Air quality: See cityofberkeley.info/air-quality for information on protecting your health during smoke events.

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

PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS FOR A POTENTIAL COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Berkeley, California (Monday, March 09, 2020) - If you own or run a business, now is the time to get ready for the impact of increased coronavirus spread within the Bay Area.

Adopt policies and practices that support current public health recommendations, and plan ahead to take more stringent measures when risk levels increase. Find detailed preparedness recommendations for businesses on the CDC website.

Specific actions the City of Berkeley is recommending include the following.

Tell sick employees to stay home

Actively remind workers to stay home if they are sick. Use verbal reminders, all-staff memos, and signage in common areas to ensure all employees are aware they should not be coming to work when ill.

Adopt workplace policies that reinforce this position:

  • If an employee shows up sick, send them home right away.

  • Adopt non-punitive sick leave policies so employees don’t have incentives to come to work sick. Make sure employees are aware of these policies.

  • Don’t require a doctor’s note when employees stay home. Increased spread of coronavirus will place a significant burden on health care providers, and they may not be able to provide documentation in a timely manner.

People who have been sick should not come to work until they have been free of fever and other symptoms for at least 24 hours.

In an outbreak, a greater number of employees than usual may be out sick for extended periods of time, or be needed at home to care for sick family members. Put plans in place now to support operations during periods of high absenteeism.

Stress the importance of healthy behaviors

Post signage in common areas promoting behaviors that slow the spread of disease, such as:

  • Washing hands often
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Covering coughs with a tissue or your elbow and promptly disposing of tissues
  • Avoiding close contact with those who are ill
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Eat healthy food

Make it easy for employees to follow health recommendations by providing tissues and no-touch disposal bins.

Place alcohol-based hand sanitizers in common spaces and conference rooms, and keep sink areas stocked with hand soap.

Perform routine cleaning

Regularly clean your facility, including common areas and frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, and workstations with standard cleaning agents. If you think there has been potential exposure at your facility, follow CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfection.

Provide disposable wipes for employees so they can wipe down keyboards, phones, and remote controls before each use.

Prepare to support “social distancing”

As confirmed COVID-19 cases rise, Public Health authorities will recommend implementing “social distancing” measures to slow further spread.

For employers, this will require finding ways to increase physical distance between employees. Think about how you’ll implement measures to:

  • Encourage remote work
    Support telecommuting for any employees who are able to do so. Get prepared by checking your information technology infrastructure to ensure you’ll be able to support employees working from home. Create documentation reminding employees how to perform common tasks such as checking email and voicemail remotely.

  • Adopt staggered shifts
    Ask employees to adjust working hours to reduce the number of people in an office at one time.

  • Cross-train personnel
    Make sure that essential business functions can be performed by multiple people.

Other potential guidance may include suspending non-essential travel and canceling large in-person meetings and conferences. Start making plans now for how you will incorporate these recommendations into your operations.

Resources

The CDC and City of Berkeley have created materials you can print and post to promote healthy behaviors at your workplace:

This is one in a series of messages intended to help our community prepare for COVID-19.

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