sf.citi wants to provide the community with ongoing updates regarding San Francisco resources and opportunities available to you from the tech community and beyond. This is a very difficult time for all of us, and we are committed to supporting the San Francisco community during these challenging times.
Want to receive SF Tech COVID-19 updates directly in your inbox? Subscribe below.
Call to Action: Urgent Request from the City of San Francisco
The City and County of San Francisco welcomes your support for the Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. To make a tax-deductible monetary gift or for general information, please visit Give2SF.org or email Give2SF@sfgov.org. In order to help spread the word, we encourage you to share information about the fund on your social media channels. To make it easy, we’ve drafted a suggested social post for you below:
Help the City of SF combat the COVID-19 pandemic by donating to the Give2SF Fund. Your tax-deductible donation goes towards outbreak response efforts, including providing shelter, food and other assistance to individuals, families, small businesses, and nonprofits in SF.
The City is also accepting specific in-kind donations to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can find a complete list of these in-kind needs by visiting Give2SF.org. If you are interested in making an in-kind donation, please fill out the form found at Give2SF.org or send an email to Give2SF.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 257,549 confirmed cases in California
- 6,341 confirmed deaths in California
- 29,197 confirmed cases in the Bay Area
*As of 9:00am PT on 7/6
UPDATES FROM THE TECH COMMUNITY
sf.citi highlighted innovative tech tools, many of which were developed here in Silicon Valley, to track the spread of COVID-19 and find COVID-19 testing sites. Read more about Testing For Covid, How We Feel, the Coronavirus Map, California COVID-19 Hospital Data, and Private Kit: Safe Paths here.
sf.citi joined 125 pro-startup local, state, regional, and national groups in calling upon the Trump Administration to ensure startups can access emergency relief under the newly enacted CARES Act. We encourage you to share this letter with your Small Business Administration (SBA) office, as well as your Congressional delegation, members of the media, and on social media.
Many sf.citi members have taken leadership on developing their own policies and strategies to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on their employees, customers, and the general public. We’ve listed some of these tech-driven efforts below.
- Airbnb is offering free global cancellations and refunds to those traveling in areas affected by COVID-19. The extenuating circumstances policy will apply for travel from March 14–April 14. Airbnb also announced it would provide free and subsidized housing for 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers, and first responders working to combat COVID-19.
- Alaska Airlines is working to utilize passenger cabin space for additional cargo storage on five Boeing 737-900 aircrafts. Turning passenger aircrafts into freighters will allow each flight to carry up to 30,000 pounds of critical cargo, including medical supplies and perishable food needed as part of the nationwide COVID-19 response. The passenger-to-freighter operation will also help backfill cargo capacity in areas where flights have been significantly reduced. Alaska Airlines also has taken nearly 100 steps to keep customers safe and healthy while traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Amazon is actively monitoring and removing tens of thousands of accounts engaging in price gouging practices related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The company has also established an Amazon Relief Fund for Amazon partners and delivery drivers experiencing financial hardship.
- AT&T extended its commitment not to terminate service or charge late fees through June 30th for customers unable to pay their bills due to COVID-19. Customers can submit a waiver to notify AT&T of their inability to pay here. The company is also automatically increasing mobile hotspot data by 15GB a month for each line on an unlimited plan and keeping public Wi-Fi hotspots open through June 30th. At the end of March, AT&T created a $10 Million Fund to support distance learning platforms, such as Khan Academy, and facilitate at-home learning for parents, students and teachers. In April, AT&T announced it would provide three months of free wireless service to COVID-19 frontline health care workers through its FirstNet network. Nurses and doctors already on a FirstNet plan will automatically receive the three-month service credit on a smartphone or tablet line of service. Starting April 13, new, eligible subscribers can activate a FirstNet Mobile – Responder plan.
- Comcast is providing free Xfinity hotspots, unlimited data, and no disconnects or late fees for all customers experiencing hardship over the next 60 days. Comcast is also offering a free Internet Essentials internet plan for all new customers for 60 days. Comcast Business, meanwhile, launched a free webinar series to help businesses, of all sizes and across all industries, navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include connectivity, remote learning, and cyber security.
- Cruise Co-Founders Kyle Vogt and Daniel Kan, as well as Cruise employees, are committing up to $300,000 toward COVID-19 efforts, including to San Francisco’s recovery and response fund, Give2SF. Cruise also partnered with the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and SF New Deal to help deliver food to San Francisco communities affected by COVID-19. The self-driving car company is using a portion of its all-electric, autonomous fleet to carry out the contactless deliveries.
- Dropbox invites nonprofits and NGOs focused on fighting COVID-19 to apply for a free, three-month subscription to Dropbox Business. Dropbox is also providing free Dropbox and HelloSign subscriptions for a three-month period to assist K-12 teachers with distance learning.
- Facebook created a free Business Resource Hub with resources for businesses struggling to navigate the COVID-19 outbreak. As part of these efforts, Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. Facebook is also providing over $2 million in grants to the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) and NetHope to expand internet access to communities affected by COVID-19 with limited connectivity.
