tv ABC7 News 500PM ABC February 15, 2021 5:00pm-5:31pm PST
next at 5:00, who is getting the coronavirus vaccine and who is not? the state finally releases new demographic data. turns out it may be only one piece of a very complicated puzzle. also ahead the new variants discovered and the concern they're now causing. also this evening better, faster, easier. how santa clara county is changing its pop-up testing sites for covid-19 and why they say it's critical people start using them. and getting the message out. a billboard now expresses the frustration over kids learning at home. some say it goes too far. california claims vaccine equity is a top priority but for weeks the state didn't have the data accessible to prove it. tonight the abc 7 news i team is
getting answers after repeated attempts to push the state to release the race and ethnicity demographics of the 6 million californians vaccinated. i'm ama daetz. >> and i'm dan ashley. i-team reporter stephanie sierra is live with a close being look at vaccine equality. hi, stephanie. >> every vaccine is submitted to the statewide immune registry. tonight we are digging into what is a preliminary and very narrow picture of that registry showing some of the same disparities seen throughout the pandemic. >> i feel good. >> reporter: the 85-year-old san francisco resident blessed with a devoted caretaker got vaccinated right away. how good do you feel on a scale of one to ten? >> good so far. i would say ten. >> reporter: but he worries about his latino neighbors and there's data to validate his
concerns. >> equity. >> reporter: after weeks of promises to prioritize equity the state has released a preliminary picture of the nearly 6 million doses administered, around 32% went to white people. 16% to latinos. 13% to asian americans. close to 14% went to multirace with only around 3% of black people. around 20% identified race as other or unknown with pacific islander, american indian and alaskan native making up less than 1%. >> the distribution of vaccins are about right for white and asian populations, but lower for latino and black populations. >> reporter: physician dr. maldonado stressed we need more information. a majority of this data is reflective of the state's health care workforce and long-term
care communities. eligible under phase 1a along with individuals 65 and older. >> there are underlying racial ethnic disparities in the workforces. >> reporter: public health deputy director argues it's tough to draw immediate conclusions until vaccinations move to the general public. >> that's when it becomes apparent whether we're doing a good job or a bad job of reaching nonwhites. >> reporter: until that happens latinos like ramon who make up more than half of california's covid cases are worried about reoccuring disparities. >> everyone should get a vaccine. >> reporter: on march 15th health care workers can vaccinate anyone aged 16 to 64 deemed most at-risk with underlying health conditions. now at that point and when the state moves to vaccinate the general population this data will better illustrate the disproportionate impact by race. we'll continue following it.
stephanie sierra, abc 7 news. >> you've been pushing for this data to be released. any idea why the state was so delayed in publishing it? >> reporter: health officers across the bay area we talked to say a majority of the delay stems from the state's outdated data systems. apparently it takes days and in some cases weeks to get the data submitted into the registry. we've also seen this with the number administered to when california was lagging behind other states. the reporting process was not efficient. >> okay. thanks, stephanie. vaccine equity at the site of the oakland coliseum lot, parking lot. it opens tomorrow and is set to deliver 42,000 doses a week. this location and another one in east los angeles the first federal vaccination sites set up by the state and fema to reach people who lacked good medical care. the state says the two communities have been impacted
by covid-19 and are home to many essential workers. the city of berkeley says it's expanding vaccine eligibility. anyone who works in a berkeley grocery store, convenience store, in-person education or child care setting now qualifies to get a shot. in addition the city it allowing all residents over 65 to get theirs as well. the city is taking appointments online. the vaccines, keep in mind, are free. doctors have found seven variants of the coronavirus that originated in the u.s. >> all of these variants had the same exact mutation. now that could just be a coincidence but some researchers are worried could this mean that the virus is getting smarter and adapting? >> scientists say the discovery spotlights the need for better tracking of cases and mutations. researchers in denver are among those working on ways to detect
variants. >> we've had so much infection and so much viral replication going on throughout the world that eventually there's going to be a change that's big enough to be meaningful and that's really what we're starting to see. >> the doctor is among scientists working on the product. he says they have a preliminary test they're working through that should be available soon. it's not yet known if the seven u.s. mutations are more contagious but scientists suspect that is the case. as the vaccine rollout continues in santa clara county officials are concerned about a drop in testing. this week they'll begin using a new test. chris nguyen has more on where you'll be able to find it. >> reporter: tonight in santa clara county preparations to unveil a new covid-19 diagnostic test. >> a lot of people would feel comfortable getting this test.
