My Resolution to Protect Health and Access With Masking in City Buildings

Date Posted: December 13th, 2022 @ 10:29 AM
Last Updated: December 13th, 2022 @ 10:33 AM
Vice Mayor Kaplan, wearing a mask, at the press conference for the FEMA-supported large scale COVID vaccination project - headquartered at the Oakland Coliseum

Hi Neighbor:

I am requesting to schedule an urgent resolution to the December 20, 2022, City Council Meeting to protect the health of the community and ensure accessibility of City of Oakland facilities by restoring the masking requirement inside City facilities and requiring the administration to provide quality masks to people at city facilities.

My resolution for the masking requirement at city facilities is based on data to protect the health of the Oakland community including, seniors, young children, and those with compromised immune systems from the spread of respiratory viruses. (Link to the Masking Resolution scheduling request)

Today, December 13, 2022, at 12:30pm, at Oakland City Hall plaza, the Senior and Disability Action (SDA) will have a caroling rally asking to bring back the mask requirements in Oakland public buildings, including libraries. Link to Facebook event for the rally:

"I am on immunosuppressive treatments and my doctors have told me that my entire family needs to avoid indoor spaces when masks are not required because the health risks are too high. People should not have to go against medical advice to access their city government or get a book out of the library," stated Beth Kenny, Senior and Disability Action member

COVID-19, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and Influenza are spreading among adults and children this far this winter season, and infection rates are projected to increase in the coming months. This early wave of respiratory viruses has led to increased hospitalizations and has contributed to stresses in our healthcare delivery systems in California and across the US.

Due to rising levels of COVID-19, on December 8th, 2022, health officials announced that Alameda County moved from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) “Low” COVID-19 Community Level to “Medium”, requiring universal masking at homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling and heating centers and health care facilities.

Masks, especially KN95, N95, and KF94 masks, are a vital tool to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, and wearing masks in public facilities is both a matter of public health and ensuring equitable access to public services. There are millions of people for whom unmasking is dangerous, including those who cannot be vaccinated, individuals who are immunocompromised, and people with various disabilities and “pre-existing conditions.”

My resolution would provide masking at all City of Oakland facilities, and ask the City Administrator to make available quality masks such as KN-95, N-95, and KF-94 to individuals who wish to enter these facilities.

Wearing quality masks helps protect both ourselves and one another from the dangerous spread of respiratory diseases - and helps keep spaces accessible while protecting the long term health of the public. With the growing dangers of long term harms from disease exposure and the importance of having public facilities be accessible for our communities, it is important to have masks.

Oakland City Council Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, December 20, 2022, at 1:30pm

WHERE: To observe the meeting by zoom video conference, please click on this link: