Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2 p.m.

UC Berkeley has adopted a recommendation to not use handheld temperature monitors in screening for building access, except as required by a public health order or regulatory requirement. This recommendation came from the Rapid Response Public Health Team, which is tasked with making timely public health recommendations to the campus.

There is increasing evidence that temperature monitoring is an ineffective COVID-19 prevention strategy. One of the findings of Berkeley’s Safe Campus Initiative was the low positive predictive value of body temperature. Given the prevalence of asymptomatic transmission, the lack of fever may even give one a false sense of security regarding infection. Furthermore, many handheld temperature readers lack sufficient sensitivity.

The Daily Symptom Screener will continue to ask about temperature as one of many symptoms as it is believed to be appropriate in that context.

Friday, Nov. 20, 7:30 a.m. [Updated]

All residents of Alameda County, and most other counties across the state, are ordered to stop all non-essential work and gatherings between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., beginning Saturday, Nov. 21 at 10 p.m. The statewide order applies to residents of counties in the purple “widespread” tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, including Alameda County where UC Berkeley is located. The order remains in effect until 5 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, and may be extended or revised as needed.

The order makes an exception for essential workers carrying out their duties. This includes UC Berkeley employees who have been authorized to work on campus. Please carry your “Shelter in Place Exemption Letter” and Cal 1 Card when traveling to and from work during the curfew. A copy of your letter can be accessed via the People Cards section of the Regional Portal. Click on your name and then “Auth Letter.”

In a statement clarifying the order (PDF), Alameda County explained that “this order does not prevent restaurants from operating after 10 p.m. for takeout and does not prevent people from going to the grocery store or pharmacy for essential needs, or walking their dog in their neighborhood. The order also provides that it does not prevent members of the same household from leaving their residences together, as long as they do not intermingle with others while out.”

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 1:30 p.m.
In accordance with the new public health order issued by the city of Berkeley, the Recreational Sports Facility will be closed effective Wednesday, Nov. 18. The city order states that dining, gyms, movie theaters, and places of worship are no longer permitted indoors, but may continue to operate outside.
Monday, Nov. 16, 11 p.m.

The city of Berkeley plans to release an updated COVID-19 health order on Tuesday, Nov. 17 that imposes new restrictions on allowed activities. The order will align local rules with new State of California restrictions that place Berkeley in the “purple” – or most restrictive – tier of the statewide COVID-19 framework. Several business sectors will be required to close or modify operations starting Wednesday, Nov. 18 to align with statewide purple tier rules.

UC Berkeley will be reviewing the new orders closely and announcing any changes to operations as quickly as possible.

Monday, Nov. 16, 6 a.m.

California COVID Notify is now live. Help slow the spread of COVID-19 and opt-in today.

Once enrolled, you’ll get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Your identity will never be revealed and your location will never be tracked.

California COVID Notify is another layer of protection for you and your community. In addition to wearing a face covering, physically distancing, and washing your hands, adding your phone will help to keep you and others safe.

iPhone users: Please note that you must update to iOS version 14.2 in order to enroll.

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2 p.m.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 16, the Recreational Sports Facility will open on a reservation model to UC Berkeley students. Learn more about how to make a reservation and rules and regulations on the Rec Sports website. Note that all students are expected to sign the Keep Berkeley Healthy Pledge in CalCentral and complete a daily symptom screener (available through CalCentral, the campus coronavirus site, or UC Berkeley Mobile app) before entering campus. Students will need to show a completed daily symptom screener, Cal1 card, and a green badge from the eTang patient portal before they are allowed entrance to the RSF. Updates on in-person access to Rec Sports facilities and programs will be posted on the Rec Sports website as received by campus.
Thursday, Nov. 12, noon
In a message to campus, campus leaders encouraged all members of the UC Berkeley community to opt-in to California COVID Notify when it goes live on Monday. California COVID Notify is a privacy-first approach to using smartphones to alert you when you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. It augments traditional contact tracing efforts and makes it possible to reach unknown contacts.
Thursday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m.

UC Berkeley will be participating in a pilot of California COVID Notify, a smartphone-based COVID-19 exposure notification system from the State of California. It uses the Exposure Notifications System built by Google and Apple to alert you when you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. It will quickly notify you if you’ve likely been exposed, allowing you to seek medical attention and reduce risk for your loved ones.

The technology will launch at UC Berkeley on Monday, Nov. 16. Berkeley will join several other UCs in piloting the technology on behalf of the state of California. Members of the campus community are invited to ask questions about the technology in advance of the launch. Campus privacy, health and student affairs leaders will be answering questions on the UC Berkeley subReddit on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 4 p.m.

The Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate is encouraging the faculties of the schools and colleges to enact flexible and compassionate policies and practices in these challenging times. Their comments on pandemic grading policies (PDF) were approved by the Divisional Council on Monday, Nov. 2.

Monday, Nov. 2, 5 p.m.

President Drake has approved another extension to the time allowed for employees to use accrued vacation leave. If eligible, non-represented staff will continue accruing vacation leave through June 30, 2021, even if they are over their maximum. Policy-covered staff who earn PTO should refer to their location’s PTO program for eligibility information. This does not apply to represented employees.

Thursday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m.

Spring recess will take place as originally scheduled but the following week will be remote and students will be strongly encouraged to avoid travel. According to the CDC, travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Over the coming months, the campus will partner with student groups to develop spring recess activities in the Berkeley area.

Thursday, Oct. 29, 8 a.m.

