January 31, 2021 - Help reduce virus transmission in our community

Anna Harte, MD, Medical Director, University Health Services; Guy Nicolette, MD, CAQSM, Assistant Vice Chancellor; and Glenn DeGuzman, Director, Residential Life, Associate Dean of Students sent the following message to all students living in the residence halls on 1/31/21:

 

Dear residential student,

As you may be aware, we’ve seen a surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases amongst students, including some students who live in campus housing. As we are committed to your safety and well-being, we are asking for your help in reducing virus transmission. 

We understand that local “shelter in place” orders may have been lifted, but with the current levels of rising transmission, we need to each do all that we can to help keep ourselves and our community healthy.  Berkeley remains in the Purple Tier, due to widespread community transmission, and the current public health order prohibits gathering indoors with people outside your household.

Due to this surge, our quarantine housing is experiencing higher than normal occupancy. When a person has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, that person must quarantine, per public health requirements. The campus maintains quarantine space at the Foothill Housing complex for students who live on campus and learn they must quarantine, but that space is limited.  

To help clarify some terms you’ve likely seen: 

  • Students in “isolation” are those who have tested positive for COVID, or are believed to be positive and may be waiting for results. 
  • Students in dedicated “quarantine” spaces are those who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or who live within the same household grouping as a confirmed COVID (+) case.

So, if you are hearing of a student grouping being quarantined - it means we are doing so out of an abundance of caution, not that an entire group contains positive cases. Nevertheless, it’s important that we have quarantine spaces to help reduce virus transmission. 

You can do your part to help your residential community. Do not gather with those outside your grouping, practice physical distance, and ALWAYS wear face coverings. Taking risks, such as gathering outside your grouping, can increase the chance that we run out of quarantine spaces in the near future. These spaces are critical for us to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 so please protect your fellow Bears and those in our community by adhering to these guidelines. 

Important Reminders:

  • Do not attend any gatherings or events. We cannot stress this enough - right now it is critical that you avoid gatherings - large or small - with people outside your immediate residential “bubble” (i.e., people who you do not immediately live with), especially inside, and even if your most recent COVID test is negative.
  • Participate in mandatory regular, free surveillance testing: All residents in our residential halls, apartments and suites are required to test twice-per-weekSchedule your test
  • Any student experiencing symptoms or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 (or any students with concerns), please stay in your room and follow the instructions outlined on the University Health Services page.
  • Keep following best practices: As always, please continue to follow protocols such as physical distancing, handwashing, and wearing face coverings. Bears Protect Bears

As always, reach out to your hall staff with any questions. 

Sincerely,

Anna Harte, MD
Medical Director
University Health Services

Guy Nicolette, MD, CAQSM
Assistant Vice Chancellor

Glenn DeGuzman 
Director, Residential Life
Associate  Dean of Students
Office of the Dean of Students