Cal Day canceled to prevent spread of COVID-19

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Cal Day has been canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19, more colloquially known as the coronavirus, according to a campuswide email from Vice Chancellor of Administration Marc Fisher.

In the email, Fisher also said campus spaces will be closed off to events that are expected to hold 100 or more attendees until March 29. Additionally, intercollegiate athletic events before March 29 will be held without spectators, while Cal Day and events organized by Cal Performances will be canceled. According to the email, a decision has yet to be reached regarding graduation and commencement.

“These changes are in keeping with guidance from public health officials to avoid large gatherings as a way to limit community spread of the coronavirus,” Fisher said in the email. “We understand that for our campus community, including visitors to campus who enjoy these events, the changes may be disappointing and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

The decision to suspend campus events, including Cal Day, comes after in-person courses were suspended and relocated online. All other undergraduate UC campuses have made similar announcements or suggestions.

Dubbed “a festival for anything and everything Berkeley,” the annual Cal Day is often home to tens of thousands of people, including newly admitted students, as well as a series of events, according to the Cal Parents website.

According to campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore, campus tours will continue regularly until March 16, after which group tours will be canceled through March 29.

To compensate for some Cal Day programming, UC Berkeley is looking into using online platforms to engage newly admitted students, according to Gilmore.

Cal Day was established in 1968 and experienced a large increase in popularity, according to the Cal Parents website. As a result, Cal Day became an annual event. Last year, Cal Day saw more than 40,000 attendees and 400 booths put on by campus departments as well as student organizations.

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Mallika Seshadri is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SeshadriMallika.