The Berkeley Unified School District on Thursday said is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, with the number of new on-site cases more than tripling to 91 last week and similar numbers appearing this week, according to the district's online dashboard.
Superintendent Brent Stephens said in a letter to the school community the district has seen a "significant uptick" in cases. The dashboard also shows 77 new cases at Berkeley High School in April compared to eight a month earlier.
"We are also experiencing a growing number of multiple-case infections in individual classrooms, on sports teams or among other groups," Stephens wrote. "This is likely due to the increased transmissibility of the Omicron BA.2 variant and may also be exacerbated by the loosening of masking restrictions. We work closely with the City of Berkeley Public Health Department to develop response strategies in these multiple-case instances."
The schools chief urged the school community to stay vigilant by staying up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations, masking, monitoring for symptoms and testing. He also urged people with symptoms to stay home.
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Testing remains available at all district schools, Stephens said. Students and staff also can test at the Curtis Street entrance of Berkeley Adult School from 9 am to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
The district also will distribute a limited supply of at-home tests to Berkeley High School students as they leave campus Friday.
For more information of Berkeley Unified's response to COVID-19, visit the online dashboard on the district website.