February 7, 2020 Novel Coronavirus Update and Campus Response

TO: Faculty, students, staff
FROM: Marc Fisher, Anna Harte
SUBJ: Novel Coronavirus Update and Campus Response

Feb. 7, 2020

Dear campus community,

Currently there are no urgent updates to provide on the new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), as the situation here remains stable. There remain no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus at UC Berkeley.

Campus academic, administrative and medical leadership continue to convene several times each week to discuss the latest developments related to the Coronavirus, plan for contingencies, and respond to campus-specific issues. Leaders at University Health Services (UHS) are also coordinating with local, county, and state health officials.

A new protocol is now in place regarding travel on university business using university funds, for anyone traveling to countries designated by the U.S. Department of State as having a Level 4 advisory for travelers (i.e., Do Not Travel). Faculty, staff, and students planning to travel to “Level 4” countries must secure two levels of university approval prior to arranging travel: first from their dean and then from Lisa Alvarez-Cohen, vice provost and head of the campus Global Engagement Office. China has recently been added to the “Level 4” list. Here is a link to the new campus protocol.

Any student with health concerns related to the Coronavirus should contact UHS. If they have an illness that will affect their ability to meet their academic requirements (class attendance, assignments, exams), they should consult with the Disabled Students’ Program (DSP) to secure academic accommodations. Here is guidance about accommodations.

Please keep in mind that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials state that the risk of the coronavirus to the general U.S. Population remains low.  We invite you to read a recent Communications & Public Affairs office interview with  infectious disease specialist John Swartzberg, a clinical professor emeritus in the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program.

We will continue to keep you updated.


Anna Harte, M.D., Medical Director, University Health Services
Marc Fisher, Vice Chancellor for Administration