With California’s state of emergency set to expire by the end of the month, all of the city of Berkeley’s COVID-19 testing sites are expected to close.
According to University Health Services spokesperson Tami Cate, even with the termination of state support, Berkeley still has the resources to provide adequate health services to students, including vaccines, boosters, testing and treatments.
“There will still be access to testing, the options may just look different as we go forward,” Cate said in an email.
Students can continue to access support in a myriad of ways, Cate noted.
Symptomatic students can access testing at the Tang Center and make appointments through eTang. Symptomatic testing is covered by the Student Health Insurance Plan, or SHIP, and students without SHIP can get a receipt and file for reimbursement with their own health insurance provider.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing will continue to be offered at three vending machines on campus, via free PCR tests provided for students, staff and faculty. Locations include Doe Library South Entrance, Sutardja Dai Hall in Yali’s Qualcomm Cafe and the first floor of the ASUC Student Union.
Rapid antigen tests are sold at UHS Pharmacy and the ASUC Student Union first floor for $7.
Beyond campus, testing is offered at local pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens, and Alameda County Public Health Testing. Other locations can be found using the California COVID-19 Testing Locator.
“With the ending of the COVID-19 State of Emergency in California, University Health Services is looking at if the way we offer COVID-19 testing may need to change including how testing is funded,” Cate said in the email. “At the moment, both of the asymptomatic and surveillance testing on campus will remain as is through the Spring semester.”
Berkeley City Councilmember Sophie Hahn said in an email that the city’s public health team will likely monitor cases closely and establish resources if COVID-19 rates or circumstances change.
She added that COVID-19 tests will still be available through doctors’ offices, clinics, local pharmacies and take-home tests.
Hahn reflected upon Berkeley’s work throughout the state of emergency and commended the city’s outreach to vulnerable peoples, which she noted were unhoused, elderly and non-English speaking communities.
“It is hard to overstate how hard our Health Department worked these past years,” Hahn said in an email. “Our community as a whole truly stood together to support each other by wearing masks, donating food and supplies and supporting the city in taking the necessary steps to help ensure some of the highest vaccination rates in the country.”