Dr. Grant Colfax

Health Director: S.F. Must Be Vigilant, Flexible as City Reopens

As San Francisco improves its ability to mitigate the spread and treat the effects of the novel coronavirus, the city is also grappling with the fallout of its economic shutdown. Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the city’s Department of Public Health, said at a virtual press conference on Tuesday that the city has rapidly expanded its testing and contact tracing capacity and improved its supplies of personal protective equipment. While the number of new cases has not reduced to the city’s goal, the number of hospitalizations has dropped and hospital capacity meets the city’s target. Colfax acknowledged, however, that the economic shutdown resulting from the city’s shelter-in-place order has detrimental public health effects as well as economic ones. He also said he expected to see case numbers increase as the city reopens.

Shayla Jamerson, founder of events company SoOakland, launched a fundraiser for black-owned businesses in Oakland that has brought in more than $300,000. It's just one of several such community efforts; collectively, local groups have raised more than $1 million. Courtesy SoOakland

Community Efforts Raise Nearly $1 Million for Black-Owned Oakland Businesses

As damage from looting and property destruction added to the financial pain of black-owned businesses already hurting from the coronavirus shutdown, Oakland nonprofits, business leaders and community members swung into action, collectively raising almost $1 million to help those businesses recover. Two of the biggest fundraisers were launched by black women – one a business owner and one a community member acting on her own initiative – who together raised almost $400,000.

Amoeba Music in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against San Francisco over a sanctioned homeless encampment. Sarah Nichols / CC BY-SA 2.0

Businesses to Drop Lawsuit Against S.F. Over City-Sanctioned Homeless Camp

After backlash from neighbors, activists and others, several Haight-Ashbury businesses plan to drop a federal lawsuit against San Francisco for its placement of an approved homeless encampment at Haight and Stanyan streets. The plaintiffs plan to withdraw the suit Monday or Tuesday, Joe Goldmark, the partner-manager of record vendor Amoeba Music’s Haight-Ashbury location, said by phone Monday morning. In addition to Amoeba, plaintiffs include Escape From New York Pizza and the Concerned Citizens of the Haight, a newly formed neighborhood association. A statement from the Concerned Citizens noted that members of the group “still have health and safety concerns, and believe that there are more appropriate sites than directly adjacent to a residential/commercial neighborhood and opposite a preschool. We hope that the City will honor their commitment to use this site for 3-6 months only.”

“We’re moving on, and I don’t have any further comments at this time,” Goldmark said.

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Rental Relief Programs See Requests Surge From Newly Jobless

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Nonprofits that serve people who need emergency help with their rent are seeing requests surge from a new class of clients — those who were previously financially secure but have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. But red tape is complicating their efforts to help the newly jobless, the groups say.

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Independent Filmmakers, Coronavirus and the Lost Spring of 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the independent film industry, with production on hold, festivals canceled or postponed, and distribution and revenue opportunities damaged. Industry organizations have rallied to support those feeling financial pain, but recovery may not be quick.