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, For media inquiries, (510) 981-7008

AS JUNE 15 APPROACHES, EMPLOYERS SHOULD ENCOURAGE VACCINATIONS, USE PUBLIC HEALTH TOOLS TO INCREASE SAFETY
City not planning additional rules but federal and state requirements are evolving

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, June 08, 2021) - With almost two-thirds of eligible Berkeleyans and half the people statewide now fully vaccinated, the critical urgency of almost all emergency laws have ebbed, placing California on the cusp of a new phase that places more responsibility for fighting COVID-19 in the hands of individuals, workplaces and businesses.

This momentous phase, scheduled for June 15, comes with the awareness that collective vaccinations have dramatically slowed the spread and infection of a virus that continues to debilitate or kill tens of thousands globally who are unable to get vaccinated.

With the virus still easily spreadable among unvaccinated Californians, state workplace regulations will still require employees to use proven non-pharmaceutical tools such as face coverings. A vote to change those rules may take place as soon as June 17, but they are unlikely to be effective immediately. 

These powerful tools can be used by anyone in other settings to protect themselves, their families or groups to which they belong. However, vaccination remains the most powerful, universal protection from COVID-19 disease.

"We are fortunate to live in a time and place where anyone can easily get a free, safe and effective vaccine against this deadly virus," said Dr. Lisa B. Hernandez, the City of Berkeley Health Officer. "I urge everyone who can to get vaccinated. As we move away from directive orders, people should use their best judgment and use non-pharmaceutical tools to protect those who are not yet able to get vaccinated."

While employers should pay close attention to evolving federal and state rules, neither City of Berkeley Public Health nor the separate Alameda County Public Health Department plan to have any additional or stricter rules than the state.

Town Halls to learn more about June 15, "Beyond the Blueprint" rules

The current rules for what will apply on June 15 can be found at the state's Beyond the Blueprint page.

City of Berkeley and Alameda County health officials will take and answer questions about the new rules at two virtual town halls:

Community Town Hall

Employer, Business Owner Town Hall

Encourage vaccinations

Everyone who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccine should get vaccinated. Employers should encourage as many employees as possible to get a vaccination, which is now easily available to anyone who is at least 12 years old almost any day of the week.

Employers and employees can look for vaccination options on the City of Berkeley website, MyTurn  and with private providers.

COVID-19 remains a dangerous and potentially lethal disease, and each of the three approved vaccines are very effective at preventing severe disease and death. There is considerable evidence that they greatly reduce transmission.

Be aware of how COVID-19 spreads

Unvaccinated people are highly vulnerable to this respiratory disease, which spreads through three primary ways:

  • Breathing in air from exhaled droplets or particles that contain the virus
  • having these droplets land on eyes, nose or mouth
  • touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.

Protection measures involve vaccination; wearing a face covering; keeping 6 feet of distance; washing hands; avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces and improving ventilation. Infected people may not exhibit any potential symptoms, but they may be carriers.

Federal and State rules are evolving

There are multiple state and federal agencies that regulate workplace rules.

The federal EEOC and the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing have each provided guidance about whether an employer can require vaccination or inquire about vaccination status.

Employers should use Cal-OSHA's current guidance, which addresses face coverings, distancing, ventilation and more.

The risks and dynamics of any particular business differ. We anticipate many organizations will take a phased approach as guidelines evolve over the coming weeks - and organizations develop plans to account for those changes.

City, county shift to yellow tier in transitional phase

With fewer cases of COVID-19 being reported in Alameda County as whole, the state is allowing even more activities countywide for the next week, starting Wednesday June 9.

This yellow tier indicates "minimal spread" and allows greater capacities for a number of activities for businesses. In some cases, those greater capacities are allowed if businesses check all patrons for negative COVID-19 tests in the previous 72 hours or full vaccinations - two weeks after the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

Some examples of relaxed vaccine-related rules before June 15:

  • Restaurants are allowed to open indoors at 50% capacity (no longer capped at 200 people for large venues) or 75% if all patrons show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Bars that do not serve food may open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer, or 37.5% capacity if all patrons show proof of vaccination or a negative test.
  • Gyms and fitness studios can open indoors at 50% capacity or 75% if all patrons show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Fitness facilities may reopen saunas, spas, and steam rooms.
  • Wineries, breweries, and distilleries may open indoors at 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer, or 75% capacity if all patrons show proof of full vaccination or a negative test.
  • Movie theaters may open indoors with 50% capacity, or up to 75% capacity if all patrons show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

See all the details about the rules for this one-week phase at the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy Website.

Use Face coverings, distance and other tools to stay safe

The pandemic required people across the world to use simple tools for protection. They still work. 

In a time when vaccinations are incomplete, workplaces and businesses will still need to use these tools to stay safe. Others can use them in private and public settings.  If you don't know the vaccination status of those around you, wear a mask.

"Our community and region's use of these tools created a path for us through treacherous times and into this safer place," said Dr. Hernandez, the City of Berkeley Health Officer. "Help share the word that safe, free, and effective vaccinations are available to all. Use face coverings, distance and other tools when appropriate.

"Together, we are moving forward into a safer world."

Links:

 

Note: This message was updated on June 10, 2021 at 9pm to reflect updated information from Cal/OSHA, including additional links.

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