Thanksgiving Travels and COVID-19 Reminders from the COVID Response Team

Dear BSC Members,

Last year after Thanksgiving, we saw a large spike in cases both within the BSC and in the nation as a whole as we entered the Holiday season. This year, thanks to the availability of vaccines, we are hoping for a reduced increase in cases this year. However, there are still a significant number of COVID-19 cases in California according to the New York Times. The number of cases and deaths are actually slightly higher in California compared to last year at the same time. Although throughout the BSC, the number of reported cases have been significantly lower (there are currently zero active cases at the time of writing this), Thanksgiving will be a major test as it is the largest expected spike in cases after move-ins.

As part of your travel planning, please consider that according to the University Health Services, some airlines, regardless of vaccination status, may be REQUIRING documentation of a negative test within 48-72 hours. With that in mind, UHS reminds students of the following:

  • It can be challenging for travelers to get a test - and its result - within the required timeframe.

  • Published turnaround times range greatly, from an hour to 5 days, and reality does not always match expectations.

  • You will need to know what the requirements are and timing by checking with the airline or your destination. We cannot validate this for you.

  • If you are ill or experiencing symptoms, please reconsider any travel plans.

    • Please keep in mind this INCLUDES traveling from and to Berkeley.

Testing When Returning to Campus:

  • If possible, please continue to get tested once you arrive back at UC Berkeley. Many of your BSC peers are going to be taking final exams soon, and it would suck if they got sick right before finals. Testing is free for all students, and only takes a couple of minutes of your time. Thank you for doing your part in keeping the BSC (and UC Berkeley students as a whole) safe, happy and healthy!

Covid Booster Shots:

  • Johnson and Johnson Booster Shot:

    • It is recommended that you get a booster shot 2 months after your initial dose of the vaccine

Who is Eligible for Moderna and Pfizer Booster Shots?

Other Resources and UC Berkeley Cases:

  • CDC on Covid Effectiveness (link)

  • Tracking UC Berkeley Cases (link). Please note that the 7 day average is higher than the same time last year. We also do have in person classes and more people on campus this semester. Everyone should do what they can to mitigate risks this break.

  • CDC Recommendations on Domestic Travel (link)

  • CDC Recommendations on International Travel (link)

  • UHS Website on Testing (link)

We hope that this information has been helpful. If you are traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, we hope that you enjoy the break and spend time with your families before final exams. Once again, out of respect for your peers, please get tested once you return so that everyone can be healthy for RRR week and finals. If you do test positive returning to Berkeley, please contact the COVID-19 Action Team as soon as possible at cat@bsc.coop so that we can properly help you and give you any resources you may need. If you have any questions about this email, or questions in general, please contact the Emergency Response Team at ert@bsc.coop.

Hope to see you all soon! Have a great Thanksgiving!

—Emergency Response Team