V.L. Health and Safety Specific to COVID-19

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In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the BSC must adopt enforceable protocols to follow local and state orders and protect the health of BSC Members and Staff. This proposal explicates BSC-wide, enforceable member requirements for COVID-19 infection control and outlines recommendations. It defines (1) the BSC Social Distancing Protocol and (2) the BSC Health and Safety Protocols, and includes other Protocols that require every BSC Member and Staff to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the BSC. This Policy includes enforcement mechanisms and empowers the BSC Emergency Response Team to further develop these Protocols as more government-issued orders and public health orders become available.



1.) In order to protect employees and members, BSC members and staff must do one of the following whenever they come into contact with outside vendors, professional staff, student staff, or unit-level managers performing essential job functions: (a) wear a mask and practice social distancing or (b) leave all space/s where essential work is being performed until the individual at work departs.
a. The onus of this guideline is on BSC members and staff (i.e. members and staff should do this without being asked to).
b. Masks must snuggly cover the face from the bridge of the nose over the chin and be made of a double layer tightly woven fabric.
c. Student/professional staff, unit-level managers, and outside vendors should feel empowered to and are encouraged to request that members and staff follow this protocol.
d. If an individual refuses to do (1) or (2), staff, unit-level managers, and vendors have the right to notify their supervisor and leave the environment until employee safety can be ensured.
e. Members and staff who are able to safely wear masks are expected to have a mask with them at all times.
2.) Masks must be worn at all times inside Central Office, Central Food & Supplies, the Rochdale Fenwick Office, BSC vehicles, and while performing central-level job duties, except for the following exceptions:
a. When employees are alone in private offices where others are not likely to enter.
b. When speaking on the telephone or video conferencing, provided others are not within six feet and they are not at a shared desk.
c. In designated break areas when eating and drinking.
3.) Staff, members, and/or vendors who are not able to wear masks for health-related reasons should contact the Human Resources Manager (for staff/vendors) or the Housing Supervisor so that appropriate accommodations can be made to provide services while also protecting the health and safety of others present.
4.) Members must wear masks in the common space of all units whenever possible (e.g. not required in showers, when brushing teeth, eating, etc. provided that occupancy limits and social distancing requirements are observed).
5.) Members must practice social distancing (6 feet distance) in common areas whenever possible.
6.) Unit Presidents must notify the Cooperative Experience Manager by the end of Week 2 of any unit-level policies their Council passes related to COVID-19.
7.) Non-resident guests at Houses are not allowed, unless House Council votes to make an exception.
8.) Members at apartments at Northside, Rochdale and Fenwick must receive approval from all roommates prior to a guest visiting.
9.) Exceptions to these guest policies for health or disability reasons can be made by contacting Betsy, the Housing Supervisor.
10.) All guests must abide by relevant BSC and unit-level COVID-19 policies and member hosts are responsible for ensuring compliance as a prerequisite to maintain guest privileges.
11.) Non-resident guests at Houses are not allowed, unless House Council votes to make an exception. Houses must have a bathroom assignment plan that includes provisions for high-risk members and guests. This bathroom assignment plan will be made in consultation with their liaison for a House to have guest exemptions. Houses must comply with all applicable local ordinances and laws.

