Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Friday, May 22

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

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

This page will be updated regularly as more information becomes available. See below for an archive of previous updates.

Return to campus

As announced in a message to campus, UC Berkeley is in the midst of planning for multiple scenarios for the fall semester. This section will be updated as this work evolves over the coming days and weeks.

A single principle guides all of this work: to protect the health of our community.

Because we don’t know what the spread of COVID-19 will look like over the course of the next few months, each committee below has been asked to develop plans for each of the following three scenarios for the fall semester:

  • Scenario #1: For public health reasons, the campus must continue with full remote instruction, and predominantly remote work being done in the operations and research realms.

  • Scenario #2: In-person operations resume, with limits and restrictions imposed by public health authorities.

  • Scenario #3: Campus operations largely return to normal (i.e., mostly in-person), but wherever possible, will accommodate students, staff, researchers and instructors who need or prefer to operate remotely due to continuing pandemic conditions.

Committees

Each of the following committees has been charged with studying and making suggestions for a key area of campus operations. Each committee will be led by members of the Chancellor’s Cabinet and special advisors who will share their committees’ progress and recommendations during weekly Cabinet meetings. The Cabinet will use the recommendations to guide decision-making as we develop plans to resume operations in a way that maximizes community safety.  In addition, we will look for opportunities to incorporate the broad range of student perspectives.

The current committees are:

  1. COVID-19 Public Health and Testing Advisory Committee. Led by Nicholas Jewell, professor of biostatistics in the School of Public Health.

  2. Research. Led by Vice Chancellor for Research Randy Katz.

  3. Instruction. Led by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos.

  4. Student Engagement and Services. Co-led by Vice Provost for Graduate Studies Lisa Garcia Bedolla, Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Oscar Dubón, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education Cathy Koshland, and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Stephen Sutton.

  5. Housing and Dining. Led by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Stephen Sutton.

  6. Operations. Led by Vice Chancellor for Administration Marc Fisher. There are three subcommittees within the Operations working group: Workforce, led by Vice Provost for the Faculty Benjamin Hermalin and Chief People and Culture Officer Eugene Whitlock; Events and External Relations; and Information Technology, led by Jenn Stringer.

  7. Athletics. Led by Director of Athletics James Knowlton.

  8. Financial Planning. Led by Vice Chancellor for Finance Rosemarie Rae.

  9. Communications. Led by Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs Diana Harvey.

Resources

Students, faculty staff, postdocs or visitors with fever or respiratory symptoms should not come to campus.  Please seek advice from your health care provider should you have concerns about COVID-19. Students are encouraged to call the UHS Advice Line (510-643-7197) before coming in.

Health information for students, faculty and staff

Experts with University Health Services give the latest health advisory updates and guidance.

Wellness information for faculty, staff

The staff at Be Well at Work offer tips on how to de-stress or care for an elder adult.

Masks information

Wearing a face covering during the coronavirus pandemic helps prevent the spread of germs, in addition to social distancing, hand washing, and staying home when sick.

Rec Sports Online

Stay active and stay healthy with a collection of free resources, virtual classes and online videos for the UC Berkeley community.

Instructional Resilience Resources

Best practices, resources, and links to helpful information on how instructors can prepare to continue UC Berkeley’s educational mission during the potential spread of coronavirus on campus. Sign up for online webinars for Zoom and bCourses, and book individual consultations and find other teaching resources.

