Coronavirus

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: ‘We’re not waiting for anything,’ Governor says with or without federal funding, state will distribute vaccines

As of Nov. 22, Santa Clara County reported 31,103 confirmed coronavirus cases and 464 deaths. California had 1,110,370 positive cases and 18,726 deaths as of Nov. 22. However, health officials have warned recent figures have been underreported due to issues with the state database to input new test results. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued...

What you need to know about COVID-19 this week in the South Bay

COVID-19 cases are surging dramatically in Santa Clara County and as the holiday season rapidly approaches, the county is ramping up testing and urging residents to avoid large gatherings outside their households. According to county officials, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients increased by more than 50 percent in one week. There were 110 hospitalizations...

San Jose hospitals face pressure as COVID-19 cases surge

As Santa Clara County sees a surge in new COVID-19 cases, hospitals across San Jose are being stretched thin. Many hospital officials say they’re rising to the occasion. According to county data, 102 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Nov. 12 with about 17 new cases in the last day. There are 909 beds...

Gardner Health Services and Stanford expand COVID-19 research to East San Jose

After fighting to get testing sites in hard-hit communities, South Bay health nonprofits are now turning their attention to ensure equity in vaccine trials. In East San Jose, Gardner Health Services, a community clinic that serves disenfranchised and vulnerable communities, and Stanford Medicine are collaborating to enroll Latinx people in vaccine trials and research. “We...

Coronavirus hotspots: San Jose neighborhood unites in response

Coronavirus hotspots: Top 3 areas hardest hit in Santa Clara County, Part 3 Patricia Casteillo and her husband both lost their jobs because of COVID-19, pushing her into a state of depression. She says she found hope at nonprofit Amigos de Guadalupe which, among other things, paid the deposit and first month’s rent so her family could...

Coronavirus hotspots: East San Jose ranks No. 1 in number of cases per capita in the county

Coronavirus hotspots: Top 3 areas hardest hit in Santa Clara County, Part 1 Albert Camarena sat in a chair on the front lawn of his home in East San Jose, facing eastward toward a vacant elementary school. “Everybody’s scared,” Camarena said. “They don’t want to be sick.” Camarena’s neighborhood and its corresponding ZIP code —...

Santa Clara County sees surge in COVID-19 cases

Santa Clara County health officials made an urgent plea for people to continue to take precautions after seeing an alarming uptick in COVID-19 cases and an increase in hospitalizations. “What’s significant about the increase in case counts that we’re seeing now is that it’s different than the slow rise that we’ve seen over the month...

Your COVID-19 questions answered: Part Two

San José Spotlight last month hosted an exclusive Q&A webinar with Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody, one of the nation’s leading health experts and the driving force behind the country’s first shelter-in-place order in March. Eight months later, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, Cody sat down with...

San Jose partners with food truck company to provide free groceries, meals to those at risk of COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity in Santa Clara County and across the Bay Area, nonprofit organizations, food banks and government officials are working to provide food assistance for residents, ranging from workers and business owners to older adults and people with underlying medical conditions. Off the Grid, the Bay Area’s food truck...

East Side school district easing back with on-campus learning next week

East Side Union High School District (ESUHSD) students are returning to in-person learning next week. Onsite learning will occur during tutorials, advisory periods, after school and on Saturdays as East Side students continue in their block schedules with distance learning. ESUHSD will continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year or until there...

Indoor dining, church services can resume in Santa Clara County

As COVID-19 numbers in the county slowly improve, officials gave Santa Clara County businesses the green light to begin operating indoors — but with caution. Starting Oct. 14, restaurants, churches, movie theaters and other businesses can open at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. They also can host outdoor gatherings of up to...

Exclusive Q&A: Santa Clara County health chief answers San José Spotlight readers

Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody sat down Oct. 8 to answer San José Spotlight readers’ questions about the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding of the virus has evolved considerably since Cody last answered reader questions in April. The advice, however, has been consistent: People should maintain physical distance from those outside their household, avoid...

Religious leaders plead to increase indoor services in Santa Clara County

Church members from across Santa Clara County are asking supervisors to reconsider restrictions that will limit services to 25 percent of capacity, even as the county moves into a less restrictive tier of pandemic restrictions imposed by the state. For nearly two hours Oct. 6, church members, pastors and representatives asked the Board of Supervisors...