it's very noninvasive. >> reporter: saliva-based testing will be offered in east san jose and the south county annex in gilroy. these locations were among the first in the county to transition to self-administered nasal swab testing back in december. under the new format participants will not be able to eat, drink, smoke or chew gum 30 minutes before saliva collection for accurate results. >> the more the saliva sits in your mouth the higher the sensitivity will be because you're picking up virus that's replicating that's making more of itself in the area. >> reporter: the change comes as the county is experiencing a dramatic drop in testing since the spike over the holiday season. officials say they're utilizing only 55% of capacity. >> for those people on the frontline of work need to get in and be tested at least monthly and more often if necessary. >> reporter: the new test is expected to be faster and easier. participants will spit into a test tube. and because it will be
self-administered infectious disease experts say it will help the exposure of medical personnel and free them up on vaccinating the public. >> many of our communities, particularly the latin x community is being hard hit by covid-19. anything that we can do to increase the uptake of testing will be very, very positive. >> reporter: although more vaccines are now available -- >> test something a crucial part of contract tracing because to do contact tracing you have to start with testing in the first place. >> reporter: that testing will continue to play a key role in reducing the spread of the virus. in san jose, chris nguyen, abc 7 news. and, again, the new saliva-based testing will be offered at emanuel baptist church in san jose. you cannot miss it if you travel 101 through rohnert park. a sign went up last weekend and it became instantly controversial. as abc 7 news reporter wayne
freedman explains. >> reporter: empty classrooms and parents who think their kids should be filling them. >> instead of working like i would like to do i'm a stay-at-home dad. >> reporter: they have found an outlet. missing all students, last seen 3/13/2020 it reads almost like an amber alert. they paid $1,800. >> it's insulting to our teachers who are working so hard. >> i was a little shocked and it was a little bit offensive to teachers for what we're doing. >> reporter: this issue is bigger than one sign, bigger than one school district, bigger than a state. it's a national discussion. what's happening here in sonoma county just a my crow kocicroco. >> reporter: none of the parents who pitched in to pay for that
sign agreed to be interviewed today, but she knows them. >> honestly, i think it's the unions holding people back. >> reporter: maya perez, the superintendent, says it's more complicated than that. >> it's a very difficult process to get our schools ready. >> reporter: and then ryan sweet, a stay-at-home dad with two kids who says the system isn't efficient this way. >> i wouldn't say the teachers aren't working as hard but they've been given an opportunity by working at home to walk around in their pajamas all day long and not have to do what they normally would be doing being at school present standing next to these kids in our classroom. >> reporter: finally fourth grade teacher nakano. what do they not understand? >> that we're working like twice, four times, almost ten times as hard as we did when we were teaching in the classroom. >> reporter: what's the takeaway? if they intend this hed this si
begin a discussion, it worked. in the north bay, wayne freedman, abc 7 news. the changing nature of work. a new focus tonight. forget about moving the furniture. experts are looking at how we can become more empathetic. the impact from a very smoky fire at the guadeloupe park trailville tors center. a tree is knocked down on an outdoor eating spot. sandhya patel i'm made to move. but these days, i'm not getting out as much as i'd like to. that's why i take osteo bi-flex. it helps with occasional joint stiffness, while it nourishes and strengthens my joints for the long term. osteo bi-flex.