- Funding Circle was approved by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide COVID-19 emergency loans to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Funding Circle is granting loans as low as $10,000, operating in 49 states, offering multi-language support, and does not require applicants to have an existing relationship to Funding Circle.
- Goodcover is providing free renters insurance for COVID-19 medical responders through 2020.
- Google is offering free access to its advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities for all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally. Google has also taken steps to ensure continued service while reducing the need for people to come into its offices, as well as compensating workers affected by the reduced schedules. Furthermore, Google launched a Teach from Home resource hub to help educators continue teaching their students amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And on April 1, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Google was partnering with Governor Gavin Newsom to provide 4,000 Chromebooks to California students in greatest need, as well as free wifi to 100,000 rural households during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Google.org is adding another $50 million to its COVID-19 response donations, now totaling a staggering $100 million. The funds will be used to provide cash grants to those in need (including Bay Area families enrolled in food assistance) through GiveDirectly, partner with the Opportunity Finance Network to help women- and minority-led businesses, and support distance learning efforts. The nonprofit arm of Google is also committing 50,000 hours from Google employees to assist with coronavirus-related initiatives.
- Intuit Quickbooks is helping administer COVID-19 emergency loans to small businesses through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
- LinkedIn is helping hospitals, nonprofits working on COVID-19 relief, and essential services source the talent they need by allowing them to post jobs for free on LinkedIn for the next three months. The company also expanded its Recruiting for Good platform to deploy LinkedIn’s own recruiters to screen talent for organizations on the front lines of COVID-19. And to help job seekers affected by COVID-19, Linkedin is offering 16 LinkedIn Learning courses for free.
- Lyft is working to create new opportunities for its fleet of drivers while serving the broader community by expanding delivery and transportation partnerships with healthcare, government, and businesses. Through its LyftUp program, Lyft is also donating rides to people with essential transportation needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, including families and children, low-income seniors, and doctors and nurses. Keep up with Lyft’s latest COVID-19 initiatives here. In April, Lyft launched Essential Deliveries, a new pilot initiative that allows governments, nonprofits, and businesses to request on-demand delivery of food, medical supplies and other basics.
- Microsoft announced it will continue to pay its hourly vendor workers even after the company’s office closure. Furthermore, Microsoft is offering its communication and collaboration platform, Microsoft Teams, to educational institutions for free through Office 365 A1. The product provides a free customized hub for class teamwork that includes video meetings. Companies can also take advantage of a free six-month Office 365 E1 Trial, including Microsoft Teams, for file sharing and communication tools.
- Okta’s social impact arm, Okta for Good, has committed $500,000 in unrestricted, rapid-response grants and matching funds to Bay Area organizations serving the most vulnerable populations.
- Optimizely is providing its software for free to nonprofits who haven’t used it before to optimize online engagement and fundraising. In San Francisco, Optimizely employees are raising money for local nonprofits and food banks, donating laptops to low-income families whose children are learning from home, and conducting virtual read-alouds for students at its Circle the School partner, E.R. Taylor Elementary.
- Personas has compiled a useful list of SaaS discounts for startups struggling to navigate COVID-19. The list includes discounts from companies like Microsoft, Box, Adobe, and hundreds of others.
- Postmates introduced a Small Business Relief Pilot allowing new businesses in the San Francisco and Sacramento areas to sign up for the platform and enjoy a temporary waive on commission fees. Postmates is also offering no contact delivery for customers, as well as a relief fund to cover medical expenses for its fleet of delivery workers. In April, Postamtes announced a new childcare and family care relief policy to support Postmates workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Starting Friday, April 21, qualifying Postmates workers can apply to earn a stipend, even if they need to remain at home to take care of a loved one.
- Salesforce donated $1.5 million to the Give2SF Fund to help address emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Salesforce will also give out 500 COVID-19 grants—each amounting to $10,000—to small businesses across the United States. Applications for the Salesforce Care Small Business Grants will open in mid-April. To further support small businesses affected by COVID-19, Salesforce is offering free access to its Salesforce Essentials and Tableau services. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, meanwhile, teamed up with other companies to raise $25 million and procure more than 50 million pieces of protective equipment for health care workers and medical facilities.
- Slack is offering nonprofits of any size three months of its messaging service free of charge. Slack also contributed $1 million to the COVID-19 Tech Collaborative—a coalition of 25 Bay Area companies that have committed $22 million in collective funding for organizations responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
- Twitter joined other major social media platforms in committing to combat fraud and misinformation about COVID-19. The company is continuing to develop its content moderation policy to “account for new behavior” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Twitter also donated $1 million to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation. Twitter and Square CEO, Jack Dorsey, donated $15 million from his #StartSmall LLC to San Francisco’s Give2SF COVID-19 relief fund. Dorsey’s contribution doubled the total contributions to Give2SF and brought the total funding up to $26.3 million. Twitter also announced it will let its employees work from home indefinitely, even after the pandemic ends.
