Health and Fitness

Coronavirus Bay Area live updates: New Berkeley mandate for employees, customers starts on Monday

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — A surge in coronavirus cases has been reported in the Bay Area and across California as well as the country due in part to the emergence of the highly-contagious omicron variant.

The latest number of confirmed cases in the U.S. can be found at the CDC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the U.S. page. (The CDC updates the webpage on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.)

Join anchor Kristen Sze for ABC7’s daily, interactive newscast about the coronavirus outbreak in the Bay Area and around the world. You can check here to stream the show Monday-Friday at 3 p.m.

Feb. 6, 2022

New Berkeley mandates for workers, customers starts on Monday

Two new mandates go into effect for Berkeley starting on Monday, Feb. 7.

The City of Berkeley must require proof of full vaccination from customers 5 years old and up who enter indoor areas, according to city health officials.

Per the city’s website, it’s required for customers who enter the following:

  • Places serving food or drinks, such as restaurants, bars, clubs, theaters, and entertainment venues
  • Places where patrons do cardiovascular, aerobic, strength training, or other exercise involving elevated breathing, including gyms, recreation centers, fitness clubs, and strength training facilities
  • Large indoor events of 500 people or more – except where tickets were sold before Jan. 27, 2022
  • Second, Berkeley employees must be boosted, “up to date” with their vaccination. These include employees at the following:

  • Restaurants and other facilities where food or drink is served indoors
  • Gyms, recreation facilities, yoga studios and other fitness establishments
  • Indoor events of 500 people or more
  • Adult care facilities
  • Adult day programs
  • Dental offices
  • Pharmacies
  • Home health care workers and those employing health care workers
  • All public and private childcare facilities
  • The city says this includes employees, contractors, volunteers, custodians, maintenance and other workers who enter those businesses, even after business hours.

    You can read more on City of Berkeley’s website.

    Feb. 4, 2022

    2:15 p.m.
    US death toll from COVID-19 hits 900,000, sped by omicron

    Propelled in part by the wildly contagious omicron variant, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has hit 900,000, less than two months after eclipsing 800,000. The number of deaths, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is more than the populations of Indianapolis, San Francisco, or Charlottes, North Carolina. COVID-19 has become one of the three top leading causes of death in America, behind the big two – heart disease and cancer. To public health experts, the milestone is made all the more tragic because so many of the recent deaths were preventable. Just 64% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated.

    12 p.m.
    Sonoma Co. to let restrictions on large gatherings expire Feb. 10

    With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations declining, Sonoma County health officials said Friday that the health order temporarily restricting the size of large gatherings will expire as scheduled at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 10.

    However, they strongly encouraged seniors over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions and people who have not yet been boosted or vaccinated, to avoid large gatherings and continue wearing masks indoors around people outside their household, noting that the omicron surge is not yet over.

    10:30 a.m.
    Contra Costa Reaches 80% vaccinated, sunsets vaccine verification requirement

    With 80% of all county residents now fully vaccinated, Contra Costa Health Services lifted its order requiring certain businesses, including restaurants and gyms, to verify the vaccination status or recent negative test results of customers.

    4:45 a.m.
    US death rate on the rise
    The U.S. is now reporting an average of over 2,300 COVID-19-related fatalities each day — the highest daily death average in nearly one year, according to federal data. In the last week alone, the nation’s daily death average has increased by more than 31%. Overall, however, the nation’s average is still significantly lower than last winter, when the U.S. peaked at about 3,400 deaths per day.

    Feb. 3, 2022

    11:05 a.m.
    Warriors home game booster requirement goes into effect
    Starting tonight, Chase Center will require proof of either an up-to-date vaccination, including proof of a booster shot for eligible guests received at least one week prior to the event, or a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 24 hours (for antigen tests) or 48 hours (for PCR tests).

    If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live

    Feb. 2, 2022

    10:45 a.m.
    US death toll expected to approach 950,000 by end of month
    Forecast models used by the CDC predict about 32,000 more Americans will die from COVID-19 by Feb. 26, bringing the nation’s virus death toll to nearly 947,000. The ensemble model estimates that 38 states have a greater than 50% chance of having more deaths over the next two weeks compared to the past two weeks.

