Bay Area COVID-19 Roundup: Mountain House Pandemic Real Estate Boom; SF Approves Grocery Hazard Pay: Live A’s Baseball Fans Are Coming Back

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 last 24 hours.

READ MORE: Families, Teachers March at Bay Area Rallies Calling for Schools to Reopen

Alameda, Santa Cruz, Solano County Move Into Red Tier, Business Owners To Reopen Indoor Operations
ALAMEDA — Alameda, Santa Cruz and Solano counties were elevated to the less restrictive Red Tier Monday, allowing their struggling restaurants to offer limited indoor dining and clearing the way for fans to be in the stands when the Oakland A’s begin regular season play. For counties in the Red Tier, indoor restaurant dining rooms and movie theaters can reopen at 25% capacity or up to 100 people, whichever is fewer. Gyms and dance and yoga studios can open at 10% capacity. Museums, zoos and aquariums can open indoor activities at 25% capacity. Prep sports can also can finally get underway and schools can reopen under the state restrictions. Meanwhile with Alameda now in the Red Tier, fans will be allowed at 20% capacity at A’s games. Read More

Berkeley Set To Open Elementary Schools For In-Person Learning 5 Days / Week Starting March 29
BERKELEY — The Berkeley Unified School District expects to reopen elementary schools to in-person learning later this month, offering a five-day a week schedule. In a letter to students and parents, Superintendent Brent Stephens said elementary campuses would reopen for Transitional Kindergarten through 2nd Grade on March 29 and Grades 3-5 on April 12. Families have the option to select in-person learning for their child or continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year. Parents must make their choice known to the district by Thursday, March 11 at noon. “We recognize that you don’t have all the details of the program to consider, but we do need you to tell us whether your child would return to school in person or not so that we can plan,” said the superintendent. Read More

Embattled Gov. Newsom Uses COVID Mass Vaccination Site For State Of The State Address As Recall Looms
LOS ANGELES — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday gave his State of the State address inside an empty Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, as the threat to his political career as California’s leader looms overhead. “A year ago, a once in a century pandemic arrived on our shores,” Newsom said. Newsom stood inside one of California’s largest vaccination sites to deliver his address. Newsom said the seating at Dodger Stadium was almost the exact same number as the more than 53,000 Californians who have died from COVID-19. “It was leveraged, as many of our politicians often times will do, they will leverage a painful, traumatizing moment in order to be a jumping off point for a political speech,” said San Jose State University Prof. of Public Relations Shaun Fletcher. Read More

SF Supes Approve Emergency Ordinance For $5/Hour Raise For Some Grocery Workers
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved an emergency ordinance to temporarily raise wages by $5 per hour for some grocery and retail workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, the emergency ordinance calling for the additional hazard pay is urgently needed to further support the city’s essential workers, who are at higher risk of contracting the virus as they can’t work from home and often work indoors and serve a variety of customers on a daily basis. “Our essential grocery workers are often paid minimum wage and are expected to take high risks by constant exposure to the public. While we have protocols in place to wear a mask, stay 6-feet apart, and stay home if you’re sick, we know these protocols are not always followed by the public,” Walton said in a statement. “This emergency ordinance compensates grocery workers and drug store workers who have had heightened exposure throughout this pandemic by working to survive.” Read More

Red Tier Means Real, Live A’s Baseball Fans Are Coming Back!
OAKLAND — With Alameda County moving into the Red Tier, we now move just a little bit closer to normal and that’s great news for Oakland A’s fans. For the moment the A’s are still in Arizona for spring training but come Opening Day on April 1, all those stupid cardboard fake fans can be replaced with real fans at 20 percent capacity. “To have that back this year, to welcome our fans back, to have that as a pick me up for our players, especially when we have a great team this year, a world series contender, we’re thrilled that’s the possibility starting April 1,” said A’s team President Dave Kaval. Read More

READ MORE: Hundreds Rally in San Jose to Support Asians and Pacific Islanders Facing Attacks

