February 1, 2021 - URGENT: Sequestering Effective 02/01/2021 for all residential hall residents

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 2/1/21:

 

Dear residential student,

We are reaching out to give you urgent news. Your Residential Life staff will also be reaching out to you with further details, but please pay attention to the following important information.

Effective immediately today Monday, February 1, 2021, all campus residential hall residents must self-sequester through at least Monday, February 8, 2021. You are required to remain in your room as much as possible and wear a face covering while in all common areas, including bathrooms (unless brushing your teeth, washing your face, showering, etc.).  You may leave your household grouping only to obtain medical care including mental health care, to comply with your testing requirements, in case of emergency, and to obtain food according to a process that will be explained to you in separate communications and by your hall staff.

We are still experiencing a surge in positive student cases of COVID-19. It is essential that we are able to support our community, including ensuring that we have proper isolation and quarantine spaces. It is also vital that we “flatten the curve” and reduce the spread within our community.

This period will be very similar to the self-sequester we required of you at the start of the semester. Self-sequestering is a preventative measure where people intentionally restrict their movement to avoid physical contact with others.

  • Cal Dining meals: Residential Life staff will work with you and/or your grouping on how to get Cal Dining meals starting tomorrow, February 2. We will likely have outdoor pick-up options and we will ensure a schedule for household groupings/residential floors to remain separated.  Cal Dining will have meals available to meet your dietary restrictions and needs. You will receive more details from Cal Dining and Residential Life staff on this. For food options today only, you should go to your nearest dining commons. 
  • Elevators in many buildings may be out of general use at certain times to allow our staff to safely provide necessities, and to allow groupings to get meals in an orderly fashion. If you urgently need to leave your floor, please first contact your hall staff. 
  • Our campus health experts are consulting with public health officials on if outdoor exercise may be permitted, and we will provide more information on this in the near future. In the meantime, it is imperative that you do not leave your household grouping, except for the exceptions noted above. 

Keep following best practices: As always, please continue to follow protocols such as physical distancing, handwashing, and wearing face coverings. Bears Protect Bears

You must also continue to be tested twice-per-week as you have been required to do throughout this semester, and per the current Public Health Directive this MUST be according to the Monday-Thursday or Tuesday-Friday schedule previously communicated, with no more than 3-4 days between tests. Schedule your test. Students experiencing symptoms or who identify as contacts to COVID-19 will be directed to UHS for testing rather than to the surveillance sites, per eTang. As always, please reach out to UHS if you need medical or mental health support.

We understand that you will have a number of questions regarding this news and we are updating a web page where we will be adding information as this situation develops and as we receive updated guidance. We also understand some students may wish to leave campus to temporarily or permanently live elsewhere (e.g., with family members). Be mindful that returning to other locations can create a risk of exposing others, even if your last test had a negative result. We strongly advise against traveling at this time. Further, if you do choose to leave campus, be aware you will not be able to return to campus for at least two weeks per public health directives. We will be following up separately with more details on this topic.

Again, this is for one week at this time (until at least February 8) and your specific residential staff members will be in touch with you with further details specific to your individual building. Please also continue to monitor your Berkeley email address for more important announcements. 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