Oakland, CA

Oakland City Council votes to drop proof COVID-19 vaccination requirement for indoor spaces

Refugio Garcia

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Oakland City Council votes to stop requiring proof of COVID vaccination indoors

The Oakland City Council on Tuesday voted to drop the rule requiring people to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide proof of a negative test result when entering indoor spaces within city limits, East Bay Times reports.

The council’s vote eliminates the ordinance that made many spaces including gyms, restaurants, bars, concert venues, and senior centers off-limits to anyone who is unvaccinated. The mandate is still in effect for senior and assisted living centers.

However, Councilmember Dan Kalb suggested a stipulation requiring people to mask up when attending gatherings of 2,500 people or more – citing research on the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing people from contracting COVID-19.

“I have mixed feelings about bringing this forward today,” Kalb said.

Many local businesses have asked Oakland to relax masking rules as the tourism arm of the city looks to draw additional tourism to the area, such as the local nonprofit, Visit Oakland, which is funded by local businesses and hotels.

The mandate for masking at large gatherings will end on Nov.1 or when the local state of emergency ends, whichever comes first. Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan also said that the city should offer high-quality masks at city buildings as part of the modification to the ordinance.

CoCo Sheriff candidates face off at public safety forum in Pleasant Hill

Challenger Benjamin Therriault met with Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston Tuesday to discuss topics at a public safety candidate’s forum at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, KTVU reports.

Livingston has maintained his position as Sheriff since 2010. Terriault is a police officer in the City of Richmond and leads the Richmond Police Officers Association.

Among the topics discussed was the recent sentencing of ex-Danville Deputy Andrew Hall who fired shots into a moving car, striking and killing 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda. Hall received six years in prison.

Livingston said that the former duputy’s conviction was political but Therriault blamed the department’s leadership. "It’s policies that come from the top and transcend down the bottom to the deputies that actually have to do the work,” he said.

The California Primary election will take place in June.

Piedmont City Council approves modifications to community pool

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The Piedmont City Council on Monday voted to approve the changes proposed for the city’s community pool and design, East Bay Times reports.

The newly approved design includes the modifications approved by the council at meetings held on March 21 and April 4.

The new design aims to maximize usage for all visitors while being cost-efficient. “We’ve had 15 City Council meetings and eight pool advisory committee meetings (to advance plans for the pool),” said City Administrator, Sara Lillevand.

The city council also focused on making the revamped facility run on a net-zero carbon footprint using photovoltaic and other alternative energy sources.

“More program space is being created for special needs classes, adaptive PE, increased capacity for lessons” according to Stuart Isaac of Isaac Sports Group, a consultant for the project. “People are demanding more from pools these days. Some include climbing walls or playgrounds or zip lines.”

The project was financed through Measure UU in November 2020 with $19.5 million in financing. However, due to 11.42% inflation and the availability of materials, the city is now looking at a funding gap of $2,180,000.

The project will now go before the Piedmont Planning Commission with a start date for construction still to be decided.

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