tv NBC Bay Area News Tonight NBC January 11, 2022 7:00pm-7:30pm PST
i'm raj mathai. next on nbc bay area news tonight, it is a mess. the covid testing crisis seems to be getting worse, from san francisco to washington, d.c. we have new plans now to cut down on long lines and increase the supply of those at-home tests, but will it really happen? and how can you tell if your testing kit is legit and accurate? we'll share a few things to look for when you're shopping online, plus. >> i really am kind of leaving kicking and screaming, but at the same time, there's been so much resistance, i can't fight it anymore. >> a celebrity chef from oakland tells us why she's closing down her iconic east bay restaurant.
good evening. this is nbc bay area news tonight. i'm raj mathai. a lot of different angles when it comes to this covid surge. about 700 parents on the peninsula are volunteering, at least signed up to volunteer, to help out on campus in order to help keep their kids' schools open. amazing what we're seeing. we'll get to that story in just a few minutes. let's start with some numbers, not the national numbers but the california numbers. here's the case count. some of the highest levels since the pandemic began. we're expected to hit the peak next week. look at the calendar there. 117, 124 the peak there, then it levels off, then it starts to decline at the end of january. now the rise in cases also means the demand is extremely high for getting your hands on a covid test or appointment. that's the problem. san francisco trying to do something about it.
the mayor and public health officers delivering an ultimatum to hospitals and clinics, test more people faster or face heavy fines. the new ultimatum comes as the city struggles to provide enough testing kits. two of the sites were closed today because of computer issues. others are cutting down hours because of staffing shortages. >> we are in the middle of the worst of this omicron surge. but we can, and we should, and we must be looking to the future. >> well, the new health order requires hospitals and clinics to provide testing within 24 hours of a patient's request and requires providers to prove that they're meeting these guidelines or face hundreds of dollars in fines. congressman ro khanna is one of those asking the white house to
ramp up testing as well, dramatically. what they're asking for, these members of congress, and if the ask is even realistic. new restrictions beginning at midnight in sonoma county. no more large gatherings, outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people or fewer. if you're indoors, no more than 50 people. sonoma county is urging people to stay at home as much as possible. that isn't a mandate, it's just a suggestion or recommendation. these new restrictions last for a month, until february 11. so far, so far, no other bay area county has imposed these rules. before we get a little deeper into the impact of our covid surge, news about theranos founder elizabeth holmes. late today we learned about her sentencing date. it's going to happen in september. she was convicted on four counts of fraud and conspiracy a couple weeks ago. but the jury was also
deadlocked on three of the charges against her. our own scott budman learned that the prosecutors will drop those three wire fraud counts. the sentencing is in september. we mentioned the frustration about covid testing. here's the real frustration. do we have any solutions? most stores actually, are still sold out. you see those signs, we are sold out of testing kits, lines are long and appointments aren't available for days. covid experts knew the sturge surge was coming. this letter was sent to the white house. they acknowledge that the biden
administration and they have surprised the administration for ordering 500 million tests back in december, however, they said much more must be done. here's what they're calling for now. one, more rapid tests, so that every one of us can take one or two rapid tests a week. that means more than 2 billion rapid tests are needed. more testing sites in our communities and number three, making it easier for people to get reimbursed for the at-home tests. joining us now, ro khanna, who represents the bulk of the silicon valley. from washington, d.c., thanks for joining us this evening. from our perspective, my perspective here, this whole thing is a mess. to you agree with that? >> raj, unfortunately i do. there hasn't been sufficient testing.
