tv NBC Bay Area News Tonight NBC September 30, 2021 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT
>> next on nbc bay area news tonight, tens of thousands of marijuana plants, row weather watches, $10 million in cash, all found in several illegal pot grows in the bay area. tonight, the paper trail investigators are now following in this historic bust. vaccine mandates and your kids. one bay area school district is weighing its options. right now on requiring eligible students to get the shot in order to continue coming to campus. we're live at that district meeting. and is it too soon to ditch
sn think so. tonight, we speak with deputyhe lift the mask mandate and if it's a good idea ahead of the holidays. good evening, everyone. this is nbc bay area news tonight. i'm janelle wang. it's become a way of life, wearing a mask. santa cruz county has dropped its mask mandate for most indoor places. so will other bay area counties follow suit? we called and checked and these are their answers. a majority of the bay area, including marin, san mateo, contra costa, sonoma, and alameda counties are keeping their mask mandates in place. solano county never reinstated a mask mandate and says it will follow state guidelines, which require masks to be worn indoors
at schools, hospitals, and while on public transit. san francisco is still aligned with most of the bay area, but yesterday, health leaders said they're discussing boosting mask guidelines but nothing is decided yet. but how soon is too soon? health officers are sticking to the data when making a decision and we are looking at the numbers, too. santa cruz county has lifted its mandate based on the cdc's new designation. santa cruz county has now substantial transmission rate. it's orange. that's down from high transmission rate. you can see most of the bay area is in orange. now, doctors and scientists still say the best way to combat the virus is through vaccines and masks. the cdc did a study on how effective masks are in stopping the spread of covid-19. and it looked at k-12 schools? two counties in arizona. maricopa and pima counties in arizona. schools without mask mandates
were 3 1/2 times more likely to spread the virus. to determine transmission rates, the cdc looks at case rates and positivity rates. overall, the state's positivity rate is good. it's at 2.6%. santa cruz county has a 1% positivity rate. and joining me now is dr. monica ghandi, and dr. david ducci. thank you for being on the program. let's begin with your headline. what other factors went into the lifting of the mask mandates in most places in the county? >> we felt with the cdc downgrading us yesterday, we were actually yellow. it changes from day-to-day, but we built in an off switch when we wrote the mandate. we felt it was important to do that.
masks continue to be very important in preventing or minimizing the spread of respiratory illness including covid-19. but we felt the mandate should correspond to an emergency. this is a tool in our toolbox that we don't frankly want to wear it out. so if we do need to reinstitute a mask mandate, we want to make sure that the public understands the mandate itself corresponds to a rapid rise in case rates. right now, we're not in that situation. we felt it was safe to do this. you know, most people, especially in our county, i observe them every day. most people are wearing masks. i don't think a mandate makes much difference there. >> dr. ghandi, do you think this is a good idea to ease some of these restrictions when it comes to wearing a mask indoors? >> yes. i think what you did there in santa cruz is completely reasonable, because the reason is this -- we don't -- like you just said -- want to wear out
our welcome for mandates that we put into place for public health emergencies. when you have a 1% test positivity rate, you're in a very safe zone. people can absolutely mask, that's called recommendation or anyone can mask. many people will mask for the next couple of years. but it's terribly important for trust in public health to have clean metrics when things come off and on. that's what santa cruz has done and it's very reasonable. >> let's take a look at the positivity rates in other counties. santa clara 1.3%. bay area doing well overall. how does does that positivity rate have to get where you think some other counties can follow santa cruz's lead and lift some restrictions? >> so it's interesting how the cdc defines low, moderate, substantial, high, because they have two categories, and at some level, i don't actually think the case category makes as much
sense, because there was an article on this in "the washington post" that people who are more likely to test are people probably who are more likely to have covid or have been exposed. the test positivity rate, because we do test at high rates, we do a lot of screening here in the bay area, is a good indicator of how low your cases are. so i like going on the positivity rate. i think it's reasonable. and remember, low transmission is defined as less than 5%. so 1% in santa cruz is way below what the cdc defines as the criterion for not needing to mask indoor it is you're vaccinated. again, doesn't mean that people won't mask, like you just said. and vulnerable and older people may still mask. it's not that. when you're putting a mandate in for public health, you have to have a very justifiable reason you're in the middle of a public health emergency. these are great numbers. >> we have to say, easing restrictions, it's still
