Coronavirus

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: Santa Clara County supervisors approve child care, financial assistance

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 that causes the COVID-19 disease is spreading...

Santa Clara County tattoo artists itching to get back to work

Before tattoo machines begin to buzz at State of Grace tattoo shop in San Jose’s Japantown, artists’ stations are wiped down, sanitized and wrapped in plastic, while single-use gloves, needles and ink are laid out with freshly washed hands. None of that is new protocol for battling COVID-19, according to shop owner and renowned tattooer...

In pricey Silicon Valley, homebuyer perceptions — not prices — have changed

Silicon Valley’s notoriously expensive residential real estate sales may have seen a slump in March and April during the region’s restrictive shelter-in-place orders, but industry insiders say it’s still a seller’s market. The major change in the market during the pandemic has been perception by those hoping the novel coronavirus has helped to plunge sky-high...

In-store retail, outdoor dining, religious services to resume in Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County health officials announced Monday they will amend the shelter-in-place order to allow in-store retail, outdoor dining, childcare for all families as well as religious, cultural and civic activities previously prohibited to reduce the spread of COVID-19. With the revised order effective Friday, Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said progress with testing,...

Surviving earthquakes, recessions and Amazon, San Jose bookstore asks for community’s help

After surviving the Loma Prieta Earthquake, Great Recession and advent of Amazon, Hicklebee’s bookstore in Willow Glen is facing its next great challenge with the global COVID-19 pandemic.  The 41-year-old San Jose literary institution is calling for the community’s help with a GoFundMe page that has already received more than 1,000 donors in just more...

Goodwill opens two San Jose stores to walk-in customers

With added safety measures in place such as required face coverings and daily employee temperature checks, Goodwill of Silicon Valley is now letting customers inside two of its San Jose stores. The nonprofit thrift store chain, which includes 18 stores in the Silicon Valley region, opened its Willow Glen and Alum Rock locations earlier this...

San Jose leader unveils task force to tackle COVID-19 racial disparities

San Jose City Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco alongside regional leaders at a virtual meeting Thursday announced the creation of a new task force aimed at tackling the disproportionate number of growing coronavirus cases among the region’s minorities. Carrasco was joined by Assemblymember Kansen Chu of Milpitas, Stephanie Kleinheinz, a nurse practitioner and CEO of School Health Clinics...

COVID-19 pushes tele-health forward in Silicon Valley as virus holds patients back

Even in tech-heavy Silicon Valley, COVID-19 has pushed people and companies to embrace technology in new ways, a trend also true in health care as tele-health visits soar, making medical care more accessible for some. At Stanford Children’s Health, hospital administrators have been working on developing and increasing the use of its digital health program....

Santa Clara County extends eviction moratorium, approves COVID-19 cost tracker and outreach

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to extend a temporary moratorium on evictions for people who can’t pay rent due to the pandemic. The county’s moratorium, which was set to expire Sunday, will now be extended until Aug. 31 under a proposal authored by Supervisors Cindy Chavez and Joe Simitian. “The Santa...

Coronavirus fears grow for vulnerable Santa Clara County residents as economy reopens

As businesses across Santa Clara County begin to reopen, some officials worry poor communities of color hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic will experience a surge in new cases. To prevent a spike among some of the county’s most vulnerable residents, Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez penned a proposal to create an outreach team that...

South Bay nurses unions file complaint, allege unsafe conditions at nursing homes

Two local unions are accusing Santa Clara County of endangering nurses by failing to inform them of coronavirus-infected patients or provide them with the required protective equipment. The Santa Clara Registered Nurses Professional Association (RNPA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have joined forces in leveling a slew of charges against the county. The...

From tears to tests: Finding out if I have the coronavirus

Anxious tears accompanied my calls to clinics across Minneapolis on March 13. I sat alone in a friend’s apartment, where I spent the morning on hold trying to find a test for the coronavirus before going home to see my family. Did you recently travel overseas? No. Do you know anyone who’s tested positive? No....

Amid ‘unprecedented’ unemployment numbers, Silicon Valley feels blow slightly softer

California is seeing record unemployment numbers, with the largest single month of job losses ever recorded and a 15.5 percent unemployment rate in mid-April, about a month after the state began sheltering-in-place due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. But the blow has been a little softer overall in Silicon Valley, local experts say. The unemployment...

