Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

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

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 Receiving Dock Closure (03/17/2020)

Due to the county-mandated and campus-compliant Shelter-in-Place order now in effect, the Chemistry Receiving Dock will be CLOSED for the entire duration of the shutdown, as the operation is not considered essential to the campus "maintenance-only" mode of operations during this period. At this point, our carriers (UPS, FedEx, etc.) have indicated they intend to hold all packages & deliveries until campus reopens on April 7th.

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