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 10 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1

Graphic reads How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine causes an immune response, during which your body produces antibodies. These antibodies block the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering your cells, where they could reproduce and make you sick. #ThisIsOurShot #UCIForward


Vaccine resources update

Orange County has opened up vaccinations to Phase 1B Tier 1 populations, which includes persons at risk of occupational exposure through their work in higher education. All employees are encouraged to get vaccinated through any available channel. To facilitate this we share some relevant information.

New campus cases*

No new cases were reported Tuesday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.


Upcoming events


COVID-19 relief for Flexible Spending Accounts

Planning for future expenses got a lot harder last year. If you ended 2020 with money that you weren’t able to use in your UC pretax flexible spending account (FSA) plan for dependent or health care, help is on the way. UC has approved some important temporary changes, giving you more time to use the money in your accounts — and the option to change your 2021 elections.

Spark your creativity and celebrate global health

The UC Global Health Day 2021 Creative Expression Contest invites UC community members to share their perspectives of global health through photography, video or poetry. The timely prompts are “health equity during the pandemic” and “social justice in global health,” in line with the 2021 Global Health Day theme, Decolonizing Global Health to Advance Health Equity. Learn more about the contest.


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.

If trends hold, Orange County will move to red tier next week

Orange County notched week one of two in qualifying to move to the less restrictive red tier of pandemic rules, according to a state Department of Public Health update Tuesday, March 9. If three key coronavirus metrics continue their downward trend from pandemic peaks in early January, the county will officially move out of the strictest purple tier next Tuesday, March 16, meaning a range of businesses, including restaurants, movie theaters and gyms, could begin letting masked customers indoors the following day.

Disneyland looks to reopen by late April

Disneyland is aiming to open by late April following a yearlong closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek announced Tuesday. An exact date has not been pinpointed yet, but should be publicized in the coming weeks, he added.

Pandemic gas prices over

Pandemic gas prices, and the savings drivers reaped while people had limited travel, are officially over in Orange County, where the average cost of a gallon of regular-unleaded rose this week to $3.80 – the highest price since Thanksgiving 2019.

Vaccination site opens at USC

A new COVID-19 vaccination site opened Tuesday at USC and will cater to residents in South Los Angeles, which has been hard-hit by the pandemic. The city is partnering with Uber to offer 15,000 free rides and 20,000 others at half-price to bring South L.A. residents to the new site, according to a news release.

Map shows which CA counties can, can’t reopen

Nine California counties are moving into less restrictive tiers this week as COVID-19 spread drops and vaccinations increase. Alameda, Butte, Calaveras, Imperial, Santa Cruz and Solano counties moved into the red tier. Mariposa and Plumas counties joined the orange tier. Alpine County is the first county in months to enter the least restrictive yellow tier.

Nearly 100 pet dogs and cats have contracted COVID-19; here’s how to protect your pets

According to a new CDC report, nearly 100 pet dogs and cats are said to have contracted the virus, mostly after close contact with an infected person. The CDC says infected pets might get sick or they might not have any symptoms, adding that of those that have gotten sick, most were only mildly ill and then fully recovered.

How the underestimated coronavirus took over the world

The Washington Post compiled this timeline and read on how the coronavirus unfolded across the world beginning with a phone call on New Year’s Eve 2019.


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.

Cow cuddling has become a thing for lonely hearts in the pandemic

People are signing up to hug cows at sanctuaries across the country, many desperate for affection as the nation approaches a full year of social distancing during the pandemic. A farm near Phoenix has about 100 rescued farm animals, many with disabilities and offers cow-cuddling sessions for $75 an hour, and are booked until July.



With support from UCI Student Affairs, student Karishma Muthukumar, who is UCI’s Dalai Lama scholar and a Barnes & Noble College Scholar, led a campuswide call for letters of support to UCI students. The initiative was part of The All-truism project, and more letters can be found on Instagram. All-truism (“we can all be true”) is a new project supported by the Barnes & Noble Scholarship that aims to create connections through community, compassion and the creative arts.

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.