Normal operations will resume Tuesday. For the latest information, please visit the Berkeley News homepage.
Marc Fisher, UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for administration, and Alicia Johnson, director of emergency management, issued the following message on Monday at 12:30 p.m.
We are writing with an update about both the PG&E power shut-off and the unhealthy air quality due to wildfires and weather conditions.
Information for students, researchers and Berkeley residents can be found at the bottom of this post.
All classes and activities are cancelled for the remainder of the day and through the evening on Monday.
We will be back in touch later today about the status of Tuesday operations.
Air Quality measures
The Air Quality Index is no longer in the “unhealthy” range. However, we will open the following buildings that have systems that provide highly filtered air so that students may use them for studying:
- East Asian Library (5-10 p.m. Monday and at 9 a.m. on Tuesday)
- Moffitt Library will remain open 24 hours a day
Supplies of N95 respirators have been prioritized for outdoor workers. We are beginning the process of acquiring additional N95 respirators and will set up distribution sites around campus for all other members of the campus community who need them.
Students with asthma and other underlying medical conditions that put them at risk of adverse effects and who are experiencing symptoms related to air quality can be assessed, treated and receive N95 respirators at University Health Services. Please review this advice if you are contemplating securing a respirator. More information about the value of wearing a respirator and other ways to protect yourself when the air quality is substandard can be found here.
It’s important to note that there is disagreement in the public health community over the scientific evidence that N95 respirator use by members of the general public is actually beneficial, and indeed there are many known limitations and potential adverse effects of N95 use particularly for persons in sensitive groups. Health officials have indicated that wearing a N95 masks during brief periods of smoke exposure such as walking to the bus stop or to class is likely to provide more of an emotional benefit than health benefit. If respirators are not fitted properly, they do not work.
Staying indoors is highly recommended.
The air quality is forecast to improve this afternoon.
Academic leaders are meeting to plan to take advantage of our cooperative spirit and make an aggressive push to offer instruction during the power shutdown and air quality challenges. We will provide more information soon.
Please continue to monitor Berkeley News for the latest updates and links to specific information.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we operate in a complicated, uncertain environment.
- How to prepare your home for power loss or fire.
- Suggestions for getting through a power shutoff.
- Information for the Berkeley community from the City of Berkeley.
- How UC Berkeley will respond to wildfire smoke.
- Updates for students on residence halls, dining commons and the Tang Center.
- What limited power means for researchers, lab managers.
- What will happen to AirBears, email and other IT systems during an outage?
- Information on parking and transit during the PG&E power loss.
- Follow @UCBerkeley on Twitter for the latest updates.