Guidelines

  • UC Berkeley will continue to offer nearly ALL instruction through alternative (not in-person) modalities (e.g., Zoom, course capture, etc.) through the end of the semester.
  • All in-person instruction is cancelled for the remainder of the semester. There will be no exceptions.
  • Course syllabi may need to change, in a short period of time, in light of the significant pedagogical changes resulting from remote instruction and assessment.
  • Exams and assessments: To facilitate social distancing and improve accessibility, all examinations and assessments are to be conducted via alternative (not-in-person) methods.
  • Attendance: As of Monday, March 30, instructors are allowed to take attendance in classes and to use participation as a metric for academic performance. Instructors are encouraged to be flexible in their attendance requirements; communicate those requirements proactively to their students; and accommodate students who are ill, those who are located in a different time zone, and those who may have limited remote access.
  • Disability accommodations: DSP will continue to partner with instructors to ensure students’ disability accommodations are provided. The following are email addresses that instructors and students can contact for DSP-captioning and ASL (dsp-captioning@berkeley.edu) accessible formats (dspamc@berkeley.edu), proctoring (proctoring@berkeley.edu), and note taking (dspnotes@berkeley.edu). Please contact dsp@berkeley.edu for additional questions or assistance regarding student accommodations. Faculty should work with DSP to ensure that all content is accessible to their students with disabilities before the content is posted. To ensure accessibility, it is very important to use UC Berkeley provided platforms, such as bCourses and Zoom. Posting videos or other content via non-supported tools that make that content open to the public and present accessibility barriers (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) is prohibited.
  • Students who have concerns about instructors not adhering to the above guidelines should contact the chair of the department or dean of the professional school. Issues not resolvable at the local level should be elevated to the Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education (vcue@berkeley.edu) or Vice Provost for Graduate Education (graddean@berkeley.edu) respectively.

Keep teaching (COVID-19) resources and links

Resources from the University of California Office of the President, including drop-in technical sessions with ILTI Instructional Designers for faculty and/or faculty support teams and campus instructional designers to ask questions about using Canvas, Zoom, and other tools integrated into the Canvas platform.

Study abroad

Information for Berkeley student abroad students, including for students currently abroad, those applying to summer and fall programs and resources for students returning from suspended programs.

Summer Sessions

2020 Summer Sessions instruction will be delivered remotely.

Lifelong learning

Information from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC Berkeley.

San Francisco Bay Area Global Internships

The SF Bay Global Internship program is canceled for Summer 2020.

People and Culture

Information on leaves, working from home, managing remotely and more.

Working safely on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic

Considerations and actions to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace, from Environmental Health & Safety.

Libraries

All libraries are closed but you can access digital versions of much of the library’s physical volumes via a digital library.

Disabilities

A message to the campus disability community regarding COVID-19, including resources for faculty, staff and students.

Parking and Transportation

The latest updates on changes to parking regulations and alternative commuting options.

Supply chain and deliveries to campus

Information on package and mail delivery on campus.

Finances

This page includes updates related to the coronavirus on services provided by the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Finance, including the Financial Planning and Analysis team, Capital Finance and Asset Strategies, and the Controller’s Office. See also: Divisional Finance Leader weekly updates.

Accounts Payable payment processes

Production of paper checks will run once a week on Wednesdays.

COVID-19 information for UC employees

Information and recommendations from the UC Office of the President.

The research community is directed to work remotely whenever possible. Principal Investigators should suspend on-campus research to the greatest extent possible and operate remotely at least through May 31. Please visit the Vice Chancellor for Research website for specific information and more detailed guidance.

Research continuity and planning

Guidance and resources for the UC Berkeley research community, to assist in planning for potential impacts and ensuring research continuity during the coronavirus outbreak.

International Researchers

Guidance for international scholars and researchers is available on the Research continuity and planning website, the Berkeley International Office website and Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs website.

Research policy analysis and coordination

Summary of resources and links to information about how research agencies and other entities are responding to Coronavirus. As well as daily updates on how UC, sponsors, and regulators are responding to COVID-19.

Family and domestic violence

Physical distancing and isolation restrictions can create additional safety concerns for those experiencing family or domestic violence. Your safety and well-being are our top priorities. Below are a few of the resources offered to employees and students.

PATH to Care Center’s resources during COVID-19

Resources are still available during the COVID-19 pandemic, including during the shelter-in-place orders, at UC Berkeley and in local communities. This site outlines key resources, changes (if any) to hours of operation, and ways to identify local resources for those far from Berkeley.

Reporting options

Police and law enforcement: UC Berkeley Police Department responds and investigates incidents occurring at UC Berkeley. If there is an emergency please contact UCPD at 510-642-3333 or 911 and for non-emergency and information, contact (510) 642-6760. Otherwise, please contact 911 or the Police Department where you reside or where the incident occurred. The PATH to Care Center and local domestic violence agencies can assist in identifying the correct jurisdiction and provide legally-guaranteed accompaniments when reporting to law enforcement.

