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.

March 2 - Updates on COVID-19

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Anteater Learning Pavilion

Heading up and off Ring Road with the Anteater Learning Pavilion in the background. Steve Zylius/UCI.


UCI online events page

Virtual events are a great way to stay connected. For the latest featured events, check out the revamped UCI Today.

Tell us your COVID storiesMegaphone

What have you learned or how have you changed since the pandemic began? Did you start a new hobby, reach a personal epiphany, wrestle with loss, or find a silver lining? March 11 will mark one year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. As the anniversary approaches, we’d like to hear your most memorable stories, lessons and anecdotes. Please send memories and/or photos you’d like us to consider publishing to marketing@uci.edu or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.

New campus cases*

No new student or employee cases were reported yesterday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.


UCI Health analysis shows increase in penetrating trauma related to COVID-19 stay-at-home changes

UCI Health-led study of trauma care in Southern California during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and “stay-at-home” period shows an increase in penetrating injuries such as gunshot wounds and a decrease in blunt trauma, usually associated with vehicle collisions and pedestrian injuries. As the largest study to date on this topic, the analysis provides evidence that these injuries created a second pandemic for a stretched Southern California healthcare system.

UCI Health recognized among the country’s best maternity hospitals

UCI Health has again been recognized by Newsweek as one of America’s Best Maternity Care Hospitals for 2021. The distinction recognizes facilities that have excelled in providing care to mothers, newborns and their families, as verified by the 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Survey.


President Drake PSA on the vaccine

As part of UC’s ongoing efforts to educate Californians on scientifically proven public health best practices for preventing COVID-19, UC President Michael V. Drake recorded a public service announcement encouraging eligible Californians to get vaccinated. In the video, Drake speaks to communities of color in particular, who continue to see higher COVID-19 test positivity rates and deaths, while sharing information about the vaccine’s efficacy and underscoring the need to immunize for personal protection and the well-being of communities at large.

UC features UCI’s chief procurement officer

The latest installment of the UC Procurement Quarterly newsletter features a video interview with Snehal Bhatt, UC Irvine’s chief procurement officer, called Conquering COVID Contingencies, Snehal Bhatt on the challenges of UCI’s first vaccine clinics.

An update on UC’s Pay for Family Care and Bonding program

Under the proposed Pay for Family Care and Bonding program, which takes effect July 1, 2021, employees who take approved leave to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child will be eligible to receive up to 70% of their wages for up to eight weeks. Details of the new program are going through UC’s official review process to ensure that management, staff, faculty and other academic appointees have the opportunity to provide feedback.


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.

Several vaccination sites open in Riverside County

A Desert Hot Springs COVID-19 vaccination site will open Wednesday along with several other locations. The county listed the site at 11-711 West Drive in Desert Hot Springs, which is the location of the Carl May Community Center. The county is also opening two new sites in Corona and Temecula.

California poised for $19 billion surplus, despite lockdowns

By the end of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic eviscerated roughly 1.6 million jobs in California and slashed the value of business properties by more than 30%. Despite it all, California managed to collect $10.5 billion more in taxes than predicted, putting the state on track for a $19 billion surplus to spend by the end of the fiscal year on July 1.

Orange County edges closer to red tier

Orange County may find itself closer to the less-restrictive red tier in the state’s program for reopening the economy. As of Sunday, the case rate per 100,000 residents was 8.2, the testing positivity rate was at 4.1% and the health equity quartile positivity rate, which measures coronavirus prevalence in hot spots in low-income communities, was 5.3%. “It was a rainbow,” Orange County CEO Frank Kim said. “For the case rate we were purple, but testing positivity was orange and for the health equity we were red.”

WHO says virus crisis unlikely to be over by end of 2021

At a press briefing, World Health Organization executive director of emergency services Dr. Michael Ryan said that although vaccinating the most vulnerable people including healthcare workers, would help remove the “tragedy and fear” from the situation, and would help to ease pressure on hospitals, the “virus is very much in control. It will be very premature, and I think unrealistic, to think that we’re going to finish with this virus by the end of the year,” Ryan said.


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.

50-year pen pal friendship began with message in a bottle

In 1967, a bored Swedish merchant marine threw a message in a bottle off his ship, unknowingly sparking a pen pal friendship that has lasted more than 50 years. That first message reached a 15-year-old Robbinroger Beever, the son of an American diplomat living in Liberia, West Africa. Beever excitedly wrote back, and the marine passed the letter off to his 14-year-old Finnish sister-in-law, Saija Kuparinen, who was thrilled to write the American living so far away. In 2003, after seeing each other grow up, love and live from afar, the two met for the first time in Finland.


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.