OAKLAND (KPIX) — As of 6 p.m. Friday, all classrooms in the Oakland Unified School District are closed, joining many others across the Bay Area. The closure is expected to last at least three weeks.
It’s not only schools. Starting Monday, libraries and senior and recreation centers will also be shuttered. This has left some parents scrambling to find a way to juggle their jobs and find child care.
Evelyn Odidike is helping care for her grandchild. “We need to work so having these kids will be difficult for me but we need to find a new solution,” Odidike said.
After the Alameda County Department of Public Health discovered four new cases of the coronavirus this week — two via community transmission — the need to close schools became a top priority.
“We have an opportunity to prevent human suffering. That is what we are doing today,” said Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf.
The closures, of course, have far-reaching impacts. Linda Jones, a crossing guard in Oakland, will miss a paycheck or two.
It’s new, it’s brand new to me. I’m 68 years old and I’ve never been through anything like this before,” Jones said.
Teachers have also been jamming to prepare lesson plans for kids to take home. “We’re in frantic mode setting packets out so there some accountability when they are out,” said Malayphet Insixiengmay.
It’s a community effort to try to stop the spread of the virus, one that many are willing to do.
“There’s nothing I can do because the government is trying to protect us from the virus I was not all that sad,” Odidike said.
Mayor Schaaf is urging families who have to take time off from work to care for their children to look into their rights and access any benefits that are available to them.