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March 26 - Updates on COVID-19

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The UCI campus has received two reports of individuals testing positive for COVID-19. One case was reported by a contractor whose employee was last on campus on March 13. The second case is self-reported, and the UCI affiliate has been in self-quarantine and off-campus since March 13. In both cases, the relevant local public health agency will, if necessary, directly notify those groups or individuals whom it believes to be at risk for exposure.

UCI Transportation and Distribution Services

The Department of Transportation and Distribution Services issued an update on parking permits, motorist assistance, sustainable transportation, citation appeals, campus mail and passport services under COVID-19 modified campus operations.

Graduate Division Form Fee Waivers for Spring and Summer

Graduate Division will accept scanned documents and digital signatures for all forms related to enrolled services and exceptions until further notice. More details are available on the graduate division website.

Grad Slam Competition

The UC Office of the President made the difficult decision to cancel the UC-systemwide 2020 Grad Slam Competition, initially scheduled to take place on May 8th in San Francisco, CA. While UCI was fortunate to host Grad Slam Finals prior to campus closure due to COVID-19 health concerns, six other UC campuses were unable to do so. The Graduate Division announces this year’s UCI’s Grad Slam Champion, Rebecca Riley. Rebecca is a doctoral student studying Theoretical Particle Physics. In her Grad Slam talk entitled In the Dark Corners of the Universe, Rebecca describes the mystery of dark matter and its importance to the world.

Zoombombing Update

Campus Zoom settings have been updated to include default safeguards against “zoombombing.” These include instructor-only access to screen share or session annotations, as well the ability to mute participants. Instructors are strongly advised to review and set other settings to improve Zoom security using the guidance available on the TechPrep webpage. For assistance with Zoom settings, please contact the OIT Help Desk at oit@uci.edu. UCI’s Office of Academic Integrity and Student Affairs is available to answer student conduct questions.


School of Education Develops Online Research Center

The mission of the Online Learning Research Center (OLRC) is to improve academic achievement and equity in online learning. The OLRC provides evidence-based resources for educators, students, and researchers to improve achievement and equity in online learning. The team behind the OLRC created this video with additional information.

Disability Services Center Message

The Disability Services Center (DSC) website has been updated with accessibility tips and resources for online instruction and remote classes for faculty and students. The DSC will continue to update the site and the DSC team is ready to assist with questions or the need for clarification. 

Office of Information Technology Tools and Resources

As we are all adjusting to teaching, working and learning in a virtual world due to COVID-19, OIT would like to remind students and employees of the technological services and tools available to facilitate campus business remotely. Whether you need to instruct a course, meet and collaborate with a colleague, or complete coursework remotely, OIT is committed to meeting your technology needs. Here are recently deployed tools that support our collective remote work:

Keep updated on information and resources for remote work with TechPrep @ UCI and other Virtual Tools and Resources. If you need support for any of the above services, please contact the OIT Help Desk at (949) 824-2222 or oit@uci.edu.

School of Social Sciences Provides Resources on Remote Learning

The School of Social Sciences created a new site with information on how faculty, students and staff are teaming together to share resources, tips and tricks for navigating online spaces, creative places and remote faces on remote learning for its faculty, students and staff.

UCI Beall Applied Innovation Offers Webinar for Businesses During Crisis Times

To help the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Beall Applied Innovation is hosting a virtual event. The Webinar is called, “Start-up and Growth Stage Marketing in Crisis Times.” The webinar is scheduled April 2 at noon. Here is the link to register.

UCI Health Live Well Newsletter Special Edition

UCI Health published a special edition of the Live Well Newsletter. This special edition provides the most relevant and useful information about staying healthy during this difficult time.

UCI Paul Merage School of Business Presents Revised 2020 Economic Forecast

Today, Thursday, March 26th, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce has posted a “2020 Market and Economic Update” video presentation prepared by UCI’s Christopher Schwarz hosted in partnership with the UCI Center for Investment and Wealth Management and the Greater Irvine Chamber. Here is the link to the revised forecast.

Laptop Loan Program

UCI has secured a number of laptops for free loan during Spring quarter to students who don’t have access to key remote learning tools. Please review the following Student Laptop Loan Program details before submitting a request.

To request a laptop loan, please follow this link and submit a request form. If you have any questions about the Student Laptop Loan Program, please email: studentequipment@uci.edu.

