Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

UC Berkeley Coronavirus (COVID-19) Info (updated regularly )

Guidelines for Resuming Research Operations in the College of Chemistry (06/22/2020)

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to faculty, staff, graduate students and postdocs in order to prepare for the ramp up in research activities in the CoC. This document will be re-evaluated as needed to meet the directives and guidelines from campus, the city, and the county.

University-Wide Guidance:
https://news.berkeley.edu/coronavirus/

Relevant contact Information and resources:
Environmental Health and Safety: https://ehs.berkeley.edu/covid-19

University Health Services/Tang Center: https://uhs.berkeley.edu/home

I. CoC Guiding Principles
We will be guided by the following principles as we plan for the ramp up in laboratory work in the CoC.

  1. Our top priority is public health: your health, as well as the health of our CoC community and the community at large (city, county, etc.). The guidelines that are provided will endeavor to prevent an increase in infections as a result of an increased presence in our buildings. Any guidelines will align with current state and local Public Health orders and recommendations.
  2. The CoC is committed to transparency in how decisions are made.
  3. The CoC will make decisions that align with our mission to maintain excellence and our pre-eminent position.
  4. The return to laboratory activity will be phased and is likely to take months. This also means that the way in which we conduct laboratory work will change to reduce physical interactions until the pandemic is under control.
  5. We aspire to provide guidelines that maintain equity. We are all responsible for ensuring that the guidelines are followed.

II. CoC Policies-at-a-glance
For laboratory spaces, we are anticipating a density budget of ~25% during the campus Phase 2.

Each research group shall complete a plan for continuing work that adheres to the guidelines for minimizing the spread of the virus. These plans, details of which will be provided separately, will be submitted to the department chairs (Reimer, CBE; Francis, Chemistry) who will confer with the rest of the CoC COVID-19 task force to review and approve the plans.

Staggered work shifts will be scheduled to allow multiple people to work that conforms with a maximum personnel density budget. Each lab will decide the shift protocols that work best for their type of research.

  1. Please address questions that you may have to your direct supervisor first. If these cannot be resolved in that way, contact Executive Associate Dean Sarpong, Senior Assistant Dean Kumpf, or Senior Assistant Dean Sutton.
  2. Requests for special accommodations due to disability or a medical condition may be directed to the College Office of Disability Access and Compliance (ODAC) representative Senior Assistant Dean Kumpf at 510-643-0648.
  3. Report any instances of behavior that does not conform with these guidelines to your advisor or supervisor, who, in turn, should relay this information to the GSAO, Vice Chair for Graduate Studies, the Department Chair, or Senior Assistant Dean Kumpf at 510-643-0648.
  4. Individuals who do not feel comfortable with returning to their workplace during the anticipated gradual start should be accommodated by their supervisors/advisors. If there is concern about this, individuals are empowered to contact the chair of their department (Prof. Reimer for CBE, reimer@berkeley.edu ; or Prof. Francis for Chemistry, mfrancis@berkeley.edu). If concerns continue to persist, contact EAD Sarpong (rsarpong@berkeley.edu) and after that Dean Douglas Clark (dsc@berkeley.edu).

Research Analytical Facility Plans

Analytical Facilities and Shops will work to maintain the recommended physical distancing plans and appropriate use of PPE. Please refer to the following for SOPs for Analytical Facilities:

NMR: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XiN4h7DY9_7NQL6gmHaOdVEMYcPFq3TEsYb8...

Microanalytical Facility: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-PHJeY2kalH_84pwEpHsAHdungdV7EtA/view

CheXRay: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ptiMDJvDFo1wrmlpGnifmsl0KFldljCplJoI...

Molecular Graphics Computation Facility: http://mgcf.cchem.berkeley.edu/mgcf/reopen.html

III. 1) What to do before coming to lab

Laboratory General Guidelines

  • Please prioritize the health of your coworkers and the health of our community and avoid trying to stretch the rules.
  • Please refer to the recommendations found here: https://uhs.berkeley.edu/coronavirus/faculty-staff-resources/returning-work (when on the page click on the orange square for detailed information.)
  • All researchers and PIs must take the COVID-19 online training (EH&S 207) offered by campus.

