UC Berkeley has announced its instructional plans for the spring 2022 semester. The default mode of instruction will be in-person, regardless of class size. As is always the case, the limited number of courses that have been designed and approved to be delivered in an alternate mode of instruction are listed accordingly in the Course Catalog.For more information, read the entire campus message on spring 2022 plans for instruction.
- Get Consent, Respect Boundaries: Practice affirmative consent at all times. Practice acceptance of your own and others’ boundaries.
- Gather smart: It’s best to gather only with fully-vaccinated friends or your household group. If you’re attending the game: fans are strongly encouraged to wear facial coverings in outdoor areas when in attendance at home events this season and facial coverings are required at all times in indoor spaces.
- Help reduce virus transmission: Face coverings are required indoors in campus buildings and off-campus in the City of Berkeley (also remember new rules requiring proof of vaccination for indoor eating establishments, gyms, etc.). Testing is free and available to all students, faculty and staff. Please take advantage of this important resource.
In response to feedback from faculty and students, University Health Services, the Office of the Registrar and the Student Information Systems in IST have developed a process for notifying instructors and students of potential exposures in the classroom. If a student or instructor tests positive after attending a class during the infectious period, everyone who is registered for the class will receive an email notification.
This new email notification will be in addition to the usual contact-tracing process, during which we identify and notify close contacts by phone and/or text. It is very important to note that a “potential exposure” notification is different from being identified as a close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. Given campus vaccination rates and face-covering policies, you are likely to be at a lower risk than an identified contact, and no greater risk than, for example, visiting a supermarket.
To protect privacy, the notification will not include details about the course or the individual who tested positive. The potential exposure notification will include instructions and suggested actions. No one will need to quarantine as a result of a potential exposure notification. Testing is optional for fully vaccinated individuals and advised for not fully vaccinated individuals.
For more information on what to expect when someone tests positive, please visit the positive cases page.
A new page has been added to the campus coronavirus site that outlines the measures being taken by UC Berkeley to address ventilation in classrooms.
Cal Athletics shared an update for fans on what to expect if you’re planning to attend a football game this season.
With COVID-19 cases rising locally, Bay Area county and City of Berkeley health authorities announced Friday that they are again recommending that everyone resume wearing face coverings while in indoor public places like grocery or retail stores, theaters, and family entertainment centers regardless of vaccination status to ensure easy verification that all unvaccinated people are masked in those settings and as an extra precautionary measure for all.
In light of this guidance, campus units are authorized to require that face coverings be worn in indoor facilities that serve students and/or the general public. As has been previously communicated, vaccinated employees may choose to wear a face covering at any time.
The advisory does not recommend changes to the campus face covering requirements for employees generally because the campus is an employer that verifies vaccination status.
The new face-covering requirements are now in effect.
- For fully vaccinated individuals, face coverings are optional, indoors or outdoors.
- For unvaccinated individuals, face coverings are required indoors unless you are alone in a room with the door closed. Individuals with an approved medical or religious exemption are still required to wear a face covering while indoors.
- For unvaccinated individuals, face coverings are optional outdoors.
All employees must take the updated EHS 207 UC Berkeley Guidelines on Protecting Workers from COVID-19 training (revised 7/7/21) to learn how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, and to get information regarding COVID-19 related benefits that affected employees may be entitled to under applicable federal, state, or local laws. This training course is required by Cal/OSHA and must be completed in order for an employee to have access to campus, even if that access is only a “quick visit.”
The course has been updated with the most relevant information since the last version (2/8/2021) and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. All employees must take it; however, if you have taken an earlier version of EHS 207, the course will provide an option for you to review new information only.
Supervisors with employees who do not have computer access should review the COVID-19 Prevention Training PDF with or provide a copy to their employees and document their training. Supervisors should scan and email the signed records or PDF handout to email@example.com for entry into the UC Learning Center.
Your campus access badge will not indicate you are cleared for on-site access until the following day after completing the training, and your supervisor will be made aware of the status via UC Berkeley’s People Card data for supervisors. Supervisors should be aware that employees may have their training record delayed by a day due to system lag. If you are not going to be onsite for any reason in the near term, you may wait to complete the training until you do return onsite.
For questions, please contact the EH&S Training Team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UC Berkeley will proceed with Wednesday’s voluntary return to campus as described in the Friday, June 11 update with important caveats that reflect inconsistencies between the California Department of Health and Cal/OSHA, the latter of which oversees workplaces.
Campus leaders provided an update on the voluntary return to campus for employees who previously were working remotely and planning to return to on-site work on a voluntary basis, subject to their supervisor and business unit’s approval.
Following a 30-day public comment period, President Drake has confirmed that the University of California will move forward with a vaccine mandate. You can read more details in the message sent to campus (UC Berkeley login required).
While Alameda County moved to the Yellow Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy on June 8, Rec Sports is still planning to make any major changes to their operation in late June as they await an anticipated full reopening of the State’s economy on June 15, additional public health guidance, and work to make logistical and operational changes to accommodate new audiences.
As a reminder, Rec Sports hopes to expand access the following services in late June to all UC Berkeley faculty and staff:
- Reservations for in-person activities at the Recreational Sports Facility including Group Exercise classes, weight room, and cardio equipment usage
- Lap swim reservations at Spieker Pool and Golden Bear Pool
- Use of Golden Bear Tennis Courts located on the Clark Kerr Campus on weekday evenings and weekends
- UC Aquatics Center Kayak and Paddleboard Rentals
More details on policies and procedures will be shared in the coming weeks.
Rec Sports expects to still have capacity limits for these services, as they work to thoughtfully transition after a year of pandemic operations. For this reason they do not anticipate being able to welcome back non-UC Berkeley affiliated community members to these services just yet. They hope to have updates and more information for their community soon!
For continued updates, please visit the Rec Sports website.
The campus has released guiding principles for a return to campus for staff and faculty, including toolkits and FAQs.
The state announced plans this week to reward Californians for getting vaccinated. If you’re already vaccinated or about to be, you have a chance to win $50,000 or a grand prize of $1.5 million. If you’re not yet vaccinated, get vaccinated as soon as possible to be eligible for a $50 incentive card and other cash prizes.
Ten winners will be selected on June 15 to receive $1.5 million each. All Californians who have had at least one COVID-19 dose will automatically be entered.