A group of UC Berkeley researchers have launched a pop-up lab to monitor Bay Area sewage for COVID-19. The researchers spent months refining and optimizing a rapid and low-cost new technique to test wastewater for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Since July, they’ve been working with Environment, Health and Safety to collect samples from University Village and from sewers that drain from residence halls and surrounding neighborhoods.

This month, the team launched a new high-throughput pop-up lab in Hildebrand Hall. The new lab will allow the team to expand their testing across the Bay Area.

Testing of campus wastewater will continue and could serve as an early warning system for a potential outbreak.

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 6 p.m.

Faculty and postdocs are invited to a town hall on visas and immigration status. The meeting will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 10:30 a.m. Check your email for the Zoom link and passcode.

Thursday, Oct. 22, 5 p.m.

A proposal to pilot a limited number of outdoor instructional activities has been approved by the city of Berkeley Public Health. The pilot will kick off on Monday, Oct. 26 and end on Tuesday, Nov. 24, before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Friday, Oct. 9, 4:30 p.m.

This past spring, a group of operational leaders looked at the feasibility of offering instruction outdoors. They looked at a variety of factors, including access to restrooms and Wi-Fi, wheelchair accessibility and protection from the weather. It became clear that offering instruction outdoors on a regular basis was not practicable.

More recently, another group was formed to look at a different approach. The Joint Academic Senate and Administration Working Group on Outdoor Space for Instructional Activities (PDF) has been charged with looking at other approaches, focused on smaller-scale, intermittent instructional activities. These activities are meant to complement remote instruction and eventually may also complement in-person indoor instruction. The hope is that the use of outdoor spaces will enable us to start very limited in-person instruction sooner, in order to improve instructional outcomes now and also to gain information that will be useful in returning to larger-scale in-person instruction as it becomes possible. The group has developed a proposal for very small pilot programs to take place before the Thanksgiving break.

The proposal is being reviewed by UHS and the Berkeley public health officer for consideration. If approved, the pilot will inform future proposals to expand in-person instructional activities in the spring should public health conditions allow.

Friday, Oct. 9, 4:30 p.m.
Now that remote instruction may continue into the Spring 2021 semester, the UC Provost has extended and expanded temporary amendments to the residency policy and guidelines for those continuing students in the 2020-21 cohort who will be attempting to establish residency in fall 2021. For more information, see the Registrar’s service adjustments page.
Friday, Oct. 9, 4:30 p.m.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research has expanded its guidelines permitting undergraduates to work on-site in research buildings. Students working in paid positions (including work-study), enrolled in formal campus apprenticeship and fellowship programs (SURF, URAP, SPUR), enrolled in a course that offers course credit for research conducted in a lab, or conducting honors thesis research are now permitted. Undergraduate volunteers and other volunteers are not allowed in campus laboratories until further notice. All undergraduates must be counted in the research group/unit’s density budget. Students must complete all required training and be granted approval to work on campus prior to commencing work.

Supervisors and principal investigators are asked to ensure their approved employees are adhering to the requirements for working on campus. Employees must complete the two-part COVID-19 Health and Safety Training, which involves watching the 10-minute UC Berkeley Guidelines on Protecting Workers From COVID-19 and reviewing UC Berkeley’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Guide for Returning to the Workplace. Regular COVID-19 surveillance testing, while not a requirement to be on campus, is recommended once a week and is free and open to students, faculty and staff who are on campus. In addition, as of Nov. 1, 2020, all employees who access UC property need to have obtained a flu vaccine or applicable exemption or accommodation. See People and Culture’s Flu Shot 2020 webpage for more details, including forms.

Friday, Oct. 9, 4:30 p.m.
Earlier this week, the Berkeley International Office sent a message to all new (fall 2020 and spring 2021) international students who are outside the U.S. and may be contemplating arriving on campus for spring 2021. There are many unanswered questions about immigration policies and visas, so international students are encouraged to use caution when making plans to enter the United States. Faculty and staff are invited to attend a virtual Q&A session on Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Please note that this Q&A is not intended for students.
Monday, Oct. 5, 11 a.m.

As reported in Friday’s Response and Recovery newsletter, the campus asymptomatic surveillance testing program, which has been operating at the large Field House at Rec Sports, is expanding to offer COVID-19 testing to more of the campus community and opening an additional testing site.

The effort initially focused on testing students living in congregate housing and staff in higher-risk roles on campus. Now in addition to students who live in on-campus or congregate housing, there is the capacity to test students living off-campus. And along with staff in higher-risk roles who have been getting regular testing, faculty and staff who come to campus for their work can also get tested. This expanded capacity will help when we can start having more on-campus classes and activities. See the UHS surveillance testing page for the breakdown of groups and the required or recommended frequency.

Starting Wednesday, Oct. 9, a second surveillance testing site will open at Memorial Stadium, in the Gate 5 area of the Field Club. Appointments are required and can be booked through the University Health Service’s eTang portal.

Another testing option is through the IGI Fast Study.

Along with preventative measures, regular surveillance testing is a critical component of helping to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This expansion will enable us to conduct 15,000 self-administered nasal swab (PCR) tests per week, with results expected within 48 hours. In addition to the expansion in testing locations and capacity, we continue to research and pilot new COVID-19 testing methods as they evolve and become available.

Friday, Oct. 2, 11 a.m.

We continue to find ourselves in uncharted waters in determining how to celebrate something as special as commencement. At this time, we are weighing options for three classes — December 2020, May 2021, and May 2020, the first class whose ceremony was disrupted by COVID-19. While every class is deserving of an in-person ceremony, all decisions depend on the status of the pandemic and on approval from local public health authorities.

