CBS San Francisco Staff Report

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — It’s been a year since the historic COVID-19 shutdown and the battle with the virus is still impacting our daily lives. Here’s a roundup of the latest COVID stories.

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COVID Restrictions Ease for Vaccinated Travelers; Traffic Swells at Bay Area Airports
SAN JOSE — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new travel guidelines Friday that ease restrictions for fully-vaccinated travelers. According to the agency, fully-vaccinated travelers can now travel domestically without getting a COVID-19 test before or after travel and are not required to self-quarantine as long as they aren’t exhibiting symptoms of illness. Those traveling internationally don’t need to get tested before travel unless their destination requires it. They must still, however, have a negative result in hand before boarding a flight back to the U.S. and must be tested again three to five days after arrival. Travel is still being discouraged as the virus rages and vaccinations continue. Local jurisdictions may also have tougher travel restrictions in place. Read More

As California Eligibility Expands, Experts Say Delays May Be Short-Lived – ‘It’s Ramping Up’
SAN JOSE — Getting a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in California remains difficult in many places as eligibility just expanded, but experts say the delays may be short-lived.”This is the day I was waiting for, for almost a year,” said a gentleman named Mirag after receiving his first Pfizer dose. “So I’m feeling very excited!” The newest vaccination site in San Jose, a Kaiser clinic targeting vulnerable population. “We have a lot of members on the east side,” says Efren Rosas, Physician-In-Chief for Kaiser San Jose. “The community needs help on the east side and it’s just easier for us to be here.” Read More

California To Allow For Indoor Gatherings, Concerts April 15; Testing Or Vaccination Required
SACRAMENTO — California will allow indoor concerts, theater performances and other private gatherings starting April 15 as the rate of people testing positive for the coronavirus nears a record low. The decision is a sharp turnaround from the slow pace California has taken on lifting restrictions, and comes as the governor urges people to continue being vigilant about wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.To attend gatherings, people will have to either be tested or show proof of full vaccination. California has administered nearly 19 million doses and nearly 6.9 million people are fully vaccinated in a state with nearly 40 million residents. But only people 50 and over are eligible statewide to get the vaccine now. Adults 16 and older won’t be eligible until April 15. Read More

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Airports, Churches See Bigger Crowds as Easter Weekend Begins
OAKLAND — With COVID restrictions more relaxed in the Bay Area than they have been in months, many more people are traveling or planning to attend church this Easter weekend. Both the CDC and California health officials offered relaxed travel guidance this week. “People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the United States,” the CDC posted on its website on Friday, saying they are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. The CDC’s recommendations come a day after the California Department of Public Health updated its guidance, dropping a recommendation to keep nonessential travel within 120 miles of home that was issued at the height of the surge back in January.Read More

COVID Contact Tracing In California Failed To Meet Goals, State Auditor Finds
SACRAMENTO — Despite promises from Gov. Gavin Newsom to build an “army” of contact tracers to contain the coronavirus pandemic, a new audit says California mustered less than half of the number promised. But even if the staffing goals were met, it would not have been enough. The intended number of contact tracers was based on an assumption that California would average 5,000 new coronavirus infections a day. But the nation’s most populated state averaged 25,000 per day from late November to the end of December. “The sheer number of cases has overwhelmed local health jurisdictions’ contact tracing efforts,” State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote in the report released Thursday. Public health officials say one of the best ways to slow the spread of a dangerous disease is to contact infected people and retrace their steps. Read More

CDC Says Fully Vaccinated Can Travel Safely Within U.S.; CDPH Drops 120-Mile Recommendation
SACRAMENTO — The Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health have made new recommendations for travelers amid increasing COVID-19 vaccinations. “People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the United States,” the CDC posted on its website on Friday, saying they are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. The fully vaccinated, which is defined as someone more than two weeks after their final dose, do not need to get tested unless their destination requires testing. They also do not need to self-quarantine. Regardless of vaccination status, masks, physical distancing and hand washing are recommended for all travelers. Those who develop symptoms should isolate and get tested, the CDC said. Read More

Angry Parents and Students Protest Fremont Schools Staying Closed
FREMONT — Frustrated parents and students protested in Fremont Thursday, one day after the district announced schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year. Standing front of the Fremont Unified District Teachers Association waving signs in a protest that started Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., parents and and their kids were begging to go back to the classroom. “The scapegoat in this whole scenario is the kids. Being the grownups here, we should reach a common ground,” said Fremont parent Jazna Jaleeo. Parents told KPIX that over a year of distance learning and Zoom school is no longer working; their children are suffering academically and socially. Read More

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Oakland A’s Welcome Fans Back To Coliseum For Opening Night Against Houston
OAKLAND — For the first time since Oct 2019, the Oakland Athletics will open the 2021 season Thursday night with as many as 12,000 actual fans in the stands and not just in front of row after row of photo cutouts and canned audience sounds blaring over the loud speakers. “No cardboard cutouts. Not this year! That was so 2020! We’re done with that, we’re focused on real live bodies, real fans,” A’s president Dave Kaval told KPIX 5. The A’s organization has made many changes inside the Coliseum for the 2021 season. “A lot of the seats are zip tied shut. So if people say, ‘I can’t sit in my regular seat.’ It’s because they’re zip tied. So you’ll have pods of two and four,” Kaval explained. “The concessions operation on the concourse is all closed, so you can’t actually walk up to anything. So it’s all via your phone,” the team president went on to say. Read More