Thirty winners will take home $50,000. Fifteen people will win on Friday, June 4 and another 15 will win on Friday, June 11. Everyone with at least one COVID-19 dose in the state of California will be automatically entered to win big on “$50,000 Fridays.”
In addition, starting on May 27, the first two million Californians to start and complete their COVID-19 vaccination will receive a $50 gift card.
If you’re not yet vaccinated, appointments are available. If you are vaccinated, please upload your proof of vaccination to the eTang portal. Even if you are working or studying remotely, this information is requested to understand vaccination levels within the campus community.
Planning for a low-risk return to campus was the subject of a Campus Conversation on Tuesday. The panel, which included public health experts, maintenance and ventilation leaders, and the head of Berkeley’s People and Culture department, discussed what Berkeley has done to prepare for the fall semester when the vast majority of students will be returning to campus.
Topics included ventilation, vaccines, masks, sanitization, flexible work arrangements, psychological worries and management expectations, among other issues.
In case you missed it, a recording of Tuesday’s Campus Conversation is available.
Some of these topics were also touched on during a previous Campus Conversation that took place on Monday. Carol Christ, chancellor; Paul Alivisatos, the outgoing executive vice chancellor and provost; and Cathy Koshland, the incoming interim executive vice chancellor and provost — reflected on the end of the 2020-2021 academic year and took questions from the campus community. A recording of Monday’s Campus Conversation is also available.
Pending the full reopening of the state’s economy on June 15 and campus approval, Rec Sports hopes to expand access to the following services in late June to all UC Berkeley faculty and staff:
Reservations for in-person activities at the Recreational Sports Facility including group exercise classes, weight room and cardio equipment usage.
Lap swim reservations at Spieker Pool and Golden Bear Pool.
Use of Golden Bear Tennis Courts located on the Clark Kerr Campus.
UC Aquatics Center kayak and paddleboard rentals.
More details on policies and procedures will be shared in the coming weeks.
Rec Sports expects to still have capacity limits for these services, as they work to thoughtfully transition after a year of pandemic operations. For this reason they do not anticipate being able to welcome back non-UC Berkeley affiliated community members to these services just yet.
They hope to have updates and more information for their community soon! For continued updates, please visit the Rec Sports website.
With the recent University of California announcement of a likely vaccine mandate for students, staff, faculty and academic appointees, the widespread availability of vaccines, and steadily improving local conditions, UC Berkeley has made the decision to begin in-person instruction at the start of the fall semester (for most programs, Aug. 25, 2021) rather than observing a seven-day period of remote instruction as previously announced.
Outdoor study halls will continue to be available at two campus locations during finals week. These study spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. You’re asked to limit your use of the space to 2 hours at a time. Please note, that all campus and public health guidelines including face coverings, physical distancing, and campus testing/screening requirements are applicable.
Lower Sproul Plaza
Monday, May 10 – Wednesday, May 12
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Chemistry Courtyard (behind Tan, Latimer, and Hildebrand)
Monday, May 10 – Wednesday, May 12
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The UC Office of the President has updated the draft vaccination policy FAQs for students (PDF) and employees (PDF). If the policy is adopted:
- Vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization administered consistent with your country’s implementation will be accepted as proof of vaccination.
- If you cannot come back to campus 3-4 weeks before school starts and cannot get vaccinated in your country, you will be allowed on campus but will be referred to a vaccine site to get vaccinated immediately and may be subject to special safety measures such as masking, more frequent testing and/or quarantine.
The Berkeley International Office sent an update regarding the suspension of travel from India.
As a residential campus, most of UC Berkeley’s academic and cocurricular activities are designed to be experienced in person. This will once again be the case this fall and students are expected to be in residence in time to observe a one-week period for testing, vaccination for those who need it, and self-sequester before the start of in-person classes. Most courses will not have an “all-remote” option.
A limited number of remote offerings are being made available primarily to support the needs of international students who may not be able to enter the country. As always, if you need accommodations for a disability in order to fully participate in your in-person courses or to postpone your studies until you are able to attend your courses in person, please visit the Disabled Students’ Program website to apply for services.
We recognize that more than a year into the pandemic it can be hard to imagine returning to a “close-to-normal” way of life. As conditions continue to improve and additional restrictions lift, we hope it will be easier to see yourself back on campus.
Please note that as we head into the fall, being vaccinated will become the primary means of preventing infection by the coronavirus causing COVID-19. The campus continues to follow Berkeley Public Health Department guidance and state regulations. Many temporary public health measures such as physical distancing, capacity restrictions, enhanced cleaning, increased attention to ventilation and testing will be reduced, or in some cases, no longer be necessary thanks to the widespread availability of the vaccine.
The University of California has shared details of a proposed policy (PDF) on COVID-19 vaccination as it joins the California State University in supporting immunizations as part of an expected return of students, faculty, academic appointees and staff to in-person instruction across the state this fall.
Given the importance of vaccination, UC is engaging its community in a discussion of the details of the proposed policy now so that students, faculty, academic appointees and staff will have ample time to obtain the vaccine ahead of the fall term.
Under the proposed policy, the university would require students, faculty, academic appointees and staff who are accessing campus facilities at any UC location beginning this fall to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. UC already strongly encourages students, faculty, academic appointees and staff to voluntarily obtain a vaccination as soon as they are eligible and able to schedule an appointment. The requirement would go into effect once a vaccine has full approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Any campus community member who received the vaccine outside of University Health Services is encouraged to upload a record of their vaccination (PDF).
Beginning on June 16, 2021, consistent with current guidance from the state of California, we anticipate permitting employees who previously were working remotely to return to on-site work on a voluntary basis, subject to their supervisor and business unit’s approval.
Beginning on July 12, 2021, most employees will be expected to return to regular on-site work unless they have entered into a flexible work agreement or have obtained an approved accommodation for a disability that limits their ability to work on-site.
More information is available in the campus message sent to employees.
Beginning Monday, April 19, 2021 the RSF will be open for limited in-person operations for UC Berkeley students. Reservations will be required and capacity will be limited for group exercise classes, weight room, and cardio equipment usage. Students will need to display a Cal 1 Card and compliance with campus requirements including the daily symptom screener and surveillance testing through the Campus Access Badge on the UC Berkeley Mobile App, which is available for download on IOS (Apple Store) and Android (Google Play Store). Learn about how to make reservations and rules/regulations.