Santa Clara County allows facial services to reopen

Santa Clara County is lifting restrictions on licensed estheticians and other skin care professionals who were previously prohibited from operating due to the coronavirus. County public health officials on Sunday afternoon made the change that will now allow facial services to resume. Previously, the county allowed hair and nails salons to reopen for both indoor...

COVID-19 infections among Latinx seeing sharp decline in Santa Clara County

After data busted the myth that COVID-19 was “the great equalizer” and made it clear the disease has had disproportionate affects on Santa Clara County’s Latinx population, public health officials say rates finally are starting to decrease in the hardest hit communities. “The rates among the Latinx community were really soaring in July. They were...

Catholic schools gradually reopening in Santa Clara County

While most San Jose public school campuses will remain closed at least until January, Catholic schools are starting to welcome back students with sanitizing stations and wellness checks in place. “It’s been a real boost for faculty to see kids on campus,” said Principal Kristina Luscher of Bellarmine College Preparatory, which opened Sept. 23. “Overall,...

Top Santa Clara County executive leading COVID-19 response leaving

One of Santa Clara County’s top leaders and the face of its coronavirus response is leaving for a neighboring city. Deputy Executive David Campos, who also led the county’s social justice and equity programs, is joining the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office as Chief of Staff. Campos, a Guatemalan immigrant, sought to bring equity to underserved communities...

Santa Clara County supervisors pump $13 million to help people quarantine

Santa Clara County residents who are exposed or have contracted COVID-19 are getting more financial help to cover the cost of isolating and quarantining. Supervisors on Sept. 22 approved a $13 million infusion to the county’s cities to pay for motel costs, at-home support and financial assistance related to mandatory quarantine if residents get the...

Latest eviction moratoriums a double-edged sword for South Bay tenants, landlords

New state and federal laws approved this month would punish landlords with steep fines and even jail time if they try to evict someone behind on rent. But that’s not necessarily reassuring news for tenants. While housing attorneys and tenants’ rights activists say the laws will shield more renters from property owners who want to force...

Why San Jose schools aren’t opening for the rest of the year

Saying they are ill equipped to take on the burden of testing students for COVID-19, San Jose officials extended distance learning through the end of December — and may not reopen classes until 2021. San Jose Unified School District Superintendent Nancy Albarrán said there are now more COVID-19 cases than in March when schools first closed, especially...

Private hospitals in Santa Clara County to be slapped with fines if they don’t ramp up COVID-19 testing

Private hospitals in Santa Clara County that fail to provide COVID-19 testing could face a fine of up to $5,000 under a new order. The order, which goes into effect Sept. 25, requires hospitals to test all patients who report COVID-19 symptoms, asymptomatic patients who have been exposed to coronavirus and patients referred by the...

Santa Clara County business owners push to open indoors

With smoke and ash making outdoor operations difficult, a coalition of business and community leaders are demanding Santa Clara County set guidelines to reopen indoors. Last week the county moved into the lower-risk red tier of state reopening guidelines, which paved the way for more businesses to start serving customers indoors. But in Santa Clara...

Too little, too late for some as Santa Clara County allows more businesses to reopen

California health officials announced Santa Clara County is now in the red tier reopening phase, which allows more businesses to operate indoors. The county is still under a substantial risk for COVID-19 spread, according to state guidelines, and local health officials urge people to wear masks and take social distancing precautions. Here’s a quick look...

San Jose leaders approve recommendations to address COVID-19 health disparities

San Jose leaders unanimously accepted 30 recommendations Sept. 1 from Santa Clara County’s Health and Equity Task Force to tackle growing health disparities in the time of COVID-19. The recommendations include translating emergency information, contact-tracing, extending rent relief, distributing food and adding additional COVID-19 testing sites. Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco said as of Aug. 31, more...

South Bay lawyers predict surge in bankruptcies as stimulus money dries up

South Bay attorneys are bracing for a wave of new bankruptcies from individuals and small businesses that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and federal stimulus money. The number of cases filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court’s San Jose division has declined precipitously over the past five years — plummeting more than 35% to 2,718...

San Jose merchants in fight of their lives with COVID-19’s second wave

Less than two months ago, consumer experts predicted shoppers, diners and patrons of bars and nightclubs would return to their favorite brick-and-mortar shops by the end of this summer in numbers that matched 2019. Zenreach — a San Francisco tech firm that sells marketing software to traditional retail outlets, hospitality and entertainment venues that allows...

