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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Newsom Hammers Out Back To School Deal With State Lawmakers
SACRAMENTO — As high school students in Marin County return to classrooms on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom has hammered out a deal with state lawmakers to get most public school children statewide back in classrooms by the end of March. Marin County, which moved into the Red Tier last week, has become among the fastest moving school systems in the state in getting students back into the classroom. Newsom wants other districts across the state to follow the lead of Marin and the Long Beach schools.
Monday’s deal is a major step in that direction. Under the deal, school districts could receive up to $6.6 billion if they reopen classrooms by March 31. Read More

Victims Of EDD Bank Of America Debit Card Fraud Could Be Taxed On Benefits They Never Received
SAN FRANCISCO == For months KPIX has been reporting on the frustrations and devastating economic impacts of fraud involving unemployment debit cards. About 11 million Californians get their unemployment benefits on Bank of America debit cards. They’ve lost thousands of dollars in fraudulent transactions. Now we’re learning they could get hit with taxes on income they never received. “I was really excited,” said Scott Wheeler. At first Wheeler thought the letter from the Employment Development Department was finally the money he’s been waiting almost a year for. But not so. It was a 1099-G tax form from EDD. “They said that they had paid out $14,000. And I obviously didn’t see any of that. So somebody has it, but I don’t have it,” said Wheeler. Read More

SF Restaurants Use High-Tech Tools To Make Indoor Dining Safe
SAN FRANCISCO — Restaurants in San Francisco are ready to welcome back diners with the help of new technology. The city is expected to announce the move into the Red Tier on Tuesday. When diners return indoors to La Mar on the Embarcardero, the food and the space will look familiar. But hidden in its HVAC system is patented technology that works to safely clean indoor air. It’s called NPBI from Global Plasma Solutions. The technology uses an electronic charge to create a plasma field filled with ions. They attach to airborne particles. Read More

Some High School Students Return 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. Some 90% of schools in Marin County will be open for in-person learning in the days ahead. Read More

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Healdsburg Family Leaving California On Cross-Country Trip In Search Of New Home
HEALDSBURG — With the pandemic bringing normal life to a halt, a growing number of people are moving out of the Bay Area and California in general. Monday morning, one Healdsburg family joined the exodus, but they’ve decided to make their move the trip of a lifetime. Ben and Brianne Holt were removing the last few items from their Healdsburg home. Their daughters Mackenzie, Madison, Maebel and Maliya were already in the car. It was time for the journey to begin and while they know where they are going, they have no idea where they may end up. “I know there’s a spot for us and I don’t know where it is,” said Ben. “We have a couple of ideas picked out but that’s kind of part of the trip is figuring it out. Oh, we think we want to live in North Carolina but what if we like Wyoming, what if we like Arkansas?” Read More

Santa Clara County Debuts Vaccination Site For Teachers, Education Workers At Fairgrounds
SAN JOSE — Santa Clara County is trying to make it easier and faster for educators to get vaccinated amid increasingly loud calls for schools to reopen. “As soon as we can do it safely, I can’t wait to see them,” said Steven Teleky, a music teacher at San Jose’s Orchard Middle School. Teleky was one of the first educators to take advantage of a newly-created vaccination site at the county fairgrounds for teachers on Monday. The site was formerly designated for first responders and is still staffed by firefighters who administer the vaccine. Teleky says the vaccine represents a return to normalcy and hopefully a return to classroom after a year of online instruction. Read More

Twitter Cracks Down On Coronavirus Misinformation With ‘Strike System’ To Remove Violators
SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter says it has begun labeling tweets that include misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines and using a “strike system” to eventually remove accounts that repeatedly violate its rules. The company said Monday that it has started using human reviewers to assess whether tweets violate its policy against COVID vaccine misinformation. Eventually, the work will be done by a combination of humans and automation, it said. Twitter had already banned some COVID-related misinformation in December, including falsehoods about how the virus spreads, whether masks are effective and the risk of infection and death. Read More

Group Calls Berkeley Teachers’ Union Leader A Hypocrite For Taking Child To Private Preschool
BERKELEY — An East Bay teacher and union leader is under fire Monday, accused of being a hypocrite in the fight to reopen schools only after teachers have been vaccinated. Video released by the anonymous back to school advocacy group called “Guerilla Momz” shows a man the group says is Matt Meyer, president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, dropping his child off at a private preschool. Meyer and the union have been staunchly fighting for students to return to full-time, in-person instruction only after teachers have received the COVID vaccine. While Meyer is not commenting on the video, he did confirm to the East Bay Times that his two-year-old daughter does attend private preschool, adding that there are no public options for children her age. Read More

CVS To Receive 200,000 Doses Of Newly-Approved Johnson & Johnson Shot
SAN FRANCISCO — CVS announced it would receive the recently-approved COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson in the coming days, as the pharmacy chain seeks to increase its rollout of the shots. A pharmacy spokesperson told KPIX 5 on Monday that they anticipate the doses of the one-shot vaccine this week. California is among 17 states where the pharmacy is offering the shots at stores to those who are eligible. Shipments of the vaccine began on Monday, after receiving emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug administration over the weekend. Read More

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Santa Rosa Officials Receive Vaccines For Teachers In Advance Of School Reopenings
SANTA ROSA — Santa Rosa schools officials say they have obtained an additional 1,500 doses of the COVID vaccine for their employees, which will allow the district to vaccinate staff before it reopens in-person K-6 elementary schools on April 1. That reopening date had been put in jeopardy, after a vaccination shortage caused the Sonoma County Office of Education to announce it would temporarily close its vaccination clinic during the first week of March. An announcement Sunday from Santa Rosa City Schools said district officials worked with State Sen. Mike McGuire to obtain the additional vaccination doses. Read More