With vaccine eligibility expanding as of April 15, you may be looking for an available appointment. UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff interested in notifications about the city of Berkeley’s mass vaccination site off Buchanan Street site near Albany Bulb should sign up on their vaccine notification list. Appointments are typically posted on a weekly basis.
UCOP updated its executive directive on travel on March 12, 2021, replacing system-wide guidance restricting non-essential, University-related travel, with a requirement that all UC travelers must follow CDC Guidance before, during, and upon return from domestic or international travel. The UCOP directive has delegated the determination of what travel is considered essential travel to the campus. Until further notice, prior approval remains required for the following university-related travel. These policies apply regardless of vaccination status.
- All off-campus research – domestic or international – must receive prior approval from the vice chancellor for research. Please submit requests via the VC Research critical field research continuity review process.
- All UC Berkeley community members engaging in university-related international travel to countries rated CDC Level 3 COVID-19 High (avoid all nonessential travel) or CDC Level 4 COVID-19 Very High (avoid all travel), must obtain prior approval through the two-step International Travel Protocol, which includes approval first at the decanal level and then from the vice provost for academic planning.
Visit the travel page on the campus coronavirus site before planning upcoming travel for a complete overview of UCOP and campus travel policies, guidelines, and approval protocols.
UC Berkeley has received $15 million in direct-to-student funding through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, $4 million of which will be awarded to eligible graduate students. To be considered for this funding, graduate students should file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Equivalent funding is available through the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). The deadline to file a FAFSA or a CADAA for funding consideration is Monday, April 19. There is no degree program restriction, so students in doctoral, master’s, professional, and online degree programs are eligible (but not guaranteed) to receive funds. Other assistance funds are also available through the Basic Needs Holistic Fund. Read more about these resources in Monday’s CALmessage to graduate students (UC Berkeley login required).
There are two important updates related to vaccines:
Vaccine records can now be uploaded to eTang
Faculty, staff, and students who have been vaccinated outside of University Health Services are strongly encouraged to upload their vaccine records to eTang. When you log onto eTang, click Medical Clearances and update the COVID-19 Vaccine section by uploading a photo of your vaccine card and entering vaccine date(s) and type. A COVID-19 vaccine declination form and process will also be rolled out soon.
Testing requirements change for those fully vaccinated
Effective April 1, campus surveillance testing requirements are being changed for fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students. You’re considered fully vaccinated 14 days after your final vaccine dose.
- Vaccinated students living in on-campus housing or participating in athletics will still be required to get tested, but the frequency will change from twice weekly to once a week.
- For everyone else, weekly testing will not be required for 90 days from the date of your final vaccine.
In order to be compliant with the campus requirements to have a green badge, and for your testing badge to reflect these new requirements, you must have had at least one COVID test through a campus testing site, and outside vaccination must be documented in eTang (see above). Once you come in for one surveillance test, UHS can change your testing badge status automatically when you are fully vaccinated. Vaccinated people should still isolate/quarantine and come in for diagnostic testing (at UHS, as scheduled in eTang) if they become symptomatic, or are in close contact with a case and live in congregate housing. The Public Health Committee is still reviewing what the surveillance testing frequency for those fully vaccinated will look like beyond this 90 day period as well as what the testing plan may look like for the Fall.
Beginning Monday, April 5, for the first time since the pandemic started, UC Berkeley students will once again be able to study at Moffitt Library. The new service will provide a productive, dedicated space for solo study sessions while emphasizing the well-being of all who enter the library’s doors, with safeguards such as low-density seating and mandatory mask-wearing. Reservations are required, and spots will be available weekdays from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m.
With cases of COVID-19 continuing to fall, the city of Berkeley and the rest of Alameda County will move to the less restrictive orange “moderate” tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, starting Wednesday.
With the possibility of an increase in cases due to spring break travel, UC Berkeley will wait to make any changes related to the orange tier until at least Monday, April 5, when limited in-person instruction is scheduled to resume. This delay could be extended if there is an uptick in cases.
Campus requirements are different than those for individuals
At this time, campus guidelines are the same regardless of vaccination status. With the CDC releasing new interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people, you may be wondering why more restrictions are not being lifted. It’s important to know that there are different public health expectations for universities, workplaces, congregate living situations, and individual households. Also, the state still requires that social, non-work, non-instructional gatherings be limited to not more than three households, with face coverings and six-foot distancing even among fully vaccinated individuals.
At this time, even if you have been vaccinated, you’re still required to wear a face covering, get tested, show your badge for entrance to campus facilities, and comply with all other requirements for working on campus until stated otherwise. These guidelines, as well as emerging evidence and the latest CDC guidance, are currently under review and any updates will be announced in the Response and Recovery newsletter.
In case you missed it, the UC Berkeley Mobile app has been updated to make it easier to comply with campus requirements with fewer prompts to sign in. Log in to the app to complete the Daily Symptom Screener, show your badge, and access the eTang Portal.
Planning underway for research expansion
The campus is making plans to expand research operations, allowing for greater density in labs as well as expanded access in other disciplines. Stay tuned for more information.
Most employees will continue to work from home
Even though some office use is permitted in the orange tier, working remotely is still encouraged by the state guidelines. Discussions are underway about increasing on-campus activities as we approach the fall and more information will be shared in the coming weeks. The UC Berkeley Future of Work Committee and the Dean’s Working Group on Future of Work are also looking at what work will look like long-term. In the meantime, do not expect any immediate changes to work from home.
A new wastewater testing dashboard is now available in the dashboard section of this website. UC Berkeley monitors levels of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in sewage at several locations around campus. This wastewater monitoring allows for broader tracking of virus levels in the campus population that is unbiased by who accesses individual testing. It may also provide an early warning of outbreaks, because people with COVID-19 may shed the virus in feces before they show symptoms (and even if they never show symptoms). UC Berkeley began monitoring several campus wastewater locations for SARS-CoV-2 beginning in summer 2020. Sample collection is conducted by a team from the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety, and testing of the samples is performed in a temporary laboratory established by Prof. Kara Nelson’s research group.
In an effort to do everything possible to avoid another surge of COVID-19 cases after spring break, and another extended quarantine period, campus leaders have made the decision to implement a mandatory self-sequester for all students living in the residence halls including those in suites and mini-suites from March 26 through at least April 8. Some other key highlights about the sequester:
- Solo outdoor exercise will be permitted during the sequester.
- The mandatory self-sequester does not apply to students living in apartments, though if you travel or engage in high-risk activities during spring break, you must still self-sequester for 10 days after your return.
