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Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 3/26/20, PM


COVID-19 numbers / Call for collaboration / Distance learning / Curry meets Fauci

COVID-19 numbers

The Bay Area has 1,322 positive COVID-19 cases as of this afternoon. That’s according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s tracking tool. Alameda, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties have seen significant increases. There’s more testing happening, so more likely positives. But also the rise in cases follows international precedents that we’ve seen. The number of Bay Area deaths from the novel coronavirus now stands at 30. That’s three more than were reported yesterday.

Call for collaboration

Governor Gavin Newsom spoke this morning of the importance of a multi-state collaboration in responding to the novel coronavirus. Speaking on a video call hosted by the nonprofit Tipping Point, he said that he had just completed a call between President Trump and all 50 state governors. He noted that California has been competing against other states to buy personal protective equipment. He said more coordination is vital to addressing the COVID-19 crisis.

“The State of California just procured 100 million N95 masks as a state,” said Newsom. “We did that competing against other states, other nations, and likely the United States itself. The lack of coordination just in terms of our purchasing alone really drives, from my perspective, one of the most critical needs and that is some deeper collaborative spirit of engagement so that we’re not competing against each other, increasing costs, and creating more of a bureaucratic morass, as a consequence of people playing off one another.”

Newsom said that in the next day or so, the state will have a better understanding of how the federal coronavirus stimulus package will support Californians, and what gaps will still remain. He emphasized that the state will need help from nonprofits to fill those gaps.

Distance learning
Schools around the Bay Area will remain closed through May 1st. At least. So teachers are working to bring the classroom into the living room.

Yesterday, the San Francisco Unified School District began the second phase of a three-part plan to help get students back on track while campuses remain closed.
Phase 1 focused on engaging students at home. That’s providing optional activities for both students and parents to engage in as families adjusted to the quarantine. Phase 2 expands at home options for learning. The school sent out digital and non-digital versions of classroom courses prepared by many teachers during the closure. The last phase will begin on April 13th, and it will consist of mandatory teacher-led, interactive distance learning. But that last phase is the trickiest. Because according to data provided by SFUSD, 15 percent of all students do not have access to a computer or the internet.
In response the schools have been lending out Chromebook Laptops for the students with the greatest need. Since the closure they have lent out over 1,000 computers. Also, the San Francisco Board of Education is creating Wifi hotspots for students around the city, as a way to address the technological equity gap. SFUSD suggests that students who need to borrow a computer should contact their school’s principal to learn how devices are being made available.

Curry meets Fauci

Stephen and Ayesha Curry are doing their part. After the famous couple publicized and donated to food needs in Alameda County, they’ve stayed active — messaging on social media. Today, the Golden State Warriors’ star point guard held a public Instagram call with Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Curry pooled questions from his nearly 30 million followers the day before — many of them young people.

Dr. Fauci and Steph Curry chatted on a split screen. Curry appeared to be at home in his sweats, while the doctor sat in his study with a basketball hoop behind him. Curry had questions about who was susceptible. And Dr. Fauci busted the myth that youth can’t suffer from this virus.

About 50,000 people watched the discussion, including former Pres. Barack Obama. He commented during the chat, “Listen to the science. Do your part. Take care of each other.” Then thanked the two men for holding the discussion. Curry says video of the interview will remain on his Instagram account for people who missed it.