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Recent News

Monday, April 6, 2020

Weeks into the pandemic, county public health officials say testing for COVID-19 still falls short

County public health officials say too few people are being tested for the coronavirus, and that it falls on private labs to roll out large-scale testing capacity to see how far the virus has truly spread.

Monday, 9:54 AM | No comments yet

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Resources for seniors during the coronavirus crisis

From meal deliveries to dedicated grocery shopping hours, below is a list of local resources for seniors in need of assistance while many are sheltering at home.

Sunday, 11:37 AM | No comments yet
An Alternative View: Think about helping others in our coronavirus-affected area

In these dire times, as people are really worried about getting the coronavirus, it seems we all are potential targets, ready to be plucked randomly, without any regard to abilities, lifestyles, race, age or gender.

Sunday, 7:58 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Volunteers help Stanford search for COVID-19 clues in blood samples

Hundreds of volunteers from throughout the county on Friday and Saturday participated in a Stanford survey that could help us understand how many people actually have COVID-19 virus, even if they aren't showing symptoms.

Saturday, 2:50 PM | 14 comments
Coronavirus weekend update: More than 150 new cases reported on Peninsula

A roundup of coronavirus news in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. The latest data show Santa Clara County has 1,207 cases and 39 deaths; San Mateo County has 579 cases and 13 deaths.

Saturday, 10:11 AM | 9 comments
Around Town: Visit the Barron Park donkeys, just don't pet them; local students launch COVID-19 tracker

In the latest Around Town column, news about the Barron Park donkeys noticing the social distance between them and their visitors and two Paly students who've turned data on the coronavirus into a digital project.

Saturday, 9:20 AM | 1 comment

Friday, April 3, 2020

To ease pressure at hospital ERs, cities start testing for COVID-19

Bay Area cities are taking up the mantle to test their first responders, health care workers and even members of the public for COVID-19 using technology from a Menlo Park company.

Friday, 10:49 PM | 5 comments
As Palo Alto halts major construction projects, home builders keep working

Responding to a new Santa Clara County clampdown on construction activities, the city suspended construction of its largest infrastructure project: a parking garage near California Avenue.

Friday, 2:01 PM | 22 comments
Experts consider how long the coronavirus crisis will last — and how we'll get out of it

Health officials have been reluctant to predict the duration of the coronavirus outbreak, but most measures indicate that Santa Clara County will see a sharp increase in cases in April and early May before things begin to level off.

Friday, 6:58 AM | 46 comments
Living in isolation: Older adults reveal the daily challenges of social distancing

Some have lost caregivers in their homes. Others have been forced to cancel travel plans. We're sharing stories from about a dozen older adults about how the COVID-19 shutdown has affected seniors in the community.

Friday, 6:58 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Armed with computers and iPads, Stanford doctors see patients while protecting themselves against COVID-19

Stanford Health Care has ramped up its use of telemedicine and online tools to examine patients -- not just outside of the hospital but inside as well -- during the COVID-19 crisis.

Thursday, 9:14 PM | 4 comments
PUBLIC AGENDA: Update on city's response to COVID-19 crisis

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of April 6.

Thursday, 7:19 PM | No comments yet
Counties change tune on face protection, but not on N95 or surgical masks

Bay Area public health leaders are now asking residents to cover their faces with a cloth before leaving their homes, heeding advice released by the state on Wednesday.

Thursday, 6:51 PM | 33 comments
A month after Super Tuesday, some votes are still being counted

Remember last month's primary elections? Since then, a pandemic has struck, leading to lagging local vote counts. San Mateo County certified its results Wednesday, while Santa Clara County falls behind.

Thursday, 4:12 PM | No comments yet
In the time of the coronavirus, Zoom and Skype are the new therapist's office

With local youth sheltering at home, counseling sessions and support groups that used to take place face-to-face in school wellness centers, clinics and private offices across Santa Clara and San Mateo counties have gone virtual.

Thursday, 3:59 PM | 5 comments
Would-be arrestees will instead receive citations to prevent jail crowding

Santa Clara County law enforcement will issue citations instead of making arrests for a handful of offenses to promote safety and prevent jail crowding during the spread of the coronavirus, the county court system announced Wednesday.

Thursday, 1:30 PM | No comments yet
Redwood City company shifts operations to make face shields for hospitals

Before the coronavirus pandemic rocked the world, Carbon used its printing technology to crank out midsoles for Adidas. Now, it has a new mission: supplying health care workers with face shields.

Thursday, 9:56 AM | 6 comments
San Mateo County rolls out overflow COVID-19 treatment center at Event Center

In a cavernous room at the San Mateo County Event Center, 250 hospital beds lie waiting for an emergency that county officials hope will never come.