- Uber announced a series of new safety protocols to protect riders and drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting May 18, Uber drivers will have to confirm in the app that they’re wearing a mask before accepting passengers. Riders, meanwhile, are instructed not to sit in the front seat, wash their hands before entering the vehicle, and open a window if possible. Additionally, Uber pledged 10 million free rides and deliveries of food for frontline healthcare workers, seniors, and people in need. This accompanies a package of initiatives to support restaurant partners during the COVID-19 outbreak. In San Francisco, Uber is offering a 25% discount (up to $10) for trips taken to or from food distribution centers set up by the San Francisco Unified School District starting Tuesday, March 17, through Friday, April 3. The company will also donate $50,000 to the San Francisco Unified School District’s non-profit arm, Spark.
- Verizon has extended its commitment not to terminate service or charge late fees through June 30th for customers unable to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Residential and small business customers can notify Verizon of their inability to pay here. Furthermore, Verizon is tripling monthly data allowance for its Verizon Innovative Learning schools and committing $10 million to nonprofits supporting students and healthcare workers.
- Waymo is contributing supplies and funds in the San Francisco Bay Area through San Francisco’s COVID-19 relief fund, Give2SF, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
- Zendesk is donating its customer support software (and training for using the product) to nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. Zendesk also has 75 volunteers willing to translate critical COVID-19 communications into a wide range of languages. Finally, the company has offered to drive support within Zendesk to help nonprofits purchase the items they need or to fundraise on their behalf. You can reach out to email@example.com to learn more.
UPDATES FROM THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
- Starting July 6, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will raise parking meter rates and begin reinforcing parking meter time limits. At the beginning of April, SFMTA reduced parking meter rates to 50 cents per hour. Now, meters will be priced at 50 cents below their pre-COVID-19 rates.
- On June 30, Mayor Breed announced that the City of San Francisco would cancel its annual Fourth of July fireworks show and close parking lots at several popular beaches and outdoor spaces. These measures were enacted to discourage crowds and help limit the spread of COVID-19 over the holiday weekend.
- On June 26, Mayor Breed temporarily delayed the reopenings that were scheduled for June 29 due to rise in San Francisco’s COVID-19 cases. On June 25, the City saw 103 new COVID-19 cases. Mayor Breed warned that cases could continue to rise to the point where the City would have to shut down again and said, “Nobody should wait to get tested.” You can find all testing locations in San Francisco here.
- On June 19, Mayor Breed announced the creation of a $1.5 million African American Small Business Revolving Loan Fund from Give2SF donations. Launched in partnership with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), Main Street Launch, and the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce, the fund will provide financial assistance to local Black entrepreneurs and Black-owned small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Interested entrepreneurs and businesses can find more information about the program and how to apply here.
- On June 15, Mayor Breed announced that San Francisco’s reopening plan entered Phase 2B, which allows more businesses to resume operations. Starting June 15, retail businesses may allow customers to shop inside with safety protocols. Some outdoor activities may also resume, including outdoor fitness classes and outdoor gatherings of 12 people or less. See the full list of activities permitted under Phase 2B here.
- On June 12, Mayor Breed announced that $1.65 million in funds from the San Francisco Soda Tax will help provide emergency COVID-19 food relief. The funds generated by San Francisco’s Sugary Drinks Distributor Tax—more commonly known as the Soda Tax—will be used by the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market to purchase foods for community groups that are distributing meals to their members. Funding will also go to the San Francisco Unified School District so it can continue providing meals for students.
- On June 11, San Francisco’s Stay Home Order was amended to allow additional businesses to resume operations. These include outdoor dining service, professional sports games and tournaments without spectators, outdoor fitness classes, and indoor household services, among others. The updated health order also allows special outdoor gatherings which are subject to certain requirements, such as maintaining six feet of distance and limiting gathering to 12 people or less.
- On June 9, Mayor Breed announced that San Francisco restaurants may begin outdoor service starting Friday, June 12. To do so, many restaurants applied to participate in the City’s Shared Spaces program, which allows them to use adjacent public spaces for pick-up and outdoor dining.
- On June 5, Mayor Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax issued new public health guidance for safe social interactions amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. San Francisco’s Stay At Home order is still in place, and City leaders maintain that staying home is the best way to prevent people from getting/spreading COVID-19. For those that are expanding their social interactions, however, here are some guidelines—meet outside, wear face coverings, and minimize contact.
- On June 5, Mayor Breed, Board President Norman Yee, and District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai announced the creation of a new grant program to support Family Child Care (FCC) educators. Recognizing that many family child care educators have suffered financially from COVID-19, the Office of Early Care and Education (OECE) will use $1 million in funding from Give2SF to create a Family Child Care Emergency Operating Grant program. More information about the program and how to apply will be available here.