    Jan. 31, 2022

    9:35 a.m.
    Moderna gets full FDA approval for vaccine

    Moderna has now received full FDA approval for its COVID-19 vaccine, the second vaccine maker to be granted full approval, after Pfizer. All three vaccines currently available in the U.S. were granted emergency authorization based on large clinical studies and at least two months of safety data. Moderna said the full approval was “based on a comprehensive submission package including efficacy and safety data approximately six months after second dose.”

    Jan. 28, 2022

    8:15 a.m.
    VTA adds vaccine mandate for employees
    The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is adding a vaccine mandate for its employees. They have until April 29 to prove they’re fully vaccinated. Boosters are not required. Employees will have the option to request an exemption for medical or religious reasons. If approved, the unvaccinated employees would then be tested weekly for COVID-19.

    Jan. 27, 2022

    11:30 a.m.
    SF to change indoor mask rules
    Beginning on February 1, San Francisco office workers, gym members and other “stable cohorts” of people may remove masks indoors again, reinstating the mask exemption that was in place before the latest omicron surge.

    6:15 a.m.
    Deaths increasing to highest point in nearly 1 year
    Daily COVID-19-related deaths — which are a lagging indicator — are steadily increasing to their highest point in nearly one year, according to federal data. The U.S. is reporting an average of more than 2,100 new fatalities each day, surpassing the average from last summer’s delta surge. However, the nation’s death toll remains significantly lower than last winter when the U.S. peaked at about 3,400 deaths per day.

    Jan. 26, 2022

    11:15 a.m.
    East Bay teachers to meet over COVID safety
    Teachers and the West Contra Costa County Unified School District will meet today to try and prevent a strike over COVID safety measures. The teachers union is demanding mandatory COVID testing, plans in case of an outbreak, and more substitute teachers. They also want KN95 and N95 masks provided to students and staff daily something the district says is already happening. While the demands are being negotiated, the district says more students need to be vaccinated to contain this surge. 54% of students 12 and older reported being vaccinated – a low rate compared to other local school districts.

    Jan. 25, 2022

    8:45 a.m.
    The World Health Organization is sounding the alarm over rising cases of a new omicron sub-variant. In an updated post to its website on Monday, the WHO said the new sub-variant, called BA.2, is a descendant of omicron, the now-dominant, highly contagious variant of the novel coronavirus. Unlike omicron, BA.2 is currently not considered a “variant of concern.” But because it is spreading in many countries, the WHO is asking governments and scientists across the globe to monitor the situation and study the new sub-variant, as many have already been doing.

    Jan. 24, 2022

    9:10 a.m.
    Conditions ‘ideal’ for more variants WHO warns
    The head of the World Health Organization warned Monday that although people across the globe must learn to live with COVID-19 “for the foreseeable future,” we cannot “give this virus a free ride.”

    “There are different scenarios for how the pandemic could play out and how the acute phase could end,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director-general, said in opening remarks at an executive board meeting in Geneva. “But it’s dangerous to assume that omicron will be the last variant or that we are in the endgame.”

    “On the contrary, globally, the conditions are ideal for more variants to emerge,” he added.

    Jan. 21, 2022

    11 a.m.
    Santa Clara Co. offering free at-home antigen tests with signups

    Santa Clara Co. is offering a limited number of free at-home COVID-19 antigen tests to those who live, work, or attend school in the county. You can sign up through to obtain four at-home tests.

    Those able to secure an appointment may choose from one of the distribution locations for pick up at a chosen time. Each person will be assigned a unique QR code which must be displayed to receive the tests. Tests are not available on a drop-in basis without an appointment.

    6 a.m.
    2-year anniversary of 1st COVID case in US

    Today marks two years since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the U.S. It happened in Washington state and came just two weeks after the novel coronavirus was first identified in China.

    Since that initial case, more than 68.5 million people have tested positive across the U.S. The infection has claimed more than 855,000 lives in the nation.

    The pandemic has also impacted almost every aspect of American life since sweeping across the country soon after that first case two years ago.

    VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

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