Troopers Seek Public’s Assistance With Solving Fatal Pedestrian Collision- Wilmington – Delaware State Police

Date Posted: Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Wilmington- The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit requests the public’s assistance in solving a fatal pedestrian collision.

On September 8, 2021, at approximately 4:14 a.m., troopers received a report of a pedestrian located in the right thru northbound lane of DE SR 100 (South DuPont Road), within the area of the intersection with Taft Avenue. The investigation determined an unknown vehicle was traveling northbound on DE SR 100 in the right thru travel lane when it struck the pedestrian. The vehicle continued traveling northbound towards the intersection of DE SR 100 and Faulkland Road to an unknown destination.

The victim identified as Jason Gooden, 34, of Wilmington was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

Troopers request anyone who witnessed this collision, resides in the area who may have doorbell or surveillance footage, or any suspect vehicle information to contact Master Corporal John Breen by calling 302-365-8486 or emailing Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of a crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll-free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1-800-842-8461). You may also email the unit Director at

You can follow the Delaware State Police by clicking on:

Delaware State Police Official Web Site




Please tell us how we’re doing via our Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

Presented by Public Information Officer, Senior Corporal Jason Hatchell

Released: 101421 0916


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How You Can Find Rental Assistance in California

Perhaps it’s a sign that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us, or that it’s stretched on far longer than we ever expected, but two key pandemic-related safety net programs are soon coming to a close.

Starting Friday, the first day of October, Californians will no longer be guaranteed up to two extra weeks of paid sick leave for Covid-19 illnesses, and, for the first time in more than a year, landlords will be able to kick tenants out for not paying their rent.

Many low-income workers are angered by the termination of these programs, especially just weeks after 2.2 million Californians lost enhanced unemployment benefits. But it doesn’t seem likely the safeguards will be extended.

For renters, however, other kinds of financial aid are available — and they may be far more helpful than any assistance thus far.

First, it’s important to note that though the state’s eviction moratorium is expiring on Sept. 30, some places in California have local laws that will continue to prevent landlords from evicting tenants.

Those include Fresno County, Alameda County, Solano County as well as the cities of Berkeley and Oakland. Your town might have a similar protection.

But no matter where you live, people who meet income requirements can take advantage of a state program that offers to pay 100 percent of back rent accrued during the pandemic as well as unpaid water and electricity bills.

If that sounds as if it would cost a huge amount of money, that’s because it does. The $7.2 billion California has made available amounts to the most expansive rent forgiveness program in United States history.

There’s no deadline to apply, and the state will continue to dole out funds until they run out. Californians can get up to 18 months in back rent covered.

“Apply as soon as possible, but no one should fear that the rent relief program is going away any time soon,” Gustavo Velasquez, director of the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development, told The Los Angeles Times.

To qualify for the rental assistance, you must have been somehow financially harmed by the pandemic — though no proof is required — and your income must be below 80 percent of the annual median income in your region.

For Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose — the state’s three biggest cities — a family of four would qualify if they made below $94,600, $97,000 and $117,750, respectively.

You can browse those income limits here and apply for rental assistance here.

The state’s program, made possible in part by our unexpected budget surplus, could theoretically cover unpaid rent for every Californian.

According to an analysis from PolicyLink and U.S.C. Equity Research Institute, 14 percent of California households owe back rent, which amounts to a total of $2.5 billion in rent debt.

That’s less than half of the funds the state has available.

For more:

Veterinarians and farmers are struggling with surging demand for a deworming medicine that some Americans falsely believe treats Covid-19.

  • Satellites: The Pentagon’s spacecraft have repeatedly proven themselves to be superior at spotting blazes. So why don’t more firefighters have them?

  • Instagram for children: Facebook said on Monday that it had paused development of an Instagram Kids service that would be tailored for children 13 years old or younger.

  • Ballots by mail: Under a new bill signed on Monday, a ballot will be mailed to every registered California voter in future elections. Voters will still have the option to send in their ballot or vote in person, according to The Associated Press.

  • Ohio travel ban: Ohio’s new state law that allows doctors to decline services based on moral or religious grounds has caused a 2016 California law to take effect. Under this law, state-funded travel to Ohio will be prohibited, The Sacramento Bee reports.

  • Rapid tests: Californians seeking same-day Covid-19 tests for sick children or infection scares are finding empty shelves and long delays, CalMatters reports.

