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Alameda County has seen a small spike in confirmed coronavirus cases over the past two weeks, according to the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD).

On Monday, May 18, ACPHD released a daily update of the county’s confirmed COVID-19 cases on its website. In the two weeks since the Alameda Sun last reported ACPHD’s results, COVID-19 cases have increased by 713, from 1,809 on May 4, to 2,522 on May 18. In the two weeks prior, from April 20 to May 4, Alameda County reported 618 new coronavirus cases.

On Monday, May 18, the Alameda Unified Board of Education announced that online instruction would be shortened by six days. The new official last day of instruction will be May 29 instead of June 8.

The decision was made after 79.8 percent of Alameda teachers voted in favor of ending the school year earlier than planned.

“Given the circumstances, I think it was a fair decision,” said Joshua Linville, who teaches English at Encinal High School. “Virtual attendance and work completion was down. Sadly, very few students were actually fully participating in distance learning.”

On Monday, May 4, health authorities in the nine-county region that includes Alameda loosened restrictions on construction as well as some outdoor activities and businesses. They announced that the state of California was planning to allow some retailers to reopen with curbside pickup and physical distancing. The state was also allowing any manufacturing and supply chains for those businesses to open. These orders do not permit curbside pickup for all non-essential, brick-and-mortar businesses.

Face coverings the new normal; maintaining physical distance, while maintaining social connections essential

By March 15, the seven public health officers from Bay Area counties and the City of Berkeley had watched with alarm as COVID-19 spread through Wuhan, China, then devastated Italy where doctors were forced to ration ventilators. They knew they had to act quickly to avoid a similar outcome, so on March 16, they jointly issued the nation’s first shelter-in-place (SIP) order.

In recognition of Mental Health Month and to help ensure those struggling know they are not alone, City staff decided to try something new. Alameda joined other cities across the country and shined a green spotlight on City Hall. Lime green is the official color of mental-health awareness.

A profound effect of the pandemic is more people than ever experiencing mental health challenges with increasing anxiety, depression and even thoughts of suicide. 

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