Campus Reporting: The Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination respond to reports, conduct interviews, and resolve complaints through web and video-conferencing, and phone appointments. OPHD will maintain normal business hours, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To contact OPHD, email ask_ophd@berkeley.edu.

Workplace protections

UC Berkeley provides a number of workplace-related protections and resources for employees experiencing family or domestic violence, including those required by applicable law. Employees are strongly encouraged to connect with a confidential resource, such as the PATH to Care Center, Employee Assistance, or local domestic violence agency, to discuss and request workplace resources. The University offers leaves for qualifying employees such as family medical leave for serious health conditions, and for an employee who is a victim of a crime or who is a family member of a victim, job-protected unpaid leave to court appointments, safety planning, medical and counseling services related to the crime. Employees are also eligible for reasonable workplace safety accommodations.

Academic support and accommodations

Academic progress can be impacted by experiences or threats of violence. The purpose of support resources and academic accommodations is to ensure all students have a fair chance at academic success. These resources are for everyone; students have a right to use them and instructors should be familiar with them.

Staff who are not explicitly instructed to work at  the campus in person should not come to work. Managers and supervisors will assess what services need to continue on the campus to protect and serve students in residence and maintain other critical operations, such as delivery of remote learning, student housing/dining, University Health Services, etc. Employees will receive direction from their managers if they are required to come to the campus in order to work.  People who are working from home should continue to do so.  California Gov. Newsom has advised anyone over the age of 65 to remain at home; the campus intends to support this goal

Telecommuting technology resources

Staff and faculty with technical questions about telecommuting to work can find resources and advice on this page. Students and instructors can also make use of the resources.

Cybersecurity and COVID-19

A collection of cybersecurity resources relating to the novel Coronavirus and telecommuting.

Telecommuting policy for staff

Information about telecommuting and related policies and procedures, including the Temporary Remote Work Agreement.

Employees working outside of California Due to COVID 19

Employees who are working remotely outside of California are asked to update their tax information.

University of California executive order (3/16/2020)

Modifies the March 9 guidance to allow up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave.

University of California guidance regarding paid leave and remote work provisions (3/9/2020)

The university has enacted temporary emergency actions regarding remote work and paid leave related to COVID-19.

Guidance for timekeeping during COVID-19

Information for managers and supervisors about how to report administrative leave with pay as it relates to COVID-19.

Ergonomics tips for working at home

The Be Well at Work Ergonomics Program has special tips for working at home.

COVID-19-Related leave for academic appointees

Latest guidance from Academic Personnel and Programs regarding leave for academic appointees.

Off campus internet access options

Free and low-cost options for accessing internet off campus.

As advised earlier, students who live in campus housing and Blackwell Hall may choose to leave Berkeley and obtain prorated relief from the payment obligations of their housing contracts. The Berkeley health department has confirmed that the “shelter in place” order does not prevent students from moving out of student housing facilities to reside somewhere else. We will keep residence and dining facilities open under these emergency circumstances so long as there is a need to do so. More information is available at the COVID-19 Housing website. The Basic Needs Center, including the Food Pantry, will move to 103 Sproul Hall.

International students may wish to visit the Berkeley International Office website to get updated visa and other information.

Information for graduate students

Resources for graduate students as well as for faculty and staff who support graduate education.

Student Affairs updates

Information on housing, dining, financial aid and more.

Laptop and Wi-Fi hotspot lending program

Free laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots for students who qualify.

Off campus internet access options

Free and low-cost options for accessing internet off campus.

Guidance for International Students and Scholars

Visit the Berkeley International Office website for FAQs and guidance on visas.

Free e-Books

The Cal Student Store is offering a no-cost solution to students who may have lost access to course materials that they previously shared with classmates or instructors, or accessed via the library. Through May 25, 2020, access to an expansive catalog (tens of thousands of ebooks) of eTexts will be available for free to students via VitalSource. All you need to do is to log-in to the VitalSource Bookshelf app using your Berkeley email address to view course materials from participating publishers. As with many free offers, this offer does end so please pay close attention to the expiration date to avoid unnecessary charges. 