Surviving the pandemic: How you can donate to help those in need

The need for assistance – financial and otherwise – is growing in Silicon Valley, more than two months after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses, workplaces and livelihoods in Santa Clara County. With a multitude of different ways to help, finding the right organizations and funds to donate to can be overwhelming, even for those...

Advocates urge Santa Clara County to forgive rent as end of eviction moratorium looms

South Bay resident Chris Rios worries he’ll soon become homeless. His tutoring income dropped by half because of the novel coronavirus. His parents’ pay plummeted, too. They’re still waiting for federal checks intended to support those impacted by the virus. While waiting, they’ve fallen nearly $4,000 behind on rent for their three-bedroom Milpitas apartment. Santa...

‘A race against time:’ Silicon Valley nonprofits face uncertain future as deficits loom

Like everyone, nonprofits are hurting during the coronavirus pandemic, but local leaders are trying to find ways keep those organizations alive until the economy starts to rebound. Nonprofits offer some of the most critical services in communities, often on the frontlines of helping homeless, hungry and mentally ill residents. But as enormous city, state and...

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: May 7 to May 20

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 4:40 p.m. May 20: University of California schools will be open in the fall, president says The University of California system — with 10 schools serving more than 285,000 students — is set to open this fall using a mix of in-person and online classes, according to President Janet...

San Jose produces less waste under COVID-19. But it’s not all good news.

COVID-19 has produced more complications for professionals in local waste and recycling collection. While the job has become all the more important with greater waste generation in residential areas of San Jose, waste hauling companies have felt the financial squeeze of suspended and terminated pickups by businesses plus a lapse in recycling etiquette from locals....

San Jose moves forward with mandatory face coverings

San Jose leaders on Tuesday unanimously approved moving forward with a mandatory face covering requirement, despite concerns from San Jose law enforcement that it would criminalize residents. The proposal, authored by Vice Mayor Chappie Jones and Councilmember Sergio Jimenez, would require most people to wear a mask every time they step outside. The new directive...

Santa Clara County retailers to reopen for curbside pickup, but there’s a catch

After growing pressure from Silicon Valley businesses desperate to get back to work, Santa Clara County health officials on Monday made the highly-anticipated decision to allow certain retailers to open for curbside pick-up. The announcement Monday aligns Santa Clara County — along with four Bay Area counties and Berkeley — with the state’s revised shelter-in-place...

Santa Clara County jails face challenges curbing spread of coronavirus

With physical contact often inevitable inside their walls, county jails have become battlegrounds against the coronavirus pandemic. As the public health crisis continues, Santa Clara County has implemented various measures to prevent local jails from becoming the epicenters of the coronavirus. Nonetheless, infections are bound to occur, according to Roberto Potter, a professor of criminal...

Vietnamese restaurants donate thousands of meals to Silicon Valley hospitals

Most days, Tiêủ-Vân Phan’s car carries the tantalizing scents of Vietnamese shaking beef or Hainanese chicken rice, lingering from her meal deliveries to hospitals across the county. Vietnamese-owned restaurants in Silicon Valley have mobilized together to donate thousands of meals to frontline workers over the last two months during the region’s shelter-in-place orders. Phan, a San...

From Sacramento to Silicon Valley, ‘unprecedented’ deficits caused by COVID-19 pandemic

Governments from Sacramento to San Jose City Hall are facing historic budget deficits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, often having to solve these crises in virtual meetings as the region nears its eighth week in quarantine. “We are at a time that’s simply unprecedented,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday in announcing his revised budget proposal...

Major layoffs in Silicon Valley hit Team San Jose, Goodwill and car dealers

Coronavirus-linked layoffs have soared in Silicon Valley in recent months, affecting more than 21,000 employees across 26 companies in March alone, according to a San José Spotlight analysis of data from the state’s Employment Development Department. Industries with the most layoffs were retailers, restaurants, hotels, the arts and entertainment sector, personal care services and gyms....

San Jose approves a new coronavirus relief fund

With public dollars stretched thin and the need for food and shelter growing, San Jose leaders on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to create a coronavirus relief fund that will help the city receive federal resources for those affected by the pandemic. The fund will allow the city to continue operating its temporary emergency shelters,...

