Aug. 10 - Campus ventilation, vaccine safety
Dancing leaf in the Maya Lin fountain, Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Photo by Ian Parker
Each day, a UCI expert will answer one of your questions about COVID-19, vaccinations, variants or the future of work. Submit questions via email.
Today’s question is fielded by Alvin Samala, Industrial Hygiene Manager, Environmental Health and Safety:
Early on in phase II, UCI reported that the ventilation and air filtration in campus buildings was “safer than being outside” in terms of avoiding infection. Is this still true with the delta variant in mind? (Assuming someone is alone in an enclosed space, but that other people have been unmasked in that space earlier in the day). Is this consistent across all enclosed indoor spaces (e.g. elevators, bathrooms, utility rooms, etc.)?
As we know, the virus is primarily spread from person to person among those in close contact through small droplets or aerosols that stay in the air for minutes to hours. When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving and dispersing these droplets, thereby diluting the virus concentration, and making it less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus. This is predicated on air movement occurring, like on a windy day, versus a quiescent condition.
Indoors, the high ventilation rate augmented by the air filtration inside buildings can be more effective in controlling exposure because the air movement can always be controlled, meaning, there is a constant air movement present. Constant air movement = constant dispersion and dilution. Outside, there are no controls for the air movement and therefore cannot be guaranteed. Admittedly, this controlled dilution is more difficult to predict for indoor spaces such as elevators and utility rooms.
It is important to note that ventilation is not the only factor to consider in terms of avoiding infections. A number of news articles continue to mention the importance of good ventilation (high air change rates, improved filtration, etc) but they also all mention the paramount importance of being vaccinated.
UCI ANNOUNCEMENTS AND NEWS
Dr. Michael Stamos on Vaccine Safety
In this short video, Dr. Michael J. Stamos, dean of the UCI School of Medicine, dispels fears over the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.
What is SPOP?
SPOP is UCI’s Student Parent Orientation Program that takes place over the summer for incoming undergraduate students and their parents. All domestic first-year students are assigned one of the 10 virtual SPOPs hosted by Student Life and Leadership, where students learn about UCI through Canvas Modules, attend an academic advising and course registration session, and attend a CARE workshop. Each SPOP concludes with a welcome mixer after the final session. International first-year students are also assigned a SPOP with all of the same sessions, except for academic advising and course registration which is scheduled separately by the student’s school. The final SPOP for first year incoming students for this fall takes place this Thursday. We also have 6 virtual Transfer SPOPs (TSPOP) that start on August 16th and will conclude on August 30th. TSPOP includes everything in SPOP, except academic advising and course registration, which is scheduled separately by the student’s school.
On August 24, the Center for Student Leadership will be launching a Parent Website in both English and Spanish. Students can sign up their family members to receive email notifications on their SPOP Dashboard under the "Parents/Guardians" tab.
UC NEWS AND GENERAL NEWS
Schitt'$ Creek Parody Hacks The Vax: tips to deal with needle fear
Not a fan of needles? You're not alone! In fact, 25% of adults, 50% of adolescents, and 60% of kids might avoid medical procedures due to needle pain and anxiety. In this Schitt’$ Creek parody video, learn about #hackthevax to help you get the tools to overcome fear and anxiety about needles and shots.
About 99.999% of fully vaccinated Americans have not had a deadly COVID-19 breakthrough case, CDC data shows
More than 99.99% of people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have not had a breakthrough case resulting in hospitalization or death, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data highlights what leading health experts across the country have highlighted for months: COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19 and are the country's best shot at slowing the pandemic down and avoiding further suffering.
Living with Change
Thursday at noon (sponsored by HR Wellness)
Visit today.uci.edu to see and submit event listings. Events of general interest will be shared in UCI Digest two days before they occur.
UCI IN THE NEWS
KCRW – Press Play with Madeline Brand, Aug. 9 (Podcast)
Guest: Michael Prather, professor of Earth system sciences
Daily Pilot, Aug. 7
Cited: Dr. Chulie Ulloa, pediatric infectious disease physician scientist and assistant professor of Pediatrics
The Orange County Register, Aug. 6
Cited: Bob Solomon, clinical law professor
COVID-19 NOTIFICATION AND RESOURCES
New campus cases
One on-campus employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.
Remember to upload your vaccine record
Vaccination is a critical step toward our campus's fall return. Help our community by uploading your vaccine record.
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.
UCI Forward - information on campus status and operational updates
UCI Health COVID-19 Updates - important information related to UCI Health