CBS San Francisco Staff Report

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — With the demand for COVID-19 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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Health Officials Targeting 10 Bay Area Zip Codes To Get COVID-19 Vaccinations To Hardest Hit
SAN FRANCISCO — Health officials say 40 percent of the state’s vaccine supply will be set aside to target more than 400 priority zip codes in low income neighborhoods where the need is the greatest. In the San Francisco Bay Area, only about 2 percent of the zip codes will be included. Among them are Oakland’s Fruitvale District, North Richmond and San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Not single one is located in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Sonoma or Marin counties. Mobile vaccination units began to visit neighborhoods like South Hayward this weekend. Nearly 1,000 people were inoculated in two days. “So many people cannot travel to get the shot,” said Jaime Gaines. “I’m formally from San Francisco and there are so many in the outer area that just can’t get it. So coming into the neighborhoods is really, really important.” Read More

COVID-19 Vaccine Shortage Forces Sutter Health To Reschedule Appointments
SAN FRANCISCO — A shortage of COVID-19 vaccine has forced Sutter Health to temporarily halt administering initial shots and reschedule appointments for thousands of second shots. Earlier this week, officials said they began canceling appointments — as many as 90,000 — because of a shortage of vaccine. In an email to KPIX 5 Friday night, Sutter officials said they expect to receive enough vaccine shipments over the next two weeks to begin rescheduling the cancelled second shot appointments. On it’s website, Sutter says that “due to extremely limited supply, we’re not scheduling first dose appointments.” Read More

Here’s What You Can Expect From The $1.9 Trillion Senate Stimulus Package
SAN FRANCISCO — After a marathon session, the U.S. Senate has approved the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package. Lawmakers made several changes throughout the legislation, but three were particularly notable — narrowing eligibility for the stimulus checks, trimming the federal boost to unemployment benefits and nixing an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Much of the Senate legislation, however, largely mirrors the $1.9 trillion package approved by the House and laid out by President Joe Biden in January. Senate Democratic leaders faced more hurdles to advancing the legislation since the party can’t afford to lose a single member thanks to the 50-50 split in the chamber. Plus, they must adhere to the strict rules of reconciliation, which they are using to approve the bill without any Republican support. Read More

Counties Across California Want Out of Blue Shield-Administered Vaccine Program
SAN FRANCISCO — Counties across California are increasingly asking to opt out of the state’s centralized vaccination program run by Blue Shield, further complicating Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to smooth out what has been a confusing and disjointed rollout of coronavirus vaccines. None of the state’s 58 counties has signed a contract with the insurance giant even as the state moved ahead with plans to bring 10 counties in the inland sections of central and Southern California under Blue Shield oversight beginning this week, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. “The hesitations and uncertainties span urban, suburban and rural parts of the state,” said Sarah Dukett, legislative advocate for the Rural County Representatives of California. “It’s not always the case that everyone is in the same boat. I hope the state is listening to that, but they really seem to be full steam ahead.” Read More

Bay Area College Students Speak Out About Experiencing Anti-Asian Racism
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco State University students are speaking out about their own experiences with anti-Asian racism in light of recent attacks. English lecturer Maureen Fitzgerald said when she recently asked her students to write about an experience during the pandemic, several students wrote about receiving racial slurs or discrimination. Freshman Joshua Luna described when two white customers approached him at a San Jose Home Depot where he works, and mocked him. “His friend decided to come up to me and speak imitation Chinese to me, and I took offense to that not because I’m not Chinese, I’m Filipino American, and for him to just assume that already to me… at a workplace where I have to remain professional and not cause a scene, it really made me feel hurt,” said Luna. Read More

Pandemic-Inspired Art Greets Visitors to Newly-Reopened San Francisco Museums
SAN FRANCISCO — A couple of San Francisco’s premier art museums reopened Sunday morning with a gift for the public: free admission and a chance to experience a bit of normal life again. And, at this point, even the art itself is being influenced by the pandemic. “Oh my gosh, this is such a treat. This is the first time my kids have been indoor anywhere since the pandemic started,” said Wendy Armstrong. She and her two children were among those who welcomed art back to the city as the S.F. Museum of Modern Art opened its doors to the public for the first time since the post-Thanksgiving coronavirus surge. Read More

