Dear Berkeley City College student,
We hope this message finds you well. While Berkeley City College is excited for the resumption of in-person learning in the Spring, we acknowledge any reservations individuals may have considering the status of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It has changed nearly every aspect of the way we carry out our lives personally, professionally, and academically and has tragically impacted so many in our community.
We write to inform you of the modifications undertaken by the College and the District to ensure the return to campus is as safe as possible. With the support of the Peralta Community College District Interim Chancellor Dr. Jannette Jackson and the Board of Trustees, we are moving forward with returning to in-person learning on January 24th, 2022. These policies are designed to provide multiple layers of protection to mitigate the transmission of Covid-19. The district hosted a webinar on December 20th, 2021 to provide details of our policies. You may find it here.
Below is a list of policies in place:
- Vaccination Requirement: As a condition of, and, for permission to access all properties controlled by the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) all students must provide proof of “full” COVID-19 vaccination (as defined by the U.S. Center for Disease Control) or submit a request for exemption on medical, disability, religious grounds, or a deferral based on pregnancy. Full Covid-19 vaccination at this time is defined as two doses of an mRNA vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Currently, 94% of faculty and staff have provided proof of vaccination to the district. The remaining 6% were granted exceptions. Students are able to upload their proof of vaccination while registering for classes at Campus Solutions. Instructions are provided in written and video PCCD is accepting vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) in our vaccine policy. You may find a list of WHO-approved vaccines here.
- Air purification: PCCD’s Department of General Services in partnership with Network Environmental Services, Inc. addressed all remediation recommendations at Berkeley City College and re-assessed the areas after recommendations were implemented during the Winter Break. We prioritized the placement of air purifiers in identified spaces and all spaces now meet the recommended air exchange rates and industry targets. The final report is available on Safe Peralta.
- Daily Health Screening: All Berkeley City College students and employees will undertake mandatory daily health screenings before entering campus. Students must register for Campus Shield and present a screening result Bright Star Care staff before entering campus. Bright Star Care will be on campus everyday beginning at 7:30 a.m. to verify compliance with the vaccination requirement for students and employees, as well as assisting Berkeley City College with other public health matters.
- Masking policy: PCCD is following the Cal/OSHA, Alameda County Department of Public Health, City of Berkeley COVID Protocols. Everyone is required to wear masks while indoors. Current information regarding the District’s efforts can be found at Safe Peralta: Peralta Secure.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): In preparation for the beginning of face-to-face instruction, “kits” with appropriate health and safety materials (e.g., masks, sanitizers, wipes, etc.) are in each classroom. If a student does not follow the college policy and process to wear a mask, or if they fail to follow an employee’s directive to wear the mask, they will be asked to leave the premises by Marina Security and will be subject to the Student Code of Conduct process. Each classroom or workspace will have a box of masks if replacement is necessary.
- Weekly Covid-19 Testing: PCCD is offering weekly testing at each of the colleges and district office. Weekly Covid-19 testing, administered by Virtual Health Solutions (VHS), is available at Berkeley City College in the atrium every Thursday from 8:00am to 12:00pm. VHS offers rapid tests (results produced within 15 minutes) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests (results produced within 72 to 96 hours). The weekly schedule is:
- MONDAYs 8:00 am – 12:00 noon at Laney College in the Forum Building
- TUESDAYs 8:00 am – 12:00 noon at College of Alameda in Building F (Student Center)
- WEDNESDAYs 8:00 am – 12:00 noon at Merritt College in Building R (Huey Newton Student Lounge)
- THURSDAYs 8:00 am – 12:00 noon at Berkeley City College in the Open Atrium
- FRIDAYs 9:00 am – 11:00 am at the District Office in the Atrium (by the Boardroom)
This decision was made with careful consideration by the District with the understanding that a last-minute shift to all-remote learning would be detrimental and counterproductive for our students and staff, who have been preparing to return to campus since November, 2021. We remind our students that PCCD is not an outlier in this decision. Many of our neighboring higher education districts are following their own similar frameworks to return to in-person learning in a safe and secure manner.
We hope these measures provide some peace of mind as we welcome students back to campus. We look forward to seeing you this Spring.
Berkeley City College