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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.

January 4 - Updates on COVID-19

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school of medicine, uci

The School of Medicine. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI


Welcome to Winter Quarter 2021

Happy New Year, everyone! As the winter quarter begins, here’s a quick reminder for students, faculty and staff who traveled during the break:

  • Employees returning from trips outside of California should quarantine for 14 days, according to UCI’s Executive Directive on Travel and California’s Travel Advisory for Non-Essential Travel. Supervisors and research plan owners should work with COEH to ensure that their team members follow this quarantine requirement. Please contact human resources or academic personnel if you have any questions.
  • Residential students returning to campus from any travel, including within California, are required to quarantine for 14 days. Additional student guidelines can be found in this update.

More than 100 new cases on campus

The coronavirus didn’t take a break during the winter holidays. Since our last newsletter on Dec. 17, UCI logged 118 new cases on campus (52 students and 66 employees). UCI’s contact tracing team is adding staff to handle the caseload, which can be viewed on the UCI Forward Dashboard.

Employee virus testing begins

Starting today, UCI is offering voluntary asymptomatic COVID testing for all onsite campus employees.

To test or not to test?

If that is the question, here’s a handy chart that answers how often different categories of students and UCI employees are required to be tested for COVID-19.


Grateful paramedic climbs back from COVID-19

A Whittier man who spent four weeks at UCI Medical Center recounts his coronavirus ordeal.

ICYMI: Media coverage of UCI Health’s field hospital

During the winter break, the field hospital at UCI Medical Center received national and local news coverage, including from such outlets as KABC-TVGood Morning America (30-second mark), the Orange County Register and ABC’s World News Tonight (1:10 mark). UCI Health employees were also prominently featured on the Register’s Christmas Day front page:

OC Register Cover

Upcoming events


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.

California freshmen find virtual alternatives to social life

The pandemic has forced campus groups to get creative with how they offer activities and events. But many students remain lonely.

TSA screens 3 million travelers over New Year’s weekend

The latest numbers bring the sum of holiday travel, which began Dec. 18, to more than 17.7 million people, far above predictions.

Scientists debate vaccination strategy

Because the first shot appears to provide some protection, some experts believe the quickest way to contain the virus is to disseminate the initial injections as widely as possible now.

Masks aren’t going away, even if you get the vaccine

It’s unclear if vaccinated people can still spread the virus, so masks will remain necessary for now.

Manhattan Beach removes public seating as cases spike

The city, which had skirted a ban on outdoor dining by opening public seating areas, reversed course Sunday night, citing a spike in COVID-19 cases across the county.


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.

Satire: State-by-state COVID restrictions

The Onion dreams up virus rules for all 50 states. Sample entries: Alaska (Residents advised against pulling down their mask to say, “Hey, there’s a moose” every time they see a moose), California (Illegal for any journalist to gather indoors in restaurants where more than 6 state officials are dining), Colorado (Few restrictions, as coronavirus easily winded at such high altitude) and Florida (All drinks must be protected from germs with little umbrella).


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.