Confirmed case of COVID-19 at UC Berkeley

March 14, 2020

Dear UC Berkeley faculty, staff and students,

We’re writing to share that we have confirmed that a member of our campus community has contracted COVID-19. The individual is a graduate student who does not live on campus or in the city of Berkeley and has self-isolated in their city of residence. The individual is in good condition and has no serious symptoms. 

We are coordinating closely with public health officials and following CDC, state and local health guidance in responding to this case. University Health Services (UHS) professionals are working with public health officials to determine whether there are members of the campus community who need to be advised about their contacts with this student.

We understand that this news is unsettling, but we want to assure you that your health and safety remain our number one priority. Facilities personnel will be alerted and will provide deep cleaning to any appropriate areas. We are also coordinating to make sure that the student is getting the care needed. 

Due to privacy concerns, we will not release any information involving specific student records or private health care information, but our safety protocols have been activated in order to mitigate further exposure.

We understand that some members of our community may be concerned that they have the virus. This may include circumstances where you have had contact with someone you believe or know to have the virus. Students should contact the UHS advice line at (510) 643-7197, and faculty and staff should contact their medical provider, if they have symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, or had close sustained contact with a known positive case of COVID-19. Most other situations simply require self-monitoring for symptoms, reasonable social distancing strategies, good handwashing and cough etiquette, and regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. Faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to stay home when ill.

The virus is circulating within our broader community and as tests become more widely available we will hear of more confirmed cases. This is a reality that the campus has been preparing for and is ready for in terms of protocols established in coordination with local public health authorities and in our new policies designed to limit large gatherings on campus.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to view the helpful resource information, including tips on proper hygiene such as lathering your hands and washing for at least 20 seconds, as well as mental health resources, on the UHS website.  

The situation regarding COVID-19 is dynamic and consequently, guidance from public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changes frequently. The COVID-19 campus website is being updated regularly with the latest information.

Please take care of yourself and be kind to one another. Our Principles of Community should guide all of our actions as we manage through this moment together.

Marc Fisher
Vice Chancellor, Administration

Guy Nicolette, MD
Assistant Vice Chancellor, University Health Services