Berkeleyside is sharing this latest message from the city of Berkeley about coronavirus-related rulings. This one, about re-opening, was issued around 7 p.m. on Friday, and appears below in full.

If cases and hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 remain stable, the City of Berkeley Health Officer plans to release guidance next week allowing the following activities to open on June 19: indoor and outdoor retail, religious services, outdoor restaurant dining, outdoor museums and outdoor fitness classes.

The City guidance will closely align with state guidelines in places where COVID-19 data allows such a transition. These projected activities also reflect caution and the reality: neither treatment nor vaccine exists for COVID-19.

“Increased activities means that there will be increased spread of the virus, and we will continue to see more cases and potentially deaths,” said Dr. Lisa B. Hernandez, the City’s Health Officer. “Every person and every organization must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 inside their homes, workplaces and when outside those sites as well.”

Everyone should also follow these five recommendations:

  • Staying home is the safest place to be in a pandemic
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and otherwise use hand sanitizer
  • Keep at least 6 feet away from people outside your household at all times
  • Wear a face covering when outside the home and within 30 feet of someone outdoors .
  • If worried, get tested for free for COVID19

These transitions in the Shelter in Placer Order  align with the actions of the Health Officer for the rest of Alameda County. They are also accompanied by other actions by the City of Berkeley and others throughout the region to build up a public health infrastructure to support more movement. Specifically:

  • increased testing availability, including to those who do not have symptoms.
  • monitoring and providing personal protective equipment to health care facilities.
  • increasing the number of case interviewers and contact tracers, people who investigate each positive case, identify others who may have been exposed to that person, isolate those infected and quarantine others who may be exposed.

In alignment with the state’s guidance, indoor and outdoor retail and outdoor dining will be allowed at reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing. Residents and businesses are still strongly recommended to continue focusing primarily on pick-up and delivery options to limit lines and crowds.

Similarly, based on state guidance, religious services will be permitted to resume for up to 100 people or less than 25 percent building capacity, whichever is lower. Faith partners are strongly recommended to continue virtual services, especially for their high-risk congregants, and to limit attendance to 25 people and provide services outdoors.

All businesses allowed to operate under the Health Officer Orders must complete the Site-Specific Protection Plan and can use the City’s business guidance web page to help guide them and download key forms.

“The importance to take personal and workplace protective actions is as important as ever,” said Dr. Hernandez. “The continued transitions in this pandemic require increased personal, workplace and community responsibility to curb virus spread.”