COVID-19 Updates: See cityofberkeley.info/covid19 for news, information, and status of City services.

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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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

FIRST COVID-19 CASE IN BERKELEY IS A REMINDER TO PREPARE
Help slow the spread with simple, everyday behaviors

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, March 03, 2020) - City of Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez announced Tuesday that a resident tested positive for COVID-19, a new coronavirus spreading around the world and for which everyone should prepare locally.

The resident returned to Berkeley on Feb. 23 from Italy, one of the growing number of countries with a COVID-19 outbreak. Concerned about being exposed through travel, the resident largely stayed at home in a voluntary self-imposed quarantine. The resident is in their 30s and has mild illness. They are recovering at home.

The City of Berkeley has its own public health jurisdiction, and Berkeley Public Health is investigating whether the individual had contact with others. Individuals potentially exposed will be identified, notified and evaluated. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are providing guidance on risk exposure and management for the new case. In addition, City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley on Tuesday at noon proclaimed a local emergency, which allows the City to marshal more resources to prepare for any additional cases.

"While the risk of infection remains low, the expanded presence of the virus in our community is a reality we should all prepare for," said Dr. Lisa Hernandez. "There are steps that all of us in the community can take now to improve basic hygiene and also prepare for a wider spread in the future.

Act now, prepare for the future

The virus is so new that there are no approved medications, nor a vaccine. Responses without medications are essential:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • stay home when sick
  • don't touch your face with unwashed hands
  • cover coughs with a tissue or your elbow

Practicing these everyday behaviors will slow the spread of the disease. These acts are the most impactful action you can take right now.

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It appears to cause less severe illness in younger people; those with more significant impacts tend to be older and medically fragile individuals with underlying medical conditions.

"The City activated its Emergency Operations Center over a month ago to prepare for this kind of case, and staff will be doing more as more cases emerge," said Mayor Jesse Arreguín. "The best thing people can do is follow medical advice from our Health Officer and the CDC: act now to improve hygiene and prepare for the future."

Looking ahead

As the virus spreads, the need for "social distancing" increases. On a personal level, that might mean an end to handshakes. During a widespread outbreak, social distancing could mean cancellation of large events or even schools. Those actions have already been taking place in various countries abroad.   While these large-scale closures are not currently in place in Berkeley, it is good to be prepared if they are introduced. 

To help, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has prepared COVID-19 toolkits to help you prepare your home, childcare or K-12 school, college, or workplace.

"The more people that prepare, the more resilient we'll be as a community," said Dr. Hernandez. "Individual  actions collectively also help the most vulnerable, especially the elderly or those with chronic respiratory issues."

Rely on trusted information sources

There is a lot of misinformation circulating about COVID-19 on social media. Do not believe everything you read. Rely on trusted health authorities, including World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and City of Berkeley Public Health.

See our dedicated COVID-19 webpage, cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus to learn about the preventive measures we recommend, what symptoms to look for, and what to do if you get sick. As this situation develops, we will continue to update this page with the most current information and recommendations.

Twitter town hall with Berkeley's Health Officer

Our Health Officer, Dr. Lisa Hernandez, will answer your questions about the health aspects of COVID-19 during a  one-hour Twitter town hall starting at noon Friday, March 6.  

Tweet your questions to us @CityofBerkeley using the hashtag #BerkCOVID19, or use an online form to submit anonymously.

Dr. Hernandez will answer as many questions as possible during the town hall, and we will post responses to all the questions we receive on our COVID-19 webpage next week.

This page was updated on March 4, 2020 to add additional information about the confirmed case.

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