tv ABC7 News 500PM ABC January 18, 2022 5:00pm-5:30pm PST
best move i've ever made. ask your dermatologist about cosentyx®. announcer: building a better bay area. moving forward, finding solutions. this is abc7 news. >> looking forward to an official lawson tomorrow morning and right now it's in the beta phase. >> but tonight that beta phase is allowing americans across the country to begin ordering at home covid tests for free. courtesy of the federal government. good evening. thank you for joining us. i'm dan ashley. amy: i'm ama daetz. you are watching abc7 news at 5:00. live here on abc7, hulu live and wherever you stream. dan: abc7 news reporter tim job -- tim johns how to order your at home free test and why some experts say it's too little, too late. tim: the free tests are available to order online at a government website. people can go to covidtest.gov and are redirected to a page run by the united states postal service. from there, just enter your contact and shipping information. the after people go ahead and
order their tests here online, they can inspect them at their front door and -- in seven to 12 days. the federal government is picking up the cost of the tests so ordering them online is free. and you don't need a credit card number to do so. but some health experts say it's too little, too late. >> i think that we missed the boat. >> dr. monica gandhi is an infectious disease expert at ucsf examine said while she supports people using the tests they would have been more helpful if the government had been issuing them before the omicron surge. >> if the tests are coming right now, that's simply not enough time. if we had it before, we could have helped our schools stay open, for example. tim: the at home tests sent home will be antigen tests similar to the ones sold at retail stores. >> those tests are best used to, quote, test out early from isolation. so if you already know you have covid, and you're just wondering when am i no longer infectious? tim: santa collar county officer
said the tests are becoming more common and good for most people looking to be tested. >> the other test the p.c.r. test is so good at picking up virus, even little pieces of dead virus that it's going to test long after you're infectious to others. >> those ordering tests through the new site will be kept at four tests per resident. regardless of the amount of people living there. dr. gandhi says she worries it's not enough. >> you need repeated tests to figure out, you know, when you're infectious or not. >> the biden administration announced that it had purchased 500 million tests for the new program but said it planned to buy one billion in order to meet demand. in the east bay, tim johns, abc7 news. amy: there already are some issues, though, reports of issues this afternoon new york congressman jerry nadler tweeted, quote, my office is aware of ongoing issues with the u.s. website particularly for those looking for tests who live in multifamily buildings.
we're working with u.s. -- usps now and will share more information as soon as we have it. dan: at newt national data is showing the first decrease in covid cases since the omicron surge began. some encouraging news. abc7 news reporter luz pena spoke with experts about this glimpse of hope. she is in the newsroom which certainly is nice to hear this. >> dan, that's exactly what it is. a glimmer of hope. the latest data of johns hopkins university shows daily covid-19 cases across the country have dropped 47% in the last week. and here in the bay area, several counties are also reporting similar declines. california is beginning to see a slight decline in covid cases with about a 48% decrease in the last week. in san francisco, this testing site in the mission district is also noticing a shift. >> yesterday we had 359 positives. so that's a positivity rate of
about 34%. perhaps we could say we're in a plateau but it's really too soon to tell. reporter: at its highest the positivity rate at this site has been 37%. last week, it was 34%. and they are attributing those numbers to everyday interactions and no longer to the holidays. >> schools are reopening. people going back to work. and that's -- it's being driven not only by holidays, it's just life. reporter: bay p.l.s., the testing company with sites across the bay area is also noticing a slight decline in their san francisco and san mateo county sites. >> we saw the increase off a percent positive in the first week on the ninth and 10th. that's been the highest. and now we're looking at moving 30%. so that's not as high as 36% that we've seen the highest. so i imagine the numbers are just stabilizing. reporter: to truly understand this shift in covid cases, we
went to u.c. berkeley to speak to professor kara nelson, her team has been monitoring the wastewater of about 2.5 million people in the bay area. they detect cases before people even know they have covid. here's what they're seeing. >> we are starting to see concentrations plateau or decrease in san francisco, in the locations we monitor in marin and then in the eastern portions of contra kosta county. reporter: even with this shift professor nelson highlighted that we're still seeing the highest concentration of cases of the pandemic. >> we may be turning the corner. but it doesn't mean we can let our guard down yet. reporter: there's hope but experts say we still need to see this decline for multiple days and weeks to confirm if covid cases are decreasing. we should know more in the next two weeks. in the newsroom, luz pena, abc7 news. amy: all right, thank you so much. and now here's a look at the latest state covid data. more than seven million californians have now been infected by the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. and in a huge spike, data
released by the state yesterday shows california reported one million new cases just last week. numbers today show more than 14,600 hospitalizations across the state. up 430 from the day before. the state is seeing a slight tee crease -- decrease in the test positivity rate at 21.1% down 1.8 points from the previous week. dan: all oakland unified schools will be open tomorrow. that's the district's plan after a teacher sickout forced three schools to close today. united for success academy is one of the schools that the district closed. about a dozen teachers gathered there this morning in solidarity with students who called for a sickout. students are demanding more covid safety measures and testing. the district says it recently provided 200,000 kn-95 masks nor the 35,000 students. >> first and foremost, we have ordered and received and delivered to all schools 200,000 kn-95 masks nor students.