Smoky air stunts turnout at San Jose COVID-19 testing sites

Steady crowds have streamed through most COVID-19 testing sites since the start of the pandemic. But that wasn’t the case this weekend at Santa Clara County’s newest —  and largest — testing site at the county fairgrounds. That’s largely due to the bad air quality fueled by massive wildfires burning across the Bay Area. The...

Silicon Valley donors open wallets in response to COVID-19

The ultra-rich are a dime a dozen in Silicon Valley. A recent tally counted 76,000 millionaires and billionaires living here, and nearly a third of adults are considered “upper income,” according to recent data from the Pew Research Center. Although many of those are generous to charity, it has been difficult to channel that largesse...

Outdoor services offer lifeline to South Bay salons struggling to survive

Denise Russell hasn’t paid rent at her 3,600 square-foot San Jose beauty salon in six months. Dustin David Salon’s landlord is sending rent collectors to his home in Los Gatos. He’s several months behind. Although they’re now able to provide services outdoors, South Bay salons are reeling over the state’s months-long flip-flops on whether they...

Khanna pushes $5 billion bill to provide free masks as Biden seeks mandate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden is urging governors to implement mask mandates to stop the spread of the coronavirus. “Every single American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months at a minimum,” he said during a Thursday news conference in Delaware. Biden said wearing masks...

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: July 30 to August 12

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 2 p.m. Aug 12: Governor announces slew of business relief plans Despite the promise of financial relief for small businesses from the Paycheck Protection Program, many people still found their hands empty after applying for the money. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he’s moving forward a plan to...

UPDATE: Santa Clara County approves fines for not wearing masks, flouting health order

Santa Clara County will begin issuing fines of up to $500 for not wearing face masks or social distancing in public, the Board of Supervisors decided unanimously Tuesday. In an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its impact, the board adopted an urgency ordinance issuing citations against residents and businesses for violating...

COVID-19 workplace complaints pile up in South Bay but lack follow-up

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated. Workers showed up to work sick with COVID-19 symptoms. Management hid positive test results from employees. Supervisors banned phones to prevent documenting unsafe facilities. These are some of the allegations many South Bay workers have made since Santa Clara County began to ease shelter-in-place restrictions to allow some businesses to...

San Jose nonprofits receive millions in PPP loans, saving jobs and preventing cuts

Dozens of nonprofits in Silicon Valley received millions of dollars from the $660 billion federal Paycheck Protection Program, a data analysis by San José Spotlight found. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, nonprofits leaders said these dollars have been vital for their survival, especially as the demand to maintain – or increase – services continues. According to data...

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: July 16 to July 29

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 3:15 p.m. July 29: With San Mateo, entire Bay Area now on state watchlist With Wednesday’s addition of San Mateo, all Bay Area counties are on the state’s watchlist, affecting more than 7 million people in the Northern California region. Collectively, nine counties — Alameda, Contra Costa,...

Santa Clara County restaurant CEO sued by landlord for late rent — despite moratorium

Despite Santa Clara County’s ban on evictions amid the pandemic, Flights Restaurant founder and CEO Alexander Hult is being sued by his landlord in Mountain View for back-rent payments. The county ordinance allows tenants impacted by COVID-19 to pay back rent payments within a year with no late fees and prevents landlords from evicting residential and...

Silicon Valley educators worry about data privacy as classes remain online

Local educators say students could be at risk of data breaches as schools continue online classes amid the pandemic. “We need to protect our communities,” said Roxana Marachi, a San Jose State University professor of education. “Especially communities of color, who are the most vulnerable to data exploitations,” Big tech companies in Silicon Valley have eyed the...

California, Santa Clara County unemployment rates improve, but uncertainty looms

California’s June unemployment rate improved from previous months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but it remains to be seen how recent statewide closures due to spiking cases and hospitalizations affect jobs across the state. In June, the state’s unemployment rate improved to 14.9%, with the state adding a record 558,200 jobs, according to figures released Friday...

San Jose nonprofits say city hasn’t coughed up money for free meals

As the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated hunger in San Jose, nonprofit food distributors say city leaders have stalled on reimbursing their costs to supply food to the South Bay’s most vulnerable residents. Nonprofit executives say demand for food has tripled since the pandemic shuttered businesses and slashed jobs in mid-March following Santa Clara County’s shelter-in-place order....

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: July 2 to July 15

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 1:35 p.m. July 15: Most California schools not likely to reopen in-person, state educational official says California’s top public school official said Wednesday most schools likely would not reopen for in-person learning due to the spread of the novel coronavirus across the state. After the state Department...

