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 6 - Updates on COVID-19

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Nurses week

The annual recognition week runs today through May 12.


No new campus cases*

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

Reminder: Masks still required on UCI property

Although California has relaxed its guidelines on masks for fully vaccinated people, UCI’s executive directive still requires face coverings on all UCI-controlled property, to comply with Cal/OSHA regulations.


Adding a little spice - literally - to life

Vanilla ice cream and gourmet chocolate might soon carry a dash of Anteater DNA, thanks to a pair of undergrads. The two spice guys could even become millionaires.


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.

Why can’t O.C. move to the yellow tier like L.A.?

Los Angeles County’s case rate is higher than Orange County’s, but state officials adjusted it downward because L.A. tests more people than the state average. Orange County’s top health officer doesn’t mind. The case rate adjustment can give “people a false sense of safety,” he said. It opens up “more opportunities for people to commingle, but your actual infections and your actual case rate ... is still high.”

O.C. hospitalizations hit new low

Coronavirus hospitalizations fell below 100 this week, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. There were 89 patients with COVID on Tuesday, the lowest level since the pandemic began in 2020.

Has America turned the corner on COVID?

The signs look increasingly positive, although some public health experts still expect regional surges. “There is a randomness to the way this virus has spread,” one cautioned. “It flares in one place. It doesn’t progress smoothly through the entire country and entire world. The randomness is what makes me feel insecure.”

US unemployment claims fall to pandemic low 

The number of Americans seeking jobless aid fell last week to 498,000, the lowest point since the pandemic struck 14 months ago and a sign of the job market's growing strength as businesses reopen and consumers step up spending.

New vaccine studies show protection against variants

Several studies released Wednesday offered encouraging news about the ability of widely used vaccines to protect against severe COVID cases and illness caused by some dangerous variants.

Drive-thru vaccines at Great Park, no appointment needed

The car-friendly vaccination clinic at Orange County Great Park now offers shots without an appointment. The site is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


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.

California ex-governors join forces for vaccine PSA

Gavin Newsom and predecessors Jerry Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis and Pete Wilson teamed up for a lightly amusing spot promoting vaccinations.


Vaccine selfies: Overcoming fear of needles

Nicholas Choi

Nicholas Choi, a mechanical engineering major, says he wanted to protect himself and others by getting vaccinated, but was nervous because “I don’t do the best with needles!” His worries proved unfounded. “The vaccine was surprisingly fast and painless!” he reports. And Choi is excited about the freedom it brings. “Sheltering in place has given me a greater appreciation for life, and the world,” he says. “I have a whole bucket list of things that I want to try not only in the O.C., but in the whole world, and I hope to make up for lost time from quarantine.”

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.