we've known about covid for two years. why is it we can't get at least one test for every family per week like they're doing in england? >> last month we had a covid specialist from uc berkley. she said we saw this coming. why are we dragging our feet on this? >> well, we shouldn't have been. senator sanders and i had called for the defense production act to produce masks and have n95 masks for everyone. we've called for universal testing and reiterated that with our letter to the administration. i think there was candidly complacency. people didn't think that delta would happen, that omicron would happen, but all of the ex-perths have warned us that the variants are going to continue to affect us, and there's probably going to be another variant after
omicron. so we need to ramp up on the production of tests, the production of masks and the covid pill. it would literally save lives, and yet we're sort of six months out on that, and it isn't widely available to every american. >> final question, you announced today, you alongside senator bernie sanders, that asking for free kn95 masks what would that look like? >> from the federal government. it's not that expensive. let's send three masks per american right away and have them available at cvs, walgreen's, the local health care center. come on, masks and testing in the greatest country, the greatest economy? we can't provide everybody a mask? to see people lined up in the heart of silicon valley to get a
mask or a test. we have to do better. >> coming to work today i saw long lines just to get tested. it's amazing it's happening here. is this all realistic? we can talk about big flowery situations. >> you're right to be skeptical, because the response for two years hasn't been quite up to par. we're doing everything we can to tell the administration they have to do this. ultimately, it's up to the president to declare the defense production act and use it and to have purchase agreements with the producers of these tests and masks. we're going to advocate as hard as we can. this idea that well, we will be past the omicron peak, maybe we will. >> thanks for your time tonight. >> always a pleasure, raj. >> who knows what's going to
happen in the coming months. right now, though, the immediate issue, how do i get a test. fair warning, here, there are fake tests being sold online. we do not like to hear that. let's bring in abby fernandez. i got to say, i felt so lucky a few days ago. i happened to find some online on amazon that are supposed to be delivered to me at home i think by next monday. what do i need to look out for? >> first one on the list. check the fda list. it has a complete list of tests that it has approved for home use already. they gave emergency use authorization to several companies. you'll be able to find companies on that list. they also have a list of fraudulent covid products being sold. you want to look at that list, too, so you can avoid buying and staying away from certain items. the second tip is do some of the research on your own. check out the website you're
thinking of buying on. do a deep check. make sure everything looks legit before purchasing, and if you're buying from amazon you actually do have the ability of seeing the seller's profile. can you see past reviews from customers, the other items they're selling to make sure the shop is legit. the third continue here, raj, is to pay for your at-home test with a credit card instead of with a debit card or your bank account, this way if you get a fraudulent test or scammed for some reason, can you dispute the charge with your credit card company. >> i did the credit card, got it through amazon, now i got to go look and see if it's legit. what have you done to get a covid test? we asked on facebook, twitter and instagram. i'm guessing we got interesting responses >> we did. horror stories and some people who were lucky. one said he was sick a few days ago and tried to get one in person and tried to get a kit.
he's no longer feeling sick and has given up. this person says they made an appointment at one says he felt like he was trying to be caller number 20 to win concert tickets on the radio. go to our website to see a list of testing sites across the bay area. >> i remember trying to do it on the county site. by the time i hit click to get the point it was unavailable. abby's the host of our digital show called synched in. you can catch it on our instagram or tiktok pages. our handle is nbc bay area. parents to the rescue.
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schools continue to scramble for answers to keep campuses open. on the peninsula, here's an idea. school district is so short it sent an s.o.s. to parents, and a lot of parents responded. >> we need your help. >> that simple question, and oh, my. palo alto unified, like nearly every school district in america, struggling to find enough healthy substitute teachers and support staff to keep campuses open. the district has an average of 100 support employees and about 80 teachers missing school daily. they put out the call for help on sunday. by today, nearly 700 parents signed up to volunteer. tonight we're joined by one of those volunteers, ray lane, nice to have you on the program. 700 parents signed up. are you surprised by the response here? >> i'm actually not surprised at
all. at the beginning of the year there was already restriction as to how many volunteers could be on campus anyway, so when this came out on sunday i'm not surprised that a lot of parents jump at the chance. because of the pandemic there were already restrictions placed on the school, where parents aren't even allowed on campus to even drop off their kids to the door. this gave the parent whose wanted to volunteer anyway to begin with, to be able to do so. >> what are you all going to do? whether it's you or one of your community members, 700 of you guys signed up. it's not to teach class. what are some of the duties you might be doing? >> i know what i've been doing since i've been volunteering, it's probably going to support a lot of the teachers, like the teacher librarian that we have, one of the things that i do, support the teacher librarian,
check in books while she teaches classes, doing recess and lunch, it's mostly managing the children, providing support for the teachers that are on campus and making sure that every single is well and we maintain safety for everyone. >> you think school also stay open with the surge of parents volunteering here? >> i think so. i hope so. from what i've been seeing, i mean, things, honestly, since the call on sunday, and now it's tuesday, you know, i've seen not, we didn't skip a beat, essentially. i think we're going to keep open. >> excellent, really well done on your part and the community and perhaps other communities that are able to do so can take notice as well. good luck to you in palo alto. >> thank you. >> let's move on.