III. 2) What to do when working onsite

Remain in the laboratory for only as long as necessary to complete research tasks

Accessing buildings

  • Do not hold the door open for anyone or leave doors propped open.
  • We anticipate that entry/exit doors will be defined and clearly marked.
  • Visitors, visiting trainees, or guests are not allowed on campus or our buildings unless pre-approved by the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Face Coverings

  • Face coverings are mandatory except when alone in a private office or eating away from others and observing physical distancing. When moving about the lab or the corridors you must have a face covering ready to don before you enter the 6 foot social distancing requirement.
  • Instructions for wearing and caring for face coverings can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TwkkyZUYNI0JenTy_7FbUlSF9vnkWH0wZwAc...
  • Avoid social interactions in stairways, elevators, and bathroom: One person at a time on elevators and in bathrooms

Gloves

  • Gloves used while working in the labs shall not be worn to touch doorknobs either in the lab or in public spaces. This is the same requirement as before COVID-19. If occupants choose to wear gloves inside the building, it is imperative that gloves are not used to touch door handles, elevator buttons, etc. as others in the area will not know if the gloves are clean or contaminated.
  • Custodial staff are onsite cleaning and sanitizing commonly touched areas so the need for gloves is greatly reduced. It is strongly recommended that building users wash their hands after touching door knobs/handles etc. and frequently throughout the day. This has proven to be much more effective than glove use and therefore is the guideline the College recommends.

Physical Distancing at a glance

  • Each laboratory bay occupied by one person
  • Only every other hood may be occupied at a maximum
  • Small rooms/offices should maintain 100 sq ft per person
  • Comply with capacity signs in elevators and restrooms
  • Seek alternate routes when possible to maintain physical distancing. Please adhere to the recommended directions for hallways.
  • In some cases, training of new laboratory members is required where two people must work together. These interactions may proceed but should be minimized and 6 feet physical distancing must be employed.
  • If working alone in a laboratory, please establish cross checks or other communication measures with those in proximity (in your laboratory or neighboring laboratories). This may be accomplished with Slack, phone, text, etc.
  • Labs should clearly post maximum occupancy levels on each room door.
  • Check a room's occupancy levels before entering. If occupancy isn't visible, knock before entering.
  • If you need to talk to colleagues in another lab or analytical facility, etc., call or set up a Zoom chat. In-person meetings should only occur when there is no other choice.

Sanitation Practices

  • All laboratories should prepare spray bottles containing 70% isopropanol or ethanol or 1:10 dilute bleach to disinfect bench surfaces, doorknobs, and shared equipment frequently.
  • Lab surfaces and high touch areas within your lab should be sanitized using ≥70% EtOH or IPA solution immediately before and after use.
  • Thorough surface cleaning should be performed at the beginning and end of a shift.
  • Shared equipment should be sanitized before and after use.
  • Hands should be washed immediately upon arrival to your lab and immediately before leaving. The CDC recommends at least 20 seconds of vigorous scrubbing.
  • Wash and sanitize your hands hourly while on campus and always after talking with and/or handling material that was in contact with another individual.
  • Wash hands with soap and water regularly, especially after removing gloves
  • Wash hands before entering and before leaving any lab.
  • Wash hands before and after putting on or removing any face covering.
  • Wash hands before and after handling any shared devices (like lab phones).

Shared Spaces

  • Treat all restrooms as single-occupancy. Call out when entering a restroom to assessoccupancy. If someone else is in the restroom, wait outside the restroom for them to exit before you enter. Use a paper towel to touch door handles and faucets, and wash your hands upon entering and leaving.
  • Avoid using the elevator. If possible, use the stairs. If you must use the elevator, limit elevator occupancy to no more than one per elevator car.

Eating/Drinking
Do not congregate in rooms to eat, nor should you be eating/drinking in a lab or at a research workstation.
To minimize contact with others, you can bring your own food from home and eat in your own private office, if you have one. If not, find a location outdoors or indoors, and be sure to maintain distance from others.
Sharing food or drinks in communal areas should be avoided

If someone tests positive for COVID-19

Contact:

University Health Services (UHS)
2222 Bancroft Way (2nd floor)
Berkeley, CA 94720

Call:

(510) 642-6891 (M-F 8am-4:45pm)

Environmental Health and Safety will be notified by UHS and will be responsible for bringing in adequate cleaning crews to thoroughly sanitize areas where that individual has been.

