April 1, 2020

Fill Out Your Census Today

Our city really needs you to take the Census. 

The national emergency we now see with COVID-19 is an example of why this document is so important. You can respond entirely while sheltering-in-place at home:

Online at my2020census.gov

Phone: 844-330-2020

By mail, using the form sent to your home

Each person who gets counted brings back an estimated average of $1,000 per year in funding for critical services and infrastructure. For every person that goes uncounted, local communities lose $10,000 over the next decade.

For more information, click here

COVID-19 Topics in this Newsletter:

  • Shelter in Place Extended
  • Mask Donations and Other PPE updates
  • Berkeley Relief Fund applications open
  • East Bay Regional Parks Guidance
  • Gardeners and House Cleaners should shelter in place
  • Prepare Now to Care For Yourself and Others with COVID-19
  • Mayor’s Town Hall
  • AC Transit Modified Service Schedule
  • Free Online Dance Classes
  • More COVID-19 information

Shelter In Place Extended Until May 3rd

The City of Berkeley's Health Officer along with 6 other Bay Area Health Officers are extending a previous stay-at-home order through May 3, 2020 in order to minimize hospital surge and an increased spread of infections.  

The Bay Area Health Officers have determined that more and stricter social distancing will be required to slow the spread of the virus, prevent deaths, and stop the health care system from becoming overwhelmed and over capacity.

The new order adds some clarifying language around essential business and activities, as well as some new directives, including:

  • Use of playgrounds, dog parks, public picnic areas, and similar recreational areas is prohibited. These areas must be closed to public use.
  • Use of shared public recreational facilities such as golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, pools, and rock walls is prohibited. These facilities must be closed for recreational use.
  • Sports requiring people to share a ball or other equipment must be limited to people in the same household
  • Requires essential businesses to develop a social distancing protocol before April 3
  • Most construction-residential and commercial-is prohibited
  • Funerals limited to no more than 10 people attending
  • Essential businesses expanded to include service providers that enable residential transactions (notaries, title companies, realtors, etc.); funeral homes and cemeteries; moving companies, rental car companies and rideshare services that specifically enable essential activities
  • Essential businesses that continue to operate facilities must scale down operations to their essential component only

The full updates and more information can be found here

Visit cityofberkeley.info/covid19 for additional information on COVID-19, recommendations from Berkeley Public Health, and information on other changes to City services.

Mask Donations and Personal Protective Equipment Information Updated 

The City of Berkeley has set up a program for Personal Protective Equipment donations for Berkeley’s firefighters, nurses, police and others on the frontlines of COVID-19 response. Let us know (again) if you have extra masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and sprays, and/or goggles. This mask and PPE guidance supersedes previous guidance. So please fill out this form so we can track your donation efficiently. To learn more, read here.

Berkeley Relief Fund Applications Open (1st round deadline Monday, April 6 at 5pm) 

The City of Berkeley opened grant applications to support residents and businesses facing COVID-19 hardships Berkeley’s low-income renters, arts organizations, small businesses, and other non-profit organizations can apply now for emergency relief funds to help them withstand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Berkeley has committed $3 million to these emergency relief grants. Additional funding, made possible by charitable contributions from individuals and businesses to the Berkeley Relief Fund, will also be available to grant applicants. Apply now (see links below) or donate to the Berkeley Relief Fund here.

If you would like to donate

The City of Berkeley launched the emergency relief fund for arts nonprofits, small businesses, and residential tenants hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your donations. If you haven’t donated and are able to, you can visit berkeleyrelieffund.org . All donations are tax-deductible. If you would like to donate through a donor-advised fund, the tax ID is 94-6070996. The fiscal agent is the East Bay Community Foundation. Funds will be used only for emergency grants.

