Coronavirus Bay Area live updates: Pfizer requests FDA authorization to expand booster eligibility

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — A surge in coronavirus cases has been reported in the Bay Area and across California as well as the country due in part to the emergence of the highly-contagious delta variant.

The latest number of confirmed cases in the U.S. can be found at the CDC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the U.S. page. (The CDC updates the webpage on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.)

Join anchor Kristen Sze for ABC7’s daily, interactive newscast about the coronavirus outbreak in the Bay Area and around the world. You can check here to stream the show Monday-Friday at 3 p.m.

Here are the latest developments on the respiratory illness in the Bay Area:

Dec. 1, 2021

6:05 a.m.
Pfizer requests FDA authorization to expand booster eligibility
Pfizer has officially requested Food and Drug Administration authorization of its COVID-19 booster for 16- and 17-year-olds, the company’s CEO said.

Nov. 30, 2021

7:20 a.m.
Global case count of omicron variant tops 200
More than 200 confirmed cases of the omicron variant, first identified in Southern Africa, have been reported in over a dozen countries around the world, according to an open-source tracker run by Newsnodes and BNO News.

Nov. 29, 2021

5:30 a.m.
US imposes travel ban from South Africa, 7 other countries
Starting today, the U.S. will impose a new travel ban from South Africa and seven other countries. Israel has also banned foreign travelers from entering the country for two weeks. But the International Air Transport Association has warned against travel bans. It says these restrictions are “not a long-term solution” when it comes to managing variants. Health officials say anyone who has traveled through southern Africa in the last 14 days should get a COVID test and quarantine until they get a negative test result.

Nov. 26, 2021

11 a.m.
US to restrict travel from South Africa, 7 other countries Monday

The Biden administration announced the U.S. will be restricting travel from South Africa and seven other countries starting Monday in response to the new Omicron variant. These other countries include Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.

10 a.m.
WHO names new variant ‘omicron,’ classifies it as highly transmissible virus of concern
A World Health Organization panel named the variant “omicron” and classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern, the same category that includes the delta variant, the world’s most prevalent. The panel said early evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection. Get more details here.

7:15 a.m.
1st European case of new variant from South Africa confirmed

Belgium’s health department has confirmed its first case of the new B.1.1.529 variant. The patient, a woman, had traveled to Belgium from Egypt via Istanbul. She developed symptoms 11 days after her return and was not vaccinated. Her family members have tested negative for COVID and the woman is not in a life-threatening condition, officials said.

Nov. 25, 2021

8 a.m.
Bay Area testing sites see increase ahead of Thanksgiving

COVID testing sites around the Bay Area have been pretty busy leading up to Thanksgiving. Test site organizers at the Santa Clara County fairgrounds say the line has picked up after a plateau in recent weeks. Everyone ABC7 News spoke with, including a number of college students, say they just want to do the right thing before seeing family.

6 a.m.
Judge orders vaccine mandate for CA prison employees

A federal judge has ordered California prison employees to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Jan. 12, potentially reducing the number of COVID-19 cases among young and adult inmates. Inside the state’s four youth correctional institutions, a total of 255 youth and 278 staff members have contracted the virus since the onset of the pandemic, even as the number of incarcerated youth dwindles at the state level.

Plus, a federal report found that half of the outbreaks in California’s state prisons between May and July were traced back to employees. The order comes after months of uncertainty as the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and Gov. Gavin Newsom requested a postponement of a vaccination mandate for prison staff.

Nov. 23, 2021

7:20 a.m.
Pediatric COVID cases rise for 3rd week
The U.S. has reported an increase in pediatric COVID-19 cases for the third week in a row. Nearly 142,000 children tested positive in the last week, which is a 16% increase from the week prior and a 41% jump over the last three weeks, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. Nearly 6.8 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Nov. 22, 2021

11 a.m.
Newsom gives update on boosters while visiting Bay Area vaccine clinic
Gov. Gavin Newsom is in the Bay Area on Monday, where he discussed the importance of boosters during an event held at a vaccine clinic.

7:20 a.m.
Indoor mask mandate in effect in Santa Cruz Co.
An indoor mask mandate is now in effect in Santa Cruz County and it covers private settings like a home. If you are getting together with others who don’t live in the same household the county says you should mask up regardless of vaccination status. Businesses are also required to follow the guidelines. You can take off your mask when eating or drinking.

