The new school year brings looser COVID-19 restrictions, with less testing and more field trips and classroom visitors.
People who are elderly and Black make up a disproportionate share of Berkeley’s 62 COVID-19 deaths.
Case rates are “plateauing at a high rate,” fueled by the BA.5 variant.
Reversing course, the Berkeley school board rescinded a vaccine-or-test policy for students and put a vaccine mandate for employees on hold at its Wednesday meeting.
The city’s public health officer has opted not to reinstate the requirement, citing data showing COVID cases in decline locally.
More students and staff are testing positive for COVID-19 again due to a surge fueled by omicron subvariants.
Health experts say positive cases are underreported, but high vaccination rates have meant fewer hospitalizations and deaths.
Berkeley’s case rate is higher than it’s been at any point in the pandemic other than the omicron surge. Hospitalizations remain low.
As self-testing becomes more common, the Berkeley health officer said the data is a useful tool in monitoring COVID-19 in the general population.
Parents shared thoughts on vaccination and testing as the school board decided whether to lobby the state legislature over two bills.
Families with medically vulnerable students or relatives are fighting to save the Virtual Academy program, launched last fall.
Berkeleyside analyzed district data to break down how state and federal COVID-19 relief money was spent.