Thursday, 8:29 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

School closures heighten low-income families' fears that their students will be left behind

For local low-income families, the coronavirus is exacerbating the economic, educational and technological inequities that already loom large without the threat of a public health crisis.

Wednesday, 8:37 PM | 6 comments
Santa Clara County schools will not reopen this academic year

All 32 of Santa Clara County's superintendents and the county superintendent of schools signed a letter Wednesday that confirms their campuses will be closed for the rest of the school year.

Wednesday, 6:05 PM | 45 comments

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Top state officials: Schools likely won't reopen this academic year

Top California officials, including the governor and state superintendent, signaled this week that public school students won't return to their campuses before the end of the school year.

Tuesday, 5:56 PM | 15 comments
Evictions put on hold: How city and county rules help out-of-work tenants behind on rent

Santa Clara County and several local cities passed emergency laws temporarily banning evictions last week, all of which are about to be put to the test.

Tuesday, 5:09 PM | 5 comments
Judge sends Atherton mom to prison for college admissions scandal

An Atherton woman who paid over $500,000 to help her children get into college through a national admissions scandal received a seven-month prison sentence on Tuesday, according to prosecutors.

Tuesday, 4:21 PM | 19 comments
Bay Area extends stay-at-home order to May 3, adds new business restrictions

With the number of coronavirus cases rising and hospitals bracing for a surge of patients, health officials extended on Tuesday the regional stay-at-home order until May 3.

Tuesday, 2:20 PM | 71 comments

Monday, March 30, 2020

Moments after armed robbery, witness springs into action by leading police to getaway car

Three people wanted for an armed robbery at a gas station on Sunday night were located by Palo Alto police with the help of a witness, who followed the trio's getaway car to the north side of town.

Monday, 9:13 PM | 6 comments
A pandemic on the rise: Charts reveal how virus has spread at different rates in two counties

Through a series of charts, track how the coronavirus has infected and killed people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, which have a combined total of nearly 1,350 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, April 1.

Monday, 6:05 PM | 41 comments

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Around Town: Restaurants, nonprofits supply food at a critical time; Barron Park comes alive with the sound of music

In the latest Around Town column, news about restaurants and organizations making sure people in need are fed during the coronavirus pandemic, and how music is bringing people together while many are sheltering at home.

Sunday, 8:35 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Coronavirus weekend update: Cases in Santa Clara, San Mateo counties rise by the dozens

Santa Clara County has 646 cases, 72 of which were reported on Saturday and Sunday. The county also reported five more deaths, bringing its total to 25. As of Monday, San Mateo County has 309 cases and six deaths.

Saturday, 9:40 AM | 11 comments
Caltrain to slash weekday service by more than half starting next week

Caltrain announced will reduce its weekday train service by more than half starting this Monday amid sharp ridership losses due to the novel coronavirus.

Saturday, 8:41 AM | No comments yet

Friday, March 27, 2020

Want to donate protective equipment to hospitals? A group of Stanford University medical students can help.

A group of Stanford University medical students quickly mobilized this past week to set up a drive for masks and other personal protective equipment at Stanford Shopping Center continuing this weekend.

Friday, 8:03 PM | 7 comments
Before the coronavirus, Bloom Energy was making fuel cells. Now it's rehabbing hospital equipment that will save lives.

When Gov. Gavin Newsom said state hospitals will face a massive shortage of life-saving ventilators for serious COVID-19 patients, San Jose-based company Bloom Energy knew they had to do act.

Friday, 6:42 PM | 9 comments
Can they do that? Construction hums along in Palo Alto

Even before the coronavirus crisis hit, some have questioned the need for the new garage near California Avenue. Now, it is deemed an "essential project," with work progressing despite the shutdown.

Friday, 5:33 PM | 35 comments
Guest Opinion: Navigating the storm of child care and school closures during the pandemic

COVID-19 is a stark reminder that crises affecting the large breadth of our population are never far away. Our children, parents and educators -- our future -- depend on the entire community to act now.

Friday, 6:57 AM | 2 comments
Guest Opinion: 5 ways to help our community right now

In these times of "social distancing," it can be tempting to turn inwards. We urge our friends and neighbors to look outward instead.

Friday, 6:57 AM | No comments yet
Guest Opinion: Message from the Mayor

As a community, we will persevere through this challenge. Everyone is depending on you to please stay home, to practice good hygiene and to support one another.

Friday, 6:57 AM | No comments yet
Message from our publisher: An appeal for your support of good journalism

Local newspapers all over the country face similar or worse challenges, and scores have had to shut down. We are determined to not let that happen here.

