tv NBC Bay Area News Tonight NBC December 28, 2021 7:00pm-7:30pm PST
way to health insurance. enroll by december 31st at coveredca.com good tuesday evening, everyone. this is nbc bay area news tonight. i'm janelle wang. well, we've got freezing weather headed our way and a heartbreaking loss. the bay area and football fans worldwide are mourning the death of john madden. more on those stories in just a moment. but we start tonight with the surge in covid cases here in the bay area, and across the state. at least one bay area county reporting the most cases they've seen in any single day since this pandemic began. the omicron variant driving the high number of cases. this afternoon, the marin county health office said they reported more than 300 new cases this morning. that breaks a previous
single-day record of 174 during last winter's surge. there will be no new year's eve fireworks show. city leaders, including mayor london breed, say they're making the move because the show requires extra firefighters, paramedics and officers to be on hand. and they are already stretched thin because of the surge. late this afternoon, contra costa county announced it's getting rid of its exemption to the state's indoor mask rules that allow some people to go maskless if they were fully vaccinated, saying gyms, churches and college classes with fewer than 100 people inside, now that exemption is gone. you must mask up in all public settings. we will be talking to marin county health officer, dr. matt willis, about this coming up a
little later in the show. also tonight, he is a coaching legend, hall-of-famer and namesake of the madden video games. john madden died unexpectedly this morning at the age of 85. dominated as coach and won the super bowl in 1976. his winning percentage as a head coach is the highest in nfl history. after retiring from coaching he began another legendary career, this time in broadcasting. many say he is the most influential and recognized commentator in nfl history. more than a decade after he retired from broadcast his name still transcends today with the madden football video game. here's what al michaels had to say before he passed away. >> john wanted to know about everything. and i loved it. and it was wonderful in so many ways, not only as a great partner on the air, but off the air, fantastic company.
>> he was the first coach that i really remember. you know, big guy. he was either happy or sad. not much in between it seemed like. he did a lot of ramping on the sidelines, but the football team won. he was an excellent coach. he was able to relate to his players. he was able to relate to al davis, which at that point in time was the most important thing he had to do. >> that was monte poole who joined us to talk about coach madden's passing. john madden's influence went far beyond the football community and sports and gaming. gavin newsom shared his thoughts on twitter saying tonight we mourn john madden. he redefined the role of sports broadcaster, his voice as recognizable as anyone who did the job. our thoughts are with his family as we mourn this incredible man. well, our other top story
tonight, as the rain starts to move out, the freeze is now moving in. it's time to prepare for a cold snap. earlier today something we don't see very often in the bay area, snow, not just on the peaks. we're talking about low elevations. this is over napa county. we saw snow in santa rosa. the fire department tweeted out video of some flurries. it was quite the sight. one place the snow is sticking, mt. hamilton. check out this time lapse from late this afternoon. nearly a foot of snow on the ground tonight. it has been cold, and unfortunately, it's going to get colder, right, rob? >> might as well get some snow out of it. at least we did see that. snow levels were down below 2,000 feet. about three to four inches
around mt. hamilton. we could still see some snow at times through lake county, mt. saint helena, and you see that area of pink south of livermore. they could get another one to two inches of snow during the morning hours. >> how much are we talking about? >> not inches of rain, but for the morning commute, take some time, areas around the peninsula could see a half inch of rain. >> but it's rain-driven cold temps. >> here's a preview of the night temperatures. places like the inner bay, inner valleys could be the coldest places going back to 2017. regionally speaking, it's a big deal, especially if you head to the sierra. 10 degrees in south lake tahoe. we could see a wind-chill factor up there in the sierra that could be below zero at times.
very tough conditions across the sierra. >> they finally reopened 50 last night, 80 eastbound. people really want to get to tahoe. they're on christmas holiday break. should they go? when should they leave? >> little bit of good news. we still have to get through another storm. the winter storm warning for the sierra has been extended. the snow levels are still pretty low. that's a while that cal trans is going to have to open up the roadways. less snow and hopefully clearing, and sun can get on the road ways. the temperatures are going to stay really cold, may not get above freezing on friday. another great resource. the nbc bay area app. you can get access to our exclusive radars and the forecast tailored to your neighborhood anytime you want. the app is free. can you download it from google play or the apple app store.
