Coronavirus

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: 13 homeless people have tested positive in Santa Clara County

Bay Area businesses, residents and elected officials are reacting by the hour to the spread of coronavirus with new announcements, closures and legal orders. The novel coronavirus has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Despite precautions taken by public and private entities, the virus also known as COVID-19 is ripping through...

San Jose looks to increase emergency housing, discuss budget cuts due to COVID-19

With more than 1,200 COVID-19 positive cases countywide and counting, San Jose leaders are scrambling to stop the spread to homeless people and vulnerable residents living in shelters, encampments and overcrowded homes by building emergency housing. The City Council on Tuesday will discuss a proposal to allocate more than $17 million to build modular homes...

Coronavirus: San Jose lawmakers propose suspending rent

Cities across California are passing a slew of laws delaying rent and banning evictions for families who cannot pay during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, but some lawmakers say the patchwork of bills don’t go far enough to protect renters. As unemployment rates across the country surge to all-time highs, San Jose Councilmembers Magdalena Carrasco and Raul...

South Bay Asian Americans report attacks, harassment amid coronavirus pandemic

The viral posts documenting attacks or harassment targeting Asian Americans amid the novel coronavirus pandemic are not isolated incidents, nor is the South Bay excluded from it, academic researchers and law enforcement say. While these incidents have been shown in everyday interactions ranging from grocery stores and tenant disputes, researchers say the racism has been...

San Jose activists call on Supreme Court to delay DACA decision amid COVID-19 pandemic

San Jose activists on Friday called on the U.S. Supreme Court to delay a ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. During a livestream hosted by immigrant rights group SIREN, Executive Director Maricela Gutiérrez led the call to salvage the Obama-era program through a Zoom call, which...

Coronavirus: Surveys track rapid changes to daily life in America

Surveys of life after the coronavirus pandemic paint a familiar picture of social distancing, increased hand washing and economic stress. Nearly a month ago, the Kaiser Family Foundation asked 1,216 people to detail the changes and differences they’ve made — voluntarily or not — in the weeks since cases of COVID-19 arrived in the United States. SingleCare,...

Should you wear a mask to go out? State, county leaders weigh in

Californians have gotten mixed messages about wearing face masks in public to protect against COVID-19, but state and Santa Clara County officials aligned on Thursday. Public health leaders in the Bay Area Thursday night recommended residents use non-medical, cloth face coverings when they go out for essential purposes. Covering one’s mouth and nose can reduce...

San Jose legislator pushes to protect farmworkers during COVID-19 crisis

The question of who qualifies as an “essential worker” during the coronavirus crisis is no longer limited to health care workers and first responders — it now includes grocery store clerks, restaurant employees and truck drivers. Local legislators are now pushing to add farmworkers to that list, as they’re filling produce trucks and grocery store...

In Santa Clara County, school is out for the rest of the year — sort of

Parents grappling with distance learning and homeschooling across Silicon Valley have waited weeks to hear whether local classrooms will reopen before summer. On Wednesday they got an answer: no. Superintendents across Santa Clara County sent out an email to parents around the region to formally announce that school districts would not reconvene physically this school...

San Jose lawmakers unanimously approve paid sick leave policy

Low-wage workers in San Jose employed during the coronavirus pandemic will soon receive paid sick leave if they start to feel ill on the job. Following a unanimous vote Wednesday, the San Jose City Council decided to move forward with the emergency ordinance, one week after Mayor Sam Liccardo introduced policy. “We believe that compliance is...

Funk: Distance learning amid COVID-19 crisis explained

As we all adjust to the new normal, while fighting the spread of COVID-19, the impacts on educators, students and families has increased the fear and anxiety among all of us. Although schools across the Bay Area have been closed, we are thankful for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-26-20 to continue funding schools at...

Silicon Valley officials remain cautious as big changes to ‘shelter in place’ order take effect

Life in the Bay Area won’t to return to normal anytime soon, county officials announced Tuesday as they extended the region’s existing stay at home order by nearly a month, and added a slew of strict new restrictions. Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County’s top health official, on Tuesday told residents that they’d be under...

San Jose: How to talk to your kids about the coronavirus

In a TikTok video, toddlers wearing pajamas sing, “We’re in quarantine. Yes, we’re in quarantine. Germs go away! Germs go away!” Although adorable, the video exemplifies that even kids are processing the effects of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, especially as they’re cooped up at home with a barrage of information surrounding them. Some...

