UC Berkeley locks all buildings, closes outdoor facilities, provides resources for employees in response to COVID-19

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UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Administration Marc Fisher sent a campuswide email Thursday with an update on campus closures and policies after the Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order was extended to May 3 in response to the COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, pandemic.

According to the email, all campus buildings will be locked indefinitely Friday at 5 p.m., including to those with key card access. Those who need access to buildings will need to seek approval from their supervisors, as well as the Fisher. In emergencies, people can reach out to UCPD for access, according to Fisher, who said he strongly discourages community members from coming to campus at all, even before the Friday deadline.

“The challenge has been, and continues to be, that asymptomatic people can feel completely fine while unknowingly endangering others,” Fisher said in the email. “UC Berkeley’s early action on sheltering in place appears to have been prudent. It’s important that we remain vigilant in our efforts and take additional measures to safeguard all of us in the UC Berkeley community.”

All outdoor campus facilities, including tennis courts, basketball courts, play structures and fields are also closed indefinitely, effective immediately, according to Fisher.

For employees, including student workers, supervisors must complete and submit a temporary work at home agreement with each employee working virtually. Employees who relocated out-of-state or internationally should reach out to their supervisors and will continue to receive a California payroll until the shelter-in-place order is lifted. When the order is lifted, however, wages may have to adjust for tax purposes, according to the email. The Berkeley International Office remains a resource for those working from international locations, Fisher added.

The UC Office of the President announced Thursday that no UC workers would be laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We understand that sheltering in place and working remotely is challenging but this is being cited as the most effective action we can take to combat the pandemic. Early action has proven effective; continued action will be key,” Fisher said in the email. “I am confident that we will get through this difficult period and emerge stronger from it.”

Kate Finman is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.