UC Updates

UC, CSU and California Community Colleges request federal assistance

The leaders of California’s three systems of public higher education have united in a request for federal financial and regulatory assistance to help them manage the significant impacts that have resulted on their institutions and communities from the coronavirus outbreak. Read the letter to California’s Congressional delegation from UC President Janet Napolitano, California State University Chancellor Timothy White and California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley.

UC Encourages Students to be Counted in Census Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The University of California encourages all students to complete the 2020 census, a once-in-a-decade undertaking that can impact federal money for student loans and investment in higher education, funding for local communities, and fair representation in Congress, among many important issues. On April 1, National Census Day is observed across the country to encourage everyone to complete the census either online, by phone or by mail. For information on how students should identify their address, read our article on how to complete the census. The University also recently launched a new civic engagement website to demystify the census and inform students about its importance.


Orange County to release city data on coronavirus cases starting Friday

Cities where confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been found will be added to the data Orange County public health officials share with the community starting Friday, March 27. County health officials must abide by laws protecting patient information, but they’ve figured out how they can share location data for cases “without compromising confidentiality.” They’ll also continue to make public gender and age bracket information on people who have tested positive, and the updated website will include “a graphic representation of the curve of new cases – to give visibility to how Orange County is doing.”

Orange County COVID-19 Information Resources

Both the Orange County Register and the Orange County Business Council offer regular information updates related to COVID-19. Interested individuals may sign up to receive these information updates.

States Response to COVID-19

The website GovPredict.com offers free resources to help navigate states’ responses to the Coronavirus. Users can track every states’ legislative bills and Governors’ executive orders in response to Coronavirus. A map tool is available as well to click on a state to view its COVID-19 responses.

Orange County Community Services Extends Call Center Hours

Effective today, Orange County Community Services will expand call center hours to meet the needs of seniors, veterans, business owners and the unemployed affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Orange County Community Services oversees the Orange County Veterans Service Office, Office on Aging and Community Investment Division programs. Call Center operators will be available to take calls at (714) 480-6450 during the following extended hours of operation:

  • Weekdays (Monday - Friday) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Call Center is staffed and operated by caring, skilled, bilingual and bicultural information assistance professionals who can assess situations and offer resources tailored to meet individual needs. The Call Center has translation available in over 240 languages. For additional information on programs, please visit the Orange County Community Services web page.

Stimulus Package Travels Through House and Senate

White House and Senate leaders arrived on a deal regarding a $2 trillion stimulus package to boost the economy. The package includes $250 billion for payments to individuals and families, $350 billion for small business loans, $250 billion for unemployment insurance benefits, and $500 billion for distressed companies. The Senate vote is expected tonight, followed by the House vote on Thursday. The package helps students delay federal loan payments for 6 months, until October 2020.

Five of the Largest U.S. Banks to Suspend Mortgage Payments

Governor Newsom announced yesterday that five of the nation’s largest banks agreed to temporarily suspend residential mortgage payments for people affected by the coronavirus. Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citi and JP Morgan will defer mortgage payments for three months. State chartered banks and credit unions will offer similar deferrals.

Last Week 3.3 Million People Claimed Unemployment in the U.S.; The Most in History

A record number of Americans filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week, as businesses shut down to slow the spread of coronavirus. It is the highest number of initial jobless claims in history, since the Department of Labor started tracking the data in 1967.

REAL ID Enforcement Deadline Extended

Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020 deadline. It has been determined that states require a twelve-month delay and that the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021.

Increased anxiety and depression top college students’ concerns in coronavirus survey

Rise, a college affordability advocacy group, surveyed 500 students on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. The survey found that 75% of college students who responded are dealing with higher levels of anxiety, depression and stress, and 52% have been laid off or had their work hours cut. Several said they’d been forced to move out of the dorms on short notice, were sad to be missing the last quarter of school and felt too stressed and concerned about world events to take finals.

UCI IN THE NEWS - COVID-19 Article List

The Atlantic, March 26, 2020 
The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to Normal

Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2020 (Editorial) 
Editorial: Congress has to immunize election day against fear of the coronavirus

Newsweek, March 25, 2020 
Congress’ $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package not ‘nearly enough’ to safeguard 2020 election, experts say

Newsweek, March 25, 2020 
School closures due to coronavirus could widen education inequality among students

The Washington Times, March 25, 2020 
Coronavirus forces election officials across U.S. to craft contingency plans

Victoria Advocate, March 25, 2020 
What should I do if my coworker is sick?