We understand that many faculty, staff, and students have questions regarding University-related travel, particularly in view of the COVID-19 situation during summer and fall 2020. We also acknowledge the desire to make international travel plans in the near future and the significant difficulty imposed by this uncertain period. Below is the most up to date information available pertaining to the campus’ travel protocol, travel insurance, travel reimbursement, and international agreements.

UCOP directives and campus travel protocol

According to the directives issued by UCOP, all UC community members should temporarily avoid non-essential travel to countries with a CDC Level 2 Travel Health Notice and greater. In addition to the UCOP directive, and local to the UC Berkeley campus, University travel to U.S. State Department ‘Do Not Travel’ level 4 locations requires a two-step approval process, first at the decanal level and then from the Vice Provost for Academic Planning. For details related to how essential travel is defined, and to learn about the approval process, please refer to the Global Engagement Office.

Travel Insurance

As a reminder, faculty, students, and staff who do not book their travel using Connexxus are encouraged to register all travel whether funded by UC Berkeley or another entity. Travel booked through Connexxus is automatically registered with the UC Travel Insurance program. Registering has many benefits, including travel advisories for the locations that you travel to/through, and the ability for the UC to rapidly assist you in case of emerging incidents, medical emergencies, etc. For those intending to travel using UC Berkeley resources or for campus-approved research or educational purposes, please review the campus’ travel protocol and seek essential travel approval beforehand.

Please keep in mind that travel insurance does not cover foreseeable risk; therefore, any travel to areas with a U.S. State Department ‘Do Not Travel’ level 4 advisory will invalidate travel insurance benefits. UC personnel traveling to regions against this advisory do so potentially at their own physical and financial risk. For more information about travel insurance, please visit Risk Services.

Travel Reimbursement

If your business travel has been canceled as a result of COVID-19 and you were not able to obtain a full refund of some or all of your expenses, you have options for requesting reimbursement, which can vary depending on how you booked your travel. These options are outlined on the travel website as well as on a recorded webinar from April 21st provided by UC Berkeley Travel. A wide range of issues associated with travel impacted by COVID-19 are addressed, including an extended question and answer session.

International Contracts

International agreements committing members of the UC community to travel, or foreign cohorts to visit campus, should include terms that allow for no penalty cancellation of in-person deliverables. Depending on the specific language, force majeure clauses may not cover epidemics (e.g. COVID-19), especially where the cancellation or non-performance due to the incident was foreseeable or predictable at the time of contract execution. Senior administration is coordinating with Business Contracts and Brand Protection (BCBP) and Risk Services to revise the language in international agreements to allow for remote alternatives in lieu of in- or outbound travel, or cancellation without penalty.

For further questions or concerns related to any topic in this section, please contact geo@berkeley.edu.

Guidelines

All campus-sponsored events are canceled through July 31. This 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.

University employees who are responsible for organizing departmental events, gatherings and programs should view the Public Event/Mass Gathering Decision Making Framework for guidance.

Athletics

All Cal Athletics competitions are canceled through the remainder of the spring term. Fans who have pre-purchased tickets to events that have been canceled may contact the Cal Athletic Ticket Office with questions by calling (800) GO BEARS (462-3277) and pressing option 3.

BAMPFA

Closed until further notice.

Botanical Garden

Closed until further notice.

Cal Day

Canceled.

Cal Performances

All remaining performances and events in the 2019–20 season have been canceled.

Campanile

Closed through May 31.

Campus tours and Koret Visitor Center

Suspended/closed through May 31.

Commencement

Commencement has been postponed.

Hearst Museum of Anthropology

Closed until further notice.

Lawrence Hall of Science

Closed until further notice.

Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Closed until further notice.

Music

See the department website for cancelations.

Theater, dance and performance studies

See the department website for cancelations.

Principles of Community

All members of the campus community are asked to keep the Principles of Community in mind when interacting with others during these stressful times.

Coronavirus xenophobia, anti-Asian racism have no place at UC Berkeley

A message from UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion Oscar Dubón and Assistant Vice Chancellor for People and Culture Eugene Whitlock.

Berkeley Division of Equity and Inclusion

E&I programs are providing services and support virtually during COVID-19 Shelter in Place.