Nov. 19, 2021

6:20 a.m.
Apple sets Feb. 1 deadline for employees to return to office
Apple has a new deadline of February 1 for employees to return to the office. Many will have to come in at least three days a week, but some workers will have to be in the office four to five days a week. The company will offer some teams up to four weeks of remote work each year. Vaccinations aren’t mandatory, but unvaccinated workers will have to test every day.

Nov. 18, 2021

8 a.m.

Oakland Unified hosting a vaccine clinic today
The Oakland Unified School District is hosting a vaccine clinic today. It will include a visit by the State Epidemiologist. The clinic runs from noon to 6 p.m. at Markham Elementary School. If you can’t make it to that one — you have options. The district says it’s planning 21 vaccination pop-ups this week at elementary schools. It’s also offering COVID testing and take-home tests during the week-long break.

Nov. 17, 2021

7:30 a.m.
Alameda Co. releases vaccination data
Alameda County says it’s continuing to ensure vaccinations are accessible to all. It announced that 81% of Latino residents and 74% of Black residents 12 years and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Latino and Black residents have lower vaccination rates than other races and ethnicities in the county, and are among the most disproportionately impacted.

Nov. 16, 2021

5:30 a.m.
Pfizer agrees to let other companies make its COVID-19 pill
Pfizer has signed a deal with a U.N.-backed group to allow other manufacturers to make its experimental COVID-19 pill. The deal will provide equitable access to more than half the world’s population living in 95 countries. The oral treatment is shown to reduce the risk of COVID-related hospitalizations and death by 89%. This agreement is similar to an agreement made by Merck last month.

Nov. 15, 2021

7 p.m.
Dozens of inmates under quarantine after outbreak at Santa Cruz County Jail
A dozen inmates at the Santa Cruz County Main Jail tested positive for COVID-19 last week in what authorities say is the most significant outbreak at the lockup since the start of the pandemic. The cases came to light on Nov. 12 during routine testing using rapid tests, according to a release on Monday from Sheriff Jim Hart. The prisoners who tested positive are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, and have been quarantined. Another 35-40 inmates who were exposed have been quarantined as well, the sheriff said.

7:10 a.m.
Israel to begin vaccinating younger children
Israel’s Ministry of Health announced that children ages 5 to 11 would be eligible for vaccination against COVID-19. The decision follows an advisory panel’s approval last week of the low-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds.

Nov. 12, 2021

7:30 a.m.
Sonoma Co. to hold vaccine clinics for kids
The Department of Health Services will host three COVID-19 vaccination clinics for children this afternoon in Sonoma County. A clinic at Healdsburg Fitch Mountain Elementary School starts at 3. Roseland Elementary in Santa Rosa will hold its clinic at 3:30. And Dunbar Elementary in Glen Ellen will open its doors starting at 4.

Nov. 11, 2021

7:30 a.m.
Somoma Co. expands health order to include flu vaccinations
Sonoma County is expanding its county health order to include flu vaccinations. Workers at certain health care and congregate facilities will need to get their COVID and flu shots. County officials say flu shots are especially important this year to prevent hospitals from being overrun by both influenza and COVID-19 patients — or the so-called “twindemic.”

Nov. 10, 2021

7 a.m.

Cases, hospitalizations climbing in Calif.
California is reversing course in the battle against COVID-19 with cases climbing once again. The state is up to 6,000 new cases per day and hospitalizations have jumped 4% in just two weeks. That’s put the state back in the red category for high transmission. And experts say the next few months are critical because of the holidays for whether we’ll see another winter surge.

Nov. 9, 2021

7 a.m.
Grand Princess cruise ship returns to SF
The cruise ship that captured international attention during the earliest days of the pandemic returned to San Francisco. The Grand Princess was back in the city yesterday, for the first time since the cruise industry restarted sailings. One of the earliest major COVID outbreaks happened aboard this ship in March 2020. The ship was held off our coast for days as authorities scrambled to come up with a quarantine plan for the thousands of passengers on board.

Nov. 8, 2021

7:15 a.m.
Viva Calle returns to San Jose
Viva Calle has returned to San Jose as part of a citywide program to get people outside to enjoy parks and outdoor spaces following COVID-19 closures. Several miles of San Jose streets were closed to cars yesterday.

VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

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