those went to schools last thursday and this morning. dan: oakland unified also says it is providing testing at 10 hubs and at schools. and has been building outdoor eating areas since plast fall. amy: a big step forward today for a program that will reduce college debt for californians who give back to their communities. today the state announced the 45 colleges and universities selected for the first round of funding for the californians for all college core. under the program, people who volunteer 450 hours to help the students response to emergencies and disasters like covid will earn $10,000 to pay off loans for other college expenses at the participating schools. >> $10,000 that's a lot of money, man. that's a big deal. $6,500 people -- having -- 6,4500 people having that opportunity and we can go back to the legislature and take it to a whole other level and take it to the rest of the country. nosh else is doing this. -- nobody else is doing this. amy: californians for all college corps operated as a
pilot program after winning approval from the state legislature. it will operate in full starting this fall. dan: several airlines are now canceling flights into s.f.o. because after major disagreement with cell phone carriers. verizon and at&t were set to launch a new 5g signal tomorrow. but top airline executives say it could cause some safety problems. abc7 news reporter zach fuentes has more on the problem and why it's affecting travel locally and across the country. reporter: at&t and verizon both planning to launch a new 5g service stronger than the existing 5g that first launched in 2019. >> you're talking about 10 times what we have now. reporter: but the technology is causing major concerns that have led airlines like air india, emirates and others to cancel flights into s.f.o. >> the frequencies for the 5g is very close to the frequencies used by airplanes equipment that will -- no matter how high the plane is from the ground. reporter: it can be a major issue for airports in areas
prone to low visibility and bad weather. >> this is unsafe. the manufacturers have said so. our airlines are saying so. the f.a.a. is saying so. and so are pilot unions. reporter: so far at&t and verizon announced that they'll delay the wednesday rollout near some airports. executives from major airlines asked to keep the new 5g signals at least two miles from airports. they agreed to do that at 50 airports including s.f.o. and san jose international for at least six months. the f.a.a. has been aware of the rollout plan for two years now. at today's white house briefing, abc news asked why the f.a.a. didn't act sooner with testing the signals. >> lots of time to look back and see how we got here. what we're focused on is trying to come to a solution that will minimize disruptions, to passenger travel, cargo operations and our economic recovery and that is why it's so important to hopefully come to an agreement and ensure more planes are flying. reporter: we talked to both s.f.o. and oakland international who directed us back to the
f.a.a. s.j.c. said they're not expecting direct impacts because of the new 5g. but that flight cancellations at other locations could affect their operations. saying in a statement to us that said in part, since low visibility is rarely a factor at s.j.c. we're also preparing to accommodate more diversions from other area airports in the region should they be more impacted by capacity limitations caused by the new rules. in the south bay, zach fuentes, abc7 news. amy: one of the biggest tech acquisitions in years is expected to go through. microsoft announced it plans to pay nearly $70 billion in cash for activision blizzard. that's the video game studio behind warcraft, overawful and call of duty. the deal would make microsoft the third largest gaming company by revenue. the agreement still has to go through a regulatory review and shareholder approval. it's expected to close in 2023. dan: some concern about rising interest rates sent stocks to their lowest level of the new year. the dow dropped 543 points. that's about 1.5% of its value.
the nasdaq took a bigger hit plummeting 386 points, 2.6% of its value. and the s&p 500 finished down 85. amy: still ahead, thieves caught on camera. using their cars to smash into stores and steal a.t.m.'s. and police say this wasn't the only location. dan: plus the bay area mother accused of organizing drunken teen sex parties was back in court today. why some say her accusers -- some of her accusers and their parents argue she shouldn't be granted bail. i'm greg, i'm 68 years old. i do motivational speaking in addition to the substitute teaching. i honestly feel that that's my calling-- to give back to younger people. i think most adults will start realizing that they don't recall things as quickly as they used to or they don't remember things as vividly as they once did. i've been taking prevagen for about three years now. people say to me periodically, "man, you've got a memory like an elephant." it's really, really helped me tremendously. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
amy: friends and fellow new yorkers remembered 40-year-old michelle elysa go as someone who enjoyed giving back to others. she was killed when police say a homeless man pushed her into the tracks saturday right into the path of an oncoming train. go was born in berkeley. she was raised in fremont. her family still lives in the east bay. go has called new york her home for last decade, a city she loved and gave back to. >> she was the best friend that anybody could have. her friends called her the ultimate friend who would drop everything with a smile to care for them and she cared for our city. amy: a 61-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the crime. police say he confessed to pushing her. at 6:00, another vigil will take place in go's memory. this one in the portsmouth square in san francisco. dan: alleged victims of a mother who is is accused of hosting boozy sex-filled parties involving teenagers urged a judge to deny her bail today.
