Chancellor Carol Christ says classes to remain in session despite poor air quality

Deborah Chen/File

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Update 11/15/2018: UC Berkeley announced Thursday evening that classes will be canceled Nov. 16 due to the poor air quality. Read the full story here.

In response to questions surrounding class cancellation because of the poor air quality in Berkeley, Chancellor Carol Christ announced in a statement released Wednesday night that classes will continue to take place for the time being.

Christ said in the statement, which was emailed to the campus community about 11 p.m., that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District indicates that the air quality index, or AQI, in Berkeley remains below 200 — the level at which campus class cancellation should be considered. She added that classes will not be canceled at this time.

“After extensive, careful consultation with our campus medical staff and personnel from our Office of Environment, Health & Safety, we have decided that cancellation of classes is not, at this point in time, warranted or necessary due to the current AQI levels in Berkeley,” Christ said in the statement.

The poor air quality is a result of the Camp Fire, which started last Thursday in Butte County and is among the California wildfires that have been devastating parts of the state this week.

Other California universities, including UC Davis and Sacramento State University, canceled classes earlier this week because of air quality concerns.

In her statement, Christ stated that the campus advises faculty and supervisors to be “as accommodating as possible,” especially considering some students’ underlying medical conditions that could make them more sensitive to the poor air quality.

Campus medical staff advise members of the campus community to limit their time spent outdoors, according to Christ.

“We will continue to closely monitor reliable readings and forecasts, and will keep the campus community updated,” Christ said in the statement.

Danielle Kaye is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @danielledkaye.