CBS San Francisco Staff Report

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — With the surge in new coronavirus cases beginning to ease and demand for vaccination growing, 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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U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Parts of California Ban on Indoor Worship
WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court blocked California’s COVID-related ban on indoor worship services in a late-night order Friday but allowed other restrictions affecting houses of worship to remain in place. The justices fractured in the two cases — the latest to come before the court pitting religious groups against city and state officials seeking to stop the spread of the pandemic. California has instituted a tiered system that resulted in a total ban on indoor services in some counties. The court blocked the prohibition on indoor worship services in the most hardly hit areas, but allowed some limitations based on capacity percentages to stay in place as well as a prohibition on singing and chanting during indoor services. Read More

Pentagon Deploying Troops To Staff Oakland Coliseum Mass Vaccination Site
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will deploy more than 1,100 troops to five vaccination centers including sites in Oakland and Los Angeles in what will be the first wave of increased military support for the White House campaign to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. The Oakland Coliseum site is one of two in the state run by a collaboration between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state Office of Emergency Services. The other site will be on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles. They are part of the Biden Administration’s plans to establish 100 vaccination sites nationwide in the federal administration’s first 100 days. Read More

Santa Clara County, 49ers Team Up To Launch Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Site At Levi’s Stadium
SANTA CLARA — The San Francisco 49ers and Santa Clara County health officials announced plans Friday for a large mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Levi’s Stadium. Officials said the site will open early next week with the initial capacity to vaccinate 5,000 people per day with plans to increase capacity up to 15,000 people as vaccine supplies increase. The site — which will be staffed and operated by Santa Clara County health officials — will be larger than two other sites unveiled in other Bay Area counties over the last 48 hours. Read More

Usual Super Bowl Revelry Muted By COVID-19 Pandemic Warnings
SAN FRANCISCO — There are only two days left until Super Bowl Sunday and this year, the watch parties will look a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditional trips to the Las Vegas and Tahoe have been cancelled. Office pools are non-existent and large gatherings will be avoided due to concerns of transmitted the virus. Bay Area restaurants will have their patio areas open, but many say this will be a year to avoid the usual crowds. “It’s disappointing because we did want to go to Las Vegas. We usually go there, but I really want to be careful,” said Desiree Criddell who lives in Brentwood. “The excitement is still there except for I don’t get to bet my squares where I normally go to a Super Bowl party,” added Walnut Creek resident Rick Hummel. Read More

Sonoma County Begins Offering Vaccinations To People 70+ At Clinics, Safeway Stores
SANTA ROSA — Health officials in Sonoma County announced Friday that COVID-19 vaccination appointments are now being offered for county residents 70 and older at several county clinics, along with Safeway supermarkets. According to a county statement, 11 Safeway stores in the county will begin offering vaccines starting on Monday. Locations include stores in Guerneville, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Windsor, along with multiple locations in Santa Rosa. Each Safeway pharmacy would have the capacity to provide 20 vaccinations, five days a week. Officials said appointments are needed. Vaccinations for those 70 and up will also be offered at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds Grace Pavilion and the Oakmont Berger Center in Santa Rosa, along with Sonoma Valley High School in Sonoma. Read More

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Drive-Thru Clinic Open For Alameda County, Berkeley Residents 75+ In Albany Through Monday
ALBANY — Berkeley and Alameda County residents age 75 and older can sign up for coronavirus vaccinations through Monday, Berkeley city officials said Friday. The limited number of drive-thru vaccination appointments will take place at the foot of Buchanan Street near the Albany Bulb in Albany and are available for residents seeking their first of two vaccine doses. The coronavirus testing and health service company Curative Inc. will oversee the vaccination appointments and will assist participating residents in scheduling the administration of their second dose Residents can make appointments for Friday through Monday at https://curative.com/sites/24551#9/37.8675/-122.2969. Read More

Santa Cruz County Sees Significant Decrease in Cases; Some Schools Could Reopen
SANTA CRUZ — The COVID-19 pandemic rolls on but there are positive developments in Santa Cruz County, health officials said on Thursday. Case counts have fallen by percent in the last two weeks, the adjusted case rate is at 24.4 and if cases don’t rise, some schools could submit waivers to reopen on Monday, County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel said. “That’s an exciting benchmark that we’ve crossed, and I expect that the rates will continue to drop and will stay there,” Newel said. With the adjusted case rate in the county under 25, elementary schools can apply to reopen and Newel said she was prepared to support reopening. Read More

San Jose Police Graduates Mark End of Record-Length, COVID-Delayed Academy
SAN JOSE — A group of newly-sworn San Jose police officers made history Friday even before they hit the streets. “One year of work and intense training and stress, it’s just kind of been lifted off,” said Ofc. Brittani Garrison. She was among the 42 officers who graduated and were sworn in after a 12-month academy. It was the longest-running academy in the department’s history. Typically, training is seven months long but the 38th graduating class began their academy just one month before last year’s March COVID-19 shutdown. “At first it was a disappointment but then you realize for this job you really have to be adaptable,” Garrison said. Read More

Oakland Scholar Leaves Bay Area Bubble To Discover Chicago Music Scene
CHICAGO — For Students Rising Above Scholars, leaving the Bay Area to go to college is nothing new, many do just that. But A’Nya Johnson left her beloved hometown Oakland not just for education but possible future job experience following a passion, her love of music. So on a recent winter’s day, Johnson and her dog Fiji braved the snowy streets of Chicago for some fresh air in the cold. Johnson attends Columbia College Chicago, a private college in the heart of the city. The California native says some back home were surprised at her decision. “Yeah everybody was, like, ‘You’re so brave,'” said Johnson of her decision to live in the Windy City. “And I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.” Read More

Other Trending Bay Area COVID-19 Stories

2 UC-Berkeley Students Diagnosed With Contagious COVID-19 UK Strain; Six New Cases In Alameda County
BERKELEY — Two UC Berkeley students have been diagnosed with the contagious COVID-19 UK strain of the virus amid an overall surge in new cases on campus, officials said. The infected students reported symptoms and were tested for the coronavirus on Jan. 19 and 21, respectively. Contact tracing by University Health Services staff revealed that both had recently arrived in the U.S. from abroad and were connected. “It is unfortunately no surprise that this and other variants are being detected locally, given the extent of viral spread happening currently regionally, nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Anna Harte, medical director at University Health Services. “With more viruses circulating, emerging strains that are more transmissible will tend to dominate.” At his weekly COVID update, Gov. Gavin Newson said that the state has had 150 confirmed cases of the UK COVID-19 mutation and 960 of what is being called the West Coast variants. No cases of the potent South African strain of the disease has been reported as of yet in California. Read More

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Constrained COVID Vaccine Supply Prompts the Privileged to Jump the Line
SAN FRANCISCO — According to a new survey, 80 percent of people who live in Bay Area want to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The bad news? The supply of doses remains limited. As the first week of Feb. 2021 comes to an end, only about 10 percent of Californians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That means tens of millions more are waiting for their chance. Despite ramped-up efforts to open mass vaccination sites, the supply of coveted doses is still limited and there is growing concern about equal access over the supply that’s allocated to California and the Bay Area. The situation is leading to frustration, anger and accusations of favoritism and gamesmanship. Unfortunately, there are examples of some truly bad behavior which reinforce those complaints. For starters, there’s the story of a Canadian mogul and his wife who allegedly violated public health rules. Authorities claim they chartered a private plane, flew 300 miles to a tiny community in the Yukon, ignored quarantine orders, posed as new motel workers and got COVID-19 shots that were intended for vulnerable, Indigenous elders. Read More