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.



Counties Pushing Back


As restaurants and stores were cleared to open for customers in more than half of California's counties, today, one county tried to push even further, allowing businesses to open without the state's permission.

Heather Martino / KPCC

Superintendents of six California school districts sent a letter to state legislators on Monday after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he would cut school budgets by $7 billion.

Bay Area Headlines: Wednesday, 5/20/20, AM

May 20, 2020

Restaurants Survey Results / Employment Payments Coming … Sometime


On this edition of Your Call, we're speaking with Dr. Dena Grayson about the status of COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and a national strategy.

Mark Leialoha

 (Unfortunately due to copyright restrictions, we are unable to post audio for this week's episode.)

This week on Open Air, KALW’s live radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, we welcome back to the virtual stage of the Corona Radio Theater: Theater Company Word for Word with their reading of The Islanders, a story of unexpected friendship, danger, and reconciliation - and a road trip in Ireland, by Andrew Sean Greer, the San Francisco Pulitzer Prize winning writer.

COVID-19 Status Update / The Future For Restaurants

Jitze Couperus / Flickr Creative Commons


Bay Area counties reported a total of 263 confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations over the weekend. That’s a more than forty percent decrease in the number of cases since last month, when the region was at its peak.

John Gillespie / Creative Commons

A big question looming over counties’ re-opening is how small businesses are going to operate.

A new survey from a San Francisco restaurant trade group finds that they can’t survive by doing takeout and deliveries alone.

California Weeks Away From Phase 3 / California Casinos Reopen Without Social Distancing

Vikki McCloskey is a biologist at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. The museum has been closed for months, but there are tens of thousands of animals, bugs, and fish that live there. And they still need to eat. In this installment of "The Essentials," McCloskey takes us into a swamp as she feeds four snapping turtles and an albino alligator named Claude.

Gilead Sciences / Associated Press

On this edition of Your Call, we're speaking with award-winning investigative journalist Gerald Posner about his new book, Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America.

A group of pastors from around California gathered in East Oakland, an area hard hit by the coronavirus, calling for Gov. Newsom to allow churches to convene in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Bay Area Enters Phase Two / Tesla Reopening Questioned

Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 5/18/20, AM

May 18, 2020

A Different Kind Of 'Sanctuary' City / California’s 'Education Crisis' / Help Wanted For Hospitals / Hotel Rooms For Unhoused People

Steve Zeltzer

Protestors rallied outside of Tesla’s Fremont factory on Saturday. This comes after the electric car manufacturer reached a deal last week with Alameda county to keep its factory in Fremont in operation.

The past week has been full of contentious posturing between Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk and public officials. At one point, Musk threatened to move the Fremont factory to either Las Vegas or Texas. He also opened the plant last week in defiance of Alameda County’s shelter in place law and then dared the government to arrest him.

California Homeless Quarantine In Hotels, More Rooms Needed

May 17, 2020
Dan Brekke / Flickr / Creative Commons

Anxiety mounted every time someone at the homeless shelter sneezed or residents got too close. For Matthew Padilla, a 34-year-old with a pacemaker and asthma, catching the novel coronavirus would likely mean death.

So he jumped at the chance to move into a hotel room for free as part of a new California program.



While we are sheltered in place, Manny's in San Francisco is presenting a series of virtual conversations with leaders and thinkers who are trying to make sense of this moment and how we will recover. 

Father of Nehrams2020 / Creative Commons

More parks and hiking trails welcomed visitors again Saturday and one city declared itself a “sanctuary” from California's stay-at-home order as the state's diverse regions carve their own path toward reopening.

Bay Area Headlines: Friday, 5/15/20, AM

May 15, 2020


Budget Revise Overview / Impact On Wildfire Prevention / Stern Grove Festival Cancelled / Scofflaw Business Crackdown / Solar Industry Struggling

$54 Billion Shortfall Projected In New California Budget Proposal / SF Regulators Recommend New Policies To Protect Gig Workers / Concerns Over Secrecy Due To Suspended Access To Public Records / Contra Costa Courts Begin Reopening On May 26

Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flicker Creative Commons

The Contra Costa Superior Court announced that they will reopen all locations to the public on May 26. Other Bay Area courts, such as San Francisco and Santa Clara, will follow on June 1.  

This means that prospective jurors scheduled after those dates will be expected to appear in person. Officials also warn that you should expect to wait in line when you arrive.

Torbakhopper / Flickr Creative Commons


San Francisco officials are recommending more protections for gig workers, after seeing new data about the devastating impacts of COVID-19.


Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 5/14/20, AM

May 14, 2020

Budget Revise Today / Tourism Hit Hard / Wildfire Numbers Up / Unofficial CA Unemployment Help

What Should A 21st Century Post-Pandemic New Deal Look Like?

May 14, 2020
Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection / World Telegram staff photographer

On this edition of Your Call, we’re speaking with Gray Brechin and Richard Walker, board members of the Living New Deal, a project that makes the legacy of the New Deal visible and educates Americans about what is possible when government is dedicated to the public good.

Economic Life Recovering after Coronavirus

May 13, 2020

This fourth, and final, show in our series on how the coronavirus has affected our lives, our institutions, and planning.  Tonight, we look to economic life recovering after the coronavirus pandemic, addressing such questions as whether commercial frustration will allow tenants to terminate the lease without recourse -- because it cannot operate due to a stay at home order – and when will insurance cover your coronavirus losses?

Courtesy of St. Anthony's

The city is opening its first so-called “safe-sleeping-site" nearly eight weeks after Mayor London Breed announced San Francisco’s shelter-in-place ordinance. It’s between the Asian Art Museum and the main library, right in front of City Hall.

Counties Entering Phase Two / Paid Sick Leave in Oakland / Tesla Dispute Resolved / Tech Companies Encouraging Working From Home

Lance Yamamoto

Last night Oakland City Council unanimously passed a measure that gives workers up to 80 hours of paid sick leave during the pandemic.

The Shifting Work Culture of Big Bay Area Tech

May 13, 2020
Claudio Shwarz / Unsplash


Bay Area tech companies are making major changes to work culture in the wake of COVID-19. Since the shelter-in-place order began in March, most tech workers have shifted to working from home.

Bay Area Headlines: Wednesday, 5/13/20, AM

May 13, 2020

California State Cancels In-Person Classes / University of California Proposes Suspension Of Standardized Test Requirement / Community Colleges Sue Education Secretary Betsy DeVos / New Guidelines For Reopening Restaurants / State Faces Scrutiny Over Contracts For Protective Equipment