Coronavirus: How Silicon Valley worships in the age of social distancing

The South Bay’s store shelves have emptied of toilet paper, streets have cleared of traffic and social calendars have emptied as residents scurried inside to preserve their health and encourage the coronavirus infection curve to flatten. But in recent livestreamed services, religious leaders connected with their congregations, offering messages of hope and advice to cope....

New ‘Health Corps’ initiative aims to beef up medical workforce in California — and fast

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is trying to beef up the state’s medical workforce as health care officials brace for a projected influx of new coronavirus patients in the next eight weeks. The initiative, dubbed “Health Corps” includes a new website and promises to remove barriers for medical workers looking to return to the industry after...

How can you protect yourself against coronavirus-related scams?

While safety in coronavirus times may mean staying indoors and washing your hands for 20 seconds, protecting against outbreak-related scams should also be on the priority list. And now top Santa Clara County officials are tracking those potential scams amid the COVID-19 pandemic and warning residents — who are already grappling with isolation, fear and loss...

Why is it so hard to get tested for coronavirus in Santa Clara County?

Rosa and Marcial Cardenas are both over the age of 65, on Medicare and have underlying health issues that increase their risk of getting sick from the highly-contagious coronavirus that’s torn through Silicon Valley, killing 16 people, infecting 459 others and shuttering the local economy. So when Rosa, a longtime diabetic, developed flu-like symptoms two weeks...

More deputies fall sick as COVID-19 cases, deaths rise in the South Bay

A sixth Santa Clara County deputy has fallen sick with the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, marking the fifth case on a single team within the county’s “Custody Bureau.” The county’s Custody Bureau includes several divisions at the Main Jail and the Elmwood Correctional Complex. The sheriff’s office hasn’t said where the deputies were based....

Santa Clara County needs medical masks to fight COVID-19. This group is hand-making them.

Donations have poured in for masks and other protective gear for Santa Clara County doctors and nurses fighting the coronavirus in one of the country’s most highly-infected areas – but it’s still not enough. The dire shortage continues. So one group got creative and started making those much-needed masks. “(Mask shortages) are a problem I...

Coronavirus: Unemployment claims skyrocket in California, local schools remain closed

Unemployment claims have skyrocketed in California as state leaders anxiously watch for what has become a contentious coronavirus stimulus bill to pass through Congress. More than 1 million unemployment claims have been filed since March 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. By comparison, before the respiratory disease caused state leaders to issue a wide-reaching “stay...

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: March 11 to March 25

9:30 p.m. March 25: State leaders push Gov. Newsom to ban evictions A group of state leaders, including Sens. Jim Beall, Scott Wiener and Assemblymen Ash Kalra and Kansen Chu, urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign an executive order banning all evictions during California’s State of Emergency, put in place due to the fast-spreading and...

Congressmembers talk coronavirus in Silicon Valley, stalled funding bill

Silicon Valley residents are hungry for answers about the fast-spreading coronavirus as Congress fights over bills to fund America’s response to the pandemic. But on Tuesday, residents got a chance to question four U.S. House of Representative members representing parts of Silicon Valley during a “virtual town hall” to talk about Washington’s response to the...

Coronavirus: Fears, misinformation spreads in San Jose over police enforcement of orders

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, rumors and misinformation can spread just as quickly as the disease. In San Jose, social media posts proliferated alleging police officers were stopping people in low-income neighborhoods for violating the state’s “shelter-in-place” order, which asks residents to stay inside unless they need to do essential tasks. The claims alarmed police...

Coronavirus testing numbers to become clearer in Silicon Valley, statewide

Santa Clara County residents — and Californians across the state — are set to get more information about coronavirus testing, a key piece of information needed to understand the contagious disease’s spread. Seven Bay Area jurisdictions, including Santa Clara County, announced a new order Tuesday that will increase reporting requirements for private labs doing patient...

San Jose approves $2M for coronavirus homeless prevention fund

Following a statewide directive to shelter-in-place, San Jose leaders on Tuesday unanimously approved allocating $2 million to fund homelessness prevention services for low-income families at risk of being pushed into poverty. Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday also approved an additional $2 million to the same $11 million fund meant to provide rent assistance...

Silicon Valley officials, tech giants launch program to help residents pay rent

A group of local government, business and philanthropic leaders have launched a program that will help pay rent for low-income residents in Santa Clara County who have had their lives financially upended by the coronavirus. The program, part of the Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System, is being led by Sacred Heart Community Service, which...