- It is critical that you remain on your UHS testing schedule before, during and after spring break.
- Dining services will also be modified during the sequester.
Please also keep in mind that while the CDC recently released new interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people, these guidelines do not currently apply to students living in congregate settings such as the residence halls.
The current prohibition on events has been extended by one week. All department-sponsored in-person events on the main campus are now canceled through Sunday, April 4, 2021.
Limited in-person participatory student activities may resume beginning Monday, April 5, per the previously-issued guidance, assuming public health conditions allow. The Recovery Management Team has made the decision that no additional changes to the events policy will be made for the remainder of the semester, more specific information will be posted in the coming days.
As stated previously, the limited resumption of activities will only include participatory gatherings that cannot be conducted remotely.
The Workplace Exposure Dashboard has been updated to improve readability and add functionality. The dashboard now has a map view that allows users to see at a glance if there are any exposures in a particular building and to easily sort the data by building.
Plans for mostly in-person classes for the fall were reaffirmed in a campus message today. The default mode of instruction will be in-person with an exception for classes with enrollments of 200 or more students, which will continue to be delivered remotely. Most secondary sections (e.g., discussion and labs) for these and other large classes will be held in-person but some discussion sections will be offered remotely.
Other exceptions include courses that would normally be delivered in an online format, and what is anticipated to be a very small number of courses that may receive exceptional approval to be delivered remotely throughout the fall semester.
It is unknown at this time whether and to what extent a remote instructional option will be available to students and availability might vary by the academic program.
The UC Berkeley Mobile app has been updated to make it easier to comply with campus requirements with fewer prompts to sign in. Log in to the app to complete the Daily Symptom Screener, show your badge, and access the eTang Portal.
The new Campus Access Badge shows your compliance with all campus COVID-19 requirements all in one place. Simply open the open and tap “Campus Access Badge.” For now, the testing badge is still available through eTang Portal but you’ll likely find that it’s much easier to use the app.
This information is also now available in the Regional Portal. Employees may view their own compliance information and managers can access the compliance data of their employees as well.
The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines has generated a wide range of reactions, concerns, and questions. Amidst the relief and protection vaccination has brought to current and prospective recipients, there has been a great deal of confusion surrounding the scheduling of appointments, dismay about the equity of the distribution processes, questions about vaccine efficacy as new variants of the virus emerge, and lingering vaccine hesitancy among some members of the population.
Join a panel of UC Berkeley experts for “Berkeley Conversations: An Update on COVID Vaccines: Experts Weigh In.” The panel discussion will take place on Monday, March 15 at noon. The event is co-sponsored by the School of Public Health.
A new dashboard has been added to the campus coronavirus site. The immunization dashboard shares data about vaccinations administered by University Health Services. It does not include information about vaccines administered at community vaccination sites. As a reminder, as of mid-February future vaccine supply has not been determined. Please visit the University Health Services COVID-19 Vaccine page for updates.
The isolation and quarantine dashboard on the campus coronavirus site has also been updated to ensure the data displayed is accurate and up to date. It shows the number of students who have been moved to dedicated isolation and quarantine housing spaces on campus. Separate areas are provided for isolation (individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or who are presumed to be positive) and for quarantine (contacts of individuals who test positive).
While state guidelines allow for gyms to open at 10% capacity under the red tier, Rec Sports facilities will remain closed for in-person operations at this time due to the budget and operational needs that would be required to reopen at this level.
Rec Sports hopes to be able to resume limited in-person operations for UC Berkeley students at the Recreational Sports Facility when Alameda County moves to the orange tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy (which allows for gyms to open at 25% capacity) if campus guidance and public health conditions allow. Please continue to visit their website for the most up-to-date information on services and offerings including virtual programming, pool reservations, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, and tennis court access.
With cases of COVID-19 falling, the city of Berkeley and the rest of Alameda County will move to the less restrictive red “substantial” tier starting at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 10. Under the red tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, most restrictions remain in effect but some additional businesses will be allowed to reopen or to expand capacity.
The majority of UC Berkeley operations remain unchanged. In research, two permissions that were suspended in December will now be allowed again: 1) research involving human subjects not affiliated with UC Berkeley may resume, and 2) Phase 3 laboratory density management plans approved since Dec. 3 may be implemented. Any other changes will be posted to the campus coronavirus site and announced in the Response and Recovery newsletter.
Even if you have been vaccinated, you’re still required to wear a face covering, get tested, show your badge for entrance to campus facilities, and comply with all other requirements for working on campus until stated otherwise. These guidelines, as well as emerging evidence and the latest CDC guidance, are currently under review and any updates will be announced in the Response and Recovery newsletter.
It’s important for all members of the campus community to remain vigilant and to follow all public health guidelines to avoid another surge in cases in the short-term.
- Wear your mask.
- Wash hands often.
- Practice social distancing.
- Add CA Notify to your phone.
- Get tested regularly.
- When eligible, get vaccinated.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of when UC Berkeley announced the decision to cease in-person instruction and shut down all but the most essential on-campus operations.
At 12:01 p.m., as the noon bells of the Campanile fall silent, the campus will join together in observance of a moment of silence to honor the lives that have been lost. Then, Jeff Davis, the university carillonist, will play specially selected pieces to reflect on the moment. If you’re on or near campus, you may want to open your window or step outside, pause and listen; and if you’re off-campus, please tune in to the campus Facebook page for a live feed.
More coverage and reflections can be found on Berkeley News:
UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and students planning to conduct university-related travel in the coming months should review UC Berkeley’s guidance on travel before making travel plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a reminder:
- Research travel: All off-campus research travel – domestic or international – must receive prior approval from VC Research until further notice. Please submit requests to the VC Research critical field research continuity review process. Contact email@example.com with questions.
- International travel: Per UCOP guidelines, UC Berkeley is also advised to avoid all non-essential university-related international travel until further notice. International travelers should also complete a secondary process, UC Berkeley’s Protocol for Essential International Travel, to seek approval from the Vice Provost for Academic Planning. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
University-related travel is defined by UC Berkeley as essential if it is required to:
- Preserve the safety of a research subject and is not possible to be postponed.
- Preserve the results of research activity and is not possible to be postponed.
Please refer to the travel page for more information about the campus’ travel protocols, travel insurance, and travel reimbursement for faculty, staff, and students. Travelers should allow at least 21 days for the approval process prior to booking flights.
