Emergency Regional Stay Home Order. Bay Area ICUs are near capacity. Stay home except for essential tasks. Keep errands short. Don't gather with anyone outside your household. Cancel plans for non-essential travel. Learn more.

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.

Translation Disclaimer

COVID-19
COVID-19

Social gatherings during COVID-19

All in-person social gatherings between people who do not live together are prohibited under the emergency Regional Stay Home Order.

COVID-19 spreads easily between people. As many as half of those infected have no symptoms - but they can still spread the disease to others. Throughout the pandemic, social gatherings have been a significant source of COVID-19 spread.

Being in community gives us meaning. Sadly, this easily spreading virus now lurks among us at an unprecedented level. Even small, outdoor, masked gatherings are unsafe during this period of extreme threat. Until we turn around the current surge we must find ways to stay connected without being physically together.

Strategies for talking to friends and family about not gathering

Saying no to people we love is never easy. Declining an invitation or suggesting a change to longstanding holiday plans may mean disappointing loved ones. These strategies may help when having the "COVID chat":

  • Prepare ahead of time. Write down your reasons for choosing not to meet in person during this period of heightened threat. If you're anxious about the conversation, gain confidence by rehearsing what you will say on your own or with a friend, partner, or in the mirror.

  • Be firm and direct. State your decision clearly at the beginning of the conversation. If you stall or waver, you may give the impression that you are open to negotiation.

  • Acknowledge your own sadness. Make it clear that you are avoiding gatherings because of the virus, not because of your feelings about the person you are speaking with. If you are sad and disappointed to not be able to see them in person, say so. Tell them you miss them and that you are tired of the pandemic too.

  • Stay focused on your own comfort level. Be clear that you are making a personal decision based on your own risk tolerance. Use I statements. Don't get into a debate about the seriousness of COVID-19. It may help to frame your decision around concern for others, such as "I don't want to be responsible for putting you at risk."

  • Listen. Loved ones who were looking forward to seeing you may be hurt, disappointed, or angry at a change in plans. Take the time to listen to them and acknowledge their emotions without arguing. Be understanding if they need time to process their feelings.

  • Suggest alternatives - and follow through. Remind them that you still care about them and that there are other ways to stay connected. Offer to host a video call while cooking or eating dinner, or to drop off their favorite dish. Even if they are not interested in replacing a planned in-person event with a virtual one this time, you can make an effort to call or text to say hi more often.

If you choose to gather, take steps to lower risk

If you choose to attend an in-person gathering, be aware that this choice puts you and those you interact with at high risk. Please take the following precautions, which can reduce - although not eliminate - risk during social gatherings:

  • Keep the group small. The more different households mix together, the greater the risk. If you must meet in person, keep it to as few households as possible.

  • Meet outside. During the pandemic, outdoors is safer than indoors. Stay outside when around people you don't live with, even if it is cold.

  • Wear masks. Everyone should keep masks on except when actively eating or drinking. People who are at high risk due to age or underlying health conditions should wear surgical masks or respirators, if possible.

  • Watch the time. End your event after 2 hours. The longer a group spends together, the greater the risk of spread.

COVID-19 doesn't take holidays off. Transmission has never been higher and our healthcare system across the state is under threat. For the health of our whole community, please reconsider plans for in-person celebrations during this period. If you attend a social gathering, consider quarantining for 14 days afterward.

Last updated December 22, 2020


Questions? Contact covid19@cityofberkeley.info.

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