November 20 - Updates on COVID-19
*In light of the increase in COVID-19 cases and the recent policy movements to curtail the spread, we bring you this special edition of UCI Forward to gather these updates into one place.
Cases up across the U.S. and at UCI
Thus far this week there have been 36 positive test results reported among the UCI student population with more than 70% of these individuals not showing any symptoms. This includes both students living on campus and in the surrounding community. (The dashboard on the UCI Forward site reports cases of students living on campus only.) The current rise in cases in Orange County makes it even more critical that we wear masks and maintain physical distance to protect each other and our families. Please be careful.
Countdown to a safe Thanksgiving
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, now is a good time to evaluate and plan your options for gathering with loved ones. Every choice you make will have impacts on your family and friends, including those on campus. We encourage you to take into consideration these tips and timeline for celebrating smart.
CDC issues Thanksgiving and travel guidance
Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that more than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States in the past 7 days, and issued “Celebrating Thanksgiving” suggesting the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with.
Governor issues curfew
Yesterday, Governor Newsom issued a curfew for all counties currently in the Purple Tier of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Calling it a “limited stay at home order,” all non-essential businesses and personal gatherings are prohibited between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. beginning Saturday at 10 p.m. and continuing through 5 a.m. Dec. 21.
CA in Purple Tier - impact to campus
On Monday this week, Governor Newsom said California will be “pulling an emergency brake” on reopening efforts in response to a recent surge of COVID cases. About 94% of the state, including Orange County, will revert to the most restrictive purple tier outlined in California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, effective today. The statewide restrictions affect some campus operations and practices.
CA Travel Advisory Issued
Last Friday, the California Department of Public Health issued a Travel Advisory for Non-Essential Travel, which triggers special travel restrictions contained in UCI’s Executive Directive on Travel. Until the state lifts the advisory, employees returning from travel outside of California should quarantine for 14 days. Residential students returning to campus from any travel, including within California, are required to quarantine for 14 days.
Supervisors and research plan owners are responsible for working with their teams concerning travel plans and ensuring that their team members follow this quarantine requirement. Please reach out to human resources or academic personnel if you have any questions.
California expands mask mandate
Faced with startling spikes in coronavirus cases, California health officials issued a new mandate this week requiring residents to wear face coverings whenever they’re outside their homes, with few exceptions.
Tracking the coronavirus at U.S. colleges and universities
A New York Times survey of more than 1,900 American colleges and universities – including every four-year public institution and every private college that competes in N.C.A.A. sports – has revealed more than 321,000 cases and at least 80 deaths since the pandemic began.
Thank you and stay safe
We recognize that these further restrictions may be difficult, especially as the holidays approach. If you need extra support to help you navigate this phase of the pandemic, please do not hesitate to seek out counseling resources and other campus services.