Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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Press Contact: Chakko Matthai, (510) 981-7008

WITH CORONAVIRUS CASES GROWING GLOBALLY, HEED TRAVEL ADVISORIES FOR SPRING BREAK PLANS
Basic hygiene practices protect you from cold, flu and coronavirus

Berkeley, California (Thursday, February 27, 2020) - As coronavirus cases rapidly spread in several countries outside the U.S., use public health travel advisories to help guide your travel for spring break.

Travel advisories change at a rapid pace, but as of Feb. 28, 2020, the CDC advises the following:

  • Everyone should avoid all nonessential travel to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
  • Older adults or those with chronic medical conditions should also avoid travel to Japan, where there is sustained community spread of coronavirus -- infections where people don't know how or where they became infected.

The CDC also advises that travelers take usual precautions when traveling to Hong Kong, where there has been a limited amount of community spread. For Hong Kong travelers:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When that is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60%-95% alcohol.
    • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. 

Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand are at risk of having community spread.

If you're considering a cruise, the CDC recommends that all travelers reconsider cruise ship voyages to or within Asia.

Unprecedented public health measures slowing U.S. spread

These recommendations from Berkeley's Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez as well as federal, state and local officials come as public health workers are taking unprecedented steps to slow the spread of the virus into the U.S. The CDC reports that as of Feb. 28 there have been 15 cases of coronavirus in the U.S., not including 47 infected people the State Department flew back from China and a cruise ship in Japan. There have been no U.S. fatalities. This contrasts with the 83,652 confirmed cases worldwide.

U.S. public health's aggressive containment strategy requires detecting, tracking, and isolating all cases.  In addition, public health workers are monitoring travelers who have no symptoms but returned from certain countries. In California alone, that involves monitoring 6,700 travelers who are required to be at home during the two-week period during which they could develop symptoms. These quarantines are happening on an unprecedented scale.

The City of Berkeley activated its Emergency Operations Center in January so that we could pull together staff from all departments to work alongside Berkeley Public Health and coordinate response to any potential cases and well as coordinate testing for returning travelers and persons under investigation.

When U.S. cases increase, more non-pharmaceutical responses will be needed

The different degrees of behaviors required of travelers reflect the varying severity of the spread in those countries. There is no vaccine to protect against this new virus and no medications approved to treat it. 

When U.S. cases increase to the point that its spread cannot be slowed through quarantines and monitoring, non-pharmaceutical interventions will be the most important tools in our response to this virus.  On an individual level, that includes continuing routine behaviors that prevent respiratory illnesses, such as the flu:

  • Staying home from school or work if you are sick
  • Washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water
  • Avoiding contact with people who are ill
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, upper sleeve or elbow
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

The CDC does not currently recommend that the general public use face masks to protect against COVID-19.

Local responses to a pandemic might include additional behaviors, such as voluntary home quarantine of household members who live with and were exposed to a sick person. When it's unclear who or where someone might have a pandemic virus, communities take measures such as what is being seen in parts of Asia and Europe. In a severe pandemic, that might mean closures at schools or businesses.

With the limited number of cases in the U.S. and California, the risk remains low as of Feb. 28. But the CDC is encouraging communities, businesses, schools and others to think about these strategies well before the need is here. You can also read the CDC's framework for non-pharmaceutical interventions to a pandemic.

Resources:

 

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