- On June 4, Mayor Breed and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development announced additional financial support for San Francisco small businesses. Small businesses can now apply for $6.5 million in funds from San Francisco’s Small Business Resiliency Fund and the Hardship Emergency Loan Program (SF HELP). Over 300 local businesses will receive support in the form of grants and zero percent interest loans.
- On May 28, Mayor Breed announced a multi-phase reopening plan and timeline for San Francisco. Starting June 1st, child care programs can resume, outdoor museums and historical sites can reopen, and additional retailers can offer outdoor curbside service with minimal contact. Beginning June 15th, San Francisco restaurants and bars will be allowed to offer outdoor dining, indoor retailers can reopen with modifications, and outdoor fitness activities can resume with physical distancing.
- On May 28, Mayor Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax issued a new public health order that requires San Francisco residents to wear face coverings in most situations outside of the home, including when exercising outside within 30 feet of other people.
- On May 26, Mayor Breed announced the Shared Spaces Program to provide additional public space and support neighborhood businesses. The program allows neighborhood businesses to use nearby public spaces, such as sidewalks, full or partial streets, and parks and plazas, for restaurant pick-up and other retail activity. Developed by the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force, the Shared Spaces Program aims to support local businesses in expanding their operations outdoors and facilitating physical distancing for employees and customers alike.
- On May 22, Mayor Breed announced that summer camps and summer programs can reopen in San Francisco on June 15th with “limited capacity and modifications intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” The latest public health order, issued by the Department of Public Health (DPH), allows San Francisco summer camps and programs to open for children and youth ages six to 17. They must prioritize the children of parents working for businesses permitted to operate. Regular child care programs will also be allowed to reopen starting on June 1st.
- On May 18, Mayor Breed announced three new COVID-19 testing sites in underserved neighborhoods in San Francisco. The City partnered with Verily (Alphabet’s lifescience subsidiary) to pilot a mobile testing site in the Tenderloin, which began walk-through COVID-19 testing on May 20. An additional site was opened at the City College Student Health Center, while the City and partner organizations will be bringing testing directly to families in Bayview-Hunters Point. See all testing sites here.
- On May 18, Mayor Breed launched Great Plates Delivered SF to deliver meals to seniors in need and support local businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. The program will deliver three free restaurant meals a day to eligible seniors who are at high risk from COVID-19. SF New Deal, a nonprofit partnering with over 65 local restaurants across San Francisco, was selected as the program’s primary vendor.
- On May 14, Mayor Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax announced that San Francisco will amend its Stay Home Order to allow most retailers to operate for storefront pickup and delivery starting today, May 18. This step toward reopening remains contingent on San Francisco’s continued demonstration of progress on slowing the spread of COVID-19. The City also released guidelines businesses must follow as they prepare to reopen.
- On May 13, Mayor Breed announced that San Francisco is facing a $1.7 billion deficit in the current year and upcoming two-year budget as a result of the economic impact from COVID-19. The full report from the City Controller’s Office projects a $250 shortfall for the remainder of the 2019-20 fiscal year followed by a $1.5 billion deficit for the upcoming two-year budget (FY 2020-2022). The deficit projections do not include San Francisco’s COVID-19 emergency response costs, which are “likely to be significant and will add to the already steep shortfalls.”
- On May 13, Mayor Breed announced new food relief measures for students during the school closures caused by COVID-19. Families with children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals can receive up to $365 in Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits. Those with P-EBT eligible children that receive CalFresh, Medi-Cal, or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits and will receive a P-EBT card for each eligible child in the mail. Starting May 22, families receiving free or reduced-price meal benefits but not on public benefit assistance can complete a short online application to receive a P-EBT card.
- On May 7, Mayor Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax announced that some San Francisco businesses can reopen as early as March 18 with modifications. Retailers such as bookstores, florists, and music stores will be among the first businesses (full list here) allowed to resume operating with storefront pickup on May 18. Customers must continue to practice social distancing and wear face coverings when picking up from businesses. The Department of Public Health will develop additional guidelines for businesses that are consistent with the statewide guideline, all of which will be posted here.
- On May 5, Mayor Breed and San Francisco Public Works announced that 18 of San Francisco’s staffed Pit Stop public toilets will remain open 24 hours a day during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City now has 49 staffed 24-hour restroom locations throughout the City.
- On May 4, Mayor Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax announced that all essential workers in San Francisco can receive COVID-19 testing, regardless of symptoms. Essential workers include people who “leave their homes to do their job and cannot maintain social distance or who interact with the public.” They do not a need a doctor’s note and can get tested through CityTestSF or at one of several testing locations in San Francisco.
- On April 29, Mayor Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax extended San Francisco’s shelter-in-place mandate until May 31 while easing certain restrictions. The new public health order went into effect on May 3 and continues to require social distancing and face coverings. It does, however, relax restrictions for lower-risk activities. Businesses that operate primarily outside, for example, are allowed to reopen, and employees of those businesses can access childcare programs. More details about the new order will be posted here.
