COVID-19 Resource Guide for Students

Find out what is open, including essential services, during your time in Berkeley

Disclaimer: This information is subject to change based on the evolving COVID-19 guidance from the City of Berkeley and Alameda County.  Please refer to the City of Berkeley website for up-to-date information.

What Is Open?

According to the current order of the Health Officer of the County of Alameda, the following businesses are considered "essential businesses" and are therefore open:

Grocery Stores


Many restaurants in Berkeley are open for take-out!



Most branches are operating on reduced hours or by appointment. Check their website for updates.

Hardware Stores

Hardware stores sell tools and other equipment for home improvement.

United States Postal Service



Drugstores typically include a pharmacy and also sell products such as cosmetics, personal care products, snack foods, household products, stationery and seasonal items.

Essential Services

Public Transportation in the Bay Area

Image of BART train at a station

Your AC Transit Easypass can be used on AC Transit and other public transportation systems, such as BART. Click here for COVID-19 updates.

  • AC Transit is currently not collecting fares, and passengers are asked to board from the rear doors of the buses to follow COVID-19 distancing guidelines.
  • Bear Transit, the campus shuttle system, is operating a three-line service. Show your CAL 1 Card and ride for free! Get details on their services.
  • In order to use your Easypass on BART, you must add money to the card. This can be done in most BART stations and at some Walgreens stores. Check out BART COVID-19 service updates.

Find even more information in the 2020-2021 Student Transportation Handbook!

Health Care Facilities and Using Your Health Insurance Plan

Health Insurance paper and pen

If you are enrolled in the Berkeley Global Student Health Insurance plan, you can refer to this helpful COVID-19 Resource Guide, which includes information on getting care, articles and general COVID-19 information. Bookmark this page so that you can easily refer back to it.

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you can use the symptom self-assessment tool on Anthem's website. Answer five simple questions to find out what your symptoms may mean based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

If you would like to get personalized guidance about your health and connect with a doctor via text, chat or video, download Anthem's Sydney Care app. The app features, benefits and costs vary from plan to plan.

If you would like to be tested for COVID-19, please go to the test site finder on Anthem’s website and enter your address, or state, county and ZIP code to quickly locate testing centers near you.

If you are not enrolled in the Berkeley Global Student Health Insurance plan with Anthem, please contact your insurance company or primary-care provider to inquire about COVID-19 services. You can also look at the City of Berkeley COVID-19 testing website and call to ask about fees.

Staying Healthy

Wear a Mask

Check out this video from the CDC on how to make your own mask using a T-shirt and two rubber bands!



Stay Informed

Find updates on the number of COVID-19 cases in the City of Berkeley and at UC Berkeley.


Travel Outside of California

Photo of woman toting a suitcase at the airport

If you plan to travel outside of California or by airplane, please be cautious and consider all possible risks. Refer to the CDC for important information about travel, even if you will be traveling by car.


Take Care of Yourself!

Living with roommates can pose unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC has specific guidelines for those who are living in close quarters on how roommates living together can keep each other safe.


Quarantine Guidelines

The CDC makes a distinction between isolating when sick and self-quarantine if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19.

For those who are living in close quarters with other people, isolation and self-quarantine may be tricky. The CDC has specific guidelines for those who are living in close quarters. And remember—stay home if you are sick!


Don’t Forget to Take Care of Your Mental Health!

While you’re taking precautions to take care of your physical health, remember to take care of your mental health! This is a strange and isolating time, so make time for self-care throughout your day.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a great resource for brief virtual counseling with a licensed counselor.

The Wellness Society has also created a Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook if you are looking for some helpful hands-on activities.