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Bay Area cities or reduce services, courts halt trials as Covid wave crests

The Covid-19 surge sweeping the Bay Area is forcing cities and other government entities to close offices and limit services to maximize public safety.

All federal criminal and civil trials have been suspended until Jan. 26 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California because of the recent rapid spread of the omicron variant of Covid-19, court officials said this week. 

The Northern District covers the Bay Area and stretches from Monterey County in the south to Del Norte County in the north. It conducts trials in courtrooms in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and McKinleyville, near Eureka.

Federal court officials in the Central District of California, which covers San Luis Obispo County down to Los Angeles County and other counties in Southern California, have announced a similar suspension that will last until Jan. 24.

As a result of multiple Covid-19 cases arising at all city facilities, Brentwood’s city manager Thursday issued an emergency order closing all facilities to the public until further notice, effective Friday.

Brentwood City Manager Tim Ogden issued the emergency order and announced it late Thursday afternoon.

The closures include City Hall, police headquarters and the Municipal Services Center. All three will be closed to the public without an appointment. Ogden said city staff will staff the facilities at a minimum, with most employees working remotely from home.

The Brentwood Community Center and Senior Activity Center will be closed to the public, Ogden added. At the direction of Bruce Mulder, Brentwood’s parks and recreation director, specified programming at the Community Center and the Senior Activity Center will be cancelled.

And, for now, no new rental reservations for the facilities will be taken for the remainder of January. Current rental reservations will be honored, unless participants fail to follow all reservation guidelines and/or the director determines that there is insufficient staff available to host the reservation.

Outdoor programming will continue at the director’s discretion, in consultation with the city’s emergency services director.

The Brentwood website will be updated Friday morning with more information about city services as city officials manage the health situation.

Hayward is closing its City Hall to the public on Fridays through the rest of this month to prevent the further spread of Covid-19, city officials said Thursday.

The city will still maintain telephone and online access to services for the public, and some city departments may have in-person appointments available on Fridays upon request.

Residents seeking assistance about city services can visit or call the city manager’s office at (510) 583-4300. Any non-emergency safety issues can be addressed by calling the Hayward police non-emergency line at (510) 293-7000.

The administrative offices for the city of Newark and its police department are closed for the next two weeks due to a Covid-19 outbreak, according to a tweet Tuesday night from the Newark Police Department.

In a second tweet, the department posted that city offices will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 18, and that city services will “remain available online at, by email, phone or by appointment as needed.”

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