The following FAQs were included in today’s Response and Recovery newsletter:
Who is eligible?
According to state guidelines, persons at risk of occupational exposure to COVID-19 through their work in any role in education settings are eligible to be vaccinated, further referenced by those guidelines as all staff of universities. This may include faculty and staff and also may include postdocs, graduate student instructors, graduate student researchers, readers, tutors, student assistants, and any other form of campus employee. Please note that eligibility requirements are set by the vaccination provider and UC Berkeley is not able to guarantee eligibility.
What verification is needed?
You’re advised to bring a pay stub and your UC Berkeley photo ID to your vaccination appointment. Please note that verification requirements are set by the vaccination provider and you may be asked to provide additional documentation.
How do I get the vaccine?
You’re encouraged to contact your health care provider and/or visit the California Department of Public Health My Turn website to check your eligibility, receive a notification when vaccines and appointments are available in your area, or book an appointment.
The state of California has engaged Blue Shield to manage the statewide distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. This represents a major shift to county-based mass vaccination programs. It could also mean that the University of California system will no longer receive vaccine doses for the purpose of vaccinating members of the campus community, at least until the vaccine is more widely available.
While UC Health officials are currently engaging in advocacy with the state for campuses to continue to receive vaccines, we are unlikely to receive new vaccine doses for at least the next two weeks.
It is our understanding that we will receive second doses for those who have received their first doses from University Health Services (UHS). We will continue to update our webpage on vaccine distribution as the situation develops.
According to California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines, anyone working in higher education (meaning all UC Berkeley employees — faculty and staff alike), is working in the “education sector” (as defined by the CDPH) and is therefore eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Visit the CDPH “My Turn” website to receive a notification when vaccines are available in your area and when you are eligible to receive a vaccination. Additional opportunities may also be available through your health care provider.
New guidance has been issued in anticipation of resuming limited in-person activities as of March 29. It was previously communicated that non-academic in-person activities and gatherings are suspended through March 28, 2021.
The limited resumption of activities will only include participatory gatherings that cannot be conducted remotely. Activities that include a non-participating audience observing a speech, performance, program, or other activity carried out by a limited number of the participants should be conducted remotely and will not be approved to take place in-person.
Campus departments or Registered Student Organizations that meet the criteria available on the events page can begin to submit their in-person participatory activities for pre-approval to the activities recovery coordinator. This guidance represents a roadmap for a resumption of activities based on improved public health conditions in the future and is intended to provide the necessary information in order to prepare.
The number of COVID-19 cases among campus residents has continued on a downward trend, and consequently the campus has lifted the general self-sequester for residential hall students. This is effective Tuesday.
The self-sequester for students living in residence halls is still in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15.
Students who are in isolation (red badge) or quarantine (orange badge) are not permitted to go outside and must complete their isolation or quarantine period.
With a decrease in the number of students within the residence halls testing positive for COVID-19, other students in the residence halls (green badge) may now leave their rooms to recreate or exercise outdoors between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. While outside, students must continue to wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing.
More information about this update is being sent to students living in residence halls.
With the surge in cases in the campus community, all students, whether you live on or off campus, are reminded to avoid large gatherings.
Update on spring in-person instruction
The timeline for resuming in-person instruction has been updated given the recent surge in cases within the campus community.
- Monday, Feb. 8: Occasional outdoor in-person graduate student instruction was permitted to begin this week.
- Tuesday, Feb. 16: Occasional outdoor in-person undergraduate student instruction can begin next week, following the holiday.
- Monday, Feb. 22: The small pilot of indoor in-person instruction has been approved to move forward but has been delayed by one week.
As is always the case, all plans are contingent upon the terms of public health orders in effect on the dates of their planned implementation and are subject to change.
New walk-up testing site for students in residence halls
An additional COVID-19 surveillance testing location has opened at the Underhill Parking Garage for students living in residence halls. The site is available for walk-up appointments on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. Appointments are needed and can be booked through eTang. The walk-up testing site at Underhill will be open on Monday, Feb. 15.
Walk-thru testing is accessed via the garage entrance on Channing Way. Please note that the walk-up option ends at noon so that the location can be set up for drive-thru testing beginning at 1 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
This new testing option is in addition to the existing RSF, Memorial Stadium, Underhill drive-thru, and UVA testing sites and will hopefully be another convenient option for those living in the residence halls.
Some testing sites closed on Monday for holiday
The walk-up testing sites at RSF and Memorial Stadium, as well as the drive-thru site at Underhill Parking Garage, will be closed on Monday, Feb. 15 for Presidents Day. Please note that testing sites tend to be busier on the Tuesday following a holiday, so you may want to plan your testing schedule accordingly. As noted above, the new walk-up testing site at Underhill for students living in residence halls will be open.
Important update on Library due dates
After multiple due date extensions because of the pandemic, starting Feb. 1, 2021, all materials checked out from the UC Berkeley Library have regular due dates. Patrons with materials checked out before Sept. 1, 2020, are urged to renew or return them by Feb. 17, 2021, before the system marks the items as overdue and blocks their account. For more information, go to the Library’s COVID-19 portal.
The “COVID Conversations: Congregate Student Living” event has been moved to Tuesday, Feb. 16 from 6 to 6:45 p.m. Please join this webinar for a candid conversation with student leaders on managing COVID-19 while living in the campus residence halls and group housing near campus. You must have a berkeley.edu Zoom account to register to attend this event.
Panelist include: Nicole Anyanwu, ASUC academic affairs vice president; Tommy Chung, president, Berkeley Student Cooperative president; Alexandria Marx, Panhellenic vice president of membership; Dil Sen, Interfraternity Council president; and Victoria Vera, ASUC president and resident advisor. The panel will be moderated by Samuel Santos, assistant vice chancellor for student engagement.
The self-sequester period announced on Monday for students living in residence halls has been extended through Monday, Feb. 15. New cases are slowing down, showing that these measures and the helpful efforts of students have been effective. However, a significant number of students remain in quarantine and, due to the 14 day incubation period of this virus, it is too early to be sure this current surge is contained. Students living in residence halls received additional instructions by email.
All non-essential in-person activities and events were previously suspended through Feb. 28, 2021. With that date fast-approaching, the Recovery Management Team has extended the current prohibition on in-person activities (other than approved instruction, essential research, and essential work) through March 29, 2021.
Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in on-campus student housing, campus officials are now directing students in all residence halls to self-sequester, a move designed to help contain the spread.