Resources provided by the campus and CoC

  • Hand soap in restrooms
  • Hand sanitizer in public/common areas. Empty soap and sanitization stations should be reported to: chem_request@berkeley.edu
  • Two cloth face coverings
  • Laboratory coats and cleaning services for laboratory coats will follow the same process as before the Shelter in Place order. It is recommended that you use the "mail to mail" process and not use the Hildebrand hamper drop off during this time.
  • Hazardous Waste pickup will follow the same process as before the Shelter in Place. If you need additional service for the Contaminated Lab Debris (blue drum) pick up please email hwp@berkeley.edu and a pick up will occur within 24-48 hrs in most cases.

Resources from the CoC Chem Stores (available for purchase):

  • Gloves
  • Bulk solvents (IPA and ethanol, etc.)

Resources that groups are expected to self-source:

  • Ingredients for sanitizers (aloe, glycerol, etc.) until the college receives its sanitizer order (due in July)
  • Containers/spray bottles until college receives spray bottles that have been ordered
  • Hand soap for inside laboratory rooms

III. 3) What to do when you leave the lab

  • Sanitize your work surfaces and anywhere you have touched.
  • Sanitize the door handles inside and out as you leave the lab and discard wipes in the trash receptacles in the hallways or outside.

In case of Emergency dial 911 and follow the Guidelines that are posted in your lab.

IV. CoC Response to Non-Compliance

The CoC believes in a responsible community that will observe all the guidelines that are described here as we work toward a ramp-up of our research activities. Should cases of non-compliance arise or persist, we have a process of checks and balances that begin with engaging the Principal Investigator (PI) responsible for the research group to address the issue. Continued violations will be addressed through a campus escalation policy:
https://campuspol.berkeley.edu/policies/researchsafetystandards.pdf

Update on Access to CoC Buildings

Although Campus is moving into a slow Phase 2 ramp up, all campus buildings remain locked and access to buildings continues to be limited to VCRO approved essential researchers only. Researchers requesting designation as essential will require their PI's approval and VCRO approval. If you have not received an email from UCPD with a letter designating you as essential, you have not yet been approved and have not been given building access by UCPD. If you have received approval to return to campus and have not been granted access please keep in mind that UCPD is operating with very limited staffing and that it may take up to 2 business days before your electronic access has been granted in the access control system.

Please note that Chemistry Facilities Management will only fix access issues for those who have been VCRO approved and have received the UCPD authorization letter.

For short term access to retrieve files and equipment please contact Mike Kumpf, Senior Assistant Dean of Facilities Operations and Research Safety for access which is currently being granted on Tuesdays at Noon.

2020 Fall Semester Info for Undergraduate Students (06/17/2020)

Message to undergraduates from Chancellor Carol Christ, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education Catherine P. Koshland, and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Stephen C. Sutton.

2020 Fall Semester Info for Graduate Students (06/17/2020)

Message to graduate students from Chancellor Carol Christ; Paul Alivisatos, executive vice chancellor and provost; Lisa García Bedolla, vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the graduate division; and Stephen C. Sutton, vice chancellor for student affairs.

2020 Fall Info for Faculty & Staff (06/17/2020)

Message to faculty, staff, graduate student instructors, and graduate student researchers from Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos sent the following message to faculty, staff, graduate student instructors, and graduate student researchers.

College of Chemistry (COC) Recommended Guidelines for Social Distancing for Approved Essential Personnel (updated regularly )

The recommendations help to guide social distancing practices and maintain safety and health in the COC for approved essential personnel. We hope that essential staff that are coming into our buildings will adopt these practices. The document will be updated as new information is learned so please return to it frequently.

Also available is an approved WHO/FDA SOP/Hand Sanitizer Recipe.

Disinfectants active against SARS-CoV-2 (06/11/2020)

Dear Colleagues:

In response to several requests for information, we are providing the following EPA website that provides a comprehensive list of disinfectants for the virus that causes COVID-19. As a college of chemistry, many research groups have the expertise to obtain or prepare these agents. We encourage those with the expertise who will be working in our buildings to avail themselves of this resource to supplement the cleaning/disinfection efforts of the campus in our buildings.

