Another 25 UC Berkeley students have tested positive for the coronavirus, the university reported this week.

That brings the total number of positive tests associated with Cal from 70 to 95. UC Berkeley is reporting a 2.1% positivity rate.

Until last week, UC Berkeley had tallied only 23 coronavirus infections since the outbreak began. But then 47 cases arose that stemmed primarily from fraternity parties.

As for the new wave of positive tests, UC Berkeley said 20 of the cases are undergraduates and the rest are graduate students: “All live off campus and the majority of them have had mild symptoms. They are all isolating at home. This includes a student living in off campus, university-owned housing at University Village.”

Berkeleyside is updating coronavirus numbers daily.

Emilie Raguso

Emilie Raguso (senior editor, news) joined the Berkeleyside team in 2012. She covers politics, public safety and development. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...

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45 Comments

  1. It’s true they were heedless and dumb. And we know they’re not the only ones. As an elderly person myself, I’m not going out much these days, except for neighborhood walks.

  2. The NYT map reflects the following: If encounter 5 different people, what the odds that ALL of them will be wearing masks.
    The NYT shows that in parts of Berkeley that number is around 42%. Based on the drive I just did through West, Central, and North Berkeley I have to say that number is accurate. Pretty much all joggers, numerous pedestrians, and almost all contractors (over 10) I just saw in the last 30 minutes, including roofers, construction workers, road repair crews etc.. either had no no mask, or were wearing it on their chin.

    ***The logic is simple (though inaccurate): If you are sweating, or working, you are protected from getting or spreading Covid-19. California is overtaking Florida in being completely out of control.The minority of people that don´t give a sh-t, really don´t give a sh-t, and that is all it takes to F it up for everyone.

  3. We can hope. But the existing students have demonstrated that they have no willingness to do the right thing and have doubled Berkeley’s infection rate.

    I’m still not shopping downtown as I’ve elderly relatives I would prefer to keep around.

  4. If the people of the US had been willing to do what the citizens of other countries such as New Zealand, Italy, France, Germany and most of the Scandinavian countries did, we’d be a lot closer to being ready to start the new school year with appropriate safeguards.

    Instead, most people tried to shelter in place for two to four weeks, found it boring, and when the weather turned nice, reverted to their more usual behavior, gathering in groups & shunning masks, because “Freedom”! The result is that we now have the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths of every other nation in the entire world.

    The idea that we can emulate these more responsible countries and open up like they are without having done the hard work of getting the virus better controlled is suicidal.

    Even if you’re willing to dismiss the facts that children can 1. Catch Covid-19, 2. Become extremely sick with the possibility of lingering, even lifelong negative effects on their health, 3. Bring the illness home to family and friends, many of whom will catch it and spread it to the community at large, 4. Which will then overwhelm the health care system. By all means, let’s open all the schools and when every school district and community in the country is on the point of collapse, claim “I don’t know how that could have happened?”

  5. We don’t know how many students will actually be coming to Berkeley. Many will stay home and use distance learning to get their educations.

  6. Maybe you might want to take a plane trip to Florida and hang out in a bar there? Have you read about what happened in Israel when Netanyahu made them re-open the schools prematurely?

  7. 95 cases at 2.1% is ~4500 people.

    So with 42000 students we should expect ~37k more coming to town and a case count of ~800.

    Guess I’m not shopping in downtown anymore!

  8. The Berkeley Health officer at last week’s update included the frat party cases so I think you’re incorrect

  9. Yeah, that’s risky, but its outdoors and there is lots of air mixing and they are not breathing AT each other while facing directly at each other, so not too bad.

  10. SFGate is reporting eight cases from UCB were student athletes working out together.

  11. In my neighborhood it is no more than 40% masked on walks. And “moving away” is irrelevant since the question asked is do you “leave your house with a mask”

  12. You know there are adults at the school too, right? 30% of teachers are over 50.

  13. Trump’s anti science agenda is plain for all to see. There is no point debating it. If you aren’t aware of it at this point you never will be.

  14. “The science should not stand in the way of this” is the moto of the republican party at this point.

  15. Odd. In my neighborhood walks in Berkeley I’d say 95% are masked and if not they move far away. On shopping trips 100% are masked. Makes me question this map.

  16. What about when the science tells us that K-6 kids have a <0.06% mortality rate from Covid-19 (less than the seasonal flu) and in-person instruction is crucial for that age group?

  17. While out on solo bike rides I frequently see people (usually women) jogging in tight formations with masks down, talking while they run.

    It’s shocking how such a highly educated citizenry can be so clueless.

  18. Yes, I don’t get it. I was at MM last week and three people shopped together – one shopper, two sightseers. Those two sightseers took needless risks and needlessly risked others, and prevented two other shoppers from entering.

  19. So are these students attending summer session from other states? Can someone please tell them wearing a mask is the SMART thing to do. Not like in the states they came from?

  20. This administration hand picks the science it wants to follow. Most of the time they don’t give a **** about science, so when they trumpet “the science” we know they are pushing an agenda.