- On April 27, Mayor Breed announced that a portion of John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park and John F. Shelley Drive in John McLaren Park will close to vehicles beginning April 28 at 6:00am. Intended to help people maintain social distancing requirements while exercising in Golden Gate Park and John McLaren Park, the roads will remain closed to cars for the duration of San Francisco’s stay-at-home order.
- On April 22, Mayor Breed announced a $5.35 million allocation of funding from the Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. This first round of funding will help ensure food security and housing stability for San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations, including undocumented workers. It will also support small businesses. To date, the Give2SF Fund has received approximately $10.5 million in contributions and pledges from foundations and individual donors and continues to accept additional donations.
- On April 21, Mayor Breed and Treasurer José Cisneros today announced new measures to support San Francisco businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include the deferral of business registration fees until September 30, 2020, totaling an estimated $49 million in deferrals for 89,000 businesses. The City will also provide additional tax relief for businesses by delaying the collection of unified license fees until September 30, 2020, totaling $14 million in deferrals for 11,000 payees.
- On April 20, Mayor Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax released a map of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Francisco by zip code via the City’s COVID-19 Data Tracker. In the accompanying press release, Mayor Breed emphasized how the data reveals that the populations who are most vulnerable to the pandemic in San Francisco are those that also suffer from “health disparities, income inequality, and structural racism.”
- On April 17, the San Francisco Department of Public Health issued a new public health order requiring people to wear face coverings at essential businesses, in public facilities, on transit, and while performing essential work. The order goes into effect at 11:59 pm on April 17, 2020.
- On April 15, Mayor Breed and San Francisco Director of Health, Dr. Grant Colfax, announced a new COVID-19 contract tracing program for Bay Area residents. A partnership between the City of San Francisco, the Department of Public Health, UCSF, and software company Dimagi, the program will use a digitized workflow to identify individuals who have been in contact with COVID-19 patients. Case contacts will then be able to receive daily health check-ups via text message or phone call throughout the 14-day monitoring period. UCSF and the Department of Public Health have conducted training for over 50 people who will support these efforts, while additional training sessions are ongoing.
- On April 13, Mayor Breed announced the San Francisco Food Access Initiative, a citywide effort to expand access to food for those who are COVID-19 positive or awaiting test results. San Francisco residents can find food resource information online or by calling 311. To support this and other food security programs provided by the Human Services Agency, Mayor Breed is using $1 million of Give2SF funds.
- On April 7, Mayor Breed and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) released a COVID-19 Data Tracker to provide San Francisco residents with more frequently updated information about COVID-19. Updated daily, the tracker offers easy-to-understand data sets on the number and demographics of patients with COVID-19 in San Francisco, testing results, and how many COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized.On April 6, Mayor Breed announced the opening of CityTestSF, a new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site intended primarily for San Francisco’s first responders and health care workers. Located at Pier 30-32, the most recent drive-thru COVID-19 testing location was launched in partnership with Color and Carbon Health and began service on April 6. Testing at this location will be prioritized for San Francisco police officers, firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, 911 dispatchers, health care workers, and other employees who are essential to the City’s COVID-19 response.
- On April 3, Mayor Breed announced a partnership between the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), EducationSuperHighway, and the 1Million Project Foundation to increase internet access for San Francisco students. The week of April 13, 25 WiFi “SuperSpots” will be deployed to offer connectivity to San Francisco students without internet access and ensure they can continue distance learning even as school campuses remain closed.
- On April 3, Mayor Breed and Board President Norman Yee announced the creation of a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force. The task force is charged with developing an economic recovery strategy to assist San Francisco businesses, nonprofit and community organizations, and individuals—especially in light of San Francisco’s significant projected budget shortfalls as a result of COVID-19.
- On April 2, Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors announced a $10 million Small Business Relief Fund to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Of the $10 million fund, $9 million will go to a new Emergency Loan Fund. The remaining $1 million will be used to expand the existing COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund, which has received over 2,000 applicants since opening on March 11.
- On March 31, Mayor Breed issued an updated Public Health Order extending the shelter-in-place mandate for San Francisco until May 3. According to the new order, areas with shared equipment and facilities (playgrounds, picnic areas, dog parks, tennis courts, pools, etc.) will close and residents are prohibited from participating in outdoor activities that involve shared equipment. The order also imposes stricter guidelines for what constitutes an “essential business,” and mandates social distancing protocols that essential businesses must follow to protect their employees and customers.
- On March 27, Mayor Breed announced that three new drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations will soon open in San Francisco. These mobile testing sites will be used to test first responders and health care workers showing symptoms of COVID-19, as well as members of the public with a clinician referral. Two of the testing centers will open in the Outer Sunset early the week of March 30, while the third site is scheduled to open near Oracle Park at the end of the week of March 30.
- On March 24, Mayor Breed temporarily waived regulations related to planning, permitting, fees, public notice, or other restrictions that would otherwise apply to coronavirus relief efforts.