New East Bay Regional Parks Closures

The Park District has announced *some* closures to limit overcrowding and address public and staff safety. Closures are through Thursday at April 30th. Keep in mind that East Bay Regional Parks may close down more parks if visitors aren’t practicing social distancing. Also, if you are walking a dog, pack out the dog waste instead of leaving it on the trails or in bags alongside the trails. Visit ebparks.org for up-to-date information on closures and ways to help keep parks open and safe.

Gardeners and House Cleaners Should Shelter in Place

Many of you have written to ask about whether gardeners and house cleaners can continue to work. No, they may not. If you are financially able to do so, I urge you to continue paying them. 

Stay Home, Save Lives and Wash Your Hands

We all have a responsibility to limit the spread of COVID19. Prepare now to care for yourself or your family if infected with COVID-19. I am urging you to stay home except to go for essential needs (food, medical care/materials, banks, and quick exercise). Stay at home as much as possible. Please don’t socialize (even at 6’!), hike or meet up with people outside your immediate household. If you do go out, stay 6 feet away from others. Don’t touch your face and cover your coughs with your elbow. You can even spread COVID-19 if you don’t know you are infected. Also, disinfect your surfaces but don’t mix chemicals! 

Prepare Now to Care For Yourself and Others Infected with COVID-19

As COVID-19 spreads, learn how to take care of someone who is ill. You or other people may get mild symptoms. We need those people to stay home entirely. This will slow the spread. If you are sick, call your doctor. For more guidance on what to do if you are sick or if someone else is sick, please click here.

COVID-19 information

Mayor’s Town Hall 

On Saturday, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, City of Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez and City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley held a Virtual Town Hall via ZOOM Video Conferencing to answer your questions about the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the City of Berkeley and the City’s response. The video recording of the Town Hall can be found here.

AC Transit Modified Service Schedule -- Effective Tuesday, March 31

AC Transit will begin operating a modified service schedule in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although similar to the existing Sunday service, arrival times will differ from it.

Local service:


  • Many lines will operate with minor time changes from the Sunday schedule.
  • Weekday-only local lines will not operate, including supplemental service.


Transbay service:


  • Lines F, NL, O, and 800 will continue operations
  • Weekday-only Transbay lines will not operate.


All Nighter service:


  • Lines 800 and 801 will operate hourly.
  • Line 1 will operate hourly between midnight and 5:00 a.m.


Trip Planning

Updated schedules and printable PDF timetables will be available on the website. Bus location and departure predictions will not be available after this change takes effect. The following systems will again show bus predictions after several days, when AC Transit’s systems are updated:


  • ACT RealTime
  • Google Maps
  • Other third-party websites and mobile apps
  • 511 predictions
  • Electronic signs in bus shelters and at BART stations


FREE Online Dance and Movement Classes for Adults Through Nonprofit Shawl-Anderson Dance Center

From our community members at 61 year old nonprofit Shawl-Anderson Dance Center: We are offering 28 classes for adults right now, online and live through Zoom. Free of charge. Yoga, Pilates, modern, jazz, and ballet for all levels. Please join in this week to inspire movement while in Shelter in Place.


Future Newsletter Topics

If there are areas of clarification or topics you would like us to address please email Bre Slimick at [email protected]


Please SIGN UP for City of Berkeley emails here and visit the City’s COVID-19 website here. Recommendations may change rapidly. Please remember to get public health information from official public health channels (City of Berkeley’s Public Health Department, County of Alameda Public HealthCDCWHO, etc.), and not social media posts. 

COVID-19 Symptoms

If you suspect you are infected with COVID-19, 

  • call your doctor
  • Stay at home except to seek medical care
  • Stay away from others at home 
  • Monitor your symptoms
  • Wash your hands
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes

The symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

If someone in your home is sick,

  • Watch for worsening symptoms
  • Clean high touch surfaces daily
  • Practice healthy behaviors

Get more information about all of this here

CDC has a factsheet with more information about what to do if you are sick with 


Click here for general resources on COVID


Lori Droste

Berkeley City Councilmember, District 8