Sincerely,
Richmond Sarpong and Michael Kumpf

UPDATE: CoC Approved Essential Personnel (05/19/2020)

Dear Colleagues:

We are sending to you an update on the College's response, guidance and recommendations for approved essential personnel in your laboratories. These updates reflect the current, most accurate, information that we have. Please forward to your approved essential personnel. It has come to our attention that compliance with the face mask requirement at all times is not being followed by some approved essential personnel. While we have no way of policing this behavior, it is our hope that in the interest of keeping everyone safe and out of respect for our community, our coworkers will follow the guidelines. Please remind your coworkers who are in our buildings at this time of this.

EH&S Updates
• The College is working with campus EH&S to evaluate the new flame resistant Nomex face masks as part of the risk-based approach to face mask use with flammables and pyrophorics. The availability of fire resistant masks is at least 30 days out. We recommend following the guidance issued in the daft Face Covering Recommendations provided by campus EH&S, which are now finalized: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TwkkyZUYNI0JenTy_7FbUlSF9vnkWH0wZwAcTYSyXww/edit?usp=sharing
• Gloves for purchase in the Storeroom were re-ordered last week. Sixteen of the 18 cases ordered of various sizes and types are expected to arrive tomorrow, May 20, 2020.

FACILITIES UPDATES
Please refer to the following sites for the latest SOPs for using the following facilities:
NMR: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XiN4h7DY9_7NQL6gmHaOdVEMYcPFq3TEsYb8ZuezUzY/edit

Microanalytical Facility:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-PHJeY2kalH_84pwEpHsAHdungdV7EtA/view

CheXRay:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ptiMDJvDFo1wrmlpGnifmsl0KFldljCplJoIkMav4xU/edit?usp=sharing

Molecular Graphics Computation Facility:
http://mgcf.cchem.berkeley.edu/mgcf/reopen.html

SOME IMPORTANT RESOURCES:
1. College COVID-19 site (this webpage): https://chemistry.berkeley.edu/coronavirus
2. College floor plans: https://drive.google.com/file/d/18Wplu2xUe6O5LyJLfJy20Ofv_iZsrxDQ/view?usp=sharing
3. Receiving contact sign up list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZFKrCqaP5HV3V3XmnQuGqN6RNPY8Nag1bxOphNcqSHw/edit#gid=0
4. Critical on-Campus Research Continuity Request (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfZXLQbR0NvU8JRq7Lcs3by45hEazKEK9eXgqILBGxMaGJqnQ/viewform)
5. College recommendations and guidelines for approved essential personnel: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a8DY2QENO3T_47AxNUzlQmpVd5NGYUr1/edit#

Stay safe and healthy.
Sincerely,
Richmond, Mike, and Suzanne

Facilities and Services in the COC for Approved Essential Personnel: (05/13/20)

Hazardous Waste Collection: Please continue to use the HWP online program to label and request pick up. There have been no changes to the process during the SIP. If you need to contact someone directly for questions please email: hwp@berkeley.edu.

Access to Analytical Facilities: The Analytical Facilities should be accessible to essential personnel that previously had approval to access the facility. If an essential person has been recently approved to use the NMR facility and does not have key card access, they should submit" a request for access to UCPD via the VCRO (Critical on-Campus Research Continuity Request). Essential personnel are encouraged to contact the Facility Directors via email prior to visiting the facilities. Each Facility has developed an operating protocol for social distancing, which should be discussed with the facility director prior to a visit:

NMR
Hasan Celik: hcelik@berkeley.edu
Please send an email to Hasan  with a list of approved essential workers from your laboratory that will use the NMR facility

CheXRay
Nick Settineri: nsettine@berkeley.edu

MicroAnalytical and ICP
Elena Kreimer: krel@berkeley.edu

Molecular Graphics and Computation
Kathy Durkin: durkin@berkeley.edu

Solvent Refill
This service will be available M, W, and Th 1-5 pm beginning May 18. To purchase solvent refill from the Storeroom, the contact person for the lab listed here is asked to schedule an appointment with Richard Newman: rjnewman86@berkeley.edu. Only one person per lab is asked to purchase solvent refill on behalf of the lab.