- On March 23, Mayor Breed announced a $2.5 million Arts Relief Program to support working artists and arts and cultural organizations financially impacted by COVID-19.
- On March 18, Mayor Breed announced a 30-day moratorium on commercial evictions for small and medium-sized businesses earning less than $25 million in annual gross receipts. This follows other measures announced by Mayor Breed to support small businesses in San Francisco that are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. These include the deferral of business taxes and licensing fees and the launch of an economic relief fund.
- Beginning March 17, the San Francisco Unified School District will provide free breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday for all children (up to age 18) at 14 pick-up sites across San Francisco.
- On March 16, Mayor Breed issued a Public Health Order requiring San Francisco residents to remain at their place of residence, except to conduct “Essential Activities, Essential Businesses, and Essential Government Functions”—all of which were defined here. This initial order went into effect at midnight on March 17.
- Starting March 16, the Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Public Library will begin to operate libraries and indoor recreation facilities as emergency care facilities for children of parents on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak and low-income families.
- On March 13, Mayor Breed announced a 30-day moratorium on residential evictions for residents suffering from a lack of income due to COVID-19.
- All non-essential events of 100 or more persons in the City and County of San Francisco are prohibited until April 30.
To stay up to date with all City of San Francisco updates, follow the Mayor’s updates here.
UPDATES FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
- On July 1, Governor Newsom ordered 19 counties in California—which represent 70 percent of the state’s population—to close indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, and other venues due to surging COVID-19 case numbers. The closures will remain in place for at least three weeks.
- On July 1, the state of California released rules for people frequenting gyms and places of worship, which have reopened in some counties. Masks are required in both, and singing or chanting is prohibited during religious services.
- On July 1, the California Employment Development Department announced that it will extend unemployment benefits for Californians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible Californians may receive up to the 20 weeks of additional unemployment benefits, which were made available through the Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) benefits program.
- On June 30, Governor Newsom signed an executive order on a variety of issues related to COVID-19. Among other things, it authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters impacted by the COVID-19 through September 30. It also extends provisions laid out in earlier executive orders, including allowing adults to obtain marriage licenses via videoconferencing and waiving eligibility re-determinations for Californians who participate in Medi-Cal.
- On June 29, Governor Newsom signed the 2020 Budget Act, a $202.1 billion spending plan that allows the state to continue its emergency response while closing a $54.3 billion budget shortfall caused by the COVID-19 recession. Key provisions include strengthening the state’s emergency response and protecting public health during the pandemic, supporting public education, assisting Californians in greatest need, promoting economic recovery, and closing the budget gap.
- On June 28, Governor Newsom ordered bars to close in seven California counties, including Los Angeles, due to the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases across the state. The state also recommended that eight additional counties close bars to slow the spread of COVID-19, including Santa Clara and Sacramento.
- On June 25, Governor Newsom released a set of tools, technology, and data to help Californians better understand the impact of COVID-19. These include the California COVID Assessment Tool, or CalCAT, and the source code of CalCAT. The Governor also mandated that California’s COVID-19 data be publicly available and stored on the state’s open data portal.
- On June 25, Governor Newsom declared a budget emergency to make more funds available to support California’s response to COVID-19. The proclamation enables the California state legislature to pass legislation allowing the state to draw from its rainy day fund and ensure funding for personal protective equipment and other necessary responses to the COVID-19 crisis.
- On June 22, Governor Newsom signed an executive order on a variety of issues related to COVID-19. Among other things, order suspends the requirement for recycling centers to hold a minimum number of hours of operation.
- On June 18, Governor Newsom announced that, starting June 18, Californians are required to wear face coverings in public indoor spaces and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. The California Department of Public Health updated its guidelines on face coverings to include this new mandate.
- On June 15, Governor Newsom signed an executive order on a variety of issues related to COVID-19. It temporarily broadens the capability of counties to enroll people in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, extends permission for commercially-licensed food trucks to operate in roadside rest areas, and suspends face-to-face visits for eligibility for extended foster care, among other things.
- On June 8, Governor Newsom announced that BYD North America has received certification from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to produce N95 masks for the state of California. BYD will produce and ship 150 million N95 masks to the state for distribution to health care workers and others requiring respirator-style masks. The contract will also ensure California has a sufficient supply of masks going forward.
- On June 3, Governor Newsom signed an executive order to ensure safe in-person voting opportunities for the General Election on November 3, 2020. This comes in addition to an executive order signed earlier this month requiring mail-in ballots to be sent to all California voters ahead of the election.
- On May 29, Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom announced additional initiatives to support victims of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include $5 million in state funding, an executive order that helps ease the financial strain on domestic violence service providers, new partnerships to support survivors fleeing violence, and more.
