Services is working hard with many partners, including other health providers in the county, to increase capacity so everyone can be vaccinated more quickly,” according to a statement released Thursday morning. “Contra Costa is coordinating with the state and building capacity to fill thousands of new requests.” Read More

Livermore Retailer Dom’s Outdoor Outfitters To Close Permanently
LIVERMORE — A beloved, family-owned sporting goods shop in Livermore has announced it will soon close its doors permanently, done in by financial struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic. A line full of people wrapped around a building during the pandemic is not that unusual, but this line was for a different reason. Dom’s Outdoor Outfitters announced on Facebook Wednesday they were calling it quits after 51 years of selling sporting goods in Livermore. By sunrise Thursday, people were already in line for the first day of the shop’s liquidation sale. The initial discounts were modest for now, but will get bigger as the store’s final closure nears. Dom’s was offering 20% off rain gear and 50% off Boy Scout uniforms. Levi’s jeans and Yeti coolers were selling at 10% off. Kim Burnett, who grew up in Livermore, was here to buy some ammunition that was marked down 10%. Read More

Survey: Most Americans Said They Will Get COVID-19 Vaccination
TAMPA — While a majority of Americans say they will probably get a COVID-19 vaccination, many remain concerned about the safety of recently approved vaccines, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the University of South Florida. According to the survey’s findings, more than a third (38 percent) said that they “will definitely get vaccinated” in the coming months. More than half (59 percent) said they would either “definitely” or “probably get vaccinated”, while roughly a quarter (23 percent) said they will “probably not” or “definitely not get vaccinated.” More than a quarter (29 percent) of those questioned said that they are either “not very confident” or “not at all confident” that the recently approved vaccines are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Roughly one-third of respondents (33 percent) said that they are either “not very confident” or “not at all confident” that the recently approved vaccines are safe. The survey noted there were some minor differences across demographic groups. Read More

Famed Pebble Beach AT&T Pro-AM Tourney For Pros Only Due To Spike In Cases
PEBBLE BEACH — The only stars at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this year will be the players. The spike in COVID-19 cases in California led organizers to cancel the pro-am portion of a tournament with a long history of entertainers and celebrities mixing with the pros on one of the most picturesque courses in the country. That means no antics from Bill Murray, Justin Timberlake breaking out into song while waiting on a tee box or even the latest fashion statement from rap singer Macklemore. The tournament also is losing one of its golf courses. The 156-man field on Feb. 11-14 will play only at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. It typically includes the Shore course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club. Pebble Beach is the second PGA Tour event to lose the pro-am format. The American Express next week in La Quinta, California, previously announced it would have only professionals on two courses in the desert. No fans will be allowed. Read More

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Counties Beg For More Vaccine As Demand And Lines Grow
SAN FRANCISCO — While COVID cases and deaths soaring, counties across California are begging health officials for more coronavirus vaccine as the state has greenlighted vaccines for those 65-and-older. The new health order added a potential 4 to 6 million to those eligible for the sought-after doses. But Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous with 10 million residents and an epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, said it couldn’t immediately provide them because it hasn’t yet inoculated health care workers, who have first crack at the vaccine. Only about a quarter of some 800,000 had been inoculated, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “We’re not done with our health care workers and we actually don’t have enough vaccine right now to be able to get done more quickly,” Ferrer said. “We haven’t heard back from the state about vaccine availability and how it would be distributed.” Read More