New Mask Recommendations
The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the Coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms .

Masks don’t replace hand washing and physical distancing.
As a result of the C.D.C. recommendation the City of Berkeley's Health Officer, as well as other Health Officers around the region and state recommend that everyone cover their nose and mouth with cloth when leaving home for essential visits to doctor's offices, supermarkets or pharmacies.

A bandana, fabric mask, neck gaiter or other cloth barrier helps prevent those who have mild or no COVID-19 symptoms from unknowingly spreading it to others. To additionally protect yourself from others, use physical distance.

Do not use surgical masks or N-95s. Preserve the limited supply of medical grade masks such as an N-95 for health care workers or first-responders, who cannot use physical distance to protect themselves, especially from people at their most symptomatic, infectious periods.

"Wear a bandana to protect others from an infection you might have," said Dr. Lisa Hernandez, the City of Berkeley Health Officer. "When you see others wearing a cloth covering, know that they are protecting you."

Cloth materials can be improvised - a great opportunity to be creative! Masks should be washed after each use with detergent and dried on a hot cycle.

Make sure the covering is comfortable - you don't want to have to keep adjusting the mask, which means touching your face. Always wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer, before AND after touching your face or face coverings.

Health officials stress that staying home, frequent hand washing and physical distancing are the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 . Face coverings may also serve as a reminder to the critical order to shelter in place except for essential activities.

If you have sealed packages of masks, gloves, and other protective equipment to support Berkeley's emergency response you're able to donate, let us know .

" Stay home except for essential activities," said Dr. Hernandez. "When you must leave, help care for our community by keeping distance from others and covering your face."
Do It Yourself Masks - No Sewing Required!
Even if you have no sewing skills, creating a face covering is easy. Any scarf can be wrapped around your face to provide some protection. An old shirt, sheet, pillowcase, or table napkin can be adapted. Here is a simple video tutorial (there is no sound) for making a face covering. If you don't have ponytail elastics, you can use shoelaces, string, ribbon, or reclaimed elastic from other items.
Revised Rules for Reusables
The Alameda County Health Department has issued a revised shelter-in-place order that includes stricter measures to prevent unnecessary contact at grocery stores and food establishments.

Under the measure, customers are not permitted to bring their own bags, mugs, or other reusable items from home . The order is in Appendix A: Social Distancing Protocol (page 15).
Bay Area Virtual Book Festival

JOIN US online for a special Berkeley Relief Fund Program
Hosted by the Bay Area Book Festival
Sunday, April 5th, 3pm on the
The Bay Area Book Festival is one of the largest and most anticipated events in Berkeley every year. Tens of thousands of book lovers meet hundreds of acclaimed authors over an exciting weekend in downtown Berkeley. It is one of the premier literary events in the nation!

Unfortunately, like many other events, the sixth annual Bay Area Book Festival was disrupted by COVID-19.
Hosted by Cherilyn Parsons, Bay Area Book Festival Founder and Director, Sunday’s program will highlight how literature and poetry can offer solace, adventure and escape in a moment of physical isolation.

Go to YouTube on Sunday, April 5th, at 3 pm on to join p rominent local authors and poets including Adam and Arlie Hochschild , Michael Pollan , Michael Chabon , T.J. Stiles , Adam Mansbach , Robert Haas, and Brenda Hillman , as well as interviews with owners of local bookstores, children’s book writers with advice on how parents can cope, and more!
Berkeley City Council has approved up to $3 million for emergency relief grants to small businesses, nonprofit arts organizations, and residential tenants, that are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The community is being asked to match this amount to help those in need. Funds will be used only for emergency grants and managed by the City of Berkeley.
Do You Need Meals?
I just learned about a non-profit created by local Berkeley residents that is launching today (Saturday April 4) that may be of interest to you... is a volunteer based non-profit organization that was created to support the Berkeley community in this time of need. Their mission is to deliver fixed-price affordable meals to individuals at-risk for COVID-19. Their approach provides incremental revenue to local restaurants, helping them keep their doors open.

Their target audience is individuals at-risk for COVID-19 while they are in self-isolation, in quarantine, or sick in their home. They are seniors, or individuals affected by underlying conditions, oftentimes with limited resources.

What they do

  • They partner with local restaurants to provide rations (one dinner+ next day lunch) for $10 total plus tax. Their goal is to be able to deliver 1,000 meals per day if needed.
  • They recruit volunteers to deliver these meals.
  • They reach out to those we can help through the city administration, community organizations, faith-based organizations and medical institutions.

Here are their instructions for ordering meals:
Emergency Notifications
AC Alert  will be Berkeley's primary emergency alerting system for the public. It is one of the tools the City of Berkeley uses to communicate emergency information and instructions to the community. AC Alert can send:
  • Voice alerts to phones
  • SMS text messages
  • Email
  • TTY/TDD messages
   Listed AT&T "land lines" are automatically included to receive voice messages from AC Alert for emergency warnings. Community members must  sign up  to receive voice or text alerts on cell phones, VoIP phones, unlisted phones, TTY/TDDs or through email.

   If you want to receive emergency alerts and updates,  sign up  for AC Alert.
  • Need a new refuse can?
  • Have a favorite pothole you want filled?
  • Want to report illegal dumping?

CALL 311
Susan Wengraf
Berkeley City Council District 6
(510) 981-7160