tv NBC Bay Area News at 5 NBC December 9, 2020 5:00pm-5:30pm PST
the county serves 2 million people, raj, but right now there are only 31 available icu beds. >> that's the biggest county in the bay area. nbc's marianne favro broke the story yesterday that regional medical center in san jose is at capacity. now two more hospitals have reached capacity as well. marianne. >> reporter: county health leaders announced today that o'connor hospital here in san jose no longer has any icu beds available, and neither does srt louise hospital in gilroy. >> this is absolute the worse we have seen. we're in a much worse state right now than in the summer or spring. >> reporter: today, the warning is we may see 100 new covid patients a day heading into hospitals during the next few days, straining their resources. regional medical center of san jose has already reached capacity with 70 covid patients. icu, emergency department beds, and the hospital's entire covid
floor are full. the e.r. remains open, and the hospital has brought in more staff, postponed elective surgeries, and taken other steps to handle the surge. >> we have tried to chance fer so -- transfer some patients out, but we're doing that on a selective basis. >> reporter: the icu beds at o'connor hospital in san jose and st. louise hospital in gilroy are also full as they respond to what doctors are calling the thanksgiving surge. an estimated 10% to 12% of all patients with covid end up in the hospital, which is why santa clara county is working on contingency plans. >> which is bringing additional beds into service, trying to make icu beds in their facility by adding equipment to existing beds. >> reporter: dr. kamal says they're also considering setting up a regional center for overflow and transferring some patients to hospitals in other counties. in san jose, marianne favro, nbc
bay area news. so let's talk about san francisco where the number of cases and patients in icu spiking in unison. tonight city leaders say they're feeling the fallout of the thanksgiving day travel. cases have soared since the holiday. san francisco's public health director says at least 167 people are testing positive every single day. now, the city predicts it will run out of icu beds within the next 17 days. so an urgent plea went out today asking people to stay home to bend the curve. >> we know how to slow the spread of the virus. we've done it twice before. let's do it a third time. >> now, the city unveiled two different kinds of projections for the future. look at this chart. on the left, what hospitalizations will look like if we don't bend that curve. dr. colfax predicts more than 1,400 people could end up in the hospital by february 10th, ten times the number of people currently hospitalized. the second projection is the one
that you see on the right. it shows what can happen if people stay home. and as you can see there, a much slower rate of spread and of hospitalizations as well. >> let's take a closer look at this icu bed availability in the bay area. four areas are in the red zone. santa clara county took another turn for the worse overnight, going from 16% down to 10%. contra costa county is at 19% availability. napa, solano, and alameda counties all above 30%. >> thanks, raj. so most of the bay area is in that lockdown again. one restriction, though, has been lifted. playgrounds will reopen or remain open. janelle wang joins us now with this change and a lot of parents were really upset about this and really weren't correlating the being in the playground and not being able to have your kids there. >> exactly. now they are jumping for joy, jessica.
after a lot of heat and criticism from parents, parks and recs officials, even doctors saying it doesn't make sense to close the playgrounds. the state changed its mind and says playgrounds can reopen and stay open. playgrounds in five bay area counties shut down earlier this week after governor newsom said they had to close under the new regional shelter at home order. but the state reversed course overnight, and today alameda, contra costa, marin, san francisco, and santa clara counties all confirmed to us playgrounds will reopen. such a big relief for parents who go to playgrounds sometimes daily so their kids can just burn off some energy. >> i think it's essential to have children have open spaces where they can run, play, enjoy themselves. we have amazing places in san francisco for children-and what better way to take care of our mental health as families? >> children need this time, and particularly our highest needs
kids in our most dense, urban, and often underserved neighborhoods. now, one thing that we all need to be mindful of is there are restrictions and rules for safe playground use. >> yeah. the rules are still in place. you must wear masks, social distance, and not eat at the playgrounds. try to avoid having play dates there, and of course wash your hands right afterwards. but such good news to have that outlet for kids. even doctors say it didn't make sense to shut down playgrounds because staying indoors is not as safe. if you close the playgrounds, more kids are just going to gather and congregate inside, and there's no science or real evidence yet that shows that playgrounds are a location where the virus -- the coronavirus is spreading. so a lot of good news. i posted it on social media, raj and jessica, and i got "thank goodness, what a relief" from so many parents so excited to see playgrounds reopen. >> i'm saying the same thing.
