Over 5,000 COVID-19 cases in Oakland; first day of school

AC Transit launches bus rapid transit service during pandemic, while ridership at low.

COVID-19 cases in Oakland surpassed 5,000 last week. A total of 5,232 cases have been reported in the Town, 40 percent of Alameda County’s 13,199 coronavirus infections. According to the Alameda County Public Health Department, 205 people have died. 

East Oakland residents, Latinx most impacted by coronavirus

As Oakland Voices previously reported, most of Oakland’s cases are in East Oakland, and disproportionately impacts the Latinx community. Mercury News recently reported on the explosion of cases in Oakland’s Fruitvale District.

Map shows areas with most COVID-19 cases in Oakland, as of July 26, 2020.

Statewide, Latinx people are about 59 percent of all cases, 47 percent of deaths, despite being just 39 percent of the state’s population.

The State of California added Alameda County to the state monitoring list on July 12. Last week, Alameda County said that due to an issue with the state’s reporting system, data on testing and hospitalizations was incomplete. The County will remain on the monitoring list. 

As of this weekend, there are over half a million COVID-19 cases in California and over 10,293 deaths, according to the California Department of Health and Human Services.

School starts today in Oakland

It’s the first day of school in Oakland’s public schools. Instead of new school clothes and classmates and teachers reuniting after the summer, the school year begins with distance learning or online classes. 

As the school district still struggles to ensure all students have access to laptops. 

KRON 4 reports that the district still hasn’t reach an agreement with the teachers union, the Oakland Education Association, about how much remote learning will be live or be recorded. The Oaklandside has a breakdown on what each side wants in negotiations.

OEA has called for a “strong start” focusing on relationships with students and families, and “Crisis Distance Education.” OEA has referred to the District’s plan as the “wrong start.” 

AC Transit’s long awaited bus rapid transit opens

AC Transit launches bus rapid transit service during pandemic, while ridership at low.

AC Transit debuted its new bus rapid transit service yesterday. “Tempo” is touted as a more reliable bus service. According to AC Transit General Manager Michael Hursh, Tempo is “a tangible commitment to our neediest riders.” 

Rebranded the 1T, Tempo replaces the Line 1/1R (formerly the notorious 82) which runs down International Blvd/East 14th from downtown Oakland to San Leandro. 

Tempo comes amid years of complaints from merchants and some residents living along the East 14th Corridor that complained about the loss of parking spaces and driving lanes. Bus riders along one of the transit district’s busiest routes will eventually have service every 10 minutes, according to AC Transit.

Tempo arrives at a time when public transit ridership has plummeted. According to AC Transit, the steady decline in ridership since March has the District at 34 percent of pre-COVID-19 ridership. AC Transit estimates losses of five million each month in revenue from fares and additional sales tax revenue being loss. Supplementary service to schools has been temporarily suspended. 

Other news

The Oakland Zoo is open. Tickets do sell out.

Every Monday and Thursday, Rasheed Shabazz and Momo Chang produce the Oakland ‘Rona Roundup, COVID-19 related stories impacting the Town.

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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  1. COVID-19 cases rise in Oakland's Fruitvale - Oakland Voices
  2. COVID-19 in Oakland: Updates and Resources - Oakland Voices

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