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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San Francisco Moves To COVID-19 Red Tier; Indoor Dining To Resume At 25% Capacity
SAN FRANCISCO — With new cases of COVID-19 plunging, San Francisco health officials announced that the city was moving into the state’s Red Tier, allowing struggling restaurants to offer indoor dining for the first time in months. At a Tuesday news conference, Mayor London Breed called the reopenings the “beginning of a great time for San Francisco.” “We’re here, we are in the Red,” Breed said. “Now I know being in the Red doesn’t sound that great but it is great compared to where we were…It means this is just the beginning. This is the beginning of a new day for San Francisco.” Read More

Santa Clara County Moves To Red Tier; Indoor Operations To Resume
SAN JOSE (CBS SF/BCN) — Santa Clara County joined two other Bay Area counties now in the Red Tier of California’s system of measuring risk of COVID infection. Santa Clara joins Napa and San Francisco counties on Tuesday in moving from the most restrictive Purple Tier in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, indicating the risk of COVID-19 transmission has gone from “widespread” to “substantial” based on their coronavirus case and test positivity rates. Read More

Napa County Indoor Dining Can Resume With Red Tier Move; Wineries Continue Outdoor-Only
NAPA — Napa County re-entered the state’s COVID-19 Red Tier on Tuesday, allowing for the return of indoor dining and several other sectors, but the county’s famed wineries must continue outdoor operations. County officials said the looser restrictions will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3. Under the state’s Red Tier, restaurants can open indoor dining with modifications at up to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less. Meanwhile, state rules don’t allow wineries or tasting rooms to resume indoor operations until the Orange Tier, which may not happen for at least three weeks. Read More

Bay Area Favorite Specialty’s Cafe and Bakery Reopens In Mountain View
MOUNTAIN VIEW — The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a crippling blow to many industries, perhaps none more so than restaurants. But on Tuesday, there was a bright spot for one local favorite. Last May, the then Pleasanton-based chain Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery appeared to be closed for good after going bankrupt amid the early throes of the pandemic shutdown. Before the business bid its final farewell, it offered one last treat to customers by handing out free frozen cookie dough at its warehouse in Redwood City that set off something of a frenzy among fans. Read More

San Mateo County Leaders Call Increased Vaccine Access In Hard-Hit East Palo Alto
EAST PALO ALTO — State and local officials on Monday called for increased COVID-19 vaccinations in East Palo Alto, which has the lowest percentage of vaccinated residents in San Mateo County. During a news conference at Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School in East Palo Alto, elected officials urged the state and federal government to prioritize East Palo Alto residents by creating a mobile or mass vaccination site to cater to city residents. East Palo Alto Councilmember Antonio Lopez said that COVID-19 has been a “wake up call” to the structural inequalities in the Bay Area, in which some people are well-off while others live paycheck to paycheck. Read More

Contra Costa County Expected To Enter Red Tier In 2-3 Weeks
MARTINEZ — Public health officials told the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Tuesday they’re making enough progress against COVID-19 to say the county will likely emerge from the state’s most restrictive purple tier within two or three weeks. Supervisor John Gioia re-enforced the idea, saying state officials recently told him they may relax the current threshold required to move into the less restrictive red tier — currently at seven daily new reported cases per 100,000 people for two consecutive Tuesdays. “They would announce that later this week,” Gioia said, after hearing reports from county health director Anna Roth and health officer Chris Farnitano. “They didn’t say what that would be. Given that we’re at (a rate of) 10.4, if they do raise it above seven, it’s likely that we will enter the red tier even sooner than your estimate of a couple weeks from now.” Read More

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San Francisco’s Only Krispy Kreme Shuts Down Due to Pandemic
SAN FRANCISCO — The Krispy Kreme doughnuts in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, the city’s only Krispy Kreme shop, closed its doors Friday, according to the San Francisco Business Times. The newspaper, who broke the news of the closure Friday, confirmed the story with the representatives of the national company at its base in North Carolina. “Unfortunately, yes, we have had to close this location,” the representative said in an online message to the SF Business Times. “It’s multiple factors of which declining tourism since we opened three years ago and the pandemic are a part. We’re sad about it.” Read More

Newsom Visits Reopened Palo Alto School To Encourage Return To Classrooms
PALO ALTO — While on a campaign to push more school reopenings across the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom and a group of local leaders visited an opened Palo Alto elementary school on Tuesday to encourage campuses to resume in-class instruction as quickly as possible. The governor pointed to Barron Park Elementary School, where he spoke, as an example for resuming in-class instruction. Its campus was one of the first schools in the Bay Area to reopen in October using a hybrid model of in-person and online instruction. The Palo Alto Unified School District that Barron Park is a part of intends to reopen for grades 7-12 by next week. Read More

BART South Bay Extension Project Funding To Be Pulled From COVID Relief Bill
SAN JOSE — Funding to extend BART in the South Bay originally slated to be part of the Covid-19 relief bill but criticized as being unrelated to coronavirus relief will be pulled from the package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office confirmed to CNN on Tuesday. The original bill, passed by the House, included $1.425 billion in funding to help with transit rail capital projects, including the extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit line from San Jose to Santa Clara. It had been part of $30 billion in support for public transportation in the relief package, but Pelosi’s office said Tuesday that the Senate parliamentarian had ruled against its inclusion because it was part of a pilot project. Read More

SF Restaurants Get Set For Indoor Dining Under Red Tier
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco moves back into the Red Tier, allowing for more reopenings and fewer restrictions. Under the Red Tier, San Francisco restaurants can offer indoor dining for the first time since September starting Wednesday, March 3. At Waterbar and sister restaurant EPIC Steak, the tables have been placed at least 6 feet apart and only select booths will be used. Some staff members have also been called back to work. “Super excited, like we’ve been waiting so long to get back to the point where there’s forward movement,” said Managing Partner Pete Sittnick. Read More

SF Supes Approve Emergency Ordinance To Increase Hotels To House Homeless People During Pandemic
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved an emergency ordinance calling for the city to increase the amount of hotel rooms for homeless people as the COVID-19 pandemic endures, as Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement for the hotels has already been assured. The ordinance calls on the city to increase the amount of hotel rooms being provided to people experiencing homelessness through the city’s Shelter-In-Place, or SIP, hotel program from 1,800 to 2,200. SIP hotel program recipients include families, transitional aged youth and single adults, many of whom are considered high risk because of their age or pre-existing health conditions. Read More

Community Centers Not Getting Doses Needed For High-Risk Residents
SAN FRANCISCO — Teresa Parada is exactly the kind of person equity-minded California officials say they want to vaccinate: She’s a retired factory worker who speaks little English and lives in a hard-hit part of Los Angeles County. But Parada, 70, has waited weeks while others her age flock to Dodger Stadium or get the coronavirus shot through large hospital networks. The place where she normally gets medical care, AltaMed, is just now receiving enough supply to vaccinate her later this month. Parada said TV reports show people lining up to get shots, but “I see only vaccines going to Anglos.” “It’s rare that I see a Latino there for the vaccine. When will it be our turn?” she said. Read More

San Francisco 49ers Enlist Medical Experts in Effort to Bring Fans Back to Levi’s
SANTA CLARA — After a season of no fans in the stands — and at one point, no team in Santa Clara — the San Francisco 49ers are hopeful they will more company than just the foghorn by the time the 2021 NFL season starts. The organization is trying to figure out those logistics right now. Team executives have assembled a team of epidemiologists to guide them through the process of bringing the Faithful back. “We owe it to our fans and our employees that when they walk into this building and I hope that’s August and September to large numbers that they feel safe,” 49ers President Al Guido told KPIX 5 via Zoom. Read More

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Bay Area Gas Prices, Traffic Race Towards Pre-Pandemic Levels
EAST PALO ALTO -– Gas prices in the Bay Area are racing towards pre-pandemic levels as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues and more cars and drivers hit the road. “I just don’t understand how the gas can go up and people ain’t got no money,” said Prentiss McKnight. The 96-year-old says he lives on a fixed income in retirement and closely watches the rise and fall of gas prices, one of his biggest expenses. “I don’t see how people can afford gas going to and from work in their car. Because gas is so high. When people pay the gas bill, they ain’t got nothing left,” says McKnight. Read More