At this time, the December Class of 2020 will celebrate virtually on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. The May 2021 class is scheduled for May 15, 2021, but it is too early to determine whether that will be an in-person or virtual event. We are considering several options for the May 2020 class as well. We will reassess the status of the two May ceremonies by Feb. 1 to give students time to plan with their families. If we can hold an in-person ceremony on May 15, 2021, all December 2020 graduates will be invited to attend as well.

If you have any questions about commencement, please write events1@berkeley.edu or visit the commencement website.

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2 p.m.
UC Berkeley has announced plans for the spring 2021 semester. The spring semester will look very similar to the fall. Students will not be required to take in-person classes or to be present on campus for the spring semester.
Monday, Sept. 21, 7 a.m.
Students: It’s not too late to pick up free face coverings. Pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the north side of the MLK Jr. Student Union Building, by the steps leading from Lower Sproul to Upper Sproul Plaza. Each current student can get two free “Cal” cloth face coverings, while supplies last. Bring your Cal 1 Card, accept the Keep Berkeley Healthy Pledge in CalCentral and complete the Daily Symptom Screener before coming to campus.
Friday, Sept. 18, 3 p.m.

You can now be fined up to $500 in the city of Berkeley for not wearing a mask. The Berkeley city council has approved an ordinance that allows city staff to issue citations to individuals and businesses that are in violation of the city’s COVID-19 public health orders.

The current orders require you to:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a face covering when in public places.
  • Maintaining a separation of at least six feet between members of different households.
  • Wash your hands and otherwise maintain good hygiene.
  • Stay home when you are sick or may have been infected with or exposed to COVID-19.
  • Limit gatherings of persons from different households, and in particular, avoid indoor gatherings involving persons from more than one household.
Friday, Sept. 18, noon

Since the start of the pandemic, University Health Services has been testing people who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who have had a close exposure with a positive case. This type of testing, referred to as clinical testing or symptomatic testing, continues to this day.

In addition, the campus has been screening asymptomatic members of the UC Berkeley community. This type of testing is sometimes referred to as surveillance testing, or community screening. This effort was initially focused on students living in congregate housing who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. It kicked off in August with students living in residence halls, who are required to be tested twice per week. This was followed by students living in congregate housing such as Greek houses and the co-ops. These students are also at high risk and are strongly encouraged to be tested.

Testing has also been expanded to clinical trainees and higher risk essential workers. Community screening was moved to the large Field House at the Rec Sports Facility to accommodate this expansion.

Regular surveillance testing is a critical component of helping to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The campus is working towards having the capacity to conduct up to 60,000 tests monthly and open up testing to more of the campus community. To accommodate this volume, an additional sample collection site will open at Memorial Stadium within the coming weeks.

Faculty and staff who are currently approved to be on campus during the pandemic can also get tested through the IGI Saliva Testing (FAST) Study. Find out more and sign up for an appointment with IGI.

University Health Services does expect to see both isolated cases and small clusters within our campus population, given local epidemiology and transmission occurrences in the city of Berkeley. They see no cause for concern at the current rate as long as everyone continues to wear facial coverings, maintains six feet of physical distance with non-household members and follows other public health guidelines. Contact tracing has been working well and those involved have been very cooperative.

With the increase in testing, it is both expected and advantageous that we are identifying cases that might have otherwise gone undetected. Through early identification, isolation, and contact tracing, we are able to get ahead of potential spreads, even before the infected person may be aware they are infectious.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 9 a.m.

A new series for senate faculty is launching with an event focused on mentoring during the pandemic. “Taking care of the flock (and yourself): Mentoring in the time of COVID” will take place on Friday, Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. via Zoom. Faculty Core Advisors will discuss the ways in which they are connecting and supporting their students; engaging with graduate students to support their advancement and continuity, keeping their lab and other groups cohesive when they can’t meet, and maintaining equity in the resources they provide to different students. Participants are asked to register in advance. Please note that due to the pilot nature of this program, the events are for senate faculty members only.

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 10 a.m.

The Keep Teaching website has new resources for remote teaching. The update includes a virtual help desk for Zoom, with real time support.

Saturday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m.

Friday’s student face mask pickup was canceled due to air quality issues. As a result, two additional pickup days have been added. Students can pick up two free “Cal” cloth face coverings on Monday, Sept. 14 and Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the MLK Jr. Student Union Building, Floor 1, off Lower Sproul Plaza. Bring your Cal 1 Card, accept the Keep Berkeley Healthy Pledge in CalCentral and complete the Daily Symptom Screener before coming to campus.

Friday, Sept. 11, 11:30 a.m.

The Golden Bear Tennis Courts located on the Clark Kerr Campus are now open to students and employees who are authorized to work on campus. Please follow the rules posted at the court entrances. These courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Hearst and Channing courts remain closed at this time.

Friday, Sept. 11, 8:30 a.m.
Student Affairs sent a message to students on Thursday with support for navigating fall 2020. Included in the message is a reminder that:
  • Free asymptomatic surveillance testing is required twice per week for on-campus residence hall students.
  • Free asymptomatic surveillance testing is strongly recommended twice per week for students living in Greek housing, Berkeley Student Cooperative (co-op) housing, and Bowles Hall.
Thursday, Sept. 10, 9 p.m

Due to storage limitations in Zoom Cloud, UC Berkeley will be resetting the Zoom cloud retention period to 30 days from Sept. 15 to Oct. 20, 2020. If you currently have cloud recordings (from meetings or webinars) stored in Zoom, you will receive an email communication with instructions and options to download and store your recordings to access in the future.

