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New Cases Overwhelming Central Valley Hospitals; South Bay Gyms Defying Shutdown Orders; Contra Costa Face Covering Fines – CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The tsunami of news about the current coronavirus outbreak and now the reopenings can be overwhelming. To help you navigate through what you need to know here’s a news roundup of the top coronavirus and reopening-related stories from the last 24 hours.

Good News — Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Sunnyvale Charity Hands Out Backpacks With School Supplies To Needy Children
SUNNYVALE — While most kids will be learning remotely when they go back to school, some children in need are still lacking essential supplies. On Monday at Sunnyvale Community Services, things were especially busy this year. Thanks to the pandemic, income equality has gone from bad to worse. When the facility opened up Monday morning at 8 a.m., there was already a line of cars waiting to receive donated backpacks filled with school supplies. “Because people suddenly lost their livelihoods, many of the people that have been coming here have been working two jobs, three jobs each,” said Marie Bernard with Sunnyvale Community Services. “They lost all of their jobs. So these are the people hard working in our community.” Read More

Bay Area Mom Hands Out Ice Cream In Memory Of Her Son To Help Make-A-Wish Foundation
LIVERMORE — An East Bay mom is honoring the memory of her son by putting smiles on people’s faces. When they donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, she gives them free ice cream. Veronica Johnson, of Livermore, says it’s a way to honor her young son Dillon who died 20 years ago on July 27. “Well, he was only 25 months old when he passed away. He had four open-heart surgeries,” says Johnson. “He had his first open-heart at 9 days old and unfortunately, on his fourth one, he passed away at 25 months.” Veronica says she decided years ago to turn her grief into giving, bring nourishment to the needy and help donate to Make-A-Wish Foundation so other terminally ill children’s last days are a little easier. Read More

For Uplifting Stories Of Neighbors Helping Neighbors Visit Our Better Together Section

KPIX Investigation Finds San Jose Gyms Defying State Shutdown Orders
SAN JOSE — Despite state and county orders that fitness studios and gyms must not operate indoors, KPIX discovered three gyms in San Jose defying the orders. San Jose is in Santa Clara County, which landed on the state’s monitoring list two weeks ago because of a rise of COVID-19 hospitalizations. The state ordered the county to shut down, essentially closing hair and nail salons as well as gyms and fitness studios only 48 hours after the county gave those businesses a green light to open. Santa Clara County remains on the list as cases and deaths rise. KPIX discovered the doors open and clients exercising inside Westca Gym on N. 1st St., WarFitness Bay Area on S. First St. and WARCAT Strength on Bascom Ave. Read More

Fear Grips Major League Baseball as Virus Puts Reopened Season in Doubt
OAKLAND — There’s much uncertainty and some fear in the ranks of Major League Baseball, as coronavirus spreads through one team’s clubhouse. Unlike the NBA where all active teams are playing at one venue, Major League Baseball opened across the country and many in the league expected to see COVID-19 cases at times throughout the 60-game season. They didn’t expect it would come this soon. “There’s trepidation for coming here. Now you see what happened so I don’t think that ever goes away,” said Bob Melvin, manager of the Oakland Athletics. Melvin voiced his concerns about playing during the pandemic after more than a dozen players and coaches within the Miami Marlins organization tested positive for coronavirus. Read More

CA Democratic Lawmakers Propose $100 Billion Economic Stimulus Plan
SACRAMENTO — Democrats who control the California State Legislature on Monday proposed a $100 billion economic stimulus plan that relies on what they are calling “future tax vouchers” along with speeding up other spending during the coronavirus pandemic. The plan would allow state Treasurer Fiona Ma to issue tax vouchers that proponents said could raise billions of dollars, though they said it was too soon to provide a more detailed estimate. The state would let taxpayers prepay their taxes for a future budget year at a slight, as yet undetermined, discount. Most of those likely to take advantage of the program would be wealthy enough to make it financially worth their while, said Tim Schaefer, deputy treasurer for public finance.n“It is a work in progress. A lot of it is aspirational and properly so,” Schaefer said. Read More

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Workers Laid Off As Pandemic’s Financial Impact Takes Its Toll On County
SANTA CRUZ — The Santa Cruz Seaside Company, which runs the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, has announced it has laid off about a third of its full-time workers because of financial impacts from the pandemic. The Boardwalk is still open, and still an attraction for thousands of people. But with the brakes put on rides, most attractions and many food choices, people aren’t spending money like they used to. “I think it’s kind of boring and not worth it to go anymore,” said Brooke Harris, who came over from Sacramento and was glad to pick up
a corn dog, garlic fries and cotton candy but she missed everything else. “It’s not the same without the rides, like the energy is not the same,” Harris said. Read More

Phase 3 Clinical Trial For COVID-19 Vaccine Begins; Test Participants Sought
SACRAMENTO — The fight against COVID-19 marked a major milestone on Monday as the final trial involving an experimental vaccine began in the United States. 30,000 volunteers from 30 states plus the District of Columbia are expected to participate. Kelli from Sacramento County is one of those participants. “My husband is a health care worker. He deals with a lot of COVID patients and he said he’s probably going to bring it home anyway, so why not contribute to science and help find a vaccine?” remarked Kelli. Benchmark Research in Sacramento is one of seven clinical trial sites in California. The need for test subjects is critical. Read More