Events and Informal Gatherings

1.) All common spaces (indoor and outdoor) in houses will have a maximum occupancy limit of 6 people. Occupancy limits of greater than 6 people for large common rooms and/or outdoor areas may be proposed by Unit Presidents and approved by the ERT. Accordingly, all gatherings within common space must abide by the occupancy limits.
2.) Apartment managers will work with their Unit Liaison and the ERT to determine the occupancy limits of their common space.
3.) Unit-level Managers may not organize, assist, or encourage in-person indoor events or gatherings of any kind, including parties, dinners, and Council if larger than established occupancy limits for the indoor space.
4.) Unit-level Managers may organize, assist, and encourage in-person outdoor events and gatherings under the following circumstances:
a. On BSC property: Exclusively outdoor and within the occupancy limit of that space. Members should wear masks and practice social-distancing at all times. Guests from outside of the unit are not allowed.
b. Off BSC property: Members should wear masks and practice social-distancing at all times, including following any COVID-19 guidelines listed for that space.
5.) Unit-level Managers may organize, assist, and encourage virtual events (e.g. virtual council).
6.) The Member Resources Supervisor (liaison for Social Managers) and the Social Manager Coordinator are empowered to make temporary adjustments to Social Manager job duties to meet the unique needs of members and manager teams during the pandemic.
a. These adjustments should be reported to the Experience & Training Committee so that ETCom may review them, if needed.

Food Service

1.) Cooks, members serving dinner, and kitchen workshifters must wear masks at all times.
2.) Houses must implement staggered meal times, serving dinner “cafeteria style”, (with one person serving each food item to everyone else), or other strategies to minimize risk during meals, (e.g. serving dinner outside if possible).
3.) Houses will issue individual utensils and dishware and implement policies to give extra care to sanitizing communal utensils and kitchenware.
4.) Do not share drinks, eat off of others’ plates, or share utensils with others without thoroughly washing them.
5.) Do not touch any bulk food items (e.g. cereal, bread, dried fruits/nuts, etc.) with bare hands.
6.) Do not leave food out on “free tables”.

Free Piles

1.) Managers will continue to keep all free piles closed.
2.) Members will not deposit or take items from the free pile.

Self Isolation & Quarantine Procedures

1.) Members directed by University Health Services or the Berkeley Public Health Division to self-isolate or quarantine must follow the instructions given by the ERT and/or Covid Action Team.
2.) All residents moving in for the Fall 2020 contract who did not reside in the BSC during the summer must sequester for 7 days. This includes:
a. Staying in their room as much as possible. Members may not spend time in indoor common space, but can use outdoor common space if they are alone.
b. Using their designated bathroom.
c. Wearing a mask whenever they are outside of their bedroom.
d. Staying out of the kitchen. Food will be delivered to them. [Required for Room & Board houses only]
3.) The ERT will create a small working group to support African American Theme House, Person of Color Theme House, Sherman, and/or other units with a high number of new members with their new-resident sequestration protocols.
a. Group must seek input from incoming managers at each of the above units
b. The working Group will consist of the Cooperative Experience Manager, unit liaison, and Covid Action Team.

Education for Required Protocols To ensure that all members understand these requirements and have opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback:

1.) Signage displaying the requirements must be posted in a visible location at every BSC property prior to the Fall 2020 move-in day. Central-level staff are responsible for creating the signs and Health Workers are responsible for posting them.
2.) Manager teams must review these requirements during their unit’s first council meeting.
3.) All members will be emailed a copy of these requirements by the Housing Department within a minimum of 7 days prior to the Fall 2020 move-in day.
4.) The Member Resource Supervisor is directed to include this information in New Member Orientation materials.


1.) Members are encouraged to seek testing prior to or immediately upon arrival during their self-sequester period.
2.) Members who test positive, experience symptoms, were directed by a medical or public health provider to get tested, or were exposed to someone who tested positive should heavily consider following BSC protocol for reporting to the ERT and unit-level managers.
3.) Development of “social bubbles” within houses.
4.) Unit-level managers should support and encourage frequent COVID-19 testing by members.
5.) Unit-level managers should support non-UCB membership in identifying COVID-19 testing resources with the support of the ERT and the Covid Action Team.
6.) Members are encouraged to socialize in outdoor spaces whenever possible.
7.) Opening windows (to increase ventilation) while socializing indoors when possible.
8.) Members should be mindful of their activities outside the house (i.e. attending large parties or gatherings in other places) and should shower and change clothes upon returning.
9.) Follow the guidelines given in the BSC Health and Safety Protocol