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 weekend.

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High School Students Returning To Classroom Learning In Marin County
MILL VALLEY — While public Schools in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose remain in distance learning, Marin County is accelerating its reopenings even for high schools. Tamalpais High school is one of several that will welcome back students and teachers for in-person learning this week. Marin County is one of 2 in the Bay Area that have entered the Red Tier, as more schools reopen, without all staff being vaccinated. Outdoor tents have been set up for more space as thousands of high school students return to the classroom. Read More

Facebook Leader Calls For Silicon Valley, Public To Confront Asian Hate Crimes
SAN JOSE — The wave of violence against Asians as of late forced Eric Toda to revisit a painful memory. The matter is deeply personal for the 36-year-old Facebook marketing executive. “My grandfather was the victim of a hate crime in the Outer Richmond of San Francisco in the late 90s. Nothing was stolen, no words were exchanged, again, he was just beaten,” said Toda. More than 20 years later, Toda is using his platform to speak out against anti-Asian racism. He penned an article on Feb. 11 in Adweek titled ‘My People Are Dying in Silence– and I’m Here With A Megaphone.’ Read More

Santa Clara Officials Open COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic At Local Farm
MORGAN HILL — Santa Clara County health officials expanded their COVID-19 vaccination efforts Sunday, bringing a mobile unit to Monterey Mushrooms, a large agricultural employer in Morgan Hill. The goal was to vaccinate as many as 1,000 farmworkers on Sunday and also on Wednesday. Workers receiving vaccinations will include employees of Monterey Mushrooms as well as other area farms. “Protecting people at greatest risk from COVID-19 is our top priority and our path out of the pandemic,” said Dr. Sara Cody, health officer and director of Public Health for Santa Clara County. “This is our first big mobile popup, where we need to come to where people are and reach them.” Read More

California Tax Revenues Soar as Rich Get Richer Despite Pandemic
SACRAMENTO — At the end of 2020, California had lost a record 1.6 million jobs during the pandemic. Nearly a half-million people stopped even trying to look for work. Business properties saw their value plummet more than 30%. But California’s bank account is overflowing. As of January, the state’s tax collections were $10.5 billion ahead of projections. By the end of the fiscal year on July 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature could have a $19 billion surplus to spend. It’s so much money that, for just the second time ever, the state is projected to trigger a state law requiring the government to send refunds to taxpayers. Read More

Is Plunging Demand For COVID-19 Testing Putting Communities At Risk For New Surge?
WASHINGTON — Just five weeks ago, Los Angeles County was conducting more than 350,000 weekly coronavirus tests, including at a massive drive-thru site at Dodger Stadium, as health workers raced to contain the worst COVID-19 hotspot in the U.S. Now, county officials say testing has nearly collapsed. More than 180 government-supported sites are operating at only a third of their capacity. “It’s shocking how quickly we’ve gone from moving at 100 miles an hour to about 25,” said Dr. Clemens Hong, who leads the county’s testing operation. After a year of struggling to boost testing, communities across the country are seeing plummeting demand, shuttering testing sites or even trying to return supplies. Read More

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Shipments Could Arrive As Soon As Monday
SAN FRANCISCO — The FDA granted emergency use approval for Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, making it the third vaccine in the nation’s war against the virus. Experts say one of the advantages of the vaccine is that it works with just one dose instead of two. Johnson & Johnson said shipments to states including California could begin as early as Monday. By the end of next month, the company expects to deliver 20 million doses to the U.S., and 100 million by summer. “The bottom line is that the more vaccines that have high efficacy that we can get into play, the better there is,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci. Read More

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Bay Area Health Workers Cheer Newly-Approved 1-Shot Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
OAKLAND — The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations, as they race against a virus that already has killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways. The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85 percent protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness in a massive study that spanned three continents — protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading. Read More