what a relief, janelle. the adult playground, the slopes, you can forget that for now. lake tahoe shutting down to tourists. california's side will soon be under the state's stay-at-home order. the order will go into effect tomorrow night. it will last three weeks. the stay-at-home order triggered because, yes, icu bed availability within the greater sacramento region, as raj showed you, dipped below that 15% threshold. squaw valley, north star, heavenly, other resorts will stay open. however, under the rules of the stay-at-home order, hotels and rentals are only allowed for essential purposes. now to our special series "race for a vaccine." tomorrow the fda is expected to grant that emergency use authorization of the pfizer covid vaccine here in the u.s. this amid a new warning tonight from british health officials. people who have significant allergic reactions should not get that pfizer vaccine. that's what the brits are saying. it comes after two british health care workers with allergies experienced reactions
after receiving the dose. pfizer says there were no reported allergic reactions among the participants in the late-stage trials here in the u.s., however. whether it's pfizer or moderna, the vaccine is coming to local hospitals, bay area hospitals, as early as next week. one east bay hospital already has those mega cold freezers needed to store the vaccine, and it's already handpicked the first 1,000 doctors and nurses who will get the shots. here's nbc bay area's melissa colorado. >> reporter: if the covid-19 vaccine is liquid gold, consider this the vault. this is the ultra cold freezer that will store the first batch of the covid-19 vaccine at john muir's concord medical center. >> it's huge. it would hold north of 10,000 vaccines. >> reporter: dr. nick mikas is in charge of overseeing the vaccine distribution process for john muir health. he says they've ordered 5,000 vaccines, but the state and the county will have the final say.
>> we will give what we get, and then we've ordered enough to be able to get to the majority of our high-risk staff. >> reporter: the first 1,000 staff members to get the vaccine are the doctors and the nurses who are most exposed, those who work in the icu and the e.r. >> i don't believe that we'll be giving it to patients who are actually ill. >> reporter: that's because the state has yet to give guidance on when it's time to give the vaccine to patients. according to dr. mickas -- >> it will get here when it gets here. we're confident we're going to be in a position to start immunizing our employees when the vaccine gets here. >> reporter: a sign that 2021 is getting off to a hopeful start. in the east bay, melissa colorado, nbc bay area news. coast guard island in alameda is playing a key role in the distribution of the covid vaccine. the new defense department memo lists military sites where the vaccine will first be administered to service members and in some cases their families and some civilian employees.
the only other california distribution sites are in san diego county. the places chosen had strict criteria, enough access to cold storage, a population of at least 1,000 priority personnel, and enough medical staff to administer vaccines and to do the follow-up. now, we have created a special "race for a vaccine" section on our website. we're posting all of our stories there. easy for you to find. go to nbcbayarea.com/vaccine. well, it's still happening. congress is still talking a lot and not voting on that covid relief bill. lawmakers are trading barbs and assigning blame as they debate this plan. top democrats rejected a new $916 billion proposal from the white house while a bipartisan group of senators work on a separate plan with a similar price tag. >> we cannot leave here unless we get $1,200 for every worker. >> democrats continue to oppose common sense legal protections. >> i'm confident we will have covid relief whether it's this week or next week is probably
the question. it looks like it's going to be closer to next week. >> we'll see. a lot of americans are waiting for this. now, president trump is still focused on the past election, starting a new one word hashtag. you see it there #overturned. hunter biden says a federal investigation into his taxes will show he did nothing wrong. joe biden's younger son was slammed by president trump during the campaign, accused of so far unsubstantiated charges stemming from his work in ukraine. we're just learning federal prosecutors with the irs are looking into his 2018 work in china with an energy company. the president-elect's son said in a statement that he and his attorneys learned about the probe yesterday. in a statement, he says he acted legally. sources say his father, the president-elect, is not implicated in any way. up next, they're not letting thieves steal their holiday spirit. the special delivery today for a toy drive that lost nearly 200 bikes a few weeks ago. plus the best waves they've
seen in years. surfers from around the world hold an unofficial mavericks. we're going to take you there live, day two. i'm chief meteorologist jeff ranieri tracking some important changes to our rain forecast. i think you'll like what's coming our way this weekend. i'll be back with that in about eight minutes. when we welcome our west coast viewers, freezer farms, trucks, police escorts, planes, the ambitious and delicate plan to get covid vaccines in place. also the holiday shipping crunch and this week's important deadline when we see you back here for "nightly news." we have the power to harness california's
