COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force Co-Chairs


Some have called COVID-19 the “great equalizer,”    because viruses don’t discriminate. But while viruses don’t discriminate, people and policies can and do. In Oakland and Alameda County, COVID-19 infections and deaths have hit African American, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Asian American, and Native American residents the hardest, and disproportionately impacted,immigrants, elders, people with disabilities, formerly and currently incarcerated people, unsheltered residents, essential workers and those experiencing poverty.
 People of color have been more likely to face increased risks as essential workers, lose work as industries shutdown, be unhoused or face housing instability and crowding, be incarcerated,and have limited options for affordable and culturally appropriate healthcare.These disparities are driven by policies and decisions we made long before this pandemic and that we continue to make. Unless we change them at their root,through corrective action, these decisions will continue to concentrate the risks of this and future emergencies in communities of color.
 We decided to convene the COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force in April 2020 with two clear priorities:
  1. Immediately address the racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19
  2. Address the social determinants (i.e. community conditions) that perpetuate racial health disparities
Since then, the Task Force has served as a space for stakeholders from government, community organizations, the private sector, philanthropy, and healthcare to break down silos and address the unprecedented issues facing our communities of color during the pandemic.

As the Task Force wraps up and the work transitions to the Oakland Thrives Leadership Council, we are entering a new period where we are seeing an alarming increase in case rates and disparities(see graph above), as well as the beginning of the dissemination of the vaccine. We must continue to apply the lessons learned in the last 8 months by building on existing assets in communities of color, analyzing and sharing data with impacted communities and leveraging private resources as we address the recent spikes and ensure equitable vaccination distribution. We must also bring the same sense of urgency to reset the decades of life lost because of inequitable underlying community conditions.
 As a first step, we recommend that our community brings its collective power towards the twelve actions in the report that address some of the urgent needs of this moment while also building towards the transformative change we really need. This report summarizes the work of the Task Force to date, highlights critical lessons learned, and sets forth a clear Action Plan to guide this work moving forward. Oakland Thrives Leadership Council will continue to oversee this work and quarterly updates will be provided at their public meetings.


➢ Racial Disparities Task Force REPORT

COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force Report and Action Plan (Jan 7, 2021)


 Task Force Members and Affiliate Organizations
Final Report and Action Plan Acknowledgments
Local Leaders Announce Covid-19 Racial Disparities Task Force


Task Force Update (11.17.20)
Task Force Update (09.25.20)
Task Force Update (08.07.20)
Task Force Update (07.17.20)


CalOSHA Safety Letter (09.16.20)
State Legislative Letter to the Governor (09.15.20)
Secretary Ghaly's Response to Oakland's Mayor & Racial Disparities Task Force (09.08.20)


December 2020 | Presentation and Discussion of the Draft Final Report and Action Plan

November 2020 | Covid 19 Racial Disparities Task Force Meeting

October 2020 | Covid 19 Racial Disparities Task Force Meeting

September 2020 | Covid 19 Racial Disparities Task Force Meeting

August 2020 | Strategies to Address the COVID 19 Crisis in the Latinx Community
July 2020 | Workers’ Rights and Working Safely in the Era of COVID 19, Collaborations and Challenges  

June 2020 | Testing and Tracing: Innovative Approaches to Contact Tracing and Testing

May 2020 | Alameda County Health Care Overview of the Pandemic, Model Programs Serving the Most Impacted  Communities


       1.   Community Outreach
      2.   Protecting Workers
       3.   Shelter in Place/Food Security
       4.   Testing, Tracing and Data

COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force
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