required. you still have to wear it in hospitals, senior living facilities. so we're talking about restaurants and gyms. that's very important to distinguish here. dr. gillard-duchy, 1.6% in alameda, 2.6% in contra costa county. they're trying to come down from the latest surge. we've had several surges in the last 20 months. knowing what we know now and from what we have learned, what can we do to get a jump-start or prevent another surge from happening, especially as we head into the holidays? >> yeah. i think one of the important things is we need to look at leading indicators for spread, meaning we need to not wait until spread is substantial. so we're looking at all kinds of
data, looking at behavior around the county, looking at things like waste water surveillance data that comes from our sewage treatment plants to understand the spread of illness. >> dr. ghandi, do you think masks are going to be part of our lives? i know some people will voluntarily wear them any time they go inside right now, but will there be a point where you say you don't need to wear your mask any more at all, we're safe? >> you know, i do think that everyone is going to make that decision for themselves. again, it's the difference between a public health saying you have to or not. i think many people are going to continue to mask because they enjoy not having colds on the flu last year. there are others who find it an imposition and don't want to mask. and i think, again, it has to be up to that individual, when you have low transmission rates of covid. it doesn't mean it won't come back again, but right now, it has to be up to the individuals. i will say as an infectious
disease doctor, in the future we need some mild exposure to mild pathogens. but that's in the future. >> what about schools? i know kids are required to wear masks in schools, will that stay in effect for the rest of the year, school year? >> yeah, for the foreseeable future, that's what we're hearing from the state. i have to tell you, my wife is a middle schoolteacher and she says it's been tough but it's very effective in schools. we're saying data out of maricopa county in arizona, showing how effective masks are. so i think at this point, we will continue to see masks. i think once we were able to start vaccinating the school-aged children, especially the 5 to 11 we're waiting for right now, that will make a big difference going forward. but we're not there yet. >> okay, thank you so much both
of your time in joining our program today. it was so helpful to so many viewers. it can be tricky to keep one the mask mandates in each county, so we made it easy. we put together a list of where you need to wear a mask and where to keep it off. go to nbcbayarea.com/coronavirus to find out what the rules are in your county. you can search mask mandate in our mobile app. don't go away. when we come back, $10 million in cash, 100,000 marijuana plants. we'll take you inside the sophisticated, illegal pot grows that were busted in the east bay. plus, we're going to talk about more mask mandates. what about vaccine mandates in your child's school? the discussion around one east bay school and if it should require students to get the shot if they want to continue in-person learning. that meeting is going on right now.
>> reporter: well, i just stepped out of that meeting. i had to show my full vaccination qr code, as well. you can see this meeting is still going on. it started about an hour ago. and the superintendent was right, he expected no shortage of differing opinions tonight. he said the district is considering three possible mandates. one, to require covid vaccinations for all qualifying students 12 and older. a proposal that all vendors be vaccinated. and then third all employees with vaccinated. he hopes parents will understand the benefits to have proposal and the risks of doing nothing. >> the parents are adamant about not vaccinating their student, of course, there's an independent study and private tutoring and home school, as well. so it is available. what we're sharing with everyone is that the vaccinations are safe.
>> reporter: and the superintendent tells me tonight he will ask the board to approve all proposals tonight. reporting live, i'm sharon katsuda. back to you. >> sharon live in richmond. how people are showing up? are a lot of parents showing up, are they able to testify and give their statements virtually? >> reporter: you know, i have to tell you, they had about 100 seats set up inside there for spectators for the audience. and only about four parts showed up and spoke in the public comments section. but the superintendent pointed out that there are about 300 plus people watching this on zoom, and a lot of them making public comments tonight. >> if this is approved by the board, when would the vaccine mandates take effect? >> reporter: well, some of them are specific to athletes, student athletes. and they would have to be fully vaccinated sometime in november. other students by december, and
then they want all students fully vaccinated for sure by january. >> okay. some deadlines there. sharon, live in richmond watching this meeting for us. thank you for your time. another story, dozens of watches, coolers with expensive wine and tons of illegal marijuana that's what authorities found during a raid of illegal growth sites. the sheriff's office says those sites are part of one of the biggest illegal pot operations in bay area history. 18 illegal grow sites were raided, include thing warehouse. more than 37 tons of marijuana plants were found there, with $10 million in cash. forensic accountants were brought in to follow the paper trail and track how the millions were allegedly laundered. deputies arrested seven people so far and say more arrests could be on the way. well, in less than five hours, the state's eviction moratorium will expire.
