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

shibuya246 / Creative Commons


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?

NUHW / Public Domain

 

Hundreds of healthcare workers are striking today at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. The planned five-day strike is being led by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents about 740 staff at the hospital.

Anna Kuperberg

Dr. Louise Aronson is a bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize finalist for the book "Elderhood." Through her own stories of being a geriatrician she shares why the healthcare system needs to improve in treating older adults and why we should embrace aging.

Chasing Donguri CC-by-NC-SA 2.0

COVID has cancelled many people’s vacation plans, so more Bay Areans might be turning to camping. But can we go? Is it safe? And how can we do it responsibly?

Courtesy of Roots Community Health Center

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this interview contained errors that have been corrected, below:

* When Dr. Noha Aboelata said the virus is "almost controlled within the white population" we didn't mention she was referring to HIV/AIDS, not COVID-19. We apologize for any confusion our error may have caused.

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The weather is warmer and many people are out protesting. But the coronavirus is still here and East Oakland remains a hot spot for COVID-19. Dr. Noha Aboelata of Roots Community Health Center is concerned that people are relaxing too fast.

Courtesy of Geoff Livingston

While many organizers have told protesters to socially distance and wear masks, public health experts fear the Bay Area’s demonstrations could still fuel a rise in COVID-19 infections. That could be particularly devastating to the same black and brown communities most impacted by police brutality.

Julia Llinas Goodman / KALW

Since shelter in place began, health officials around the Bay Area have struggled to deal with packed parks and beaches. And then there are the crowds at Lake Merritt.

Jenee Darden / KALW

Gov. Newsom announced in-store shopping can resume. County health officials in parts of the Bay Area haven’t approved this yet. We visit Oakland’s Fruitvale District to hear non-essential small business owners’ concerns and how they’re surviving.

Photo courtesy of Kelsey Crowe/modified from original

I think we can all agree, it’s been a rough spring with COVID-19 taking over our lives.

Courtesy of Virgie Tovar

For many teens, body image is a big issue. It’s not a new one, but every generation faces new challenges. At one time, it was getting messages about body image from TV, movies or magazines. For today’s teenage girls, social media and the internet dominate the message of what it means to be pretty, and what size is ‘cute’.

Sarah Lai Stirland

 

The standoff between local lawmakers and San Francisco’s mayor around housing the homeless continued Tuesday as a group of city supervisors held a press conference to denounce the mayor’s efforts.

 

Joseph Mega

The novel coronavirus will not slow down the opioid epidemic that’s gripped the United States for decades. As the Bay Area shelters-in-place, a mobile health team in Contra Costa County continues to bring prescriptions for addiction medication directly to people who are homeless and even more isolated from services. 

Steven Senne / AP Photo

Recently, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the six criteria that must be met before we can all return to life as we knew it before shelter-in-place. That includes things like closely monitoring communities for the coronavirus, tracking down cases and isolating people who have it, and building capacity in local hospitals to handle sudden surges.

The Stoop

COVID-19 has hit black communities hard — in many places, harder than the general population. Here in California, as of April 17, black residents were dying at twice the rate of white residents. In New York City, black people are dying more than any other racial group. 

Ben Margot / AP Photo

The California Department of Public Health published a statewide report this weekend breaking down the number of Covid-19 cases at skilled nursing facilities. 

Courtesy of Meridy Volz

The coronavirus is on all of our minds, and for some, it brings back memories of another public health crisis, when the federal government was slow to respond and communities had to take care of each other: the AIDS epidemic.

Instagram / cropped

Bay Area shelters and dog rescues are currently closed to the public. So, what’s happening with all the unhoused dogs? Turns out, shelters are getting creative. 

David Seibold / Flickr Creative Commons

 

San Francisco plans to spend about $35 million to house first responders and homeless individuals in hotel rooms during the coronavirus crisis.

 

This week we’re publishing a series of interviews to learn more about the effect coronavirus has had on people globally. Each day, we'll check in with a reporter who works abroad, but is or has been affiliated with KALW.

Flickr user Euan / Creative Commons, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Bay Area has been applauded for its response to the coronavirus. Early shelter-in-place guidelines were put into place and experts say the curve is beginning to flatten. But there are big hurdles ahead.

Courtesy of Sejal Doshi

When Governor Gavin Newsom issued his shelter-in-place order in mid-March, he said the elderly need to stay at home alone. Research has shown that loneliness can be as deadly as many other diseases. We checked in to see what seniors are doing to stay connected while staying safe.

Miriam Locke

Walter Parenteau and his housemates run an all-volunteer soup kitchen in San Francisco’s Mission District. Their goal is to provide hospitality for anyone who walks through the door, but how are they dealing with the changes that the coronavirus brings? 

Flickr Creative Commons, used under CC-BY-2.0

Every day, KALW reports the number of new coronavirus cases in the Bay Area. But, we also know there aren’t enough tests available to confirm every case. Some people who experience symptoms are told by their doctors to just stay home and quarantine.

Damion Hunter

The gooming industry is one of many that have been hit hard by coronavirus closures — nail shops, hair salons, and barbershops. The government doesn’t consider them essential services.

Courtesy of Chesa Boudin

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin has often described walking through steel gates to visit his parents in prison as a kid. Now a correctional officer who works at the prison in New York State where his father is in custody has tested positive for COVID-19.

Most of us are working from home, including the staff of KALW. In fact, this show was put together using apps like Slack, Zoom and a variety of recording and file sharing services. It’s been an adjustment, but many of us are realizing how much we can communicate and do without meeting in person.

Marissa Ortega Welch

John Pearson works in the emergency room at Highland Hospital in Oakland. He says healthcare workers there were already experiencing critical shortages before COVID-19 existed.

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

This story was updated with additional reporting on March 18, 2020 at 8:21pm.

The Bay Area’s historic shelter-in-place order is intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. But it could have a profound impact on low-wage workers, who live month-to-month. Low-wage immigrant workers are particularly vulnerable, and some of the programs available to them are struggling to stay up and running.

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