  • Garment industry rules: Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday approved a law requiring the garment industry to pay workers by the hour instead of for each piece of clothing they produce, reports The Associated Press.

  • Hospital staffing shortages: As a statewide vaccination mandate for hospital employees takes effect this week, there is a looming fear that people will choose to quit rather than be vaccinated, according to The Associated Press.


  • Spike in homicides: There were 351 murders last year in Los Angeles, versus 258 in 2019 — a reflection of a nationwide jump in murders in 2020.

  • Recall election in Riverside: Recently posted results from the governor recall election showed that a majority of Riverside County voted to recall Newsom, according to The Press-Enterprise.

  • Vaccine mandate vote: The San Diego Unified School District will vote today on whether to require Covid-19 vaccination for students over 12, NBC San Diego reports.


  • Students in Afghanistan: Almost 50 students from the Sacramento area are trapped in Afghanistan, a number that has risen as school districts continue to identify students and their whereabouts, The Sacramento Bee reports.

  • Wildfires: Firefighters are still working to contain the Windy fire, the K.N.P. complex fire and the Fawn fire, which are encroaching on ancient sequoia forests, according to The Associated Press.


The Michelin inspectors have added eight restaurants to their selections in San Diego and Orange Counties.

See $4 million homes in San Juan Capistrano, San Francisco and Mill Valley.

Today’s travel tip comes from Howard Hian, who recommends Chico:

“Downtown Chico is a delight for roaming; historic buildings, boutiques, bars, bookstores, restaurants, outdoor cafes, art galleries and antique shops line the streets. The National Yo-Yo Museum has the largest public display of yo-yos and memorabilia in the U.S.

Bidwell Park, established in 1905, is its crown jewel. It is one of the largest municipal parks in the U.S. (3,670 acres) with approximately 60 miles of dirt and paved biking/hiking trails. Sycamore Pool, at the One-Mile Recreation Area, is a local hangout. Middle and Upper Park are perfect spots for exploring. The scenic Sacramento River is a short 10-mile drive from Chico and a mecca for tubing and fishing.”

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.

The Times’s gripping new Britney Spears documentary.

A couple fell in love after finding common ground in the South, South India and San Francisco.

Read about their recent wedding in The Times.

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American Airlines elites now receiving personal pre-flight assistance texts from Admirals Club

American Airlines elites now receiving personal pre-flight assistance texts from Admirals Club – The Points Guy

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Travel Industry Asking Congress to Provide More Assistance to Travel Agencies

A group of 25 travel companies sent a letter to federal legislators representing Florida in Washington D.C. asking for immediate relief for the travel agency industry.

The suggestions from travel agency, consortia, host agency, franchise organization and cruise line executives are in line with relief plans laid out by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).


Trending Now

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

Part of the letter focuses on the U.S. government issuing grant and loan support for travel agencies, as well as possible actions to mitigate the impact of Canada closing its ports on the Alaska cruise season.

The ASTA data showed that average travel agency business income was down 82 percent in 2020 as compared to 2019. Even with economic relief from the government, the average travel agency has laid off close to 60 percent of its staff.

The executives are asking the government to take responsibility for the impact expanded travel restrictions have on agencies and their employees. The group believes “financial support for the travel industry has been uneven so far, especially with regard to less visible sectors of the industry like travel agencies.”

The letter reminds representatives that 98 percent of U.S. travel agencies are small businesses under the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) size standards, with around 66 percent owned and operated by women. Continued losses could force more agencies to shut down forever.

Here are the priorities officials are asking government representatives to consider in any upcoming COVID-19 relief and recovery legislation:

—Create a $9.3 billion travel agency grant program akin to those created by the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021 (P.L. 116-159) for performing arts venues, movie theaters and museums ($15 billion) and motorcoach, ferry and private school bus operators ($2 billion). This amount represents projected second through fourth quarter 2021 revenue loss based on a wide-ranging survey of over 1,500 ASTA members conducted on January 28 and 29, 2021, and is almost certainly conservative.

—Expand eligibility in the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program (referenced above) to include attractions, meeting and event organizers and travel agencies who promote, plan and book travel to those attractions and events. Such an expansion would be similar in spirit to the original shuttered venue program, which includes not just venue operators but also promoters, producers and talent representatives.

—Include NAICS Code 5615 (Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services) in the Continuing Appropriations Act’s provision allowing certain businesses to receive a PPP loan of 3.5 times their average monthly payroll versus 2.5 times for other applicants.

—Support any and all efforts to mitigate the impact of the Canadian government’s decision to suspend cruise operations in Canadian waters through February 2022 and to otherwise ensure the cruise industry in Alaska can resume operations as soon as possible.

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World Travel Holdings Offering Up to $1 Million in Commercial Loans to its Network of Travel Agency Franchise Owners as Part of a Financial Assistance Program

“We’re There To Help” Stimulus Plan provides resources and funding for franchise owners with Dream Vacations/CruiseOne®

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, home-based travel agency franchise Dream Vacations/CruiseOne® has been an industry leader with its support of its franchise owners. With the financial backing of its parent company World Travel Holdings, the nation’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company, the franchisor has raised the bar even higher by offering up to $1 Million in commercial loans to its franchise owners as part of its “We’re There to Help” Stimulus Plan.

“For our franchise owners, travel is more than a passion, it is their livelihood and the pandemic has had serious implications on their businesses,” said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations/CruiseOne. “As a franchisor, we take pride in providing our franchise owners the resources they need to succeed. However, in times like these, it is crucial to go beyond providing a ‘business-in-a-box.’ The success of our franchisees is our only business and this Stimulus Plan supports the foundation of our business model — to support small business owners.”

The “We’re There to Help” Stimulus Plan, which represents World Travel Holdings’ initials, has a three-pronged approach to providing franchisees with additional resources and financial assistance to navigate through 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • World Travel Holdings-Funded Commercial Loan – World Travel Holdings will make up to $1 Million available in commercial loans to qualified Dream Vacations/CruiseOne franchisees. Applicants will have to explain how they plan to use their funds and submit a business plan to be considered.

  • PPP Assistance with Bank – Through a partnership with World Travel Holdings’ banking institution, they negotiated an agreement where Dream Vacations/CruiseOne franchisees can receive assistance from the bank in securing a PPP loan.

  • Cares Page – Dream Vacations/CruiseOne created a special section on its Business Center intranet that consolidates financial assistance information from World Travel Holdings, government, franchising, trade and business organizations in one easy-to-find location.

“We are seeing the biggest pent-up demand for travel in history and extremely strong bookings for the end of 2021 and into 2022, and after more than a year of minimal travel and sales, we want to help ensure our franchisees can sustain their business for when this travel boom arrives,” said Brad Tolkin, co-CEO/chairman of World Travel Holdings. “In spite of World Travel Holdings not qualifying for PPP funds due to our size, it was very important to us to find a way to provide additional assistance for the small business owners within our franchise system. We know the future of leisure travel is bright and we want to do our part and assist our travel agency franchise owners to be ready to meet this demand.”

The “We’re There to Help” Stimulus Plan is just one of many initiatives that Dream Vacations/CruiseOne has implemented to provide assistance to its franchisees during COVID-19. They have provided enhanced support to its existing franchisees by offering the option to defer monthly fees for up to six months; hosting Town Halls and webinars with industry executives; presenting robust virtual training and conferences; creating increased and unique engagement opportunities such as a Walking Club and more. Dream Vacations/CruiseOne has steadily been recruiting the entire year and new travel agency franchises are opening each month. The franchisor has adapted its onboarding process for new franchisees to better meet the unique challenges they are facing while opening during a pandemic. The saying “We Care More” has always been a mantra for Dream Vacations/CruiseOne, and it has never been as meaningful as it has these last 14 months.

To learn more about joining the travel agency franchise that cares more about its franchise owners, please visit or call 888-249-8235.

About World Travel Holdings
World Travel Holdings is the nation’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company with a portfolio of more than 40 diverse brands. In addition to owning some of the largest brands distributing cruises, villas, resort vacations, car rentals, resort day passes and luxury travel services, World Travel Holdings has a vast portfolio of private-label partnerships comprised of top leisure travel providers, including almost every U.S. airline, leading hotel brands and prominent corporations. The company also operates a top-rated travel agency franchise and the country’s original host agency, and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in work-at-home employment. Its global presence includes operating multiple cruise brands in the United Kingdom. World Travel Holdings has offices in Wilmington, Mass.; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; New York, NY; and Chorley, England. For more information, visit

