District 6 Matters: Coronavirus Update & Emergency Preparedness in Oakland
From the office of Councilmember Loren Taylor

In response to the increased spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the United States and particularly here in the Bay Area, I am sharing the following information to help you and your families stay informed and also to help you prepare, prevent, and respond to potential exposure to the virus. Three primary topics addressed below:
  1. What is Oakland Doing to Address the Coronavirus
  2. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Princess Cruise Ship docking in Oakland, and
  3. Information regarding the Emergency Preparedness Event in Maxwell Park on Saturday, March 14th.

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)

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

Key Recommendations for Individuals and Families  
  • 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. 

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.

Formation of a City of Oakland Interdepartmental Emergency Planning Team
The City Administrator has convened an inter-departmental team (COVID-19 Emergency Planning Team) to plan for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak. The team at this point includes the Mayor’s Office and leadership from the Fire Department (Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Management), Human Resources (Employee Relations and Risk Management), Human Services, and the Oakland Police Department. 
  • The Emergency Planning Team is working to ensure that the plans, policies, and protocols related to COVID-19 will sustain the continuity of operations, services, and safety of City employees and the Oakland community.
  • We are distributing tens of thousands of public information posters and fact sheets in English, Chinese, and Spanish to City facilities and public counters, including the libraries, senior centers, Head Start centers, recreation centers, police stations, fire stations, and the Civic Center, and will provide flyers to outreach workers to distribute at homeless encampments to supplement Alameda County’s efforts.
  • The City is awaiting additional guidance from Alameda County regarding protocols to address COVID-19 in homeless shelters and encampments.

The  Alameda County Public Health Department  has advised that at this time, they are not recommending cancellation of schools or mass gatherings, and vulnerable populations who may be at higher risk of contracting the illness may want to avoid mass gatherings.
The City’s Emergency Management Division is coordinating with emergency managers across the County to plan for the following:
  • Ways to reduce contact between people if public health officials call for social distancing,
  • Possibility of school closures and cancellations of mass gatherings,
  • Protecting people who are at higher risk for complications from illness, and
  • Maintaining all vital public sector operations.

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:
2. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Princess Cruise Ship docking in Oakland

A. What are the objectives of the mission?
The State of California has been working in partnership with the federal government to aid in the safe return of passengers from the Grand Princess. The entire mission is centered around protecting the health of the passengers, and ensuring that when the passengers disembark, the public health of the United States, the State of California, and partner communities is protected.

As stated by Governor Gavin Newsom, we are "coming to the rescue of thousands of people trapped aboard this ship and helping tackle a national emergency".
B. Why Oakland?
After careful review of all options, the Port of Oakland was selected as the best site for the ship to disembark. It is a non-commercial site far away from residents/workers. There are limited docks that will be able to dock a ship of that size, and the Port of Oakland location was the easiest to seal off, securely move passengers toward their isolation destinations and protect the safety of the public.

Together, the United States Government and the State of California asked the City of Oakland and the Port of Oakland to partner in this mission. The mission will be a joint federal and state effort, with local support.

C. What is being done to ensure that when the passengers disembark, the public health of the United States, the State of California, the City of Oakland, and other partner communities is protected?

The federal government and its contractors are already preparing the site for disembarkment. As soon as Monday, March 9, the ship will begin disembarking passengers at the Port of Oakland. The ship will only be docked during the duration of the disembarkment.

  • No one will be quarantined in Oakland, nor will any of the passengers be released into the general public.
  • Passengers who require acute medical treatment and hospitalization will be transported to health care facilities in California.
  • If passengers do not require acute medical care following health screenings, those who are California residents will go to a federally run isolation facility within California for testing and isolation, while non-Californians will be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states.
  • The crew will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship, but importantly, the ship will only stay in Port of Oakland for the duration of disembarkment.
  • This ship will depart Oakland as soon as possible and will remain elsewhere for the duration of the crew's quarantine.
3. Free Emergency Preparedness Event in District 6

What can you do to better preprare for Oakland's next city-wide emergency/crisis? We as residents and neighbors must be ready to act when the situation arises for our individual safety as well as that of our families, neighbors, and the city as a whole. Are you ready?

You are invited to a free Emergency Preparedness Event in District 6 on Saturday, March 14th to refresh old skills and knowledge as well as acquire new ones.

You will learn:
  • How to organize your neighborhood
  • How to create a neighborhood evacuation plan
  • Where to receive CERT/ CORE Training and certification
  • How to practice emergency radio communications
  • How to collect local emergency supplies
  • How to drink from your water heater
  • How and when to shut off utilities
  • Disaster Medical 101
  • And much more!

For more information go to https://prepday.org

Sponsored by the offices of Supervisor Nate Miley and Councilmember Loren Taylor