- On May 22, Governor Newsom launched California Connected, a statewide contact tracing program and public awareness campaign. The program will connect public health workers with individuals who test positive for COVID-19, as well as the people with whom they have been in close contact, to ensure they have access to confidential testing and medical care. So far, 500 contact tracers have been trained, and 300 more are being trained this week. The state plans to have a total of 10,000 statewide contact tracers as part of its plan to reopen California.
- On May 19, Governor Newsom signed an executive order on a variety of issues in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order waives the 10 percent cash or in-kind matching requirements for state grants awarded to organizations providing domestic violence services, as well as certain certification requirements for Cal Grant applicants. It also extends the timeframe for local governments to submit claims for reimbursement to the State Controller’s Office.
- On May 8, Governor Newsom signed an executive order to send mail ballots to all registered voters in California for the November 2020 election. Although some physical voting locations will remain open, the mail-in option for all California voters is a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic.
- On May 6, Governor Newsom launched a new website that allows Californians to find a COVID-19 test near them. Users can enter their current location, address, or zip code to find both state and community COVID-19 testing sites nearby.
- On May 4, Governor Newsom announced that, starting May 8, California will enter stage 2 of a four-stage framework outlining the state’s gradual reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under stage 2, certain businesses can reopen as long as they follow guidelines provided by the state, which include conducting COVID-19 training for their employees and implementing disinfectant protocols. For now, many of the retail businesses allowed to reopen must offer curbside pickup and delivery.
- On April 30, Governor Newsom launched an online portal to help parents and essential workers find safe and licensed child care providers in their area. Users will find an interactive map of available child care providers, as well as resources and information to access child care subsidies.
- On April 30, Governor Newsom signed an executive order allowing adults to obtain marriage licenses via videoconferencing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Both adults must be located in the State of California and be able to present identification during the video conference. These temporary provisions for marriage will remain in place for the next 60 days.
- On April 29, Governor Newsom announced several new initiatives to combat food insecurity for Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include expanding the state’s Farm to Family program, which is a partnership between local farmers and California food banks to support food production, processing, and distribution. The Governor also extended maximum benefits for CalFresh recipients until the end of May and increased Benefits Transfer Programs (EBP) for eligible families and children.
- On April 24, Governor Newsom announced the launch of “Restaurant Deliver,” a partnership with California cities and counties to deliver three meals a day to older adults and other individuals at high risk from COVID-19. The program also aims to provide economic stimulus to local businesses and workers. More information about the program will be coming soon.
- On April 23, Governor Newsom announced a deal to expand student loan relief for 1.1. million Californians. He also signed an executive order to prevent debt collectors from garnishing individual COVID-19-related financial assistance.
- On April 22, Governor Newsom announced a plan to allow California hospitals to resume delayed medical procedures, as well as open 86 new COVID-19 testing sites throughout California. Many of these new testing sites will be focused on underserved communities.
- On April 16, Governor Newsom signed an executive order to extend the hours of the Employment Development Department from 8:00am to 8:00pm, seven days a week. The measure aims to help process requests and deliver benefits to the record number of Californians filing for unemployment due to COVID-19.
- On April 16, Governor Newsom also signed an executive order to provide workers in the food sector industry impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with two weeks of paid sick leave. Furthermore, the order outlines health and safety standards to increase food worker and customer protection.
- On April 15, Governor Newsom announced a $125 million disaster relief fund to help California’s undocumented immigrants affected by COVID-19. California immigrants can also access a comprehensive guide of COVID-19 information and public services available to them.
- On April 9, Governor Newsom announced that California workers who are receiving unemployment benefits will receive an extra $600 on top of their weekly amount. Intended to support Californians financially impacted by COVID-19, this benefit is part of the new Pandemic Additional Compensation (PAC), initiated by the CARES Act.
- On April 1, Governor Newsom confirmed that California school campuses will remain closed for the rest of the academic year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Teachers, classified employees, school boards, superintendents, and principals, however, will work together to ensure distance learning for California students. As part of these efforts, the Governor announced a partnership with Google to provide mobile hotspots and Chromebooks to students in rural areas.
- On March 30, Governor Newsom launched California Health Corps to recruit more medical professionals to keep up with the surge of COVID-19 cases in California. Retired or part-time health care professionals, as well as medical students nearing the end of their training, are encouraged to apply. In order to rapidly expand the state’s health care workforce, Governor Newsom signed an executive order waiving some licensing and certification requirements until the end of June.
- On March 27, Governor Newsom announced a statewide halt of evictions until May 31 for tenants affected by COVID-19 outbreak.
- On March 19, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide shelter in place mandate similar to the one Mayor Breed implemented for San Francisco on March 17. The State Public Health Officer then released a list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” who are exempted from the mandate and whose work is considered essential to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.
- On March 18, Governor Newsom addressed the spread of the coronavirus among the state’s homeless population by signing an executive order to grant local flexibility on spending and building shelters. In the first allocation of the $500 million in emergency funding—recently authorized by the state legislature for COVID-19 related activities—$100 million will go directly to local government for shelter support and emergency housing and $50 million to purchase travel trailers and lease rooms in hotels, motels, and other facilities in partnership with counties and cities to provide immediate isolation placements.