When purchasing solvent refill from Tan 772, please follow these guidelines to ensure safe social distancing and transmission prevention.

  • Please arrive with a face covering and maintain a 6' social distance.
  • After entering from the hallway doors, please place the solvent can(s) on the table staged outside 772 Tan and then proceed into Stores to make the purchase. It is recommended that you print your purchase receipt to verify the transaction was registered correctly. This only needs to be shown, but not tendered, to the Stores supervisor performing the filling operation.
  • Remain inside the Storeroom until the supervisor leaves 791 Tan for 772 Tan to perform the refill. Please follow shortly thereafter and wait at the end of the hallway near the main doors for the refill to be completed.
  • The refilled solvent cans will be placed on the staging table for pick up.

Please bear in mind that only one person may transit the cargo elevators at a time.

Mail Services
Campus will resume delivery of mail on W and Th. Mail will be sorted into the mailboxes located on Latimer 4th floor.

College of Chemistry Receiving Dock Limited Opening (05/13/2020)

In response to the survey that was administered to all PIs, we will be re-opening Hildebrand Receiving on a limited basis beginning Wednesday, May 13. Receiving will be open M, W, Th from 8-12 pm and will be minimally staffed with one employee. UPS and Fedex will be informed of this schedule to hold packages that arrive on days that Receiving is closed and to deliver the next business day.

Since Receiving will be minimally staffed, it will be able to receive all packages and equipment that is manageable for one person to handle. For example, Receiving would not be able to receive any large pieces of equipment that requires multiple people to lift and carry due to social distancing requirements or a forklift (which requires two certified people at all times to operate).

When packages arrive, Receiving will contact the point person listed for each lab by email or phone to pick up the package(s) from a designated area in Receiving. Please wear a face covering when picking up any packages.

Shelter-in-place Order Extended Through May 31 (04/29/2020)

The Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order has been officially extended through May with only limited easing of restrictions, including construction and certain outdoor activities.

For the UC Berkeley campus, this means our largely remote operations will continue through May, and some construction projects will likely resume. We will be reviewing the new order over the next few days to determine whether there will be any additional changes to current operations.

In accordance with the extended shelter in place timeline, the campus will be cancelling campus events that were scheduled to take place May 4 – May 31.

Read the full message sent to the campus community from Marc Fisher.

Critical Info for Graduate Students (04/23/2020)

Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

I am writing because I’ve come to realize that communication in this remote environment is especially challenging. I have heard that graduate students are unaware of many of the policy changes that have been made in response to the COVID crisis and the resources available to them. We depend on you to help us get information out to graduate students and faculty in your department. Please circulate this information widely!

This message includes a high-level summary of the most critical information we want to ensure your students have. For the most up-to-date information (updated daily) please encourage your students to look at the Graduate Division’s COVID-19 website

Financial Support:

  • Many graduate students are eligible for a $1,200 payment from the federal government under the CARES Act. If they have not received their payment, they should use the IRS “Get My Payment” tool.

  • There are a variety of emergency support programs available to graduate students, including (but not limited to): Emergency Rental Assistance Program, Food Assistance Program, and Housing Security Deposit Program.

    • We are working with FASO to distribute ~$3.25 million in CARES Act funds for graduate students as quickly and automatically (e.g., no application required) as possible.

    • International and some undocumented students are not eligible to receive CARES funding. We are working to find other ways to provide financial support to these students.

  • Summer funding: Graduate Division increased summer funding by $600,000. You should already have received notice of the increased funding your department will receive. We urge you to use those funds to support your most needy students.

If your students would like assistance navigating these resources, encourage them to sign up for a 15-minute virtual appointment with Graduate Student Life Director Larissa Charnsangavej: https://calendly.com/larissa-charn/graduate-life

Academic Support:

  • Normative time has been extended for doctoral students by one semester.

  • Spring filing deadlines have been extended by two weeks; summer filing is now free for all graduate students, including MA Plan II students. 

    • The Graduate Division is creating new logistical procedures for filing degrees (including allowing for electronic signatures and an entirely remote filing and degree completion process). 

The Graduate Division staff is here to help you and help our students navigate these challenging times. We urge you to be as flexible as possible with your students. I have heard disturbing stories of faculty being insensitive to the many challenges graduate students are facing at this difficult time. I hope we can work together to build a culture of compassion and generosity within your graduate programs.

Thank you for all you do for our graduate students and for our campus.

Stay well,

Lisa

University of California, Berkeley
graddean@berkeley.edu | 510-642-5472

PPE Purchases Info from ChaMPS (04/22/2020)

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, on April 7, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-46-20 making masks, PPE, and other critical materials that protect public health exempt from tax when sold to, or purchased by, the State of California.

PPE Orders - masks, goggles, gloves, gowns, face shields, protective eyewear, lab coats, (sanitizers excluded) must use the account code 55022 (medical supplies) in Bearbuy.

Please let me know if you have any questions

Thank you

https://supplychain.berkeley.edu/news/limited-availability-%EF%BB%BFsani...

Olyn Riega Diaz
Financial Services Supervisor- ChaMPS
University of California, Berkeley
105 Lewis Hall
Berkeley,CA 94720
Office: 510.664.5436
Cell: 510.860.6119
https://champs.berkeley.edu/

Undergraduate Academic Policies & Procedures Related to COVID-19 (04/03/2020)

Information from CoC Undergraduate Student Services: We hope you and your families are well and staying safe. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, please check the Undergraduate Student Services web portal regularly for important updates affecting students.

Donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supplies (03/25/2020)

Dear Colleagues,

As you are keenly aware, hospitals and health centers, including our own University Health Services and Optometry clinic, are facing a dire shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

To address this urgent gap and assist professionals on the front lines against COVID-19, we are seeking the partnership of our UC research and teaching labs that are currently shut down, to share surplus PPE to our UC health and medical center colleagues.

To contribute, please provide a high-level estimate of all transferrable (donation) PPE in your lab using the easy-to-complete "UC Berkeley PPE Supplies Donation Survey" form. Your lab may wish to hold in reserve PPE supplies for at least a 3-month operation. High-need forms of PPE are outlined in the form. I realize that your access to this information is currently limited, and rough numbers are a higher priority than exact details of counts, sizes and types.

The UC Office of the President is moving this PPE within the UC system, to support our UC health & medical colleagues and patient care needs. At UC Berkeley this includes University Health Services, Optometry clinics, and front line providers such as UCPD and custodial staff. Locally we include the UCSF/Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, which is transitioning to a COVID-19 care facility including adults.

Campus will follow up with us once an initial inventory is complete, to advise on next steps for drop-offs. Our #1 goal is to protect the health-care operations of the San Francisco Bay Area, which in turn protect our high-risk family & neighbors and, ultimately, all of us. Together, we are "flattening the curve" for our UC Berkeley and UCSF medical colleagues and all residents of California.

Note: if you have personal supplies or know of outside organizations with unused PPE suitable for donation, you are welcome to donate them to the UC effort, or direct them to the Donate Your PPE clearinghouse.

With gratitude,
Doug

--
Douglas S. Clark
Dean and G.N. Lewis Professor
College of Chemistry
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

Campus Commencement Postponed Due to Coronavirus (03/23/2020)

Message from Chancellor Christ announcing that due to the continuing public health threat posed by COVID-19, the May 16 all-campus commencement has been postponed.

A Message of Hope from the College of Chemistry (03/23/2020)

Dear College of Chemistry Community,

As we enter the week of spring break, I urge us all to take a deep breath. The events of the last few weeks have been truly jarring. Seemingly overnight, we have had to change the way we live and think, abandoning the comfort of old routines and adjusting to the stark new reality of mitigation and sheltering in place. It has been at times frightening and confusing, and all the while extremely challenging. But spring is the season of hope, and the response of our community to the crisis at hand has been extraordinary, providing us all with ample reason for hope.

Our community has stepped up in many ways at all levels. Our entire faculty and staff have been tireless in converting lecture and even laboratory courses to an online format in remarkably short order, enabled by the creative assistance of our superb graduate student instructors. Likewise, all of our students have adjusted on the fly to a completely new learning environment, while at the same time grappling with the many other challenges presented by these trying times. Another reminder of just how exceptional our students truly are. In all, the cooperation, flexibility, and ingenuity (and good humor) displayed by everyone throughout this abrupt transition have been nothing short of inspiring. (Further details on the campus's response to the outbreak can be found at https://chemistry.berkeley.edu/coronavirus.)

Our research enterprise also continues, albeit over safe distances through remote, offsite interactions among researchers. Rapid detection and effective treatment of COVID-19 are among the projects our faculty continue to work on in a largely virtual environment.

I would also like to acknowledge the continuing support of our peerless alumni and donors, especially those who contributed during the recent Big Give. Your generosity is, as always, greatly appreciated, and remains essential to maintaining our College's excellence during good times and bad.

The College of Chemistry has always distinguished itself over its near 150-year history, showing unparalleled leadership and innovation in education and research to meet the evolving needs of society and produce a better quality of life. Now is no different. When we emerge from this particularly challenging period, as we will, the College of Chemistry will still be leading, thanks to all of you.

I wish you all safe passage through these difficult times.

Doug

--
Douglas S. Clark
Dean and G.N. Lewis Professor
College of Chemistry
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

College of Chemistry Cryogen Plant Operations and Availability (03/18/2020)

Message from Steve WilliamsCollege of Chemistry Facilities Engineer:

The Cryogen plant will continue to supply liquid and gaseous nitrogen and liquid helium to the college. Currently I receive bulk liquid nitrogen for our dispenser every Tuesday morning. The liquid nitrogen dispenser is working and available 7 days a week 24 hours a day as long as you have been trained and granted access. If you need training it would be best to schedule something on Tuesday morning or have someone who has access already to fill your nitrogen dewars.

Liquid helium is delivered weekly on Tuesdays unless the vendor notifies me of a change, Liquid helium orders should be placed online and advance notice is required. I suggest scheduling to pick up helium on Tuesdays between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM will work best. I will monitor the helium orders and communicate any issues as we are still being allocated helium from our vendor. The door to the Cryogen Plant is normally unlocked from 7:30 AM until 4:30 PM Monday through Friday, but these are not normal times and the door is locked. If you need helium on any day besides Tuesday or in an emergency, please contact me by cell phone or email to make special arrangements.

If you get cylinders or liquid dewars delivered from an outside vendor like Airgas or Praxair please refer to Richmond Sarpong's email on how this should be handled. 

For additional questions contact Steve Williams:
510-642-5232 office 
707-656-3027 mobile 
swilliams5117@berkeley.edu

Executive Order from Paul Alivisatos, EVCP, Regarding Remote Instruction & Research (03/18/2020)

Dear colleagues,

The adoption of the Bay Area shelter-in-place was a dramatic action that has suddenly changed all of our lives. The University’s employees are permitted by the shelter-in-place orders to continue to come to work in order to carry out the University's essential functions. We write to provide clarity regarding who should and should not be coming to work at the campus to perform duties related to distance learning and research consistent with the procedures that the campus has now established for providing remote learning and research continuity.

This Executive Order issues directions regarding which employees and faculty members are permitted to come to campus today through April 7, while the Alameda County shelter-in-place order is in effect, for the purpose of carrying out remote instruction and engaging in essential research activities. This directive supersedes all earlier communications.

Please see the detailed information below. These are campus directives that everyone in our research and teaching communities must follow. They are not guidelines.

Who this directive covers

This message is a formal employment directive issued by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Administration and it applies to all employees and faculty, including visiting scholars and visiting student researchers, who are engaged in instruction and research activities. This directive does not apply to those employees who already are working from home except as necessary to support essential activities, consistent with the direction of their supervisor. This directive does not apply to administrators and managers whose presence on campus is essential. Employees and faculty who come to campus for reasons inconsistent with this directive are subject to discipline.

Remote instruction

Employees and faculty members may come to the campus only to engage in and directly support the delivery of remote learning instruction (and the limited, specific preparation necessary for such instruction) that cannot be accomplished from home. We have suspended our course capture serviceas of today. As you make the change to fully-remote instruction, please visit our Instructional Resilience Resources site to take advantage of the virtual consultation services (outlined below) offered by Research Teaching and Learning (RLT). The team is here to support you as best as possible as you transition in a virtual environment. We offer individual virtual consultations with staff who can help guide you on best practices and technical tools. Consultation services can be scheduled in the following ways:

Research

Principal investigators (PIs) and their research groups/staff may engage in only those research continuity activities that have been specifically approved by the Vice Chancellor for Research. See Calmessages of March 9 and March 17 for further detail. If you are uncertain as to whether the research activity that you are presently supporting is approved to continue during this period, fill in this form by 5 pm today. PI s will be notified about whether they have approval to continue their research on a rolling basis starting March 18, through March 20.

No one supporting the campus research enterprise can come to campus to support or engage in activities that have not been designated by the campus as appropriate. If you are being inappropriately pressured to come to your workplace, please contact the Vice Chancellor for Research (vcr@berkeley.edu), the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies (graddean@berkeley.edu), or the Assistant Vice Chancellor for People & Culture (avc-hr@berkeley.edu)

Building access

Please be advised that suspension of building access (including key-card access) to many campus administrative and research buildings is imminent. This action is necessary to secure and clean campus buildings. Building managers will be informed prior to suspension of access and will communicate information regarding building closure to occupants.

Supervisors, chairs, and building managers should begin compiling lists of employees and faculty who will continue to require building access on an exceptional basis in order to enable distance learning activities and research activities approved by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. Employees and faculty who believe that they should have such access should immediately communicate their needs to their supervisor or department chair.

When working from home has limitations

Instructors and the staff who support them may come to campus in order to access the internet and other campus resources for the purpose of delivery of remote learning. No employee or faculty member supporting instruction or research may decide to come to their office to work, for purposes other than delivering instruction, solely because their home internet access is not adequate or because their conditions at home are otherwise not conducive to working efficiently.  The University understands that employees may not be able to work with normal efficiency during this period. The campus has adopted an emergency procurement process to enable employees and faculty to obtain equipment and internet access to enable them to work from home. Employees and faculty who need these resources should request them from their supervisor or Chair.

A word of thanks

We know that a number of changes have gone into effect quickly and during an already stressful time. We want to thank you for your support and reiterate that these changes are designed to protect our community and to follow the new shelter-in-place order, while maintaining the essential, critical functions of the university.

Please continue to support each other as we work through these challenging times, and be well.

Sincerely,

Paul Alivisatos, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Marc Fisher, Vice Chancellor for Administration
Randy Katz, Vice Chancellor for Research

College of Chemistry Shelter in Place Message from Dean Douglas Clark (03/16/2020)

In view of Alameda County’s announcement advising county residents to shelter in place beginning Tuesday, March 17 at 12:01 a.m. through Tuesday, April 7, we are implementing a “maintenance-only” mode of physical operation of the College.

While some essential faculty/staff/researchers will need to visit the labs to secure research, stabilize equipment/instrumentation, and provide ongoing support to the College infrastructure systems, obtaining permission to do so will require that PIs submit the on-campus research continuity request form described in the announcement from VCR Katz entitled Research continuity & transitioning research to remote operation. We are currently seeking clarification on procedures for maintaining our multi-user core facilities.

Also, it has come to my attention that some staff have been unable to work remotely as a result of technical issues at home. With the recent Shelter in Place Ordinance, which requires that all non-essential staff work remotely until April 7th, this may cause even greater anxiety when work cannot be done remotely. In these cases, staff are allowed to use administrative paid leave in place of leave balances. Please confirm your arrangements with your supervisor.

For staff who have been experiencing technical difficulties accessing VPN, please make sure that the latest version of GlobalProtect has been downloaded on a supported platform. You may also want to check whether the correct Tunnel has been chosen, which is required to access certain Campus systems. More information and guidance can be found at https://security.berkeley.edu/services/bsecure/bsecure-remote-access-vpn.

Again, I am extremely grateful to our entire community for its exemplary behavior and flexibility throughout this escalating ordeal. Please continue to take every precaution to keep yourselves and your families safe over the next several weeks.

Best wishes, Doug
--
Douglas S. Clark Dean and G.N. Lewis Professor
College of Chemistry