About CruiseOne® / Dream Vacations
A member of the International Franchise Association, the top-ranked home-based travel agency franchise CruiseOne® has been in operation since 1992, and its sister brand Dream Vacations launched in April 2016, giving franchisees a choice in how they want to brand their travel business. CruiseOne / Dream Vacations franchisees have the resources to plan and create seamless vacation experiences for their customers while offering the best value. CruiseOne / Dream Vacations is part of World Travel Holdings and has received franchise partner of the year, a top-ranking status, by all the major cruise lines as well as national recognition for its support of military veterans. For more information, visit Like CruiseOne / Dream Vacations on Facebook at, follow on Twitter at @Dream_Franchise and watch its videos at

Media Contact

Rachel Shapiro, Dream Vacations/CruiseOne, 954-958-3664,

SOURCE Dream Vacations/CruiseOne

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*Update* Delaware State Police Seeking Public’s Assistance Identifying Armed Bank Robbery Suspect- Rehoboth Beach – Delaware State Police

Date Posted: Thursday, February 4th, 2021

Rehoboth Beach- Delaware State Police are continuing to investigate the armed bank robbery that occurred on January 19, 2021, at the PNC Bank located at 19745 Sea Air Ave, Rehoboth Beach, and is seeking the public’s assistance with identifying the pictured suspect.

On January 19, 2021, at approximately 3:17 p.m., Delaware State Police responded to the PNC Bank for a report of an armed robbery. The investigation determined the male suspect entered the bank, displayed an unknown type of gun, and ordered everyone inside the bank into a back room. He then obtained an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the bank on foot in an unknown direction of travel. No one was injured during the incident.

The suspect was described as a male, approximately 5′ 10″- 6′ tall, and a large build (200-280 lbs). He was wearing a dark-green colored hooded sweatshirt, dark pants with a light-colored or white article of clothing around the legs, and white Nike sneakers.  He was wearing a yellow and black scarf around his head and face, light-colored mask, sunglasses, and blue medical gloves. 

Anyone with information regarding this investigation should contact Det. K. Wideman with Delaware State Police Troop 4 Criminal Investigative Unit by calling 302-752-3832. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at .

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1-800-842-8461). You may also email the unit Director at

You can follow the Delaware State Police by clicking on:

Delaware State Police Official Web Site




Please tell us how we’re doing via our Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

Presented by Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Heather Pepper

Released: 020421 1312



Delaware State Police Investigating Bank Robbery- Rehoboth Beach


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ASTA Provides Unprecedented Assistance to Members During Pandemic

The American Society of Travel Advisors continues to be committed to helping members navigate the treacherous waters of this pandemic. After wrapping up 2020 with a final relief bill, ASTA updated members recently on what this newest COVID-19 package looks like and how travel advisors can benefit.

In a recent call with representatives of the media, Eben Peck, ASTA’s executive vice president, advocacy, reflected on the last 12 months and discussed what the association will be advocating for in the coming year and how they will continue to assist travel advisors.


“Government affairs has always been a really important part of ASTA’s mission but 2020 was a year when it went from something that was really important to have and to do to almost life and death when it came to our members’ businesses. We’ve engaged in advocacy activities on a scale like we have never ever done before. We probably packed about five or 10 years of activity into about one,” Peck said.

Since the pandemic hit, ASTA has engaged in more than 150 congressional meetings, calls and zooms, 14 separate federal and state grassroots campaigns with 25,457 participants and sending 105,017 advocacy messages.

ASTA has not only advocated on behalf of travel advisors to propose helpful legislation, but the association has provided resources and interpretation of the CARES Act and Congress’ latest relief bill that passed in late December, including how to navigate second-draw PPP loans and how to receive loan forgiveness.

One of the key roles that ASTA is now playing for its members is providing this type of assistance.

“We have shifted to the mode of helping our members maximize their benefits,” said Peck. “They can send us emails and we will respond to every inquiry.”

In light of the newest round of benefits passed in Congress, ASTA is updating its materials available on its member website and providing up-to-date information on the latest ways in which travel advisors can apply for financial assistance.

What’s next in 2021?

ASTA believes there will be another relief bill once the newly inaugurated Biden administration takes control. One of the items the association will push for is the RESTART Act, which would provide new forgivable loans that are larger than those available in the PPP. ASTA will also push for specific funding for travel industry recovery. ASTA also supports a tax credit for travel as well as a way to shield travel agencies from liability.

