May 1, 2020


The Public Health Officer of the City of Berkeley, along with neighboring public health officers, has issued a revised shelter-in-place order that begins Monday, May 4th, and extends through May 31. You still need to shelter in place and use facial coverings. You can access the full health order here.

Thank you to everyone who is continuing to shelter in place and help us slow the spread of the disease and save lives.

Here are the major updates:

  • Construction. Construction projects will now be permitted to continue.  Contractors will be required to follow strict safety protocols.   
  • Outdoor Businesses. Certain outdoor businesses, such as nurseries, will be able to reopen. The new guidelines also allow for gardeners to return to work using increased protocols.This does NOT include restaurants and bars with outdoor seating.
  • Childcare for Children of Essential Workers. Childcare establishments and other “educational or recreational institutions or programs” serving essential workers will be allowed in “stable” groups of 10-12 or fewer children.* See pp. 9-12 of the order. This does NOT include playdates with members outside of your household or with a self-designated quarantine group. 
  • Outdoor Recreation Activities. Some outdoor recreational areas, like skate parks, can open if they can accommodate social distancing and deter social gatherings. Sports and outdoor activities that involve close proximity, shared equipment, or physical contact with people outside of your household remain prohibited and dog parks will remain closed. Tennis, soccer, basketball, climbing, and other similar recreational activities are still prohibited. More information will be provided next week.

*These orders are generally consistent with the state’s shelter in place order. On any issue where the local and state orders may differ, the stricter order applies.

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Topics in this Newsletter

  • NEW–Eviction Protections for Renters–renters must notify landlords in writing to protect themselves from eviction
  • NEWBerkeley Relief Funds—awards and donations
  • NEWWeekly Budget and Finance meetings
  • NEW—Berkeley COVID-19 stats
  • NEW: Ways to give/get help—Help Berkeley—affordable meals for neighbors at risk
  • Support for businesses
  • Stricter mask regulations are still in effect. Please wear a mask.
  • Managing anxiety and stress during COVID-19
  • Protect yourself and others 
  • More COVID-19 Resources


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.


Sign up to help test the City of Berkeley’s future online home, a site designed for everyone to quickly get the services and information they need around the clock from any device.

Sign up here today and help spread the word.


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. 



For the foreseeable future, the Budget and Finance committee will meet on Monday at 10am. You can access this meeting via telephone or Zoom. More information is here. City staff previously presented on COVID-19 responses and a budget update



  • As of April 30, 2020, there are 54 lab-confirmed cases and 1 death attributed to COVID-19 in Berkeley. 
  • Of a total of 1,087 tests conducted on Berkeley residents, 4.97% have been positive.
  • Information is updated daily 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

NEW— 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. 


  • 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. 
  • Our Office of Economic Development has a lot of information on its website for local businesses. See more here
  • To access the forgivable loans authorized by the Paycheck Protection Program, contact your lender ASAP. If you need help finding a lender accepting PPP applications from new customers, email [email protected]



The City of Berkeley Health Officer has issued an 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.  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.



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. 

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.



  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