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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Mayor London Breed Says San Francisco Public Health Will Run Out Of Doses By Thursday
SAN FRANCISCO — Mayor London Breed on Tuesday said that the San Francisco Department of Public Health would run out of its current supply of COVID vaccine doses in two days during her update on the city’s response to the pandemic. The mayor said that San Francisco is still seeing 333 new cases per day, but the case numbers seem to be increasing at a slower rate, with the reproductive rate at 1.06 but gradually inching down. “Most importantly, more and more people are getting vaccinated every single day, especially our seniors who are the most vulnerable to getting sick and dying from COVID” said Breed. “This should give us all some very real hope. It’s going to be a long road, but the road will begin to lighten.” Breed went on to outline some of the progress the city has made as far as administering the COVID vaccine to San Francisco residents. Read More

‘Rays Of Hope;’ COVID Surge Flattening, Rate Of Transmission Declining, Says California Health Secretary Ghaly
SACRAMENTO — California is beginning to see a flattening in COVID data, including hospitalization rates, positivity rates and the rate of transmission, according to the state’s top health officials. During his weekly news conference, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said both hospitalization rates and ICU rates have decreased over the last two weeks, and noted the state’s 7-day testing positivity rate (9.9%) is now lower than the 14-day average positivity rate (11.6%). Since January 5, not only has the 14-day positivity rate itself dropped nearly 9%, but the state also saw an 8.5 % decrease in hospitalizations, currently at 20,262. ICU rates have also dropped 2.8% over the last seven days to 4,693. California reported 23,794 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, also well below the 7-day average of 35,669 cases. Three million Californians have tested positive for the coronavirus – the most of any state – resulting in 33,739 deaths in the state as of Tuesday. Read More

Vaccines From Moderna Lot Under Scrutiny Distributed In Mendocino County; No Reactions Reported
UKIAH — Health officials in Mendocino County said it had distributed 100 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from a batch under scrutiny amid reports of allergic reactions in Southern California. According to county vaccine coordinator Adrienne Thompson, the doses in question were distributed at a vaccination event at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah on January 7. Officials said no adverse reactions occurred. Thompson said that county staff will contact all 100 people who received vaccines from the lot number. Earlier this week, California Department Public Health director Dr. Erica Pan said the distribution of 330,000 doses from Lot 041L20A should be paused after a “higher than usual number of possible allergic reactions” were tied to a vaccination clinic in San Diego County. Read More

SF, Oakland, San Jose City Halls Lit In Amber As Part Of National Tribute To Victims
SAN FRANCISCO — The City Hall in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and California’s capitol building were lit up in amber on the eve of the Biden/Harris inauguration as part of a nationwide tribute to more than 400,000 Americans who died of COVID-19. Other cities around the U.S. planned tributes as well. The Empire State Building was lit in “heartbeat” red — the same lighting used last year as a show of support for emergency workers at the height of the virus surge in New York City. The red lights pulsed as a visual heartbeat. In Salt Lake City, the bells at the Utah Capitol were to ring 15 times in honor of the more than 1,500 lives lost to COVID-19 in the state. President-elect Joe Biden, who will be sworn in Wednesday, took part in an evening remembrance ceremony Tuesday near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The 400,000 dead were represented by 400 lights placed around the reflecting pool. The bell at the Washington National Cathedral tolled 400 times. Read More

COVID Vaccine In Short Supply, Sign-Up Website Crashes As SF Struggles To ‘Meet The Moment’
SAN FRANCISCO — To borrow a favorite phrase from Governor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco is struggling to “meet the moment” when it comes to its rollout of the COVID vaccine. Tuesday, Mayor London Breed warned the city could run out of doses by Thursday. To make matters worse, the city and county of San Francisco launched it’s vaccine sign-up page Tuesday, which promptly crashed and sent some folks who signed up for their doses over 50 confirmatory text messages. “This should be something that our bureaucracy knows how to do and can get done quickly and I think that it’s concerning for the next couple of weeks and months when we what we are going to need to get done is only going to get more challenging and more complicated and bigger,” said District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney. In San Mateo County, where healthcare workers have been receiving shots at mass vaccine clinics, the health director, Dr. Scott Morrow published a pages-long statement criticizing the rollout and lack of transparency. Read More

