March 16 - Updates on COVID-19
A yellow bird enjoys the purple rest stop it found on Ring Road. Steve Zylius/UCI.
TODAY'S CAMPUS UPDATES
Zoom updates necessary
Starting March 22, UCI Zoom apps must be updated to a current version available for each device. This is critical for security and to ensure participants have a consistent experience within UCI Zoom meetings and webinars. For more information on UCI Zoom, please visit: https://zoom.oit.uci.edu.
New campus cases*
There were no new positive cases reported Monday. Visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.
UCI COVID-19 NEWS AND EVENTS
On Friday, March 19, graduating medical students across the country will find out which residency program they’ve been “matched” with. Annual Match Day ceremonies promise high emotion, even when virtual. At UCI, 110 future physicians will learn where they’ll start their careers after earning M.D.s in May. The class spent the final year of medical school in a pandemic.
UCI Law pro bono in a pandemic
This infographic showcases UCI Law student pro bono projects in the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic. More than 11,000 hours were served in 219 projects between March 2020 and February 2021 under primarily virtual conditions.
FAQs about changes to UC benefits programs for pandemic relief
Frequently asked questions about pandemic relief have been updated as of Mar. 9, 2021 to explain new provisions and specify provisions that were discontinued at the end of the 2020 plan year.
UC welcomes new era of climate-action partnership
Since taking office in July, UC President Michael V. Drake, M.D., has continued to make climate change one of the University’s top priorities. The University looks forward to working with the Biden administration as it continues to collaborate with state officials, local municipalities, business leaders and other universities to achieve greater progress on this generational challenge.
UC Board of Regents to showcase efforts to ‘bend the curve’ and cool the planet
As part of its commitment to leveraging cutting-edge science and entrepreneurialism against human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and the climate crisis, the University of California Board of Regents will host top UC researchers, clean energy pioneers and students on March 17 at for a presentation 9:30 a.m. on state-of-the-art efforts to “bend the curve” of rising temperatures.
UC secures landmark open access deal with world’s largest scientific publisher
The University of California announced a pioneering open access agreement with the world’s largest scientific publisher, Elsevier, making significantly more of the University’s research available to people worldwide — immediately and at no cost. The deal will put more UC research into the hands of individuals across the globe at a time when international collaboration to fight COVID-19 has illuminated the value of open access to scientific findings.
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.
1 million vaccine doses given in OC
As of Monday, March 15, Orange County residents have received 1,005,143 doses, according to the state’s database that tracks vaccine delivery. That’s not to say 1 million residents have been vaccinated – some people still need their second dose as recommended for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
OC to move from Othena to MyTurn when Blue Shield takes over
When Blue Shield takes over the statewide virus distribution system, the state’s appointment website — My Turn — is slated to be used. Orange County is currently using its own program, Othena. It’s still unclear when the distribution switch will happen, but county supervisors are expected to discuss the Blue Shield contract at their meeting next Tuesday. All vaccine providers — counties, health clinics, hospitals — are required to have a contract with Blue Shield in order to stay in the supply chain.
California’s COVID-19 vaccine expansion relies on trust
California on Monday began a new phase of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, making nearly half of all residents eligible for a shot — the changes add to the eligibility list more than 4 million people, most notably those 16 and older who have disabilities and underlying health conditions. There will be a much looser verification system for this new group due to issues of privacy and access.
Federal government prepares to thwart fourth surge
In what would be a first, the White House is drawing up plans to surge vaccines to emerging hotspots in an attempt to blunt the virus’s trajectory and protect those at highest risk. Officials have been combing through data to plot the virus’s trajectory, mapping out different scenarios and drawing up plans for how the federal government could act.
Facebook to label vaccine posts to combat COVID-19 misinfo
Facebook is adding informational labels to posts about vaccines as it expands efforts to counter COVID-19-related misinformation flourishing on its platforms. Labels will contain “credible information” about the vaccines from the World Health Organization. They will be in English and five other languages, with more languages added in coming weeks.
Air travel up, according to TSA
Spring breakers traveling by air are helping to break pandemic air travel records. The Transportation Security Administration screened 6.4 million people at airports across the country between Thursday and Monday, the biggest five-day period of pandemic air travel.
Meet Gen C, the COVID generation
Some experts have started to use a new term to talk about seismic changes they’re seeing -- changes that could cause ripple effects in children’s lives far into the future. They’ve given a new name to the world’s newest generation: Gen C, or Generation Covid.
TALES FROM THE LOCKDOWN
The sound of music
Third year Ph.D. student in the Cognitive Sciences department, Aakriti Kumar, shared that she learned how to play the ukulele during the pandemic.
Here’s a snippet on her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_B-UtYgGHg/
“Can’t believe it’s been almost a year!,” she says.
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.
A smiley snake
Reptiles aren’t cute in a traditional sense, but appreciation for their scaly sweetness is long past due. Take, for example, this smiley serpent. It’s got not one, but THREE orange smiley faces stamped on its skin. The beady-eyed beauty sold for a whopping $6,000 — because in the reptilian world, apparently, happiness does have a price.
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 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.