Oakland, CA

COVID-19 outbreaks close two Oakland schools

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By Ian Firstenberg

(OAKLAND, Calif.) COVID-19 outbreaks have closed two Oakland classrooms after kids returned to the classroom just last week as concerns around the delta variant worry parents across the country.

Oakland Unified School District, which brought children back to the classroom for fall term Aug. 9, has reported two outbreaks at Montclair Elementary and Oakland High School. In total, 58 kids and 10 staff members across the district are infected.

Similarly, cases continue to rise in two Brentwood school districts that brought students back in early August.

The rise in cases across the Bay Area has parents worried about bringing their kids back to campuses.

"With the delta variant blowing up right now just as kids are going back, it's a real concern," one Montclair parent told The East Bay Times.

OUSD could not be immediately reached by The Times for comment.

OUSD requires face masks for all students both indoors, according to state measures, and outdoors. Last week, the district also announced vaccination requirements that mandate all staff to be vaccinated or submit to regular COVID-19 testing. The state has since made vaccination requirements mandatory for all healthcare workers and school workers.

Montclair Principal Maite Barloga noted her concern in a statement to families.

"I regret to inform you that we have had multiple COVID cases at Montclair our first week. While it was a beautiful week seeing the joy and smiling eyes of our students back at the school after being distanced so long," Barloga wrote in part.

According to Barloga, the school will begin "cohorting" classes — separating the kids from non-infected children — and added that she will "make accommodations" for parents uncomfortable with the idea of sending their children back to the classroom.

"The virus could affect us at anytime," the statement read, "and we need to do everything we can be aware, cautious and safe."

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