The Chabot Space and Science Center. September 25, 2020. Credit: Pete Rosos

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With COVID-19 cases again on the rise, Alameda County (along with six other Bay Area counties) announced a new indoor mask mandate regardless of vaccination status. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Bay Area is among the highest-risk regions in the country in the country with the delta variant circulating. 

A new mask mandate isn’t the only safety measure taking place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some bars and restaurants are banding together to require proof of vaccination (or a negative COVID test) in order to go inside. Those who don’t want to comply can dine and drink in their outdoor sections. 

For now, aside from masks, officials haven’t enacted any new restrictions on businesses or events, and there’s still plenty going on in Oakland this week. So as you plan your outings, keep in mind the updated mask guidelines, and if you think you’ve been exposed regardless of your vaccination status and need to get tested, check out our updated COVID testing guide.

If there’s an event, you think we should feature in the future, email me at azucena@oaklandside.org or fill out the form at the bottom of this page. 

Hiking at Joaquin Miller Park

If you’re like me and have been watching the Blindspotting TV show on Starz, then you’ll want to see how the lookout point at the Joaquin Miller Park got some love during episode 6. Of course, hiking or driving to this spot isn’t necessarily an event taking place this week; it can be done anytime. But it’s an activity we’re suggesting as a good opportunity to disconnect from crowds and safely admire the views of the Bay. Other spots to visit in Joaquin Miller Park include the Woodminster Cascades (stone staircases with breathtaking views at the top), the pyramid to Moses (built by poet Joaquin Miller in 1892), the funeral pyre (also built by the poet in 1898 in hopes to have his remains cremated there).

Every day, free, Joaquin Miller Park Lookout Point, 3547 Sanborn Dr.

Lakeside Chat

One of the sessions during the Oaklandside’s anniversary event back in June took place at Lake Merritt, and it was well-received by our readers. If you were one of those who tuned in, this event is right up your alley. This weekend, the Rotary Nature Center Friends will host its monthly live-streamed discussion, featuring Susan Schwartzenberg, director of the Bay Observatory, and Shawn Lani, director of the Studio for Public Spaces at the SF Exploratorium. Both leaders have developed a vision for creating learning hubs that explore the physical, biological, and social dimensions of natural environments in urban areas. They will present these ideas, with Lake Merritt being a key site they have in mind. 

Friday, August 6, 7 p.m, free, online, Rotary Nature Center Friends, Eventbrite 

Back to School: COVID Care

As students begin returning to in-person learning, parents still have questions about how to best keep their children safe until there is a vaccine available for kids under 12 years of age. This Friday, the Oakland Public Library is teaming up with staff from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to host a virtual Q&A to answer questions about unvaccinated children and the best practices to protect them from the virus. 

Friday, August 6, 10:30 a.m., free, online, Oakland Public Library, Eventbrite

The beer garden at Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland. Credit: Sarah Han Credit: Sarah Han

Blue Mondays at Eli’s

Fully vaccinated and looking to hang at a spot with other fellow vaxxed folks? Then, the punk dive bar, Eli’s Mile High Club, is where you want to be. Blue Mondays have brought back live music with a different performer every week. Next Monday, Lady E & The Best of the Bay will grace the bar’s stage. Make sure to bring your ID along with your proof of vaccination: the actual card, a photo, or your digital card which you can get online in minutes. 

Monday, August 9, 7 p.m., no cover, 3629 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Eli’s Mile High Club

Meteor Shower Watch Party

Night owls, this one’s for you! Although Chabot Space and Science Center isn’t scheduled to re-open until November, the center continues to host online programming and some special in-person events. This meteor watch party will take place in person at Chabot’s Observation Deck. Chabot’s astronomers will be on-site to answer questions. There will be hot chocolate to keep you warm. 

Wednesday, August 11, 11 p.m., $7-$15, Chabot’s Observation Deck, 100000 Skyline Blvd., Chabot Space and Science Center


Azucena Rasilla is an East Oakland native, a bilingual journalist reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.