COVID-19 & Return to Campus

COVID-19 & Return to Campus


By William McCarthy | VSPA News Team | September 27, 2021

Step by step, UC Berkeley is moving closer to a full return to normal, in-person, on-campus operations - or at least as close to normal as possible. Since June 16th, the campus gradually reintroduced on-campus activities with the goal of resuming almost all in-person operations by the start of the fall semester on August 18th. Here’s what you need to know as our community transitions back to “normal” operations.

On July 15th the University of California released a final COVID-19 vaccination policy. The policy strongly recommends that all members of the UC Berkeley community, including Visiting Scholars, Visiting Student Researchers, and Postdocs, obtain the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible. Visit the University Health Services COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements page for more details.

Berkeley’s campus reopening plan relies on local and state public health guidelines, and widespread COVID-19 vaccinations. While COVID-19 vaccines have been widely available for free across the U.S. since the spring, the VSPA recognizes that our affiliates are coming from areas with varying access to vaccines as a largely international community. Vaccinated VSPA affiliates are welcome to return to campus and encouraged to check with the facility to confirm access before coming to campus. For VSPA affiliates who are currently present in the US and need access to a vaccine please visit the main campus website for the latest updates.

VSPA and the Berkeley International Office continue to monitor international travel restrictions and public health guidelines that impact our affiliates who remain outside of the U.S. As the Berkeley campus returns in-person activity our office is committed to supporting and accommodating VSPA affiliates as well as their partners and families. We will work through the hurdles together. Please find resources and up-to-date information relevant to our affiliates outside of the U.S. on the Berkeley International Office website.

During the course of a challenging year filled with hardship, loss, and change, our VSPA affiliates have continued to foster a vibrant and collaborative research community. The Berkeley Postdoc Association, HSSA, PTOP, BPEP, and Thriving in Science worked hard to find creative ways for us to engage with one another virtually through fun social events and informative professional development opportunities. The VSPA looks forward to a return to in-person events with our affiliated programs. 

Keep in mind that this transition may look different for each member of our community. Please refer to our events page and the VSPA calendar for up-to-date information on upcoming events as well as options for accessing them as we continue our return to campus. 

As many of us continue to navigate these new and often difficult challenges, it remains important to look after ourselves and one another. The Basic Needs Center has many resources for mental wellness, family support, and access to nutritious food.

The VSPA team is looking forward to returning to our office at 302 Sproul Hall we’re eager to welcome our new and returning affiliates to UC Berkeley's dynamic campus environment. As always, please reach out to VSPA or your department with questions you may have about your specific situation.