June 17 - Updates on COVID-19
Hanging out in UCI’s San Joaquin Marsh Reserve. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI
TODAY’S CAMPUS UPDATES
New workplace mask rules in the pipeline
This afternoon, Cal/OSHA relaxed workplace rules on masks and physical distancing, and Gov. Newsom followed up with an executive order to have the new guidelines take effect Friday. UC leaders are reviewing the regulations and will issue guidance soon. In the meantime, everyone on campus must continue to wear a face covering and stay at least 6 feet apart, regardless of vaccination status.
Updated campus parking system announced
With parking permits again required on campus starting July 1, UCI Transportation has updated its myCommute portal to handle permit sales, sustainable options (which now include telecommuting) and more. Permits will now be virtual, using the applicant’s license plate.
One new campus case*
One on-campus employee (but no student residents) tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.
UCI COVID-19 NEWS AND EVENTS
Jamison Whiting, J.D.
When George Floyd was killed last May, UCI Law student Jamison Whiting joined the peaceful citywide protests against police abuse in his hometown of Minneapolis, where he was learning remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It was beautiful seeing all shapes, sizes, colors. You could see that the city — no matter what color you were — wanted change,” says Whiting, who is Black. But shortly after the initial protests, Whiting watched as civil disturbance crept in. His local grocery store and gas station burned down. “I don’t condemn anyone’s emotions. The anger and sadness of the situation were just overwhelming. It boiled over,” he says.
The very next day, Whiting awoke to find a couple hundred dollars in his Venmo account sent by friends and classmates from UCI who wanted him to distribute the money to people in Minneapolis who needed it. An idea was sparked. Whiting and his girlfriend, Kelly Law, ultimately raised more than $14,000 and distributed $1,000 each to 14 businesses that needed to repair broken windows or replace looted inventory.
That’s the kind of contribution he hopes to continue to make in his hometown. Whiting, who gave the UCI Law commencement address, will start a job at the Minneapolis office of the firm Faegre Drinker this summer. He’s seeking to set up a program for inner city kids from Minneapolis — like himself — so they can see themselves in successful careers. “The reason I’m here is because of the culmination of a lot of support from other individuals and that’s what I aim to do now, to help people in Minneapolis like me,” Whiting says.
- COVID-19: What You Need to Know, Saturday, 10 a.m. (sponsored by UCI Black Alumni Chapter)
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.
O.C. cities may extend street closures for outdoor dining
Irvine, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Orange, Fullerton and other towns allowed restaurants to set up tables in parking lots, blocked-off streets and along public sidewalks during the pandemic. The trend may become permanent in some areas.
Newsom leaves door open to reimpose restrictions
In the past, the state set specific criteria that would trigger new restrictions, but no such framework exists after June 15, and the governor was hazy on what might prompt restrictions in the future.
Delta variant is like ‘COVID on steroids,’ expert says
The variant first identified in India is like “COVID on steroids,” according to Andy Slavitt, former White House senior adviser for COVID-19 response. But Dr. Anthony Fauci said the Delta variant is not a threat to vaccinated people.
O.C. continues encouraging COVID-19 trends
Orange County continued its stable coronavirus trends Wednesday, reporting fewer than three dozen new infections and a slight decrease in intensive care unit patients.
HOPE, INSPIRATION, LAUGHTER
25 fun facts about Iceland
The list includes heart-shaped traffic lights, an elf school, no mosquitoes or McDonald’s, a giant rock that looks like an elephant, and a comedian mayor.
The All-truism project, which is supported through a Barnes & Noble College Scholarship, aims to create connections through community, compassion and the creative arts. In this series, Anteaters write letters to faculty and staff.
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.