COVID-19 News Digest: November 2020

As you all know COVID numbers are surging across the country and the Bay Area is no exception. Here are the latest trends, which show every county seeing an increase in cases.

Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund Monthly Status Update | The latest report from San Francisco’s Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund dated 11/4. Most notably, in the month of October this fund has raised $2.6M, ($2M from Crankstart Foundation and $600K from smaller donations), for a total of $31.3M raised since the fund was established at the beginning of the pandemic.

The archive of all reports can be found here.

Biden unveils COVID-19 task force | President-elect Joe Biden has put together a COVID-19 taskforce of experts which includes 3 UCSF doctors.

“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” the president-elect said in a statement.

Half of Black adults say they won’t take a coronavirus vaccine | A really interesting and nuanced analysis of results from a recent survey on race and health by The Undefeated and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“Besides misleading statements from the president, regulatory agencies have shifted their guidelines about coronavirus transmission, flip-flopped on testing and been forced to clarify that their positions are rooted in science, not politics. Lawmakers have publicly sparred with top health officials over limits to public gatherings, whether to reopen schools and other efforts to mitigate the spread of the disease. Those shifting messages have contributed to the disproportionate impact on Black people, who are more likely to be essential workers at greater risk of exposure to the coronavirus.”

Nonprofit Jobs Rebound Slightly in October, But Remain Down by Over 900,000 Compared to Pre-COVID Levels |A summary of nonprofit job losses since the pandemic began showing that the fields of arts, education and social assistance have experienced big losses and continue to have a very slow recovery.

With the onset of the recent spike in daily COVID-19 infections and deaths and the resulting re-institutions of restrictions aimed at curbing these new trends, it seems quite possible that even the recent slow recovery in nonprofit jobs evident in recent months will not be sustained in November and possibly beyond. While hope may be on the horizon in the form of promising treatments, vaccines, and the potential for more proactive government intervention, it will therefore be crucial to continue to monitor the impact of the current COVID surge on the nonprofit workforce, which remains a crucial lifeline to the delivery of services vital to the health and safety, as well as the economic recovery, of the nation.”

Moderna says preliminary trial data shows its coronavirus vaccine is more than 94% effective, shares soar |Great news on the vaccine front this month with both Moderna and Pfizer sharing promising results.

From Hirsch Director Pedro Arista: “…Moderna released its initial results and they are very strong. Here’s some highlights from this trial: 1) Nearly 95% effective in preventing COVID and like Pfizer, Moderna is also using mRNA technology and will require 2 doses 2) No significant safety concerns were raised at this state of analysis and the vaccine product was generally safe and well tolerated 3) If proven successful, Moderna would like to test the product next on teens and children 4) Unlike Pfizer’s product, Moderna’s vaccine candidate could be stored in a standard refrigerator making it easier to deploy 5) Moderna did a fantastic job in recruiting trial participants from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds and genders (37% self identified as BIPOC!). Philanthropy could have an important role in working with public sector and nonprofit partners in educating our communities about vaccines!