As we begin another week in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to provide you ongoing updates about San Francisco resources and opportunities available to you from the tech community and beyond.
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.email@example.com.
- 1,842 confirmed cases in California
- 35 confirmed deaths in California
- 772 confirmed cases in the Bay Area
*As of 9:00am PT on 3/23
UPDATES FROM THE TECH COMMUNITY
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 the most recent 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.
- 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 will not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone, or broadband residential or small business customers unable to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. For the next 60 days, the company will also waive late payment fees incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will keep public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.
- 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.
- Dropbox invites nonprofits and NGOs focused on fighting COVID-19 to apply for a free, three-month subscription to Dropbox Business.
- 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.
- 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.
- Microsoft announced it will continue to pay its hourly vendor workers even after the company’s office closure.
- Okta is helping organizations transition to Emergency Remote Work by offering Okta core services to all new customers for free.
- 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.
- Salesforce donated $1.5 million to the Give2SF Fund to help address emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- 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.
- 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. Uber Eats, meanwhile, announced a package of initiatives to support restaurant partners during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Verizon is waiving late fees incurred by any residential or small business customers due their economic circumstances related to COVID-19 for the next 60 days. Furthermore, the company will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers who are unable to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.
UPDATES FROM THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
- 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 are defined here. The order went into effect at midnight on March 17 and will continue until April 7.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 one of the two testing locations in the Bay Area.
- 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.
- 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 the UCSF’s QBI Coronavirus Research Group working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Support the many local nonprofits providing services to San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations, including 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.
- Donate or loan unused computers to City College of San Francisco to help their students stay connected. Contact Supervisor Ronen’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GRATITUDE AMID COVID-19
sf.citi would like to recognize the many courageous San Franciscans holding our City together during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Which other San Francisco heroes need recognition during these challenging times? Let us know by tagging sf.citi on Twitter (@sfciti ) or Instagram ( @sf.citi) and using the hashtag #OneCitySF, or by filling out the form below.