UC Berkeley updates plans for spring in-person instruction

Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos sent the following message to the campus community on Tuesday:

We’re writing to provide an update on our plans for the spring semester. As you know, we had planned to offer limited in-person instruction beginning Monday, Feb. 1, following two weeks of fully remote instruction. With the Bay Area still under the state’s regional stay at home order and high positivity and new infection rates in the community, we must adjust our plans.

Beginning Monday, Feb. 1, we will be able to resume offering occasional outdoor instructional activities. These activities will be an expansion of the successful fall outdoor instructional pilot. Departments can submit proposals for outdoor instruction through their dean’s office; instructors of provisionally approved courses are encouraged to consider this option.

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, we will begin to pilot a small number of in-person classes indoors. We will consider and select provisionally approved clinical, laboratory, studio, fieldwork, and other courses requiring specialized space for this pilot. If we can demonstrate that our mandatory testing program, color-coded badge system, and other protocols are successful in preventing an increase in infections compared to the community, we will then be able to explore offering additional classes indoors.

With COVID-19 continuing to surge across the state, it’s more important than ever that we all remain diligent and follow all public health recommendations and requirements. We all have a role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve, which will need to happen before considering offering additional activities on campus.

Please be sure to read the Response and Recovery newsletter, where we provide weekly updates on our planning and progress. The campus coronavirus site is also updated regularly, as is the UC Berkeley Mobile app.

While it’s frustrating to have yet another delay in our plans to offer in-person instruction, it’s encouraging to know that we’re continuing to make progress toward this goal. We’re so grateful for your continued flexibility and perseverance.