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 22 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1



Autumn colors adorning Engineering Tower. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI.


Flu vaccination mandatory for all UCI employees

In accordance with former UC President Napolitano’s Executive Order dated July 31, 2020, being vaccinated for the 2020-2021 flu season is now mandatory for all UCI employees. Effective Sunday, November 1, 2020, UCI employees (staff, faculty and other academic appointees) who have not received the 2020-2021 flu vaccine, a medical exemption, religious accommodation, or disability accommodation, will not be permitted to work on-site or visit any UC or UCI controlled property. For complete program information, including program guidelines and exemption and accommodation forms, please visit: https://hr.uci.edu/disaster-relief/flu-vaccination-program.php.

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What’s next: The future of nursing homes

Among the communities hardest hit by the novel coronavirus are nursing home residents. To help avoid the spread of COVID-19 in these facilities, Dr. Susan Huang and her UCI Health colleagues have been funded by the Orange County Health Care Agency and CalOptima to be the Orange County Nursing Home Infection Prevention Team. Huang discusses what it will take to make nursing homes and assisted living facilities safer in a post-COVID-19 world.

Study links rising stress, depression to pandemic-related losses, media consumption

Experiencing multiple stressors triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic – such as unemployment – and COVID-19-related media consumption are directly linked to rising acute stress and depressive symptoms across the U.S., according to a groundbreaking University of California, Irvine study.

Will flu season collide with COVID-19?

So much remains unknown about how the novel coronavirus will behave in the future, but epidemiologists expect it to return this fall and, much like influenza, stick around Southern California from October through April.

Paying it forward through preventive care

In 2020, when Spanish-speaking essential workers in Orange County were hit with COVID-19, Dania Maldonado, a student in UCI’s Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community, sought out and interviewed the people most affected and shared their perspectives with the healthcare providers who aimed to serve them. In addition, Maldonado designed a user-friendly COVID-19 resource guide for Santa Ana residents that pointed to testing locations as well as food and housing aid. At the core of her work is advocacy, and that’s where preventive health comes into play.

Nutrition for immune health

Now, more than ever, is the ideal time to invest in improving our nutrition. Not only are the majority of us spending more time at home, with opportunities to cook and explore new recipes, but good nutrition is critical to strengthen the immune system and reduce our chances of viral infections. The Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute shares the fundamental elements of a good diet for immune health.


New poll: California youth following COVID-19 health guidelines, motivated to vote because of pandemic and racial injustice

The University of California released a new poll yesterday of Californians ages 18 to 24 that highlights a sharp contrast to the popular image of indifferent young people flouting public health guidelines. The results reveal that more than two-thirds of those surveyed expressed concern about contracting COVID-19, and nearly as many reported “always” wearing a mask. With the November general election just weeks away, the survey also found that California youth are more motivated to vote this year due to the pandemic (42 percent) and protests against racial injustice (45 percent).


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. 

Man brings humor to his neighborhood with ‘dad jokes’

Bill Furgueson is working to bring humor and human connection to his neighborhood — one “dad joke” at a time.

“What did the 0 say to the 8? Nice belt.”

Furgueson said he installed a dad joke board on his lawn to bring a smile to people’s faces during the COVID-19 pandemic. He writes a new joke there each day and encourages people to honk if they like the joke.


This section curates noteworthy coronavirus news, trends and opinions. No endorsement by UCI is implied. Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and OC Register for students, faculty and staff

California, Washington and Oregon join pilot project to ID COVID-19 exposure

Members of the Western States Pact will participate in pilot projects that use Google and Apple COVID-19 exposure notification technology. The app-based programs use Bluetooth technology to alert individuals if they are near someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and provides safety procedures. All information will remain anonymous and not be collected.

OC Registrar of Voters shares info on voting process

In this 2-minute video, the OC Registrar of Voters share how both the mail-in ballot process will work, as well as the voting in person process, during the pandemic. Mail in ballots will be sent to all registered voters in California and all voting centers will implement necessary safety protections.

Trick-or-What? Pandemic Halloween is a mixed bag all around

Roving grown-ups tossing candy at kids waiting on lawns. Drive-thru Halloween haunts. Yard parties instead of block parties and parades. Wider paths through corn mazes. The family holiday so many look forward to each year is going to look different in the pandemic as parents and the people who provide Halloween funnavigate a myriad of restrictions and safety concerns.

California’s COVID-19 positivity rate drops below 3%

For the first time, Californians who tested positive for coronavirus in the last week dipped below 3%. Hospitals in California are treating the fewest patients with the virus since April too.

Fewer students attending California community colleges, early fall numbers show

California’s community college system is experiencing a systemwide decline of student enrollment this fall. The situation appears to be complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, job losses, the transition to mostly online classes and historic wildfires.

CDC removes updated guidance on airborne transmission

Yesterday, the CDC said it mistakenly posted updated guidance saying COVID-19 spreads through airborne particles that can remain suspended in air and travel beyond 6 feet. The CDC said it was a draft version that was posted in error.

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. reach 200,000

The U.S. has reached another grim milestone--200,000 COVID-19 deaths. The death toll in the U.S. remains the highest of any country in the world by far.

U.S. men’s soccer team will not play this fall

U.S. Soccer announced that due to COVID-19, the US men’s national team will not play any international matches during the upcoming FIFA window in October.

California’s unemployment benefits system requires a complete overhaul

A backlog of unresolved claims at the state Employment Development Department is rapidly growing by 10,000 a day. To overcome significant problems that have delayed getting money to many left jobless during the COVID-19 pandemic, the system requires a complete overhaul, according to a strike team appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

CA hospitalizations lowest since April

The California Department of Health reported around 2,600 coronavirus hospitalizations on Saturday, the lowest daily number of hospital patients in the state since April.

OC making strides to move from red tier to orange

Orange County is half-qualified for the next coronavirus tracking tier, colored orange for “moderate” risk, which would mean more businesses and public sectors could reopen and less occupancy restrictions on those that have. Local shares of COVID-19 tests that are coming back positive are 3.9%, an improving metric that makes the county orange-tier material, in part.

UCI IN THE NEWS - COVID-19 Article List

Consumer Affairs, Sept. 21, 2020
Coronavirus update: CDC issues new COVID-19 guidance, cruise lines getting ready

CNN, Sept. 20, 2020
Most of the US is headed in the wrong direction again with Covid-19 cases as deaths near 200,000

Los Angeles Times, Sept. 22, 2020
How is Little Saigon curbing coronavirus? By respecting elders, authorities and masks

Orange County Register, Sept. 21, 2020
Here’s one district’s plans, Capistrano Unified, for a safe return of students to classrooms

The Gary Null Show, Sept. 21, 2020 (Audio)
Experiencing multiple stressors triggered by the COVID-19 are directly linked to rising acute stress and depressive symptoms across the U.S

Newsmax, Sept. 21, 2020
Experts disagree on second wave of COVID-19 this fall