UCI Forward

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.

September 8 - Updates on COVID-19

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red flowers blooming on campus

Campus blooms. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI.


Positive case

We’ve had no new student positive cases for seven days. One employee had tested positive for coronavirus since the last Latest Updates email. For a cumulative case and recovery count, visit www.uci.edu/coronavirus.

COVID testing begins this week for student residents

UCI students were recently notified by Vice Chancellor Banks and Dr. Albert Chang of the Student Health Center about COVID-19 testing requirements for all students on campus. Testing for students who have already moved into their campus residence will begin tomorrow, Wed., September 9 and continue through Tues., September 15. Information on what to expect is available online. Please watch this brief animated video on the experience you will have at the testing center.

Anteater Pledge Ambassador Program

UCI is committed to our campus community to do everything we can to reduce the spread of the coronavirus on our campus. As part of this commitment, we also are rolling out the Anteater Pledge Ambassador program. Ambassadors are students, staff and faculty, and will be responsible for educating and engaging their peers on how to reduce the spread of the virus responsible for COVID-19. For more information, visit: https://whcs.uci.edu/ambassadors.

University Hills blood drive

Our next University Hills blood drive will be Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the University Hills Community Center parking lot located at 1083 California Ave. This is open to all of campus, not just University Hills residents. Everyone who donates will receive a combo meal gift card from the UTC Chick-fil-A and a pint of Baskin Robbins ice-cream. All blood types are needed. This event is by appointment only.

UCI Libraries to offer study spaces by appointment beginning on Oct. 1

Throughout the fall quarter, limited seating will be available to students in the Multimedia Resources Center and the Libraries Gateway Study Center. Students will be able to reserve specific study seats, including some private rooms and computer workstations, for three hour blocks of time in the morning and afternoon. The buildings will close midday to allow for extra cleaning.  Students will be able to make reservations through an online system on the UCI Libraries website.  More specific details will be available as we approach the start of the fall quarter. For more information, visit the UCI Libraries Phased Reopening Plans.  For questions, please contact Kevin Ruminson, Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services, at ruminson@uci.edu.

Childcare reimbursement for graduate students

In recognition of the childcare issues faced by many graduate student employees during the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, we now have permission from UCOP to provide childcare reimbursements that adhere to the minimum requirements of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as to who qualifies as a “childcare provider” for purposes of reimbursement.

(See https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p503.pdf).

For Fall term 2020, graduate student employees and those on fellowship will be permitted to seek reimbursement for childcare provided by a friend or relative living in the same household as the graduate student as long as they are not:

  • A person for whom the grad student (or the grad student’s spouse if filing jointly) can claim as a dependent;
  • The grad student’s child who was under age 19 at the end of the year, even if the child isn’t the grad student’s dependent;
  • A person who was the grad student’s spouse any time during the year; or
  • The parent of the grad student’s qualifying person if the qualifying person is the grad student’s child and under age 13

As required by the IRS regulations, for purposes of reimbursement, all childcare providers who are individuals must have a valid taxpayer identification number or social security number. If the care provider is an organization, the organization must have a valid employer identification number. Summer session 2020 appointments do not qualify for this exception. For questions, please contact the Graduate Division.


The health of indoor air

If you didn’t catch last week’s Anteater Insider Live presentation and Q&A on indoor air and COVID-19 transmission at UCI, breathe easy. You can now watch the entire episode online.

UCI Podcast: College access and choice in the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted college education, including the campus experience, how classes are delivered and, crucially, how students even decide to go to college. Constance Iloh, an assistant professor in UCI’s School of Education, has developed a framework to understand people’s college-going trajectories. She speaks with the UCI podcast about the factors that contribute to a person’s college trajectory.

Division of Undergraduate Education resources

Where can students turn for academic help and community-building opportunities? In this 12-minute video, Jonathan Alexander, associate dean in the Division of Undergraduate Education, along with some colleagues across campus explain the services that students can look forward to and discuss how they are working to support individual paths to success.


Job burnout - can we fix it, despite COVID-19?

Burnout happens when we’re asked to do things we can’t do, or facing more daily stress than we can manage. Burnout is more than just having a bad day at the job – it’s one bad day after another, a chronic feeling of exhaustion and stress that doesn’t go away. The good news is, several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve already shown we can change to deal with this. We have proved that workplaces can survive major cultural shifts – because they have to.

Who gets their annual flu vaccine may inform who chooses to get a COVID vaccine

Researchers have uncovered demographics of those groups who are less likely to receive the flu shot. These findings may inform public health efforts for future COVID-19 vaccines, and raise questions about making both flu and COVID vaccines free of charge and mandatory.


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.   

Ad campaign uses levity to promote COVID safety

The old messages - wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart - are overused, so Michigan tried a different approach involving a red, virus-shaped villain named Rona.


This section curates noteworthy coronavirus news, trends and opinions. No endorsement by UCI is implied. 
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.

State grants $900 supplemental unemployment benefit

As California’s economy continues to struggle amid the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials will mark the Labor Day holiday by sending a $900 supplemental unemployment benefit to jobless residents – but many will not get the assistance right away, and nearly 200,000 people are not expected to get it at all. 

US reports lowest cases since June

The United States recorded 24,362 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, bringing the nationwide total to at least 6,300,727 infections, according to Johns Hopkins University. The death toll rose to at least 189,206 after 265 new virus-related fatalities were also recorded Monday. 

OC advances from purple tier to less-restrictive red tier

Orange County has shown enough progress against the coronavirus in recent weeks that it shifted Tuesday, Sept. 8, from the most critical purple tier to the less-restrictive red tier in the state’s new pandemic tracking system.

Experts debunk Covid-19 food transmission

A team of experts on food contamination says it is highly unlikely that food is a source of Covid-19 transmission. The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) looked at the evidence that coronavirus might be carried on food or its packaging and found very little. Their finding mirrors earlier reporting from the US Food and Drug Administration that there is no real risk of getting the virus that causes Covid-19 from food or food packaging.

UCI IN THE NEWS - COVID-19 Article List

The Washington Post, Sept. 5, 2020
Experts project autumn surge in coronavirus cases, with a peak after Election Day

HealthDay, Sept. 8, 2020
As tough COVID summer ends, experts warn of a tougher fall, winter

The New York Times, Sept. 7, 2020
How to cope when everything keeps changing

The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 5, 2020
Voters face a complicated election as the pandemic remakes voting

The Hill, Sept. 5, 2020 (Opinion)
Opinion: Local pharmacies can reduce the dual risks of COVID19 and influenza this fall

Newsweek, Sept. 8, 2020
India may soon overtake U.S. to have most coronavirus cases in world

Forbes, Sept. 4, 2020 (Contributor)
Traveling for Labor Day weekend? Here’s what to expect

KCRW, Sept. 4, 2020 (Audio)
Zoom classes, no dorm parties, daily symptom checks: Living on-campus during the pandemic

Inewsource, Sept. 4, 2020
Why some COVID-19 victims are dying at home without medical care

Science News, Sept. 8, 2020
Creative school plans could counter inequities exposed by COVID-19

Voice of OC, Sept. 7, 2020
Labor Day puts focus on protecting OC workers and unemployed facing uphill battles throughout pandemic


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