Friday, Sept. 4, 11 a.m.

Beginning Sept. 8, Spieker Pool and Golden Bear Pool will open to currently enrolled UC Berkeley students by reservation only. Faculty and staff who have been authorized to work on campus will also have access to the pools in the coming weeks. You can learn more about how to make a reservation and the rules and regulations on the Rec Sports website. Students need to accept the Keep Berkeley Healthy Pledge in CalCentral and everyone must complete the Daily Symptom Screener before coming to campus.

Friday, Aug. 28, 10:30 a.m.

Berkeley CareBubbles is a new parent-to-parent resource to help UC Berkeley community members meet their child care needs during the Covid-19 pandemic. Find other Cal families looking to trade childcare, share tutors, create social bubbles, and more. This new resource is available from the recently launched Caring for Families website and from this site. You’ll find links to the CareBubbles website under the Students and Faculty and Staff tabs.

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 5 p.m.

Rec Sports is offering a special fall program for children, ages 5-11, of UC Berkeley essential faculty and staff – featuring a full-day of educational enrichment and recreational activities at Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area. Children will receive academic support and tutoring in the morning followed by sports and arts after school activities. The program adheres to the City of Berkeley guidelines for camps and recreational programs, California Department of Public Health guidelines for day camps, and guidelines of the American Camp Association. Sessions are available throughout the fall. Space is limited.

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2 p.m.

The campus has received the test results of all students tested before moving into the residence halls last week and, for transparency, we are sharing the test results with you.

Of the 1,887 specimens tested, we had three students who tested positive and two students whose tests were inconclusive (we are treating them as positive cases). We had 26 insufficient specimens, which will require retesting, and 1,856 tested negative. 

According to Dr. Guy Nicolette, assistant vice chancellor and head of University Health Services, the results are encouraging so far but it is important to remain vigilant. It is crucial that students continue to follow residence hall sequestering protocols as well as the standard steps, such as frequent hand washing and face coverings, to protect themselves and others.

It is important to note that it can take several days after contracting COVID-19 to test positive for the virus. Someone who tests negative could still be infectious and test positive at a later date. It is also possible to be asymptomatic and transmit this infection. This is why it is so important that students continue to adhere to the sequestering protocols.

Students who tested positive or had inconclusive results were contacted by UHS, which works with the students to identify any close contacts.  UHS coordinates with the city of Berkeley Public Health department to address positive test results and close contacts.

The students who test positive or had close contacts with those students are temporarily housed at the Foothill residential housing complex on campus for isolation and quarantining until they are cleared by UHS to return to their assigned rooms.

Under campus move-in protocols, students were required to be tested at UHS before moving into the residential halls and then required to sequester in their residential room (all students are in single rooms) for 7-10 days. Thereafter, we will have regular follow up testing.

As of August 26, we have 102 students who have not yet moved in. Roughly half of these are students requesting a later move-in date. August  27 is the cutoff date for students to cancel their contracts with a $150 cancellation fee. Any new students moving in will also need to be tested before moving in.

Wednesday, Aug. 19, noon

Changes are coming to the UC Berkeley Mobile app to support a safe return to campus for students, faculty and staff. The initial update provides easy access to tools you need like the Daily Symptom Screener, COVID-19 testing options and other information to help you navigate the physical campus safely. Think of it as the on-the-go companion to this site.

If you plan to visit campus any time soon, you should download the latest version of UC Berkeley Mobile from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Tuesday, Aug. 11, 8 p.m.

A new campus website called Caring for Families has launched to connect families to dependent care resources. In the near future the website will include an online parent-to-parent resource for supporting one another with dependent care needs.

Also, the final episode of the Berkeley at Home Variety Show is now available. The show is going on indefinite hiatus.
Tuesday, Aug. 11, 3 p.m.

The Pac-12 has postponed sports competitions through the end of the 2020 calendar year. The decision was made after consultation with athletics directors and with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee who expressed concern with moving forward with contact practice.

Tuesday, Aug. 11, 8 a.m.

The fourth in a series of live-streamed conversations with campus leaders will take place today from 5-6 p.m. The topic is student engagement and services. Campus leaders will provide information about plans for student services buildings and offices, as well as details about remote services and engagement opportunities. Learn about everything from student advising, tutoring services, departments like the Career Center and CE3, and even student organizations.

Visit the Campus Conversations website at event time to view the live broadcast.

Monday, Aug. 10, 3 p.m.
The State of California has issued its Guidelines for Higher Education Institutions (PDF). UC Berkeley’s plans for the fall semester appear to be aligned with the state guidelines. Additional analysis is underway to ensure that no changes need to be made.
Friday, Aug. 7, 9 a.m.
The University of California Office of the President issued a reminder of the president’s directives to limit non-essential travel.
Thursday, Aug. 6, 6 p.m.

Campus leaders provided more details today on UC Berkeley’s voluntary workforce actions.

Friday, July 31, 7 a.m.

UPDATE: A recap and recording of the budget conversation is now available.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the university’s budget that is likely to have lasting effects. Please join us today, Friday, July 31, at noon for a special Campus Conversation focused on our financial present and future; mitigating steps taken to date; and future actions currently under consideration.

Chancellor Carol Christ, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos, and Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Rosemarie Rae will provide updates, forecasts, and answers to your questions. You’re invited to submit a question beforehand or pose questions during the event via Facebook Live.

Wednesday, July 29, 11 a.m.

