Coronavirus | KALW


Check out our COVID-19 Community Resource Guide for information on everything from emergency childcare, access to essential services, volunteer opportunities, and more. 

We want to report on what matters most to you. If you have a question about the coronavirus, ask it below.


Photo by Sandip Roy

Sandip Roy wonders if the new normal is really normal.

"Coronavirus Rhapsody" by Raúl Iravién on YouTube here:

Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr

Alameda county plans to pay coronavirus victims to stay home and quarantine. But, who qualifies for this assistance?

YouTube broadcast

California appears to be flying somewhat blind as it battles rising rates of COVID-19.

Flickr, woodleywonderworks,

A charter school won its lawsuit against the Hayward Unified School District over classroom space amid the pandemic.

by flickr user Si B accessed via Creative Commons / Resized


Rent was due this weekend, and San Francisco’s emergency legislation could be what’s keeping many in their homes. A judge in the San Francisco superior courts is defending that legislation. / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

On Monday, the California Department of Public Health released details for how elementary schools could re-open for in-person instruction.


On Sunday, a group of Pac-12 football players threatened to opt-out of the season unless their concerns about competing during the COVID-19 pandemic along with other racial and economic issues in college sports are addressed.

Pax Ahimsa Gethen / Creative Commons


Mayor London Breed of San Francisco put forth a budget proposal, Friday. Breed’s budget pencils out at 13.7 billion dollars — that’s 1.4 billion more than the previous year. The mayor plans to spend that money on pandemic-related costs, mental health care, and homelessness. 

Mike Kai Chen

According to federal data, African Americans and Latinos are three times as likely as white Americans to become infected with COVID-19 and twice as likely to die from the virus. Similar disparities persist in California. We'll talk about what accounts for the numbers and how to improve the health of local communities of color amid the pandemic, and after.

Folk Music & Beyond: Cabin Fever!

Jul 31, 2020

John McCutcheon, folk singer extraordinaire, is our special guest this Saturday (8/1) 3 pm on KALW’s Folk Music & Beyond.  John will talk about his latest recording “Cabin Fever”, his brand new collection of songs he wrote while in self-quarantine earlier this year.  One of the most moving songs is “The Night John Prine Died”, about his good friend and fellow singer-songwriter John Prine who passed away a few months ago from Covid19.

shibuya246 / Creative Commons

LA Times

On this edition of Your Call, we'll get an update on COVID outbreaks among garment workers in Los Angeles. Many workers are making PPE, but say they still lack basic protections.

David Monniaux / Wikimedia Commons


California lawmakers returned to work today after an extended summer recess. Officials were originally scheduled to resume the session on July 13 but postponed their return due to the pandemic.

On this edition of Your Call’s Media Roundtable, we'll get an update on the COVID pandemic in Italy and the $860B recovery fund to help the 27-member EU bloc tackle their economic crisis.

Flickr user The National Guard (CC BY 2.0)

By now, over four months into the shelter-in-place ordinance, you’ve probably swapped testing stories — or been on a Zoom call featuring questions such as: How did you get an appointment? Did it hurt? How long to get the test results?

Anthony Hall / Unsplash

With a recent surge in Coronavirus cases, UC Berkeley has decided to begin the fall semester fully remote.

YLR: The Virus, The Beach, Justice

Jul 22, 2020

Two coronavirus stories to tell.  First, the story of one man, and how one person could and did make a difference. Seeing crowded beaches throughout the beach, how Brent Turner rallied local officials to close the beaches before the Fourth of July holiday weekend.  Then, a second story, of working in the trenches of the justice system, and how courts throughout the state, and the nation, have been paralyzed as individuals within test positive, and how the public has been excluded to the protection of all.

Daniel Arauz / Flickr Creative Commons

California has surpassed New York for the most coronavirus cases in the country, reporting more than 409,000 infections after setting a record on Tuesday for the state's most confirmed new cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

redlegsfan21 con flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution

On Monday, the Bay Area had its first major sporting event since the pandemic began. Yesterday the A’s played the Giants in their first spring training game at the Oakland Coliseum.


  On this edition of Your Call, we’ll discuss the new FRONTLINE documentary, COVID’s Hidden Toll, with filmmaker Andrés Cediel and producer Daffodil Altan.


On July 17, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the majority of schools in California will have to revert to distance learning as coronavirus case numbers rise. How have schools prepared over the summer for more online learning? What can families expect and will the state's most vulnerable children fall further behind? 

YLR: Your Evolving Right to Bail

Jul 15, 2020

Our system of Bail has evolved from where someone would await your trial in your stead to make sure you showed up,  to where you posted money to make sure you showed up, to where you posted money to make sure you showed up and everyone else stayed safe.  Come the pandemic, the jails could not remain so crowded or infected persons would spread the virus -- first among themselves, then spread to the rest of the community.  How does this affect bail?  Pretrial release?  Public Safety?   

Photo courtesy Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet/modified from original

How can we possibly dream of a better future in the middle of a pandemic? 

COVID's Mental Health Crisis: What Resources Are Available?

Jul 15, 2020

  On this edition of Your Call, we discuss the pandemic’s mental health toll. More than 30% of adults in the US reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll.


  On this edition of Your Call, we’ll get an update on the COVID crisis in the US. About half of the country is facing huge spikes, deaths are on the rise in almost every region, and hospitals are overwhelmed in several states.

Jimmy Hsu

In our ongoing series, The Essentials, we meet people who are working out in the real world while many of us are sheltered at home. In this installment, we hear how the pandemic has changed the daily routine for Jimmy Hsu, who owns a laundromat in Richmond.

City Visions: The Case For Reparations In California

Jul 13, 2020
Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Has the time come for reparations for slavery?  Host Ethan Elkind and guests explore the history of the reparations movement in the United States and discuss what can be done to bridge the racial wealth divide.

thejaan / Flickr

San Francisco Public health officials released guidelines this week on how to safely reopen San Francisco’s schools, considering both the public health effects of the virus as well as students’ learning and well-being.

Death Row Inmate Dies Of Apparent Virus Complications

Jul 8, 2020
Robin Capper / Creative Commons/Flickr

Another California death row inmate at San Quentin State Prison has died from apparent complications of the coronavirus in the midst of an outbreak that has infected about 40% of inmates at the prison, corrections officials said Wednesday.

The COVID-19 outbreak in prisons across California is taking an incredible toll — not only on the people inside, but on the families and friends of incarcerated people. And because of the pandemic, our producers on the inside can’t access their recording equipment. So today, you’ll hear from the friends and family outside of prison, reading letters to their loved ones stuck on the inside.