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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A message from City of Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, April 07, 2020) - As part of the City of Berkeley’s multi-faceted response to COVID-19, we are opening a testing site in partnership with LifeLong Medical and UC Berkeley for vulnerable community members including those without access to health care as well as firefighters, nurses, police officers and other essential City of Berkeley employees.

Testing for all is not necessary. This new virus may cause mild if any symptoms to the vast majority of people, many of whom should stay home and take care of themselves unless their symptoms worsen. Everyone should stay home, except for the most essential activities.

I ask those of you who have a health care provider to please not come to the site. That will allow us to focus on serving critical needs during this time. For those who don’t have a healthcare provider and have concerns, you can call LifeLong Medical Care at (510) 981-4100 to see if testing is appropriate.

Testing helps public health work

Testing vulnerable people in Berkeley and our first responders can prevent spread among high-risk groups as well as those essential City employees who must be in contact with people infected with COVID-19 and the general public.

Testing allows us to mobilize the work of Public Health, which does a vast amount of ground-level work to slow the spread of diseases, especially during a pandemic that is severely impacting other parts of this country and the world.

This unseen City of Berkeley work includes what’s known as “contact tracing” – conducting interviews and following up with those who may have been in contact with an exposed person. Public Health staff then determine who may need quarantining to see if they develop symptoms and may identify others who are ill who would need isolation. These acts prevent spread.

Testing improves data, which helps us prepare

Testing will also give us a better understanding of the workings of this virus in Berkeley. The ongoing testing shortage means that the lab-confirmed positive cases are just a fraction of the actual picture.

When I declared a shelter in place for Berkeley on March 16, we only had three lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 cases – all of which had known exposures. But, upon looking at regional data and trends from other counties, I and the other six Health Officers knew that this invisible threat was spreading in all of our jurisdictions. To improve our data, the seven of us also ordered private and academic labs to increase their reporting to us.

This testing site as well as one that started this week at UC Berkeley will help build up our data, which is crucial information that fuels another part of our work: developing scientific models to determine how and when cases may increase and how to prepare for those outcomes.

The most important information for the public remains the same: stay home except for essential activities. This helps prevent a surge in hospitalizations that would otherwise overwhelm our system and leave hospitalized patients without ventilators and support systems.

I thank all of you who are following the orders. Please continue to do so. We are on a good path in a treacherous time, but we are not at the end.

Lisa B. Hernandez, MD, MPH
City of Berkeley Health Officer


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