    The media in this country can be criticized plenty (and it constantly is), but that shall not distract from the failings of an utterly incompetent administration. Trump is a complete *** as pretty much everybody in actual science is aware. And that’s something this scientist knows first hand.

  21. Yeah, unfortunately, the shopping alone thing has been totally lost on people around here.

  22. As long as the testing labs are actually reporting negative results otherwise the rates mean absolutely nothing.

  23. Yes, there are summer sessions for both undergrads and grads, through August 14. As for fall semester, mostly online, except for labs and small groups. That doesn’t start until a late August 26, so most returning students won’t start arriving ’til August 1. Some of those partying students are here for summer session, some didn’t leave during or after spring (especially if they couldn’t break a lease; I don’t know frat rules about that), and some arrived early to party. Especially after being stuck with Mom and Dad for entertainment since March.

  24. We know the rates of death (mostly from MISC) and serious illness are very low in children, especially younger ones. The concern is about their poor sanitation, masking and social distancing practices spreading the virus to teachers and staff in the schools, and to their older relatives at home. This virus is more infectious than the flu or almost any other, short of measles.

  25. While in line at Trader Joe´s today, I saw a gaggle of 5 young women in line that went shopping together. (One of them with a vented mask). Nobody got the message that shopping should be done by only by individuals, not as a group.

    You have to go North to Okanagan Canada to get the message to shop alone:
    https://globalnews.ca/news/6777353/coronavirus-families-shopping-etiquette/

    Spain broadcasted instructions to the public via mobile loudspeakers.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwNn9ZKkF2U
    What message have you seen or heard from the City of Berkeley?

    In Spain, a Covid-19+ couple shopping together face fines of 60,000 euros each.
    https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2020/03/28/coronavirus-infected-couple-from-spains-rioja-face-double-fines-of-up-to-e60000-each-for-breaking-quarantine-lockdown-rules/
    In Berkeley, we don´t even bother to educate, let alone fine violators. This is how Spain flattened the curve, with over 1,000,000 fines and over 8,000 arrests.
    https://en.as.com/en/2020/05/20/other_sports/1590007192_285496.html

    Cases are spiking faster than ever in Berkeley, even without counting people with a permanent address elsewhere. We have only met 2 of 5 indicators. One of the two indicator we met is testing, even though it takes two weeks to get a test, and at least another week for the results, which is basically useless.
    https://www.cityofberkeley.info/covid19-indicators/

    If we failed while cases were low, how can we possibly succeed as cases rise?

  26. Here’s the complete quote (which was, of course, grossly distorted by most left wing outlets, which even Jake Tapper called out):
    The science should not stand in the way of this. And as Dr. Scott Atlas said — I thought this was a good quote — “Of course, we can [doit]. Everyone else in the…Western world, our peer nations are doing
    it. We are the outlier here.”
    The science is very clear on this, that — you know, for instance, you look at the JAMA Pediatrics study of 46 pediatric hospitals in North America that said the risk of critical illness from COVID is far less for children than that of seasonal flu.
    The science is on our side here, and we encourage for localities and states to just simply follow the science, open our schools. It’s very damaging to our children: There is a lack of reporting of abuse; there’s mental depressions that are not addressed; suicidal ideations that are not addressed when students are not in school. Our schools are extremely important, they’re essential, and they must reopen.

  27. Don’t worry, the vaccine is right around the corner. In the meantime, we need to just shelter in place til we get the number of cases to zero nationwide for 14 days, then will be the time to go back to work/school. We can just keep passing out money to citizens, everything will be fine.

  28. Her comment was obviously a misstatement.

    Oy vey, the politically correct commentators on this website….

  29. Are these undergraduate students attending summer session and in class? Are the grad students in labs or classes?

  30. No, it has been widely reported that UC Berkeley is going to almost exclusively online for Fall semester. They are determining on a case by case basis if any small classes or discussion groups of 25 students or less can be held in person and allow social distancing. BUT, all students can make their own decision as to whether they want to return to campus or not return. So clearly the Chancellor does stand with the science.

  31. “UC Berkeley is reporting a 2.1% positivity rate.” I assume this mean that 2.1% of tests have been positive? As opposed to 2.1% people “associated with Cal” have tested positive…

  32. I am assuming that none of these cases are counted by the Berkeley Health Department given that these students mostly have permanent addresses elsewhere.

    If this is the case and if thousands of students descend on Berkeley in the fall, there is the potential for: 1) a large outbreak and 2) significant and avoidable undercounts of identifiable cases in our community.

  33. No, the campus announced weeks ago that all large classes for at least fall semester will be online. Only labs and some small sessions will be in-person. They can’t fully control what goes on at frat parties and off-campus housing. Most students won’t arrive until August 1 or later.

  34. I love when science stands in the way of the airplane I am in from falling out of the sky.

  35. Not entirely sure. Here’s what Cal was able to provide today:

    –We have about 170 students in the residence halls for the summer.
    –At University Village in Albany (family housing), we have about 2,400 including family members of students. (Mostly grad students and their families)

  36. Yes, the positivity rate is the total tests compared to the positive tests. I thought it was a known term at this point but I can clarify if not.