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UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

August 3 - Updates on COVID-19

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UCI Douglas Hospital

UCI Douglas Hospital. Photo by Daniel A. Anderson/UCI.


Return to Campus planning update

To provide clarity around returning to campus to work a simplified return planning matrix has been developed. The state requires that each unit with employees working on campus for any length of time (even for short occasional visits) must have an approved plan. This document illustrates the two routes for applying to return to campus for work: either as a complete unit, or for some unit staff to occasionally come to campus to work. Units who continued to work on campus during the pandemic must also submit a plan and receive proper approvals before engaging in on-campus work. Units must consult with the Campus Recovery Implementation Team (CRIT) at crit@uci.edu to determine which approval route is appropriate before preparing their plans.

Positive cases and recoveries

We have had a significant decline in the number of cases over the past three weeks: zero new employee cases for 5 days and 1 previously positive co-worker has clinically recovered and cleared to return to work. Please view the cumulative case count at www.uci.edu/coronavirus.

Free COVID-19 antibody testing

The UCI Blood Donor Center is now offering free COVID-19 antibody testing for qualified donors who donate blood or platelets. This is exclusively available at the donor center in Orange, not at mobile drives. Testing is open to all, not just UCI employees. Antibody testing does not diagnose a current case of COVID. It may help determine whether a person was previously infected, but not in all cases. Please read this Q & A to better understand the COVID antibody test. The blood donor center is located in Pavilion 3 next to Occupational Health. Hours are Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Make an appointment now. The donor center staff can be reached at 714-456-LIFE or donateblood@uci.edu to answer any questions you may have.

What to expect at UCI Health (video)

Your health matters now more than ever, which is why UCI Health is taking every step to keep you safe. Watch this 2-minute video to see the operational steps UCI Health is taking to reduce the spread.


Beware hand sanitizers tainted with methanol

Hand sanitizer has become an integral part of the COVID-19 health toolbox, especially when soap and water is not available. However, some brands of hand sanitizers pose a new threat to our health. Increased demand during the pandemic has caused shortages of well-known U.S. brands, and now many new companies are selling hand sanitizer products that contain methanol, commonly known as wood alcohol. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled and imposed import bans on dozens of brands found to contain the toxic chemical. It also is working with major retailers to pull those products off shelves. Methanol exposure, primarily from swallowing it, can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness or damage to the nervous system, and even death.

The future of food

Restaurant and meat plant closures due to the coronavirus crisis are forcing farmers to dispose of their products – from killing livestock to dumping milk and plowing under produce – while shoppers are facing empty grocery store shelves. Mealtime in America for some has become a challenge not experienced in this country since the Great Depression of the 1930s, raising widespread awareness of the production, processing and distribution of food to new heights.


Fostering Safe Communities from UCI CARE

The UCI CARE Office provides free and confidential support services to members of the UCI community impacted by sexual assault, relationship abuse, family violence and/or stalking. UCI CARE aims to end these forms of power-based personal violence by engaging the campus community in education, programming, and transformative action. The next UCI CARE Staff and Faculty Lunch & Learn webinar is called Fostering Safe Communities and takes place August 5 at noon. Registration is required.

The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health

The Center for Digital Transformation in the Paul Merage School of Business offers this webinar as part of its Digital Leadership Series: The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health. Social media affects our decision-making and shapes our world in ways both useful and alarming. In a post-Covid society, social media is becoming an even more central source of information and human connection. What are the implications of this powerful technology in a world radically impacted by the global pandemic? Registration is required.


Applications now open

Nine campuses and one application. The UC system fall 2021 application is now open. The deadline to apply is November 30.


Amid the heartbreaking loss of life and economic hardship wrought by the coronavirus, we recognize the need for stories of kindness, hope, courage and humor. 

This high school principal’s pandemic parody of ‘Can’t Touch This’ has gone viral

A high school principal’s parody video about the stresses of school during the COVID-19 pandemic really is a mood. Quentin J. Lee’s take on “Can’t Touch This” embodies all the frustrating realties of back to school 2020 with the perfect amount of humor partnered with M.C. Hammer’s catchy song.

Advice from a woman who survived covid-19, the 1918 flu — and cancer

“I really think that having the 1918 flu strengthened everything about me,” she said. “I never had colds or illnesses until I got cancer, and even then I pulled through. It’s either that or Mother Nature thinks I died in 1918, so she ignores me.”


Note: Some news organizations require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York Times and Wall Street Journal for students, faculty and staff.

Colleges brace for an uncertain fall

This month, many colleges around the country plan to welcome back thousands of students into something they hope will resemble normal campus life. But they face challenges unlike any other American institution — containing the coronavirus among a young, impulsive population that not only studies together, but lives together, parties together, and, if decades of history are any guide, sleeps together.

More than 6,600 coronavirus cases have been linked to U.S. colleges

A NY Times article about COVID-19 cases on college campuses includes a list of college campuses ranked by number of known cases.

Immune T cells may offer lasting protection against COVID-19.

Much of the study on the immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, has focused on the production of antibodies. But, in fact, immune cells known as memory T cells also play an important role in the ability of our immune systems to protect us against many viral infections, including—it now appears—COVID-19.

City of Irvine to launch Mask Giveaway to fight COVID-19

The disposable face masks will be provided to the community as part of the City’s overall COVID-19 response efforts, beginning with the Mayor’s Mask Giveaway. This drive-up distribution event on Saturday, August 8 from 9 to 12 p.m. at the Irvine Civic Center, will provide each car with one free box of 50 disposable masks.

COVID-19 fatality ratio is quite high

According to a World Health Organization expert, the COVID-19 fatality ratio is 0.6%which “may not sound like a lot, but is quite high,” especially when looking at other pandemics.

Eli Lilly and Company moving into Phase 3 trial of antibody treatment

Eli Lilly and Company announced it is moving into a Phase 3 clinical trial of its antibody treatment for COVID-19. Its plan is to recruit 2,400 residents and staff at long-term care facilities for the trial.

COVID-19 hospitalizations drop in Orange County and Los Angeles County

Over the last week, COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped. On Saturday, Orange County saw a drop of 19% from the following week and Los Angeles County saw a nearly 12% drop.

Coronavirus relief bill remains uncertain

Negotiations for a huge COVID-19 relief bill are set to resume today, but all sides predict a long road to an agreement.

UCI IN THE NEWS - COVID-19 Article List

Orange County Register, July 31, 2020
These 8 Southern California doctors, nurses sacrifice to help hospitals fight coronavirus

Slate, Aug. 1, 2020
Hundreds of coronavirus infections at Georgia camp raise tough questions about schools reopening

Orange County Register, July 31, 2020
Coronavirus swings toward Orange County’s younger crowd

Orange County Business Journal, Aug. 3, 2020
UCI Medical School stays connected during pandemic

ABC, July 31, 2020
What Australia can learn from other countries using internal border closures to prevent the spread of coronavirus

Desert Sun, Aug. 2, 2020
COVID-19 cases spike in California after holidays. Spread linked to family gatherings

WFMZ, July 31, 2020
Will homeschooling hurt students’ learning?

BestLife, Aug. 2, 2020
The CDC now says this might play an “important role” in COVID transmission


OC-COVID19.org - powered by UCI and UCI Health, a website devoted to providing timely, useful, evidence-based information about the novel coronavirus pandemic to our friends and neighbors across Orange County

UCI Coronavirus Information Hub - more information on campus status and operational updates

UCI Health COVID-19 Updates - important information related to UCI Health