Coronavirus update: Still no confirmed cases at UC Berkeley

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Anna Harte, medical director of University Health Services, and Marc Fisher, the vice chancellor for administration, sent the following message to the campus community on Monday, March 2:

As you may have learned over the weekend, public health officials have announced that there is a confirmed case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) involving an Alameda County resident. It is linked to the recent case in Solano County and does not represent local transmission.

At this time, we have no confirmed cases of the virus on campus and we continue to take appropriate actions to prepare for any possible case here. Above all, we are focused on ensuring the health and safety of our campus community. We understand and empathize with the anxiety many are feeling about the novel coronavirus and we are committed to providing regular updates.

Today, campus officials have activated our Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which will allow for operational leaders from across campus units to meet, share information and develop contingency plans in a more efficient and coordinated manner. This is in addition to the ongoing meetings of senior campus leadership (the Crisis Management Team) that began two months ago. Campus health officials are in close contact with and will continue to take guidance from local public health officials at the city, county, state, and federal levels. The UC Office of the President provides additional operational guidance.

Other developments regarding the virus include an expansion of countries that now have travel advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC currently advises against non-essential travel to China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea. We encourage everyone to view the continually updated information on travel which is posted on the campus Global Engagement website.

How UC Berkeley instructors are preparing for the spread of coronavirus

We encourage students to review this preparation checklist to help with planning for possible disruptions to instruction. This includes guidance such as asking instructors what their plans are for disruptions and being ready to engage more heavily via bCourses, Zoom or other alternate instructional tools. Campus academic leadership sent a message to instructors today advising them to make preparations in the event in-person instruction is disrupted.

Please continue to visit the University Health Services web page for the latest and more detailed information regarding the virus, campus actions and general tips on how to stay safe.

Meanwhile, we continue to remind you to wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, cover and contain any coughs into a tissue or your sleeve, avoid touching your face, and please stay home if you feel sick.