Coronavirus: Need help paying a bill or buying groceries? There’s a donor for that.

For many of San Jose’s low-income families, paying a utility bill, filling the gas tank or buying groceries is becoming increasingly difficult as stay-at-home orders stretch out. Pandemic of Love, a San Jose-based chapter of a larger organization, aims to streamline the giving process, making it easier for immigrant and undocumented communities to seek help....

County to consider plan to offer WiFi, devices to neediest South Bay families

Santa Clara County officials on Tuesday will consider a proposal to purchase computing devices and provide internet access for the county’s 15,000 neediest families. The proposal, authored by Supervisor Dave Cortese, calls for partnering with the county’s Office of Education on an initiative that he estimated would cost the county “a little more than $1...

South Bay activists spent lifetime fighting for worker rights. Then they got COVID-19.

Alone in her hospital room at night, Augustina “Sally” Armendariz kept the light on to counter the loneliness and fear she felt at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center, where she spent four days battling COVID-19 last month. The 77-year-old lifelong Santa Clara County resident and 60-year community activist is a fighter by nature, but...

Poll: Most Californians support shelter-in-place orders

A majority of Californians support continuing to shelter in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to a new poll, despite protests by some residents ready to get back to work and restart the state’s previously booming economy. About 71 percent of Californians polled by the California Health Care Foundation and survey firm...

COVID-19 testing sites open in East San Jose

After months of calls for more COVID-19 testing, a vulnerable San Jose area that is home to a large immigrant population now has two free testing sites. “This has been a population that has been vulnerable for so many reasons pre-COVID — due to rent, due to food insecurities, lack of job opportunities and educational...

Your COVID-19 questions answered: Part One

San José Spotlight two weeks ago hosted an exclusive Q&A webinar with Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody, the driving force behind the nation’s first shelter-in-place order credited with flattening the curve on coronavirus infections and saving lives. We received nearly one hundred questions from Silicon Valley residents before and during the...

Surviving the pandemic: How can South Bay small businesses get help?

Businesses are struggling as the statewide and regional stay-home orders drag into the seventh week, and while there are many resources available, those programs are ever-changing and sometimes difficult to untangle. Health officials and elected leaders have also demurred on providing a timeline to reopen the economy. Though many retailers will be allowed to reopen for...

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: April 23 to May 6

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 7 p.m. May 6: How is San Jose doing with COVID-19 outreach? The city of San Jose is asking for feedback on its public outreach amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are committed to providing you with timely, accurate information as we seek to save lives and livelihoods...

Animal shelters scramble to meet adoption demand absent volunteers, in-person visits

Adapting to the coronavirus pandemic has required staff members at Silicon Valley’s animal shelters to do work usually performed by volunteers as they rush to keep up with the heightened demand for animal adoptions amid shelter-in-place restrictions. While shelters struggle to retain volunteers, like many nonprofits, there is a silver lining. Sheltering-in-place has resulted in...

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: April 23 to May 6

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 7 p.m. May 6: How is San Jose doing with COVID-19 outreach? The city of San Jose is asking for feedback on its public outreach amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are committed to providing you with timely, accurate information as we seek to save lives and livelihoods...

Newsom eases restrictions on retail, but Santa Clara County order remains

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled steps Monday to modify California’s stay-at-home order allowing some retailers to reopen under certain restrictions, but Santa Clara County businesses will likely stay shuttered until the county’s public health officer revises her order to match the state’s direction. During his briefing, Newsom announced retail clothing, florists, bookstores, sporting goods and music stores...

Are South Bay hospitals ready to perform elective surgeries amid COVID-19?

South Bay medical centers are prepared to resume knee replacements, gall stone removals, heart catheterizations and other so-called elective surgeries after Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the ban on these types of procedures late last month, hospital officials say. Doctors were previously barred from performing non-emergency operations amid an expected surge of COVID-19 patients. Now that...

Coronavirus: How Silicon Valley candidates are campaigning while social distancing

Door-knocking, shaking hands and kissing babies is off the table for Silicon Valley political candidates during the coronavirus crisis. And with stay-at-home orders extending through May, candidates are now devising new strategies to reach voters in a digital campaigning landscape as the November election draws near. A side effect of shelter-in-place, according to San Jose City Council candidate...

