New Bay Area COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, Oakland schools closed, unemployment rises

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

New Bay Area shelter-in-place order until May 3

As the number of coronavirus-related cases and deaths increase in the Bay Area, public health officials issued a new shelter-in-place order earlier this week. 

Alameda County’s Public Health Department reports 373 coronavirus-related cases (not including the City of Berkeley), and nine people have died, as of Thursday, April 2. Alameda County’s Public Health Department does not provide data on Oakland cases.

The new order took effect on April 1 and both extends the previous order through May 3 and is more restrictive in a few ways. The new Bay Area shelter-in-place order mandates “social distancing,” closes areas of public parks, recreational facilities, and bans sharing certain sports equipment outside of single households. The new order also requires some “essential” businesses to either cease or scale down operations. The order also enables different government entities to regulate the number of people or hours at public beaches and parks. 

Oakland schools closed for rest of the school year

Oakland public schools will remain closed to in-person instruction for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year, Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammel announced on Wednesday, April 1. Current education plans will continue for the year. Free “grab and go” meals will still be available for pick-up on Mondays and Thursdays. The school district is exploring ways to provide technology to students that need it and alternative plans for graduation.

Housing unhoused Oakland residents during coronavirus

Oakland will receive 91 trailers for unhoused Oakland residents during the coronavirus, but the East Bay Times reports that the 15 trailers the city received in January are still in storage.

Oakland tenants hold ‘rent strike’

Yesterday, some Oakland tenants started a coronavirus rent strike, The Appeal reports. Tenant advocate groups successfully lobbied the City of Oakland to pass a moratorium on evictions. In case you missed it, Oakland Reporter sums up what Oakland’s eviction moratorium does and does not do for renters.

Number of unemployed Californians rise

Over 1.5 million Californians have filed claims for unemployment benefits due to the impacts of coronavirus, according to the State.. The new $2 trillion U.S. stimulus,or Federal CARES Act, will provide additional money for workers filing claims and extend unemployment for those that exhaust their current benefits.

Small business grants for low-income owners

The City of Oakland announced grants for small businesses owners impacted by coronavirus. Grants can be used for expenses like rent, utilities, payroll, debts, and more.

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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