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April 9 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1


Twitter map developed at UCI displays social media reactions to COVID-19

To give the public a sense of how social media conversations about COVID-19 are happening in real time, computer science professor Chen Li and a six-person development team have developed and launched a coronavirus Twitter map. The interactive resource visualizes the spatial and temporal distribution of tweets related to the pandemic, allowing users to view the growth and transformation of social media activity as the contagion spreads.

Athletics Creates a Resource Page

The Athletics department has launched a #ZotOn community resource page that will include weekly challenges, kids’ activities, digital conferencing wallpapers, and other resources, including ways student athletes can get involved.

Students and Face Masks

Student safety continues to be our top priority and as such we want to share with you recent guidance from both the California Department of Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency. Both organizations have strongly recommended the wearing of face coverings for individuals who must leave their housing units to perform essential activities.

Graduate Division Announces New Support Program Offered

Dean of the Graduate Division Gillian Hayes offers a new support program for graduate students who find themselves in financial distress. These students are encouraged to fill out the Request for Hardship/Emergency Support Form. While support is not guaranteed to everyone, we will strive to assist you with the resources that are available.

UCI Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation on the Pandemic’s Impact to vulnerable communities

In an open letter from Blum Center Director Richard Matthew, he announces a new webpage dedicated to reporting on the impacts of the coronavirus on America’s most vulnerable communities. All are invited to contribute – your views, stories, compelling visuals, evidence-based studies, and to help identify resources that are available to those in need.


Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction

The Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute (SSIHI) is offering free online mindfulness-based stress reduction classes. Space is limited and they are seeking participants who can commit to the entire series. The class schedule and registration are available on the SSIHI website.

Campus chef offers simple, healthy meal recipes for stay-at-home Anteaters

Jessica VanRoo is the director of culinary education at UCI, where she teaches culinary classes to students, staff and other corporate clients through Campus Recreation. She also spearheads the discussion of food on the UCI campus through the course “Conversation Kitchen,” as well as with UCI Illuminations “Cooking with the Professors” program. Recently VanRoo has also helped develop the Culinary Medicine Curriculum on the UCI campus that is taught to medical students. Like many of us, VanRoo is staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and understands the need to make simple, healthy meals with what’s on hand. Here, she shares some recipes we can all try at home.


Caring for COVID-19 at home

Most people who become ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. But it’s essential to observe strict hygiene and physical distancing measures to protect others at home from the highly contagious novel coronavirus. UCI Health infectious disease experts share best practices for recovering from COVID-19 at home.

When to see your doctor about COVID-19

Chances are you have lots of procedures in place to protect yourself from the novel coronavirus. If you learn that you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus or who has become sick, stay inside and monitor yourself for any symptoms for the next 14 days. UCI Health infectious disease experts share advice on when to see your doctor.

Video Message from new UCI Health CEO Chad Lefteris

On April 2, it was announced that Chad Lefteris had been named CEO of UCI Health overseeing Orange County’s only academic medical center and all clinical and patient-serving operations. Lefteris has served as UCI Health’s chief operating officer since December 2018. In his new role, he oversees the overall UCI Health system, which includes UCI Medical Center and more than a dozen outpatient research and specialty care centers throughout Orange County and portions of Riverside County. He shares his thoughts in a video message.

Garden Grove teacher discovers N95 masks; donates to UCI Medical Center

After a teacher discovered that the first aid kits in each classroom contained four N95 masks, the school district realized they had hundreds of masks they could give to medical professionals who needed them. On Wednesday, April 8, officials from Garden Grove Unified met with administrators at the UCI Medical Center in Orange to donate 1,200 N95 face masks, plus another 1,500 surgical-style masks.


How the University of California is helping high school students during COVID-19

UC President Janet Napolitano outlines in a special report to yesterday’s Sacramento Bee how the University of California is helping current high school students.


Orange County Health Officer Issues Face Covering Recommendation for Essential Businesses

County of Orange Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick today issued a recommendation strongly encouraging all employees at essential businesses to wear a face covering while at work and all residents engaged in essential activities outside the home to do the same. The recommendation is in line with guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health on April 1, and is intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by those who are asymptomatic.

Costco Gives Priority Access to Healthcare Workers

Costco is giving priority access to healthcare workers and first responders. Eligible individuals can present employee badges/IDs to enter Costco without waiting in line.

Recent Town Halls Featuring UCI Experts

UCI’s Government & Community Relations team has been working with local government officials to assist them with providing UCI experts for virtual town hall meetings. See the recent list below with links where available.

  1. COVID-19 Public Affairs Forum (February 28, 2020) Hosted at UCI
  2. Rep. Lou Correa Coronavirus Virtual Roundtable – Dr. Andrew Noymer (March 6, 2020)
  3. Rep. Katie Porter COVID-19 Tele-Town Hall – UCI Dr. Andrew Noymer (March 16, 2020)
  4. OC Forum Coronavirus: The OC Response @ UCI Beall Applied Innovation – OC Supervisor Don Wagner (March 19, 2020)
  5. Rep. Harley Rouda COVID-19 Facebook Live Town Hall – UCI Dean Bernadette Boden-Albala (March 20,2020)
  6. City of Irvine Council Meeting – Mayor Christina Shea COVID-19 Video highlighting UCI (March 23, 2020)
  7. Mayor Christina Shea, City of Irvine – COVID-19 Community Update with Dean Boden-Albala Twitter (April 6, 2020)
  8. Senator Tom Umberg – Virtual Town Hall with Leisure World on COVID-19 – UCI Dr. Lisa Gibbs (April 9, 2020)

Orange County Surpasses 1,000 Reported COVID-19 Cases

The County of Orange surpassed 1,000 reported COVID-19 cases on April 8, with a cumulative case count of 1,016 and 91 new cases. The first Orange County case of COVID-19 was reported on January 25, 2020. To date, the County is reporting 17 deaths. The County Public Health lab and reporting labs have tested 11,791 people, of which 8.6 percent were confirmed positive with COVID-19.

