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 18 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1

“Hamilton” meets COVID in this fun yet informative parody video.


One new campus case*

On St. Patrick’s Day, one student and no campus employees were reported as testing positive for COVID-19. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.


Upcoming events


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.

Magic Mountain will be first area theme park to reopen

Six Flags plans to welcome back season pass holders April 1 and the general public April 3. However, a trade group is asking visitors not to scream on roller coasters.

How doing nothing can make you more productive

It’s gotten harder to create mental breaks as work and home have blurred. Here are ways to give your brain a rest.

Catholic Church directives on J&J vaccine raise questions

A recommendation from Catholic bishops to avoid the J&J shot if possible was a key factor in Orange County’s decision to let residents choose which vaccine they receive, said Aaron Kheriaty, director of the medical ethics program at UCI Health.

SBA offers aid to restaurants, bars, breweries

The Small Business Administration is planning an early April rollout of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The $28.6 billion fund, passed as part of the $1.9 trillion relief and stimulus bill, offers grants to restaurants, bars, food trucks and similar businesses that suffered pandemic-related losses. Chains with more than 20 locations aren’t eligible.

How Florida schools reopened without big outbreaks

With 80% of students attending in-person classes, Florida schools over the past seven months have consistently had lower COVID-19 rates than in the community at large. The same is true in Massachusetts and New York.


UCI superheroes

Our weeklong series of pandemic anniversary stories concludes with a pair of thank-yous to some of UCI’s many unsung heroes.

Donna Marie Garcia, night custodial supervisor, wrote in praise of UCI’s “Incredibles,” the essential workers at the Student Center (above), Facilities Management and Transportation who keep the campus clean, disinfected and running smoothly.

Likewise, Student Housing lauded its staff for supporting on-campus residents by “creating interactive events, doing wellness checks, making sure quarantined students receive meals and providing day-to-day help and strategies for stress management.” Below are two RAs, Tarun Rajasekar and Alyssa Nicole Ruiz, along with their furry friends.

RAs at student housing


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 quarantined U.S. Navy and other pandemic humor

A South Carolina university collected various jokes and sight gags from the coronavirus era.


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.