Oakland’s Town Camp Enrichment Program is being suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, city officials announced Thursday.

The program provides indoor recreation to school-age youth from kindergarten through fifth grade. Outdoor youth programs, senior programs, library services and homeless services will still be provided, according to city officials.

According to Alameda County, 10,884 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Oakland as of Thursday. City officials said the recent spike in virus cases and possibly a further increase because of family holiday gatherings were behind the decision to suspend the enrichment program.

“We realize that this will be a burden on some families,” city officials said. “However, we feel it is gravely necessary for us to play our part to control the spread of COVID-19, for both the customers we serve AND our own staff and their families.”

In-person enrichment programs were provided during the summer and at recreation centers since the beginning of the school year.

“We will continue following Alameda County Public Health guidelines and protocols over the next few weeks and will communicate when we feel we can safely resume indoor programming,” city officials said.

Head Start in Oakland remains open for in-person as well as virtual services but will have an extended winter break in anticipation of the increase in coronavirus cases.

Head Start locations will be closed from Dec. 21 through Jan. 8 and open again on Jan. 11. Families will be served virtually during the winter break.

Senior centers are not open for in-person services but are delivering food and making it available for pickup as well as providing virtual classes and information and referral services. More information can be found at https://www.oaklandca.gov/topics/senior-services.

Housing services for homeless residents remain in operation. Anyone interested in providing food or supplies to help homeless residents is encouraged to work with a provider of those services to reduce the risk of exposing homeless residents to the coronavirus.

Sidewalk library services continue to be provided at 16 locations during limited hours while indoor areas will stay closed to the public.

Library materials can be returned at outdoor bookdrops. The materials are quarantined for 96 hours before they are checked in.

Oakland Public Library reference librarians can be reached by calling (510) 238-3134 or by email at eanswers@oaklandlibrary.org.

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.