now, moving and switching gears. we want to go a little deeper into our covid surge and what it's going to take to slow it down. we are learning that more places are requiring to, you to get your booster shot. you got to get it. santa clara county issued a warning that all health care workers have to get a booster shot by january 24th. if they don't, they won't be able to work in those settings anymore. the mandate will affect about 150,000 workers. it is aimed at keeping paramedics healthy. >> our recommendations are designed to help ensure that our health care system can absorb the deluge that is here now. >> joining me now is dr. matt willis, marin county public health officer. thanks so much for joining us today. marin county is seeing what much
of the bay area is seeing now, an omicron surge. how is it going up there in the north bay? >> it is clear we are deep in our omicron surge. we had 300 new cases this morning when the team arrived to process the positive results. that's the most they'd ever seen coming into a given day. it's clear that the surge that started around the 20th of december has really taken hold. we think that that current surge was really amplified by pre-christmas gatherings. most of the people who were tested were tested on the 26th of december. so that would have been events that happened before christmas. so obviously, there's a concern there that christmas day and gatherings associated with that particular holiday might lead to even higher case rates in the coming days. >> are there any break downs on how many people are vaccinated getting omicron versus
non-vaccinated? >> yeah, we're seeing, as other areas are, significant numbers of people who are infected who are vaccinated. still remarkably, that subset of people unvaccinated, less than a tenth of our population, but they make up five times the risk of infection compared to vaccinated people, so the vaccine does still help guard against infection itself but more importantly guards against severe illness and hospitalization. >> that is good. a lot of people are doing these at-home tests that they can buy at their local pharmacies. so our numbers, are they really accurate? since so many people are just doing at-home testing? >> yeah, i mean, that's one of the even more concerning realities, despite the fact that
we're seeing reported cases, those are the ones that go to a testing site and those are automatically reported to public health. all those tests happening at home don't automatically go into the numbers we're recording. we know we are underestimate ng the numbers. just another sign of how remarkable this variant is. >> since we're in the middle of this surge and probably not at the height, should we change any habits or plans? >> yeah, i think we're seeing, again, with this remarkable surge today, coming out of pre- pre-christmas gatherings, i do have concerns about new year's. if, you know, you're in a room of 30-50 people indoors, especially if you don't know the vaccination status of everyone present, a lot of close mingling
that happens around new year's, i do know that they will amplify even more cases. i think if you are not sure the vaccination status of all the people who would be attending a gathering, i would recommend that people forego that gathering. also, if you are at higher risk for more severe outcomes if you are infected, older residents, residents with chronic medical conditions, especially if you haven't had that booster yet, i would recommend people forego new year's gatherings or do them remotely or gather with a smaller, more intimate group of friends and family. this is not the year for big new year's parties where people are gathered together, vaccinated and unvaccinated, unmasked and indoors. that's an unsafe type of gathering, unfortunately. >> yeah, we are seeing and getting a lot of e-mails about people and companies canceling their new year's celebrations now because of the omicron surge. are you speaking with other
public health officer and other counties? are you thinking about re-implementing any covid measures? are we just going to stick to what we know and have dealt with for almost two years now? >> i think we need to stick with what we know works. and that's something that those are things that we've, we were fine with each other as communities over the past two years. so sticking with the fundamentals, but there's some policy changes. we will be rescinding, we had made an exemption to our mask mandates, like in gyms, that unfortunately, we're not going to be allowing those exemptions anylonger, starting tomorrow. and that's because we know that the risk of transmission is so much higher with this highly-infectious strain. and the vaccine, while protective against severe
infection is not protecting against very well, against infection. so we're realizing that we'll see more transmission in those settings if we don't require people to cover their faces. >> we have to be all in this together. it's a team effort in the bay area. dr. matt willis, thank you so much for your time today and wish you a happy and safe 2022. >> you too. >> formal announcement will be coming tomorrow. and we asked people today, health leaders recommending celebrating in smaller groups as we ring in 2022. our question of the day, are your new year's plans changing? on facebook, vanessa said she and her husband are still fighting off covid. they had to cancel their plans. so vanessa, we hope you and your husband are getting better. on the flip side, angie says her
party is still on. still to come, are you wearing your mask correctly and are you wearing your mask at all. do you need extra protection? chris kamura is about to teach us his masking 101 course. a lot of people are either trying to get to tahoe or are stuck in tahoe. we will get an update on the latest conditions from cal trans and when i-80 could reopen. stay with us. ♪♪ don't worry mom, we'll be there soon.