Contra Costa Supervisors To Consider Fines For Face Covering Violators
PLEASANTON — The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is preparing to consider an ordinance that would establish fines for violating public health orders involving wearing face coverings, social distancing and gatherings. The ordinance that the board is scheduled to vote on Tuesday would formally allow infraction citations to be given to those who violate COVID-19-related county health orders. The ordinance would give city and county officials the ability to fine anyone for not wearing a mask in public. The fine could range from $100 for individuals to as much as $1,000 for businesses for each violation. While there is no shortage of masks available in the stores, there are still bound to be moments when you encounter someone out in public not wearing one. Read More

Raiders Las Vegas Stadium Likely To Be Fan-less During Inaugural Season
LAS VEGAS — Training camp begins across the NFL tomorrow. Over the course of the week, players will take COVID tests, but will not gather on the field. With the elimination of the preseason this year, teams can begin the slow ramp up to the regular season which begins in September. Because of the pandemic, the Raiders will not train in Napa this season, instead will stay close to their new home in Las Vegas. They recently finished construcion their headquarters complex in Henderson, NV which cost $75 million and boasts an indoor 150,000-square-foot “field house” to help beat the heat. They are slated to christen the $1.8 billion Allegiant Stadium, a hulking silver and black domed structure that sits near the Las Vegas Strip on September 21. Fans were expected to pack the palace to the roof for the home opener against the Saints, but that’s very much in doubt as virus concerns continue. Read More

Protesters Chain Themselves To Governor’s Home As Prison COVID Deaths Mount
SACRAMENTO — Demonstrators chained themselves to a fence outside Gov. Gavin Newsom’s home on Monday, calling for mass inmate releases and an end to immigration transfers because of the coronavirus pandemic, as deaths mounted at San Quentin State Prison. The California Highway Patrol cut the chains linking protesters to the bars of the gate at the front of the residence in suburban Sacramento after about two hours, but could not immediately say how many had been arrested. Television footage showed 14 demonstrators sitting cross-legged and chained to each other and the front gate, wearing surgical-style masks and plastic face shields to keep from spreading the virus. The California Liberation Collective organized the protest that it said included several community organizers who are in the country illegally as well as immigration attorneys whose clients risk becoming infected. The 14 were backed by dozens of other protesters calling for more prison releases because of outbreaks particularly at San Quentin State Prison. Read More

Newsom Unveils $52M Plan To Reduce Spiking COVID Cases Among Central Valley Essential Workers
STOCKTON — Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday announced a new $52 million plan to help the eight counties in the struggling Central Valley come to grips with surging COVID-19 infections in the region. The money from a federal grant would target eight Central Valley counties “to improve isolation protocols, our quarantine protocols, our testing protocols and to enhance our health care workers by providing more support as well as more personnel.” Newsom opened his comments from the Diamond Nuts company in Stockton by saying that recent rise in coronavirus cases in the state was concentrated in certain parts of the state and certain sectors of California’s economy, with the Central Valley being hit the hardest. Data shows transmission rates in the region are growing, including the effective reproduction number (R-effective), or the average number of people on to whom one infected person will pass the virus. Read More

Exchange Student Returns Home After COVID Cancellation To Learn Impact Of Social Upheaval
SAN FRANCISCO — Paris Soares is still smarting after her recent trip home from South Africa as her study abroad program was abruptly cut short by COVID-19. She received the news by email. “It was really life-changing,” recalled Soares. “So upset. I was so upset” After one failed attempt to fly home, the 22-year-old ended up taking a government repatriation flight back to the Bay Area as her host county went into lockdown. Online classes soon followed taught by instructors half a world away. Then Soares would experience another new reality as social upheaval gripped her community with protestors bringing the Black Lives Matter movement to the world. Read More

Survey Finds Pessimism Mounting Among San Francisco Bay Area Small Business Owners
SAN FRANCISCO — As the days of the pandemic mount and reopenings are paused by surges of new COVID-19 cases, a survey revealed Monday that a majority of San Francisco Bay Area small business owners believe recovery from the financial impact of the virus outbreak will not begin until the end of the year. More stunning was that the survey by online lender — The Lending Tree — found that 14.6% of small business owners don’t think they will ever recover from the pandemic. The company analyzed results from the Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey and calculated the percentage of small business owners in the 50 largest metro areas who had reported saying that they thought their business wouldn’t return to normal compared with a year ago. Read More

Bracing For A Long Pandemic; Google Says Employees Can Work From Home Until Summer 2021
SAN JOSE — Silicon Valley tech giant Google announced Monday it was extending its policy of allowing employees to work from home until at least July 2021. A company spokesperson confirmed those plans as California remains in the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases. The company had previously said most employees would be working remotely through the end of 2020, with some employees being allowed back into the office sooner. But the decision to extend the remote work policy well into next year indicates that one of the world’s largest tech companies is bracing for a long pandemic — and could prompt other businesses to follow suit. Read More

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