“We don’t want our members to have any legal exposure for sending folks on the road,” said Peck.

Beyond financial relief for travel agencies and advocacy efforts, ASTA is monitoring other issues, including the CDC’s sail order and the harmonization of international travel restrictions.

“We want to help suggest ideas and ways we can get moving again,” said Peck.

ASTA is also supportive of a mask mandate on airplanes, which it believes the incoming Biden administration supports.

“Seems like a no-brainer,” said Peck. “It’s something we need to do to keep this under control.”

One of ASTA’s biggest achievements was winning the fight over the Department of Labor’s ‘Blacklist’ Rule. The organization worries that the future Biden administration may overturn this significant achievement, and they will monitor the situation.

For travel advisors, ASTA is eager to receive feedback from travel advisors and agency owners about their experiences with the PPP loan process. The association is asking that, if someone has had their loan forgiven, to let them know. Members can send questions and feedback to or anyone can email the team at

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Coronavirus live updates: Lafayette’s Business Assistance Program starts up again today

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact across the world and also in cities across Northern California. 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 novel coronavirus outbreak in the Bay Area and other hot topics. 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 U.S.:

Jan. 4, 2021

12:15 p.m.
UK prime minister orders new national coronavirus lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new national lockdown for England until at least mid-February to combat a fast-spreading new version of the coronavirus. Get the full story here.

7:10 a.m.
Lafayette’s Business Assistance Program starts up again today
Some East Bay businesses are getting financial help to stay afloat. The city of Lafayette’s Business Assistance Program starts up again today. It ran for five months at the beginning of the pandemic. Nearly 100 businesses and non-profits each received more than $1,500 in federal assistance. The Mayor of Lafayette will host a webinar this week to provide information about the new funding.

Jan. 3, 2021

11:55 p.m.
1 dead, 44 emergency staff at San Jose hospital infected with COVID-19
An employee working in Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center’s emergency department on Christmas Day has died from COVID-19 complications, the hospital told ABC7 News on Sunday night. In respect for the patient’s family and privacy, hospital officials are not releasing more information. Earlier in the day, officials said the COVID-19 count in the department increased to 44 infected staff members.

8:15 p.m.
Ambulances wait hours to offload patients at Bay Area hospitals

The novel coronavirus pandemic is causing massive wait-times at Santa Clara County hospitals. The Santa Clara Public Health department says “on several occasions over the past week,” ambulances have waited up to seven hours to get a patient into the emergency department. The extended wait times are “largely due to the significant volume of patients at hospitals, which have been heavily affected by the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.” Read more here.

1 p.m.
Santa Clara County businesses must close employee break rooms under COVID-19 restrictions

Santa Clara County health officials kicked off 2021 by adding new restrictions on businesses — they must now close their employee breakrooms. According to the changes, made on Dec. 31, businesses in Silicon Valley must “prohibit personnel from using any indoor breakrooms or break areas for eating or drinking — even if they’re alone at the time.” Read more here.

CA reports more than 45,000 new cases of COVID-19

California reported 45,352 cases of COVID-19 cases on Saturday, fewer cases than what the state saw on Friday. Another 181 people died on Saturday, marking a total of 26,538 deaths since the pandemic began. A total of 20,690 people are hospitalized statewide with more than 4,500 in the ICU.

9:30 a.m.
U.S sets pandemic travel record

The U.S. set a record for air travel on Saturday with nearly 1.2 million screened by the TSA, the most since the previous travel record set on Dec. 23.

Jan. 2, 2021

8:40 p.m.
COVID-19 outbreak at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center’s emergency department

43 staff members at Kaiser’s San Jose emergency department have tested positive for COVID-19 between Dec. 27 and Jan. 1, Irene Chavez, senior vice president and area manager of he hospital said in a statement. The hospital is investigating the outbreak and says the spread “may” have been caused by an employee who appeared briefly in the department wearing an “air-powered” costume on Christmas day.

Chavez told ABC7 News, “Any exposure, if it occurred, would have been completely innocent, and quite accidental, as the individual had no COVID symptoms and only sought to lift the spirits of those around them during what is a very stressful time.” Read more here.

4:30 p.m.
SF Main Library’s to-go service suspended due to COVID-19 concerns

San Francisco’s Main Library has stopped its to-go service this weekend due to a possible case of COVID-19 involving a staff member. The service will be suspended until Sunday, Dec. 3. The library’s TIP line service will also be suspended too.