Friday, 6:56 AM | 30 comments
For low-income families, sheltering in place is taking a heavy toll

Though the shelter-in-place order, first implemented by six Bay Area counties and quickly followed by the statewide mandate, applies to all Californians, it has affected families unequally across the class spectrum.

Friday, 6:56 AM | 118 comments
10 things you can still do in Palo Alto (while keeping your social distance)

Despite the loss of routine because of the stay-at-home order, there are still options for things to do in Palo Alto other than binge-watching Netflix and taking the dog for another walk.

Friday, 6:55 AM | 15 comments

Thursday, March 26, 2020

PUBLIC AGENDA: Update on school district's COVID-19 response

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of March 30.

Thursday, 7:02 PM | No comments yet
In just two days, Santa Clara County's $11M financial assistance fund has run out

An $11 million financial assistance program announced on Monday to help low-income residents who have lost work as a result of the new coronavirus has already run out of money.

Thursday, 6:44 PM | No comments yet
As much of Palo Alto shutters, new fire station quietly opens

There were snipped ribbons, no congratulatory speeches and no rounds of applause at Rinconada Park last week, when Palo Alto's new fire station went live.

Thursday, 4:30 PM | 11 comments
Armed with breathing machines, respiratory therapists face coronavirus on the front line

Respiratory therapists throughout the Bay Area, who some call "unsung heroes," work with patients most in distress from COVID-19 -- the ones who have severe pneumonia.

Thursday, 4:01 PM | 3 comments
With schools closed until May, child care providers face new demands and dilemmas

With schools across the region shuttered until May, parents are facing an unprecedented child care crisis.

Thursday, 1:37 PM | No comments yet
County jails to begin releasing inmates to reduce spread of coronavirus

Santa Clara County will release inmates and place them in involuntary home detention in an effort to reduce the jail population and lower the risk of spreading the new coronavirus.

Thursday, 12:22 PM | No comments yet
To limit visitors, Palo Alto will close parking lots at nature preserves

Seeking to prevent crowds at popular recreation areas, Palo Alto announced Wednesday that it will close parking lots near Foothills Park, the Arastradero Preserve and the Baylands starting Friday.

Thursday, 9:42 AM | 57 comments

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

New COVID-19 Relief Fund launches with $100K donation to vulnerable families

On Wednesday, the Palo Alto Community Fund announced its new COVID-19 Relief Fund to help vulnerable families of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, 7:44 PM | No comments yet
Hospitals brace for equipment shortages as coronavirus cases surge

As Santa Clara County braces for a large wave of coronavirus patients, hospitals are also preparing for a shortage of masks, gowns, respirators and other critical protective equipment.

Wednesday, 5:14 PM | 10 comments
Emergency funds for local residents out of work: Where to go and how to apply

Millions of dollars in emergency funds are now available for residents who have lost wages due to the new coronavirus.

Wednesday, 3:41 PM | 2 comments
Palo Alto schools to remain closed through May 1

Hundreds of public schools in six Bay Area counties, including Santa Clara County, will remain closed through May 1, county health officers and superintendents of schools have decided.

Wednesday, 11:55 AM | 68 comments
County aims to take bite out of mosquito breeding on Thursday

Palo Alto Baylands trails will be closed for several hours on Thursday for aerial treatment of mosquitoes, the Santa Clara County Vector Control District said in a press release issued Tuesday.

Wednesday, 9:39 AM | 4 comments

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Coronavirus-testing tents pop up on Stanford campus and in Menlo Park

Stanford Health Care is gearing up for larger-scale testing of patients with COVID-19 symptoms, erecting tents on the Stanford University campus for use starting in the next few days, a spokeswoman said.

Tuesday, 11:00 PM | 8 comments
Santa Clara County passes ban on evictions to protect renters hard hit by coronavirus

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to halt evictions that would displace families and businesses as a direct result of economic hardship due to the new coronavirus.

Tuesday, 4:35 PM | 2 comments
Will Palo Alto's open space preserves stay open? City hints at restrictions at scenic spots

With more people flocking to the Baylands and Foothills Park for fresh air and exercise, Palo Alto officials are preparing new restrictions to limit crowds during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, 3:07 PM | 53 comments
Hotels nearly empty as the new coronavirus 'recession' hits Palo Alto

Like other Bay Area cities, Palo Alto has seen its hotel industry screech to a halt, a development that is particularly ominous for a city that has tethered the funding of its infrastructure plan to hotel-tax revenues.

Tuesday, 9:30 AM | 20 comments
Council abandons plan for business tax as local economy plunges

It took years for Palo Alto to prepare a business tax that city leaders were planning to place on the November ballot. And just one surreal week to shut the effort down.

Tuesday, 9:08 AM | 5 comments

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DEADLINE EXTENDED

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details