Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Updates

Pandemic sweeping nation, world

Alamedans have begun hearing about a new concept this week: “Quarantine Fatigue.” Using cell phone tracking data, officials have determined that Californians, bottled up in their homes going on a seventh week now, have begun to disregard the shelter-in-place order. Some other states have begun to relax their restrictions. California’s order remains in place until at least June 1. 

Take it from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after recovering from a case of COVID-19, who said reopening the economy too early would, “throw away all the effort and the sacrifice of the British people and risk a second major outbreak.”

Let’s not let down our guard and throw away our efforts. Stay home, stay distant and stay healthy — it’s just that simple. 

City Offers Business Relief
The City of Alameda announced last week it is offering emergency grants up to $7,500 to retailers, restaurants and other small businesses. Applications and eligibility requirements were expected to be posted April 27 at

Business license and business improvement area fees have been deferred for 60 days, from July 1 to Sept. 1. The city’s transient occupancy tax is also deferred for 60 days, for the months of March, April and May.

Business hours for food-related services have been extended to 2 a.m. to make curbside pickup easier. Businesses can now sell to-go alcoholic beverages, food and other essential goods. Contact the Planning, Building and Transportation Department at 510-747-6800 for more information.

St. Joe’s Donates PPE
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, St. Joseph Notre Dame High School (SJND) teachers Zoey Adam and Andy McKee are leading efforts to donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other equipment to local healthcare workers on behalf of SJND.

Over the last several weeks, Adam has rounded up supplies from around school — specifically the science department — to donate. So far SJND has donated more than 1,500 gloves, nearly 100 pairs of goggles and safety glasses, eight gallons of hydrogen peroxide, whiteboard markers, lysol wipes and three pediatric masks. 

Last week, Adam delivered PPE to the Berkeley Police Department. This will help with efforts to move at-risk homeless individuals into safer housing, and equip elder-care workers and first responders. 

McKee has been using the SJND IDEA Lab’s 3D printers to create masks and face shields. To date, he has donated the materials to members of the SJND community, including a CVS pharmacist and a Kaiser labor and delivery nurse. 

Everyone Belongs Here Contest Open Now
The 2020 Everyone Belongs Here Poem and Poster Contest is currently underway. The theme for this year’s contest is how everyone still belongs here and belongs together, but how everyone needs to adapt to show unity. With that in mind, several sub-themes are suggested:

  • Everyone Belongs Six Feet Apart!
  • Everyone Should Wear a Mask!
  • Everyone Belongs at Home!
  • Everyone Belongs Here (except maybe not viruses)

Poems and posters can show and share how Alamedans are all making the best of this very difficult time by following guidelines, staying healthy and still learning and living creatively. The contest was expanded this year to include students of all grades in the three traditional categories: kindergarten to fifth grade, sixth to eighth grade and ninth to 12th grade.

Young Alamedans are invited to write a poem and/or design a poster on any variation of the Alameda Unified School District slogan reflecting how people live now. 

Poems can be of any length and should be sent to Alameda Poet Laureate Gene Kahane at gene by Friday, May 8.

Posters can be any size, using any material and can be dropped off at Tomatina Restaurant, 1338 Park St., from noon to 8 p.m., also by May 8.

Prizes will be awarded to the winners of each grade category and there will be an overall grand-prize winner for the poster contest. 

All entries will be put on display in the windows of Books, Inc., at 1344 Park St. 
For more information email Kahane at the address above.

Adopt Pets Virtually, but also for Real
Through the use of technology, phone interviews, the Alameda Animal Shelter parking lot and carefully managed physical distancing protocols, Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) is now offering a new “virtual adoption” program. 

Call (510) 337-8565 to get started. Due to limited staffing set aside extra time to complete adoptions using this new process. The Alameda Support Foundation will cover adoption fees with a donation.

In keeping with California’s continued mandate to shelter in place, both FAAS locations remain closed to the general public. Staff is working at 1590 Fortmann Way and from home to provide essential services. 

FAAS also distributes free pet food and supplies every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon to Alamedans who need assistance. 

Sun Receives Reprieve
Posting everywhere from social media to the Bay Farm Island Bicycle Bridge, Alamedans came to the Alameda Sun’s rescue last week. Thanks to about 40 new subscribers, our delivery volunteers, the hugely generous donors (you know who you are), and the loan from the Payroll Protection Program, the Sun’s finances should ensure publication through the end of summer.


Top to bottom: Alameda Food Bank line, empty ferry parking lot, locals out for a walk in their finery, keep your feet six feet apart from other feet by Celeste Lane