Face coverings required on campus

April 24, 2020

Dear colleagues,

We write today to ensure that all faculty and staff are aware of two important new developments – a new requirement to wear face coverings on campus, and new expanded COVID-19 testing at University Health Services.

Requirement to wear face coverings while on campus
You may recall that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention issued guidance earlier this month recommending that everyone wear facial coverings when away from home. As of April 17, based on a new order from the City of Berkeley’s Health Officer, this is now mandatory. All .  essential businesses such as the campus are required to have their employees wear a face covering at work, subject to specific exceptions. The campus is therefore now requiring that all employees who are required to work on campus, or who have been granted essential approval to be on campus, must wear face coverings while on campus.

Face coverings are required for those who work in shared spaces, and those performing work in which they encounter other members of our campus community, or the general public. The face coverings must also be worn in common areas indoors, such as hallways and stairwells. You are not required to wear a face covering when you are the sole occupant of a room, such as your office.

Essential personnel authorized to work on campus received a separate communication earlier this week with instructions on how to obtain masks for temporary use, and they will receive a followup communication when cloth face coverings provided by the campus arrive. The campus is not presently providing face coverings to employees who are not approved to work on the campus during the shelter-in-place order.

Please be aware that if you provide service to students or the general public, you are required as part of your employment (and consistent with the requirements of the order) to refuse service to individuals who are not wearing face coverings. Such individuals are to be denied entry to campus facilities.

Students in the residential halls are not required to wear a face covering when in their bedroom or when using communal bathrooms in the residential hall, but they do need to wear one in the hallways. 

Keep in mind that a face covering is not a replacement for vigilant physical distancing and good hand hygiene. Continue to maintain at least six feet of distance between you and others. For more information about the types of face coverings, see the UHS COVID-19 webpage on masks.

New expanded COVID-19 testing at University Health Services
We also want to inform you that UHS is now performing COVID-19 tests for all symptomatic faculty, staff  and post-docs. Employees with mild symptoms may call the UCB Occupational Health COVID hotline 510-332-7192 for assessment and instructions (10am-4pm 7 days/week; messages can be left any time). Those who are ill should call their health care provider first for advice or go directly to the nearest Emergency Room. You are welcome to call Occupational Health as above for testing if advised by your provider.

UHS is also encouraging those who are awaiting test results and those who already have tested positive for COVID-19 via another testing center to call UHS’s CONFIDENTIAL COVID line at (510) 643-8227 to inform clinical leadership. Officials there want to offer support and services to help those through their care and recovery, and raise our awareness of the number of positive cases in the campus community. This will help UHS plan its services and guide campus decisions. Your private information will not be shared beyond that required for public health reporting.

Thank you for continuing to do your part as we all seek to further bend the curve. And thank you for your continued work for the campus community.


Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Marc Fisher
Vice Chancellor for Administration 

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