This decision was made Monday in consultation with Berkeley Public Health and will continue until at least Monday, Feb. 8, when a re-evaluation will occur.
During this period students must stay in their rooms as much as possible and wear face coverings in any common areas within their household. Their twice-weekly COVID-19 testing should continue. Detailed instructions were sent to residence hall students today.
Over the last few days, the campus has had a surge in positive COVID-19 cases both in the residence halls and among students in off-campus housing, including some in the CalGreeks community. Many more students have been identified as contacts who were potentially exposed to the virus.
The surge in cases is believed to be tied to small off-campus gatherings.
University Health Services (UHS) officials will continue to find isolation/quarantine spaces for residence hall students who have tested positive or who are considered high-risk contacts.
The new directive applies only to residence halls, meaning dormitory-style campus housing. It does not apply to students living in on-campus apartments or students who are living off-campus. Officials with UHS and the Division of Student Affairs will reach out to the various student communities as needed, to provide guidance and support. No matter where you live, though, everyone is advised to be especially vigilant amid this surge, continuing to wear face coverings, keeping physically distant from people outside your household, not gathering with people from outside your household, getting tested regularly, and washing your hands frequently.
UPDATED 11 a.m.: All residential students were sent a message about how to help reduce virus transmission in the community.
UPDATED 9 a.m.: There has been a surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases among students, including students who live in campus housing. And, we are now seeing a need to quarantine more students because they were exposed to the virus.
Please help us to reverse this disturbing trend. It is critical and required by current public health orders, that you do not attend indoor gatherings – large or small – with people outside your household. Even if you think it is safe, it probably is not.
University Health Services officials are managing contact tracing and quarantine/isolation matters in coordination with other campus administrators and are reaching out to students who have been exposed.
Any student, faculty, or staff member experiencing symptoms or who may have been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home and review instructions on the UHS website.
A new video looks at what you need to know if you traveled during the pandemic.
A redesigned version of the COVID-19 testing dashboard was released on Thursday. The new dashboard includes several improvements. To better display trends over time, the bar graphs now display data by week. You can still see daily testing data by hovering over a week. You can also see positivity rates for UC Berkeley and the city of Berkeley over time, in addition to other improvements. Take a look at the user guide (PDF) for more details.
The state of California has lifted its regional stay at home order, with projected ICU capacity increasing to greater than 15% statewide. Alameda County is now back in the purple “widespread” tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The city of Berkeley has updated its health officer orders to align with the state’s blueprint. The new order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. There are no changes to UC Berkeley’s essential operations. Originally posted at 10:30 a.m. and updated to reflect new information.
Students: Your help is needed to help UC Berkeley implement limited in-person instruction this spring. UC Berkeley is now hiring for two important new student positions. Student health ambassadors will be paid $18 per hour and will monitor open campus buildings for compliance with COVID-19 testing by checking the color-coded badges of students, staff, and faculty. Student area managers will be paid $20 per hour and will supervise health ambassadors.
The next Campus Conversation will feature some of UC Berkeley’s leading public health experts and clinicians providing insight and analysis regarding the current vaccine situation and what you can expect going forward. You can access the live event by visiting the Campus Conversations website at noon on Friday, Jan. 22.
Plans for offering in-person instruction in the spring semester have been updated in light of current public health conditions. As previously announced, the first two weeks of the semester will be fully remote. After that, beginning Monday, Feb. 1, approved occasional outdoor instructional activities will resume. On Tuesday, Feb. 16, a small pilot of in-person classes held indoors will begin.
The surveillance testing sites at RSF and Memorial Stadium will be closed on Monday, Jan. 18 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Both sites will reopen on Tuesday at 8 a.m.
The Campus Salary and Time Reduction Program has new information on the People & Culture website. Check out the updated FAQ and bookmark the page as it is constantly being revised based on your feedback. Don’t forget, the program starts on Monday, Feb 1.
A new option for surveillance testing will be available soon. The drive-thru testing site will be located in the Underhill Parking Garage and will have later hours to accommodate swing shift employees. Drive-thru testing will be available Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 6 p.m., starting Tuesday, Jan. 19. As with all testing sites, appointments are required and can be scheduled through the eTang Portal.
With additional testing capacity now available, anyone coming to campus to work or study will be required to test weekly beginning Tuesday, Jan. 26. This is in addition to the twice-weekly testing already required of most campus housing residents. Testing compliance will be monitored using the color-coded badge system. A green badge will be required to enter any university building on or adjacent to the central campus. In order to have a green badge, you will need to be current with your testing regimen. Mandatory testing has also expanded to University Village, where testing is now available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The process for notifying employees about potential workplace exposures has been updated. Moving forward, all employees will receive a CalMessage whenever a potential workplace exposure has been identified. Previously, only employees approved to work on campus were included in these notifications. The notification directs employees to the Workplace Exposure Dashboard for information on the specific worksite location of the potential exposure. A separate email, reminding employees to complete the Daily Symptom Screener, will be sent to anyone approved to work on campus each evening.
The first shipment of vaccine arrived at University Health Services today and clinics will begin on Thursday. The campus is preparing the vaccinate faculty, staff, students and emeriti in a phased approach. For more information on the vaccination rollout, see the campus message.
University of California President Michael Drake announced today that the University of California is planning for a return to primarily in-person instruction systemwide in fall 2021. In a message to the campus, Chancellor Carol Christ and Provost Paul Alivisatos said, “This is exciting and represents light at the end of what has been a difficult and challenging time for all of us.”
The state’s regional stay at home order remains in effect for the Bay Area. The order will continue until the four-week projection for the region’s total available adult ICU bed capacity is greater than or equal to 15%. As of this writing, the available ICU capacity is at 3.5%. The provisions of the order have been in effect since Monday, Dec. 7, when the city of Berkeley health officer and others preemptively implemented the restrictions. There are no changes to UC Berkeley’s essential operations.
All Bay Area counties are now under the state’s regional stay at home order. The provisions of the order have been in effect since Monday, Dec. 7, when the city of Berkeley health officer and others preemptively implemented the restrictions. There are no changes to UC Berkeley’s essential operations.
All non-essential in-person activities and events were previously suspended through Dec. 31, 2020. As we near the end of that period, the Recovery Management Team (RMT) has extended the current prohibition on in-person activities (other than approved instruction, essential research, and essential work) through Feb. 28, 2021, while endorsing a roadmap that could enable some in-person activities in the spring term, provided public health conditions improve.