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Wine Country Business Coalition Sues Gov. Newsom Demanding To Reopen
NAPA — Governor Gavin Newsom is facing another lawsuit for actions he has taken during the pandemic. The Wine Country Coalition for Safe Reopening is demanding outdoor dining be allowed to open. Businesses say they need at least the outdoor dining to open to stay afloat. Terry Letson, the Chef and Owner Fume Bistro says, “We’re getting desperate for more business.” Letson’s Bistro in Napa is struggling as the latest stay at home order has forced him to shut down all outdoor dining. “We close the outside and we’re just not making it,” says Letson. Letson has joined the Wine Country Coalition for Safe Reopening to take legal action against the Governor. Carl Dene with the Brannan Cottage Inn in Calistoga organized the effort. “We’ve had devastating wildfires this year that we’re down the street from the hotel and we lost weeks of business because of that and months of business because of COVID it’s been a really bad rollercoaster,” says Dene. Read More

San Mateo Health Officer Urges Patience Amid Rollout – ‘Hang In There’
SAN MATEO COUNTY — The health officer in San Mateo County urged patience among county residents for the COVID-19 vaccine, as local hospitals continue to be strained by the ongoing surge in cases. In a lengthy statement detailing the state of the pandemic on the Peninsula, Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow said Tuesday case rates and deaths are 10 times higher than they were back in September and October, before the current surge. “Hospitals are bursting at the seams, and they are perilously close to breaking. When the health care system gets to this point, care can be compromised for everyone, irrespective of whether you are worried about COVID or not,” Morrow said. As of Tuesday, there have been 32,596 COVID-19 cases in San Mateo County since the start of the pandemic, and 309 people in the county have died. Currently there are 181 people in the county hospitalized with COVID-19, 44 in the ICU. The county has 3 ICU beds available and 88 ICU surge beds. Read More

Doubling Up Masks Creates ‘Obstacle Course’ For COVID, Doctor Encourages You To Consider It
DENVER — Health experts saying wearing a mask provides protection against COVID-19 both for the person wearing the mask and those around them. Now we’re hearing wearing two masks may offer even more protection. Dr. Dave Hnida, Medical Editor at KCNC-TV in Denver, spoke about those reports in an interview on CBSN Denver. “Specifically what we’re saying is that two masks may actually equal the protection you would get from N-95 masks, which is considered the best mask there is short of a complete respirator-type unit,” Hnida said. He says wearing a surgical mask with a cloth mask over it does give an extra layer of protection. “The reason for that is you do wind up getting more filtration of viral particles, it becomes more of an obstacle course for the viral particle to make its way from the air into your nose and throat and then into your lungs.” Read More

Other trending COVID-19 Stories

Surges, Community Infections Driving Potentially Dangerous Variants Of Coronavirus
SAN FRANCISCO — Public health specialists are raising a red flag about a strain of the coronavirus now circulating in the Bay Area and California. Now, more than ever, they are urging the public to follow public health guidelines and when it’s your time, to get a COVID-19 vaccination. All viruses mutate, but the surges and large number of infections circulating in the community are accelerating the development of these variants. This variant now at the center of attention was identified as L452R. It was first noticed and recorded in Denmark, last March. One case was recorded in Alameda County, in May. It was considered very rare until recently. “This variant is a sign that we don’t have this pandemic under control and we need to do everything we can to bring it under control and limit cases,” explained UCSF virologist Dr. Charlies Chiu. Read More

State Investigating Possible Allergic Reactions To Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine; Alameda, Santa Clara Counties Halt Distribution
SACRAMENTO — A top state health official has recommended halting distribution of a specific lot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine after “a higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions” to it at a San Diego mass vaccination site. Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s top epidemiologist, issued the warning about Moderna Lot 041L20A on Sunday night. “Our goal is to provide the COVID vaccine safely, swiftly and equitably,” Pan said in the statement. “A higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions were reported with a specific lot of Moderna vaccine administered at one community vaccination clinic. … Out of an extreme abundance of caution and also recognizing the extremely limited supply of vaccine, we are recommending that providers use other available vaccine inventory and pause the administration of vaccines from Moderna Lot 041L20A until the investigation by the CDC, FDA, Moderna and the state is complete. We will provide an update as we learn more.” Alameda County health officials said they were halting distribution of doses from the lot. Read More

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California Becomes First State To Top 3 Million Virus Cases
LOS ANGELES — California on Monday became the first state to record more than 3 million known coronavirus infections. The grim milestone, as tallied by Johns Hopkins University, wasn’t entirely unexpected in a state with 40 million residents but its speed stunning. The state only reached 2 million reported cases on Dec. 24. The first coronavirus case in California was confirmed last Jan. 25. It took 292 days to get to 1 million infections on Nov. 11 and 44 days to top 2 million. California’s caseload is also far ahead of other large states. Texas had more than 2 million and Florida topped 1.5 million. The state has recorded more than 33,600 deaths related to COVID-19. Read More