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tv   NBC Bay Area News at 6  NBC  January 4, 2022 6:00pm-6:30pm PST

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following all of the rain that we have been seeing recently. >> the news at 6:00 starts now. good evening. i'm raj mathai. >> i'm jessica aquirre. the challenges, the latest surge is causing for bay area schools just continues to pile up. many districts already dealing with a shortage of koed tests and a backlog in getting results from the lab. and now, an increased number of sick calls as the omicron variant spreads. tom jenson tells us it's expected to get even worse in the coming weeks. >> we're struggling. we have got a number of classrooms right now that are not filled with substitute teachers. >> it's been a problem for months, but omicron is making it much worse. not enough healthy substitutes willing to fill in for an increasing number of staffers testing positive for covid. >> we have been struggling with staffing since the beginning of this year, but what we have experienced in the last two days, monday and tuesday, is much more severe than we
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previously experienced. >> on just the second day back to classes after winter break, 65 of berkeley unified's roughly 800 teachers are out, some with covid, some with other issues. trained berkeley unified staff conduct their own rapid antigen tests and get results back fast, and sick students and teachers are quarantined. and the positivity rates of those tests that have come back are pretty alarming. here at berkeley unified school district, they sent home 24,000 home test kits and of those, 227 were positive, and just yesterday with symptomatic people, both staff and students, they tested 125 people and 27 were positive. that's a 22% positivity rate among the people who had symptoms. another issue in many parts of the bay area, a lag in how fast overwhelmed labs can deliver test results. >> right now, when we most need these tests they're the least available and they're taking too long to come back, so it's very
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frustrating. >> the doctor says testing is vital to stopping the spread of the virus because there are likely a lot of infected people in the region who don't know they're infected and capable of infecting others. >> hospitalizations continue to go up through the month of january. january is a very,erary rocky month. >> the doctor explains testing was crucial in berkeley because it kept more than 200 infected students from returning to classrooms this week, insuring they can keep schools open and safe. >> our commitment is to stay open. we're going to keep our schools open and take every step to accomplish that goal. >> now, this new surge is bringing a higher demand for covid tests. people willing to wait hours to try to get one. this is the case in san jose. check out this line of cars trying to get to the kaiser offices. traffic backed up all the way to the freeway, not far from san jose international. >> a south bay school district hit hard by covid is offering free testing for students all week. we're talking about the franklin
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mckinley school district in san jose. classes are out until next week, so the district taking advantage of the extra week's vacation to offer the tests. the free testing is open to all students and district staff. every day. at two different school sites and at the district office. so far, they say wait times have been minimal. >> when we come back on monday, you know, there's sort of more reassurance from our staff and our families that students are not infected and that everybody is going to be safe, as much as we can. >> students and staff can test as many times as they want. the district will also give out home test kits provided by the state at the end of the week. you have a lot of questions and we have many answers. for example, why are so many vaccinated people getting covid lately? we have put up an article answering that question and other popular questions. go to and click on the covid faq on our front page. >> one day after the verdict in the elizabeth holmes trial, it
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is still reverberating through silicon valley. there are some who worry that the theranos failure may change the rules for start-ups and could even create new hurdles for companies founded specifically by women. let's bring in our business and tech reporter, scott budman, and scott, that line between exaggeration and truth being looked at very closely now in silicon valley. >> yeah, it's true. and it will be interesting to see if it shakes things up. now, first things first there, is still plenty of money flowing through silicon valley, but also a continuation of a trend we have seen here in the valley for years now. some skepticism among certain investors when it comes to funding female founded companies. in an area where the percentage of venture capital funding has already been low for female entrepreneurs, many here are telling us they're worried the failure of theranos will reflect not just on elizabeth holmes but on other start-ups with female founders. a study out of santa clara university showing that female
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founders are already passed over more frequently than their male counterparts, no surprise there. but a bay area venture capitalist who purposely seeks out female founders tells me she fears backlash because of the holmes verdict. >> unfortunately, there is rampant sexism still in the industry. and this case of elizabeth holmes being convicted serves as an excuse for another excuse for investors to choose not to move forward with a female founded company. >> what are female tech executives supposed to do now that they have been kind of under this umbrella that holmes is under? what do you do about that? >> that's a great question, jessica. there was already this disparity as to more money going to men, and a lot of female founders and entrepreneurs are telling me they're worried about a backlash. backstage capital seeks out female founders and they say the thing to do is just to find more women starting companies and