2:50 p.m.
Bay Area ICU capacity drops further

The Bay Area’s available ICU capacity has dropped to 5.1%, as of Saturday afternoon. The San Joaquin Vallejo and Southern California regions have no remaining ICU beds, while Northern California has 32.6%, according to the state.

11 a.m.
California records 2nd highest new case total in single day

California reported another 53,341 new cases of COVID-19 on New Year’s Day, the second highest case total in a single day since the pandemic began last year. According to state data released, another 386 people died on New Year’s Day in California and more than 20,000 remain hospitalized. A total of 4,531 are in ICUs across the state.

Jan. 1, 2021

11:40 a.m.
CA reports record number of COVID-19 deaths in single day

California reported another 47,189 new cases on New Year’s Eve, bringing the state’s total to nearly 2.3 million COVID-19 cases. A record 585 people died of the virus on Thursday, the most number of fatalities in a single day to date. A total of 20,540 remain hospitalized in California, with 4,525 in the ICU.

11:25 a.m.
US hits 20 million mark in COVID-19 cases
The number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases has surpassed 20 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s nearly twice as many as the No. 2 country, India, and nearly one-quarter of the more than 83 million cases globally.

8:30 a.m.
VTA seeks vaccination priority for transit workers
Valley Transportation Authority’s top official is asking Governor Newsom to prioritize public transit workers for COVID-19 vaccinations. General Manager and CEO Nuria Fernandez sent a letter to the governor calling transit workers a lifeline to serving other essential workers, the elderly and those with disabilities. He noted that VTA makes 33,000 trips a day. Fernandez wrote, “we believe it would be a significant mistake for the state to fail to include public transit workers in Phase 1B of the state’s vaccine distribution plan.”

Dec. 31, 2020

11:20 a.m.
California surpasses 25,000 deaths

California reported another 27,327 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, a below average single-day number for the fourth day in a row. The state has recorded a total of 2,245,379 cases of COVID-19 to date. Another 428 people died of the virus on Wednesday, marking more than 25,000 deaths since the pandemic began. A total of 20,625 remain hospitalized across the state, with more than 4,000 in the ICU.

10:15 a.m.
SF extends stay-at-home order indefinitely
San Francisco is extending its stay-at-home order and coronavirus travel quarantine rules indefinitely, the city announced Thursday.

8:30 a.m.
TSA screens more than 1M passengers for 5th straight day
The TSA says it screened more than one million passengers at airport checkpoints for a fifth straight day Wednesday.

5:30 a.m.
US reports more than 3,900 new deaths
The U.S. reported 3,903 deaths on Wednesday, a new record for daily fatalities, according to The COVID Tracking Project. Hospitalizations also reached a record high with 125,220 and there were 225,671 new cases, according to the tracking project.

Dec. 30, 2020

1:20 p.m.
New COVID-19 variant identified in Southern California, Newsom says

A new, more contagious strain of COVID-19 has been discovered in Southern California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this afternoon during a virtual conversation with Dr. Fauci. This comes one day after the first U.S. case was discovered in Colorado. According to British officials, this new variant could be 70% more contagious that the current variant. The patient in Colorado has been identified as a man in his 20s who hadn’t been traveling. The newest variant prompted the CDC last week to require travelers from the U.K. to have a negative COVID-19 test before traveling to the U.S.

1 p.m.
Gov. Newsom hosts conversation with Dr. Fauci

Gov. Gavin Newsom is hosting a virtual conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert. Tune at 1 p.m. to the media player above to watch the conversation live.

5:35 a.m.
Tuesday was deadliest day in US during pandemic
The United States reported 3,725 deaths on Tuesday, breaking the previous single-day total of 3,656 set on Dec. 16, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

5 a.m.
Small businesses can apply for CA COVID-19 relief grants starting today
Small businesses in California can start to apply for grants through the state’s COVID-19 relief fund today. Grant amounts will range from $5,000 to up to $25,000, depending on the applicant’s annual gross revenue. The first round of applications opens at 6 a.m. and will close at midnight next Friday. Approvals will be announced the following week. For more information, visit this page.