Surviving the pandemic: Resources for seniors in the South Bay

As one of the demographics most at risk of developing life-threatening complications from COVID-19, seniors face new challenges navigating daily activities. In an effort to provide services to seniors who are sheltering at home, state and local officials are offering help through several programs that include meal programs, financial assistance, telehealth services and other community resources....

South Bay community health centers struggle through COVID-19

Community health centers across Santa Clara County have served some of the poorest neighborhoods for decades, often as an entryway into health care for those who lack access, money or are undocumented and hesitate to visit larger clinics and hospitals. But many are now experiencing the same financial struggles businesses across Silicon Valley are facing...

Bay Area may lag behind state’s plan to lift stay-home restrictions

Californians are “weeks, not months” away from seeing some loosening of the state’s stay at home order and schools could bring kids back later this summer, Gov. Gavin Newsom and California health officials said Tuesday. Certain retailers, including those that can offer curbside pickup, manufacturers, offices where working from home isn’t possible and some public...

San Jose residents protest temporary homeless housing plan

More than 200 South San Jose residents and housing advocates spoke at a virtual town hall Monday night to express concern or applaud a plan to fast-track dozens of new housing units for homeless residents during the region’s shelter-in-place order due to the coronavirus pandemic. “As a city, we really have two emergencies on our...

Unsung heroes of Silicon Valley: Moses Arroyo

Underneath the city of San Jose runs 2,000 miles of sanitary pipe that serve more than 1 million people. Each year, those in the city’s Department of Transportation’s Sanitary Sewer division clean more than 900 miles of pipe and complete more than 500 repairs. The dangerous work is done underground with sharp tools at depths of 40...

COVID-19 is intensifying longstanding racial disparities in Silicon Valley

COVID-19 is hitting black and Latinx people hardest, preliminary Santa Clara County data show. Meanwhile, those same groups are the ones most in need of financial relief in the region, community groups say. The pandemic’s racial disparities show officials must center race in discussions to address the public health crisis and Silicon Valley’s economic recovery,...

San Jose Police Chief talks crime trends during COVID-19 shutdown

Serious crime rates in San Jose have dropped while the city’s nearly 1.1 million residents shelter in place, but concerns still linger, particularly for business owners and domestic violence victims, according to Police Chief Eddie Garcia. Garcia addressed some of those concerns Thursday in an hour-long webinar, moderated by the Silicon Valley Organization’s President and CEO Matt Mahood and incoming...

Unsung heroes of Silicon Valley: Michael Catalana

From coaching high school sports to serving as a community service officer in the San Jose Police Department, Michael Catalana is a team player through and through. Since the coronavirus hit the South Bay, Catalana and his fellow CSOs have been out in the neighborhoods handling non-emergency calls, collecting crime scene evidence and interviewing witnesses....

Surviving the pandemic: How to get into a homeless shelter in Silicon Valley

With nearly 10,000 homeless residents sleeping on Santa Clara County’s streets every night, regional leaders say they’re concerned the novel coronavirus could rapidly spread among one of the county’s most vulnerable populations. County leaders have ramped up their efforts to protect the homeless community from a massive outbreak in the South Bay, which quickly emerged as a...

Santa Clara County had the first U.S. coronavirus deaths, officials say

Santa Clara County may have had the earliest coronavirus-related deaths in the nation, pointing to weeks of the virus circulating in the county before anyone realized, according to new autopsy information revealed this week. The county’s medical examiner-coroner released data on three newly identified coronavirus cases that resulted in death dating back to February 6....

As Earth Day turns 50, Silicon Valley leaders celebrate virtually

Not even a pandemic can stop Silicon Valley from celebrating Earth Day, hundreds of residents and local leaders proved Wednesday. Nearly 700 attendees tuned in for an Earth Day Zoom call hosted by environmental advocacy group, Green Foothills, where speakers from youth activists to politicians talked about local environmental protection efforts and the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic’s...

Newsom loosens stay-home order restrictions as hospitalizations stabilize

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced the state’s first step in loosening the restrictive stay-at-home order that has shut down businesses, schools and kept residents inside except for specific tasks. Hospitals that were once barred from pushing forward so-called elective surgeries, or procedures that could wait, can begin doing those operations again, Newsom said Wednesday...

