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.

December 15 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1

Winter break is coming


Three days, 14 new cases

Fourteen cases of COVID-19 have been added to UCI’s COVID-19 dashboard. Over the weekend, seven students and one campus employee tested positive. On Monday, six employees tested positive. The number of active cases on campus is now 48 (25 students, 23 employees). Since March, UCI has logged a cumulative total of 273 cases, of which 225 have recovered.


OC vaccine arrival delayed

The first batch of Pfizer’s vaccine is now scheduled to arrive Wednesday in Orange County. Here’s UCI Health’s FAQ on coronavirus vaccines.


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 TimesWall Street Journal and OC Register for students, faculty and staff.

Shifting stories on school COVID closures

“The assumption that keeping the kids home is going to prevent transmission has not been borne out at all by the data — in fact, the opposite,” says Dr. Dan Cooper, a UCI pediatrics professor. “We’ve seen the largest increase in pediatric COVID cases — and they’re mostly asymptomatic — while schools have been closed.”

Vaccine lobbying: farmworkers, prison inmates and guards

Vaccinations are underway for healthcare workers, and so are lobbying efforts to give a higher priority to other vulnerable groups. One is California’s 800,000 farmworkers. In the Salinas Valley, a study by UC Berkeley found farmworkers tested positive at a rate almost three times higher than the overall state population. Another priority should be prison guards and inmates, according to a recommendation by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice.

L.A. County aims to vaccinate 6 million people in 6 months — but it may not be enough

L.A. County has begun a massive undertaking, trying to vaccinate six million people in six months, beginning with healthcare workers. But it’s unclear whether inoculating six million in a county of 10 million will provide herd immunity.

California state senators urge governor to let restaurants reopen

Eleven state senators, both Democrat and Republican, are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to let restaurants reopen by moving them into the “essential” category statewide.


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.

The magical porta-potty

It’s the bathroom equivalent of Mary Poppins’ bag.


Maryam Hassani, a Ph.D. student in computer science, writes:

I have never been interested in painting since I used to be very bad at it. But during the pandemic, I got a small watercolor palette as a gift to join a paint night and fell in love with it. So, I got the full equipment and started a series of paint nights (8 a.m. for me) with my 10-year-old cousin in Iran and have been using tutorials to draw occasion-based paintings every week. We recently added my brother from the Netherlands and we are planning to grow throughout the globe.

Above is the Christmas collection we have done. Seems I am not as bad at painting as I used to be.

This fun event has kept me connected to my family back home and decorated my workplace in the lab.

What have you been up to during the pandemic? Send photos and/or words about your activities, workstation, volunteering or academic adventures to marketing@uci.edu or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.