The roadmap outlines plans to:
- Allow in-person participatory activities that cannot be conducted virtually in the spring semester no earlier than March 1, 2021, if public health conditions improve to the state’s “red” tier or better. In-person participatory activities are defined as events where the participants must be actively participating to conduct the event and they could not participate effectively virtually. For example, drum circles, dance rehearsals, etc. To meet state guidelines, we must pursue virtual group events, gatherings, or meetings, wherever possible.
- Limit the number of approved event spaces in order to be successful in managing compliance with university and public health requirements.
- Limit attendance at approved in-person activities to students, and faculty and staff who are approved to work on campus. In-person activities with non-affiliates and faculty and staff who are not already on campus remain prohibited.
- Direct approved event venues to prepare to host limited in-person activities for the attendees specified above.
- Assign responsibility to the Events and External Relations Recovery Sub-Committee to approve event spaces and requested individual activities.
Additional specific details about how activities would resume and the process for approvals will be forthcoming, as soon as they are available.
Events and External Relations Recovery Sub-Committee acknowledges that the devastating increase in virus transmission we are currently experiencing makes it difficult to envision successfully conducting in-person gatherings in just a few months. However, their goal is to prepare now for improved conditions that would allow these limited activities to resume on campus. As always, they continue to prioritize the health and well-being of the entire campus community.
If you have any questions or comments, please send them to the Events and External Relations Recovery Sub-committee via this form.
CA Notify, California’s smartphone-based exposure notification system, is now available on older iPhones. Apple has released an update that makes it possible to enable the technology on iPhone 5S and newer models. iOS version 12.5 or newer is required. Earlier this month, CA Notify launched statewide and is now available to all Californians. All members of the campus community are encouraged to opt into exposure notifications.
With regional ICU capacity falling below state thresholds, the provisions of the state’s Regional Stay at Home Order will be in effect through at least Jan. 7. The city of Berkeley public health officer and others around the region had already implemented the state’s temporary COVID-19 restrictions. With the state’s order going into effect, the end date for the restrictions has been extended by three days and could be extended further if conditions do not improve.
The Rapid Response Public Health Team has developed a campus framework for recovery for spring 2021, based on the California State Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The campus framework establishes tiers based on public health conditions, similar to those in the state’s blueprint. It’s important to note that the campus will hold itself to a higher standard in terms of public health metrics, given that the testing capacity within UC Berkeley is much higher than in the community. The campus framework is intended for planning purposes only. When public health conditions allow, the framework will be used by the various recovery planning committees to plan for and propose changes. All decisions are contingent upon approval by the Recovery Management Team and are subject to public health orders. The framework will be updated as conditions and public health guidelines change.
The Library provided the following update on its services:
The UC Berkeley Library provides many services to support Berkeley’s teaching and research mission. Shortly after the pandemic hit, the Library began to redesign a number of services and expand its digital offerings. Yet many still miss the Library’s popular study spaces and have asked when they will open once again.
In its plan for reopening on-campus services, the Library has identified a sequence of five stages, which it is calling chapters. The Library is currently in Chapter 2, which prioritizes services that support campus instruction and research now — while the majority of the campus community is working and learning remotely. Chapter 2 services include:
A contactless pickup service, Oski Xpress, that draws from the circulating collections of 14 libraries.
Research consultations for special collections materials at Bancroft and appointments to use microform readers at Moffitt.
Electronic article delivery from the Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF).
Free, digital access to course readings and videos through a new e-reserves service.
Electronic access to millions of books held by libraries across UC’s 10 campuses.
When the Library moves to Chapter 3, it will open one study space for Berkeley students — hopefully in the spring semester. Preparations for this are underway. Factors that influence a transition to this chapter include the COVID-19 tier for our area, building functionality and density due to other services, and proximity to Library collections (which could impact the campus’s expanded access to millions of e-books).
When study spaces open, Berkeley students will need to make a reservation for an assigned seat for a limited period of time. Students will need to wear a face mask at all times while in the building (sorry, no eating and drinking) and maintain appropriate social distancing.
As circumstances improve and support the move to Chapter 4, the Library will expand study space locations to accommodate more Berkeley students while maintaining low density. In the meantime, with its expanded slate of services, the Library continues to serve as a reliable beacon of knowledge, even in the stormiest of seasons.
The campus is experiencing a notable uptick in positive COVID-19 cases among students and some staff, which is believed to be tied to Thanksgiving gatherings.
There have been 50 new cases since Thanksgiving, compared to less than 10 the week before, according to University Health Services. This follows confirmation late last week of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, being found in the wastewater at both University Village, campus family housing in Albany, and the Clark Kerr campus residence halls. However, the vast majority of cases continue to occur in people living outside of campus housing units.
University Health Services has learned through its contact tracing efforts that the positive cases appear to be linked to Thanksgiving gatherings, with almost half being linked to travel, and COVID-19 spreading in the broader community. Cases linked to Thanksgiving events are likely to continue to emerge this week.
Eight of the new 50 cases were among staff. Staff who are on campus are reminded to continue to practice physical distancing and other best practices during downtime, even with colleagues that you work with all the time. UHS has learned that in some cases the spread appears to be tied to staff taking lunch breaks together and letting down their guard during those times. Taking off a mask to eat poses some risk: be sure to stay physically distanced, do not share utensils or food items, use hand hygiene before and after eating, and meet outside if weather allows rather than in a break room.
Overall, the percentage of COVID-19 positives in the campus community has remained under 2%, lower than in the surrounding community and the campus has not experienced any significant clusters of positive cases for some time. Still, the virus is currently spreading exponentially locally and nationwide: it is critical that we all remain vigilant.
In a message to faculty and staff, Chancellor Carol Christ shared an update on the campus budget. The campus will implement a year-long program of tiered, income-based furloughs for all non-represented staff, academics and faculty, and reductions in time for represented staff.
There will be a special Campus Conversation focused on the budget Wednesday, Dec. 9 at noon. Chancellor Christ will be joined by EVCP Paul Alivisatos, Vice Chancellor for Administration Marc Fisher, and CFO Rosemarie Rae.
California COVID Notify, which is currently being piloted at UC Berkeley and other University of California campuses, is set to launch statewide on Thursday, Dec. 10. The State of California has asked the University of California to lead the expansion of the smartphone-based COVID-19 exposure notification system.