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fund them. it's not difficult. it just means stepping out of what we usually see and making sure that these female entrepreneurs get funded more often. >> and maybe not see women separate from men. that would also help if you looked at the merits of the company and the product they're putting out there. let's talk about elizabeth holmes specifically. what is next for her? there is some down time between when she gets sentenced. >> right, it's typically i'm told about two months before she gets sentenced. there will be a parole board hearing, the judge will have some say and both sides, the prosecuting side and defense side, will argue for more or less time in prison, and we'll see where that goes, and that could take a couple months. meanwhile, in one month, her former co-theranos executive is set to schedule and start his trial here in federal court as well. so theranos is going to be in the news for some time. >> we're not done yet. that's for sure. all right, thank you, scott. now, holmes' conviction
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unleashed a flood of theranos memorabilia offered for sale on ebay. the seller of a lab coat is asking $7,000 for that coat. hats, t-shirts for the shuttered start-up also offered. so far, a set of glass laboratory lenses with labels that say theranos lab have sold for nearly $1,000. a set of three magazines with holmes on the covers brought in $200. >> a new smash and grab robbery in the south bay. it happened at credit jewelers in san jose yesterday. that's in the lupluseeda shopping center. about ten people smashed the display cases with hammers and then stole jewelry and took off. we have seen this play out throughout the bay area. no arrests so far in the san jose smash and grab. >> it's a pivotal night in san francisco, as we speak, a debate is entering its third hour on mayor breed's emergency declaration for the tenderloin. last month, you might recall,
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the board of supervisors debated for multiple hours again before okaying her plan which addresses overdose deaths, covid care, and adding police patrols in the neighborhood. the supervisor whose district includes most of the tenderloin was out of the country. that was aaron peskin, and he raised a lot of new questions today. the city also revealed it's leased a building on market street as a linkage center. that building is for tenderloin residents, particularly addicts, to access health and human services programs. >> we know the storms help, but make no mistake, california is in a full-on drought. since california water customers are apparently not meeting those voluntary goals to cut water use, the state water board is imposing some new rules. water board members have voted unanimously to ban three water wasting practices. you can no longer wash your car without a shut-off nozzle. you can't hose down a sidewalk or a driveway to clean it, and you cannot run sprinklers so long that you get runoff into
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the street. if you break those rules you could face a fine up to $500, but it's going to be up to your local water agency to actually enforce those rules. >> okay, have you driven over a pothole lately? if not, consider yourself lucky. the recent rains have left a lot of these things. potholes, dents, gouges right there on our streets. as nbc bay area reports, in addition to making for a rough commute, it can also cause major damage to your car. >> recent heavy rains have created potholes on bay area highways and roads, and driving over one can be downright painful. potholes are more than a bump in the road. take a look at this damage caused by a pothole on highway 17. the impact broke the car's suspension and severed the tire. now the owner will have to shell out about $4,000 for repairs. in san jose, the owner of ross tire and automotive repair says he's seen a 50% increase in
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vehicles coming in with damage caused by potholes. >> just literally plays havoc with the car and throws it out of whack. >> and certain cars are more susceptible to pothole damage. >> a lot of these teslas and cars that we have in silicon valley have the low profile tires. it doesn't give you much room for when you hit a pothole, it goes right to the rim and it cracks the rim and the tire, too. >> for others, the gouged up roads mean more frequent maintenance. >> the potholes, we have to put air constantly in our tires. >> last year, the city of san jose repaired 3300 potholes. if you spot one, you can report it by calling 311, or using the 311 app. the city says it repairs most potholes within 48 hours of a complaint. but you may also be able to get some help with your car's pothole damage. >> if they feel the city is liable for damage to their car, they can file a claim with our city attorney's office.
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>> the damage on california highways, you can file a claim with cal trans. with more rain on the way, some advice. if you can't avoid a pothole safely, try to slow down as you drive through it. in san jose, marianne favro, nbc bay area news. >> up next, landing with a boom. the story behind a scary arrival for people aboard a southwest flight to sacramento. >> with covid cases up in san francisco, the city recommends getting tests. but these days, that's not as easy as it seems. >> and our storm ranger scanning the skies in the north bay where more rain is moving through petaluma, heading down to san rafael and concord here in the next 15 to 30 minutes. how much more rain we can expect and how much more snow on the way for the sierra when we come right back. when we come on the air in the west, we take you inside a lab trying to keep pace with the surge in covid testing. how quickly can they turn
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results around? also, stranded drivers describe the traffic nightmare heading into another evening in virginia. on nbc nightly news. this is elodia. she's a recording artist. 1 of 10 million people that comcast has connected to affordable internet in the last 10 years.