Equity and inclusion during COVID-19

Guidance prepared by the Council of Chief Diversity Officers at the University of California to assist campus decision makers, faculty, administrators, students and staff on providing supportive positive and inclusive campus climates during the COVID-19 crisis.

Creating a healthy virtual environment toolkit

Information about how you can create a culture of inclusion and respect in the virtual world. 

To donate medical supplies and personal protective equipment, we suggest the following two options:
  1. Donate to a local hospital or clinic.
  2. Ship to UC Berkeley in support of our student-serving University Health Services: 2000 Carleton St, Berkeley CA 94720-2284, Attn: Armando Cortez, EH&S PPE Coordinator.

COVID-19 research

Confirmed cases of COVID-19

A total of 11 people within the UC Berkeley community are known to have tested positive for COVID-19.

  • April 22: Graduate student who lives in university-owned housing at University Village.
  • April 15: Undergraduate student who lives in off campus, non-university-owned housing.
  • April 8: Staff member who was not on campus during the exposure risk period.
  • March 31: Undergraduate student returning from study abroad.
  • March 25: Two undergraduate students returning from study abroad.
  • March 24: Two undergraduate students returning from study abroad.
  • March 20: Two undergraduate students returning from study abroad.
  • March 14: Graduate student who lives in off campus, non-university-owned housing.

Previous updates

5 p.m.: From Marc Fisher, vice chancellor for administration:

The university has decided to extend the cancellation or postponement of all campus-sponsored events through June and July.

This decision was made given the unlikelihood that public health authorities would allow for such gatherings in the near future. It is our hope that this notice will assist everyone with their planning efforts. The directive applies to all departmental and administrative events held on university property. 

It does not apply to private events scheduled to take place in campus facilities; registered student organization events; or events produced by campus units but held in off-campus facilities. Summer activities for youth are not considered “events” and would not be covered by this directive. However, an extension of the terms of the current local shelter-in-place order could make any of the activities listed here unlawful.  The current shelter-in-place order applicable to the main campus has no specific expiration date.

For more on the status of campus activities please go to the “events and activities” tab below. Thank you for all that you continue to do for this community and please stay safe and be well.

4:45 p.m.: In an update to graduating seniors, Chancellor Christ announced there will be no summer commencement.

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

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

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

4:30 p.m.: In an update on UC Berkeley’s plans for the fall semester, it was announced that nine committees have been formed to continue ongoing planning for the fall semester. A “return to campus” section has been added below and will be updated as this work progresses.

1:30 p.m.: The “telecommuting and paid leave” section has been updated with new information and required actions for employees working outside of California due to COVID-19.

10 a.m.: International travel information.

4:30 p.m.: The events and attractions section below 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.

4 p.m.: How to support UC Berkeley students (and staff) on Giving Tuesday.

11 a.m.: A new section on safety concerns and violence prevention has been added below.

1 p.m.: The Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order has been officially extended through May with only limited easing of restrictions, including construction and certain outdoor activities.

For the UC Berkeley campus, this means our largely remote operations will continue through May, and some construction projects will likely resume. We will be reviewing the new order over the next few days to determine whether there will be any additional changes to current operations.

In accordance with the extended shelter in place timeline, the campus will be cancelling campus events that were scheduled to take place May 4 – May 31.

Read the full message sent to the campus community from Marc Fisher.

8 a.m.: The City of Berkeley health officer, along with those from six Bay Area Counties, announced on Monday plans to extend the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order through May.

The previous order, due to expire on May 3, will be replaced by a new order that is expected to largely keep current restrictions in place. City officials indicated there will be limited easing of specific restrictions for a small number of lower-risk activities and that the details would be available later this week.

Once the new order is published, we will advise the campus community about what this means for the campus community, including whether any campus directives will be impacted by any easing of restrictions.

12:30 p.m.: University Health Services has confirmed that a resident of University Village housing in Albany has tested positive for COVID-19. The graduate student is in stable condition and in home isolation.

Officials with UHS, which administered the test, are working in coordination with the Alameda County Public Health Department to contact individuals who had close contact with the graduate student.

University Village is a campus-owned housing facility for Berkeley students and their families, located about three miles from central campus.

This new case brings the total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases that the campus is aware of to 11.

  • 5 p.m.: 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.

