District 6 Matters: Coronavirus Update
From the Office of Councilmember Loren Taylor
Hi Neighbor,
By now you have heard about the many closures of public, private, and nonprofit facilities across Oakland over the next 2 weeks including public schools, libraries, recreation centers, and senior centers. These closures and the decision to cancel large gatherings with more than 250 planned attendees should help us to slow down the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep residents safe.
These actions have raised many questions about the virus, the reason for the closures, and how individuals, businesses and the community as a whole will be supported over the next few weeks and beyond.
The following are frequently asked questions that are answered in subsequent sections of this newsletter:
  1. What is Oakland Doing to Address the Coronavirus?
  2. Why are We Taking These Precautions?
  3. What is the Status of the Grand Princess Cruise Ship at the Port of Oakland?
  4. What resources are available to support Oakland residents impacted by the coronavirus?
I especially want to thank all of the event organizers in District 6, who made the difficult decision to postpone their respective community events in District 6 scheduled for this weekend. While a lot of time, energy, and resources went into preparing for this weekend’s events, I applaud your courageous decision to support the broader health of our community. I am looking forward to the rescheduling of your events as soon as possible.
  • Mills College Center for Transformative Action Conference and Pitch Competition (scheduled for 3/12) – To Be Rescheduled
  • Maxwell Park Neighborhood Council (MPNC) Emergency Preparedness Day (scheduled for 3/14) – To Be Rescheduled
  • Make Oakland Better Citywide Cleanup (scheduled for 3/14) – To Be Rescheduled
  • Black Cultural Zone Pop-Up Resource Village Community Activation - Still happening today (3/14 – 10:00am-5:00pm) but at a new location/ with a new purpose)
  • Taking place at Paradise Baptist Church (9704 Empire Rd, Oakland)
  • Purpose is to collect and distribute supplies (e.g., soap, isopropyl alcohol, hand sanitizer) to community members
  • Praise Fellowship Church Performing Arts Exhibition (scheduled for 3/14) – To Be Rescheduled
Lastly, it is important to recognize our small business community in Oakland who anticipate severe impacts by the closures of schools and cancellation of community gatherings.  Please continue to patronize our local Oakland businesses during the Coronavirus related closures and cancellations. Keep in mind that when out in public, continue to stay vigilant with frequent hand washing, social distancing, and other recommended precautions that prevent the spread of viruses and other germs.
Feel free to continue to reach out to our office with any additional questions/ follow-up.

Email us at district6@oaklandca.gov
 Please share with any neighbors who may not have received this update!

Yours in Service of Oakland,
Loren M. Taylor, Councilmember
Oakland - District 6
1. What is Oakland Doing to Address the Coronavirus (COVID-19) [Update as of March 13th, 2020]

The City of Oakland established ongoing communication with and is receiving guidance and direction from our public health officials at the Alameda County Public Health Department on best practices. In addition, we are working in cooperation with State and Federal agencies regarding a coordinated response to the virus crisis. Important information and resources for residents are also available at the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Although there are  currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oakland , to date, the City of Oakland decided to close the following as of  Monday, March 16   until further notice:
  • Oakland Public Library:All library locations will be closed.

  • Oakland Parks: All Recreation Centers will be closed. All permitted activities, including facility rentals, are cancelled.

  • Senior Centers: All Senior Centers will be closed.
  • Head Start/Early Head Start Programs: All Head Start and Early Head Start program sites will be closed.

Please Note:

Oakland Police, Fire and other Emergency public safety services  will not  be affected during this time, and all other City facilities will remain open unless and until otherwise announced.
The City will continue to follow the public health advice from Alameda County and monitor the recommendations from the CDC as this situation continues to evolve.

The CDC has specific recommendations for:

Additional Precautions From the City of Oakland  
  • Hand sanitizers placed at all public-facing front desks in City Hall and public facilities.
  • Employees directed to stay home if they exhibit any symptoms of sickness.
  • Posting signs in all public restrooms in multiple languages to remind residents to wash hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Heightening protocols for first-responders who make contact with members of the public.
  • Encouraging 'elbow bumps' instead of handshakes.
  • Urging Alameda County officials to deploy hand-washing stations, hand sanitizers, and hygiene support at unsheltered encampments.

2. Why Are We Taking These Precautions?

Are all these precautions really necessary for preventing the spread of coronavirus?

