Oakland nears 20,000 COVID cases; Coliseum might be vaccination site

The Oakland Coliseum may become a COVID-19 vaccination site, according to NBC Bay Area. It is reported that the decision will be made this Friday.

Vaccine rollout in Oakland has been steady but slow, mostly to healthcare workers. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that those over the age of 65 will be allowed to get vaccines soon, and hopes to vaccinate another 1 million people in the state by the end of the week. California has a stock of 3.43 million doses, according to NPR, and as of yesterday’s report, less than a million have been administered. The vaccines need to be stabilized in refrigeration. Those over the age of 65 are the highest risk for hospitalization and death due to COVID.

an image of a graph where the line gets higher and higher
Total cases in the past two weeks in Alameda County. Image from Alameda County Public Health Department.

Meanwhile, in Oakland, nearly 20,000 cases of COVID have been detected since the beginning of the pandemic. While this pales in comparison to the numbers in other places, such as LA county and the rest of Southern California, the community spread is very wide. Alameda County is in the “widespread” tier and the (seven day average) positive test rate is currently around 9 percent, compared to 1.5 percent back in mid-October. As Oakland Voices Coordinator Rasheed Shabazz reported last week, the number of cases in December alone was almost more than all the cases in the summer of 2020.

Health professionals predict that while we are in a huge surge right now, the cases will continue to increase and peak at the end of January, and that the death rate will peak at February 9, 2021. However, the model is a prediction and can obviously change. (Read more about it here and here).

At the same time, the county is lacking in personnel to reach out to those who have tested positive. In a co-reported story between El Tímpano and The Oaklandside, the reporters reveal that people testing positive were not followed up by the county. In addition, the program that helped those testing positive in neighborhoods with extremely high rates, paying people to stay home, has ended and it doesn’t sound like the program will be extended.

About Momo Chang

Momo Chang is a freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Oakland Voices Alumni Coordinator. Her work focuses on healthcare, immigration, education, Asian American communities, food and culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Momo has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting and the Asian American Journalists Association, among others. Her work has appeared in the East Bay Express, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, and The New York Times. Momo is primarily a print journalist who also produces audio and visual stories for documentary film and radio. She is a Senior Contributing Editor for Hyphen and formerly the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). View all posts by Momo Chang →

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