Summer Sessions 2021 instruction will be delivered remotely. In announcing this decision now, Summer Sessions hopes to allow departments sufficient time to update summer schedules and prepare to offer high-quality remote summer courses while giving students some certainty when making summer 2021 plans. Decisions are still being made about courses offered outside the Summer Sessions program.
Bay Area health officers will implement the state’s Regional Stay At Home Order (PDF) in the coming days. The order instructs residents to stay at home as much as possible to limit the mixing of households, which can lead to the spread of COVID-19. It allows access to, and travel for, critical services and allows outdoor activities.
The city of Berkeley and Alameda County, where UC Berkeley is located, will implement the order on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. In Marin County, the order will take effect on Tuesday, Dec. 8. Contra Costa, San Francisco, and Santa Clara counties will implement the order on Sunday, Dec. 6. For all public health jurisdictions, the new restrictions will remain in place until Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.
UC Berkeley essential operations will continue. For more information on what’s open and what’s closed, see the Buildings and Services page.
Cases are rising at UC Berkeley, in the surrounding community and across the state. Now, more than ever, it is critically important to comply with all public health orders. This includes wearing a mask, washing your hands, maintaining social distance, testing regularly and opting-in to California COVID Notify. This is NOT a time for socializing in person. Please avoid parties or gatherings of people who do not live in your immediate residence.
The campus has recently detected COVID-19 in University Village wastewater, a campus-owned family housing community about three miles from campus, in Albany. While students at UVA already have access to and are encouraged to participate in weekly campus COVID-19 surveillance testing held on-campus, University Health Services is responding to this development by offering and encouraging free COVID-19 testing onsite at University Village Thursday afternoon. Students at University Village have been encouraged to pick-up at-home saliva tests today, Thursday, Dec. 3, for drop-off tomorrow morning. The wastewater at Clark Kerr student residences has also recently contained COVID-19. Students there have been instructed to schedule their regularly required twice weekly surveillance testing before the weekend. While there have been scattered COVID-19 cases at the Clark Kerr campus and University Village over the last few weeks there has been no notable increase in individuals testing positive at either location, as compared to the overall community. Overall, the percentage of COVID-19 positives in the campus community has remained under 2%. There has been an uptick in cases in recent weeks, as has been the case in most of the United States, and everyone is reminded to remain vigilant. While we continue to see cases that are apparently related to holiday travel or gatherings, we are also seeing more cases without clear origin. Still, the campus has not experienced any significant clusters for some time. The good news is this means people seem to be limiting larger gatherings; the bad news is that the virus appears to be more diffusely spread throughout our local community.
Information on COVID-19 wastewater testing
As part of its COVID-19 surveillance strategy, researchers at UC Berkeley have partnered with Environment, Health & Safety to monitor wastewater from several areas in and around campus, using samplers placed strategically in sewer systems. We are only beginning to learn what positive signals mean, in terms of correlation with cases. We do not know if a positive signal means one person or five people, and we do not know how long people shed into the sewage system after infection, or if it correlates with someone who is infectious. Further, the testing may include wastewater from a nearby area, not just the campus property.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. [UPDATED Jan. 4, 2021: The IGI FAST Study is now closed.]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. [UPDATED Jan. 4, 2021: The IGI FAST Study is now closed.]
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.
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.
The Keep Teaching website has new resources for remote teaching. The update includes a virtual help desk for Zoom, with real time support.
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.
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.
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.
The ASUC Student Union is opening individual workrooms for students to reserve online, with four rooms in the MLK Jr. building and nine rooms in Eshleman Hall. These can be reserved for virtual counseling, prep/teaching as a GSI/UGSI, personal conversations, or for virtual job interviews.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The University of California Office of the President issued a reminder of the president’s directives to limit non-essential travel.
Campus leaders provided more details today on UC Berkeley’s voluntary workforce actions.
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.
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.
On Friday July 24, Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued new guidance to schools. New international students are not permitted to enroll in schools where the instructional model is 100% online for the Fall 2020 semester. The guidance does allow schools to change their instructional model because of COVID-19.
UC Berkeley has a hybrid instructional model in place for the Fall 2020 semester. Even though the fall semester will start with remote instruction, the overall instructional model remains hybrid in nature. Therefore, international students are not precluded from enrolling in the fall 2020 semester at UC Berkeley.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.
UC Berkeley has announced plans for fall semester. For details, see the messages for:
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.
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.
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.
The University of California Education Abroad Program has suspended fall 2020 and 2020-21 year-long study abroad programs.
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.
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.
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.
In an update to graduating seniors, Chancellor Christ announced there will be no summer commencement.
The University of California plans to implement a one-year pay freeze for non-represented staff and faculty.
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.
How UC Berkeley is supporting students and staff through COVID-19. The latest episode of the Berkeley at Home variety show is now available.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A new section on family and domestic violence has been added.
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.
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.
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.
The first episode of the Berkeley at Home Variety Show is now available.
Chancellor Carol Christ and Provost Paul Alivisatos provided an update on UC Berkeley’s budget situation.
A UC Berkeley undergraduate student has tested positive for COVID-19. The student, who lives off campus in the city of Berkeley, is doing well. The student was tested at University Health Services. Local public health officials have reached out to roommates — who have no symptoms — to assist with their quarantine efforts. At this point there is no indication that the student who tested positive was on the core campus recently, except for the visit to UHS for testing. This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases involving Berkeley students or employees to 10, since the first case was reported on Saturday, March 14.
A new explainer on masks is now available and has been added to the “Health” section.
You’re encouraged to cover your nose and mouth with cloth when leaving home. Read the message from Marc Fisher for more information.
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.
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.
UC Berkeley has made the decision to continue remote delivery of instruction in place of face-to-face classes through Summer Sessions 2020.
- Free and low-cost options for accessing the internet off campus.
- Resources for preventing and responding to sexual and domestic violence
You can now access digital versions of much of the library’s physical volumes via a digital library.
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.
- New live online COVID-19 series connects experts with the public.
- There will be no COVID-related layoffs through June.
- In light of the shelter-in-place order being extended through May 3, additional precautions and information about working from home.
- FAQs on the spring semester grading policy.
- Additional guidance on the hiring freeze.
- Employees who are working remotely from outside of California are asked to complete a new form. The form has also been added to the “working remotely” page.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
An additional two UC Berkeley students who recently returned from study abroad in Spain have tested positive for COVID-19.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.