COVID-19 Pandemic Update From Oakland D3 Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney

COVID-19 Pandemic Update From Oakland D3 Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney

Update on COVID-19

Guidelines, Recommendations and Support During COVID-19 Pandemic


Below are important updates on local government’s efforts to stem the impact of the COVID19 pandemic and to keep our communities healthy and safe. In accordance with the Shelter In Place order, my staff are all working from home over the next three weeks. All meetings will be conducted by phone or electronically.

In this Special Bulletin we have included information on:

1. Alameda County’s Shelter in Place Order (went into effect Tuesday)

2. Small Business Impacts & Supports

3. Resources for Workers / Employees

4. Updated Guidance from the California Department of Public Health

5. Family Resources for School-aged Youth

6. Financial Resources & Other COVID19-related supports

7. Links to Other Agency Updates

We will provide updates and resources as we learn more. Feel free to email us with your questions, concerns and recommendations.

Stay calm. Take care of yourself. With every crisis comes an opportunity. Take this time to enjoy the quiet or read a book you’ve been meaning to get to. Since you likely no longer have a commute, cook a fine meal or send those belated greeting cards and by all means spend time with your children or other family members, and get outdoors to enjoy the beauty of our city or the Bay Area. Many of our small cafes and restaurants are open for take out, so be sure to support them. Keep a healthy social distance but by all means stay connected. In the end, we are all we have.

In LoveLife Service & Hope, Lynette


Effective March 17, Alameda County Public Health Officer has joined the public health officers of Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties with the City of Berkeley on a legal order directing their residents to shelter at home for three weeks beginning today. This is a MANDATORY legal order and residents are required to comply.

The order limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential activities as necessary for the health and safety of individuals and their families.

Essential businesses allowed to operate during the recommended action include:

health care operations,
businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or other needy individuals,
fresh and non-perishable food retailers (including convenience stores),
child care facilities,
gas stations,
laundry businesses; and,
services necessary for the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of a residence.

For a full list of essential business activities, please see Section 10 of the Order.

Public transportation should be used only for essential activities or travel to and from work at an essential business. Transit riders must comply with social distancing requirements.

Why? Scientistic evidence reveals that social distancing is one of the most effective approaches to slow the transmission of communicable disease. By sheltering in place, we are working together as a community to slow the spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve” of the rate of infections. This is an opportunity for each of us to do our part to protect our personal health, protect the most vulnerable members of our community, and protect our healthcare workers and systems from becoming overwhelmed.


In 2012 I dubbed District 3 the “Heart & Soul of the Town” and without doubt the pulse of the District is generated by our small businesses – nightclubs, cafes, restaurants, cultural spaces, faith centers and service organizations. Keeping the public safe from COVID19 has been particularly hard on you who own, manage and work in this sector.

Local Resources are still coming together. For information please link to:

Congress has authorized funding for Small Business Administration (SBA) Coronavirus Loans.

Although SBA guidance is still being drafted regarding specific eligibility and administration of coronavirus assistance, it will be based on the traditional SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Additional SBA guidance should be available in the next several days.

Background on EIDL

The SBA administers the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program to lessen the economic burden on small businesses. This program provides relief from economic injury caused directly by the disaster and permits the business to maintain a reasonable working capital position during the period affected by the disaster:

Small businesses and small agricultural cooperatives who suffered substantial economic injury may be eligible for the EIDL Program.
Substantial economic injury is the inability of a business to meet its obligations to pay its operating expenses.

These loans help meet financial obligations a business could meet if the interruption to business did not occur. SBA is allowing businesses to forecast economic losses due to events that bring in high revenues being canceled due to the COVID-19.

Loan Criteria

Some criteria from the traditional SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program will apply for COVID-19 loans:

The SBA only provides EIDL assistance to businesses that SBA determines are unable to obtain credit elsewhere. The program makes available Working Capital loans up to $2 million for economic support and to help overcome temporary revenue loss The loan amount will be based on the business’ actual economic injury and financial needs. The interest rate on EIDLs cannot exceed 4 percent per year, and are currently set at: 3.75% for small businesses, 2.75% for nonprofits. The term of the loans cannot exceed 30 years. Terms and conditions will be determined by the business’s ability to repay the loan.