hi, i'm debra. i'm from colorado. i've been married to my high school sweetheart for 35 years. i'm a mother of four-- always busy. i was starting to feel a little foggy. just didn't feel like things were as sharp as i knew they once were. i heard about prevagen and then i started taking it about two years now. started noticing things a little sharper, a little clearer. i feel like it's kept me on my game. i'm able to remember things. i'd say give it a try. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. one of the first ways the pandemic was obvious was the reduction of travel on our roadways. today is a holiday so traffic is especially light as you can see. the pandemic proved it's possible for us to work differently. now it might prove that we are capable of feeling differently, too.
abc 7 news reporter david louie with more on our changing work place, one of our pillars of building a better bay area. >> reporter: even as vaccinations continue remote work keeps getting extended. employees started working from home nearly a year ago. one key takeaway has been the difficulty balancing work with family especially with kids doing distance learning. amy wolfe, a veteran of several tech companies, is an expert in business transformation. she says mid level and top managers should be focused on one thing in the changing work place, empathy. >> a higher degree of understanding and empathy which is a critical skill to have right now. if you want to retain your employees and, more importantly, engage with them, you have to understand where they're coming from. >> reporter: everyone at all levels is adjust to go the evolving changes in how we work. engagement is another emerging buzz word as companies envision employees splitting the workweek between home and maybe two days in the office, interaction will change. >> often decisions were made in
doorways because you pop into someone's office, you have this idea, what a great idea, let's move on it. now you don't have that convenience. >> reporter: brain storming shifts to videoconferencing or internal messages platforms. perhaps a shift in focus putting people ahead of their tasks. >> it's more of a pivot towards better communication, better technology, better transparency around performance and then a whole big investment on employee wellness and mental benefits. >> reporter: david louie, abc 7 news. in the south bay firefighters shut down a busy street in downtown san jose as they worked to put out a debris fire that started at 7:00 at the guadeloupe trail visitor center. the building is vacant but people had been using it as a shelter. the ground and upper floors were damaged. nobody was hurt, thankfully. santa clara street was shut down in both directions but has since reopened. a massive tree came crashing down on top of a parklet.
it happened this morning near the corner of hay street. the street was shut down as crews cleaned up the mess. no one was hurt. the city says wet soil from the rain may have contributed to the fall. a lot of issues when we get too much rain at once. it seems we're getting a break now, dan. >> it's nice to see. we still need more rain, but clearly that tree coming crashing down, wet soil may have been a factor. it's pretty wet out there. yeah, and now we're going to get a chance to dry out for a couple of days before more rain arrives so hopefully we don't see too many issues. take a look at live doppler 7. a look at what passed through. some snow showers in the mountains and the sierra and some rain here. it was really light rain across the bay area. you will notice a lot of cloud cover. we are seeing peeks of sun. the last 24 hours picking up .45
of an inch of rain. .29 san francisco. a third in oakland. san jose only .01. .26 in napa. here is a live look from our golden gate bridge. we are seeing a lot of clouds but still peeks of sun. mid to upper 50s. currently 57 in san jose. now this is a preview of what's coming. san jose camera showing you some sunshine out there. it is 57 in santa rosa. 57 in napa and 54 degrees in livermore. from our emeryville camera we're seeing the sun filtered by the clouds still hanging around. chilly inland overnight with areas of morning fog so watch out during the commute. dry and breezy the next two days and rain returns late thursday night going into friday. it's cold enough where you'll need to grab a jacket or a sweater. 36 degrees in santa rosa. livermore down to 44 in oakland, san jose, 46 degrees in san
francisco. as we check out the high temperatures for tomorrow, they're going to be similar to where we were today. 63 in fairfield. 61 san rafael. 630 60. on thursday evening we are expecting some rain to move in. it starts in the north bay. really going into the wee hours of friday morning we'll see more wet weather. the showers will continue off and on and then saturday morning we have a few more showers before you get a chance to dry out. additional rainfall -- i should say rainfall totals from that system thursday night through saturday. we're looking at anywhere from a tenth of an inch to about a quarter of an inch but wetter spots like clover dale that will pick up close to half an inch of rain. the accuweather seven-day forecast, morning fog will be followed by a breezy afternoon, plenty of sun for your wednesday. it will be a milder day. temperatures will be up into the mid-60s. and then a level one system bringing us evening rain thursday. still wet and breezy friday.
