San Mateo County Reports 454 New Coronavirus Cases, 26 Deaths

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Gideon Rubin
·5 min read
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SAN MATEO COUNTY, CA — San Mateo County Health reported 454 additional coronavirus cases Friday.

The latest report brings the countywide case count to 30,650.

The county reported 26 additional coronavirus-related fatalities Friday, bringing its COVID-19 death toll to 294.

There were 187 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Mateo County as of Friday, of which 39 were being treated in intensive care units.

Elsewhere around the Bay Area and beyond, state officials have launched an online hub intended for school staff and parents to find guidance and resources on the state's planned resumption of in-person classes, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The website, schools.covid19.ca.gov, allows school staff and parents to report coronavirus-related health and safety concerns and access resources about the state's education-related public health directives and on-campus coronavirus testing.

"Learning is non-negotiable, and getting our kids and staff back into the classroom safely will help us continue turning the corner on this pandemic," Newsom said in a statement.

The website will accompany the state's $2 billion Safe Schools for All plan, which Newsom outlined in December and will focus on reopening schools in February for students in transitional kindergarten through second grade and progressing into higher grades later into the spring.

The funding will support testing of school staff and students, personal protective equipment, contact tracing and vaccinations.

Newsom, in unveiling his proposed state budget last week, asked the state legislature to preemptively allocate the $2 billion before the end of the month to ensure the reopening plan proceeds smoothly.

Many schools across the state have resumed in-person classes in recent months in some form or for certain groups like special needs students.

The state allowed schools to resume in-person classes once their county had been out of the purple tier - the most restrictive in the county's four-tiered pandemic reopening plan - for at least two weeks.

Those schools were allowed to continue holding in-person classes even after the state issued its regional stay-at home order for roughly 80 percent of California's counties.

As of November, schools 41 counties were holding in-person classes to some extent, according to Newsom, while schools in the remaining 17 were mostly holding classes online.

"With proposed new funding and ongoing conversations with districts, school employees, stakeholders and the legislature, we remain committed to our Safe Schools for All Plan and helping all students - with a focus on those in disproportionately impacted communities - get the help they need to return to in-person instruction," Newsom said.

The Oakland Coliseum could become a mass coronavirus vaccination site as soon as February following Friday's meeting of the governing joint-powers authority that oversees the property.

The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority's Board of Commissioners chose to create a task force that will oversee the Coliseum's temporary conversion into coronavirus mass-vaccination center.

Oakland Athletics President Dave Kaval said the facility could be vaccinating residents as soon as February, while Coliseum Authority Executive Director Henry Gardner said he has already received requests from multiple health care providers to temporarily convert the property's parking lot.

"I cannot personally think of a higher and better use for the parking facility," Gardner said.

The Coliseum was floated earlier this week as a potential mass-vaccination site after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that similar sites would be launched at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Petco Park in San Diego and Cal Expo in Sacramento.

A spokesperson for the Athletics confirmed on Monday that the team was in talks with county officials to use the Coliseum as a vaccination site, but a formal announcement has yet to be made.

The vaccine's rollout has been slowed statewide so far, due in part to a dearth of enough vaccine doses for all who want one.

"I've heard that there's been a concern of not sufficient doses to ensure that those who have already received their first dose can get their second dose," Commissioner Treva Reid said.

"So as we're activating this site, (we need) to make sure that we're also prioritizing and launching whatever efforts we need to get as many doses as we possibly can into Oakland."

Kaval said Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, and other federal officials recently told him that additional vaccine doses are likely to be distributed once President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, which could speed up the Coliseum vaccination site's opening.

The board also elected to tap Kaval for a seat on the task force, which he accepted.

"Hopefully we can get this going as soon as possible because it's a great asset to our community," Kaval said.

The Alameda County Public Health Department still must approve using the Coliseum site as a vaccination center before it can begin providing doses.

The task force is expected to report back to the board at its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 19.

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There have been 2,897,114 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 32,544 coronavirus-related deaths in California as of Friday afternoon according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The United States had 23,276,346 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 391,540 coronavirus-related fatalities as of Friday afternoon.

There have been 93,751,490 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,006,510 coronavirus-related deaths reported globally as of Friday afternoon.

— Bay City News contributed to this report

This article originally appeared on the San Mateo Patch