Health & Wellness for Bears Who Care

Last updated 09/28/20

In-depth information and resources about how we are all able to do our part to help keep the UC Berkeley community healthy, safe, and well!


Commitment to Community Health

Keep Berkeley Healthy Pledge

All UC Berkeley students will need to accept the Keep Berkeley Healthy Pledge (available through CalCentral). The pledge creates a shared understanding of the expectations between the University and Berkeley students and holds each accountable for the measures that will be taken to protect the community. For students moving into campus housing, additional expectations are outlined in the Residential Code of Conduct.


Asymptomatic COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Requirements (Unvaccinated)

If you have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, you must participate in regular surveillance testing to identify asymptomatic residents and thereby reduce the size of outbreaks. Testing is required for on-campus residence hall students twice per week. Testing is highly recommended for students in campus apartments. Regular testing helps the community identify and address potential COVID-19 outbreaks before they have a chance to spread and is especially important for identifying infectious asymptomatic individuals. This testing will be free of charge, regardless of your insurance. For more on campus surveillance testing, please visit UHS’ surveillance testing page.


Asymptomatic COVID-19 Surveillance Testing (Fully Vaccinated)

Effective April 1, 2021, campus surveillance testing requirements changed for fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students. You’re considered fully vaccinated 14 days after your final vaccine dose.  Please visit UHS’ surveillance testing page, for more information on how to stay compliant while fully vaccinated. 
Please also watch this brief video to learn why it’s important to continue taking precautions even after you’re fully vaccinated.

Upload Your Vaccine Records
Students who have been vaccinated outside of University Health Services are strongly encouraged to upload their vaccine records to eTang. When you log onto eTang, click Medical Clearances and update the COVID-19 Vaccine section by uploading a photo of your vaccine card and entering vaccine date(s) and type. A COVID-19 vaccine declination form and process will also be rolled out soon.


Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing 

For any student experiencing symptoms or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 (or any students with concerns), please call the University Health Services Advice Line 24/7 at 510-643-7197 for consultation or an appointment. You can also call if you are unsure if you need to be seen. If you feel significantly ill, stop by the Durant side of the University Health Services building to be assessed in the COVID-19 testing tent, Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm. For those living outside the Berkeley area or needing assistance outside of business hours, you may need to go directly to the nearest emergency room. 


UHS Testing Free for Enrolled Students

You do NOT need to be enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get tested or be assessed by UHS. There is no out-of-pocket cost to be tested at UHS, it is covered by the university and/or insurance as part of the public health and safety measures to stop the spread of coronavirus. All testing requires a clinician’s orders. If you have tested positive through another medical provider or testing location, please call the University Health Services CONFIDENTIAL line at 510-643-8227 to inform our clinical teams, to help us support you and guide our campus.


Community Health Etiquette Requirements

See University Health Services’ Bears Protect Bears guidelines for best practices to protect yourself and others. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors need to follow all COVID-19 related regulations when in university buildings and spaces, including:

  • Wear a face covering that covers both the nose and mouth at all times (exceptions for students living on campus when in their private residence). 
  • Practice physical distancing at all times.  
  • Follow local public health ordinances. 
  • Adhere to public health practices including hand hygiene, proper cough/sneeze etiquette, symptom assessment, and temperature checks.
  • Follow testing requirements and recommendations, as shared by University Health Services. 
  • For students living on campus, only interact with students within your household grouping when indoors. 


Daily Symptom Screener

Students who visit buildings on campus or who live in UC residential spaces are required to complete a daily symptoms screener. Residential spaces do not require a daily symptom screener but we do encourage it. You can access the Daily Symptom Screener in one of a variety of ways:

Essential student researchers and student workers who must work on campus are required to complete a symptom screener every day before entering campus.


Online Training for Campus Workers

Essential student researchers and student workers who must work on campus are required to take a 10 minute online training (consult your PI or your supervisor for details). In the coming weeks, all students who will be on campus, including residential students, will be required to take a similar training. Stay tuned for additional information about this important training.


Social Bubbles and Self-Sequestering 

For outdoor gatherings only, the current public health order allows the formation of “social bubbles” of 10 to 12 people, with restrictions stating that people can only participate in one bubble at a time. When switching social bubbles, we advise an initial self-sequester or quarantine period (see below). Refer to the City of Berkeley’s COVID-19 information page for more details. Student organizations of any size will not be considered a social bubble and are prohibited from gathering in-person, on or off campus. 


Self-Sequestering Guidelines

In accordance with CDC guidelines, we recommend that you self-sequester or quarantine for 14 days any time you switch living locations, including arriving in Berkeley from outside the Bay Area, and in particular after any air travel. Sequestering is a preventative measure where people deliberately restrict their movement to avoid contact with others. As such, visiting family and friends for the weekend is not advisable. If you return home for Thanksgiving, you will be expected to self-sequester upon returning. After Winter Break there will be another sequestration period as well.


