The University of California, Berkeley has taken an extreme step to try to curb a recent spike in COVID-19 cases on campus, extending a self-sequester policy that requires about 2,000 students living on campus to stay in their dorm nearly all the time.
Students in residence halls will have to live under tight COVID-19 rules for at least until Feb. 15 after a recent surge in cases.
“The university is really doing everything, short of just completely shutting down, they’re taking all the measures they can to try and limit the spread and I feel for the students,” said Martin Perna of UC Berkeley. “It’s a real drag.”
In an email to residents, the university said students must remain in their dorms at all times unless they’re getting a COVID test, medical care, picking up food or using the bathroom.
Another rule -- Cal said students are also not allowed to exercise outdoors, even if they're alone, while the university works with the city of Berkeley to determine if it's safe.
“This semester’s been a lot more restrictive than last semester for me, personally, in the dorms. But it also makes sense because there’s a huge rise in cases currently in the past two weeks,” said sophomore Gurpreet Sandhu, who lives in the dorms but went home to quarantine for two weeks after someone in her social group tested positive for the virus.
Sandhu explains that students have also been divided into social groups of 10 to 12 and cannot mix with anyone other than their group.
She understands the reason for the rules, but wonders if it could make things worse.
“But I also feel like imposing all these restrictions almost makes the students feel so tired and angry and they just want to do something and it doesn’t matter what rules they have over their heads,” said Sandhu.