Hours after reopening, Santa Clara County businesses will have to close again

Just hours after reopening Monday under Santa Clara County’s new health order, hair and nail salons, gyms, tattoo parlors and other personal care services have to close yet again. During his noon briefing, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced immediate closures for indoor operations of restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, card rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos and...

Silicon Valley leaders want employees to mostly work from home

Notably grueling Silicon Valley commutes have been slashed dramatically as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. While working from home presents its own unique challenges, Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez wants to transition this aspect of social distancing into the post-COVID-19 life, a move she says will maintain productivity while decreasing climate impacts. Chavez announced a...

San Jose’s general plan review hindered by online meetings

As online meetings become the new norm under shelter-in-place orders, some community leaders and advocates say meeting remotely has hampered plans to revise one of San Jose’s most critical documents: its General Plan for 2040. “(The online format) puts a lot of pressure to keep the meetings at a reasonable time,” said Jason Su, executive...

Californians worry that shelter-in-place is relaxing too quickly: poll

As the number of hospitalizations from the novel coronavirus continues to soar, Californians are increasingly worried that the state is reopening too quickly, according to a new survey. The poll, conducted between June 26 and June 30 by California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), surveyed 1,156 residents in the state who are at least 18 years old. The interviews,...

California approves Santa Clara County for further reopening, but who takes responsibility?

After an initial denial over the Independence Day weekend, state officials approved Santa Clara County’s request to reopen more businesses under a new health order set to take effect next Monday. As of Tuesday morning, the county’s 35-page application to verify it met certain criteria was added onto the California Department of Public Health’s list...

As masks become a new political weapon, Silicon Valley is mostly supportive

On a recent sunny, 80-degree afternoon, downtown San Jose started to regain its foot traffic. Small businesses, restaurants and coffee shops settled into new routines after months of shutdown. Their patrons, nevertheless, are getting used to a new summer accessory: A face mask. “It’s necessary,” said resident Rylee Dietz with a bandana over her face...

July 4th in Silicon Valley takes on different meaning with COVID-19 pandemic

Patriotism has taken on a different meaning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Ahead of Independence Day weekend, officials have made more forceful steps to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus as confirmed cases, hospitalizations and intensive care numbers have jumped in recent weeks in Santa Clara County. The Association of Bay Area Health Officials issued a...

Silicon Valley transit agency reveals new plan for safety, renewed ridership

As people slowly venture out after months of sheltering-in-place, Silicon Valley’s largest transit agency is taking new steps to bolster public trust and safety on buses and trains. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority this week unveiled a 10-point plan that includes enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of vehicles, required face coverings and social distancing on vehicles, stations and stops....

‘A new stage’: Santa Clara County issues new order asking state to reopen nail, hair salons

After nearly four months of closure, Santa Clara County gyms, spas, hair and nail salons are set to reopen later this month — if the state says yes. But things will look much differently inside those businesses than before the COVID-19 pandemic closed their doors in mid-March. Personal care businesses are among the last to reopen....

Poll: Californians trust public health officials, fear economic impact

A new poll shows that Californians support public health officials’ efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but believe that the virus disproportionately affects people of color and that the worst is still ahead. Released on Thursday and sponsored by The California Endowment, a nonprofit health organization, the poll surveyed 1,240 California voters to gauge...

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: June 18 to July 1

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 4:26 p.m. July 1: California reaches goal of amassing 10,000 contact tracers, Newsom says Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday the state met its goal to amass 10,000 contact tracers to identify cases and reduce the spread of COVID-19. In doing so, the universities of California of San...

Dine-in restaurants, bars will again close in 19 California counties, Newsom orders

As cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 have increased in recent days, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday is again closing businesses in California counties that have seen the worst spikes. For the next three weeks, Newsom ordered indoor operations for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment, zoos, museums and card rooms to close in 19 counties...

Will Santa Clara County schools reopen in the fall? The answer is unclear, but county issues guidance

Santa Clara County officials Tuesday painted a picture of what returning to school might look like for kids this fall: desks six feet apart, face coverings for everyone and canceling some activities such as choir. Officials released guidance for local K-12 public and private schools for reopening for the 2020-21 school year. The biggest question...

Despite outbreaks, officials say Silicon Valley construction sites are safe

Across Santa Clara County, restrictions on a wide-reaching shelter-in-place order are loosening, employees are getting back to work, residents are dining out again and new buildings are rising. But the slow reopening of the region — a constant balancing act between mitigating the damage of keeping the economy shuttered versus reducing the spread of the...