Santa Clara County releases coronavirus testing numbers, more first responders fall ill

Following three new reported deaths and a jump in coronavirus infections, Santa Clara County officials on Monday released long-awaited information about how many people have been tested for the virus so far, but they still don’t know how many tests have been given outside the county’s facility. The county’s Public Health laboratory has tested 1,044...

Immigrants seeking health care for coronavirus exempt from ‘public charge’ rule

Federal immigration policy has created barriers for some immigrants to get tested and treated for coronavirus, a rule which Santa Clara County officials have decried as dangerous to the public. The “public charge” rule penalizes immigrants who are enrolled — or likely to enroll — in federally funded public assistance programs like Medicaid, reducing their...

UPDATE: Fund for Santa Clara County nurses raises nearly $600K as more first responders fall sick with coronavirus

One day after Santa Clara County nurses put out a plea for donations of medical safety supplies to protect themselves from the coronavirus pandemic, a powerful group of allies came together to answer the need. On Friday, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group announced it had launched a drive to collect money and supplies for the...

Silicon Valley cities launch new coronavirus initiatives as companies step up

Silicon Valley government and nonprofit leaders on Wednesday launched a new initiative, called Silicon Valley Strong, to centralize coronavirus resources for residents and small businesses. Those leaders also called on residents and companies to step up with their time, energy and perhaps most importantly, money. But across the Bay Area, organizations have already begun to...

Santa Clara declares local emergency due to coronavirus

The Santa Clara City Council ratified a local emergency Tuesday in an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, following the lead of Santa Clara County, which issued a heightened shelter in place order on Monday. “There is a hollow sound in this chamber,” Mayor Lisa Gillmor said, sitting six feet from her fellow councilmembers...

San Jose adopts measures to help businesses amid coronavirus closures

As cancellations, school closures and mandatory quarantines ramp up, San Jose leaders are scrambling to help the city’s most vulnerable residents, fearing devastating economic consequences for residents and local small businesses that are losing income. Following last week’s call to place a moratorium on evictions for residents who can’t pay rent because of lost income,...

San Jose: Senior care facilities take steps to protect residents from coronavirus

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb in Santa Clara County, those caring for the most vulnerable residents — senior citizens — are increasingly on edge. Senior home workers in the South Bay are wiping down commonly touched surfaces more frequently and taking inventory of items such as hand sanitizer, masks and gloves....

How is Silicon Valley helping the homeless amid coronavirus pandemic?

As Santa Clara County undergoes expansive measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, questions remain about how people experiencing homelessness will receive information and resources. With an increasing homeless population totaling more than 9,700 countywide, and close to 8,000 unsheltered per the 2019 homeless census, officials say they’re increasing outreach and resources related to COVID-19...

VTA adopts enhanced cleaning practices in response to coronavirus concerns

The Valley Transportation Authority is taking new steps to disinfect buses, light rail cars and stations to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Santa Clara County. The agency’s response to concerns about surface transmission of coronavirus drew praise from regular riders and advocates alike. “They are doing everything they can,” said transit activist...

San Jose adopts a ban on evictions amid coronavirus outbreak

Fearing severe economic consequences to vulnerable San Jose families, city lawmakers on Tuesday unanimously approved adopting a moratorium on evictions for residents who can’t pay rent because of lost income resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. As the virus continues to spread across the globe with new cases every day, leaders are advising residents in more than 90...

Coronavirus: San Jose State suspends classes, county bans mass gatherings after death

San Jose State University leaders on Monday announced they will suspend classes through Friday due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. University president Mary Papazian broke the news in a letter late Monday just as Santa Clara County officials announced the first death in the county from COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. There are 45...

As coronavirus cases increase, San Jose mayor announces plan to protect renters

The number of coronavirus cases in California continues to rise, including in Santa Clara County, which has seen 10 new cases in just two days — bringing the total number to 32 confirmed cases by Saturday. The global pandemic is forcing more residents across the state to stay home and avoid public spaces, events and the workplace. But the stakes for...

Silicon Valley leaders react to coronavirus threat as Congress reaches $8.3B funding agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday declared a state of emergency, as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise, including in Santa Clara County — where health officials confirmed there are three new cases of the virus within county limits, bringing the total cases to 14. While the state of...

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