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East Bay Entrepreneurs Eager for Red Tier Easing to Boost Business
OAKLAND — Many businesses in the East Bay are preparing to operate indoors as early as Wednesday. Alameda and Solano County health officials believe that, if their current COVID case numbers continue to trend down, the governor on Tuesday will move them into the Red Tier. “We’re finally going to get back to some normalcy,” said Kyle Conner, who owns the Alameda Theatre and the Cinema Grill restaurant next door. “The restaurant, we’re now probably got about 25 percent, maybe 30 percent of our staff back in place. We’ll probably get it up to close to 50 percent once we get indoor dining opened. He said it’s easy to reopen indoor dining from a logistical standpoint but it’s a lot more complicated for a theater. Even if the governor allows indoor theaters to reopen starting on Wednesday, it’ll still take Conner a few more weeks to open up. Read More

COVID-19 Fiscal Woes Forces Goodwill To Close Eight San Francisco Bay Area Retail Stores
OAKLAND — The lingering fiscal woes triggered by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic has forced Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay to announce the closure of eight retail stores in Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties and the layoffs of 61 employees. The locations closing are in Oakley, Dublin, Livermore, Durant Square in Oakland, Albany, Berkeley, Dixon, and Vallejo. “We have had to make a difficult decision for economic reasons,” said Mike Keenan, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay. “Our employees are our first priority and we will continue to do everything we can to support them at this difficult time and fulfill the Goodwill mission in our remaining stores and facilities.” Read More

Bay Area DJs Spin for Asian American Support
SAN FRANCISCO — A new campaign called “Spread Love, Stop The Hate” to fight xenophobia and racism kicked off this weekend online. 40 DJs from around the globe including Golden State Warriors’ DJ D Sharp are performing on the Twitch platform over 3 days “Growing up in Oakland, I grew up with Asian friends, you know what I mean and I was brought into Asian homes, you know what I mean, and I had Asian meals, and I mean my kids are half Asian, so this was important to me,” said DJ D Sharp. The fundraiser is raising money for the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center, which has been tracking and documenting incidents of hate against Asian Americans since the start of the pandemic. Read More

Strong Showing During First Weekend Of San Francisco Indoor Dining
SAN FRANCISCO — It was bustling at many restaurants in San Francisco both outdoors and indoors, for the first time since the fall. Owners said the strong turnout gave them confidence that the Bay Area was moving in the right direction. Newly opened Peruvian restaurant Jaranita on Steiner Street in the Marina District says before this weekend, they had to turn some diners away because they were full outdoors. But this Saturday night, they were able to welcome guests for the first time inside in their space. “I feel great and I feel like we’re going back to normality, like things are going back to normal,” said General Manager Kenzeo Mpoyi. Read More

Marin County Focuses on Restarting Schools at Teacher Vaccination ‘Super Pods’
SAN RAFAEL — Marin County has set an ambitious goal for reopening its schools, making its entire educational community immune from COVID-19 by the middle of April. On Saturday, they staged an event to help accomplish that feat. With balloons, music and lights hanging from the rafters, the Marin Civic Center looked more like a high school prom than a vaccination clinic. The venue was one of four so-called “super pods” that the county is setting up to inoculate all school workers by the end of spring break. “By April 10, they’ll all have full immunity,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County health officer. “That will allow our schools to reopen more confidently, knowing that all the staff who wish to be vaccinated are fully vaccinated and immune by that point.” Read More

San Francisco Bay Ferry Officials Considering 1-Year Reduction In Fares
SAN FRANCISCO — In a hope to rebuild ridership as San Francisco offices reopen after being shuttered for a year, San Francisco Bay Ferry officials are considering a one-year reduction in fares. Water Emergency Transportation Authority oversees the ferries which have been forced to reduce service during the yearlong COVID-19 pandemic. When the system is at full strength, it runs ferries from Oakland, San Francisco, Alameda, South San Francisco, Vallejo and Richmond. The WETA Board of Directors will consider approving the final Pandemic Recovery Program at its April 1 meeting. Changes would take effect in July 2021. Read More

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Iconic San Jose Fairmont Hotel Temporarily Closes; Enters Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
SAN JOSE — The devastating financial impact of the year-long COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another high profile Bay Area business — San Jose’s landmark Fairmont Hotel has temporarily closed its door while its parent company enters Chapter 11 bankruptcy. FMT SJ LLC, the operator of the iconic hotel, filed for Chapter 11 reorganization Friday, temporarily closing the hotel for as much as three months while it finds a management partner and extends the existing mortgage debt. The hotel abruptly ceased operations Friday, relocating its few remaining guests to rooms at nearby hotels at ownership’s expense. Read More