To be eligible for assistance, a county needs to be approved by the SBA for an Economic Loss Declaration. That county and all contiguous counties are then eligible. Current eligible counties:

Primary: Alameda, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma, Tuolumne
Contiguous: Alpine, Amador, El Dorado, Imperial, Kern, Lake, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Ventura, Yolo

Oakland Business Assistance Center:

Has your business been impacted by COVID-19? Small business owner’s please take some time to complete this survey.

City of Oakland COVID-19 Business Impact Data Survey

Kiva Small Business Lending Support:

We’re eager to help small businesses struggling under the impact of this pandemic. Small business owners please reach out to us.

Please follow this link.

Other Reports:

San Francisco Business Times: Here’s What Government is Doing for Business and Employees


California will continue acting swiftly to help workers hurt by COVID-19. Affected workers can visit the Labor & Workforce Development Agency’s website to review what benefits are available to them. For example:

If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 you may qualify for Paid Family Leave (PFL).
If you’re unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness, you may qualify for Disability Insurance. Those who have lost a job or have had their hours reduced for reasons related to COVID-19 may be able to partially recover their wages by filing an unemployment insurance claim.
If a worker or a family member is sick or for preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine, workers may use accrued paid sick leave in accordance with the law.
If workers are unable to do their usual job because they were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of their work, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. All information and resources can be found at Labor.Ca.Gov/Coronavirus2019

Additional resources also found with the CA Employment Development Department:


The California Department of Public Health has consolidated state guidance on how to prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19 in a single location. This includes guidance for:

Community care facilities, including assisted living facilities and child care
Employers, health care workers and workers in general industry
First responders, including paramedics and EMTs
Gathering Guidance
Health care facilities from Cal/OSHA
Health care facilities, including long-term care facilities
Health care plans
Homelessness Providers
Schools and institutions of higher education
Home cleaning with COVID-19 positive individuals
Guidance for Using Disinfectants at Schools and Child Cares

5. Family Resources To Support You During School And Business Closures

Free Learning Resources For Kids:
List of Food Pantries & Support:
OUSD Grab & Go Food Pickup sites:
Parent Support and Resource Hotline: Family Paths 1-800-829-3777

6. Financial and Other Support

Free Computers for OUSD Students: Tech Exchange is distributing devices to OUSD families who need them for student online learning during school closures. This week only (March 16-21)!

Complete the registration form:
Stop by: 2530 International Blvd, Oakland, 10am-5pm, Monday-Saturday.
Families should complete the registration form before picking up a device. Please follow protocols for social distancing to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Comcast: is offering free/reduced price internet for those of low-income who are forced to work or study remotely due to COVID-19. To qualify for Comcast’s Internet Essentials service, customers must be eligible for public-assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, or SSI. Applicants can visit to enroll in the program; they may also call (855) 846-8376 for English or 855-765-6995 for Spanish.

7. Other Briefings on COVID-19

City of Oakland

League of Cities

Kaiser Permanente

Oakland Chamber of Commerce Resources

Alameda County Public Health Department

California Office of Emergency Services and Department of Public Health

About Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney

Elected in November 2012, Lynette represents Oakland Council District 3, a dynamic and diverse community that includes the neighborhoods of West Oakland, Adams Point, Downtown, Uptown, Jack London, Lake Merritt, Pill Hill/KONO, the Port of Oakland and the former Oakland Army Base.

A 20 year leader in affordable housing, Lynette currently serves on the Executive Committees of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Joint Powers Authority where she advocates for the well being of all residents by redressing health and economic inequity.


Lynette Gibson McElhaney is Oakland's Two-Term District Three Councilmember

Oakland News Now Today Blog - SF Bay Area Daily By Zennie62Media