Residential waste, recycling, and compost pickup service will be one day behind regular schedules Monday, October 26 through Saturday, October 31. Regular collection schedules will resume Monday, November 2.

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

AS THE RATE OF COVID-19 SPREAD SLOWS, MORE PUBLIC ACTIVITIES TO OPEN WITH RESTRICTIONS
Smart choices and good habits reduce risk

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, October 13, 2020) - Collective actions taken by people in Berkeley and Alameda County along with diligent public health work have led to decreasing daily COVID-19 case rates and lower test positivity -- metrics that mean that other public activities using safeguards will be allowed in the coming weeks.

This marks the second consecutive month in which those key state measurements have gone down, allowing the City and County to plan to open additional activities in a phased manner that minimizes potential for a surge of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Elementary schools, personal care services, gyms and indoor museums and galleries can already open with restrictions, aligning with the state. Berkeley's Health Officer will also over the coming weeks allow opening of several public activities permitted by the state.

Playgrounds can open Friday Oct. 16, though the City will be inspecting each of its more than 60 playgrounds before announcing openings. Other activities may open with restrictions the week of Oct. 26:

  • Indoor dining up to 25% capacity or less than 100 people, whichever is less
  • Indoor worship services up to 25% capacity or less than 100 people, whichever is less
  • Indoor movie theaters up to 25% capacity or less than 100 people, whichever is less
  • Expansion of indoor retail and malls at up to 50% of capacity and permitting food courts

All merchants can use the state'sindustry-specific guidance to prepare for current or future openings.

Just because an activity is permitted doesn't eliminate risk of infection. In fact, we know that indoor activities pose greater risk of transmission than outdoor ones. Shared, high-touch surfaces remain a potential source of exposure. People age 60 and over or those with underlying health conditions remain at greater risk of severe illness.

"COVID-19 remains a threat, so each person will need to evaluate their own risks and assess which activities they would like to prioritize and participate in," said Dr. Lisa B. Hernandez, the City of Berkeley Health Officer. "Developing good habits and making good choices collectively allow us to advance together."

Good habits and smart choices reduce risk

Everyone should ask three questions when considering a public activity. Instead of doing all public activities, budget your risk by prioritizing which ones are the most important and forgoing others.

While making tradeoffs to choose activities, everyone should always do the essentials:  stay home when sick, wear face coverings, wash hands frequently, and keep physical distance with those not in your household. Get a flu shot.

Businesses can now serve more people outside, as the City has streamlined permitting processes and significantly expanded the range of allowed outdoor activities on both public and private property. See our outdoor commerce guide for assistance.

Playgrounds to open, but risk remains

Playgrounds may open on Friday Oct. 16 in compliance with the requirements in the State's guidance. But parents and guardians will need to be conscious of the risk, and, if they choose to have their children use them, take steps to reduce those risks. They include:

  • Keeping face coverings on anyone over the age of 2
  • Using playgrounds only when 6 feet of distance or a capacity limit is met
  • Consider alternate, less busy times
  • Don’t eat or drink while at playgrounds
  • Washing or sanitizing hands before and after use
  • Limiting use to 30 minutes
  • Avoiding coming to playgrounds if you are over age 60 or have underlying health conditions that put you at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

"I am hopeful that the strong practices our community has embraced will continue to move us forward," said Dr. Hernandez. "We cannot control the virus, but the actions we do control have an impact and help open up more activities for us all."

Note: This message was modified on October 16, 2020 to include a link to state industry-specific guidance and to clarify that the next phase of openings are expected to be effective sometime during the week of Oct. 26.

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