April 20, 2020

Please continue to stay home. If you must leave your home for essential needs, please use a mask to cover your nose and mouth, stay at least six feet away from others, and don’t socialize with people outside your household.


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The City of Berkeley Health Officer has issued a new order mandating face coverings to prevent people without symptoms from unintentionally spreading Covid-19.  Many people have already been covering their face while in public but we need to do more to protect public health. Enforcement will begin on April 22, 2020. Face coverings need to be matched with other mitigation measures such as maintaining 6 feet distance, washing your hands, and staying home unless it's necessary for you to leave.  You can find more information about the new face mask requirement here. 

Here are some quick takeaways:

  • Face coverings required for customers and workers in essential businesses. For more information about business and customer requirements, click here. To help with compliance, call (510) 981-7530 or email [email protected].
  • Masks are not required when you are at home, in a car, exercising outdoors more than 6’ feet away from others, or have a physical disability that prevents you from wearing a face covering. More information and exemptions here. Nevertheless, you should always keep a mask on hand, even if you are exercising. 
  • Make your own mask! You can sew your own mask or use an old t-shirt to make a mask.


City of Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez issued an Order imposing new requirements on skilled nursing facilities. Temperature and symptom screenings will be required for all staff and visitors before entry. Staff  will now have to wear masks at all times, and residents must wear masks when outside their rooms. 


Sheltering in place is critical to protecting our community and it is essential that we all take good care of our mental health during this unprecedented challenging time.  The City of Berkeley’s Mental Health Department put together a few tips for managing anxiety and stress that we included below. You can also visit the link at the City of Berkeley’s website that contains more information for you here. 

  • Be informed
    Understanding the facts about COVID-19 and the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful. Turn to trusted sources for information such as the CDC, WHO, or the City of Berkeley for accurate information. Share information with loved ones.
  • Take breaks 
  • Take care of your body 
  • Connect with others.
    Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Stay in touch with members outside your household through the phone, video chat, and other communication tools. If you or a loved one feels overwhelmed with emotions, see our mental health resources below.

California Peer-Run Warm Line - 855-845-7415

Non-emergency number for those feeling anxiety or seeking emotional support. 

24 Hour Crisis Support Line - 800-273-8255

Crisis Support of Alameda County

Trained Crisis Line Counselors are available 24/7 to take your call. For those struggling with difficult life circumstances or uncomfortable thoughts and emotions. You do not need to be experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings to call.

Berkeley Mental Health Crisis Triage Line - (510) 981-5244

City of Berkeley Mental Health Division 

Speak to a local mental health professional for support and resources over the phone. The crisis line is open Monday through Friday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1-800-273-8255 or text 838255

24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline:

1-800-799-7233 or click Chat Now

Call 911 if you or the person you are helping is in immediate danger.

If you struggle with substance abuse, check out some resources here.


Find out about some ways the City is doing to help our community here

Join the California Health Corps

The State of California is recruiting health care professionals to help support the urgent need. For more information or apply online, click here.

Donate Masks, Gloves, Hygiene Supplies, Goggles, New Thermometers, etc.

If you have personal protective equipment to donate to our firefighters, nurses, police, and others on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, please fill out this form. For more information, click here.

Donate or Volunteer at Food Bank

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Every $1 you give to the food bank provides $7 worth of food to neighbors in need. Donate online or volunteer by contacting [email protected]

Berkeley Food Network

Berkeley Food Pantry

For more information about food access, please visit cafoodbanks.org

Donate Blood

You can donate blood at 6230 Claremont Ave. In Oakland. Please check with the Red Cross website to see if appointments are available before visiting. 

Help Vulnerable Members of Our Community

A few neighborhood groups have created websites to help high risk neighbors in need by pairing them with lower-risk individuals (please keep in mind that everyone is at risk). Please visit berkeleymutualaid.org if you would like to volunteer or need help. Another nonprofit aimed towards helping vulnerable people is Helping Hands

Support Nonprofits and Berkeley Businesses and Arts Organizations

Donate to the Berkeley Relief Fund. We will be doing another round of funding applications. Stay tuned!

Support your local favorite business or arts organizations by donating or purchasing a gift certificate. Berkeleyside has launched a platform for local businesses to share fundraisers. To learn more visit here.

Donate to Double Helping Hands to help both small businesses and our homeless population. Learn more here.

Support Healthcare Workers

Berkeley resident Ayelet Waldman set up East Bay FeedER to help feed individuals working in hospitals. Please support! Ayelet also asks me to let you know to please work through them and don’t show up at the hospital with food.


  1. Stay home except for essential needs
  2. Cover your face when out
  3. Practice social distancing
  4. Wash your hands
  5. Don’t touch your face
  6. Disinfect surfaces

For more information, click here.

Prepare to care for yourself or someone sick at home 

As COVID-19 spreads, learn how to take care of yourself or 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. Here is more information. 

Everyone should be ready to care for themselves or a family member. When sick, it’s important to: 

  • Avoid contact with other household members 
  • Stay in one room and use a separate bathroom if possible 
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces every day 
  • Monitor your condition and look out for emergency warning signs 

CDC has a factsheet with more information about what to do if you are sick with COVID-19.



  • The City of Berkeley is keeping stats updated on the web page where you can find the most recent statistics. As of 9:00am April 20, 2020, there are 44 lab-confirmed cases and 1 death attributed to COVID-19 in Berkeley. The case count includes 2 passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Of a total of 752 tests conducted on Berkeley residents, 5.6% have been positive.




  • There are federal, state, and local resources available to support businesses, non-profit organizations, and workers impacted by COVID-19. You can find more information here. 



The City has expanded our free shower program to the West Campus pool. This is in addition to the shower program at Willard Pool which offers clean towels, soap, and hot water to community members seven days a week at no charge. The service is available to all, with no ID or deposit required. In light of the threat COVID-19 poses to our unhoused community, we expanded the hours of the existing program in March.  vide this important hygiene resource at West Campus Pool as well.  

New shower program hours


  • Willard shower program, 2701 Telegraph; Mon-Fri, 5:30pm-8:30pm, Sat-Sun: 9am-12pm 
  • West Campus shower program, 2100 Browning; Mon-Fri, 9am-12pm, Sat-Sun, 3pm-6pm



AC Transit is functioning as an essential service.  To assist with keeping passengers safe new thresholds have been established for different types of transit vehicles that are listed below. 

30’ feeder coach – 6 passengers; 40’ standard coach – 10 passengers; 60’ articulated coach – 16 passengers, and; 44’ double decker coach – 24 passengers.

Once the on board count nears or reaches the new COVID-19 passenger thresholds, the operator may bypass stops. For waiting riders, the external head-sign will convert to “Drop-Off Only,” alerting that the bus will not stop. For riders on board, the operator will continue to recognize requests to exit.  In addition to social distancing, AC Transit strongly encourages riders to follow CDC guidelines to wear a cloth face mask on board, covering the nose and mouth, effective immediately. Riders will continue to experience their bus operator wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves, eyewear, and masks. Riders should avoid interactions with the bus operator.



Please SIGN UP for City of Berkeley emails here. Recommendations may change rapidly. Please remember to get public health information from official public health channels and not social media posts. 



Lori Droste

Berkeley City Councilmember, District 8



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