August 9, 2021 - Housing COVID safety

Dear Golden Bear, 

We couldn’t be more excited to welcome you to your new home at UC Berkeley this year. Living on campus includes many resources and services, available both in person and online, as well as some important rules that help support you and the campus community. Campus life will be in full swing this fall with lots of opportunities to connect with fellow students and get to know Berkeley. This message details what you can expect during Move-In and your first few weeks on campus. Please review to make sure you understand the expectations for living in campus housing for 2021-22. We’re in this together! 

Before you read through the details, here are the top things to remember:

  • Face coverings must be worn indoors while in campus housing and dining facilities unless you are inside your own room or apartment, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or eating/drinking. 
  • You must take a free University Health Services (UHS) Move-In COVID-19 Test on your Move-In day prior to checking in.
  • If you are unvaccinated, you must self-sequester in your room for seven days upon arrival and get a UHS COVID-19 test once per week after Move-in. 
  • We recommend that you limit interacting indoors with others during the first two weeks of the semester as we await Move-In COVID-19 test results. 
  • Some common areas (study centers and lounges) in residence halls will be closed until October 1. Gyms in residence halls may be closed for a longer time.
  • Housing complexes will continue to have residential life, housing, custodial, maintenance, and other critical staff on site and those offices are open for service.

You are accountable for following both the UC Berkeley Student Code of Conduct and the Residential Code of Conduct, which is a subset of the Berkeley code. If there is a conflict between the Residential Code of Conduct and the state of California health guidelines, you must follow the state guidelines if they are more restrictive than the campus guidelines. You can also read the latest campus updates about Academic Year 2021–22. 

Move-In Health Guidance

The Move-In homepage is updated with critical information to help you prepare for arriving at Berkeley. You may have a maximum of two helpers for Move-In, so as to limit density. You and your Move-In helpers will need to wear face coverings, and please do not share the elevator with other residents and their helpers during your move. 
COVID-19 Test on Move-In DayIn order to live in campus housing, whether fully vaccinated or not, you must take a free University Health Services (UHS) Move-In COVID-19 test prior to checking in and getting your keys. Appointments are required. You must get your UHS COVID-19 test on the same day that you move in, and tests from other providers will not be accepted. Your helpers will not need to take a COVID-19 test. We strongly encourage your helpers to get vaccinated prior to Move-In, but it is not required. 

COVID-19 Testing for International Students or Students Arriving from Abroad: If you’re coming to Berkeley from outside the US, take a COVID-19 test before you leave, and then again five days after your arrival. In addition, you will need to take a free Move-In COVID-19 test on Move-In Day (as detailed above). Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days after arrival, and if you develop symptoms, get tested and call UHS at (510) 642-2000 right away. If you are unvaccinated, you will need to self-sequester for seven days after you arrive (see details below). During self-sequestration, getting vaccinated is allowed and strongly recommended, as long as the daily campus symptom screener is completed the day of getting a vaccine.

Do Not Come to Move-In with COVID-19 Symptoms
If you or your helpers have symptoms that may be COVID-19, please do not come to Move-In. We would encourage you to take a PCR lab test, and remain at home until you have received a negative test result and your symptoms have abated. Please contact Cal Housing (send an email to to let us know that you will miss Move-In and we can help set up an alternate Move-In date. Also, please contact UHS at (510) 642-2000 if you test positive or have any questions.

After Move-In Day


Face Coverings Required in Housing and Dining FacilitiesRegardless of your vaccination status, you’re required to continue to wear a face covering indoors unless you are inside your room or apartment, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or eating. You do not need to wear a face covering when inside your room or apartment, regardless of your vaccination status. When in Cal Dining indoor dining facilities, you are required to wear a face covering unless you are eating or drinking.

