coronavirus pandemic

Two East Bay School Districts Dealing with COVID-19 Surge, Teacher Sickout

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Two school districts in the East Bay said they are both forced to deal with a large number of teachers calling out sick because of COVID-19.

The West Contra Costa Unified School District said it's closing all schools on Friday and Monday to give teachers time to recover and allow schools to be deep cleaned.

While the Oakland Unified School District is keeping their schools open despite the growing threat of a mass teacher sickout Friday.

“It’s hard at the thought of pivoting on a dime,” said Jesselle Mirua of Oakland.

Miura told NBC Bay Area Thursday that it has been an abnormal start to 2022 for her two daughters, a fifth grader and first grader at Sequoia Elementary in Oakland.

“There were a significant number of kids missing from their classes,” she said.

Two East Bay school districts day they are both forced to deal with a large number of teachers calling out sick because of COVID-19. Melissa Colorado reports.

Miura added that her 7-year-old’s teacher was also not in the classroom.

“It was covered by a school staff member. Not even a regular sub,” she said.

The district sent out an email to families, alerting them about what they describe as an “illegal” teacher sickout happening Friday.

“We need to be clear. This action at whichever schools it occurs, is likely to significantly disrupt basic operation and instruction and will negatively impact the safety of students,” Oakland school officials said in a statement.

It’s unknown how many teachers will take part in the sickout at OUSD and which schools will feel the strain.

“This is not an official union action. But we are urging district and state leaders to listen to the urgent demand for better masks and more testing,” Oakland Education Association president Keith Brown said in a statement.

The Oakland Unified School District is preparing for a possible sickout by teachers due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Raj Mathai speaks with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on her reaction.

Oakland resident Lakisha Young runs Oakland Reach, a parent advocacy group that offers virtual literacy help and other supplemental online classes to underprivileged children.

Young told NBC Bay Area Thursday that her group is prepared to handle what may come Friday.

“Oakland Reach starting to get that hub ready and prepared to serve families during this chaos,” she said.

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