November 20, 2020 - Thanksgiving & New COVID-19 Restrictions

The Stephen C. Sutton, Ed.D., Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Anna Harte, MD, Medical Director; Guy Nicolette, MD, CAQSM, Assistant Vice Chancellor; sent the following message to all undergraduate and graduate students on 11/20/20:

 

With the Thanksgiving holiday occurring next Thursday, November 26, and with new public health directives in California, we wish to share some important updates and reminders to help you make informed plans.

Due to a rise in statewide COVID-19 cases, a new public health order has been issued by the City of Berkeley. This order aligns local rules with new State of California restrictions that place Berkeley in the "purple" - or most restrictive - tier of the statewide COVID-19 framework.

Per the state’s recent stay-at-home requirements:

  • “All individuals living in the State of California are currently ordered to stay home or at their place of residence, except for permitted work, local shopping or other permitted errands, or as otherwise authorized.”
  • Furthermore, there is now a curfew in effect for California counties that are “purple” - including Alameda County where UC Berkeley is located. The curfew order prohibits gatherings with members of other households between 10PM and 5AM in “purple” counties until at least December 21, 2020.  (Refer here for the specific terms of the curfew.)

Thanksgiving travel: In alignment with recently updated state and CDC travel guidance, we are now strongly discouraging Thanksgiving holiday travel. 

  • If you are living in Berkeley and have not left: Please consider cancelling any travel outside the Bay Area at this time.
    • Students living in the residence halls: please refer to recent communications re: requirements and considerations. 
  • If you have already left for the holiday: We strongly encourage students who have already left campus or Berkeley (for example, to visit families) that they remain where they are for the remainder of the semester. 
    • Students living* in residence halls, suites and apartments will be required to continue to do regular COVID-19 surveillance testing twice a week (*this does not apply to residents of University Village). If you must travel, you should only depart if your last test before Thanksgiving is negative. If you must return, you will be expected to resume biweekly testing immediately upon arrival and self sequester for the first 7 days after your return and until your first two test results come back negative. 
    • For more details you may refer to a recent communication we’ve shared with students who may be considering leaving campus and returning

 

As a reminder, all classes are remote after Thanksgiving. As always, please follow all travel, self sequester, and testing guidance. And, of course, please continue to follow protocols such as physical distancing and wearing face coverings! (For more, visit: uhs.berkeley.edu/coronavirus/health-information). You can always visit the campus coronavirus.berkeley.edu website for the latest details.  

Curfew details: The curfew generally requires that all gatherings with members of other households cease between 10:00pm PST and 5:00am PST.  The curfew does not apply to persons experiencing homelessness. The curfew does not prevent any number of persons from the same household from leaving their home, as long as they do not engage in any interaction with (or otherwise gather with) any number of persons from any other household. Refer here for more specific details.

On-Campus students: While we recognize that not being able to visit family and friends this Thanksgiving is far from ideal, it is also important that we do our part to prevent virus transmission by avoiding unnecessary travel. The good news is that for those who are staying with us in our residence halls, we will have holiday options available:

  • Cal Dining will be OPEN but will have adjusted hours of operation. Crossroads will be open November 25-27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Note: Café 3, Clark Kerr, The Golden Bear Café,  Pizzeria 1868, The Den, Bear Market, and all other locations will remain closed on those days. The menu on Thanksgiving Day will include fall holiday favorites.
  • Residential Life: We suggest that you find unique ways to observe the holiday with your residential household grouping. Reach out to your RAs and check your community newsletter about specific holiday activities you can engage with in your “Berkeley Bubbles.”

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation and we appreciate those students who are abiding by shelter-in-place requirements. Together, we can help reduce virus transmission. We hope you have a restful Thanksgiving break, despite these unprecedented circumstances.