April 20 - Updates on COVID-19
Walking among the blooms on Ring Road. Steve Zylius/UCI
TODAY'S CAMPUS UPDATES
The Chauvin verdict
The jury has spoken, finding former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all three charges filed in the murder of George Floyd last year. Today’s verdict “is a step, but it is just one step,” Chancellor Howard Gillman wrote in a message to the campus. “There is still so much to do. Let this verdict, and the example of the people who bore witness to these events, and the efforts of the prosecutors and police leaders who stood up to make this verdict possible, and the jurors who answered the call and spoke for the community, encourage us all to continue this important work, as we create a more just and equitable future for us all.”
Contact Tracing & Vaccine Navigation Services
As case counts have decreased and vaccine eligibility has increased to include those aged 16 and up across the nation, the UCI contact tracing team has pivoted to serve as a vaccine resource for students and is now “Contact Tracing & Vaccine Navigation Services” (CTVNS). For questions or if you need assistance finding a vaccination appointment, please contact 949.824.2300. The staff can not only help you figure out where and how to sign up for a vaccine, it has also been able to help students complete an appointment while still on the phone. Additionally, the CTVNS team is doing telephone outreach to UCI students to assist with vaccine information and questions, as well as with how to upload their vaccine to the student health portal. Beginning this week, the CTVNS team will call student residents in ACC housing and campus housing to offer assistance, and is arranging to call all UCI current and incoming students over the next weeks to offer help.
No new campus cases*
No student residents or on-campus employees tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.
UCI COVID-19 NEWS AND EVENTS
Taking UCI virtual
Kian Colestock, interim chief information officer and associate vice chancellor in UCI’s Office of Information Technology, recalls the weekend in which he learned that his unit would be supporting the technological transition of a major research university to an all-remote environment. “We told hundreds of staff in OIT on Friday, March 13, that we would do a practice run of being fully remote on Monday, the 16th,” Colestock says. “Over the weekend, Monday changed from a practice run into a live pilot. We’re still on that pilot, technically, as we’ve been remote ever since.”
UCI announces employee, student back-to-campus plans
Taking what it has learned from remote work and learning practices over the past 15 months, UCI will begin instituting back-to-campus plans for employees and students that will include hybrid workplaces and flexible coursework. The transition back to campus will be managed in phases starting July 1, with the university being fully operational in person by Sept. 1. This strategy is premised on the assumption that a large majority of the UCI family will be vaccinated by then.
Creating Excellence: A Public Forum With the Chancellor’s Inclusive Excellence Awardees, Thursday, 1 p.m., sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence
- Naturescape & Wellbeing at UCI: An Exploration of Open Spaces and their Influence on Health & Wellbeing, Wednesday at noon, sponsored by UCI Wellness
Young UC scientists to learn from Nobel laureates
The University of California announced its second class of UC President’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings Fellows, an extraordinary group of 30 young scientists selected from the 10 UC campuses and three national laboratories to attend invitation-only lectures and small seminars with some 40 Nobel laureates from around the world.
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.
Nixon Library to be a vaccine site
The Richard Nixon Foundation announced today that, in partnership with the Office of State Senator Josh Newman, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum will serve as a COVID-19 vaccination site on Wednesday, April 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PDT.
Orange County and state health officials gearing up for more neighborhood vaccination clinics to hardest hit areas
Orange County’s public health officials, hospitals and community clinics are gearing up to vaccinate more residents as state and local officials are pushing to host more coronavirus vaccination clinics in neighborhoods most impacted by the virus.
One-quarter of Californians now fully vaccinated
One in 4 Californians are now fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as the state continues its dash to widely inoculate residents and ward off any potential resurgence of the pandemic.
Californians to start receiving one-time $600 payments as part of state's COVID relief package
Eligible Californians are about to receive a one-time $600 check as part of the state's coronavirus relief package. Those who are eligible to receive the Golden State Stimulus check must have qualified for the state's earned income tax credit on their 2020 tax return or be an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) filer with an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000.
0.007% of fully vaccinated Americans got COVID
None of the 6,000 patients (out of 84 million fully vaccinated Americans) died or got severely ill, and 30% experienced no symptoms at all, according to the CDC.
The U.S. is vaccinating millions daily. But here's why cases and hospitalizations are up
Experts say vaccinations in the U.S. are continuing at an impressive pace, and now all Americans 16 and up can get a shot. But a leading health official said that the country remains in a "complicated stage."
Johnson & Johnson stands by ‘positive benefit/risk profile’ of its vaccine
Johnson & Johnson believes that the benefits of its coronavirus vaccine outweigh the risks, according to Dr. Paul Stoffels, the company's chief scientific officer.
No-prescription, rapid COVID-19 home tests to be sold at CVS, Walgreens and Walmart beginning this week
Consumers will be able to buy rapid coronavirus tests without a prescription this week at three national chain retailers, an expansion that comes as the nation's vaccination effort accelerates and states relax distancing requirements and mask mandates.
U.K. to test COVID events
The world will be watching as the U.K.’s first major test of returning to life as normal takes place at Liverpool’s Bramley Moore Dock Warehouse on April 30 and May 1, which will see 3,000 people gather en masse with no social distancing, no face masks and no special alcohol rules. Outside, a team of scientists will be working in a specialist tent erected on site to analyze people’s behavior.
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.
The life-size teddy bear on a journey from Los Angeles to San Francisco
His name is Bearsun. And right now, he's walking more than 400 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco with little more than his bear suit. As his travels continue, he's been wished "good luck" and "safe travels" on social media while people snap pictures of him to share when they cross his path. "This is what I want to do," said Jesse Larios, the man inside the costume. "It makes other people happy too, and I'm all about laughter and smiles."
Josh Murao (He is a CA - CA is equivalent of RA in ACC housing)
I decided to get the vaccine to do my part in not only protecting myself, but those around me as well. What motivated me the most to get vaccinated was actually my family. Both of my siblings are ICU nurses and have been working in the front lines in an area of Southern California hardest hit by the pandemic. I got this vaccine not only as a means of protection but as a symbol of my gratitude and appreciation to all the frontline and essential workers who have been out there since day one. I am really excited about getting vaccinated! Now that I am completely vaccinated, what I am looking forward to most is (fingers crossed) being able to return to campus and finishing my last year here at UCI in person, just as I started.
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 COVID-19 vaccination, 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.