Dec. 29, 2020

1:50 p.m.
1st known case of U.K. COVID-19 variant found in Colorado, officials say
Gov. Polis and state health officials announced Colorado’s first case of the of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK. The Colorado State Laboratory confirmed and notified the Center for Disease Control of the case. Officials say the individual is a man in his 20s is currently in isolation and has no travel history. Public health officials are investigating. Read more here.

12:45 p.m.
Stay-at-home orders extended indefinitely in 2 CA regions

The regional stay-at-home order has been extended indefinitely for two of California’s regions, Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced Tuesday. When remaining intensive care capacity drops below 15%, a region is put under modified lockdown. The stay-at-home order remains in place for at least three weeks. Read more here.

12:30 p.m.
Dr. Grant Colfax gives warning for celebrating New Year’s Eve

San Francisco’s Health Officer Dr. Grant Colfax held a briefing on COVID-19 in the city. Reviewing data from the past three weeks, Colfax says the city is at its worse surge and hospitalizations have hit a record high as we end 2020. The Bay Area is hovering around 9% ICU capacity rate and San Francisco has the second lowest daily case rate in the region.

Colfax said “As we head into new years eve, the power is in our hands to turn this surge around.” He reminded residents who travel outside the city must follow the 10-day quarantine.

“I can’t emphasize enough how catastrophic it will be if people celebrate in ways we normally for New Year’s Eve,” Colfax added. “We are at a brink we need to continue to move forward and slow the spread of the virus. If we see a surge like we did on thanksgiving, we will have, as you can see from the numbers, thousands in the hospitals, hundreds of more deaths.” Watch the full briefing here.

10 a.m.
Stimulus update: McConnell blocks House bill for $2K checks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Democrats’ push to immediately bring President Donald Trump’s demand for bigger $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks up for a vote, saying the chamber would “begin a process” to address the issue. Get the full story here.

8 a.m.
VP-elect Harris gets COVID-19 shot
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday in Washington DC.

4:30 a.m.

Pop-up testing site opens in Palo Alto today
A pop-up COVID-19 testing site opens today in Palo Alto at Mitchell Park Library. Testing is free and you don’t need insurance. You must make an appointment on the City of Palo Alto’s website.

Dec. 28, 2020

1 p.m.
Gov. Newsom expects to extend regional stay-at-home orders amid COVID-19 surge

Gov. Gavin Newsom expects California to extend regional stay-at-home orders in two large swaths of the state, he said in a press conference. The stay-at-home order in the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California would have been eligible to expire as early as Monday, but with ICU capacity at 0% in both regions, the restrictions are set to be extended. Newsom said Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly would likely make the announcement on Tuesday. Read more from the governor here.

11 a.m.
Santa Clara Co. gives COVID-19 update
Santa Clara County officials provided a COVID-19 status update and urged strict adherence to all state and county directives related to gatherings and social distancing ahead of New Year’s Eve holiday.

10 a.m.
Bay Area reaches more than COVID-19 257,000 cases
The Bay Area has reached 257,945 COVID-19 cases and total deaths now stand at 2,517.

5:25 a.m.
TSA screens 1.2M at US airports Sunday
The TSA screened 1,284,599 people at airport checkpoints nationwide yesterday, Sunday, Dec. 27. It is the highest checkpoint throughput since the pandemic hit. It is also the 6th day in the last 10 that volume has surpassed 1 million.

5:10 a.m.
CVS to administer vaccine at CA long-term care facilities

Starting today, CVS will administer COVID-19 vaccines to people at California’s long-term care facilities. Nearly 700,000 residents and staff at 15,000 facilities across the state are expected to be vaccinated. Vaccinators will visit each location at least three times for boosters and check-ups within 12 weeks. After this phase, CVS says it will move to vaccinating the next tier, which includes essential workers, Americans 75 and up, and people with chronic illnesses.

Dec. 27, 2020

8:30 p.m.
Pop-up COVID-19 testing site in Palo Alto to offer free tests on Tuesdays

Free pop-up COVID-19 testing will be available each Tuesday starting this week, Palo Alto officials announced. Testing will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot at the Mitchell Park Library, 3700 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto.

The free self-administered testing, available for both insured and uninsured individuals, is offered by local firm Curative, which also is serving similar programs in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. Documentation status is neither required or reported.

Visit the city’s website here for more information and the link to sign up for an appointment.
Additional testing will be offered at the location every other Wednesday starting Jan. 13.

