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 28 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1


welcome back

Welcome to Welcome Week! Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI


Welcome back, Anteaters!

Today is the first day of the fall quarter. We hope our new students enjoyed convocation this morning, and that all students are enjoying the Anteater Involvement Fair.

Visitors and invited guests

UCI has issued an executive directive for campus employees to follow for having visitors and invited guests. A visitor or invited guest is defined as: a non-UCI affiliated individual that is specifically invited to UCI controlled property on university-related business, such as a non-UCI research collaborator or volunteer, a visiting instructor, a meeting attendee/participant, or a speaker (vendors are covered by the Vendor Guidance issued by EH&S). The executive directive requires prior approval by a designated approver prior to inviting a guest or visitor to campus.  Please see the full executive directive on the UCI Forward (aka coronavirus) website, and become familiar with your responsibilities as a host to a visitor or invited guest. As host, you are also responsible for ensuring that your guests are aware of and comply with UCI executive directives and COVID-19-related guidelines and requirements, including requiring the guest to do the equivalent of the daily symptom check by calling the Coronavirus Response Center each and every day they come onto UCI controlled property.

COVID-19 dashboard

The dashboard represents the cumulative positive COVID-19 case counts reported within the UCI community—those who are enrolled and/or employed at UCI, or reside in student, family or graduate housing. The recovery counts represent positive cases that have been clinically cleared by a physician. The dashboard is updated regularly and beginning today, a hyperlink to the COVID-19 dashboard will appear at the top of this newsletter.

Return to campus unit plans due Sept. 30

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. These plans are due to the Campus Recovery Implementation Team (CRIT) by Wednesday, Sept. 30. The Department and Unit Return to Campus Planning 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. For complete information and the template for return to campus visit https://uci.edu/coronavirus/returning-units/index.php. For any questions, please email CRIT at crit@uci.edu.

Thank you to faculty, instructors and teaching assistants

Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Michael Dennin thanks faculty, instructors and teaching assistants in this brief video who have worked hard to successfully transition UCI to a remote environment. Michael acknowledges the tremendous amount of effort and dedication it has taken to get to this point and encourages faculty to reach out to him and the entire OVPTL team for support. Finally, he reminds faculty to take a break and care for themselves as we look forward to the start of Fall Quarter.

Survey results are in!

Thank you to you, our valued readers, for taking the time to respond to the survey we ran last week asking for your feedback on this newsletter. The editors have reviewed all the responses and we are excited to share some changes you will begin to see going forward. Thank you!


Move-in week is going smoothly

move in

A student receives help toting his cart of belongings during move-in week. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI 

Approximately 2,900 (1,608 in ACC + 1,254 in ResHall/Houses) undergraduate students moved into campus housing in the last week. The usual 3-day event was spread over a week to accommodate COVID-19 protocols including the drive-through check in. Students were required to report to the Bren Events Center to take a COVID-19 test prior to receiving their key to their room from housing, and were allowed two helpers to move in. Move-in continues through the end of Tuesday 9/29/20.

ABC7 story on UCI’s student testing (video)

UCI’s phase 2 COVID-19 student asymptomatic testing took place last week during move-in week at the Bren Events Center. ABC7 news stopped by to interview some students.

Anteater Insider Live: Pandemic cybersecurity

Cyber attackers wasted no time in taking advantage of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, deploying new phishing schemes to targeting vulnerable work-from-home infrastructure. How can UCI employees keep their work and data safe? April Sather, assistant chief information security officer for the Office of Information Technology at UCI, and Bryan Cunningham, executive director of the UCI Cyber Security Policy & Research Institute at UCI, will appear on Anteater Insider Live on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at noon to talk about the pandemic’s effect on cyber security at UCI and around the world. Registration is required.

UCI Working Well™ Remotely webinar – Mental Resiliency

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, and employees continue telecommuting, we recognize that balancing work demands with home responsibilities can be daunting. To help you manage through these challenges, we have developed the UCI Working Well™ Remotely Webinar Series. Each webinar in the seven-part series is catered to challenges you may be facing as you telecommute, and provides guidance on how to successfully navigate through these demands. The next one is Tuesday, September 29 from 11 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. and is about mental resiliency.

UCI Health Blood Drive at University Hills

Our next University Hills blood drive will be Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the U. Hills Community Center parking lot. Everyone who donates will receive a gift card from the UTC Chick-fil-A and a pint of Baskin Robbins ice-cream. We are calling on you, your friends and family members, who are healthy and meet the donation criteria, to donate blood. All blood types are needed. This event is by appointment only.


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

Orange County may move to Orange tier tomorrow

Officials are hopeful that their overall trends in Orange County will lift the county into the orange tier tomorrow. As of yesterday, Orange County had over 53,000 cases and over 1,200 fatalities. 

OC officials won’t release coronavirus outbreaks at schools

According to the OC Health Care Agency, officials won’t disclose coronavirus cases at schools and that decision is up to school districts.

OC’s Latino communities have been hit hard

Data shows that densely populated, heavily Latino communities in Orange County have been hit hardest with COVID-19. Santa Ana and Anaheim, the two largest cities in Orange County, have had positive coronavirus test rates more than double the overall rate in Orange County. 

California surpasses 800,000 COVID-19 cases

California has become the first US state to surpass 800,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Texas has the second most cases. 

US is still in its first wave of coronavirus

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US is still in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic since cases never declined significantly and we should be prepared for the fall and winter.

Nearly half of US states report an increase in COVID-19 numbers

Almost half of US states are reporting increased coronavirus cases, with 21 states showing an upward trend, 19 states showing steady trends, and 10 states showing downward trends. 

CSULB puts all on-campus students under quarantine

After 5 students tested positive at Cal State Long Beach, the university put all 328 on-campus students under a two-week lockdown and pauses all in-person instruction.

Pac-12 to resume football and other winter sports

Reversing course, the Pac-12 will resume football and other winter sports this season. No fans will be allowed at any sporting event that takes place on a Pac-12 campus.


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. 

‘Get your mask on’: Firefighter parodies country song

A Naperville firefighter found a creative way to tell residents ‘Get Your Mask On.’ You may have heard Florida Georgia Line’s song ‘Get Your Shine On’, but one Naperville firefighter and paramedic has a different version.