Oakland Coronavirus Update

cellular image of novel coronavirus with the word Oakland above
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

Governor issues stay at home order for entire State of California

Governor Gavin Newsom issued an indefinite stay at home order on Thursday, just days after Bay Area health officials issued a “shelter-in-place” order. California is the first state to order mandatory restrictions to combat COVID-19, and the order will impact nearly 40 million people living in the state.

Residents can only leave home for “essential” purposes, like food, health, or commuting to jobs deemed critical. Law enforcement will not enforce the order, according to Newsom, who said Californians “will abide by it and do the right thing.” 

BART to reduce service due to coronavirus-related ridership decline

BART announced yesterday plans to temporarily reduce service due to a decline in ridership due to the COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders. Starting on Monday, March 23, BART trains will run on weekdays from 5am to 9pm. Service normally ends at midnight. Starting next Saturday, March 28, BART service will run from 8 am to 9pm. Currently, trains run until midnight and begin at 6am on Saturday and 8am on Sundays. Trains will maintain their current train frequency between the hours.

The service reduction is BART’s response to a 90 percent reduction in ridership. BART service advisory and coronavirus updates available on BART.gov and 

Oakland City Council requests court halts evictions

Activists and tenants rights groups called on the Oakland City Council to halt eviction lawsuits and prevent landlords from evicting tenants unable to pay their rent due to job- and income-losses due to COVID-19, the East Bay Times reported. The City Council voted to mail a letter to the Superior Court of Alameda County asking for current evictions to be paused and to prevent new filings until the council meets on April 7, the day the current shelter-in-place order was scheduled to be lifted. Councilwoman Nikki Fortunato Bas proposed a city ordinance banning evictions. Activists also called for an end of homeless encampment closures. 

Grand Princess leaves Oakland

The Grand Princess cruise ship left Oakland last weekend. A number of members of the cruise ship crew contracted the coronavirus. The ship docked at the Port of  Oakland, instead of San Francisco, causing many to speculate the incident was another example of environmental racism. Officials said the Port of San Francisco was not as isolated as Oakland’s port and transporting potential sick passengers would be easier in Oakland.

Author Profile

Rasheed Shabazz is a multimedia storyteller, urban planning historian, and youth development professional based in the Bay Area. He is co-director of Oakland Voices. He recently completed his Masters of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. 

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