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 15 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1


L.A. fireworks as seen from UCI’s ecological preserve. Photo by Ian Parker.

L.A. fireworks as seen from UCI’s ecological preserve. Photo by Ian Parker. Scroll down for more pictures.


Weekend campus case report*

One student and zero campus employees tested positive for COVID-19 from Friday through Sunday. The number of active campus cases was two. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.


Athletics vs. COVID

UCI’s Bren Events Center - empty seats.

A look at how Anteater sports teams have navigated pandemic protocols, postponements and planning snafus to get back in play. “One of the biggest challenges is to rethink how you do everything; baseball dugouts and locker rooms are not business as usual anymore,” says Paula Smith, director of intercollegiate athletics.


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.

OC gyms, movie theaters and indoor dining reopen

On Sunday, Orange County returned to the less-restrictive red tier of the state’s coronavirus regulatory system, allowing for bigger crowds in retail stores and the reopening of museums, gyms, movie theaters and indoor dining at restaurants.

CDC may cut social distancing at schools from 6 feet to 3 feet

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reviewing new data that shows physical distancing in schools could safely be reduced from 6 feet apart to 3 feet. Dr. Anthony Fauci supports the 3-foot distancing guideline.

47 poor nations haven’t given a single vaccine dose yet

Rich nations vaccinated an average of one person per second in January and February, while most of the world’s poorest nations have yet to administer a single dose, according to the People’s Vaccine Alliance.

Better vaccines in pipeline, WHO says

New COVID vaccines, including ones that don’t require needles and can be stored at room temperature, may be ready for use later this year or next year, the World Health Organization’s top scientist said.


A global shutterbug goes local

Science Library at UCI, photo by Ian Parker

Before the pandemic, UCI neurobiologist and distinguished professor Ian Parker roamed the planet photographing all sorts of wild and wonderful scenery. In early 2020, he voyaged to Antarctica to snap pictures of Emperor penguins and the huts used by explorers trying to reach the South Pole. Then COVID intervened. Parker returned to UCI just before the campus went into lockdown. “For the past year, I have traveled no farther than walking distance from our home in University Hills,” he writes. “To keep my ‘shutter finger’ exercised, I began a project to photograph the buildings and landscape of the UCI campus.” Parker has assembled a collection of more than 400 photos, including the one above, a fish-eye view of the Milky Way from inside the “drum” of the Science Library. Below, shots of Krieger Hall and a mourning dove. (Our weeklong series of pandemic anniversary stories continues tomorrow with another reader adventure.)

View of Krieger Hall
Mourning dove, photo by Ian Parker


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: Guidelines for the fully vaccinated

Once you’ve had your shots, you can “downgrade to singing only one ‘Happy Birthday’ while washing hands,” according to fake CDC guidelines on the Onion humor site. But “only tell people about your newfound X-ray vision if they’ve also been vaccinated.”


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.