COVID-19 Information

County of Alameda issues a Shelter in place order that will mean an effective campus shutdown for all but essential staff. (Link to NoticeAll PI's or lab managers should implement a shutdown contingency plan and identify key personal to your building coordinator.

3/16, 5:45pm Latest information from our VCR Office relating to lab operations is here

The Molecular and Cell Biology Department continues to monitor and provide advice and guidance to our community with regards to the Coronavirus. The campus also provides advice and news on the evolving situation across campus here.

As of Monday, March 16 all instruction has moved to an online format until the end of the spring semester. As per the email sent by the Chancellor on Friday, March 13 all student assessment has also moved to an online format. The campus will now be closing with a Shelter in Place order issued by the County of Alameda. All labs are encouraged to begin preparing for restricted access to campus and to notify key personal. 

Below is a record of email communication sent to all commity members with advice and guidance:

Friday, March 13

RE: MCB Wellness Committee Advice

Dear MCB Community,

The MCB Wellness committee acknowledges that we are entering a very uncertain period as the campus and community respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a group, we are committed to providing health, wellness advice, and support to all members of the MCB community. Below we provide information on how to access healthcare advice if you or someone you know becomes ill, together with advice and tips to remain connected while you may increasingly be working and interacting with others from a distance. 

Healthcare Advice

In alignment with public health guidelines, we strongly recommend that everyone practice social distancing (maintaining approximately 6 feet from others), in particular around those - or if you are one of those - who are at higher risk for developing severe disease: individuals over age 60 and people with significant underlying medical conditions. Students, faculty, staff, postdocs, or visitors with fever or respiratory symptoms should not come to campus.  

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly. Please seek advice from your healthcare provider via phone or online in any non-emergency situation. Students are encouraged to call the UHS Advice Line (510-643-7197) or make an online appointment at etang.berkeley.edu.

Maintaining Social Connections

While practicing social distancing, we encourage everyone to still remain connected to colleagues and friends. If you are a PI or staff supervisor, please implement a practice of maintaining regular group and/or individual check-ins with your lab or unit members. Technologies such as Zoom, Slack, and Google Hangouts can help you keep in touch.

It is very difficult to predict exactly how this situation will evolve over the next few weeks and we understand that it’s expected and appropriate to experience fear and worry during these times. We encourage you to reach out for support; please utilize drop-in counseling at the Tang Center or call Counseling and Psychological Services at (510) 642-9494. 

We encourage everyone to prioritize health and well-being and set aside time to consider and contemplate how changes to our normal routines will impact our lives. 
 

Thursday, March 12

RE: MCB Departmental Advice to Evolving Situation

Dear MCB Faculty, Graduate Students, Postdocs, and Staff,

We realize you will have received multiple messages already with regards to Coronavirus and even with so many messages and news articles there is still a gap of information that makes comprehension of the situation hard to process. Our main concern is the physical and mental wellbeing of you and the wider community and therefore we send this message to clarify our department position on managing and ensuring healthy work practices in light of COVID-19. 

At the time we write and send this message, student instruction has predominantly moved online, however, the campus is still open and we all continue to contribute to the campus teaching and research missions. The situation is fluid, and at some point, campus maybe closed to non-essential workers, but until that time, please take the time to read this email and follow these guidelines:

Universal Community Responsibilities:

1) If you are sick, please don't come to campus. Stay at home and get better.

2) Please exercise increased hygiene practices using soap and hand sanitizers for 20 seconds and keep surfaces cleaned as best you can.

3) If you cough or sneeze, please use your elbow to minimize aerosol travel. 

4) If you organize seminars, group meetings, social gatherings or any other forum involving multiple people, please don't make attendance mandatory, and where possible, introduce an option to participate via Zoom or some other conferencing software. 

4) Inviting guests from off-campus to give talks or presentations should only happen after careful consideration has been given to the risk involved.

Supervisor Responsibilities:

1) Please ensure people working in your lab or office have the minimum social distancing space of three feet. If necessary, implement measures to ensure compliance with this key recommendation by adopting staggered working hours. The recent email communication from our Vice Chancellor for Research outlined a number of recommendations.

2) Listen to student and staff concerns and make appropriate accommodations to enable a safe and healthy working environment. This includes considering the working environment on campus and the mode of travel to campus. Providing the flexibility to enable temporary work from home options where possible should be considered. 

At this time we ask you to follow these guidelines and make reasonable accommodations to community members that are most at risk or feel at risk. Please be mindful that not all community members feel equally comfortable advocating for accommodations and therefore adhering to the guidelines outlined above will ensure as a collective we are minimizing risk and promoting health and wellbeing. The latest information about  the Coronavirus impact on our campus can be found here.  

 

Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or concerns.