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 30 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1


A father and daughter pose together during their move-in day. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI.


A most unique move-in week concludes

The Sept. 22 through 29 move-in week ended yesterday. Campus housing is at 43% capacity with a total of 6,600 students residing on site, including ACC housing. Students were asked to quarantine at home for 14 days prior to coming to UCI, and upon arrival were required to stop by the Bren Center for their mandatory COVID-19 test before receiving their key from housing. Read the UCI feature story, “A minimized move-in” to discover student and parent stories about moving into UCI residence halls last weekend.

Once moved in, students are required to sequester for 7 days and are assigned “zotpods” based on their housing configuration. Zotpods consist of 6 to 10 students who reside on the same floor or suite and students are allowed to engage in essential activities within their zotpod, including picking up their meal boxes at the dining halls together, until their sequester is over. 

UCI contact tracing program launches

One of the key components of UCI’s COVID-19 response program is contact tracing. UCI has entered into an agreement with the Orange County Health Care Agency to authorize UCI to conduct contact tracing specific to the UCI community. Campus leadership has supported this effort by issuing an executive directive. To learn about UCI’s contact tracing program, watch this episode of The Anteater Insider video podcast.


UC Travel

The Central Travel Office has planned a few webinars for the coming weeks, including some discussions on what is happening in travel as the pandemic continues to impact the industry as a whole.


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 remains on state’s red tier

Orange County will remain in the red tier of the state’s pandemic tracking system this week after a reversal in one of two coronavirus metrics that had been declining consistently kept the county from landing in the less-restrictive orange tier. The guilty figure is the county’s rate of new COVID-19 cases.

Disney lays off 28,000 employees

Disney will lay off 28,000 employees effective Nov. 1 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World as the company continues to struggle with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the six-month closure of its Anaheim theme parks.

Mask up to open OC

OC’s 34 mayors are united with the same message “Mask up to open OC!” OC’s mayors are asking residents to continue wearing masks in this short video to help OC stay open.

California halts unemployment claims

With over 600,000 backlogged unemployment claims, the state will pause all incoming claims until October 5th.

Playgrounds in California allowed to reopen

The California Department of Health released new guidance to allow outdoor playgrounds to reopen in all counties, regardless of tier status.

CDC releases study on COVID-19 surge among college age students

A study from researchers at the CDC shows that cases of COVID-19 surged among college-age individuals in August and September just as schools across the nation reopened.

Federal government to ship millions of coronavirus tests in push to reopen K-12 schools

A senior administration official said that 6.5 million tests will go out this week and that a total of 100 million tests will be distributed to governors over the next several weeks. The tests will go out to states based on their population and can be used as governors see fit, but the administration encourages states to place a priority on schools.

CDC releases guidelines for celebrating Thanksgiving holiday safely

Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.

Largest COVID-19 transmission study highlights role of super-spreaders

A team of Indian and US researchers examined data from more than 575,000 individuals who were tested after coming into contact with 84,965 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19. The study found that 8% of people with COVID-19 accounted for 60% of the new infections observed.

The ‘viral’ questions about coronavirus

The Associated Press has gathered the most common questions about coronavirus, such as, ‘How can I volunteer for a COVID-19 vaccine study?’ and shares answers.

How COVID-19 is changing the English language

In April, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary did something unusual. For the previous 20 years, they had issued quarterly updates to announce new words and meanings selected for inclusion. These updates have typically been made available in March, June, September and December. In the late spring, however, and again in July, the dictionary’s editors released special updates, citing a need to document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the English language.

The 2020 Census ends today

Today is the last day to complete the 2020 Census. Fill out your Census form now to be counted.


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. 

15-year-old memorializes coronavirus victims with digital portraits

Since August, 15-year-old Parsippany, N.J., resident Hannah Ernst has drawn nearly 400 digital portraits of people who have died of the novel coronavirus, each featuring a silhouette of the victim on a yellow heart background. Ernst’s “Faces of Covid Victims” project is a visual reminder that the 1 million lives lost to the virus so far are more than just numbers, but family members and friends.