May 11, 2020


Berkeley’s shelter in place order remains in effect, even as some statewide rules for retail businesses are relaxed.

Some parts of California have begun moving into stage 2 of the statewide resilience roadmap, which allows for the gradual reopening of lower-risk workplaces, including curbside pickup for non-essential retail.

When announcing these changes, state officials stressed that stricter restrictions are still needed in many parts of California, including the Bay Area, and that readiness to reopen must be assessed on a regional basis. While we have made significant progress towards flattening our curve, we still have work to do to ensure we will be able to contain COVID-19 growth as rules in our community are eased.

The regional shelter-in-place orders in the City of Berkeley and six Bay Area counties have not changed. When local and state rules on shelter in place differ, the stricter of the two applies. The following rules still apply to businesses in Berkeley:

  • Curbside pickup is only allowed for essential businesses and outdoor businesses, as defined in the Health Order.
  • Non-essential businesses may make deliveries of existing inventory but may not restock inventory.
  • Businesses are not permitted to serve anyone not wearing a face covering, unless they meet specific exemptions defined in the order.

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:

  1. Total number of cases and hospitalized patients is flat or decreasing
  2. Sufficient hospital capacity to meet the needs of our residents
  3. Sufficient viral detections tests are being conducted
  4. Sufficient case investigation, contact tracing, and isolation/quarantine capacity
  5. 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 for more information on COVID-19, recommendations from Berkeley Public Health, and changes to City services. 

********Questions can be sent to [email protected]**********

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Anyone in Berkeley with COVID-19 symptoms can now get tested for free at a City of Berkeley testing site. If you have a health care provider, first call them to get tested as capacity has greatly expanded in recent weeks. Your provider will always be the source of any follow-up care or advice. 

Those with or without a health care provider who have symptoms can call a City nurse who will screen calls. We will test symptomatic children who are at least 2 years old. A Berkeley Public Health nurse will screen callers and schedule an appointment at our West Berkeley site.

City of Berkeley COVID-19 Test Screening Line

510-981-5380, Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm

For more information, please click here.



As the remaining students move out for the summer, tenants and landlords can help keep our streets clean and refuse workers safe by planning ahead, using City of Berkeley services, and properly discarding the items they no longer need. Dumping mattresses and other items on the sidewalk creates a mess and doesn't promote reuse. Please utilize mattress recyclers for mattress disposal. Use your building's dumpsters or other resources listed below to discard, re-use or recycle what you don't need. Avoid fines for illegal dumping that can reach up to $1,000 a day. For more information, please click here.



Students, families and teachers of Berkeley High School and Berkeley Technical Academy can now connect with a licensed mental health care professional during the BUSD school closure. This new "warm line" offers bilingual support, information, consultations, and resources with a call to (510) 981-5240, Monday through Friday from 11:30 am - 4 pm. Services are available in English and Spanish. For more information, please click here.



This year’s Fire Fuel Chipper and Vegetation Debris Bin Program will begin on Monday, June 1, 2020 and end on Friday, September 18, 2020.The Fire Fuel Chipper and Debris Bin Program is part of the city’s Vegetation Management Program. This program, which began in the spring of 1993, provides a brush chipping service and debris bins to Berkeley residents that live in the designated areas. It is funded by a surcharge on the refuse bills residents in the Fire Surcharge Area pay. The program is intended to assist residents in maintaining a defensible area around structures by lessening the amount of flammable vegetation on their property. Debris resulting from general commercial tree service operations will not be picked up nor will debris from properties that do not pay the surcharge. Property owners who do not pay the surcharge are still encouraged to have a commercial service remove their debris to maintain their own defensible area around structures.  The Schedule can be found on the Fire Fuel Chipper and Debris Bin Program webpage.  



Fire season is now approaching and it's time for everyone to begin preparing their households for potential power shut offs and evacuations. The Berkeley hills are especially vulnerable in another year where we are seeing drought conditions and an increased wildfire threat.  Please go to the Wildfire Evacuation website for more information.  We have included some tips below.  

  • Get emergency alerts: Sign up for notifications via AC Alert. Register as many means of contact as possible so you will be notified wherever you are.
  • Pack or refresh your “go bag”: Everyone in your household should have a go bag with the things you would need to safely evacuate. In the era of COVID-19, this includes face coverings and hand sanitizer. If you have a go bag already, check it this week and replace any expired items, like food or batteries.
  • Use our evacuation checklist: In an emergency, you have to act quickly. Even if you’ve planned ahead, it can be challenging to remember everything while under the pressure of an evacuation. Print out our wildfire evacuation checklist to use as a reference.

Sign up here today and help spread the word.



City Council will be meeting on Tuesday to discuss the budget and surveillance technology. For the full agenda, click here.



The Berkeley Skate Park (711 Harrison) will be open from noon to 8pm 7 days a week.

City staff will control the entrance to the park and allow only a limited number of skateboarders into the park at one time. Skaters can pre-register online for a one-hour time slot. 

Play structures and athletic courts remain closed. This includes tennis courts, pickleball courts, volleyball, and basketball courts.

Most sports fields and open spaces in parks are still open for community members to enjoy alone or with members of their household, but fields remain closed for permits or organized play. Please do not gather in parks with people you don't live with.

The following District 8 facilities remain closed entirely:


  • Bateman Mall Park, 3027 Colby St.

Recreation Centers

  • Willard Clubhouse, 2720 Hillegass

Recreation Facilities

All recreation space is closed with the exception of open space in large parks. All play structures, basketball courts, tennis courts, pickleball courts, volleyball courts, and climbing/bouldering areas are closed.

For information on other closures or recreation, please click here.


The Budget and Finance committee is meeting weekly via Zoom through June. The committee will be meeting on:

  • Tuesday, May 19 at 10:00
  • Tuesday, May 26 at 10:00
  • Thursday, June 4 at 10:00
  • Thursday, June 11 at 10:00
  • Thursday, June 18 at 10:00
  • Thursday, June 25 at 10:00.

These meetings are in addition to Council meetings regarding our budget.

You can access this meeting via telephone or Zoom. More information is here



Please read the email that Chancellor Christ and Provost Alisvisatos sent to the campus community about the steps UC Berkeley is taking to prepare for and make decisions about campus operations for the Fall semester:



May is National Mental Health Awareness month.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness each year.

On average, the Berkeley Police Department receives 8-9 calls per day that potentially involve a person in mental health crisis.  When calling for help, you can assist the officers by making sure to let the Dispatcher know:

  • What the person is doing right now
  • If the person has any weapons or access to weapons
  • The person’s physical description
  • Any past diagnosis or history of violence (if you know)


CALL 911 for an emergency

1-510-981-5254        Berkeley Mental Health Crisis Line

1-800-309-2131        Crisis Support Services of Alameda County 24-Hour Crisis Hotline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)                  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

For more information on our Mobile Crisis Team and Crisis Intervention teams, click here.



  • As of May 10, 2020, there are 66 lab-confirmed cases and 1 death attributed to COVID-19 in Berkeley. 
  • Of a total of 1,540 tests conducted on Berkeley residents, 4.29% have been positive.
  • Information is updated daily here.



Find out about some ways the City is doing to help our community 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 frontlines of the COVID-19 response, please fill out this form. For more information, click 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.

Food Access

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

Help Berkeley

Help Berkeley helps provide affordable meals for neighbors at risk. Two meals for $10 prepared by local restaurants and delivered for free. Order meals if you are over 60, at-risk, in self-isolation, quarantined, or sick at home.

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 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

East Bay FeedER helps feed individuals working in hospitals. 



  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.




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