Governor Newsom Procures Masks

Governor Newsom announced a deal for millions of masks for health care workers, and though the state is still battling the outbreak, it finds itself in a position to donate hundreds of ventilators to hospitals across the country.

California ramps up testing, but still lags behind

State health officials have ramped up coronavirus testing in recent days, but California still lags behind most other states, leaving potentially thousands of undiagnosed patients to unknowingly spread the infections.

California Not to Lift Stay-at-Home Orders Anytime Soon

California officials expect more months of social distancing policies and warn that lifting the strict rules too early could worsen the health crisis. The public should realize that coronavirus cases are likely to rise when stay-at-home orders are eased, officials said.

Why California has fared better than Other States

California has seen its outbreak grow far slower than other states along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts that didn’t even record a case until last month. New York, with about half California’s population, marked its first infection on March 1 and now has nine times as many cases, seven times as many in the hospital and nearly 14 times as many deaths.

How California disasters helped the state respond to coronavirus

Experts are saying California’s wildfire disaster response experience has helped lawmakers address critical gaps in insurance, health services, emergency planning and communications. State and county leaders are now relying on that wildfire groundwork during the COVID-19 crisis.

LA Air is the Best in the World

Due to the stay-at-home orders, LA saw some of the cleanest air of any major city in the world on Tuesday, according to IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company which also monitors pollution levels.

Interim Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) provide guidance regarding the continued health, safety, and protection of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19. These two important informational products include Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 and a quick reference of the Do’s and Don’ts for employers and employees related to COVID-19 exposures. While the Interim Guidance specifically calls attention to critical infrastructure workers serving in specific capacities and functions, the guidance can apply to all critical infrastructure workers with the exception of Healthcare Providers who are covered under separate guidance.

The Fed Announces a New $2.3 Trillion Round of Loans

Today, the Federal Reserve announced a new $2.3 trillion round of loans that include additional support for small businesses and consumers, as well as for the first time, support for states, cities and municipalities.

Kaiser Permanente Closing More Orange County Clinics

Kaiser plans to close its La Palma, Brea, Lakeview (in Anaheim) and Huntington Beach medical offices to in-person patients today. The Kaiser offices in Mission Viejo and Garden Grove will now focus only on patients with respiratory symptoms that may be coronavirus. This is in order to streamline operations in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 patients.

Social Distancing May Be Working

The main COVID-19 tracker that the White House and other organizations use updated yesterday showing far fewer projected deaths in the U.S., down to 60,415 people by August. This model suggests that social distancing may be working.

NBA, WNBA Players to Play H-O-R-S-E on Easter Sunday

With the NBA season paused due to the global coronavirus pandemic, ESPN will be televising a first of its kind H-O-R-S-E competition this Sunday, April 12. Eight NBA and WNBA players and legends will compete in the event, from their respective isolated home courts, matching shots against one another.

Record 16.8 Million Have Sought U.S. Jobless Aid

More than one in 10 workers in the U.S. have lost their jobs since the coronavirus outbreak started just three weeks ago. Last week alone, 6.6 million Americans sought unemployment benefits. Experts believe the unemployment rate could hit 15% once April data is released in early May.

UCI IN THE NEWS - COVID-19 Article List

Jurist, April 9, 2020
Diploma Privilege Is the Only Ethical and Humane Path to Licensure During the COVID-19 Crisis

My News LA, April 9, 2020
Orange County Weighs Order on Face Coverings as COVID-19 Cases Increase

KCRW, April 9, 2020 (Audio)
Coronavirus pandemic realigns US democracy

FiveThirtyEight, April 9, 2020
Big Data Is Helping Us Fight The Coronavirus – But At What Cost To Our Privacy?

Quartz, April 9, 2020
Doctors fighting coronavirus face a ventilator Catch-22

MIT Technology Review, April 9, 2020
America might survive coronavirus. But will the election?

Bloomberg, April 8, 2020 (Podcast)
America’s Abortion Wars Escalate With Coronavirus (Podcast)

NBC News, April 8, 2020
Coronavirus: 9 ways to help doctors, nurses and hospital workers right now

The New York Times, April 8, 2020
Trump Is Pushing a False Argument on Vote-by-Mail Fraud. Here Are the Facts.

The Washington Post, April 8, 2020
Supreme Court rules for Republicans over Wisconsin vote, highlighting partisan divide before November poll

Forbes, April 8, 2020
Why CIOs Must Think Like Hackers In The Covid-19 Crisis—And After It

Law Review, April 8, 2020
Legal community has mixed reactions to ABA resolution on limited law practice for recent grads

Orange County Register, April 8, 2020
Coronavirus: Garden Grove teacher discovers N95 masks; leads to big donation to UCI Medical Center and CHOC

CNET, April 8, 2020
Coronavirus app could trace your contacts without sacrificing your privacy

Law.com, April 7, 2020
‘A Very Bad Sign for November’: Supreme Court Is Assailed for Wisconsin Ballot Ruling

Thousand Oaks Acorn, April 2, 2020
3D printers to the rescue