February 9 - Updates on COVID-19
Looking up at Reines Hall. Steve Zylius/UCI
TODAY'S CAMPUS UPDATES
Status of remote work
As shared in the town hall meeting with Chancellor Gillman, UCI will extend its current remote work and limited on-site operations through June 30, 2021. Campus officials are developing guidelines for those interested in long-term remote or hybrid work, subject to supervisor approval. More information will be shared as guidelines are developed in the coming months.
New campus case*
One employee positive case was reported yesterday. There are currently 26 active positive cases.
UCI COVID-19 NEWS AND EVENTS
Federal COVID-19 response taps UCI Health as a model for delivering monoclonal antibody therapy
Monoclonal antibodies are showing promise for improving outcomes for COVID-19 patients, but when a hospital is already beyond capacity, administering them can be a challenge. As hospitalizations soared across California, clinicians with UCI Health created a system for delivering monoclonal antibodies that is keeping hospital beds available for patients with the greatest need.
Beyond Ring Road – workshop series for graduating seniors
The Counseling Center, Alumni Association, and Division of Career Pathways is offering a virtual workshop series designed to help seniors prepare for graduation and how to navigate life after UCI in the midst of a global pandemic.
- COVID Vaccine Basics: The Why, What, Where & When, Thursday, noon (The UCI School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences)
UC advocates for Double the Pell campaign
The University of California announced that it is launching the Double the Pell campaign to urge Congress and the new federal administration to charter a more affordable pathway to higher education for America’s students and families.
University of California Health and CDPH to accelerate data modeling for evidence-based public health decision making
University of California Health and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are launching an innovative data modeling consortium to ensure public health policy makers have timely, relevant analysis and insights to support pandemic-related decision making. Already, 147 UC researchers from all 10 UC campuses plus CDPH modelers are participating. The consortium’s cross disciplinary membership helps ensure the challenges of the pandemic are being addressed holistically.
GENERAL COVID-19 NEWS
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.
Schools set to reopen in Chicago, NYC
While many California schools remain shuttered, classes in the Windy City could begin reopening this week, and New York City middle schools are scheduled to resume Feb. 25.
OC COVID-19 vaccine updates
Othena.com is now available in Spanish. In Orange County, 131,320 residents have been vaccinated and those who have been vaccinated will soon be notified of a second dose appointment. For the latest news on OC’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts, subscribe to the County’s vaccine newsletter.
WHO team says theory COVID began in Wuhan lab ‘extremely unlikely’
The World Health Organization team that visited Wuhan to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic has all but dismissed a theory that the virus leaked from a laboratory, while giving some credence to China’s focus on the possibility of transmission via frozen food.
California looking to boost vaccine equity
Counties in California and other places in the U.S. are trying to ensure they vaccinate people in largely Black, Latino and working-class communities that have borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. Nationwide, states are struggling to distribute vaccines equitably even as officials try to define what equity means. Officials are debating what risk factors gets someone to the head of the line: those in poverty, communities of color, the work they do or if they have a disability.
Cannabis workers now eligible for vaccine
Those in the medicinal cannabis industry are now eligible to be vaccinated alongside healthcare workers in Phase 1a, according to guidelines updated by the California Department of Public Health Feb. 4.
UCI leaders with Dr. Chau: Herd immunity is only possible with a vaccine
Without a vaccine, current knowledge suggests that about 70% of our residents would need to be infected before we reach herd immunity. A recent UCI/Orange County Health Care Agency study found that about 11-12% of our population has already been infected. If we allowed everyone to become infected until we reached the herd immunity “threshold” of 70%, about 2,240,000 Orange County residents would need to become infected—and between 5,600 and 7,840 of them would die. The best approach to taking control of COVID-19 is to build immunity through vaccination.
UK variant of coronavirus surfaces in Orange County
A San Clemente man caught a new variant of COVID-19, Orange County’s first known case of the so-called U.K. strain and probably not the last, public health officials said Monday, Feb. 8. Because the man contracted the new strain without traveling abroad, it’s likely there are other U.K. variant cases in Orange County that have not yet been identified, said Dr. Matt Zahn, deputy county health officer and medical director of Public Health Services’ Communicable Disease Control Division.
California to revise indoor church guidelines
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office issued revised guidelines for indoor church services after the Supreme Court lifted the state’s ban on indoor worship during the coronavirus pandemic, but left in place restrictions on singing and chanting.
HOPE, INSPIRATION, LAUGHTER
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.
Record-breaking roller coaster will travel more than 155 mph
A roller coaster now under development in the Middle East is set to smash existing records for speed, height and track length. Riders will experience the thrill of diving over a vertical cliff into a 160-meter-deep valley (525 feet) thanks to the use of magnetic motor acceleration (LSM technology), and “achieve unprecedented speeds of 250-plus km/h” -- about 155 miles per hour.
A Chick-fil-A manager saved a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic after traffic backed up
When a South Carolina drive-thru coronavirus vaccine clinic got backed up, leaving people waiting for hours, the town mayor decided to call in a professional for help: a Chick-fil-A manager.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.