Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Berkeley's early start at physical distancing and hand washing may be having a positive influence on the rate of transmission of Covid-19, but not all residents are observing the regulations to prevent the disease from spreading rapidly.

As a result, the Health Officers of the City of Berkeley and six other Bay Area counties issued more stringent rules about activities and work that will go into effect at midnight on Tuesday, March 31 .

There are currently 19 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Berkeley. Of those 19, 11 have recovered. This number only reflects lab-confirmed cases, not the total number of people in Berkeley infected with COVID-19. For updated information, Berkeleyside has a " Covid-19 Updates " page. The City also has current information here .

Please let me know if you need anything and I will make every effort to try to arrange for you to get what you need. The most important thing is that you stay at home and only go out if it is essential. Maintain a six foot distance from others outside of your household. Wash your hands with soap and water for twenty seconds every time you touch a surface or object that may be contaminated.

If there ever was a time when we need to take care of each other, it is now.

Be well,
Susan Wengraf 
Stay-at-Home Order Extended to May 3
The City of Berkeley’s Health Officer and 6 other Bay Area public health jurisdictions are extending a previous Stay-at-Home order through May 3, 2020 in order to slow the spread and reduce future impact on local hospitals from COVID-19.
The new Stay-at-Home order will supersede the previous order and go into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31. It is a complement to the indefinite statewide Stay-at-Home order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month.
The new order adds some clarifying language around essential businesses and activities, as well as some new directives, including:

  • Use of playgrounds, dog parks, public picnic areas, and similar recreational areas is prohibited. These areas are closed to public use.
  • Use of shared public recreational facilities such as golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, pools, and rock walls is prohibited. These facilities are closed for recreational use.
  • Sports requiring people to share a ball or other equipment are limited to people in the same household
  • Essential businesses are required to develop a social distancing protocol before April 3
  • Most construction—residential and commercial—is prohibited
  • Landscapers and similar service professionals may only provide services necessary to maintain the sanitation, habitability, or operation of residences or businesses, or for safety reasons. They may not provide services that are cosmetic or for general upkeep.
  • Funerals are limited to no more than 10 people attending
  • The term "Essential businesses" is expanded to include service providers that enable residential transactions (notaries, title companies, Realtors, etc.); funeral homes and cemeteries; moving companies, rental car companies and rideshare services that specifically enable essential activities
  • Essential businesses that continue to operate facilities must scale down operations to their essential component only

"While many people have taken on these responsibilities with care and focus, we need to do even better," said Dr. Lisa B. Hernandez, the City of Berkeley Health Officer. "Lives depend on everyone taking action."

For an updated list of Frequently Asked Questions about the new Stay-at-Home order, click here .
Do You Own a Small Business in Berkeley?
The City of Berkeley has launched the Berkeley Business Continuity Grants, an emergency relief fund with an allocation of $1 million to help mitigate COVID-19 related financial losses that Berkeley’s small businesses have suffered.
The City is making grants of up to $10,000 available to Berkeley-based small businesses and nonprofits to enable continuity through and/or beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.


Applications for the first round of grant funding will be accepted through Monday, April 6 at 5pm (PDT). Up to $1 million (the City’s committed funds) will be allocated in the first round. A second round will subsequently occur to allocate any leftover City funds as well as private philanthropic funds raised through the Berkeley Relief Fund.

Eligibility Requirements and Restrictions

  • An existing business or nonprofit organization located within City of Berkeley, with an active business license as of March 1, 2020
  • Minimum 1 employee, Maximum 50 employees
  • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in revenues due to COVID-19
  • Funds must be used to cover payroll, rent, or working capital for the business to cover operational expenses

To Apply

Complete the on-line application form . Applications will only be accepted through Submittable. See instructions on how to create a Submittable account .

The application was designed to take no more than one hour to complete. OED staff are available to provide technical assistance with the use of the Submittable platform.

Review Process

Staff will review and process applications as quickly as possible, and will notify applicants via e-mail within 10 business days of the end of the application period about the status of their application.


If you have questions about the relief fund or the application process, contact OED staff at or call (510) 981-7530.

Other City of Berkeley Relief Funds

Information on the other two City of Berkeley emergency relief grant programs may be found at:
Donation of Protective Equipment
Support Berkeley's response to COVID-19 by donating masks, gowns, gloves, hand sanitizer, and other protective supplies.

The equipment will help support our firefighters, nurses, police and others.

The City is accepting donations of personal protective equipment and other in-kind goods listed below.

  • N-95 masks (expired masks accepted)
  • Masks (isolation or surgical)
  • Gowns (isolation or surgical)
  • Gloves (all sizes)
  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
  • Disinfectant wipes and sprays (bleach and peroxides)
  • Face shields
  • Shoe covers
  • Goggles/eye protection
  • Tyvek coveralls

Items must be in sealed packages or unopened boxes .

Please fill out our supplies donation form . We will follow up with any questions and respond with the next steps.

If you're not sure whether your item is an appropriate type or model, leave a note in the comments section with additional detail.

The City is unable to accept items not included on this list.
Berkeley Relief Fund
Earlier this month, the City Council unanimously voted to create a Berkeley Relief Fund with $3 million in City funds to support low-income residents, small businesses, and non-profit arts organizations impacted by COVID-19.

The council is now going out into the community and encouraging people to contribute to this fund. I urge you to join me in making a donation of any amount to this important cause.
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