February 23, 2021 - Stay vigilant: COVID-19 Do’s and Don’ts

This message was sent to all undergraduate and graduate students on 02/23/21: 


Dear undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students,

The last few weeks have been challenging for the entire campus community, especially for the on-campus residents who have had to self-sequester and the professional and student staff supporting them. 
Your efforts made a huge difference in mitigating a significant COVID-19 surge and you should be proud. Our sincere hope is that we can learn from this experience and remember that our actions during this pandemic, good and bad, affect us all. 
Collectively, we have done an excellent job as a campus in keeping the virus at bay. Yet, with this easily spreading and deadly virus, the actions of a few can pose risks to us all. Gatherings – especially parties – threaten not only our campus community but the larger community of which we are a part. We must stay vigilant in fighting this disease. Act to protect yourself, your friends and the community to which we all belong


  • Know that those attending or organizing parties or other gatherings can face penalties. 
    • The City of Berkeley, with the support of campus officials and the University of California Police Department, has stepped up enforcement of off-campus properties hosting illegal gatherings and parties. The City will cite and fine individuals and organizations who violate public health orders to ensure compliance. They are increasing patrols, especially on the southside of campus.
    • Additionally, we have an increased presence of Community Security Officers (CSOs) and staff in and around residence halls (you may be required to show testing badges and/or Cal 1 Cards more frequently). Be aware that on-campus students are subject to serious residential conduct sanctions for not complying with campus directives including being disqualified from housing and suspended from the University.
  • Be aware of your community; what you do off-campus affects your fellow students and the City of Berkeley community. We have senior housing facilities adjacent to the campus; do your part to protect more vulnerable neighbors.
  • Socialize only with your household members (your student grouping in your residence hall, your roommates in your apartment or home), especially when inside.
  • If you live in a large household off-campus, consider creating smaller groups of 10 to 12 people as we have done in the residence halls to mitigate spread. The 10 to 12 people guidance is a limit, not a goal, and the smaller you keep your grouping, the better.
  • Understand that student organizations of any size (including fraternities and sororities) will not be considered a social bubble or grouping and are prohibited from gathering in-person, on or off -campus. If student organizations are found to have violated campus policies including COVID-19 directives ,or are found to have gathered in person (even while outdoors), we can and do discipline them (including student organizations, recognized fraternities and sororities, and other student groups) by issuing sanctions and revoking rights and privileges. Additionally, CalGreeks has a no events policy in place and fraternities or sororities can face consequences for noncompliance, such as a $1,000 fine issued by the Interfraternity Council (IFC).
  • Keep holding group activities virtually. Non-academic, in-person activities are suspended at least through March 28.
  • Participate in regular, free surveillance testing. On-campus students are required to test and we encourage students living off campus in congregate housing (co-ops, fraternities, sororities) to test regularly. Schedule your test
  • Remember, even if you don't get seriously ill from COVID-19, there can be lingering long-term health effects that can impact the rest of your life. There is still much about this disease we are learning, which is why you must protect yourself and others now.
  • Be honest with and get help from University Health Services if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Individual health information is confidential, and the University will not use general information obtained through contact tracing to impose discipline pursuant to the temporary COVID-19 conduct provisions; we need this information to help slow the spread, and to help you.
  • Unless otherwise directed by public health officials to protect others, get some exercise outdoors where you can physically distance. Avoid areas that are crowded, like beaches and picnic areas.
  • Be mindful of your mental health. Be attentive to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and consider reaching out for help if needed. Read more from fellow students about finding your balance, and visit the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) website to learn even more about resources available to you. You can call CAPS at (510) 642-9494, or call the after hours counseling line (855) 817-5667. Counselors are available for virtual counseling appointments by phone or video.  If you have questions about accessing available resources, even remotely or in places outside of California, UHS staff can assist you.
  • For students in the residence halls: abide by the No Guest Policy in the Residential Code of Conduct.
  • Remember your Keep Berkeley Healthy Pledge.
  • Wear a face covering when out in public or in shared spaces (be sure to cover both your nose and mouth).
  • Practice physical distancing at all times. Maintain at least 6 feet away from people outside your household whenever possible, even if you are wearing a face covering and have recently tested negative.
  • Regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and use hand sanitizer before and after every touch of a shared surface (doorknobs, etc.)
  • If you are in isolation or quarantine, stay away from your housemates and do not go out except for medical care.


  • Don’t let your guard down, even if you feel that you or your friends are low-risk. The incubation period of the virus is long and it can take time for symptoms to present. Even if you have recently tested negative, you can still contract the virus after testing and pass it on unknowingly. 
  • Don’t socialize with people outside of your household grouping.
  • Don't try to “outsmart” the virus. The public health guidelines work and they are your best defense against contracting COVID-19. 
  • Don’t throw or attend a gathering or party (even if you are outside, wearing face coverings and people have recently been tested). Reminder: Student organizations of any kind (including fraternities and sororities) are prohibited from holding any in-person gathering, meeting, or activity, regardless of the location or size. Even when on private property, student organizations who violate the campus temporary provision can lose their University recognition and lose their privileges. We also encourage the campus community to report possible violations to the Center for Student Conduct
  • If you have symptoms (even if you think it’s just allergies) or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, don’t go out. Stay home and contact your medical provider or the 24/7 University Health Services Advice Nurse.

Thank you for following these do and don’t tips. “Quarantine fatigue” is real and something we all are grappling with a year into this pandemic. But please do your part to protect yourself, your fellow students, and your community. Because Bears Protect Bears. 
Stephen C. Sutton, Ed.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
UC Berkeley

Dee Williams-Ridley
City Manager
City of Berkeley