a popular oakland restaurant, after struggling with two years of covid like so. restaurants is throwing in the towel. brown sugar kitchen has served its last meal. tonya holland cooks the soul food she grew up but bases it on french cooking. joining us now is chef tonya holland. say it isn't sew. is this really happening? >> yes, it is. we are one of the many casualties of the covid era and the restaurant industry in general. i think one thing everyone has learned during the pandemic is how fragile our hospitality industry is. and we were a startup in this new location for, we have just been open a year when covid started, and we lost our
momentum, and it was really lard hard to recover. >> we've seen some 30% to 50% f restaurants have shut down either temporarily or permanently, is that consistent? >> yeah, when i look around downtown there's definitely a lot of empty storefronts. there's some movement, too, there's new places moving in, and the business model is different, more take-out centric and grab and go. when you come from full-service hospitality, it's hard to just pivot and, you know, make those change, especially when you've designed a space that is a certain size and requires a certain amount of revenue to operate that doesn't fit into a business model of doing takeout. >> you've been such an important part of the bay area dining scene especially in oakland.
what's next for you here? >> well, you know, i'm still in the community. i'm still, you know, committed to hospitality. i'm on the board of trustees of the james beard foundation and chair of the awards, i'm really excited about that, making a lot of changes and impacts. i will continue to try to move the need until my industry for divers inclusion. i'm working on a consumer packaged good biscuit product and my next cookbook will be out this fall. so i still have neat things to do, you know, post restaurant life. and you know, you just never know what's around the corner. >> tanya, if you had a magic wand, what would you do to help your restaurant other other restaurants stay afloat or get back into business? >> it would take several magic wands. the bay area is a tough economy
because of housing issues for a lot of the workers in restaurants can't afford to live and work in their communities, so i mean i guess i would love to create some affordable housing just for restaurant workers. i would, yeah, you know, love to, if i had the opportunity to have, you know, had more hands-on managerial and business management training. we work our way up in kitchens, but, you know, we don't get to stop and get like this management training course or the business management course. a lot of us learn by doing thit for the faint of heart being a restauranture. and, you know this is just part of the journey. >> you have done a great job and helped the community and helped feed the community with brown sugar kitchen. >> thanks for having me. let's take you out to the
bay bridge. jeff ranieri will join us with the forecast as we head into mlk weekend. stay with us. from one moment to the next, our kids become the most important part of our lives. and even though the years pass, that never changes. we never stop worrying about them. that's why it's important to have health insurance. with covered california, we got a plan we could afford. it includes free preventive care, like cholesterol and blood-pressure checkups. because even though they grow up, they'll always be your baby. covered california. this way to health insurance. enrollment ends january 31st. go to coveredca.com.
this special order. >> words such as legendary and iconic have been used to describe john madden, but to residents of pleasanton and the tri valley region i represent in california's 15th congressional district, you had the pleasure of knowing john as the down to earth husband and father. >> virginia, mike and joe maddon still a big part of livermore. he's going to miss seeing coach madden around town at outback steakhouse or the ace hardware store. speaking of the raiders, they're back in the playoffs for the first time in five years. saturday afternoon at 1:30 right here area, the 49ers take on the cowboys.
the niners play in dallas sunday afternoon at 1:30. we've got a big weekend of football. >> yeah. >> and we got a three-day weekend coming up for a lot of people. >> look at this, all the storm activity is going up here we'll get a mix of sun and clouds. can you see it's all about this area of high pressure as we move through tomorrow really steering the storm track. on again-off again clouds. my long-range forecast does show by the end of the month, early february, calling for a 65% chance that the wet weather trend returns. good news on that front. sun, clouds, temperatures in the 40s. by the afternoon, a little bit feeling like spring. so we get into more widespread cloud cover.
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