- On March 16, Governor Newsom called for the statewide closures of dine-in restaurants. In suspending dine-in services for the foreseeable future, the Governor clarified that restaurants can stay open to provide takeout and delivery services.
- On March 15, Governor Newsom launched Project Baseline, a mobile testing pilot for COVID-19 made in partnership with Verily (the health and life science subsidiary of Alphabet). On the newly launched website, Californians can fill out a survey about their symptoms and demographics. They will then be told whether they are eligible to get tested for COVID-19 at a testing location in the Bay Area.
- Nightclubs, pubs, wineries, and breweries are being asked to close throughout the state to help reduce non-essential gatherings and slow the spread of COVID-19.
To stay up to date with all State of California updates, follow the California Department of Health’s updates here.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Donate to UCSF’s QBI Coronavirus Research Group to advance its work on potential treatments to COVID-19. Led by Dr. Nevan Krogan, a study conducted by UCSF’s QBI Coronavirus Research Group (QCRG) has made significant discoveries about drugs that could potentially fight COVID-19, as well as some that could actually make the virus worse. While promising, these drugs have only been tested in a laboratory setting and require further evaluation through clinical trials. To advance this important research, donate here.
- Donate your expertise to CVKey Project, a nonprofit powered by tech volunteers working to build privacy-first applications that help our communities safely reopen during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more about the work of CVKey Project here and sign up to help.
- Support your local food banks. Mass unemployment caused by COVID-19 has families and children across the country going hungry. Consider supporting your local food banks and community through Feeding America, a nationwide hunger-relief charity.
- Donate to America’s Food Fund, a new initiative to support Feeding America and World Central Kitchen in ensuring all people have reliable access to food. COVID-19 has left millions unsure of where their next meal will come from. America’s Food Fund hopes to change that—donate here.
- The City of San Francisco needs technology hardware to help bridge the digital divide during the COVID-19 outbreak. People and companies can work with Tech Exchange to pick up extra laptops, securely wipe them of confidential data, and distribute them to low-income, Bay Area families in need. Learn how you can donate old computers and hardware here. You can also donate or loan unused computers to City College of San Francisco by contacting Supervisor Ronen’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Support the many local nonprofits providing services to San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations, including Jewish Vocational Services, Larkin Street Youth Services, Meals on Wheels San Francisco, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, and St. Anthony’s.
- Support free online classes for public school students affected by the COVID-19 school closures.
- Support our local restaurants (and give yourself a break from cooking) by buying La Cocina Community Food Boxes. La Cocina is a local nonprofit that empowers low-income, mostly women food entrepreneurs in San Francisco.
- Help World Central Kitchen raise $100,000 needed to support Bay Area seniors, restaurants, and delivery drivers. Longtime partner of sf.citi member Dropbox, World Central Kitchen has teamed up with Uber, Postmates, DoorDash, and Grub Hub to test a pilot program to (1) feed isolated seniors nutritious, warm meals with minimal physical contact and (2) support restaurants and delivery drivers financially. Already piloted in Washington, D.C., World Central Kitchen would like to expand this program to San Francisco and Oakland. If you’re interested in joining or supporting the coalition, please reach out to Jacquelyn Horton of Dropbox at email@example.com.
- Volunteer to help San Francisco seniors and people with disabilities get groceries, complete essential tasks, and stay connected during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more and sign up here.
- Companies can purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) through Social Imprints, which can then be donated to local hospitals and nonprofits in need.
Do you have another way the San Francisco tech community can help with COVID-19 response and relief? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome requests from Bay Area 501(c) nonprofits, as well as organizations, associations, or entities that represent multiple businesses or San Francisco-Bay Area industries. We cannot, unfortunately, promote relief efforts for individual businesses.
GRATITUDE AMID COVID-19
sf.citi would like to recognize the many courageous San Franciscans holding our City together during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We would like to thank Mayor London Breed, who has taken proactive measures to keep our City safe and look out for those affected by COVID-19. Under Mayor Breed’s administration, San Francisco has set an example of how to respond swiftly to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
We would like to thank our doctors, nurses, and all of our healthcare workers who have put themselves at risk to support patients suffering from COVID-19.
We would like to thank our first responders who rise to every occasion and crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect our City.
We would like to thank the employees at our local grocery stores and pharmacies who have adjusted to new precedents created by COVID-19 with grace and continue to provide us with food and basic necessities.
We would like to thank our garbage men and women, plumbers, janitors, and service staff who keep our City up and running even as many of us shelter in place.
“All of us, health care workers, have been here for our most vulnerable patients. Consider bringing our staff of 20-25 people lunch as nearby coffee shops and restaurants are closed.”
– Nakari Ron
Tom Waddell Urban Health Clinic
“I would like to thank day labor workers for keeping construction and repair work happening.”
– Dana Delara
San Francisco Resident