UPDATE: A recording and recap of the newly admitted students event is now available.

The third in a series of live-streamed conversations with campus leaders will take place today from 5-6 p.m. The topic is the student experience for newly admitted undergraduate students (freshmen and transfer). Visit the Campus Conversations website at event time to view the live broadcast.

Friday, July 24, 11 a.m.

The UC Berkeley Library is preparing to expand its on-campus services as the fall semester nears. Plans on the horizon include launching a contactless pickup service and providing access to enhanced research consultations for special collections materials at The Bancroft Library. Both are scheduled for late summer.

In light of the decision to start the fall semester fully remote, Moffitt Library will not open at the beginning of the fall semester as originally planned. When it does open, it will provide students with a low-density on-campus study space and will have limited hours, with strict social distancing protocols in place and no snacks and drinks allowed.

While UC Berkeley’s library buildings are closed, Library users can still access a wealth of resources, including e-books, videos, databases, 24/7 help from librarians, and LinkedIn Learning courses. Learn more about the Library’s services and resources during COVID-19.

Wednesday, July 22, 3 p.m.

This week, the Chancellor’s Cabinet issued updates for those that plan events and gatherings on campus in regard to the pandemic and recovery.

  • All department-sponsored in-person events and all non-departmental events on the main campus are now canceled through Dec. 31, 2020.
  • It is highly recommended that event sponsors consider converting events to remote delivery wherever feasible.
  • You may continue to plan for in person events, but should do so with the likelihood that you may have to cancel them.

For more information about exceptions and background on this update, see the events page on the campus coronavirus website.

Wednesday, July 22, 8 a.m.

UPDATE: A recording and recap of the instruction event is now available.

The second in a series of live-streamed conversations with campus leaders will take place today from noon to 1 p.m. The topic is instruction. Visit the Campus Conversations website at noon to view the live broadcast.

Tuesday, July 21, noon

UC Berkeley has announced updated plans for the fall semester, which will begin with fully remote instruction. Preparations continue to implement hybrid and/or flexible modes of instruction as soon as public health conditions allow. Switching to remote instruction is a temporary measure.

For more information, see the:
Tuesday, July 21, 8 a.m.

UPDATE: A recording and recap of the student housing event is now available.

The first in a series of live-streamed conversations with campus leaders begins today. The topic is student housing and will take place from noon to 1 p.m.

Visit the Campus Conversations website at noon to view the live broadcast.

Monday, July 20, 3 p.m.

ICYMI: A message sent to the campus community on Friday clarified the reporting of COVID-19 cases on campus. In most cases, individuals will not be notified of a case in their unit unless they were determined to be in close contact with the individual who tested positive.

Monday, July 20, 10 a.m.

With the increase in COVID-19 testing at University Health Services, we have moved from providing information about confirmed cases in narrative summaries to a dashboards format. This will provide information on new cases as well as trends, at a glance. Perhaps the best feature is that information on new cases is reflected in real time.

If disturbing trends or developments occur, the campus will, in addition, share that information with the campus community via posts on this web site or other campus communications.

The dashboard shows the number of positive cases for tests performed at UHS, and does not include saliva tests performed through the Innovative Genomics Institute’s FAST Study in the campus kiosks.

Wednesday, July 15, 2:30 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has rescinded its directive that would have forced international students to leave the country if their schools held all classes online due to COVID-19. For more information, see the:

Tuesday, July 14, 3 p.m.

The latest episode of the Berkeley at Home Variety Show is now available. It features a professor singing about social distancing, tips for working from home with kids and a “banger version” of Pomp and Circumstance.

Wednesday, July 8, 2:30 p.m.

UC Berkeley has seen a notable increase in students testing positive for COVID-19. Members of the campus community are reminded to:

  • Not attend large gatherings or parties.
  • Keep a safe physical distance.
  • Wear face coverings.
  • Be attuned to your own health.

Read the campus message about the increase in students testing positive for more information.

Wednesday, July 8, 10 a.m.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued new guidance to universities related to international students and fall instruction requirements. Read UC Berkeley’s response to the new requirements. The campus is expected to announce more details soon.

Wednesday, July 1, 9 a.m.
A new episode of the Berkeley at Home Variety Show is now available. The latest episode features #BlackLivesMatter, a final update on the peregrine falcons, a visit to Planet Berkeley, a celebration of 150 years of women at UC Berkeley, and this week’s virtual scavenger hunt.
Friday, June 26, 1 p.m.

In a series of Campus Conversations, leaders from across UC Berkeley answered questions and discussed plans for the fall semester. Read recaps and watch recordings of each event:

Wednesday, June 24, 5 p.m.
A student in Putnam Hall has tested positive for COVID-19. Individuals who were in close contact with the student, who spent about 24 hours there, will be contacted by public health authorities if that has not yet occurred. Everyone should continue to follow the public health guidelines of physical distancing, washing their hands frequently and wearing a face covering. If you are a student and think you may be sick, and are not sure whether you need to come to UHS, call the Nurse Advice Line (24/7) at 510-643-7197. Those with COVID-19 don’t always have symptoms. Testing is available at UHS.
Tuesday, June 23, 7 p.m.
A committee of infectious disease experts, public health epidemiologists, physicians, scientists with expertise in diagnostic testing, statisticians and data scientists has been wrestling with how to bring the UC Berkeley community back to campus in the safest and most equitable manner possible. The committee’s work helped inform the decisions made last week about the fall semester and also how to safely bring research scientists back to campus over the summer. You can review their findings in the Report of the COVID-19 Public Health & Testing Advisory Committee (PDF).
Tuesday, June 23
Join today’s Campus Conversation on research and operations, starting at noon. Tuesday, June 23 12-1 pm
  • Randy H. Katz, Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Marc Fisher, Vice Chancellor, Administration
  • Maximilian Auffhammer, Professor of International Sustainable Development and Associate Dean in the Division of Social Sciences
  • Susan Marqusee, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
View the livestream on the Campus Conversations website. There, you’ll also find recordings of previous conversations on fall semester.
Tuesday, June 23, 5:30 p.m.
As University Health Services continues to expand its testing to include campus  research-related tests and testing of individuals before their return to campus, we anticipate seeing an increase in positive COVID-19 cases. Routine updates in case counts will appear in the case counts section of this web site, updated each week. When more urgent COVID-19 related events occur, such as a death or a cluster of positive cases on campus, we will notify the campus with additional communication. As of June 23, the current known count of positive cases among campus affiliates is 19.
Wednesday, June 17
UC Berkeley has announced plans for fall semester. For details, see the messages for:
Monday June 15, 11 a.m.
For faculty and staff: Those who can work from home will continue to do so through Jan. 1, with exceptions. Others will begin to transition back to campus to perform work not able to be performed offsite. Read the campus message on the work from home extension for details.
Monday June 8, 2 p.m.

The city of Berkeley’s health officer has expanded face covering requirements starting June 8, 2020. Everyone must carry a cloth face covering when they leave home, have it visible at all times, and put it on when others are nearby.

Face coverings are required for everyone over 12 years old when:

  • Shopping at a store.
  • Waiting in line to enter a store.
  • Using or waiting for public transportation.
  • In a taxi or when ride-sharing.
  • Seeking health care.
  • Inside a workplace.
  • Walking outside and within 30 feet of others (about the length of a bus).

For more information, see the city of Berkeley’s face coverings page.

Friday, May 29, 12 p.m.
The “recovery planning” section has new information provided by the nine Recovery Management Teams. In addition, the following updates were shared in a new “Response & Recovery” newsletter being sent to the campus community. Other items in the newsletter were previously shared here. Campus-sponsored youth programs and summer camps cancelled: After careful review and consultation with campus experts, Rec Sports is cancelling all in-person youth programming and camps this summer in support of the campus and City of Berkeley efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Refunds will be made in full for all summer camp purchases. For more information, you may review updated answers to our Youth Programs Frequently Asked Questions for summer 2020. Upgrade Zoom by May 30: A Zoom upgrade will be required by tomorrow, May 30. All Zoom users have been sent these upgrade instructions. If you need help, students can email Student Technology Services. If you are faculty or staff without admin rights on your computer, open an IT help ticket. Meals for essential employees: Essential UC Berkeley staff, faculty, and researchers can enjoy great, affordable meals for only $5 on campus through July 31. Prioritizing health and safety, Café 3 and Crossroads offer a variety of dishes available to-go. Just show your Cal 1 Card to the cashier and remember you must wear a cloth facial covering.
Thursday, May 28, 4 p.m.

The University of California Education Abroad Program has suspended fall 2020 and 2020-21 year-long study abroad programs.

Friday, May 22, 2 p.m.

The city of Berkeley’s indefinite extension of the shelter-in-place order means faculty and staff should continue working remotely until directed otherwise by their supervisor.

Friday, May 22, 10 a.m.

Approved essential employees will be issued two cloth face coverings. Additional distribution dates have been added. See the email sent to all approved essential employees for more details.

Wednesday, May 20, 5 p.m.
From Marc Fisher, vice chancellor for administration: The university has decided to extend the cancellation or postponement of all campus-sponsored events through June and July. This decision was made given the unlikelihood that public health authorities would allow for such gatherings in the near future. It is our hope that this notice will assist everyone with their planning efforts. The directive applies to all departmental and administrative events held on university property. It does not apply to private events scheduled to take place in campus facilities; registered student organization events; or events produced by campus units but held in off-campus facilities. Summer activities for youth are not considered “events” and would not be covered by this directive. However, an extension of the terms of the current local shelter-in-place order could make any of the activities listed here unlawful.  The current shelter-in-place order applicable to the main campus has no specific expiration date. For more on the status of campus activities please go to the events page. Thank you for all that you continue to do for this community and please stay safe and be well.
Wednesday, May 20, 4:45 p.m.

In an update to graduating seniors, Chancellor Christ announced there will be no summer commencement.

Monday, May 18, 1 p.m.

The University of California plans to implement a one-year pay freeze for non-represented staff and faculty.

Thursday, May 14, 9 a.m.

A document from Environmental Health and Safety on considerations for working safely on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic has been added to the “campus operations” section.

Tuesday, May 12, 2 p.m.
How UC Berkeley is supporting students and staff through COVID-19. The latest episode of the Berkeley at Home variety show is now available.
Monday, May 11, 1 p.m.

Chancellor Carol Christ answered questions related to UC Berkeley’s response to coronavirus in a virtual Campus Conversation held Monday afternoon. You can view a recording of the live event on the Campus Conversations web site.

Wednesday, May 6, 4:30 p.m.

In an update on UC Berkeley’s plans for the fall semester, it was announced that nine committees have been formed to continue ongoing planning for the fall semester. A “recovery planning” section has been added and will be updated as this work progresses.

Wednesday, May 6, 1:30 p.m.

The “telecommuting and paid leave” section has been updated with new information and required actions for employees working outside of California due to COVID-19.

