August 12, 2021 - Return to campus update: Fall 2021 health and safety actions

This is the second in our Back-to-School series. Read our top 10 tips to get ready for fall semester and stay tuned for a special Back-to-School Berkeley Life Roundup. 

 

Dear undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, 

I am happy to say that UC Berkeley is alight with activity in preparation for your arrival to campus. While this time of year is always exciting, the Fall 2021 semester marks a particularly wonderful moment when the community can once again welcome students in person. To help you prepare for the new year, this message outlines what you need to know about guidelines for returning to campus this month. I encourage you to review all community health expectations as part of finalizing your plans for arrival. 
 

Topics covered below:

  • Resuming In-person Instruction and Services

  • Student Success Toolkit

  • Ongoing Community Health Actions and Policies

  • Campus Arrival Guidelines

  • Accessing Student Spaces

  • Study Rooms for Remote Classes
     

Resuming In-person Instruction and Services

First, as a reminder about previous announcements, the university will:

  • Begin in-person instruction at the start of the fall semester. Most Fall 2021 classes are expected to be in person beginning on the first day of instruction, which for most programs is on August 25, 2021. The campus will not be observing a seven-day period of remote instruction as originally announced. 

    • Courses coded as “in-person” will meet primarily in person, and physical attendance on campus is expected.

    • Some classes, especially those with 200 or more students, may be remote. 

    • Remember that the component parts of a course may have different instruction modes. Check the instruction mode in the class schedule for details.

    • *If you need accommodations for a disability in order to fully participate in your in-person courses, visit the Disabled Students’ Program website to apply for services.

  • Resume in-person student services for the start of fall semester. 

    • Most campus services will offer combinations of in-person and remote options to better accommodate student preferences and schedules.

    • Check department websites to see hours of operation for student services.

  • Be prepared for changes!

    • Campus rules and policies may change due to the ongoing pandemic and any changes in public health guidance. We will communicate with you any such changes, and we appreciate your understanding and cooperation. 
       

Student Success Toolkit

The Student Success Toolkit is a resource hub for all Golden Bears. The toolkit has been updated with detailed information to help you transition to campus this fall. Find information on how to Navigate Student Spaces, resources to help you Build Belonging and Community, plus updates and FAQS about student services

 

Ongoing Community Health Actions and Policies

UC Berkeley students are called to help protect the community by adhering to campus public health and safety requirements. All members of the university are expected to take part in the following actions.

  • Get Vaccinated. On July 15, the University of California vaccination program became official, requiring all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated or receive a vaccine mandate exception to access campus. Read the UC FAQs for students for details and answers to common questions. If you have not already done so, upload a record of your vaccination (PDF) to eTang, plan to get vaccinated, or learn how to apply for an exemption

  • Wear face coverings when indoors or as directed. In alignment with recent guidance from the UC Office of the President and the city of Berkeley health order, face coverings are required indoors at all times, regardless of vaccination status. Visit the campus face covering information page for details. 

    • Students and community members in university spaces (indoors or outdoors) will need to wear face coverings as directed by policy or by posted signs. 

    • There are exceptions for when you are alone in a room by yourself with the door closed or when eating or drinking. If you live in campus housing, you do not need to wear face coverings while in your own room or apartment, regardless of vaccination status.

    • Even when not required, you’re still welcome to wear a face covering.

  • Assist in Contact Tracing:

    • If you are contacted by the UHS COVID Response Team contact tracers, please respond promptly. Contact tracing is a primary way to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and UC Berkeley works closely with local public health agencies to track positive cases and limit their spread. UHS will call you on your phone in the event of potential exposure to COVID-19 or a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, and will also send a secure message in the eTang portal when possible. Contact tracers are not able to send text messages. 

    • Activate CA Notify on your phone to find out if you were exposed to COVID-19. You can also notify others if you test positive, while remaining anonymous. Your personal information is never collected, so you and those around you can stay safe.

Campus Arrival Guidelines: Testing and Self-Sequestering 

Please review the UHS COVID Arrival Guidelines, which detail the testing, vaccination, and self-sequestering requirements for students. Find details specific to your vaccination status, housing situation, and whether you’re arriving from an international location. A few key points to note:

  • All students coming to campus must get tested by University Health Services (UHS) at least one time, regardless of vaccination status. If you have not already been tested through UHS, you will need to schedule a COVID-19 testing appointment (PDF). Visit the campus surveillance testing page to find your required testing frequency. Community members with approved vaccine exemptions will require testing at least once a week.

  • International students, or students arriving from international destinations, should get tested before leaving their country of origin and again at UHS five days after arrival in the United States. Unvaccinated international students must sequester for seven days after arrival. Self-sequestering means that you should leave your room only to pick up meals, use the restroom, engage in solo outdoor exercise, or receive urgent medical care. View FAQs for international students from the Berkeley International Office.

  • Students living in campus housing, whether fully vaccinated or not, are required to take a UHS Move-in COVID-19 test on their Move-In day, and abide by other guidance specific to campus housing residents. Unvaccinated students living in campus housing are required to self-sequester for seven days (regardless of test results) upon arrival in Berkeley. Learn more about Move-In, or about expectations for living in campus housing this year.

Accessing Student Spaces

Please note that you will need to follow the community health actions and policies outlined above in order to access student spaces on campus. Additional key regulations are listed below. For detailed information about the accessing student spaces on campus, visit Navigate Student Spaces

  • Be prepared to show your Campus Access Badge. Students may be asked to present a green access badge to gain access to university buildings on or adjacent to campus. You can easily access your badge in the UC Berkeley Mobile app. In order to be in compliance with your COVID-19 related requirements and for your Campus Access Badge to turn green, you will need to complete the following tasks:

    • Daily Symptom Screener: you will complete this through the app each day you come to campus.

    • You must receive at least one COVID-19 test through UHS (as noted above).

    • COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Compliance: The Campus Access Badge will indicate whether you are in compliance with the COVID-19 Vaccine Policy. Compliance means that you have either (a) been fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks past the final dose of vaccine) or (b) received an exemption and continue to take weekly surveillance tests.

  • Students who have received an approved vaccine mandate exemption (for medical or religious reasons) can receive in-person services but will need to follow face covering guidance inside any campus building (aside from a personal residence) and will need to be tested at least once per week. 

  • Unvaccinated students who do not have an approved exemption will not be permitted to enroll and will be directed not to attend classes or participate in on-campus activities.
     

Study Rooms for Remote Classes

One common question asked about Fall 2021 was whether there would be locations on campus where students can take part in classes that are delivered remotely. The answer is yes! You will be able to use the new Remote Learning Room Calendar to find study spaces (availability begins Aug. 25) on campus where you can stream classes that will still be held remotely. The Office of the Registrar will continue to add and update the available spaces as circumstances change, so check the calendar each day prior to using one of the rooms. Spaces are offered on a first-come, first-service basis; please do not enter a room if it is already full. 

As the arrival of autumn is a sign of changing seasons, so, too, does this fall represent change and the beginning of a new chapter for UC Berkeley. Together we have endured the physical and mental fatigue of a pandemic and I am proud to say—we have not been defeated. Through any surprises or unexpected change, we are resilient. 

I appreciate each of you for your commitment to excellence and integrity through all the trials that you have faced. Know that you bring a valuable voice and perspective to this university. Whatever challenges and triumphs your journey brings, the members of this community are here to support and cheer you along the way. See you soon, Bears! 

 

Sincerely,
Stephen C. Sutton, Ed.D. (he/him/his)
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

 

This message was sent to all undergraduate and graduate students.