University orders students to return home for winter break, but discourages travel due to COVID – Dateway

In an email sent to the University of California, Berkeley community, including a copy Campus reform obtained, the students were urged to “stay at home” and avoid social gatherings, but then described how he would close campus dormitories over winter break.

In the email, Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs Stephen Sutton, Medical Director Anna Harte and Assistant Vice-Chancellor Guy Nicolette all said that while they recognize that the students plan to travel during the winter break, “Many public health experts ask everyone to stay home.

However, UC-Berkeley will close its dormitories for the winter break to reduce energy use, according to the university’s website. Most students cannot stay in their dorms during winter break and are not allowed to return until January 14.

“Due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases statewide, a regional stay-at-home order has been announced and will last until January 4, 2021. It prohibits private gatherings of any size (at indoor or outdoor), many types of operations except critical infrastructure and retail, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing, ”the email states.

He continues to encourage students to stay at home while adding that the university has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving.

“Please note that many public health experts ask everyone to stay home and absolutely avoid social gatherings with those they are not currently living with. In fact, our campus has seen a recent surge in cases related to holiday gatherings, with a total number of cases since Thanksgiving equal to all those seen in October and November combined, ”Sutton said.

After discouraging social gatherings, the memo then says the university will close all dorms except one.

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The university’s website further explains the dormitory closure by stating that students are not allowed to stay in their dorms during winter break.

“During the winter break, most of the university residences on campus close and residents must vacate the buildings.”

Students were scheduled to leave by 10:00 a.m. on December 19 and are not allowed to return before 9:00 a.m. on January 14. The email explains that students are not allowed to stay during the break as they wish to reduce energy use.

“All university residences, except Martinez Commons, will be closed during the semester break (12/19 / 20-1 / 13/21). All residents must leave the rooms at the start of the half-yearly break on Saturday, December 19, 2020, before 10 a.m. Residents are not allowed to reside in buildings during the semester break due to reduced energy consumption. “

“However, residents are permitted to leave their belongings in the hallways during the semester break at their own risk. Residents can return to the rooms from 9 am on Thursday, January 14, 2021. ”

The university’s travel website emphasizes the risk of contracting COVID-19.

“Non-essential travel by faculty, staff, and students is strongly discouraged, as travel increases your chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” says -he.

Janet Gilmore, senior director of strategic communications at UC Berkeley, said Campus reform that the school will accommodate students who will stay on campus.

“The majority of students living in our dorms have informed us that they are planning to leave for the winter break, therefore all but one dorm will be closed. For students at our residence who wish to stay over winter break, we will accommodate them in on-campus accommodation, ”said Gilmore.

“To clarify, as winter break approaches, we wanted to encourage students to stay safe and let students know about recent stay-at-home orders. For those who travel, once they get home, public health experts ask everyone to stay home and absolutely avoid social gatherings with those they don’t live with.

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