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well, it is slow going in the sierra tonight. the recent storms brought several feet of new snow, but it's also snowed in a lot of people and made a couple of major highways impassable. take a look live at 80. traffic moving along, but can you see it's treacherous. a lot of snow. the west bound lanes headed back to the bay area are still closed at this hour. blizzard whiteout conditions. the agency tweeted this video showing the treacherous wind. this is on highway 50, another hazard, falling trees, not just on the ground either. crews are also on the lookout for trees that could tumble down at any moment. tonight we are joined by angela de prado.
what a day. what is the latest for i-80 and highway 50? >> well, the latest is east bound i-80 is open to passenger vehicles and essential commercial vehicles as well. the main messaging we're going to be telling bay area residents is please do not travel to the sierra unless you really need to. right now conditions do not warrant a lot of commuters, and tourists going to south lake tahoe. south lake tahoe put out an essential travelers alert today. we are trying to keep up with the demand on 50, but today we got impacted, unfortunately, we lost, we did reopen and there was a jackknife incident that happened. so it's caused a lot of congestion. so eastbound, westbound u.s. 50 was closed for a long time. we were able to reopen. because i-80 was closed there was a jam traffic. >> i had a friend that said it
took her 12 hours. people say it's open though, but you say it's at capacity. what does that mean? it's so full, emergency vehicles couldn't get through? you want to keep the highway less congested? >> well, we only opened u.s. 50 when we knew emergency vehicles were going to be able to get through. a lot of people were saying why can't you just plow one lane? then emergency vehicles can't get to incident. there are a lot of people traveling to the sierra for the holidays, either before christmas, after christmas eve or on christmas day. you have all those travelers coming in, and then everybody wants to try to get out or get back to their homes. so there's a lot of movement. i've worked a lot of christmases, and i would have to say this is probably one of the ones i'll remember for a long time, not just because of the storm but because of the impact and how many people are trying to get to the sierra and out of the sierra. >> maybe don't go up or avoid going up. it is still treacherous to drive
up there. >> yeah. we're still going to try to get westbound i-80 open tonight. we're going to do our best before the next storm comes, but our goal and our messaging is, let's get the people who are already out in the sierra, let's get them out, let's get the who need to get home, get them home, but if you want to go out and play in the snow, please try to avoid it. we're going to get a lot of fresh powder coming up. >> good advice, thanks for all your hard work. >> thank you. >> we're posting the latest sierra road requirements on the nbc bay area app. you'll find a link on the trending bar at the top of the page. well, earlier in the show we told you that contra costa county is changing its masking rules, but do you know when,
where, what you should be using now that we're in the middle of a surge. chris kamura joins us with a masking 101 course. what do we need? when do we need to use it? give us a refresher. >> we're going to start off with what the rules are right now. and this comes directly from the department of public health. it's required, in all indoor public settings, regardless of your vaccination status through january 15th. after that, well, we just don't know at this point. perhaps for the foreseeable future. >> what about when we're outside? >> so the cdc says when you are outside, if you can't stay six feet apart, because they still want us six feet or more apart. if you are not able to stay six feet apart from people you do not live with, you've got to wear your mask. >> the omicron variant, highly contagious. >> yeah. >> people who are double vaccinated, boosted, are still getting it. what sort of mask should we be
wearing? >> cloth, good, surgical mask, better, better squared is a surgical mask and cloth mask. best is an n95. k95 or kf94. heard of that one? that was new to me. these just follow different countries' standards. >> should we be avoiding any masks? >> here's the deal. earlier we showed an image on tv, and anna and heather rightly pointed out that we should not be talking about these masks, because this right here is an issue. this vent is great for wildfires, terrible for the virus. in fact, the cdc says do not choose masks with valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape, and the airlines will not let you fly with one of these masks. >> thanks, i had no idea. chris has a how-to video on
as we mentioned earlier, the death of legendary coach john madden is sending shockwaves through the sports world. some important figures share their thoughts on social media. ronnie lott posted this recent picture. first of all, the giants actually released a statement on twitter saying they're saddened to learn of the passing of bay
area sports and media icon john madden. we express our condolences to his family, and ronnie lott tweeted this picture of the two of them, even though he never played for them. r.i.p. coach. you are a blessing to us all. if you go to the raiders official website, you'll see they've turned it into a tribute to john madden. their lengthy tribute begins by saying the raiders family is saddened by the passing of john madden. we are all very shocked and saddened by this news. you know, rob, he lived in the bay area, in the east bay, and we all remember him so fondly. let's talk about our chilly temperatures. >> right now we're watching the return of rain. we will go from rain to scattered showers clearing out of the bay area. future cast shows a lot of green, still a chance of showers
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