Wednesday, May 6, 10 a.m.

International travel information.

Monday, May 4, 4:30 p.m.

The events page has been updated with a link to guidance for university employees who are responsible for organizing departmental events, gatherings and programs after May 31. As a reminder, all department or administrative events and all events held on university property are canceled through May 31, 2020.

Monday, May 4, 4 p.m.

How to support UC Berkeley students (and staff) on Giving Tuesday.

Thursday, April 30, 11 a.m.

A new section on family and domestic violence has been added.

Wednesday, April 29, 1 p.m.
The Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order has been officially extended through May with only limited easing of restrictions, including construction and certain outdoor activities. For the UC Berkeley campus, this means our largely remote operations will continue through May, and some construction projects will likely resume. We will be reviewing the new order over the next few days to determine whether there will be any additional changes to current operations. In accordance with the extended shelter in place timeline, the campus will be cancelling campus events that were scheduled to take place May 4 – May 31. Read the full message sent to the campus community from Marc Fisher.
Tuesday, April 28, 8 a.m.
The City of Berkeley health officer, along with those from six Bay Area Counties, announced on Monday plans to extend the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order through May. The previous order, due to expire on May 3, will be replaced by a new order that is expected to largely keep current restrictions in place. City officials indicated there will be limited easing of specific restrictions for a small number of lower-risk activities and that the details would be available later this week. Once the new order is published, we will advise the campus community about what this means for the campus community, including whether any campus directives will be impacted by any easing of restrictions.
Wednesday, April 22, 12:30 p.m.
University Health Services has confirmed that a resident of University Village housing in Albany has tested positive for COVID-19. The graduate student is in stable condition and in home isolation. Officials with UHS, which administered the test, are working in coordination with the Alameda County Public Health Department to contact individuals who had close contact with the graduate student. University Village is a campus-owned housing facility for Berkeley students and their families, located about three miles from central campus. This new case brings the total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases that the campus is aware of to 11.
Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 p.m.

 Face coverings are now required on campus.

Tuesday, April 21, 4 p.m.
The first episode of the Berkeley at Home Variety Show is now available.
Tuesday, April 21, 8 a.m.

See the lineup for this week’s Berkeley Conversations.

Friday, April 17, 12 p.m.

Chancellor Carol Christ and Provost Paul Alivisatos provided an update on UC Berkeley’s budget situation.

Tuesday, April 14, 8 a.m.

A new explainer on masks is now available and has been added to the “Health” section.

Thursday, April 9, 6:15 p.m.

You’re encouraged to cover your nose and mouth with cloth when leaving home. Read the message from Marc Fisher for more information.

Wednesday, April 8, 3:15 p.m.

A staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of known cases within the UC Berkeley community to 9. The staff member was not on campus during the exposure risk period and is in good condition while isolating at home.

Monday, April 6, 7 p.m.
This week’s Berkeley Conversations will feature live events discussing computing and data science and the economic impact of COVID-19. Read the announcement for more information.
Friday, April 3, 6:45 p.m.

UC Berkeley has made the decision to continue remote delivery of instruction in place of face-to-face classes through Summer Sessions 2020.

Friday, April 3, 2:45 p.m.
Friday, April 3, 8:45 a.m.

You can now access digital versions of much of the library’s physical volumes via a digital library.

Friday, April 3, 8:30 a.m.

The city of Berkeley is recommending that everyone “everyone cover their noses and mouths with cloth when leaving home for essential visits to doctor’s offices, supermarkets or pharmacies.” Read their press release for more information.

Thursday, April 2
Wednesday, April 1
  • An update on the financial impacts of COVID-19, including a campus hiring freeze, was sent to faculty and staff.
  • A new section has been added to this page for those who wish to donate PPE or medical supplies.
  • The University of California has taken a number of steps to temporarily adjust admissions requirements to ensure that newly admitted students and prospective students are not harmed by educational disruptions from COVID-19.
Tuesday, March 31
  • UC Berkeley has learned that another student returning from study abroad has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total count of known cases to 8.
  • Event cancelations have been extended through at least May 3.
Friday, March 27, 6 p.m.

For undergraduates concerned about how P/NP grades may affect their applications to graduate and professional schools, the Council of Deans have released this statement:

Recognizing the challenges to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provost and Deans of the University of California, Berkeley adopted the following principle:

UC Berkeley evaluates applicants for admission to its graduate and professional schools holistically, meaning that we consider an applicant’s combination of personal accomplishments, letters of recommendation, personal statements, academic record, and test scores in making our admissions decisions. Such a review will take into account the significant disruptions of COVID-19 when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials from Spring 2020. We understand that many institutions across the country instituted P/NP grading policies during that semester. Thus, we will not penalize students for the adoption of P/NP and other grading options during this unprecedented period, whether the choices were made by institutions or by individual students. Our admissions evaluation will focus primarily on a student’s academic performance prior to this period, and if applicable, following this period. What is most important is that applicants demonstrate that they pursued a challenging curriculum that was relevant to their plan for graduate or professional school.

Wednesday, March 25, 11 a.m.

An additional two UC Berkeley students who recently returned from study abroad in Spain have tested positive for COVID-19.

Monday, March 24, 11:30 a.m.

Two more UC Berkeley students who recently returned from study abroad in Spain have tested positive for COVID-19, campus officials recently learned.

They are both undergraduate students.

One student had studied with the University of California Education Abroad Program in Barcelona, and another student with the UCEAP program in Madrid. Officials with UCEAP have sent letters to program participants and advised them to contact their health provider if they develop symptoms.