It’s absolutely necessary, because it’s worked in the past, says medical historian  Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D.,  a University of Michigan expert who has studied the effects of similar responses to past epidemics.

It’s called “flattening the curve,” a term that public health officials use all the time but that many Americans just heard for the first time this week

What curve? And why is flatter better?

If you look at the image above, you can see two curves – two different versions of what might happen in the United States, depending on next steps.

The tall, skinny curve is bad – it means that a lot of people will get sick at once, in a short period of time because we don’t take enough steps to prevent the virus from spreading from person to person.

Most people won’t get sick enough to need a hospital.

But those who do could overwhelm the number of beds and care teams that our nation’s hospitals have available.

Learn more about the 'curve' here.

How you can help flatten the curve?

  • Wash hands regularly with soap & water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are or appear to be sick. 
  • Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
3. What is the Status of the Grand Princess Cruise Ship at the Port of Oakland? [Update March 13th, 2020]

The United States Department of Health and Human Services and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services provided the following update on the second day of progress towards the safe return of individuals from the Grand Princess Cruise ship.  

Today’s announcement builds upon previous efforts to disembark 407 individuals from the ship on March 9, 1,048 individuals on March 10 and 511 individuals on March 11. In total, 2,446 individuals have been safely brought ashore during this operation. These individuals were safely and methodically transported to a military bases either in California or to their home countries.

The Grand Princess Cruise Ship will stay at the Port of Oakland Until Sunday, March 15, 2020.
Upon the ship’s departure, the Port of Oakland site will be fully remediated and decontaminated by immediately removing temporary structures and pressure washing the entire site with a bleach solution to disinfect it.

Please follow this link for more updates.
4.What Resources Are Available To Support Oakland Residents Due To Impact Of Coronavirus Precautions?

A. OUSD Provides Breakfast And Lunch For Students

Oakland Unified School's Closed until April 5, 2020.
District offices will remain open, but in-person public access will be limited.

During this period, each school will receive a deep cleaning.

Because of the evolving nature of the coronavirus pandemic, OUSD hopes to be able to resume instruction on Monday, April 6th, 2020.

During the closure, our Nutrition Services Department will open twelve schools throughout the city where “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch meals will be available for our students. Student 18 and under. Please bring a grocery bag or cooler to bring food home for the week.

  • Monday: 8:00-12:00 (3 breakfasts/3 lunches per student)
  • Thursday: 8:00-12:00 (2 breakfasts/2 lunches per student)


  • Northwest/West Oakland: Sankofa Elementary, West Oakland Middle School and Hoover Elementary
  • Central Oakland: Oakland High School and Garfield Elementary
  • East Oakland: Bret Harte Middle School, Life Academy/United for Success, Coliseum College Preparatory Academy, Madison Park Upper, Fremont High School, Castlemont High School and Elmhurst United Middle School

Click the link for more updates.

B. Supporting Our Businesses And Employees

To mitigate the economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City wants to highlight a variety of programs and efforts to support small businesses and workers.

These resources include assistance with small business taxes, state and federal loan programs, worker benefits programs, and other direct business support.

The City launched a  website  to serve as a portal for all the local, state and federal resources available to support small businesses and workers during this crisis.

C. Supporting Our Homeless Encampments
The City of Oakland is partnering with Alameda County—the lead public health agency—to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among unsheltered residents. To assist all unsheltered residents throughout the County, and specifically in Oakland, the City and County have partnered to accomplish the following:
  • Increased direct outreach to distribute small hand sanitizers, hygiene packets, and informational handouts from the CDC;
  • Added hand sanitizers to 20 sites where hygiene services (i.e., portable toilets and hand-washing stations) currently exist;
  • Delivered additional toilets, hand sanitizer, and wash stations to an additional 20 encampment sites;
  • Increased hygiene services to Oakland’s Community Cabin and RV Safe Parking sites;
  • Increased cleaning and supplies at indoor shelters.

Additionally, the City and County are reviewing options to find locations if unsheltered individuals need to self-quarantine. The City and County will continue to collaborate closely on this effort.

Question or Concerns? Contact The District 6 Team:

Councilmember Loren Taylor; ltaylor@oaklandca.gov

Chief of Staff/Policy Lead: Pamela Ferran; pferran@oaklandca.gov

Scheduling/Events: Lina Hancock; lhancock@oaklandca.gov

Constituent Liaison: Rowena Brown; rbrown3@oaklandca.gov

Email us all: district6@oaklandca.gov