New COVID-19 cases slowing in Oakland; reopening limited activities possible

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

New cases of COVID-19 in Alameda County seem to be slowing down after spiking multiple times this summer. As of this weekend, Alameda County has 22,149 COVID-19 cases. Oakland has 8,671 coronavirus cases. In Alameda County, over half of coronavirus cases are Latinx residents. While the Frutivale area has the highest number of cases, the flatlands of Deep East Oakland have the highest percentages of positive tests. 

Nurses launch 5-day strike in Alameda County

Thousands of nurses launched five-day strike in Alameda County, KPIX reports.

Elementary schools may be able to reopen

ABC reports that Glenview Elementary finally reopened after delayed constructions, but no students will be on campus due to COVID-19. That could change, however, As Alameda County moved into the Red Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy (a rating system based on COVID-19 case rates and positivity rates) elemetnary schools may reopen. Schools that complete a health and safety reopening plan may reopen, but the decision and timing depends on the school and school districts. 

“We know it is hardest for younger children to spend all day learning online. Returning elementary students to classrooms balances the potential risk of increased COVID-19 transmission with the impact of distance learning on both students’ mental health and their ability to learn,” Alameda County said in a press release. 

Tourism, museums, libraries, and gyms can reopen at limited capacities

Additional activities may restart on October 9 if precautions followed. The following activities would only add “limited additional risk” if safety measures are taken.

  • Hotels & lodging for tourism
  • Museums, zoos, & aquariums
  • Personal care services:
  • Libraries
  • Gyms and fitness centers:
  • Outdoor film production.

Most would have to operate at 25 percent capacity or have other restrictions or modifications required. 

Indoor dining, “Essential Places,” and Airport testing

The Oaklandside reports on restaurant owners’ different perspectives on reopening for indoor dining. 

Rikha Sharma writes for Next City on the changing perspectives of Oakland’s Essential Places program. Initially, some East Oakland residents expressed skepticism about “Slow streets” as a ploy for gentrification and displacement. According to Sharma, adjustments made by the City of Oakland have resulted in more favorable experiences with “Essential Places.” 

My colleague Momo Chang recently reported on Oakland Airport testing for Hawaii-bound passengers. Rapid coronavirus testing has been expanded to employees and the public now.

Every Monday and Thursday, Rasheed Shabazz and Momo Chang produce the Oakland ‘Rona Roundup, COVID-19 related stories impacting the Town. This week’s Rona’ Roundup is on a Tuesday. Yesterday was Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Maynard Institute staff took the day off.

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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