Sacramento Doctor Appears in Virtual Traffic Court While Performing Surgery
SACRAMENTO — The Medical Board of California said it would investigate a plastic surgeon who appeared in a videoconference for his traffic violation trial while operating. The Sacramento Bee reports Dr. Scott Green appeared Thursday for his Sacramento Superior Court trial, held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, from an operating room. He was dressed in surgical scrubs with a patient undergoing the procedure just out of view; the beeps of medical machinery can be heard in the background. “Hello, Mr. Green? Hi. Are you available for trial?” asked a courtroom clerk as an officer summoned to appear in trial raised her eyebrows. “It kind of looks like you’re in an operating room right now?” Read More

COVID Survivor Recalls Dark Days After Airlift From Cruise Ship To Travis
FAIRFIELD — Mark Jorgensen was among the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship passengers airlifted from Japan to Travis Air Force Base just over a year ago. At the time, few knew what lay ahead with the virus outbreak in Northern California. Mark and his wife, Jerri, had booked the cruise with friends to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. They flew to Tokyo from their Utah home on Jan. 20, 2020 and boarded the Diamond Princess to begin a two-week holiday cruise that included stops in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan and Japan. For the most part, the voyage had been uneventful. Read More

Warrior Jeremy Lin Will Not ID Source Of On-Court ‘Coronavirus’ Taunt
SAN FRANCISCO — NBA veteran Jeremy Lin, who is attempting to resurrect his career by playing with the Golden State Warriors G League team, has taken to social media complaining that he has been called ‘coronavirus’ on court. But in a followup post on Saturday, Lin said he will not be identifying the source of the racist taunt. “I know this will come as a disappointment to some of you but I’m not naming or shaming anyone,” he tweeted. “What good does it do in this situation for someone to be torn down. It doesn’t make my community safer or solve any of our long-term problems with racism.” The NBA said it will be launching an investigation into the claims. The G League is playing in a bubble in Orlando with no fans allowed at the game. Read More

Supreme Court Orders Santa Clara County To Allow Indoor Church Services
SAN JOSE — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday has ordered Santa Clara County to allow indoor church services to resume pending an appeal. A federal appeals court had earlier this month allowed the county to ban indoor services while the issue makes its way through the courts. Early Friday evening, the high court decided that those services should be allowed to happen until the case is resolved. The Supreme Court voted 6-3 to permit the South Bay church to hold services Sunday morning despite local public health orders. Read More

San Francisco To Allow Youth Sports With Safety Protocols In Place
SAN FRANCISCO — Following the lead of other Bay Area counties and the state, San Francisco health officials late Friday greenlighted the restart of youth sports, but with COVID-19 precautions put in place. However, officials also warned that their approval is contingent on San Francisco moving into the Red Tier next week. Based on analysis of San Francisco’s current health indicators, the city will meet the state’s Red Tier criteria on Tuesday, March 2. Under the order, prep sports competition will be limited to 25-player teams unless a larger roster is required to properly compete in a sport. Competition is currently limited to teams within San Francisco, Marin, Alameda and San Mateo counties. Read More

Youth, Adult Multi-Team Sports Can Resume In Alameda Co., Berkeley
BERKELEY — Multi-team competitions may resume for youth and adult recreational sports in Alameda County and the City of Berkeley, after weeks of being benched due to COVID-19. The Alameda County Health Care Service Agency issued a statement on Friday, saying local officials could allow school and community programs, private clubs and leagues and adult sports teams to resume as long as they meet California’s updated Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports requirements. No approval is necessary as long as the teams meet the state’s latest COVID-19 guidelines. Read More

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COVID Vaccine May Create ‘Terminator’-Type Antibody Response In People Who Have Had Coronavirus
SAN FRANCISCO –New questions are being raised about whether or not people who have had COVID-19 need two doses of the coronavirus vaccines. CBS Denver Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida addressed it during his weekly question & answer session on CBSN Denver. “At this point the advice remains the same,” he said, referring to the vaccines which require two doses. “It’s going to be two vaccinations even if you have had COVID in the past. We just don’t know how strong and how long your immune response is from illness.” Hnida did point to new research released in the past two weeks with a number of studies focused on the immune response to the vaccine in people who have already had COVID. Read More