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

Message from Health Officer: Those with symptoms can call for appointment

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, May 06, 2020) - Anyone in Berkeley with COVID-19 symptoms can now get tested for free at a City of Berkeley testing site.

The nine possible symptoms identified by the CDC include:

  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fever
  • chills
  • repeated shaking with chills
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • newly losing a sense of smell

If you have a health care provider, first call them to get tested as capacity has greatly expanded in recent weeks. Your provider will always be the source of any follow-up care or advice.

Those with or without a health care provider who have symptoms can call a City nurse who will screen calls. We will test symptomatic children who are at least 2 years old. A Berkeley Public Health nurse will screen callers and schedule an appointment at our West Berkeley site.

City of Berkeley COVID-19 Test Screening Line
510-981-5380, Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm

Testing doesn’t replace shelter-in-place, face coverings

A test is just a snapshot in time. Symptoms develop anywhere from 2-14 days after an exposure.

Testing won’t protect you from infection. No medical treatment nor vaccine exists for COVID-19.

The best protections from COVID-19 are for everyone to shelter-in-place and, when out, to wear a face covering while keeping at least six feet from anyone else. We know people can be infected anywhere in our community through this easily transmitted virus. COVID-19 spreads through seemingly innocuous acts like talking without a face covering to a friend who is less than six feet away.

The City’s testing site has been focused on vulnerable community members and essential workers. This expansion is part of the City’s effort to establish tools that interrupt COVID-19 transmission, which leads to broader relaxation of shelter-in-place rules. Testing, follow-up contact tracing, isolation and quarantines all are essential to limiting the spread.

Tests result in action for client, community

Those who test positive will be contacted by Berkeley Public Health staff. Any follow-up care would come from your provider. For those without health care, staff would connect you to providers for the uninsured. Many, if not most, will have mild symptoms and can take care of themselves in isolation at home.

Berkeley Public Health staff will provide information on self-isolating and begin the process of investigation and contact tracing to find any people who were in contact with the infected person.

Public Health staff then determine who may need to isolate to see if they develop symptoms and may identify others who are ill who would need isolation. These acts prevent spread. And it is critical work as we enter future phases of this pandemic.

Testing improves data, which helps us prepare

Testing also gives us a better understanding of the workings of this virus in Berkeley. Thus far, testing shortages have meant that lab-confirmed positive cases are just a fraction of the actual picture. As the City, region, and private providers all test more, we will learn more and be able to better adapt our response.

The most important information for the public remains the same: stay home except for essential and permitted 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, which means we have relaxed some rules. Our vigilance in protecting ourselves and our community will help us move forward in what is still a long road ahead.

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


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