Update: Monday afternoon status

October 28, 2019

 Vice Chancellor, Administration


Dear Campus Community,

We are writing with a mid-day update about both the PG&E power shut-off and the unhealthy air quality due to wildfires and weather conditions. 

Monday Status
All classes and activities are cancelled for the remainder of the day and through the evening on Monday.

We will be back in touch later today about the status of Tuesday operations.

Air Quality Measures
The Air Quality Index has dropped below 150, and is no longer in the “unhealthy” range. However, we will open the following buildings that have systems that provide highly filtered air so that students may use them for studying:

  • East Asian Library (5-10 p.m. Monday and at 9 a.m. on Tuesday)
  • Moffitt Library will remain open 24 hours a day.

Supplies of N-95 respirators have been prioritized for outdoor workers. We are beginning the process of acquiring additional N-95 respirators and will set up distribution sites around campus for all other members of the campus community who need them. Students with asthma and other underlying medical conditions that put them at risk of adverse effects and who are experiencing symptoms related to air quality can be assessed, treated, and receive N-95 respirators at University Health Services. Please review this advice if you are contemplating securing a respirator. More information about the value of wearing a respirator and other ways to protect yourself when the air quality is substandard can be found here and here.

It’s important to note that there is disagreement in the public health community over the scientific evidence that N-95 respirator use by members of the general public is actually beneficial, and indeed there are many known limitations and potential adverse effects of N-95 use particularly for persons in sensitive groups. Health officials have indicated that wearing a N-95 during brief periods of smoke exposure such as walking to the bus stop or to class is likely to provide more of an emotional benefit than health benefit. If respirators are not fitted properly, they do not work. 

Staying indoors is highly recommended.

The air quality is forecasted to continue to improve this afternoon. 

Academic Programming
Academic leaders are meeting to plan to take advantage of our cooperative spirit and make an aggressive push to overcome the power shutdown and air quality challenges and still offer instruction. We will provide more information soon.

Please continue to monitor Berkeley News for the latest updates and links to specific information.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we operate in a complicated, uncertain environment.


Marc Fisher
Vice Chancellor, Administration

Alicia Johnson
Director, Office of Emergency Management



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