April 22, 2020 - Face coverings required in the City of Berkeley and on campus

The Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division, Lisa García Bedolla, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Stephen C. Sutton, sent the following message to all undergraduate and graduate students on 04/22/20:



You may recall that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that everyone wear face coverings when away from home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Please be aware that this is now mandatory in the City of Berkeley, including on our campus.

The city is requiring a face covering be worn in common areas indoors, such as hallways, elevators, stairwells, laundry and mail rooms, and dining halls. If you work for the university on campus, please contact your supervisor for instructions about wearing a face covering at work. This health order also stipulates that face coverings must be worn when you go grocery shopping, visit the pharmacy, or take a walk. 

Additionally, the city is requiring that the campus refuse services to people who are not wearing face coverings, including dining services. You may be denied entry to campus facilities if you don’t wear a face covering. 

For students in the residential halls — you are not required to wear a face covering when you are in your bedroom or when you are using communal bathrooms in the residential hall, but you do need to wear one in the hallways. As a reminder, you should not be socializing in person or entering other people’s bedrooms or apartments while the shelter-in-place restrictions are in effect.

A facial covering can be a bandana, scarf, or cloth mask that covers your mouth and nose (save N95 and medical masks for healthcare providers). A face covering is not a replacement for vigilant physical distancing. We acknowledge that wearing a facial covering presents unique challenges for marginalized communities. 

If you have a medical or disability-related reason as to why it is not appropriate for you to wear a face covering, contact UHS for guidance at (510) 643-7197. You can also read about the exceptions to the face covering requirement in the City of Berkeley’s order.

Wearing a cloth face covering is meant to protect others, not the wearer of the covering. Recent studies have suggested that it’s possible to transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. Wearing a cloth face covering decreases the chances of unknowingly transmitting the virus to others. You should contact the UHS advice line at (510) 643-7197 if you have symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath), had close sustained contact with a known positive case of COVID-19, or if you are waiting for test results for COVID-19. We can provide you support, guidance and testing if needed.

Thank you for continuing to do your part as we all seek to further bend the curve.