at least six of the accusers spoke during a bail hearing for 47-year-old shannon o'connor. some of the parents also spoke. if released they say she would further torment the accusers. o'connor's lawyers say she is not a risk to public safety and no legal cause for her to remain in jail. the judge continued the bail hearing to february 3. ama: today a man prosecutors say was part of a group burglary at a high end sneaker store not once but twice last year was arraigned in santa clara. the santa clara district attorney says 19-year-old gregory jefferson was one of the dozens of people who broke into the fix kicks store in the santa clara town center twice last november. police arrested jefferson at his home in pittsburgh and found 30 boxes of shoes. hangers with the store's name on them and a ghost gun. investigators say nearly 200,000 of merchandise was stolen from fix kicks which was forced to close its brick and mortar location and move all sales to online. dan: and then there's this. thieves smash their way into six
businesses in san jose early this morning. for their a.t.m.'s. look how it happened here. most of the targets are small businesses including brandon, wine and liquors. the owner says the burglars hit around 3:30 this morning and shared this surveillance video with us. you can see the thieves used a car to plow into the store's windows. sing isn't sure yet how much repair the damage will cost. how much repairing it will cost but suspects it will be several thousands of dollars. of course it will. he has to row place four windo windows. >> big trouble right there. they destroy my business almost because a.t.m. machine have no money in there maybe $500 or $1,000 but not that much. dan: police believe the same group of burglars targeted businesses across the city and a 90-minute crime spree. ama: the ballot drop boxes are out and in-person voting is open. early voting got under way in san francisco. we'll tell you about the what are you recommending for muscle pain? based on clinical data,
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dan: east bay congressman jerry mcnierney is calling it a career. the 70-year-old democrat announced that he will not seek re-election later this year. mcinerney has served eight terms in the house, in the 11th and ninth congressional districts. he says his major accomplishments include a big investment in infrastructure and public safety as well as increased access to broadband education, childcare, and health care. ama: happening today, early voting is under way in san francisco. voters can now cast their ballots in person or drop them off at any one of 34 drop boxes across the city. abc7 news anchor liz kruetz tells us what some of the biggest issues facing voters are. reporter: all right, san francisco, voting is officially under way for the election on february 15. if in a seems like an unconventional time to be filling out your ballot, it is. this is a special election as a result of some political shakeups at city hall and a recall. yeah. the most notable thing that you'll be voting on on this ballot is whether or not to recall three san francisco school board members.
president gabrielle lopeza, vice president malega and commissioner allison collins. most of the people backing this effort are fed up parents who were frustrated that it took so long to get kids back to in-person learning while the district focused on renaming schools and the decision to change the admission process at lowell high school from a test to a lottery. you might remember allison collins was also targeted separately because of tweets she wrote about asian americans. >> after careful consideration, i decided to support the recall. reporter: san francisco mayor is backing the recall effort and also the person who will appoint a temporary replacement should any of these board members be recalled. now, in addition to the recall, there are two other races on this ballot. one of them is for the position of assessor recorder which if you're wondering is responsible for identifying all taxable property in san francisco, and also recording and maintaining all public marriage licenses issued by the city. the other is a primary for assembly district 17.