tens of thousands will be in jeopardy of getting evicted. today, an east palo alto community group called youth united for community action spent the day trying to help those at risk. they're signing people up for the state rental protection program, which will pay rent and utilities up to a year if you qualify. the group says it's helped close to 3,000 local families stay in their homes and in many cases the key has been helping break through the confusion about how to sign up. >> we have one on one conversations with the person and we have the application right in front of us. so we sit with them and we just fill out the application as we go. >> even though the state's eviction moratorium ends tonight, you can apply for relate relief tomorrow and later on but you will no longer be guaranteed state protection. if you need help for rent relief, we have put together a step by step video that walks you through the process. just go to nbcbayarea.com/howto.
facebook was on the hotseat today as senators accused the social media giant of knowing instagram is dangerous for teenagers but doing little to protect them. lawmakers cited internal data from a whistleblower and a "wall street journal" investigation. that data appears to show the company's instagram platform ca image with teenage girls. facebook has been holding that knowledge for years. it was a rare, bipartisan grilling, with republican marsha blackburn reading from facebook's own internal probe. >> and that perfect storm manifest itself in the minds of teenagers in the form of intense social pressure, addiction, body image issues, eating disorders anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. >> reporter: facebook's head of global security says the data
referenced is misleading and taken out of context. still, the company has delayed the launch of an instagram app for kids 13 and under. we asked and you answered. what do you think social media companies should do to beter protect teens. let's go out to san francisco. what a beautiful night. 70s in the city today. when we come back, chief meteorologist jeff ranieri will talk about what's ahead for your weekend. and when we could get some rain. and a star-studded super bowl halftime show. the lineup just released today.
hey, everybody. i'm here in san francisco where you can check out dear san francisco. right now, this is david. tell us what this is about. >> this is actually an acrobatic story that travels the history of san francisco, from pregold rush days through most current tech boom, including the fires and the earthquakes and the lsd trips and the aids pandemic and all of the wonderful beauty that describes san francisco. so it's a joy-filled kind of reminiscence about this resilient city that we all love. >> thank you so much, david. check out "california live" weekday mornings at 11:30.
a staggering number of stars will take the stage at halftime during super bowl lvi. they're going to all perform together. the game will be played at the stadium in los angeles. combined, the performers have won 44 grammys. you can watch super bowl lvi and the halftime show right here on nbc bay area. it will take place february 13th. it will be a milestone moment for us, because we're going to bring you the super bowl and the
winter olympics. it's all happening on that sunday. >> oh, my gosh. >> it's going to be jam packed with sports, jeff. and it's going to be awesome. you've been to the super bowl and the olympics and everything will be happening. >> and that music lineup. >> who are you looking for? >> snoop would be cool. >> jeff, what is this, the ten-day outlook? >> yeah, we're low to mid 23450i789s the next couple of days and things dropping down cooler as we head into next week with some 70s. so much more enjoyable through the next, well, ten-day forecast. so let's bring you into that weather forecast. so tomorrow morning, temperatures in the 50s. mostly clear, i think overall a great beginning here for us on our friday. then as we roll through the day, numbers really don't change a whole lot. so if you like what we had today, going to love what's
moving on in tomorrow. this will put us at 90 in nor gan hill. in the east bay, low 90s. closer to the bay, a warm day in oakland at 80. hayward, 86. let's move it to the peninsula. 70 at half moon bay. san francisco, 70s and for the mission, you head closer to the coast, we have some cooler 60s there in the outer sunset. and maybe, just maybe a three-day weekend heading up to napa or sonoma. upper 80s to about 90. we're looking at a slash weather trend like this as we head all the way into next monday's forecast. just subtle, day-to-day changes. but beyond this next week, i've been keeping my eye on the storm system headed for the west coast. looks like it will move into the west coast. but the forecast models are flip-flopping on where we're going to see the center of this storm system line up. so we're going to get the colder air, but rain chances, the best
chances are to the north of us over the fire zones and the bay area would have some shower chances. there's still plenty of time for all of this to shift to more of a wetter scenario, and we're going to keep you updated on this each day until we get to next week. right here in san francisco, we do have some cooler weather, moving on in as we head through next week. lots of 60s. and then for the inland valleys, we'll go from the 90s down to 75 once we hit next thursday's forecast. so as we said earlier, we got some ice coffee weather, then maybe a little pumpkin spice latte weather. >> that's perfect. i'll take that, thanks, jeff. a deadline looms in san jose. we are just hours away from a vaccine mandate. most have made that deadline, but what happens to the 500 that haven't? join us tonight at 11:00. well, thanks for joining us. that's going to do it for us here at 7:00 p.m. for everyone here at nbc bay
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