early morning showers saturday. the rest of your weekend is dry. we certainly need the rain here in the bay area and that looks like it's going to definitely bring us wet weather later on in the week but time to take out the shades and enjoy some sun. ama and dan? >> thank you, sandhya. sticking with the weather, it was unreal in texas. this is galveston on the gulf of mexico. yes, that is a person cross-country skiing by a parked lifeguard truck with surfboards on it. how about this, the beach covered in snow. snow on the gulf is rare but not unprecedented. according to the galveston history center there's been measurable snowfall there 11 times over the last 120 years. you would think you were looking at the midwest looking at all that snow. >> absolutely, ama. wild weather in parts of the country. also here your dna and harnessing its power through genome sequencing. stanford's effort to solve mystery diseases is now
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i want to tell you about a new program at stanford. doctors there have just launched a system that will help them better treat patients with inherited diseases not just by learning about their history but what's in their genes. amy very much wanted to start a family, but first she needed to solve a mystery. >> the unknown, not knowing why really got us stuck. >> amy says she had been running and exercising for most of her life until doctors discovered a dangerous condition which diminishes the heart's abbott to pump blood. what they couldn't tell her at age 32 was the exact cause or whether she might pass it down to her children. >> which, if i had a child, could end up like me or an over
50% chance that it would be much more severe for the child and they would suffer. >> that's exactly the power of genetic testing and this whole genome sequencing. >> the family turned to the doctor for inherited cardio vas schol cular diseases. it gives doctors to sequence and search patient's entire genome to the cause of their disease. the difference between looking at a handful versus about 20%. he says in many cases the answers can lead to life-changing treatment. >> with the genetic basis for the disease we can use that to then have much more precise therapies. >> reporter: in amy's case it was the ability to conquer her fear of the unknown. the team was able to pinpoint the genetic cause of her heart condition and eliminate a more dangerous candidate. the information gave amy enough confidence to begin a family
that now joyfully includes two daughters. >> my hope and my dream now that i decided to go forward with a family is that they will live the fullest life they can live. >> and to be able to take full advantage of all the advance that is may come in the future. look at those beautiful, smiling faces. dr. ashley, no relation, by the way, uses the power of gene sequencing as part of a group called the undiagnosed group network. a collaboration of centers across the country that work together to solve the origins of different or mysterious cases and they're doing tremendous work. >> i did hear dr. ashley and was confused there, dr. >> i have not been to medical school. up next, laughing -- who knew
population? >> from our dedicated team of experts. >> they are still very much ongoing. >> vaccine watch, every day on abc 7 news. finally tonight getting emotional over emojis and memes. international warfare has broken out over these three images. the laughing/crying emoji as well as skinny jeans and the side hair part. >> now it seems millennials, between 25 and 40 and gen-z, anyone born after 1996 are going after each other as to whether these things are cool or not. gen-z is done with all of them. they moved on once they saw their mom using it. we get that. >> all right. what's the deal with the skinny jeans and the side part? skinny jeans out of style with zoomers? also, they're done with the side part, middle parts are more
like you, my hands are everything to me. but i was diagnosed with dupuytren's contracture. and it got to the point where things i took for granted got tougher to do. thought surgery was my only option. turns out i was wrong. so when a hand specialist told me about nonsurgical treatments, it was a total game changer.
like you, my hands have a lot more to do. learn more at factsonhand.com today. tonight, the deadly storm on the move at this hour. and already, another one coming right behind it. 200 million americans on alert. millions already without power tonight across texas and oklahoma as the storm moves from the south right up into the northeast tonight. then, another cross-country system wednesday into thursday. more than 40 states under winter weather alerts tonight. heavy snow, dangerous ice and life-threatening cold. and tonight, the ice storm warnings from the first system from mississippi right up into new york. multiple crashes in texas and oklahoma. record snow and cold. families tonight facing no power and no heat and the coldest temperatures in decades. the roof of a supermarket collapsing. wind chills in parts of the country more than 30 degrees below zero.
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