Councilmember Susan Wengraf
New Covid-19 Restrictions

December 5, 2020
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

==On Thursday afternoon I was officially sworn in via Zoom for another 4 year term as the City Council representative for District 6. I thank you for your support and the trust you have placed in me. It is an honor and a privilege to continue to represent you on the Berkeley City Council.

==The celebratory atmosphere was significantly dampened by the reality of the Covid-19 surge in our state and country. The facts are sobering and our Health Officers are struggling to control the spread of the virus.

==The new regulations, as you will see, require additional, significant sacrifices. For everyone's health and safety it is imperative that we follow the restrictions explained below. They are temporary, designed to prevent hospital capacity from becoming overloaded.

==The first batch of vaccine will be arriving in Berkeley shortly, and will be administered by Alta Bates Hospital to front-line healthcare workers who are in close contact with Covid-19 patients.

==Please take care and be well so we can celebrate the holiday season in good health.=
New Covid-19 Restrictions
Emergency restrictions seek to save lives
amidst pandemic's worst phase

==A surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations is pushing six Bay Area Health Officers to quickly align with new State orders limiting certain activities that could further escalate the already rapid spread of the virus.

==In Alameda County alone, the number of people hospitalized countywide for COVID-19 has almost quadrupled over the past 7 weeks, from 52 to 206. The virus’s explosive growth, even without including an anticipated surge due to Thanksgiving gatherings, will further endanger the region unless collective action is taken.

==“We must act swiftly to save as many lives as we can,” said Dr. Lisa B. Hernandez, the City of Berkeley Health Officer. “Each of us can fight the spread. Keep your family safe by avoiding even small gatherings outside of your household and not traveling. End of year gatherings are traditionally precious, but this year they could lead to sickness and worse.”
“Show all your loved ones your care by only celebrating with your own household.”

Covid-19 is surging in our community 
=Explore case, testing, and hospitalization data on our COVID-19 dashboard.

Temporary closures
==Local orders will last for four weeks, starting at 12:01am on Monday December 7 and ending at 11:59pm on January 4 in both Berkeley and the rest of Alameda County. The counties of Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and Santa Clara are also adopting the state rules on this accelerated pace.

==The temporary closures include the following:

  • Outdoor dining (take-out and delivery are still permitted)
  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
  • Indoor recreational facilities
  • Hair salons, barbershops and personal care services
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Movie theaters
  • Wineries, bars, breweries, and distilleries
  • Family entertainment centers, cardrooms and satellite wagering
  • Limited services not included in critical infrastructure

Temporary limits
==The following sectors will need to implement additional modifications and ensure 100 percent masking and physical distancing:

  • Outdoor recreational facilities: permitted only without any food, drink, or alcohol sales. Overnight stays at campgrounds prohibited.
  • Retail and shopping centers: indoor operations permitted at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores.
  • Hotels and lodging reservations are prohibited except for the purpose of Covid quarantine
  • Offices: remote only, except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
  • Places of worship and political expression: Only outdoor services permitted.
  • Entertainment production including professional sports: operation permitted without live audiences.

Permitted to continue operating
==The following sectors may remain open when a remote option is not possible, with appropriate COVID-19 preventative measures including ensuring 100 percent masking and physical distancing:

Quarantine urged for travelers and their contacts

==Anyone who travels out of the region is strongly urged to quarantine for 14 days when they return. There is a high likelihood that travelers may have been exposed to COVID-19 and could bring it back to our community.

Gatherings with other households temporarily prohibited
==All gatherings with members of other households are prohibited in the City of Berkeley, with limited exceptions:

  • Schools that are open and childcare providers may continue to operate.
  • Outdoor religious and cultural ceremonies may also continue.

==Both of the above exceptions have specific restrictions, which people should review in the City of Berkeley Health Order.

==If you had a social bubble, COVID-19 has now popped it.
==For the next month, we are now tasked with finding ways to stay healthy without being physically together. This virus lurks among us at an unprecedented level, making even small, outdoor, masked gatherings unsafe.

==“COVID-19 is posing its most dangerous threat yet in the pandemic,” said Berkeley Public Health Office Hernandez. “Immediate, drastic action is needed to prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. We hope that these emergency measures combined with a rising tide of individual actions that prevent spread can save lives and allow businesses and activities to re-open much sooner.”
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.
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  • Want to report illegal dumping?

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