May 11 - Updates on COVID-19
A cyclist rides past the front of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering. Steve Zylius/UCI
TODAY’S CAMPUS UPDATES
UCI Town Hall coming
Chancellor Howard Gillman and Provost Hal Stern invite faculty and staff to join an all-UCI town hall. The event will be via Zoom on May 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tune in to hear from campus leadership on the latest updates for fall planning, and participate in a live Q&A, or submit your question in advance when you register.
Students will soon be required to use multi-factor authentication
Duo two-factor authentication will soon be required for all UCI students. Students should enable Duo now, so they avoid any interruption to services connected to their UCInetID, including Canvas, WebReg, My Aid and other key university resources. Enrolling is easy: visit the Duo & Go website for steps on how to download the app and enroll a mobile device.
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.
UC COVID-19 NEWS AND EVENTS
Tips for mental well-being
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Marcelle Hayashida, UCI’s Associated Vice Chancellor for Wellness, Health & Counseling Services, shares some actions you can take to prioritize your mental well-being.
Vaccine myths and mythbusters
In this short YouTube video, UCI Health’s Dr. Susan Huang corrects myths and misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines.
UCI alumna featured on Kelly Clarkson show
2021 California Teacher of the Year and UCI alumni Laura Gómez was recently featured on the Kelly Clarkson show for the unique way she connected with her students during the pandemic - sending them handwritten postcards to motivate them.
- Housing Markets After the Pandemic: A Virtual Symposium, Wednesday at 10 a.m., sponsored by the Paul Merage School of Business
- Advancing Equity in the Age of COVID-19, Thursday at 4 p.m., sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence
UC launches biennial staff engagement survey
On Monday, May 10, UC launched their fifth staff engagement survey, which is conducted every other year in May. During the week of May 10, a representative sample of policy-covered (non-represented) staff members at all UC locations will receive an email from Willis Towers Watson, the firm surveying on UC’s behalf, with an invitation to take the survey. The survey was developed by the Council of University of California Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) in collaboration with Systemwide Human Resources’ Employee Relations department and Willis Towers Watson.
This is not spam, so please do not delete the email invitation. You are encouraged to complete the survey should you receive an invitation. This is an opportunity to get direct feedback from individual staff to help shape how we will work at UCI and across the UC system. Union-represented staff will not participate in the survey because UC receives their feedback through their union representatives during the collective bargaining process.
Please note that the UC CUCSA staff engagement survey is not the same as UCI’s Staff Engagement Survey, which will be administered to all UCI staff in August and September this year. UCI’s engagement team uses the results of both surveys to inform staff engagement planning for the next two years.
How much do you know about UC’s Asian American Pacific Islander community?
Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month runs the course of May and is the perfect time to celebrate the accomplishments of a diverse and talented UC community. Find out how well you know our community — from artists to civic leaders to Nobel Prize winners — by taking UC’s quiz!
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, OC Register and Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.
L.A. County expected to hit herd immunity by end of July
Los Angeles County could reach herd immunity from the coronavirus among adults and the oldest teenagers by mid- to late July. With about 400,000 shots administered weekly, the county has about 2 million first doses to go before 80% of all residents 16 and older will have received at least one shot.
Confidence grows that COVID-19 vaccines hold their own against variants
Confidence is growing that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are holding their own against the coronavirus variants now in circulation. The upbeat view is accompanied by a growing sense that California is emerging from the worst of the pandemic. For weeks, California has reported one of the lowest per-capita daily coronavirus case counts of any state in the U.S.
Gov. Newsom announces largest state tax rebate in American history
Chief among the new proposals is a major expansion of the Golden State Stimulus, providing additional direct payments to middle-class families that make up to $75,000. Under the plan, two-thirds of Californians will benefit from $600 direct payments. Qualified families with dependents, including undocumented families, will also now be eligible for an additional $500.
FDA grants emergency use authorization for Pfizer vaccine for ages 12-15
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to include people ages 12 to 15. This is the first COVID-19 vaccine in the United States authorized for use in younger teens and adolescents; the vaccine had previously been authorized for people age 16 and older. COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are authorized for use in people 18 and older.
Vaccine efficacy explained
Learn what it really means when experts say a vaccine is 95% effective. In this short YouTube video learn how vaccine efficacy is calculated.
US plans to have vaccine booster available
The United States is planning to have booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines available if needed, Dr. David Kessler, chief science officer of COVID-19 response with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said. “Increased age, the natural waning of antibodies over time, and new variants increase the probability that booster doses may be needed.”
Millions are unemployed. Why can’t companies find workers?
There are more job openings in the U.S. this spring than before the pandemic hit in March 2020, and fewer people in the labor force, according to the Labor Department and private recruiting sites. Among the reasons potential workers are holding back: fear of getting Covid, lack of child care and enhanced unemployment benefits.
WHO classifies triple-mutant variant from India as global health risk
A World Health Organization official said yesterday it is reclassifying the highly contagious triple-mutant COVID variant spreading in India as a “variant of concern,” indicating that it’s become a global health threat.
McDonald's bringing vaccine awareness message to coffee cups
McDonald’s is teaming up with the Biden administration to raise COVID-19 vaccine awareness and help customers find vaccine appointments near them. The fast-food giant announced it will promote the White House and Department of Health and Human Services’ “We Can Do This” campaign on McCafe coffee cups and delivery orders at all U.S. restaurants starting in July.
Dracula’s castle proves an ideal setting for COVID-19 jabs
A COVID-19 vaccination center has been set up in Transylvania, Romania’s Bran Castle, which is purported to be the inspiration behind Dracula’s home in Bram Stoker’s 19th-century gothic novel “Dracula.” Every weekend through May “vaccination marathons” will be held just outside the storied 14th-century hilltop castle, where no appointment is needed, in an attempt to encourage people to protect themselves against COVID-19.
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.
Best friends from virtual school have special first meeting
First-graders Julia and Luna met online during virtual school and quickly became friends. After months of chatting online, they met for a birthday surprise for Julia at a local park.
Project Six Feet
Project Six Feet was established in response to the COVID-19 crisis by Rianna Christy, a senior at Valencia High School in Placentia, who was inspired by her healthcare worker mom to do her own part in helping with the pandemic. Project Six Feet focuses on six ways to help communities during the COVID-19 crisis. UCI Health was one of the recipients of masks, face shields and meals.
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.