watch. look at these surfers here. 2020 is coming to a thrilling end for these guys and women out there. huge waves, 25 feet to 40 feet, near half moon bay. some of the world's best surfers rushing to mavericks for these huge waves and epic conditions. they did this for the world famous contest. remember for all these years? but this time it's just for fun. our skyranger catching the action from high above. let's go down below. nbc bay area's robert handa joins us live from pillar point harbor on the coast. robert, it looks beautiful behind you. >> reporter: it really does, and it's no wonder that so many surfers showed up. in fact, you can see mavericks in the background and why it's such a beautiful, popular attraction. yes, there was no contest, but you wouldn't know it talking to surfers and watching the waves. >> i like this. >> yes! yes! >> reporter: it's been absolutely ideal conditions for big wave surfers at mavericks this week. 40 to 50 foot waves, glassy
surface, and calm weather. today was a great day, though surfers agreed tuesday was the peak. legendary mavericks surfer grant washburn of san francisco called it epic. >> it was really intense, like life-threatening intense just to be in the water on those days. but then everybody's having fun, so it's a kind of a tradeoff, a real daredevil like astronaut, gymnast skills. >> if you don't know the lineup or it's your first time out there and like the biggest swell of the year, anything like that, it's probably not the best day to go out and learn the sport. >> reporter: in fact, veteran participants made sure there were trained safety and rescue crews on hand. >> i saw some incredible wipeouts, and i saw tim west was out there all day long on his jet ski grabbing people out of danger right away. so yesterday, there wasn't any -- there was a few broken boards, but there were no broken limbs. >> reporter: mavericks surf contest founder jeff clark said
he didn't mind there was no contest. >> during a contest, only 24 guys get to surf, right? and there's a lot more guys that deserve the shot to go surf the biggest, best mavericks we've seen in ten years. >> reporter: well, there hasn't been a competition in five years, so no one really knows the future of the surf contest. but after seeing this week's waves, it's hard to believe the ride is over just yet. live at pillar point, robert handa, nbc bay area news. >> thank you, robert. facebook being sued by the federal government and 48 states, including california. they claim the silicon valley giant of buying up rivals in an attempt to squash competition. the lawsuit accuses facebook of what it calls abuse of market power to maintain a monopoly. the group of governments wants to prevent the social media company from buying more companies worth more than $10 million without giving advance notice. they also want to nullify some
previous acquisitions. the two biggest ones -- instagram, which facebook purchased for $1 billion. and whatsapp, which facebook paid a whopping $19 billion to purchase in 2014. a busy time for some very high-profile bay area companies as they prepare to go public. doordash started trading on the new york stock exchange today with shares closing at nearly $190. they were priced at $102 on tuesday night before almost doubling. doordash, which started in 2013, says nearly 400,000 merchants use its app. tomorrow airbnb, which has had its highly anticipated ipo. earlier this week, it raised the expected range of its ipo between $56 and $66 a share. santa may have a sleigh, but today some of his helpers were on motorcycles and driving a flatbeds. the unusual convoy delivered a cargo of bicycles for underprivileged children. the bikes will replace the bikes stolen last month from this
storage facility for the san francisco fire department's annual toy drive. the theft followed by today's gift has put organizers through an emotional roller coaster. [ applause ] >> when the bikes were first stolen, it was unbelievable. it was very, very sad because we have thousands of kids every day that i process applications for. >> mayor breed sending a certificate of honor to the donors, including the kings of cali motorcycle club, auto club towing in oakland, and the booming clothing line. what started as a horrible story comes full circle with a lot of smiles. >> even in these trying times, covid spirit, still the spirit of giving is out there. >> it's really nice. jeff ranieri with us with some beautiful weather as well. i got a kick out of the mavericks guy saying, our lives are in danger, but we love it. take it away, jeff. >> yes. some dangerous-looking waves. just seeing those on the tv, you
could almost kind of feel the power of those waves. our coastline, we are starting to see the waves beginning to come on down. you've still got to be careful near the beaches. good news, our rainfall chances continue to hang on. storm ranger, our mobile doppler radar, i wanted to show you on our current scan, it is dry. of course you've got to stay with us through the coverage here. storm ranger is the only one in the bay area closer to the ground, able to give you a better scan of what's happening. we'll get a bit of a wider view, and we did have a weaker system passing over today. that's where the clouds from this afternoon came from, but it was a dry system. let's get you out even wider. let me show you what is on track to move in. it's pretty powerful-looking, and at this point it looks like we're going to get a little bit more of that than originally thought, which is good, right? we need all the rainfall we can get. we're two to six inches behind for our rainfall season, and the way it looks right now, we would be good for at least the bottom
