Coronavirus (COVID-19): Housing FAQs

Housing Information

Last updated 05/22/20
This page is currently under construction. New information will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.

For students who choose to live on-campus, we are committed to working with you to promote safety and health in your living environment.

 

 

General Questions:

 

Financial / Resource Questions:

 


 
 

Will university staff be on campus to help support those students who stay?

Yes. Each residence hall is managed by full-time staff and modified dining services will be available. Critical student support staff will be available to students, including the University of California Police Department (UCPD), the University Health Services (including Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS)), and Residential Life, custodial, and facilities staff.

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May I still complete the census as a resident of Berkeley?

Yes! For every person not counted, our community loses $10,000. If you have been living in on-campus housing or another type of group housing near campus, please still complete the census as a resident of Berkeley. You can do so online or by phone. More details will be forthcoming on the CalCounts website. In addition, be on the lookout for upcoming emails to our residents with details on completing the census as a resident of Berkeley.

 

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What should I do if I have Basic Needs questions or need resources? 

The Basic Needs Center serves as a resource hub for undergraduate and graduate students who need support around their food, housing, and financial needs. Services include case management, emergency housing, CalFresh, and emergency food resources, as well as basic needs drop-in services. If you or someone you know is in immediate need of emergency food, housing or financial resources, please email basicneedssupport@berkeley.edu or call (510) 859-7507 (MON-FRI 9-6 PM) for immediate support. 

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Will the Food Pantry remain open? 

Yes, however, note that the Basic Needs Center is transitioning from a daily food pantry operation to a weekly operation. Basic Needs Center/Food Pantry COVID-19 updates are here: tinyurl.com/UCB-BNC-C19.

Also, note that the UVA pantry and diaper bank (for University Village residents) remain open and operating on the normal schedule.

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What steps are Cal Housing and Cal Dining taking to prevent the spread of germs?

  • The staff is focusing on cleaning tables and touchpoints throughout our facilities. 
  • Staff are instructed to wash hands frequently. This is currently part of production standards with staff washing hands between tasks, after taking breaks, between changing gloves and as required by health code.
  • Culinary staff wears disposable nitrile gloves anytime they are producing a product that is ready to eat for the consumer. They also use gloves when serving the customer.
  • Dining has several stations throughout each facility that provide sanitizer to guests.
  • Dining has also moved away from self-serve stations.

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What happens if a confirmed case occurs?

Confirmed cases have been reported in our campus community, but not currently in our residential halls. 

Please note that due to privacy laws, we are precluded from sharing any student or community member’s personal information.

University Health Services (Tang Center) has set up screening procedures for individuals who come to the Tang Center who are at high risk and are showing symptoms. Local public health officials would alert University Health Services if there is a positive case in our campus community and would share that information with the campus.

If self-isolation of a resident is required, we will ensure that residents have meal service and other resources they may need during the 14-day isolation period. We will also work closely with University Health Services (UHS) and the Public Health Department to ensure the safety of our campus community and to limit spread.

We wish to remind you to please pay attention to campus emails and messages on our websites (like the campus information page and the Student Affairs information page), and official social media channels (such as the campus Twitter which you may wish to follow). These will be your best sources for accurate and timely updates, including if there are confirmed cases on campus. 

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Will summer housing be available?

If you need to stay on campus through the summer, please contact Cal Housing as they offer summer housing in a variety of locations and are happy to work with you on ensuring a safe and healthy place to live on or near campus.

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Do I need to self-isolate now that a case has been confirmed on campus?

No. Public health officials have determined that there are no high risk contacts from this case, meaning no one is at significantly higher risk of contracting it from the infected individual than would be expected in the general population. 

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What happens if there is a confirmed case in the residential halls?

In the event a resident is required to self-isolate, we will relocate the resident to a safe location (which may not be their original room) and ensure that the resident is isolated. However, we will make sure they have meal service and other resources they may need during the isolation period. We will also work closely with University Health Services (UHS) and the Public Health Department to ensure the safety of our campus community and to limit spread. 

We wish to remind you to please pay attention to campus emails and messages on our websites (like the campus information page and the Student Affairs information page), and official social media channels (such as the campus Twitter which you may wish to follow). These will be your best sources for accurate and timely updates, including if there are confirmed cases on campus. 

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Does my family have health insurance?

All registered students at the University of California are required to meet the university’s health insurance mandate. Registered UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students are automatically enrolled in the Berkeley Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) as a way to meet this mandate unless they have proof of other qualifying health insurance. Voluntary SHIP plans provide coverage for “dependents” such as a spouse or registered domestic partner and dependent children. See https://uhs.berkeley.edu/insurance/insurance-dependents, or for additional questions, (510) 642-2000.

For non-student residents without SHIP, the City of Berkeley has information on its website around assistance with signing up for Medical.  

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Do I still have access to my Berkeley SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan) if I already returned home?

Yes. You still have access to your SHIP plan, even if you are an international student and left the country. Due to COVID-19, we have made temporary adjustments to allow for 90-day prescriptions, routine care internationally, and the removal of referral requirements from University Health Services. Because we are still providing SHIP services, we will not be providing refunds at this time. More information on SHIP is available here.

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What if I can't afford to pay my rent any more?

Our goal is to provide our students and student families with basic needs support during these trying times. We are committed to keeping students in their homes.In the event you cannot pay your rent, contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office (create a case online) as soon as possible to examine your financial aid options including emergency grants and emergency loans. If you live on campus, please contact Cal Housing at apts@berkeley.edu as soon as possible. If needed, Cal Housing will work with you to figure out an appropriate repayment schedule. Students who cannot pay rent to the campus will not be evicted, the campus will work with them on an individualized basis to come up with a solution that works for them.

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