  • 8 a.m.: A new explainer on masks is now available and has been added to the “Health” section below.

  • 6:15 p.m.: You’re encouraged to cover your nose and mouth with cloth when leaving home. Read the message from Marc Fisher for more information.

  • 3:15 p.m. A staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of known cases within the UC Berkeley community to 9. The staff member was not on campus during the exposure risk period and is in good condition while isolating at home.

  • 7 p.m.: This week’s Berkeley Conversations will featured live events discussing computing and data science and the economic impact of COVID-19. Read the announcement for more information.

  • 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.

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

 

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

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

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

11:30 a.m.: Two more UC Berkeley students who recently returned from study abroad in Spain have tested positive for COVID-19, campus officials recently learned.

They are both undergraduate students.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5:30 p.m.: Chancellor Carol Christ sent a message of gratitude to the campus community.

– AND –

We learned of two more confirmed COVID-19 cases involving members of the UC Berkeley community.

Both are undergraduate students who tested positive after returning home from study abroad. The students are now in isolation at home outside of Alameda County, and in good condition.

The students did not return to the Berkeley campus upon return from Spain, so there was no exposure on the Berkeley campus.

Although we now have a total of three confirmed positive COVID-19  cases involving members of the campus community (the first case was announced last week), we want to make clear that it is very likely that there are many more positive cases already in our campus community.  According to public health officials, once testing becomes more widely available locally and in the region we can expect to see a much higher number of positive cases here and elsewhere. The coronavirus, and community spread, is very much in our Bay Area communities.

12:30 p.m.: Grading policies have been changed for the spring semester.

3:45 p.m.: UC Berkeley has clarified campus directives in light of the shelter-in-place mandate.

Read the campus message from EVC/Provost Alivisatos VC Marc Fisher for more details.

4:30 p.m.: UC Berkeley has announced additional actions to encourage social distancing, including:

  • All in-person instruction is canceled for the remainder of the semester.
  • The research community is directed to immediately transition to work remotely whenever possible.
  • Staff who are not explicitly instructed to work at the campus in person should not come to work.
  • All libraries, Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union, Eshleman Hall, Cesar Chavez Hall, and the Recreational Sports Facility will be closed.
  • All public events planned to take place on the campus through April 7, 2020, should be cancelled or rescheduled.

Read the campus message from Chancellor Christ and EVC/Provost Alivisatos for more details.

2 p.m.: In light of Alameda County’s announcement advising county residents to shelter in place beginning Tuesday, March 17 at 12:01 a.m. through Tuesday, April 7, UC Berkeley is rapidly moving toward a “maintenance-only” mode of physical operation of the campus.

Read the campus message from Chancellor Christ for more details.

  • 7:45 p.m.: Public health officials have determined that there are no high risk contacts from this case, meaning that no one is at significantly higher risk of contracting it from the infected individual than would be expected in the general population.
    People should continue to monitor their health and be in touch with their physician or University Health Services if they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • 5:30 p.m.: A member of the UC Berkeley campus community has contracted COVID-19. The individual is a graduate student who does not live on campus or in the city of Berkeley and has self-isolated in their city of residence. The individual is in good condition and has no serious symptoms. Read the message to campus to learn more.

12:30 p.m.: UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos have announced several updates to UC Berkeley’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Remote instruction has been extended through the end of the semester.
  • Students will be able to choose where it is best for them to reside.
  • Students will receive relief from their campus housing and dining fees if they decide to move out.
  • If in-person instruction resumes, in-person course attendance will continue to not be mandatory for the rest of the semester.
  • Supervisors are encouraged to explore work assignments for students to perform remotely.
  • Critical campus functions, including our research enterprise and student support services, remain operational, some with adjusted service hours.

2 p.m.: New changes have been announced regarding events on campus. These changes will remain in effect at least through March 29.

  • Campus spaces and venues will not be available for any event with 100 or more expected attendees.
  • Intercollegiate Athletics events on campus will be held without spectators.
  • Cal Performances events through March 29 will be canceled.
  • Cal Day, which was scheduled for April 18, has been canceled.
  • A decision has not been made about graduation/commencement events.

See the “Events and activities” section for more details.

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

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

Read the full message from Chancellor Carol Christ.