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the numbers say it all. as of today, san francisco's averaging more than 820 covid cases a day. just weeks ago, it was about 300 new cases a day. today, health leaders offered some measured optimism, saying they believe this surge could peak in just a few weeks. nbc bay area's ginger takes a
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look at what those health leaders are asking us to do to weather the surge. >> san francisco's mayor and health department say we're deep in the middle of the omicron surge. >> today, our seven-day average case rate is 829 cases per day, which is more than double last winter's peak. >> we believe that the height of this surge is upon us, and that these next few weeks are critical. >> to help slow the spread, today city leaders announced additional appointments for vaccinations and boosters. and say they're expanding testing sites, adding walk-in testing sites and sharing those locations on twitter. but we found some problems with the plan. we visited two of the advertised walk-in sites today. one at park merced and another along alameiny boulevard. what we found was both were testing but only by appointment. when we asked the department of public health about it, they sent a statement saying hours of operation and other information may change throughout the day depending on the site and its staffing needs.
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which highlights another challenge the city is facing because of the surge. staffing shortages. afmta, who were short staffed before the omicron surge say it's dealing with staffing issues. it won't be canceling transit lines yet, but wait times may be longer than normal. the mayor also reassured the public 2022 will not be history repeating itself. >> we're not shutting anything down. we're not closing businesses. this is not 2020. >> in the meantime, everyone is asked to limit large gatherings, double up on face masks or upgrade to an n-95. and get boosted or vaccinated if you haven't done so already. in san francisco, nbc bay area news. >> okay, people all across the bay area are trying to get their hands on an at-home covid test. it is tough to find them, or people are lining up somewhere, someplace to get tested. health officers tell us there's no secret except be patient, expect to wait, sit around and wait. that's exactly what we saw today
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at a pop-up testing site in pleasant hill. >> i'm here to get tested because i'm supposed to be moving to spain on saturday. and so i need like the travel testing. and i have been trying to look everywhere and i really cannot find any places. yesterday, we spent like seven hours online. had no luck, so this is kind of our last resort right now. >> i'm experiencing symptoms and i don't want to put anybody at my work at risk, and somebody at my work has already tested positive, so we're trying to get everybody who is experiencing symptoms tested so we're not getting anybody else sick. >> check out the line at solano mall in fairfield. the line for testing snaked more than halfway around the entire mall. okay, scary moments for passengers on a flight to sacramento. the southwest plane made an emergency landing last night after it blew out a tire during take-off. this happened in the aircraft's main landing gear as it left denver. passengers say they didn't even know there was a problem until they arrived in sacramento by
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emergency vehicles they saw on the tarmac. >> as soon as we landed, you could tell it was a tire. it was the general, you know, flopping of the tire sound, like when you get a flat on the highway. >> a little scary to have that told to you after the fact. that we had blown a tire and landed minus one tire. >> nerve-racking, but nobody hurt. >> that could be nerve-racking. let's bring in rob as we head toward the next batch of rain. >> still adding up the last 24 hours of rain, which did outperform in marin county and the santa cruz mountains. 1 to 2 inches of rain around the santa cruz mountains. kentfield, almost three inches of rain, and mt. tam had four. inland, livermore and san jose, less than a quarter-inch of rain. half moon bay, three-quarters inch of rain. we're about to see more dropping in. this is good news for our bay area reservoirs. the success story, marin water looks great with 92.6% of
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capacity. the north bay doing pretty good there. east bay total supply, which includes the river water shed up to 64% of average, and this reservoir in the valley water district up to 95.9. even lexington at 50.9% capacity is up 26 feet since december 1st. right now, partly cloudy skies. mild conditions in san jose. 54 degrees. cloudy into walnut creek and foggy into san francisco at 55 degrees. just north of that golden gate bridge, which you can't see, storm ranger can see through the clouds, and it's finding rain in marin county. right now, to petaluma, and that line is moving quickly to the south. next 15 to 20 minutes, san rafael, fairfield, concord, and i think this will hold together and bring us rain through the central bay, but the focus for tomorrow will start to shift a little farther to the north bay. so for the morning, best chance of showers will be the central bay northward. then for the afternoon, a little clearing here down towards san jose. patchy clouds lingering across the bay, and from late wednesday
