UC Berkeley grad student has tested positive for COVID-19

An unfortunate update to the campus and university.

UC Berkeley released a statement that a graduate student has contracted the coronavirus COVID-19.

Luckily, the student is in “good condition” and does not have any “serious symptoms”. While this is an unfortunate development, the silver lining seems to be that the risk of this individual—who does not live in the city of Berkeley—spreading the virus has been deemed as minor.

Public health officials have determined that there are no high risk contacts from this case, meaning that no one is at significantly higher risk of contracting it from the infected individual than would be expected in the general population.

The university says they were “ready” for such an event and has protocols in place in accordance to guidance from a number of officials at the local and state levels.

In response to this incident, the school initiated a “deep cleaning” as needed to potentially contaminated areas. Academically, UC Berkeley has already converted as much instruction as possible to remote instruction and will have “social distancing practices” for courses that cannot be handled remotely; students have the option to move off-campus if they desire for their safety (and receive some compensatory reimbursement for remaining dorm or dining fees). In terms of athletics-related events, Cal has canceled all competitions for the spring semester and suspended nearly every other athletics activity, such as recruiting and practices.

Let’s hope that these measures are effective at curbing the spread of the coronavirus with minimal disruption to the lives of the Cal community.