Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this newsletter finds you all well and adapting to the new routines. When I go for my daily walk, I am comforted by the beauty of our landscape and the generosity of our residents. We live in a unique and wonderful community and for that I am very grateful. It is a true honor for me to be serving you. Let's help each other through this difficult time. I have faith that we can get through this together.
 
Information is evolving very quickly, and it is difficult to keep up with all the new facts, rules and regulations.
 
First let me say that there is absolutely no racial, ethnic, or cultural basis for COVID-19. Please direct anyone making those claims to reliable and trustworthy sources like the CDC or Alameda Health or Berkeley Health . Racism must not invade our efforts to deal with this pandemic. It's destructive and counter-productive.
 
Please continue to follow the Shelter in Place Order . Leave your home only for essentials and if you are in a higher risk category due to age or underlying health conditions, make arrangements for your food and medicines to be delivered. The stricter we are about following the Shelter in Place guidelines, the better we will be at flattening the curve and slowing down the spread of the virus.
 
The City of Berkeley has become more aggressive in its efforts to enforce social distancing. Disturbed by behavior over the weekend, where groups of people were congregating close together ignoring the Order, many activities will now be prohibited.
 
Additionally, other agencies have taken action to extend deadlines or suspend service.

Take care and be well,
Susan Wengraf 
DRIVER LICENSES AND REAL ID
If your California driver's license is expiring during the Shelter In Place Order, you have an additional 60 days to renew. You will not be cited for driving with an expired license.

The October 1, 2020 deadline for obtaining a Real ID has also been extended, but a new deadline has not yet been announced.
AC TRANSIT BUS IS FREE
AC Transit made a decision to stop charging fares during the Shelter in Place period. They are also implementing rear-door boarding, except if ADA ramps are required.
BERKELEY SCHOOLS
The Berkeley Unified School District announced today that schools will remain closed until May 1. 2020. This decision was in keeping with the Alameda County Public Health Department. The school closure date will impact all public schools throughout Alameda County.
BERKELEY PARKS and PLAYGROUNDS
Over the weekend, many people used parks and recreation facilities in ways that did not comply with shelter in place guidelines. Volleyball, basketball, and group sports and picnics still create opportunities for COVID-19 spread, even if you stay further apart than usual. If we do not slow the spread of this disease now, our health care system will become overwhelmed and may not be able to treat everyone who needs help.

All recreation areas other than open space in large parks are CLOSED .
These PARKS are CLOSED entirely:

  • 63rd Street Mini Park, 1615 63rd St.
  • Bateman Mall Park, 3027 Colby St.
  • Becky Temko Tot Park, 2424 Roosevelt St.
  • Charlie Dohr Mini Park, 2208 Action St.
  • Grizzly Peak Park, 50 Whitaker Ave.
  • Haskell-Mabel Mini Park, 1255 Haskell St.
  • Ohlone Dog Park, 1800 Hearst Ave.
  • Price Street Mini Park, 1631 Prince St.
  • Virginia McGee Totland, 1644 Virginia
These POOLS are CLOSED:

  • King Pool, 1700 Hopkins
  • West Campus Pool, 2100 Browning

These RECREATION CENTERS are CLOSED:

  • Adventure Playground, 160 University
  • Frances Albrier Community Center, 2800 Park St.
  • James Kenney Community Center, 1720 8th St.
  • Live Oak Community Center, 1301 Shattuck
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Services Center/Young Adult Project (YAP), 1730 Oregon St.
  • Shorebird Park nature center, 160 University
  • Willard Clubhouse, 2720 Hillegass

These SPORTS FIELDS are CLOSED :

  • Berkeley Skate Park, 711 Harrison
  • Gabe Catalfo Fields, 1100 4th St.
  • Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex, 400 Gilman St.
MEDICAL and RECREATIONAL CANNABIS
All retail cannabis dispensaries are prohibited from operating from retail venues. Cannabis product can be accessed through delivery only.
EAST BAY REGIONAL PARKS
In the interests of public health and safety, the East Bay Regional Parks has announced closures in response to overcrowding. See a list of park and trail closures here .
´╗┐DEALING WITH FOOD and PACKAGING
In this new world, there is no such thing as paranoia.

Three weeks ago, had someone told me that I would be washing and disinfecting the packaging of my oatmeal, I would have laughed. But nothing is normal anymore. Now we must be careful about bringing the Coronavirus into our homes.

My friend Joanne sent me this excellent video that explains how to protect yourself from the possibility of contaminated food packaging.

And in case you were wondering how long the COVID-19 virus can live on a surface, the National Institute for Health released this information last week:
After you touch anything, it is essential for you to wash your hands with soap and water for twenty seconds. Staying inside your house, washing your hands, and social distancing are the most important things that you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones. Here is something fun to inspire you (turn on your sound):
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.
311
  • 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