vote remembers med -- need to choose choose a replacement for david chu who stepped down last year to become city attorney. only voters in the 17th district will vote in this race. the two front runners are david campos who served as chief of staff to district attorney chasa budin and district six supervisor matt haney. how you do vote? well, every register voter in san francisco should have received a ballot in the mail. you can send it back by mail, drop it in one of the 34 drop boxes around the city, or vote in person. in-person voting at city hall will be open for limited hours. the two weekends prior to election day, and then also open on lerkz day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and remember the official election day is the day after valentine's day tuesday, february 15. here in the newsroom, liz kruetz, abc7 news. dan: let's move on to weather. boy, ama, it is nice out there today. ama: yeah, really felt -- you know, warmer this afternoon. let's get to abc7 news meteorologist sandhya patel. sandyha: we're going to see
warmer weather coming up. that's for sure, dan and ama. temperatures today coming down as you take a look at a live picture. it is a stunning view right now from our east bay hills cam ravment you can see the fog dow. you can see the fog down below and air quality not so stunning. we have moderate air quality due to the lack of winds and that is going to continue as we head into tomorrow. right now, from our to your camera you will notice just a little bit of a haze over downtown san francisco. it's in the low 50's. from san francisco to oakland, mountain view, you need a sweater that's for sure. san jose 54 and half moon bay 52 degrees. golden gate bridge camera some of those higher clouds right now. temperatures in the low 50's from santa rosa to napa. you have to get out toward fairfield which is now 55 but it got up into the mid sibs 'tis today. to actually have some mild weather. 54 in livermore. live doppler 7 showing you the higher clouds up above. there is fog down below. as we check out the 24-hour temperature change, down six degrees in san francisco, it is five degrees cooler in san jose
and poked compared to 24 hours ago. from our emeryville camera, we are looking back toward san francisco and visibility is fine now. not for long, though. fog and high clouds overnight. gusty winds will develop in the hills the next two days and we are going to see warmer afternoons, dry pattern is going to continue through early next week and even beyond that. so the hourly forecast showing you the higher clouds up above we do have the fog that will develop down below. especially in the valleys. we already have it near the coast. and so at 8:00 a.m. right around the delta, around the east bay shoreline and the coast, you will see some of that fog with reduced visibility. it will pretty much move away from burnoff from the inland areas but not so much along the coast. we'll still see a few baffles. tomorrow morning, upper 30's to upper 40's. it is going to start off chilly in our wind sheltered valleys for the afternoon. a milder day, plenty of sun, 63 in san jose, 64 in gilroy. on the peninsula low 60's from san mateo to palo alto. 58 on the coast in half moon bay
downtown san francisco, south city in the upper 50's, north bay 61 in san rafael, 64 in santa rosa, with the downsloping wind the temperature is going to go up. in east bay 60 in oakland, 61 union city, and low to mid 60's, 62 in concord and 63 livermore. as far as rain goes, look at the next 10 days. everything is up to our north in the pacific northwest. and they're not getting a whole lot of rain, either, the next 10 days. accuweather seven-day forecast is dry and it is milder the next couple of days. it will feel like spring by friday. we're looking at near 70 degrees around the bay. low to mid 60's elsewhere and not a whole lot of change for the weekend. other than minor temperature fluctuations. a little cooler early next week. ama and dan.
you can get our live newscast, breaking news, weather and more with our abc7 bay area app on apple tv android tv, fire tv and roku. just search abc7 bay area and download it. dan: finally tonight, an oakland shipping company is stepping up to help tonga after that massive volcano eruption and tsunami. ama: communication remains cut off for much of the island kingdom which is now covered in
ash. volunteers with oakland based s.f. enterprises and logistics tell abc7 they've heard the military in tonga spent today sweeping ash off the airport runway so planes with relief supplies can land. in the meantime the company is collecting essentials like masks and water that will go out on ships this friday. alliance club based in foster city is using its connections to get help to tonga as well. >> we're going to be doing efforts with the lions clubs in new zealand, hopefully giving them monetary donations, they can get the stuff in new zealand, ship it over to the tonga a lot quicker than shipping it on a boat. dan: if you would like to help the cause before the supplies ship out it is not too late to help the people of tonga. s.f. enterprises and logistics will collect donations again tomorrow near the port of oakland at its mandela parkway headquarters. dropoff goes until 4:00 p.m. and they could use the support. ama: yeah. great effort in. all right. world news tonight with david muir is coming up next. i'm ama daetz.
dan: i'm dan ashley. for sandhya patel and all of us here we appreciate your time. we will see you again in half be a hour -- half after my car accident, i wondered what my case was worth. so i called the barnes firm. when that car hit my motorcycle, insurance wasn't fair. so i called the barnes firm.
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tonight, news on the pandemic. the hospitals crushed, patients being treated in the hallways. and those free test kits now available. how to get one. and in new york city tonight, the horrific and deadly gas explosion. the images just coming in now. first, the biden administration's new website to order those at-home covid test kits up and running. americans placing their first orders and we'll tell you how. as the number of new cases spikes in much of the country. nearly 1 million children testing positive in just a week. from oklahoma city to oregon tonight, hospitals described as war zones. also here in new york city tonight, those images just coming in of that deadly gas explosion.inuding five police officers. body camera images showing officers racing in to help people trapped.