Testing is also available by-apppointment twice a month at the Mitchell Park Community Center in partnership with the County of Santa Clara. See more pop-up testing locations in Santa Clara County here.

7 p.m.
Health officials fear next COVID-19 surge as Bay Area travelers return from holiday trips

Despite the pandemic and pleas from public health experts, millions of holiday travelers are returning from family get-togethers across the country and here in the Bay Area. Michael Garrick from San Leandro just arrived back in the Bay Area wearing a mask and face shield, after a trip to LA to spend Christmas with family.

“It was different, we didn’t see friends outside our bubble, still had a really good time,” said Garrick. Read the full story here.

5 p.m.
December deadliest month in US since COVID-19 pandemic began; January projections ‘nightmarish,’ expert says

December has been the nation’s deadliest month since the COVID-19 pandemic’s start — with more than 63,000 Americans lost to the virus in the past 26 days. In comparison, the entire month of November saw about 36,964 deaths, CNN reported.

The grim death toll comes on the heels of several brutal months for the US, with COVID-19 ravaging communities from coast to coast, crippling hospital systems and prompting new widespread restrictions. The authorization of two COVID-19 vaccines earlier in December offered some hope of a light at the end of the tunnel. But experts continue to warn that while the end is in sight, the pandemic is not over and another surge stemming from the Christmas holiday could be on its way.

“We very well might see a post-seasonal — in the sense of Christmas, New Years — surge,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning, pointing to holiday travel and private gatherings taking place despite the advice of health experts.

Read more here.

12:30 p.m.
CA reports more than 50,000 new cases in 1 day

California reported another 50,141 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, according to the latest data. The state now has more than 2.1 million cases. A total of 24,220 Californians have died of the virus, with another 237 deaths on Saturday.

California’s seven-day virus positivity rate stands at 11.4% and 19,237 remain hospitalized with COVID-19. The Bay Area’s ICU capacity is at 11.1%. The San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions have no ICU beds available, as of Saturday.

10:15 a.m.
Air travel spikes on day after Christmas

The U.S. saw a big spike in air travel on Saturday compared to Christmas Day, but there were still nearly half as many travelers compared to the same day 2019. According to the TSA, 1,128,773 people traveled by air in the U.S. on Saturday, while on Dec. 26, 2019, more than 2.4 million traveled.

Dec. 26, 2020

11:45 a.m.
More than 30,000 new cases reported in CA, CDPH say

The California Department of Public Health says there were 30,375 newly recorded confirmed cases Friday. The state has 2,072,665 confirmed cases to date. the agency added.
The 7-day positivity rate is 11.3%. The 14-day positivity rate is 12.1%.
As we reported yesterday, state officials say the Bay Area stay-at-home order will likely to be extended.

The earliest dates that regions may be eligible to exit are:

San Joaquin: December 28
Southern California: December 28
Greater Sacramento: January 1
Bay Area: January 8

Current available ICU capacity by region:
Bay Area: 11.3%
Greater Sacramento: 16.9%
Northern California: 33.9%
San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%
Southern California: 0.0%

See latest case numbers and ICU capacity rates in the Bay Area here.

9:45 a.m.
TSA screens more than 600,000 travelers on Christmas Day

The TSA screened a total of 616,469 people at airport checkpoints in the U.S. on Christmas Day, a significant drop from the number of travelers seen in the year prior.

“Christmas day isn’t typically a very busy day for air travel, however the day or two afterward are usually busier as people head home after the holiday. If you choose to travel, please mask-up,” Lisa Farbstein, TSA spokesperson, said on Twitter today.

The travel seen on Christmas Day this year compares to more than 2.5 million travelers on the holiday in 2019.

Dec. 25, 2020

5 p.m.
Bay Area stay-at-home order likely to be extended, state officials say

Stay-at-home orders currently in effect in the Bay Area and three other California regions likely will remain in place past the minimum three-week duration, state officials affirmed Friday.
The state’s stay-at-home order is triggered when a region’s average intensive care unit capacity falls below 15%. The Bay Area, greater Sacramento, the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California are under the order at present, the California Department of Public Health said.

10:15 a.m.
U.S. to require negative COVID-19 test for UK travelers

The United States will require airline passengers from Britain to get a negative COVID-19 test before their flight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced late Thursday. The U.S. is the latest country to announce new travel restrictions because of a new variant of the coronavirus that is spreading in Britain and elsewhere.

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