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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School reopening information

Back to school information for families

Many Berkeley families are about to send their children back to in-person learning for the first time in over a year. Some aspects of school will be the same, but others will look and feel different for students and their parents or guardians.

The information in on this page is meant to help prepare parents and guardians for the return to in-person school.

On this page

Berkeley Public Health supports school reopening

Science and data show that it is safe for all grades of public and private schools to open for in-person instruction. Berkeley Public Health strongly supports schools reopening as soon as possible.

A dedicated team works directly with schools in Berkeley to prepare them to re-open safely. The Schools Team work includes:

  • learning sessions for school COVID Liaisons and stakeholders to learn about COVID-19, receive policy updates, and strengthen their schools’ ability to respond quickly and effectively to symptoms, cases, and exposures
  • a COVID-19 Toolkit with reference information, tools, and templates for school staff
  • campus visits to provide technical assistance before and after schools reopen
  • ongoing consultation and support to any school that requests it

Additionally, Berkeley Public Health has offered vaccinations to all school teachers, staff, and administrators living or working in Berkeley.

Reopening information for your child's school

State rules allow public and private schools of all grades TK-12 to open for in-person instruction. Before reopening, each school must:

  1. Create a COVID-19 safety plan that documents the steps they are taking to keep students and staff safe.

  2. Post their safety plan on the homepage of the school’s website at least 5 days before re-opening.

Visit your school's website to read their COVID-19 plan.

COVID-19 safety measures at schools

State reopening guidance requires all schools to adopt certain COVID-19 safety practices to ensure the safety of students and staff. Measures to expect at your school include, but are not limited to:

  • Masks: All adults and all students, ages 2 and up, must wear face coverings at all times except when eating and drinking (unless medically exempt).

  • Physical distancing: Desks and people will be spaced further apart and expected to maintain that spacing throughout the day.

  • Pick up and drop off: Each school will have its own systems to avoid crowds during the beginning and end of the school day. Your child’s school day will likely be staggered, with different groups of students arriving and departing at intervals, and through multiple entrances.

  • Stable groups: Particularly for younger students TK – 5, children will be kept in small groups with fixed membership that will stay together throughout the day without mixing with other groups for any activities. All aspects of the school day, including recess, will be designed to maintain this key safety measure.

  • Parents remain off-campus: State guidance limits on school visitors to people whose role is “essential” to the school’s functioning.

  • Bring your own water bottle: Water fountains have been disabled at most schools.

  • Meals outdoors: Schools are required to keep all eating outside or in child’s home classroom.

For detailed information on state standards for in-person instruction during COVID-19, see the California Safe Schools for All Hub, where you’ll find:

Screening, symptoms, or exposures at school

State guidance requires daily symptom and exposure screening for students and staff.

Most schools will encourage families to conduct these screenings at home and report the results to the school daily. Students and staff exhibiting symptoms or who have been exposed will be asked to stay home or, if at school, be sent home immediately.

The following handouts detail what steps you'll need to take in the event of symptoms or exposure:

Berkeley Public Health requires that each school designate two staff COVID-19 Liaisons, who are responsible for tracking and responding to suspected and confirmed COVID cases and exposures, and who work closely with Berkeley Public Health on COVID-19 issues.

For questions about your school's procedures, contact your school's COVID-19 Liaisons.

Supporting children as schools reopen

With desks far apart, teachers maintaining physical distance, and limited mixing between groups, the school experience will be very different both from what children have experienced during the past year and what they were used to before the pandemic.

You can help support your child’s successful return to school:

  • Before school reopens, talk with your child about how school will be different.

  • Once school starts, talk with your child about how school is going. Ask how they feel and let them know that what they are feeling is normal.

  • Watch for behavior changes, including excessive crying or irritation, excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, difficulty concentrating. These may be signs your child is struggling with stress and anxiety and needs additional support.

  • Be a role model for your child by modeling healthy self-care behaviors: take breaks, get enough sleep, exercise, eat well, and stay socially connected.

For more, see recommendations from Berkeley Mental Health on supporting children and teens during COVID-19 and the CDC’s COVID-19 parental resources toolkit.


Last updated March 22, 2021

Questions? Contact covid19@cityofberkeley.info.

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