Campus Directive During Bay Area Shelter In Place

March 18, 2020

Dear campus community,

Our community has pulled together in positive and innovative ways in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The expanding outbreak and the current Bay Area shelter-in-place orders mandate that we be more explicit in how we respond to this growing public health challenge. 

Further, we understand there may be some confusion or lack of clarity regarding what members of the campus community can do in their work capacity (and when they should and should not come to campus to work) in light of previous campus messages and various shelter-in-place orders, including from Alameda County and the City of Berkeley. This memo supersedes all earlier communications, except the Executive Order regarding distance learning and research issued earlier today.

The information below reflects directives from the University; they are not guidelines. All employees, staff and students must adhere to these directives. This directive does not apply to administrators and managers whose presence on campus is essential. Employees and faculty may be disciplined for failing to observe these directives.


  • Do come to work if your supervisor has told you to do so. You are allowed to come to work if you are supporting an essential operation of the University. If you believe that the operation you are supporting is not essential but there is an expectation that you come to work anyway, you may seek confirmation of the essential nature of your work by emailing the Chief Human Resources Officer.  

  • Do come to campus if your supervisor directs you to do so for a specific or limited purpose, even if you are generally working from home. You are allowed to come to work for this purpose.

  • Do feel free to park in any designated campus parking lot if you are directed to come to work.  Daytime parking lot enforcement has been suspended so that employees may avoid taking public transportation if they choose to do so. 

  • Do feel free to visit the campus COVID-19 webpage for resources about how to address loneliness and isolation that may occur while we are  under the shelter-in-place order.


  • Do not come to work if you are sick. 

  • Do not come to work if you are on approved administrative or other approved leave. 

  • Do not come to work to engage in research, except to engage in ramp down or continuity work as approved and directed by the Vice Chancellor for Research.  Separate, specific guidance has been issued to campus researchers.

  • Do not come to work solely because your home internet access is inadequate, or because the conditions at your home are otherwise not conducive to working efficiently.  The University understands that employees may not be able to work with normal efficiency during this period. The campus has adopted an emergency procurement process to enable employees and faculty to obtain equipment and internet access to enable them to work from home. Employees and faculty who need these resources should address their needs with their supervisor or department chair.

  • Do not come to campus because there is something in your office that you would like to retrieve, or because you want to visit with colleagues who must work on campus. You should only be coming to campus if your supervisor has given you express permission  to do so. Your supervisor can give you permission to come to campus on a one-time basis or as otherwise necessary.  

We know that these are challenging times and we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work through these issues. These directives are designed to further protect our campus community and give you confidence that your work is consistent with the shelter-in-place orders in the Bay Area. These directives are intended to safeguard the maintenance of the campus’s essential and critical operations. Please take care of yourselves and be well.


Paul Alivisatos, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Marc Fisher, Vice Chancellor for Administration

This message is being sent to all UC Berkeley faculty, staf, and students