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: April 9 to April 22

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 6:45 p.m. April 22: Santa Clara sees rise in illegal dumping  Santa Clara officials said Wednesday that the city is getting “increased reports” of residents leaving things like mattresses and other bulky household wares on public streets. The dumping comes at about the time that the city...

Santa Clara County: basic income pilot, Civic Center homeless housing plans move forward

A wide range of residents — from business and nonprofit leaders to aged-out foster youth and property owners — could benefit from Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ actions Tuesday. The supervisors approved multiple items related to COVID-19, including plans to start preparing for a reopened economy, a pilot income program for former foster youth...

UPDATE: Lawmakers vote to expand WiFi to East San Jose

The San Jose City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved expanding the city’s community wireless network plan and prioritizing its distance learning strategy to provide every student with a computer, broadband access and digital literacy. In the wake of COVID-19, schools across the nation have shuttered until fall, forcing classes online. But with 1 in 10...

San Jose eviction bans leave renters more confused than confident

Renters affected by the novel coronavirus in San Jose are triple-protected from evictions through May 31, following city, county and state-passed laws stopping landlords from removing residents for not paying rent. But rather than feel protected, the separate laws have created confusion for many residents and small businesses untangling the details as record numbers of Californians...

Santa Clara County’s unemployment rate rose to 3.3 percent in March

Unemployment rates across California spiked last month following record lows across the state and Silicon Valley, according to data released Friday. Santa Clara County’s unemployment rate rose to 3.3 percent last month, according to the California Employment Development Department, which handles workforce services including Unemployment Insurance. While these preliminary labor market numbers lag several weeks, that’s...

Unsung heroes of Silicon Valley: Dominique Pacolba

In the midst of a global pandemic, it’s a nerve-wracking time to be over 60. But Dominique Pacolba, recreational supervisor at Seven Trees Community Center in San Jose, is determined to bring a little positivity to seniors’ lives through her nutrition program. With a nifty drive-thru system, Seven Trees serves up to 60 meals for...

Santa Clara County schools leader talks transition, barriers to online learning

California’s nearly 6.3 million students and 300,000 teachers officially learned April 1 they wouldn’t return to physical classrooms this year, due to shelter in place orders mitigating the spread of the contagious coronavirus. “The decision to close schools is a painful one,” said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Santa Clara County’s Office of Education Superintendent, who...

Homeless, advocates protest lack of protections in Silicon Valley shelters

More than a dozen homeless advocates and unsheltered individuals protested at a rally in San Jose on Friday against Santa Clara County’s approach to protecting unhoused people from the novel coronavirus. The county is pushing unhoused individuals into shelters instead of the safer option of sheltering them in hotel and motel rooms, protestors said. It...

Major San Jose State University employer furloughs hundreds of students

Hundreds of San Jose State University students lost their on-campus jobs amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic that’s shuttered schools, businesses and forced Silicon Valley residents to stay indoors since mid-March. San Jose State became one of countless campuses across the nation to shut down following government directives to shelter-in-place. Then one of the largest private...

Unsung heroes of Silicon Valley: Olympia Williams

Olympia Williams is proud to call San Jose home. As program manager of Beautify SJ in the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS), she channels her pride and passion into keeping the city clean and beautiful through trash pickups, graffiti abatement, and the like — all services that continue during the coronavirus...

Surviving the pandemic: Make your own CDC-approved mask (plus how to store it)

Residents initially received mixed messages about wearing face coverings in public, but health officials now agree they may reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, particularly when the state starts loosening stay-at-home restrictions in the future. “Face coverings are likely to become common in public,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Public...

How San Jose supermarkets are keeping customers, employees safe

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, supermarkets have taken new steps to protect customers and employees, from installing plexiglass dividers at checkout counters to placing stickers on the floor reminding people to stand 6 feet apart and around-the-clock sanitizing. Although many businesses have been closed due to the pandemic, supermarkets are deemed essential and...

Bay Area rental market rates expected to drop due to COVID-19

Even in the pricey Silicon Valley market, rents are expected to drop as tenants across the country settle into stay-at-home mandates that have upended their finances amid the coronavirus crisis. Market-rate Bay Area rents saw the slowest start of the season since 2017, rising 2.3 percent compared to last year, landing at an average monthly...

