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 CASES STABILIZE, MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS USING RESTRICTIONS MAY OPEN IN NOVEMBER
As more public activities open, healthy personal habits and smart choices become more important

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, October 28, 2020) - Berkeley's Health Officer is planning to give middle and high schools that use COVID19 safeguards the option to open in early November, a local priority that state restrictions permit as cases continue stabilizing countywide.

School openings have significant socio-emotional, educational, and societal impacts on children, their families, and workplaces. And while every public activity increases risk, each person, business or organization can take actions to limit spread.

To help schools move forward, Berkeley Public Health has:

  • expanded the availability I'm of systematic testing to teachers and staff
  • created a 6-part disease prevention training for schools
  • required Public Health site visits, and
  • provided technical assistance via frequent virtual engagement

Schools also have been using county, state, and federal guidance to prepare to reopen in-person.

Starting the week of November 9, middle and high schools (grades, 6-12) that complete, post and distribute a COVID-19 health and safety reopening plan will be permitted to open if ready. The decision and timing of when to open rests with each school and school district. Parents and guardians should contact their schools directly regarding their plans.

"COVID-19 remains a threat, but we use science and data to navigate the path forward and balance risks," said Dr. Lisa B. Hernandez, Berkeley's Health Officer. "The data showing low community spread has to be weighed against the very real socio-emotional and educational risks children are facing."

As data shows lower spread, state allows more activities

Berkeley, which has approximately 120,000 residents, had an average of three new cases per day over the past week, with positive COVID-19 tests accounting for just 0.29 percent of the roughly 900 daily tests of Berkeley residents. In Alameda County as a whole, there are 3.2 new cases per 100,000 people, and the positivity rate is 1.6 percent. (The City of Berkeley's per 100,000 rates are 1.56 new cases per day and 0.24 percent positivity, respectively.)

These metrics show low local spread of COVID-19, an easily spreading disease for which there is neither proven treatment nor vaccine. The result is that the City and the County Health Officers can open other select activities, which includes schools.

Every school should continue preparing for reopening and engaging parents and staff in the planning to be ready. Health and safety measures applicable to Berkeley are listed on the County Board of Education website and in statewide guidance for schools.

Healthy daily habits and choices take on greater importance

With no vaccine nor proven treatment, the most powerful ways to limit spread are through preventive actions, each of which accumulates across a community to strengthen our resilience to spread.

Wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, and frequently washing your hands continue to be critical. As more options for public activities open, each person's overall risk budget stays the same.

Make choices that minimize risk. When you choose one activity, make a tradeoff for what other activity you will forgo. If you get a haircut one week, you might sacrifice eating at a restaurant and get takeout instead.

To lower their overall risk budget, parents considering sending their kids to school should consider what other less important public activities to give up. 

"Healthy habits and smart choices take on greater importance in navigating the tricky path in a time of pandemic," said Dr. Hernandez. "We cannot control the virus, but the actions we do control have an impact and help open up the possibility of more options in public life and critical needs such as schools."

 

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