Chancellor Carol Christ cancels classes because of poor air quality

Karen Chow/File

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Chancellor Carol Christ canceled classes for Thursday evening and all of Friday, after air quality worsened in Berkeley.

Christ announced the cancellation in a campuswide email statement Thursday evening, stating that the decision was made after measurements by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District indicated an air quality index above 200. According to Christ, forecasts show that conditions are likely to further deteriorate Friday.

The decision came after campus notified the community Wednesday evening that classes would remain in session Thursday.

Although most of campus is closed, some operations will continue. University Health Services, the optometry clinic, dining hall and residential facilities, and UCPD are among the services that will remain in operation.

The Tang Center has a limited number of N95 masks available for those “particularly susceptible to the impact of degraded air quality,” according to the statement. Christ, however, cautioned students to stay indoors nevertheless.

Christ also encouraged campus organizations to reschedule any events happening Thursday or Friday, and she asked the community to check campus websites for updates on cultural and academic events.

The Big Game has not been called off, as of press time. The campus hopes that air quality conditions will improve in Berkeley by Saturday afternoon and will refrain from making a decision on the game’s status until closer to kickoff.

“So long as the northern California fires continue to burn we will continue to monitor developments, make decisions based on the best possible data and expert advice, and keep the campus community informed with daily updates,” Christ said in the statement.

Sophia Brown-Heidenreich is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @sophiabrownh.