Your Social Bubble and Household Grouping

For students living locally off campus, your household members (your family or your roommates) should be your primary social bubble. The 10 to 12 people guidance is a limit, not a goal, and the smaller you keep your bubble, the better.

Students living on campus are assigned to a household grouping to help them more easily create a community with those living near them. Each grouping will include no more than 12 students. Residential household groupings are the group of students who share the same restroom. Apartment household grouping are the group of students who share the same apartment. These assigned groupings will be the social bubbles for campus residents, and will allow residents to gather outdoors with their assigned residential household grouping as their social bubble (but with no one else). The campus will assign these groupings (residential students are not allowed to create their own).


Navigating Residential Household Grouping

During the first few weeks, students in the same residential household grouping are encouraged to use the roommate agreement form to establish group expectations. Students are encouraged to communicate with those in their residential household grouping regularly about their needs and concerns as they arise. Note that all students must adhere to public health orders and pandemic mitigating measures (such as wearing face coverings and physical distancing), even when interacting within groupings. If you have any questions about expectations in the residence halls or want advice on how to connect, reach out to your residential hall staff member (RA/TPRA/SRA) or your Resident Director/Senior Resident Director. 


Can Parents and Guests Visit Campus?

For on campus properties, state guidelines prohibit visitors. Exceptions will also be granted for students with accessibility or care needs, students in distress, or with other special needs. Family members and supporters who reside with their students or provide caregiving or other support in on campus housing are permitted. Otherwise, parents, supporters, guests and visitors are not permitted and should not come to campus.


Notification and Contact Tracing for COVID-19

Coronavirus is widespread throughout the United States. You can track the UC Berkeley coronavirus dashboard to check new cases and trends on campus. 


Contact Reporting is Anonymous

It is understandable that you may want to know if someone near you tested positive. Generally, we cannot disclose that information. Under federal health privacy law, we are not able to release identifying personal information, and individuals are not compelled to share this information. That being said, University Health Services will engage in rigorous contact tracing and notify individuals and groups that have had close contact with people who have tested positive. They will also work with Environment, Health & Safety to guide appropriate cleaning and disinfection of affected areas.


Tracing Notification 

In most cases, you will only be notified if the contract tracers determined you were in close contact (more than 15 minutes of contact within 6-feet distance) with the individual who tested positive. Simply working or living in the same building with someone who recently tested positive does not put you at higher risk for getting the virus. In most cases, your risk would be no greater than your everyday risk posed by community spread. In most cases, your risk would be no greater than your everyday risk posed by community spread. Students who cooperate with public health measures and serious misconduct investigations will not be disciplined pursuant to the temporary provisions related to COVID-19. The University will not use information obtained through contact tracing to impose discipline. 


Stay Informed with Emergency Alerts

The university will continue to monitor the situation on campus, and may issue additional emergency notifications to the campus community if there is a significant change. All UC Berkeley email addresses are automatically registered to receive emergency notifications. You can view or edit your UC Berkeley email address via the CalNet directory, or add your cell phone number to receive text alerts on the UC Berkeley WarnMe web site.


If You’re Not Feeling Well

If you think you may be sick, call the Nurse Advice Line (24/7) at 510-643-7197. If you are in the local area, they can help you get services at University Health Services or other providers as appropriate. If you are away from campus, University Health Services may advise you on getting services where you are, if needed. If you are having difficulty breathing or other severe symptoms, you should seek help at the nearest emergency room.


Help Slow the Spread

If you feel sick, please remain home and avoid contact with anyone – include those in your living situation. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. 


Quarantine Housing on Campus

The university is setting aside isolation and quarantine facilities in the Foothill residential complex. The isolation and quarantine facilities are for students diagnosed with COVID-19 and exhibiting mild symptoms, or for those awaiting the results of their test. Staff will assist students in getting essentials such as meals. Onsite medical care is not provided, however the COVID-19 Response Nurses at UHS will stay in close contact with students within these units by phone, and University Health Services offers many of its regular services via phone or video. Students with severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should be in a medical facility. University Health Services can assist students in determining where they should be.


If You Test Positive

You will not be required to leave campus just because you test positive; however, if you test positive you will be required to adhere to public health guidelines including providing information to assist with contact tracing. University Health Services will provide guidance. If you test positive, you will be able to resume activities once University Health Services confirms you have recovered and are no longer infectious.


Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot!

To support the health and well-being of our communities and avoid overwhelming our medical providers, the University of California has issued a systemwide executive order requiring all members of the UC community to receive an influenza immunization before Nov. 1, 2020. More information will be provided as we get closer to the deadline.


Other COVID-19 Related Support

Please visit the Academic Accommodations Hub if you require academic accommodations because of COVID-19 (illness, hardship, etc.). 

Download the latest version of UC Berkeley Mobile App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. It provides easy access to tools you need like the Daily Symptom Screener, COVID-19 testing options, and other information to help you navigate the physical campus safely.