edge of this moving in saturday and sunday, helping to increase the intensity of our rainfall. so we'll swr more on that in a second but we'll get you right into tomorrow morning first. we will begin mostly clear and cold. you're going to need that jacket if you're going anywhere. we've been used to this. 39 in the south bay. tri-valley at 37, going down to some of my colder weather in the north bay at 37 as well. san francisco 42. the east bay at 38. temperatures tomorrow cool off a little bit more with our approaching storm system. so those 70s we had a couple of days ago, those are gone. down to 62 in san jose. 65 in concord. mid-60s right through the north bay. headed to the coastline, we'll have 50s in san francisco down to half moon bay. over to palo alto, 60. let's get to that rainfall. here you go. 6:00 p.m. on friday, storm system is off to the north. the green and the yellow, that's the rainfall. i've got that key at the top of the screen as well. as we roll through saturday morning, we start to get some showers developing right here over the north bay down to about
san francisco. and then we'll see the widespread chance here of some showers as we move through saturday afternoon. also notice snow for the sierra. so totals with this are beginning to boost up. that is a good sign, and you can see most of the bay area in that blue color. that's trace amounts to about 0.2 inch. in the north bay we're in this yellow color. that's about a quarter to a half inch right now, so things inching up. sierra snow, we need it for that snowpack. this weekend we could be good for about 5 to maybe 10 inches of snowfall for some of the highest elevations. on miy extends forecast, 50s in san francisco for the next seven days. another shower chance once we hit next wednesday. for the inland valleys, no more 70s on the seven day. we're going with this trend of 50s and 60s for daytime highs. the way things are looking now, we could see the rain chances trend up even more. we've got two important updates,
one tonight, one tomorrow. we'll bring you all of that in our weather updates and we're hoping we could see a lot of the bay area get over a half inch. we'll see have to see what the next 24 hours brings us on the new data. >> you mentioned that tahoe snow, but there's a problem. we're not allowed too go to tahoe beginning tomorrow. >> of course. coming up, no one behind the wheel. a company just given the okay to start testing their driverless cars in one bay area city. ahead for us, freezer farms, trucks, police escorts, planes -- the ambitious and delicate plan to get covid vaccines in place. also the holiday shipping crunch and this week's important deadline when we see you back here for "nightly news."
there'd be no way we could afford health insurance. my kids think i'm a superhero. but even superheroes need help sometimes. we found help at covered california. and not just us. 9 out of 10 people who enrolled got financial help. covered california. this way to health insurance. enroll now at coveredca.com the coronavirus pandemic has placed hunger on a long list of challenges that millions of people are facing right now. but bay area families are trying to step in and help others make it in the bay. in daly city, the san francisco
african-american faith-based coalition worked with the city and other groups to load up trucks with turkeys and groceries and gift cards. those were delivered to more than 5,000 struggling families. meanwhile in the south bay, san jose nonprofit hunger at home held a food giveaway today. receiving a donation from a civil engineering company that says will easily provide thousands more meals. and at both events, organizers said the number of people depending on them for help has skyrocketed because of the pandemic. now, another easy way to help those in need this holiday season is just through our nourishing neighbors food drive. super easy. the next time you're at the safeway, make a $10 donation. that money will go right to local food banks. our drive, by the way, goes all the way past christmas to december 29th. okay. this is a first. have you seen them yet? some streets in san francisco now have driverless cars roaming around with no one inside. cruise, which is a subsidiary of general motors, started testing up to five driverless cars
today. no backup drivers here. cruise got a permit from the dmv in october to construct this driverless testing. cruise is only testing its cars within a few areas of the city, but it's not saying exactly where. okay. the hardware arrived. biochemist jennifer dude na received her nobel prize medal yesterday. you remember that she's a berkeley professor. we told you about her last month. she won the nobel prize in chemistry due to her work with crispr gene editing. you can see her there admiring her award in berkeley. that's her background. the awards ceremony was held virtually and it will be livestreamed tomorrow. so glarcongratulations. an electrifying rescue. we're going to show you from sfpd. stay with us. this year, xfinity internet gives you more options
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tonight at 6:00, to enforce or not to enforce this new stay-at-home order? a bay area police chief takes us through his tough decision. >> to be honest, that is not a position we want to be in. >> his struggle as he tries to keep his community safe tonight on our 6:00 newscast. finally at 5:00, simply electrifying. san francisco firefighters save a cat that was just inches away from being electrocuted. >> the cat is stuck on the top of this power line.
it happened this morning in the presidio. firefighters say a coyote was chasing the cat, so it ran up the pole for safety. very smart. pg&e briefly shut off power so the rescuers or the cat wouldn't be shocked. the cat was rescued, safe from coyotes and electricity. we'll see you at 6:00. to night the new warning on pfizer's covid vaccine, with fda approval potentially hours away. health officials cautioning those with a history of allergies for now should not take the shot. the possible side effects and how to know if you are at risk. it comes on the eve of a critical fda panel vote on authorizing pfizer's vaccine. nearly 3 million doses ready to begin shipping within 24 hours if approved. inside the rollout, from the freezer farms, the likely under police escort to cargo planes to fedex and trucks across the country the much feared