University Health Services officials cared for one of the two students and UHS  information indicates the student, who lives in the city of Berkeley and is self-isolating in good condition, spent no time on campus while symptomatic and there is unlikely to be any risk to the campus community. The City of Berkeley Public Health Department has been investigating and will reach out to anyone who may have been exposed.

Regarding the second new case, the student is self-isolating outside of Alameda County. Information provided to UCEAP indicates the student was not on the Berkeley campus after returning from Spain. We have few additional details about this case.

To date, we are aware of a total of five confirmed cases where it was reported to us that Berkeley students tested positive for COVID-19. The majority of these cases have been linked to travel from countries with sustained community transmission.

Please keep in mind that our counts are not comprehensive. When confirmed cases involving members of the UC Berkeley community occur outside of UHS or the local area, there may be no confirmation or delayed confirmation of the cases from public health officials to UHS officials. Further, we know that there are likely many more positive cases within our communities that are not yet counted as confirmed positive because the individuals have not been tested.

It is very likely that there are many more positive cases already in our campus community. According to public health officials, once testing becomes more widely available locally and in the region we can expect to see a much higher number of positive cases here and elsewhere. The coronavirus, and community spread, is very much in our Bay Area communities.

Officials at UHS are committed to providing ongoing services in primary care, social services and counseling and psychology to the extent they can during this pandemic.  They are developing a number of online and virtual services. Please check the University Health Services website if you are a student needing medical or mental health care.

Friday, March 20, 5:30 p.m.
Chancellor Carol Christ sent a message of gratitude to the campus community. – AND – We learned of two more confirmed COVID-19 cases involving members of the UC Berkeley community. Both are undergraduate students who tested positive after returning home from study abroad. The students are now in isolation at home outside of Alameda County, and in good condition. The students did not return to the Berkeley campus upon return from Spain, so there was no exposure on the Berkeley campus. Although we now have a total of three confirmed positive COVID-19  cases involving members of the campus community (the first case was announced last week), we want to make clear that it is very likely that there are many more positive cases already in our campus community.  According to public health officials, once testing becomes more widely available locally and in the region we can expect to see a much higher number of positive cases here and elsewhere. The coronavirus, and community spread, is very much in our Bay Area communities.
Friday, March 20, 12:30 p.m.

Grading policies have been changed for the spring semester.

Wednesday, March 18, 3:45 p.m.

UC Berkeley has clarified campus directives in light of the shelter-in-place mandate.

Read the campus message from EVC/Provost Alivisatos VC Marc Fisher for more details.
Monday, March 16, 4:30 p.m.
UC Berkeley has announced additional actions to encourage social distancing, including:
  • All in-person instruction is canceled for the remainder of the semester.
  • The research community is directed to immediately transition to work remotely whenever possible.
  • Staff who are not explicitly instructed to work at the campus in person should not come to work.
  • All libraries, Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union, Eshleman Hall, Cesar Chavez Hall, and the Recreational Sports Facility will be closed.
  • All public events planned to take place on the campus through April 7, 2020, should be cancelled or rescheduled.
Read the campus message from Chancellor Christ and EVC/Provost Alivisatos for more details.
Monday, March 16, 2 p.m.
In light of Alameda County’s announcement advising county residents to shelter in place beginning Tuesday, March 17 at 12:01 a.m. through Tuesday, April 7, UC Berkeley is rapidly moving toward a “maintenance-only” mode of physical operation of the campus. Read the campus message from Chancellor Christ for more details.
Saturday, March 14th, 7:45 p.m.
Public health officials have determined that there are no high risk contacts from this case, meaning that no one is at significantly higher risk of contracting it from the infected individual than would be expected in the general population. People should continue to monitor their health and be in touch with their physician or University Health Services if they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms.
Saturday, March 14, 5:30 p.m.

A member of the UC Berkeley campus community has contracted COVID-19. The individual is a graduate student who does not live on campus or in the city of Berkeley and has self-isolated in their city of residence. The individual is in good condition and has no serious symptoms. Read the message to campus to learn more.

Friday, March 13, 12:30 p.m.
UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos have announced several updates to UC Berkeley’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19): Remote instruction has been extended through the end of the semester. Students will be able to choose where it is best for them to reside. Students will receive relief from their campus housing and dining fees if they decide to move out. If in-person instruction resumes, in-person course attendance will continue to not be mandatory for the rest of the semester. Supervisors are encouraged to explore work assignments for students to perform remotely. Critical campus functions, including our research enterprise and student support services, remain operational, some with adjusted service hours.
Wednesday, March 11, 2 p.m.
New changes have been announced regarding events on campus. These changes will remain in effect at least through March 29.
  • Campus spaces and venues will not be available for any event with 100 or more expected attendees.
  • Intercollegiate Athletics events on campus will be held without spectators.
  • Cal Performances events through March 29 will be canceled.
  • Cal Day, which was scheduled for April 18, has been canceled.
  • A decision has not been made about graduation/commencement events.
See the “Events and activities” section for more details.
Monday, March 9, 1:20 p.m.

1:20 p.m.: Chancellor Carol Christ has announced that beginning Tuesday, March 10, several campus actions will go into place to mitigate the potential transmission of coronavirus in the Bay Area community.

These changes are effective starting Tuesday, March 10 and will remain in place through spring break, which ends March 29. A decision on what will happen on March 30 and beyond will occur at a later date, based on the latest coronavirus information at that time.

Read the full message from Chancellor Carol Christ.