Initial Sequestering for Unvaccinated Students: If you have not yet been fully vaccinated by the time you move in, you will be required to self-sequester in your room or apartment for seven days, regardless of your Move-In COVID-19 test results. You will need to self-sequester even if you have roommates who are fully vaccinated and do not also have to self-sequester. This means you may leave your room only to pick up meals, engage in solo outdoor exercise, or receive urgent medical care. (Cal Dining will offer to-go meals at the entrance of the dining commons during the sequester period.) Wear a face covering whenever you leave your room, including in bathrooms and outside. During self-sequestration, getting vaccinated is allowed and strongly recommended, as long as the daily campus symptom screener is completed the day of getting a vaccine.  You will not be able to attend in-person events, including Golden Bear Orientation, if you have not already sequestered for seven days (please send an email to if you need a remote orientation option.)

Surveillance Testing: If you are unvaccinated, you will need to get a UHS COVID-19 test once per week. If you are fully vaccinated, you are not currently required to do ongoing COVID-19 testing after your initial Move-In test, but we strongly recommend that you get tested 5-7 days after Move-In. Note that asymptomatic vaccinated students may be asked to undergo periodic surveillance testing either as part of random surveillance, or in response to local trends or any emerging clusters.

What if I get symptoms of COVID-19 after Move-In? If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in close contact with a positive case, please schedule a clinical/symptomatic COVID-19 test through UHS. You are always encouraged to call the 24/7 UHS Advice Line at (510) 643-7197 if you are ill and are unsure if you need to be seen. Students do NOT need to be enrolled in SHIP to get tested or be assessed or tested at UHS. All medical insurance is required by law to cover the costs.

What If I test positive for COVID-19? If you test positive for COVID-19, the UHS COVID Response Team will contact you directly to determine your next steps. In most cases, you will be asked to move to UC Berkeley’s dedicated quarantine/isolation housing space, where you will receive support from dedicated isolation coordinators who will help answer your questions and arrange for you to get meals and any additional support you may need. Close contacts who are not yet fully vaccinated, or who have symptoms of COVID-19, will be contacted by UHS and may be asked to move to quarantine/isolation housing.

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, especially in campus housing, 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. 

Indoor Interaction: For the first two weeks after Move-In (until approximately September 1), we recommend that you limit interacting indoors with others as we await Move-In COVID-19 test results. 

Some Common Spaces Temporarily Closed: For at least the first few weeks of the semester some common spaces will be closed. Lounges and academic study centers in residence halls are scheduled to reopen on October 1. Gyms in residence halls may remain closed for a longer time; instead, you are encouraged to use the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF). Water fountains are closed, but refill stations for water bottles are open.

Respect Privacy Around Vaccination: Keep in mind that vaccination status is a private health matter for every individual. Please do not ask other students about their vaccination status. Like other health-related information, vaccination status is private and confidential. Additionally, you may not request to change your roommate due to their vaccination status. You can learn more from UHS about vaccines.

You Made It!
Well done. That was a lot of information to cover! As you adjust to life on campus, rest assured that there will be lots of opportunities for you to build community and explore Berkeley and the Bay Area. Starting with campus housing, you’ll discover student support services and resources, and have access to Residential Life in-person and online programming throughout the year. The Recreational Sports Facility (RSF) is open for in-person workouts. We’ll help keep you informed when shared residential lounge spaces, study centers, kitchens, and gyms become available this fall. These campus locations all have enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols in place. Cal Dining also has special programming throughout the year and flexible dining options, so you can take full advantage of your meal plan or purchase additional flex dollars.

Last, but not least, the Student Affairs online Toolkit is a resource hub for all Golden Bears navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, and these are helpful campus contacts to add to your phone:

  • University Health Services: call (510) 642-2000 with any health-related concerns.
  • Cal Housing: Email or call (510) 642-4108 for questions involving your housing contract or housing assignment.
  • Your RD (Resident Director) or RA (Resident Assistant): Questions involving rules and requirements in your housing unit, roommate conflict, etc.

We look forward to seeing you on campus soon. Go Bears!

Thank you,

Cal Housing
2610 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-2272