San Francisco, CA

Wednesday in San Francisco: First U.S. case of omicron COVID variant in SF, Mayor Breed caught maskless again and more

Sri Ravipati

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By Sri Ravipati

Hello San Francisco! Welcome back to another daily roundup of local stories for Dec. 1.

U.S. confirms the first case of omicron COVID variant in San Francisco

The White House announced Wednesday that a vaccinated individual in California became the first in the U.S. to have the heavily mutated COVID-19 variant called omicron, CNBC reports.

White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said the individual, who was fully vaccinated, returned from traveling in South Africa to the San Francisco area on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29. The variant was discovered through genomic sequencing at UCSF.

“The individual is self quarantining and all close contacts have been contacted and all close contacts, thus far, have tested negative,” Fauci said. “We feel good that this patient not only had mild symptoms, but actually the symptoms appear to be improving.”

"There’s no reason to panic — but we should remain vigilant," California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted Wednesday. "That means get vaccinated. Get boosted. Wear a mask indoors."

S.F. Mayor Breed denies wrongdoing after being seen maskless in another nightclub video

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Mayor London Breed was seen maskless and partying at an indoor nightclub in San Francisco in another short video that is widely distributed on social media, The Chronicle reports.

Breed was criticized a couple of months ago after a similar clip surfaced in September. The new video reignited fervor over whether the mayor is following city health guidelines that she is asking residents and businesses to obey. In San Francisco, masks are required inside businesses, including nightclubs, unless they are actively eating or drinking.

“I was in a private area with my drinks with the people I was with, enjoying myself at a venue and I had a great time and I followed the appropriate protocols. And yes, I was dancing and yes, I was drinking and having fun. And at the end of the day, I am doing everything I can to follow the existing protocols. And I think sadly, sometimes these videos are [taken] out of perspective,” Breed told reporters Tuesday.

Lottery admission system at Lowell to stay for upcoming year due to time

San Francisco education officials are proposing a one-year extension of the new lottery system at Lowell High School in the interest of time, The Chronicle reports.

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said there is no time to go back to the previous merit-based admission process before the next school year starts.

“We recognize that in light of the recent court decision, families are anxious to know what the admissions process will be for applying to Lowell for the 2022-2023 school year,” Matthews said in a statement Tuesday. “It would be logistically impossible to establish and implement any selective admission criteria prior to the application of Feb. 4 so I am recommending we maintain our current admissions practice at Lowell for the upcoming year.”

Thanks for reading today's S.F. news roundup! Did any of these stories hit home for you? Let me know in the comments.

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