A Message from Mayor Ashcraft

Maurice Ramirez Photography &nbsp &nbsp An employee with Alameda Theatre & Cineplex reconfigures the marquee not to announce the latest release, but to encourage locals to order take out from the adjoining Cinema Grill. The theater is closed at this time.

A Message from Mayor Ashcraft

‘We must work together to protect our community’

My highest priority as Mayor is the health and safety of our families and community members. Today, Alameda joins cities in the U.S. and around the world in confronting the greatest public health crisis of our time, the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, in the midst of the uncertainty surrounding this formidable threat, I am certain that Alamedans will rise to meet this challenge and protect our entire community. Here’s what we must do.

We know from other countries that there are effective, and ineffective, ways to respond to this disease. Most critical to saving lives is practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing, self-quarantine if symptomatic and widespread testing. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom has taken proactive steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 by directing all Californians to stay at home, except to seek essential services or work in essential businesses. Ignoring “stay-at-home” orders and congregating in large groups is dangerous and threatens the health and safety of everyone around us.

Alameda County Public Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan recently noted that Alameda County is seeing an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, including cases of community transmission. Dr. Pan believes the virus has been spreading throughout Alameda County since January and has likely infected thousands of County residents already. This is why social distancing, good hand hygiene and self-quarantine are so important. Because even persons with no, or only mild symptoms — as is common for young people who acquire COVID-19 — can still transmit the disease to vulnerable populations who can become critically ill. Include seniors, children and adults with compromised immune systems or chronic health conditions, and people with asthma.

Although more labs are becoming able to process test results, test kits are still in short supply, and no known treatment for COVID-19 currently exists. At present, tests are being prioritized for vulnerable populations who display symptoms, such as nursing home residents, and those in “sensitive occupations” which include healthcare workers and public safety employees.

Additional testing will increase in the coming days and weeks and will help county public health officials predictively model COVID-19 transmission and its impact on hospitals, which are already reporting a shortage of personal protective equipment or “PPE’s.” (Dr. Pan says donations of masks to hospitals “would be helpful.”)

Here’s where the public can help. The more rigorously we adhere to public-health guidelines, the more we will slow the number of new cases of COVID-19. This “flattens the curve” of new cases and helps reduce stress on hospitals as they struggle to acquire essential supplies and equipment. In addition, it allows more time for treatments to be developed. 

We are in the midst of a challenging, historic moment in time, and it is critical that we take this moment seriously. Our collective actions can significantly impact the trajectory of this disease. By staying home, we save lives. We protect ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbors. I have every confidence that Alameda is equal to this task, and that working together we will protect our community. 

For regular COVID-19 updates from the City of Alameda, please visit www.alamedaca.gov/alerts.


Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft is the Mayor of Alameda. She can be reached at (510) 747-4745 or 


Jon_Spangler's picture

What will the State of California, Alameda County, and the City of Alameda do if President Trump declares an end to the anti-viral restrictions before it is safe from an epidemiological perspective to do so?