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: June 4 to June 17

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 5:35 p.m. June 17: Most San Jose park restrooms open, Communications Hill staircase still closed Most San Jose park restrooms reopened Monday, according to a city news release. While the news release said park restrooms will be cleaned according to their use, the most frequented restrooms will...

‘It feels like Christmas’: Santa Clara County malls finally reopen

After three months of closure during the coronavirus pandemic, Westfield shopping centers in Santa Clara County, including Oakridge and Valley Fair, reopened for business Monday. “Westfield is excited to open our doors again … as we begin our initial recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Leah Heil, vice president of shopping center management. Anticipation ran...

Liccardo focuses on police, inequality in San Jose’s $4.1B budget

San Jose’s $4.1 billion budget will be finalized this week, a major annual decision that comes this year in the midst of a pandemic that’s caused enormous projected deficits. But Mayor Sam Liccardo’s focus in a recently-released proposed budget was first on police reforms and inequality. Liccardo’s annual June budget proposal addresses head-on community calls...

South Bay faith leaders frustrated that churches and synagogues remain closed

Despite a new county order Friday allowing outdoor religious gatherings of 25 people, many South Bay faith leaders are growing frustrated as local churches and synogogues remain closed. In addition to the limitations of the county policy, places of worship are required to follow California’s latest guidelines, which include screening congregants for temperature and symptoms, not...

Santa Clara County health officials criticized for rollout of latest shelter-in-place order

Santa Clara County and San Jose elected leaders this month criticized local public health officials over a lack of clarity and adequate notice in their plans to ease shelter-in-place restrictions due to COVID-19. The criticism, which follows relative strong support for local measures taken to stop the coronavirus spread by health officials, began at the...

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...

Coronavirus LIVE BLOG: May 21 to June 3

Catch up on our current Coronavirus LIVE BLOG here. 10 p.m. June 3: Santa Clara County supervisors approve child care, financial assistance On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a proposal to devote more than $2.5 million for child care programs in the county, drawing from the federal government’s $2.2 trillion coronavirus...

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....

San Jose leaders propose sweeping cuts to public safety to close gaping budget hole

With San Jose’s income streams being ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, city leaders are considering shaving more than $10 million off public safety in next year’s budget. The cuts would affect the hiring of police officers and firefighters, reduce access to community services, and delay the expansion of a long-awaited fire station in the city’s...

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...

Santa Clara County poll places public health over the economy

When forced to choose between public health or the economy, the majority of Santa Clara County residents surveyed in a new poll said they’re more concerned about public health — despite the county’s shelter-in-place order ravaging local businesses. The poll, conducted from May 14 to May 18, surveyed 1,000 randomly selected county residents by telephone,...

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...

Coronavirus: What will it take to open more Silicon Valley businesses?

As Santa Clara County officials prepare to lift restrictions for certain businesses in the Bay Area, local health leaders say they’re basing those decisions — and future business openings — on five key “indicators” aimed at ensuring the region doesn’t see a resurgence of the virus as the economy reopens. The primary industries affected by...

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,...

Construction unions lobby Santa Clara County leaders to loosen restrictions

Statewide and regional stay-home orders have passed the one-month mark, and nearly all businesses are hurting as many employees remain unable to work, upending their finances despite a $2 trillion government stimulus package. Now, a local construction and trades union is asking the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to recommend the county to relax...

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...

Santa Clara City Council extends renter protections, delays Pruneridge traffic plan

Santa Clara renters are now protected from evictions through May 28 if they’re unable to pay rent due to financial strain caused by COVID-19. After the City Council adopted an urgency ordinance two weeks ago, state and countywide eviction moratoriums were also approved, leading Santa Clara leaders to approve an adjusted timeline to avoid confusion...

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,...

As unemployment and financial need rises, officials unveil programs to help

Californians are losing their incomes at record rates as residents stay inside and businesses close their doors due to a statewide stay at home order to stop the fast-spreading coronavirus that has infected 9,191 and killed 203 people across the state. But Santa Clara County and state government officials on Thursday announced new programs aimed...

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...

Coronavirus: South Bay distilleries working to ease sanitizer shortage

When shortages of cleaning supplies and protective equipment were first announced across Silicon Valley in response to the coronavirus, San Jose distiller Virag Saksena realized he already had all the tools to help. The CEO of the 10th St. Distillery in San Jose halted production of his award-winning whiskey two weeks ago and pivoted to producing an...