Aug. 11 - Protecting our kids, guidance updates from CDC and California State
Early morning sprinkler rainbow before Murray Krieger Hall. 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 David Souleles, Director, COVID-19 Response Team:
Question is edited for length.
The new guidance to "mask up" upon returning to work indicates that we are in a more risky and dangerous environment than before when UC decided we'd all come back to campus. Though people on campus are expected to be vaccinated, many of us live with children who aren't vaccinated. I worry that I can get infected at work and spread the virus to my unvaccinated kids at home. Fall quarter is a high time for socializing also - with many holidays and observances. We already know that there are spikes in cases after holidays, making me more uneasy about returning to on-campus work. Can you explain the campus-wide effort to bring everybody back, which will very likely increase the number of cases?
The UC Office of the President and UCI leadership have made a commitment to return to full in person work, learning and research for the fall quarter in order to support all of our students in their educational endeavors. This decision was not made lightly and was made in alignment with current federal, state, and local public health guidelines and mandates. These guidelines and mandates are meant to assure the campus is as safe as possible with the return to in person learning given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here at UCI, we have a number of risk reduction measures that layer together to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. These include:
- A COVID-19 Vaccine policy requiring all students, staff, and faculty to be fully vaccinated or have an approved exception or deferral in order to access university property or programs. Vaccination is one of the most important tools we have to reduce the risk of COVID-19
- A Chancellor’s Executive Directive requiring universal indoor masking regardless of vaccination status for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors to the campus
- Mandated daily symptom checking and reporting for all students, staff and faculty, with COVID-19 testing arranged for those who are symptomatic.
- Mandated weekly asymptomatic testing for those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated
- Onsite case investigation and contact tracing services to quickly identify cases and close contacts and arrange for isolation and quarantine as appropriate
University leadership is continuously reviewing case trends on campus and in the community and public health guidance and recommendations, as well as consulting with local and state public health officials on risk reduction measures and will continue to monitor and adjust measures throughout the academic year as needed.
Miss previous “ask the expert” questions?
Not to worry, each day’s “ask the expert” feature is archived on the UCI Forward site. If you miss a day, check the archive to see what was asked previously - it may have been something on your mind! As the archive grows, we will organize it by topic. If you have something you’d like to ask, submit questions via email.
Additional UCI resources for COVID-19 questions
Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services is available at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (949) 824-2300 to assist with COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine uploads. The center is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Program in Public Health chatline is available to take questions about COVID-19. The chatline is staffed Sunday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
UCI ANNOUNCEMENTS AND NEWS
COVID-19 | Get the Facts: Dr. Seard on How to Protect Kids
In this short video, UCI Health urologist Dr. Melvin L. Seard shares your concern for your children’s health. Because no COVID-19 vaccine has yet been approved for use on kids under 12, Dr. Seard says the best way to protect them is to get vaccinated yourself.
UC NEWS AND GENERAL NEWS
CDC urges COVID vaccines during pregnancy
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges all pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Expectant women run a higher risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications from the coronavirus, but their vaccination rates are low, with only about 23% having received at least one dose, according to CDC data. The updated guidance comes after a CDC analysis of new safety data on 2,500 women showed no increased risks of miscarriage for those who received at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Gov. Newsom orders school employees to get vaccinated or be tested regularly
California school employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to a weekly test proving they are not infected with the coronavirus under an order announced today by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
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
UPI, Aug. 11
Cited: Dr. Ninh T. Nguyen, school of medicine professor, chair of the department of surgery
Voice of OC, Aug. 10
Cited: Vladimir Minin, biostatistician and statistics professor, Sanghyuk Shin epidemiologist and nursing assistant professor
CNN, Aug. 11
Cited: Rick Hasen, Chancellor’s professor of law
COVID-19 NOTIFICATION AND RESOURCES
New campus cases
Three on-campus employees tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. 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