URGENT: New campus actions regarding COVID-19

March 9, 2020

Today I am announcing new campus actions designed to help limit coronavirus (COVID-19) risk on campus. There are no confirmed cases on our campus at this time; however, as local, national, and global public health recommendations shift to include mitigation of transmission, the campus is proactively taking steps that will help to protect the community.

These changes are effective starting Tuesday, March 10, and will remain in place through Spring Break, which ends March 29. A decision on what will happen on March 30 and beyond will occur at a later date, based on the latest coronavirus information at that time.

 

INSTRUCTION

  • Beginning Tuesday, March 10, we will be suspending most in-person classes and will be offering ALL lecture courses (including discussion sections),  seminar instruction and examination through alternative modalities (e.g., Zoom, course capture, etc.) through Spring Break.

  • Instructors who do not have remote learning processes in place by March 10 will be given a two-day period (March 10 and 11) during which they may cancel classes, to allow them time to establish such processes and to ready their course(s) for resumption online by Thursday, March 12. Students, please look for communications from instructors about plans for individual courses.

  • Courses that must meet in person because alternative instruction outside of the classroom is not appropriate will continue to meet in person. For the time being, this will include all laboratory, performing arts, and physical education courses, although they are encouraged to minimize in-person meetings as appropriate.

 

EVENTS

  • All campus-sponsored events with plans for more than 150 attendees will be canceled or postponed.These include events put on by the administration or an academic department and scheduled to take place through March 29. This does not include events scheduled by Cal Performances or Intercollegiate Athletics; however, those events should include generous refund policies for anyone who wishes not to attend for any reason.  Guidance will be forthcoming regarding registered student organization events.

  • For campus-sponsored events with fewer than 150 attendees, we strongly encourage planners of those events to explore alternatives to in-person gatherings.

 

CAMPUS OPERATIONS

  • The campus is not closing. Campus buildings will remain open, and many campus operations will proceed normally, including student housing and dining and research support operations. Please note, however, that there may be some limitations in operations and services as managers will be allowing their employees to work remotely, when possible. More communications to managers and employees about working remotely will be provided soon. 

More detailed information on these matters is posted on the campus’s coronavirus information website. Additional details, and the most up-to-date news, for students and instructors pertaining to instruction will be posted on the Instructional Resilience Resources page. 

We understand that implementing these changes with such limited notice will have broad impacts and will be challenging and disruptive for many of you, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation. We are grateful to the staff throughout our campus for their tremendous efforts on our behalf during these challenging times, especially our front-line staff who serve in health care, custodial, and food service roles. Your work is critically important at this time and we greatly value you and your contributions.

In our assessment of the current situation, including the likelihood that the Berkeley campus could have a coronavirus case here at any time, we believe that this is the best action for our campus community and the broader Berkeley community.

We will continue to update you on this issue with information posted on the new coronavirus information website. Information on the virus and related health and safety information is available on the special University Health Services website. Students, please share this message with your family and any concerned parties.

 

Sincerely,
 
Carol Christ
Chancellor
Chancellor's Office