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into thursday, those rain chances scoot off to the north ahead of the next chance of rain for friday. morning temperatures mild, mid to upper 40s. highs tomorrow around the south bay, 60s. so i think it's going to feel muggy outside in the santa clara valley. mid to upper 50s for san francisco and the tri-valley and the north bay in the upper 50. friday storm is going to move through quickly. that may keep the rain totals down. best performance for rainfall on friday looks once again to be sonoma county and marin county. for the sierra, probably about a half-foot of snow coming down. most on friday afternoon. so fast moving storm friday morning right now looks like the north bay, by friday afternoon, starts to move on out. clearing in time for the weekend, which may involve some fog. and the only real timeframe to watch might be late sunday. this weather cystch approaching the coast. the central coast may see a stray shower or two early on monday, but overall the forecast
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as we go through the weekend does look drier. watching out for patchy fog. and once we go through the weekend into next week, things should be staying dry for at least a little while. friday looks to be the last of the rain around here and then we see a nice weekend with fog and temperatures mild into next week. back to you. >> a little bit of everything. >> a little bit of everything. >> thanks, rob. >> up next, flames rip through a vacant taco bell in contra costa county. how this fire impacted bart service this morning.
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wet dishes? residue? spots? it's not your dishwasher's fault. simply add finish jetdry 3in1 to rinse, dry and shine your dishes. solve 3 problems at once with finish jetdry 3in1. tonight, firefighters are looking for the cause of an early morning fire that slowed bart service. flames ripped through a vacant taco bell just before 4:30 a.m. look at that, pretty intense there. flames were high enough that bart service had to be stopped on the nearby tracks for more than an hour. now, this taco bell has been closed for more than five years. and firefighters say this isn't the first time they battled a
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fire there. they say squatters have been an issue in the past. >> the ocean showed off its strength today. what you're looking at is pacifica, epic waves crashing against the pier. rob mayeda says these are the result of storm tides and king tides. >> i have seen it this big not too often. it comes about once a year, it seems like. or maybe a few times more that i have been down here. >> now, check those out. they are strong, and they're a little scary, too. you shouldn't turn your back to a big wave like this because it can easily pull you right into the ocean. >> here's a nice upgrade. bus service on the peninsula is getting a tech update. san transnow offers wi-fi on certain buses free of charge. passengers just need to connect to the network once they get onboard. don't expect video streaming but the agency says riders will be able to text, browse the web and social media or play games without slowdowns. they hope to have the entire
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fleet online by next month. >> up next, covid changes coming. what you need to know before you head to the san francisco symphony. when you have xfinity, you have entertainment built in. which is kind of nice. ah, what is happening.
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okay, so many of us are making adjustments. here's oorths one. the covid surge isn't stopping the music from being played. the san francisco symphony continues to perform live, but it's prompting new safety protocols. >> beginning february 1st, the symphony will require proof of a
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covid booster at least a week before you attend a performance. you also have to use that mask inside davie symphony hall and no drinks allowed inside. >> tonight at 7:00, speaking of masks, is your mask good enough to protect against omicron? many health leaders are asking you to upgrade that mask. our consumer investigator walks us through the best kinds of masks to use and how to spot a counterfit shopping online. >> on nightly news, inside the test mess. gabe gutierrez explores a testing lab that runs 20,000 tests a day. he gets to the bottom of what tests are most reliable. lester holt joins us from new york right now. tonight, the nightmare on the highway. thousands stranded in their vehicles after that powerful winter storm. drivers trapped for 36 hours in freezing cold without food or water along a 50-mile stretch of i-95 in virginia.
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after that blast of snow and ice caused hundreds of crashes. among the stranded, a u.s. senator tweeting from his car. what the department of transportation just announced. the u.s. reporting a million cases in a single day president biden addressing the nation saying there's quote, no excuse for being unvaccinated and what he said about testing shortages. our rare access inside one of the largest labs running 24/7 to meet demand. the major turn in the misdemeanor sex crime case against former new york governor andrew cuomo. why the d.a. is dropping the charge. security ramping up at the capitol ahead of the one-year anniversary of the january 6th insurrection our interview with a texas realtor days before beginning a sentence for her role in the riot. does she have regrets? the record number of americans quitting their jobs what's fuelling the great resignation? and once, it was one of the


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