Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 7/2/20, PM | KALW

Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 7/2/20, PM

Jul 2, 2020

Governor Concerned About COVID Over Holiday Weekend / Santa Clara School Administrators Quarantining / Senate Approves Job Protections For Home Care / San Francisco Rents’ Rapid Decline / Airbnb’s Measures Against ‘Party Houses’

Governor Concerned About COVID Over Holiday Weekend

California's mood has gone from optimistic to sour as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rise heading into the July 4th weekend. Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered bars and indoor restaurant dining closed in most of the state, many beaches are off limits, and he's imploring Californians to avoid holiday gatherings with family and friends:

“Look at the epidemiology. Look at the spread of this virus over the last few weeks. Look at the fact that our hospitalization rate has gone up 56% in just two weeks. Consider the fact that ICUs have gone up 49% in the last few weeks. Consider that when you go about coming together, perhaps, with members of your family, or strangers, or neighbors you haven’t been with in some time, over the course of the weekend. And just consider one of those stats may be you.”

Since Memorial Day, California has gone from a coronavirus success story to a cautionary tale. Health experts say the change was a combination of a populace made complacent by positive trends, the rapid reopening of businesses and the late adoption of a mandatory mask rule.

Santa Clara School Administrators Quarantining

More than 40 school administrators in the South Bay are quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19 during an in-person meeting held by the Santa Clara Unified School District.

The meeting — held on June 19 — was to discuss how and when to bring students back to school. One attendee was pre-symptomatic at the time, and has since tested positive for the coronavirus. Superintendent Stella Kemp confirmed the exposure. 

The superintendent insisted that meeting face-to-face was necessary, adding that everyone who attended has since been tested. As far as she knows, no one else tested positive.

Santa Clara County is struggling to contain the spread of the virus and hospitalizations increased more than 50% the last week

On Tuesday, county health officials released recommendations for re-opening, including guidelines for In-person instruction in the fall. 

Senate Approves Job Protections For Home Care

The California Senate has voted to expand job protections to more people who take time off to care for a family member. State law allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of leave to care for a family member. But the law only protects the jobs of people who work at companies with at least 50 employees. The Senate voted 21-12 on Thursday to expand those protections to companies with at least five employees. Republicans and some moderate Democrats opposed the bill. They argued it was too hard for small businesses to find short-term replacements for employees.

San Francisco Rents’ Rapid Decline

Data from the apartment rental website Zumper shows that San Francisco rents were down nearly 12% from a year ago. The decline is the largest in the country. And it’s a record drop for a city known to have some of the nation’s highest rent prices

This report comes just weeks after tech companies, including Facebook and Twitter announced that many of their employees can work from home as long as they see fit. With that announcement, employees are able to move to places with lower costs of rent and living. And they seem to be embracing the freedom to work from anywhere. In fact, Zumper has reported that rents are up in nearby Sacramento. Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades suggests that a drop in San Francisco rent prices could also be a result of landlords factoring in ongoing unemployment and increased vacancies.

According to Redfin economist Schery Bokhari, these unprecedented rent declines could have a lasting impact on the real estate market of the city.

Airbnb’s Measures Against ‘Party Houses’

Airbnb will ban some younger U.S. guests from booking local homes as part of a continuing effort to crack down on unauthorized parties. The San Francisco-based home sharing company said Thursday that U.S. guests under age 25 with fewer than three positive reviews won’t be allowed to book entire homes close to where they live. Airbnb won't say how it defines “close.” Those guests will still be allowed to book entire homes elsewhere. Airbnb began stepping up efforts to ban “party houses” last November after five people were shot and killed during an unauthorized party at an Airbnb rental in Orinda, California

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