California governor outlines new ‘milestones’ before loosening stay-home order

Californians will remain sheltered in place for weeks and when those restrictions are gradually loosened, life will not likely return entirely to “normal” until there is a vaccine, Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a sobering news conference Tuesday. State officials are watching multiple “indicators” and are aiming to hit several key milestones that will help...

Unsung heroes of Silicon Valley: Lizzie Nolan

When Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Nolan heard about school closures in mid-March because of the coronavirus crisis, her first thought was to create a reading program for homebound students. Nolan, a senior librarian at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, created ‘Spring into Reading,’ an initiative that encourages kids and adults alike to read, log their minutes...

As courts largely close to the public, advocates fear power abuses and deaths

A judge’s decision to limit public attendance to court hearings because of the COVID-19 crisis has advocates and others worried about potential abuse of power and harmful consequences for defendants. “We don’t do secret judicial proceedings in the United States,” said David Snyder, executive director for the First Amendment Coalition. “When courts or any other...

Bramson: When a virus needs a home

What would it be like if we responded to homelessness like a disaster? I’ve heard this question many times over the years. The implication being that while the word “crisis” is thrown around pretty liberally these days when we talk about the conditions for people on our streets, we rarely act with the same mobilized...

Coronavirus cases spike in South Bay nursing homes as state rolls out new plan

Roughly 10 percent of the state’s coronavirus cases at nursing homes and long-term care facilities are in Santa Clara County, according to data released Friday. Throughout Santa Clara County, 164 workers and residents have tested positive at such facilities, including 114 residents and 50 staff members, according to Dr. Sarah Rudman, assistant health officer for...

Surviving the pandemic: How to apply for unemployment benefits in California

The number of jobless Californians is on pace to reach historic highs, as reduced wages, shuttered businesses and self-quarantine precautions continue to dominate life during the coronavirus crisis. But even during a pandemic, bills and expenses don’t stop when paychecks do – highlighted by a recent failed attempt by some San Jose lawmakers to suspend rent for...

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: March 26 to April 8

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 5:30 p.m. April 8: Second inmate tests positive for COVID-19 The San Jose Police Department has confirmed a second inmate has tested positive for the fast-spreading coronavirus, though the first has already recovered and is no longer in custody. This time, a 25-year-old homeless man was...

Staying at home has ‘bent the curve’ on COVID-19, but residents deal with ripple effects

Health officials say the shelter in place order effective the past three weeks is working, but none can predict when life might return to normal as the economic and health effects of the restrictions ripple through the region. Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County’s top health official, on Tuesday told county leaders that the health...

Nurses in Santa Clara County feel betrayed as they work the frontlines of the pandemic

Nurses in Santa Clara County aren’t being adequately protected as they put themselves in harm’s way to treat the public during the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to 11 medical professionals working at local hospitals interviewed by San José Spotlight. There isn’t enough protective equipment or, in many hospitals, adequate training on how to safely reuse...

California lends out 500 ventilators as Santa Clara County seeks more

South Bay residents got seemingly contradicting accounts Monday from local and state officials about how stocked California’s ventilator cache is in the face of COVID-19, a potentially deadly respiratory illness that is spreading across the state. Santa Clara County officials stood outside Valley Medical Center in San Jose on Monday afternoon to plead for ventilator donations that...

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...

Advocates fight back against Santa Clara County’s new cannabis rules

A petition launched Friday to stop Santa Clara County from banning recreational cannabis sales at dispensaries under a new health order garnered thousands of signatures within hours, the latest call from advocates to overturn the controversial decision. As first reported by San José Spotlight on Wednesday, Santa Clara County leaders reversed a previous decision in...

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....

County disputes San Jose projections of 2,000 coronavirus deaths

Santa Clara County officials on Thursday disputed projections in a San Jose staff presentation earlier in the week that estimated the county could see up to 2,000 novel coronavirus-related deaths within 12 weeks. The projected numbers, deemed the “best-case scenario,” dwarf the county’s 19 deaths and 542 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by...

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

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 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...

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...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

Newsletters

You have Successfully Subscribed!