Students at the University of California, Berkeley have been told to sequester in their rooms for an additional week as security officers monitor residence buildings and outdoor exercise is banned due to coronavirus concerns.
“Due to the 14-day incubation period of this virus, it is too early to be sure we have contained this current surge,” UC Berkeley told students in an email, according to the Daily Californian. “We understand this extension is frustrating, but please understand this will help us mitigate further spread while protecting our community.”
The self-sequester period was set to end Monday, but UC Berkeley recently extended it to Feb. 15.
“You may NOT leave your room for solo outdoor exercise, which is a change from previous self-sequestering guidelines,” UC Berkeley’s campus housing webpage reads. “We are working with the City of Berkeley to determine whether outdoor exercise may be permitted, and we will provide more information on this in the near future.”
More than 200 students, faculty and staff have tested positive for coronavirus since Jan. 31, according to UC Berkeley’s website. UC Berkeley implemented the sequestration around Feb. 1 due to the coronavirus surge.
Students are only allowed to leave their rooms to seek medical care or coronavirus testing, use the bathroom and pick up meals from a dining kiosk. The outdoor exercise ban is new, the Daily Californian reported.
“We understand that students certainly wish to enjoy exercise and getting outside, and we hope this will be possible in the near future,” UC Berkeley told Fox News in a statement. “It likely should be after self-sequestration directives are lifted. We ask for their patience while we continue to consult with public health officials.”
UC Berkeley also advised students that there may be an increase in “community security officers” monitoring residence buildings, according to The Daily Californian.
The university’s campus housing page encourages students to report any violations of coronavirus rules.
“If you witness a violation of the self-sequester protocols or the Residential Code of Conduct … Residential Life staff will then submit a conduct report on your behalf,” the webpage says. “Reporting what you witness will help protect your fellow students and our community. We are all in this together.”
Students who decide to leave campus housing permanently cannot cancel housing contracts until March 1, according to the Daily Californian. Students may receive partial refunds but must also pay a $300 cancellation fee.
This post has been updated with comment from UC Berkeley.
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