For more detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/covid-19/
The following information is current as of June 19th. This website will be updated as needed. The City also maintains a COVID-19 dashboard, available here.
Shelter in Place
Regional Health Officers will use local data to guide decisions on further easing of shelter-in-place restrictions. Specifically, they're tracking five indicators to measure progress in containing COVID-19 and ensuring we have the infrastructure in place to protect the community as we begin to reopen:
- Total number of cases and hospitalized patients is flat or decreasing
- Sufficient hospital capacity to meet the needs of our residents
- Sufficient viral detections tests are being conducted
- Sufficient case investigation, contact tracing, and isolation/quarantine capacity
- 30-day supply of personal protective equipment for all healthcare workers
These indicators are designed to provide measurable goals that will spur action on the part of the community at large, and complement the high-level metrics being tracked by the State of California.
Visit cityofberkeley.info/covid19 for more information on COVID-19, recommendations from Berkeley Public Health, and changes to City services.
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June 18th Health Order: Allows Outdoor Dining, Retail, Religious and Fitness Activities -- but Caution Urged
Parallel health orders in effect on Friday June 19 allow people in Berkeley and the rest of Alameda County to attend religious ceremonies, dine with others in their “social bubble” at restaurants with outdoor seating, and go inside retail stores.
The orders will also allow groups of 12 to take part in outdoor non-contact fitness classes and non-contact athletic training for college teams. A previous order allowed children to have both a household bubble as well as a bubble for extracurricular activities, such as sports.
Each business or group will be required to put measures into place to limit spread of COVID-19, which has no vaccine or proven medical treatment and is particularly lethal to those over 65 and those with high-risk conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.
Dr. Hernandez and other health officials recommend that everyone should take these steps during this pandemic:
- Staying home remains the safest place to be, especially for vulnerable groups
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water -- or hand sanitizer as a last resort
- Keep six feet apart from those outside your household
- Wear a face covering when outside
- If worried about infection, get tested -- regardless of symptoms.
Everyone should assess the risks for themselves or their households when taking part in additional activities. Reduce risk by being outdoors, having shorter activities, and using merchants that visibly abide by protocols.
The rules being put into place by the two Public Health jurisdictions closely align with state guidance. Merchants should see our streamlined process for getting permits for commerce in sidewalks and streets and for creating parklets.
All retail stores are now allowed to operate as long as they follow guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19. They are encouraged to make goods available for curbside pickup.
Retailers operating indoors must have enough space so that patrons and staff can be six feet apart and no more than 50 percent of normal occupancy.
All stores must make reasonable efforts to ensure that staff and customers wear face coverings, and comply with social distancing intervals, such as marking six foot intervals for customers to stand in line at pickup areas.
Stores may move goods outside for display or sale -- as long as they get appropriate City permits and do not cause congestion or block the path of travel.
Merchants must also comply with state guidance for retailers.
Restaurants can now serve sit-down meals outside as long as they have the required City permits and follow state guidance. Groups of six people who are part of a social bubble together can go out for a meal together and must wear masks, except when eating.
Tables and lounge areas must be arranged so that there is at least six feet between people of different social bubbles. Entertainment is not allowed.
Restaurants that have been closed for at least a month will have to comply with a number of regulations, the specifics of which can be seen in the order.
All restaurants must sanitize areas that have not been used, post their Site-Specific Protection Protocol, follow the state General Checklist for Dine-in Restaurants, and designate a COVID-19 supervisor, who is on site during business hours and in charge to ensure the implementation of the food facilities’ Site-Specific Protection Plan.
Lines for curbside pickup or takeaway must be in a separate area that prevents them from accessing the outdoor dining area.
Please see the full Health Order for details.
Places of Worship
Mosques, churches, temples and other places of worship may hold in-person religious services and cultural ceremonies as long as they follow state guidance. Livestreaming services are still encouraged as in-person religious services and cultural ceremonies can involve extended periods of close contact -- increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Services or ceremonies may not exceed 100 attendees or 25 percent of the building’s capacity, whichever is less. Organizers should consider keeping contact information for event attendees for 21 days. That would allow city, county or regional contact tracers to reach people should an outbreak occur in these settings.
Non-contact outdoor fitness classes and college sports training
College sports teams as well as outdoor fitness classes can now hold non-contact practices or classes, respectively, in groups of 12 athletes or participants. One coach or instructor may also be present.
Everyone must wear a face covering, except when participating in high-intensity aerobic activities. Participants must keep at least six feet apart at all times. No equipment may be shared and should be sanitized after each practice, class or use.
Class operators must get permission from private owners or managers of the outdoor space. Locker rooms, weight rooms, or other indoor facilities may not be used at this time.
Everyone has a role in keeping our community safe
Increased activities and movements will lead to more COVID-19 cases. Doing so in a gradual fashion lessens the impact and allows health officials to monitor the effects of each phase.
City of Berkeley COVID-19 Tests
Tests are by appointment only. Make an appointment online to be tested at the State of California testing site in south Berkeley.
You'll need to complete a brief questionnaire and create an account. When you've completed your registration, you will receive a patient ID number. You'll need this number to log in and schedule your test.
After logging in, you can make an appointment in Berkeley or at any other State testing facility. The test site is located at:
MLK, Jr. Youth Services Center
1730 Oregon St.
Berkeley, CA 94703
You can also register by phone. Call 888-634-1123.
Wear a face covering when you visit the test site.
If you are struggling to pay rent due to COVID-19, you are protected by Berkeley’s emergency eviction moratorium–but you must notify your landlord no more than 7 days after your rent is due. A template is available here. More information is available here.
Relief for Local Businesses and Organizations
The Berkeley Relief Fund has awarded $1.7 million to 352 businesses and 47 arts organizations to help them withstand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Berkeleyside wrote an article about the allocation that can be read about here. There is going to be another round of funding available for arts and businesses so stayed tuned for more information. If you would like to contribute to the Berkeley Relief Fund, you can make a donation on the website.
How to Help
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 frontlines of the COVID-19 response, please fill out this form. For more information, click here.
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.
Support Healthcare Workers
East Bay FeedER helps feed individuals working in hospitals.