Last updated: Jan. 11, 2024
On this page, you’ll find COVID-19 related public health guidance and expectations for residents of campus housing for 2023-24. Our residents’ health and well-being are of paramount importance. We will continue to work closely with campus and local public health experts, and update this page as needed.
- What to do if you test positive
- Isolation Guidance
- What if your roommate tests positive
- Where to Go For Help
All students should take precautions to protect against getting COVID-19. University Health Services (UHS) strongly encourages all members of the University community to follow vaccine recommendations adopted by the Center for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health. Learn more about vaccine policies at UC Berkeley.
There are currently no masking requirements on campus. Regardless of COVID-19 case rates, the CDC recommends masking:
- If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a cough, runny nose, or sore throat
- In crowded indoor settings, such as in airplanes, trains, and buses
- In public areas around people who are older or have medical conditions that put them at increased risk for severe COVID-19
- For 10 days after having a significant exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
- If you have tested positive.
If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, please WEAR A MASK and schedule a clinical (PCR) test at UHS on eTang, which also test for influenza “flu” and for RSV. Home antigen tests, available for purchase at most pharmacies, are less likely to pick up early COVID, thus to be reliable, testing should be performed at least 48-72 hours after symptoms begin.
If you think you have been exposed or are a close contact, please WEAR A MASK AROUND OTHERS for 10 days, and consider taking an over-the-counter rapid antigen test 5 days after exposure, especially if you are around people at high risk of severe COVID disease. On campus they are available at the UHS Pharmacy. See the UHS testing page for more information.
Residents who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate in their room while wearing a mask and follow current isolation guidelines from UHS:
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay home until you have not had a fever for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication AND other COVID-19 symptoms are mild and improving. Please continue to mask for the full 10 days after your symptoms began.
- If you do not have symptoms, you should follow the recommendations below to reduce exposure to others.
- Mask when you are around other people indoors for the 10 days* after you become sick or test positive (if no symptoms). You may remove your mask sooner than 10 days if you have two sequential negative tests at least one day apart. Day 0 is symptom onset date or positive test date.
- Avoid contact with people at higher-risk for severe COVID-19 for 10 days*. Higher-risk individuals include the elderly, those who live in congregate care facilities, those who have immunocompromising conditions, and that put them at higher risk for serious illness.
- Seek treatment. If you have symptoms, particularly if you are at higher risk for severe COVID-19, speak with a healthcare provider as soon as you test positive. You may be eligible for antiviral medicines or other treatments for COVID-19. COVID-19 antiviral medicines work best if taken as soon as possible, and within 5-7 days from when symptoms start.
- *The potential infectious period is 2 days before the date of symptoms began or the positive test date (if no symptoms) through Day 10. (Day 0 is the symptom onset date or positive test date).
Please wear a mask for the full 10 days, regardless, to protect others.
If you test positive, you do not need to notify your RA. You can report your positive test on eTang and will be sent isolation and care guidelines. If your symptoms are moderate to severe, or you are immunocompromised or otherwise at high risk for severe disease, you can call the 24/7 UHS Advice Line at (510) 643-7197 for medical advice and treatment.
If you test positive, remain in your room with the door closed as much as possible – and no visitors – during this time. Do not go to class. Open windows for ventilation if possible. And wear a well-fitting mask whenever you leave your room or are around others.
The following exceptions are allowed for brief trips and then returning directly to your room:
- Use the common bathroom. If possible, avoid heavy traffic times, and wash hands with soap as soon as you enter. Always keep your mask on except when brushing your teeth/brief showering. Wipe down any surfaces you have touched with a sani wipe.
- Pick up to-go meals at your closest campus dining commons. Berkeley Dining offers a to-go accommodation for those with medical conditions; please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with the reason for your request. You may also pick up food deliveries outside your residence from an off-campus restaurant or delivery service. Eat in your room away from others, or outdoors.
- Use the laundry facilities in your building only when absolutely necessary, and try to avoid peak times.
- Sit outside, away from others to get fresh air. You can go for a walk alone. Please wear your mask.
If your roommate, or other close contact, tests positive and you do not have symptoms, you are not required to quarantine, however please wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days following last exposure. If you become symptomatic, please isolate and get tested (see above).
- Call the 24/7 UHS Advice Line at (510) 643-7197 if you are ill and are unsure if you need to be seen.
- Cal Housing: Email email@example.com for questions involving your housing contract or housing assignment.
- Your RD (Resident Director) or RA (Resident Assistant): Questions involving rules and requirements in your housing unit, roommate conflict, etc.