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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Oakley School Board Resigns After President Steps Down Over ‘Hot Mic’ Remarks
OAKLEY — One day after the president of the Oakley school board resigned over disparaging comments about parents that she and other board members made on a video conference call the rest of the board trustees followed her lead. The district’s superintendent, Greg Hetrick, released a statement early Friday evening announcing the mass resignations after the social media explosion mushroomed following the release of the public meeting’s recording. Board president Lisa Brizendine had resigned Thursday, although there was no public announcement made at the time. The statement stated: “Board Members Kim Beede, Erica Ippolito, Richie Masadas ask that the statement be shared with you: We deeply regret the comments that were made in the meeting of the Board of Education earlier this week.” Read More

California High School Sports Allowed To Resume
SAN FRANCISCO — State health officials greenlighted the resumption of select high school sports programs, setting a benchmark of fewer than 14 cases of COVID-19 for every 100,000 residents for counties to return to play. At a morning news conference, Gov. Gavin Newsom said several Bay Area counties have already reached that standard. “We currently have 19 counties that are in that category including Alameda County, Marin, San Francisco, many of the Bay Area counties are already well below 14 cases for 100,000 so they are able to move as early as Feb 26,” the governor said. “This is for outdoor sports including contact sports. Including football, rugby and water polo.” Sports can go forward for all Bay Area counties except Solano and Contra Costa, since their COVID infection rates are higher. But health officials said their case numbers are trending downward and those two counties are expected to allow outdoor sports within two weeks. Read More

COVID Vaccine Efforts: How Far Away Is the Light at the End of the Tunnel?
SAN FRANCISCO — Six million vaccine shots delayed by the winter storm. Claims of possible herd immunity by spring. Worries that health officials haven’t been upbeat enough about the vaccine. It was a week of swirling pandemic headlines, some of them seemingly contradictory. “Winter storm aside, which has caused a huge amount of static in the system, there are a couple things that are going on that are very much on the good side,” says UCSF Epidemiologist George Rutherford. Among the good news is that case numbers are plummeting across most of the country, including California. “In certain parts of the state you’re really starting to see the dynamics of transmission change,” Rutherford said. “And I think that’s largely because of naturally acquired immunity.” Read More

READ MORE: COVID Vaccine: Santa Clara County Debuts Vaccination Site For Teachers, Education Workers At Fairgrounds

Mobile Vaccination Clinic Comes To Hayward, Hosts Visit By Gov. Newsom
HAYWARD — California will set aside 10% of first vaccine doses for staffers in education in childcare beginning next month to help return children to in-class learning, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday at a mobile vaccination clinic in Hayward. The move comes a day after California’s legislative leaders announced a $6.5 billion proposal aimed at reopening schools later this spring, a timeline that Newsom said is not fast enough for California’s six million K-12 students and that he would veto. “My fear about what was put out yesterday is that it’s actually going to slow down our ability to re-open schools safely,” said Newsom. Read More

East Bay Restaurants Band Together to Boost Business Amid Pandemic
PLEASANTON — In the Tri Valley, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the restaurant industry to come up with new ways to drum up business. The result: Taste Tri-Valley, a restaurant week-type program to help businesses survive. Friday night in downtown Pleasanton was busy this week. Despite temperatures in the 50s, many of the outdoor dining tables were filled as diners showed up to support local restaurants. Sabio on Main was serving a special three-course meal in hopes of cooking up some business. “It’s pretty tough for everybody. It’s no secret sales are down all across the board,” said Eian Cathcart with Sabio on Main. More than 40 restaurants and wineries from Danville to Pleasanton are part of the inaugural Taste Tri-Valley Restaurant Week. The goal is to see all of the area’s restaurants survive the pandemic. But the local, family-owned businesses have been hurting the most. Read More

Livermore Cites Bike Repairman for Working Out of His Garage; Orders Business To Be Shut Down
LIVERMORE — Many people across the Bay Area are working from home during the pandemic, but one Livermore man says trying to work out of his garage got him in trouble with the city. “I couldn’t pay rent. I didn’t have a stimulus. I didn’t have unemployment,” said AJ Wright. He lost his job repairing bicycles at Livermore Cyclery when the shops closed around the start of the pandemic. He was able to take his work bench and equipment home. “I’ve got all the tools needed to do the work. I’m going to try. I’m going to put some feelers out there and see what happens,” said Wright. He started AJs Bike Service out of his garage last April. He says he got a business license with the city and was trying to do everything right to make sure he was following the city guidelines. Within a few weeks, he had enough customers to keep him busy full-time. Read More

Stolen California EDD Unemployment Benefits Used To Fund Assault Weapons Purchases; 2 Arrested
SACRAMENTO — When police in California’s capital city searched an apartment in mid-January, the most telling item they found wasn’t the illegal assault weapons — it was a small red notebook filled with 55 names and their birthdays, social security numbers, usernames and passwords associated with accounts at the state’s unemployment benefits agency. Police say that one notebook was worth more than half a million dollars in fraudulent benefits, money delivered on more than a dozen debit cards that was likely used to purchase the illegal weapons. Friday, authorities arrested 25-year-old James Smith and 21-year-old Chyna Hill and charged them with 23 counts of unemployment insurance fraud, along with 13 counts of possession of stolen property and one count of possessing identifying information with the intent to defraud more than 10 people. Read More

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East Bay Scholar Presses On Through Online Learning; Seeks To Serve Community
RICHMOND — Many students are struggling with the stress that comes with online learning, but Miguel Angel Moya is using this time to reflect on how he can serve his community after graduation. Like most college students in California, Moya  is spending his freshman year leaning into his computer for hours online. The 18-year-old human biology major is fatigued. “I would much prefer to be in a classroom, engaging with other students and stuff like that,” said Moya “Being able to see like human beings and not a screen. I mean, I don’t even know if you’re real or not. I’m  looking at a screen and talking to camera right now, so it’s kind of crazy.” It is crazy. Moya’s part of the high school graduating class of 2020. He completed his last semester at Richmond High School virtually, an experience he says he found isolating. Read More