East Bay Town Of Mountain House Sees Pandemic Real Estate Boom
TRACY — Anyone wondering where some of the residents who fled from the Bay Area during the COVID-19 pandemic should just look to the east. In late 2008, in the middle of the financial crisis, the zip codes of Mountain House were the most underwater in the country. 90% of the homeowners owed more than their property was worth, by an average of $122,000. Since the start of the pandemic, that has changed dramatically. “Mountain House was not even on the map for a long time in the Bay Area,” said resident Girish Mohan. “Anyone I talked to who I said, ‘We bought a house in Mountain House,’ it was always like, ‘What? Mountain what?’” Read More

Solano County Officials Approve Plans For Mass Vaccination Site At Fairgrounds In Vallejo
VALLEJO — The Solano County Board of Supervisors approved a memorandum of understanding Tuesday with the Kaiser Family Foundation and several other partner organizations to operate a COVID-19 vaccination site at the county fairgrounds in Vallejo. The MOU with the KFF, NorthBay Healthcare, Sutter Health Solano and Touro University would establish the vaccination site for a 90-day term, with the option of extending it for subsequent 90-day terms. The clinic would administer vaccine doses for up to 12 hours per day, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days per week, according to the county. Several single-day vaccination clinics have already been held at the fairgrounds as the county progresses through vaccinating residents aged 65 and older, health care workers, food and agriculture workers and education and child care workers. Read More

UPDATE: Lyft Bans Maskless Uber Passenger Who Coughed On, Assaulted Driver; Woman Posts Videos Taken Before Incident
SAN FRANCISCO — Ride-hailing service Lyft has also banned a woman caught on camera coughing on and assaulting an Uber driver who refused her and her friends service over in San Francisco over not wearing masks, the company announced Tuesday. Meanwhile, the woman in question has apparently posted a video on social media in which she expresses some remorse for her actions but continues to rail against and blame the driver for ending her ride and demanding her group leave his vehicle. In the new video, the woman – who was banned by Uber following the incident – also threatens to sue Uber and ends the video by saying, “That’s why I take Lyft.” Read More

CoCo Health Officials Tell Supes County’s Move to Red Tier Could Happen Next Week
MARTINEZ — County health director Anna Roth told the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Tuesday that the number of COVID-19 cases countywide has dropped into the state’s red tier for reopening, meaning Contra Costa restaurants, gyms and retail establishments will likely be able to open indoors, with limits, next week. In-person instruction for grades 7-12 could also restart next week, assuming the county’s case numbers don’t spike. “If we remain on the same path, which we expect that we will, that means that there will be some changes for our community early next week, or by mid-next week,” Roth said. County health officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said the overall case rate per 100,000 people has dropped to 8.1% — from 10.4% the previous week — which is still over the state-mandated 7%. Read More

Counties Across California Complain Of New Vaccine Delivery As Economy Reopens
SAN FRANCISCO — California’s counties remain skittish over switching up their vaccine delivery systems, with a Santa Clara County official saying the Silicon Valley county will not participate in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to have Blue Shield control COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Some counties and elected officials are also pushing for Newsom to reconsider a plan to distribute more vaccine to vulnerable neighborhoods, saying that the ZIP codes he planned to use do not capture all the pockets of poverty in the state, including in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read More

Johnson Johnson Vaccine Arrives in Santa Clara County
SAN JOSE — After weeks of waiting, the one-dose Johnson Johnson vaccine just arrived in Santa Clara County on Monday. The county received 7,500 doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine, according to public health officials. Additional doses of the Johnson Johnson vaccine are expected to arrive in Santa Clara County on March 23. The highly-anticipated Johnson Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine only requires one dose, rather than the two doses required by Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines. It has been anxiously awaited by local health officials hoping to boost vaccination rates across the county, especially in hardest hit areas, although it’s not immediately clear where the vaccine doses are headed. County officials said there is not “a designated location” for the vaccine at this time. Read More

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UC Davis Makes Unique Spring Break Offer — $75 Paid To Students Who Staycation
DAVIS — UC Davis officials have taken to Facebook with a unique offer to make sure there is no new surge in COVID cases on campus and to support local businesses. They are offering students $75 to take a staycation. The grants will be limited to the first 500 students who apply. UC Davis students will be on Spring break from March 22-25. The idea is to spend the money on local businesses rather than somewhere else. “As per state guidance, all non-essential travel should be avoided, and staying local is a good way to do your part in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” the post said. Read More

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