While new cases of COVID-19 in Berkeley are declining, UC Berkeley extended the self-sequester mandate for all students living in residence halls through at least Feb. 15 to ensure containment of the current surge.
A significant number of students remain in quarantine, according to an email from UC Berkeley student affairs. The email added that the self-sequester will be lifted when campus is sure of the ability to reduce virus transmission.
“Due to the 14 day incubation period of this virus, it is too early to be sure we have contained this current surge,” the email states. “We understand this extension is frustrating, but please understand this will help us mitigate further spread while protecting our community.”
There may be an increase in Community Service Officers and security staff in residence halls, according to the email. Staff may be checking students’ testing badges and Cal 1 Cards more frequently.
The email added that noncompliance with campus directives will result in serious residential conduct sanctions. These may include being disqualified from housing or suspension from UC Berkeley. Students are encouraged to report self-sequester protocol violations to their resident assistants.
“We don’t wish for residents to be alarmed by this increased UCPD presence, but we must ensure the health of our community,” the email reads.
The email reminded students that they must stay in their room except in case of emergency or to obtain medical care, comply with testing requirements or receive food from the Cal Dining kiosks. Lunch is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and students can pick up dinner and breakfast between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Unlike the previous self-sequester, students are now unable to leave their room for solo outdoor exercise, according to the email. Campus is working with the city of Berkeley to determine whether outdoor exercise is permitted.
“Right now it is critical that you avoid gatherings — large or small — even with your residential household grouping, whether indoors or outdoors, and even if your most recent COVID test is negative,” the email states.
Counseling and Psychological Services is available for virtual counseling appointments and help finding resources, according to the email.
Check back for updates.