Latest California Healthline Stories
‘A Herculean Task’: San Francisco Schools Unlikely To Reopen By Mid-August: It looks increasingly likely that few, if any, San Francisco students will be back full-time in classrooms this fall, but families won’t know for sure until the end of July -- less than three weeks before the scheduled first day of school. Reopening to all students will be virtually impossible by Aug. 17, given staffing and facilities challenges as well as shortfalls in funding to hire the necessary custodians and nurses and in critical supplies like soap and hand sanitizer, administrators and community members involved in the planning process told the San Francisco Chronicle. Alida Fisher, a parent of three city students and a community member on the district’s logistics committee, said that based on current conditions, there is no way that all students will be back in class in mid-August. “It’s an impossible task. It’s a herculean task,” she said. “I just don’t think we’ve got the human capital and the human capacity to do it.” Read more from Jill Tucker of the San Francisco Chronicle.
California Assembly Delays Return After 5 Test Positive For COVID-19: The California Assembly, already mired in a scheduling mess, announced that lawmakers and staffers would not be coming back to the Capitol next Monday as originally planned because five lawmakers and staffers tested positive for the coronavirus, according to an email obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle. A new return date has not been set. The Legislature broke for an unprecedented emergency recess in March as the coronavirus pandemic took hold and was away from Sacramento until May. After passing the state budget late last month, lawmakers left town again with the plan to return next week to finish the session, which ends Aug. 31. One assemblywoman, Autumn Burke, D-Inglewood, wrote on Twitter on Monday that she tested positive for COVID-19 and will remain in quarantine with her daughter until a doctor instructs her otherwise. Read more from Alexei Koseff of the San Francisco Chronicle and Mackenzie Hawkins of the Sacramento Bee.
California’s COVID-19 Outlook Worsens Over July Fourth Weekend: Coronavirus hospitalizations continued to rise and more counties were added Sunday to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 watch list, which is now at its highest level since the pandemic began. The rate at which coronavirus tests in California are coming back positive has jumped 42% over the last two weeks, according to Los Angeles Times data. The Fourth of July marked the 15th consecutive day that California tallied record hospitalization numbers of confirmed coronavirus patients. Read more from Rong-Gong Lin II, Maria L. La Ganga and Kristi Sturgill of the Los Angeles Times.
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Doctors, Nurses Angry As Cases Soar: Hospitalizations have increased 43% in the last two weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday, and many hospital workers aren’t the least bit shocked. “I’m not sure why everyone is so surprised that we’re surging again,” said one emergency room physician in Los Angeles County who wrote to the Los Angeles Times. “(The problem) never went away, and we opened up” while mask-wearing was being “politicized.” The physician called the situation “very frustrating.” Along the same lines, Erin McIntosh, 37, a rapid response nurse in the Inland Empire, said the last few months leave "us feeling like we’re not enough. I feel like this is all setting us up to fail.” Meanwhile, Riverside County intensive care unit beds nearly hit capacity Sunday. Read more from Anita Chabria, Emily Baumgaertner, Stephanie Lai, Taryn Luna and Kristi Sturgill of the Los Angeles Times.
Breaking News: Supreme Court deals a blow to abortion opponents, rejects Louisiana clinic law (Los Angeles Times)
Surge In Cases Shows Signs Of Being A Second Wave, Experts Say: The deluge of coronavirus infections continued in California as fears of another shutdown circulated, prompting health officials and infectious disease specialists to issue a familiar public warning: Wear masks, and keep your distance from people. The state has added 15 counties — including Contra Costa and Santa Clara — to its watch list for dangerous coronavirus outbreaks. The surge is mostly happening because people let their guard down when the state and counties relaxed safety measures and began opening up businesses, according to health officials. “It’s a second wave of behavior,” said Robert Siegel, an infectious disease specialist at Stanford University. “The virus is responding to people’s behavior, and this represents failures to maintain the recommended control procedures.” Read more from Peter Fimrite and Tatiana Sanchez of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Newsom Says He May Punish Cities That ‘Thumb Their Nose’ At Rules: Gov. Gavin Newsom says he may withhold financial relief from local governments that don’t follow guidelines that he says are necessary to tamp down the spike in coronavirus cases in California. At a news conference Wednesday, the governor called out those who “simply thumb their nose” at state guidelines. Newsom did not specify how cities and counties would be expected to prove their compliance, though he added that he was trying to encourage good behavior rather than punish bad behavior. “We give an enormous amount of power, control and authority to local government, but what we’re now looking for is accountability,” Newsom said. Read more from Alexei Koseff of the San Francisco Chronicle.
COVID-19 Cases Show No Sign Of Slowing As Nursing Facilities Deal With Tragedy: Coronavirus cases in California continued a troubling spike this week, but it remains unclear how much worse conditions must get before officials move to slow the rapid reopening of the economy. For the second consecutive day, California shattered a daily record for new cases Tuesday. More than 6,600 infections were reported — the largest single-day count in the state since the pandemic hit the U.S. Adding to the alarm, 13 residents of a skilled nursing facility in Concord have died with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, according to state data. Additionally, 62 residents at San Miguel Villa have tested positive for the coronavirus as well as 13 workers. It remained unclear Monday afternoon when the residents of the 190-bed facility died. “My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19, and I am deeply concerned with the recent outbreak at a nursing home in Concord,” State Assemblyman Tim Grayson, D-Concord, said in a statement. “Our Contra Costa Health Officer and County Supervisors have been extraordinarily cautious in reopening, and these recent heartbreaking deaths and positive cases illustrate that no matter how cautious the policies, it still comes down to individuals self-regulating their actions.” Read more from Colleen Shalby and Rong-Gong Lin II of the Los Angeles Times, Alejandro Serrano of the San Francisco Chronicle and more stories in the listings below.
Newsom Issues Shutdown Warning As Cases Spike: Gov. Gavin Newsom warned Monday that he could shut down part of the economy again if California loses control of the coronavirus pandemic as the state shattered its single-day record for most new coronavirus cases. “It’s your individual decision that will determine our fate and future ... to mitigate the likelihood and need that we ever have to toggle back on these stay-at-home orders,” Newsom said at a news conference. As of Monday evening, county health departments had reported more than 6,000 new cases, with several counties still yet to report, according to data compiled by The San Francisco Chronicle. California hadn’t exceeded 4,515 new cases in a single day previously, according to the state’s health department. Read more from Dustin Gardiner and Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle.