Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information, 3/2/20

Corona Virus and the National Zero Waste Conference

Update March 10, 2020

On March 9 event organizers were notified by UC Berkeley that “all campus-sponsored events with plans for more than 150 attendees will be canceled or postponed” to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This new policy applies to the National Zero Waste Conference.

As a result, in line with the University’s announcement and in the interest of public health, NRC is suspending the National Zero Waste Conference scheduled for March 18 & 19, 2020.

We are now actively planning alternative arrangements, including alternative dates and coordinating online presentations (see here). Please adjust your travel plans (e.g. air and hotel reservations) and revise other related logistics now.

We are working on how to handle requests for refunds and cancellations.  Your patience is appreciated while we figure that out. 

If you have questions beyond the issues related to refunds and cancellations, please email Sarah DeSouza at

Below we’ve posted the Chancellor’s letter and a screenshot of the message we sent to registered attendees on March 10, 2020 at 9:00 AM.

Chancellor‘s Office
March 9, 2020

Today I am announcing new campus actions designed to help limit coronavirus (COVID-19) risk on campus. There are no confirmed cases on our campus at this time; however, as local, national, and global public health recommendations shift to include mitigation of transmission, the campus is proactively taking steps that will help to protect the community.

These changes are effective starting Tuesday, March 10, and will remain in place through Spring Break, which ends March 29. A decision on what will happen on March 30 and beyond will occur at a later date, based on the latest coronavirus information at that time.


  • Beginning Tuesday, March 10, we will be suspending most in-person classes and will be offering ALL lecture courses (including discussion sections),  seminar instruction and examination through alternative modalities (e.g., Zoom, course capture, etc.) through Spring Break.
  • Instructors who do not have remote learning processes in place by March 10 will be given a two-day period (March 10 and 11) during which they may cancel classes, to allow them time to establish such processes and to ready their course(s) for resumption online by Thursday, March 12. Students, please look for communications from instructors about plans for individual courses.
  • Courses that must meet in person because alternative instruction outside of the classroom is not appropriate will continue to meet in person. For the time being, this will include all laboratory, performing arts, and physical education courses, although they are encouraged to minimize in-person meetings as appropriate.


  • All campus-sponsored events with plans for more than 150 attendees will be canceled or postponed.These include events put on by the administration or an academic department and scheduled to take place through March 29. This does not include events scheduled by Cal Performances or Intercollegiate Athletics; however, those events should include generous refund policies for anyone who wishes not to attend for any reason.  Guidance will be forthcoming regarding registered student organization events.
  • For campus-sponsored events with fewer than 150 attendees, we strongly encourage planners of those events to explore alternatives to in-person gatherings.


  • The campus is not closing. Campus buildings will remain open, and many campus operations will proceed normally, including student housing and dining and research support operations. Please note, however, that there may be some limitations in operations and services as managers will be allowing their employees to work remotely, when possible. More communications to managers and employees about working remotely will be provided soon. 

More detailed information on these matters is posted on the campus’s coronavirus information website. Additional details, and the most up-to-date news, for students and instructors pertaining to instruction will be posted on the Instructional Resilience Resources page. 

We understand that implementing these changes with such limited notice will have broad impacts and will be challenging and disruptive for many of you, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation. We are grateful to the staff throughout our campus for their tremendous efforts on our behalf during these challenging times, especially our front-line staff who serve in health care, custodial, and food service roles. Your work is critically important at this time and we greatly value you and your contributions.

In our assessment of the current situation, including the likelihood that the Berkeley campus could have a coronavirus case here at any time, we believe that this is the best action for our campus community and the broader Berkeley community.

We will continue to update you on this issue with information posted on the new coronavirus information website. Information on the virus and related health and safety information is available on the special University Health Services website. Students, please share this message with your family and any concerned parties.


Carol Christ

This message has been sent to all UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and students.


March 10, 2020

NCRA Recycling Update and Tours Postponed

As all are aware, the Covid-19 virus is spreading rapidly, and has become a serious global health concern.  We have heard from many of you asking whether we intend to press ahead with the Recycling Update Conference (RU2020) and Zero Waste Week activities at large.  The consensus of expert advice is that it would be unwise to move forward with the events as currently planned at this time.  Many of our attendees from government agencies have also been placed on travel restrictions, and the absence of so many attendees would have a noticeable effect on the RU2020 event.  

Postponed Zero Waste Week events include:

  • Recycling Update
  • Zero Waste Youth Convergence
  • Green Drinks
  • Urban Ore Welcome Reception
  • Zero Waste USA Training
  • Berkeley Food Network  Tour
  • Chou Hall Tour
  • Renewal Mill / O2 Artisans Tour
  • North Bay Tour
  • Livermore Compost Tour
  • Dance to Zero Waste
  • Race to Zero Waste (potential virtual option pending)

If you need to cancel your Recycling Update registration instead, please EMAIL NCRA.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019

Cal Berkeley

City of Berkeley

San Francisco

Protect yourself and others

The most important thing you can do is to practice everyday healthy behaviors that prevent the spread of germs.

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
  • Use alcohol based hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available. Look for one with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

These actions don’t just protect you. They help keep our whole community safe, especially our most vulnerable residents, by slowing the spread of the disease.

What to Do If You Are Sick With Coronavirus (COVID-19)