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.

May 5 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1

Animal Crossing - UCI Land

UCI Land, an Anteater-themed island designed in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing, was awarded a 2021 Bronze Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America.


No new campus cases*

No student residents or on-campus employees tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.


Help for COVID-19 long-hauler syndrome

Studies have identified patients -- up to 80% of COVID survivors -- whose symptoms linger months after the disease’s onset, long after their bodies show no sign of detectable virus. Thankfully, multi-year studies are underway to identify how common these symptoms are, who is most likely to get them and whether they eventually resolve.

Congratulations to the Bronze Anvil award winners!

Bronze Anvil award
UCI Land, an animated Anteater-themed island created in Nintendo’s popular Animal Crossing video game series, won a 2021 Bronze Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America. The national competition honors “the best of the best in public relations tactics -- the use of social media, video, blogs, podcasts, annual reports, digital newsletters, websites -- that contribute to the success of overall programs or campaigns.”

The virtual island debuted last fall as a way to help students stay connected during remote learning. It features campus landmarks, clothes and icons, as well as a character named Zots and an avatar inspired by UCI Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Willie Banks.

Upcoming events


Vaccine policy updates

The student and employee FAQs for the proposed COVID-19 vaccination policy now reflect new information. In brief, UCI members vaccinated elsewhere with WHO-approved vaccines will be considered in compliance with the policy draft. Additionally, as long as a person has completed their series (even if the time gap was longer than three to four weeks), they will be considered to have complied with the mandate.


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 JournalOC Register and Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.

Scientists see path for the coronavirus to invade the brain

Scientists experimenting in the lab have found that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is capable of infecting two types of brain cells -- neurons and astrocytes. The findings could shed light on a possible reason for the bewildering array of neurological symptoms that follow some COVID survivors even after they recover.

Biden adviser outlines efforts to quickly get teens vaccinated

White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt outlined steps the administration will take to hit the ground running if the US FDA grants an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine in adolescents 12 to 15 years old.

Canada authorizes Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15

Canada announced Wednesday that it has authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. Clinical trial results of Pfizer's vaccine showed its efficacy is 100% and it is well tolerated in youths ages 12 to 15, the company said.

CDC data suggests New York variant does not lead to more severe infection

The B.1.526 variant, which was first identified in New York City in November, is not associated with more severe infection or a greater risk of reinfection, according to new research from the U.S. CDC. 

California aligns face mask rules with recent CDC guidance

California health officials updated the state's face mask guidance, easing mask requirements for some outdoor activities. The new guidance now aligns with the U.S. CDC, which released updated guidelines last week. 

O.C. may get to yellow tier soon

Orange County will remain in the orange tier of the state's reopening plan as its coronavirus case rate did not drop enough to move into the less restrictive yellow tier, according to the weekly averages released Tuesday. The county meets two of the three categories for the yellow tier, and its weekly average of daily new cases per 100,000 residents improved from 2.6 to 2.3.


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.

Canadian sign war captivates the internet

Thousands of businesses large and small are competing and poking fun at each other via signs, bringing entire communities together. One business owner said the sign war was a “perfect distraction to what's happening in the world around us right now.”


Zot! Zot! Zot!

Rosanna Horton

Rosanna Horton, administrator for the Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention, showed off her UCI pride after receiving the COVID vaccine.

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 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.