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.

January 28 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1


Mariachis performing

Mariachis perform at the 1964 site dedication for the future UCI campus.


How the vaccine is helping UCIMC curb employee cases

In mid-December, as the winter COVID surge grew, the number of UCI Medical Center employees testing positive for COVID peaked. Flash forward to Wednesday, when zero new cases were reported among medical center staff. Another telling statistic: In mid-December, half of symptomatic tests were positive vs. just under 10% this week. A key factor in the decline is the vaccination of frontline UCI Health workers. By the end of December, about half of the medical center’s clinical team was vaccinated. As January comes to a close, UCI Health has given more than 14,700 vaccine doses to employees (including second doses). “With the combination of vaccinated co-workers and daily practice of infection prevention measures, I am confident we will continue to see a downward trend in numbers in the coming weeks,” says Chad T. Lefteris, UCI Health CEO.

1 new campus case*

One student and no employees tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.


UCI receives most applications in campus history

The university was also the top choice for in-state, first-generation students for the third consecutive year.


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.

OC requests fixes to vaccine appointment app

The $1.2 million Othena app, website and hotline are a mess, according to Orange County officials and many users.

How to get the vaccine in Orange County

Tips from the Los Angeles Times.

COVID fatigue is a real thing, study says

Mask wearing is up, but adherence to other guidelines has mostly declined, according to an ongoing national study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Vaccination day at Dodger Stadium: A sea of cars and 7,730 shots

Men on motorcycles. Bangladeshi merchants. Retired record-company executives. Latina healthcare workers. Arnold Schwarzenegger. A portrait in words and pictures.

Do curfews slow the coronavirus?

With few studies to go by, experts weigh in on the possible pros and cons of such restrictions.

Those virus mutations? Don’t worry yet, expert says

Fears that COVID vaccines might not deter the South African variant are based on imperfect and incomplete lab studies, a vaccine developer explains.

Blue Shield will now oversee California’s vaccination program

The state has put the health insurer in charge of distributing vaccine doses to counties, pharmacies and private healthcare providers. Blue Shield, which donated more than $1 million to Gov. Newsom’s 2018 campaign, has been deeply involved in the governor’s pandemic response efforts since last spring.

Riskiest job for COVID in California? Restaurant cook

A new study by UC San Francisco’s epidemiology and biostatistics department says restaurant cooks carry the most risk of COVID-19-related death in California, beating out packaging machine operators and construction workers. Of the five channels of employment with the highest risk for mortality, three were food-related: Cooks, agricultural workers and bakers, with head chefs and bartenders also making the higher-risk list.


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: Child weirded out after bumping into teacher outside laptop

According to the Onion, the befuddled remote learning student said, “I guess it makes sense that she would live outside my computer, but I’m still surprised...I can’t believe she has a whole entire body.”


If you have a shoutout, or if you’d like to share what you’ve been up to during the pandemic, send photos and/or words about your activities, workstation, volunteering, etc., to marketing@uci.edu or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


* Potential workplace exposure: UCI provides this notification of a potential workplace COVID-19 exposure. Employees and subcontractors who were in these locations on the dates listed may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You may be entitled to various benefits under applicable federal and state laws and University-specific policies and agreements. The full notification is available on the UCI Forward site. If you have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, the UCI Contact Tracing Program will contact you and provide additional direction.