Aug. 31 - School of Law instruction began, 6-month forecast for Delta variant
Student Center. 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 Ramona Agrela, chief human resources officer and vice chancellor human resources:
Will COVID-19 paid leave be extended? With a rise in breakthrough COVID cases and children under 12 not yet vaccinated, UCI employees might still need leave time to care for themselves or a family member who has it.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave ends on Sept. 30; we have no indication from the UC Office of the President that the leave will be extended. In March 2021, the University offered all employees, including exclusively represented employees, a new 2021 allotment of Emergency Paid Sick Leave. Full-time employees may take up to 80 hours of EPSL for one of six qualifying reasons, ranging from caring for themselves or others with COVID-19 to caring for dependents because of school closures. As with the prior EPSL allotment, employees receive their regular rate of pay during EPSL. Although the law allows employers to place caps on pay for EPSL, the University decided not to apply these caps. This allotment of EPSL expires Sept. 30. Employees may apply for EPSL at this website.
After Sept. 30, staff employees may utilize leave accruals, such as sick, vacation, PTO or compensatory time off, for leaves related to COVID-19. Additionally, staff employees on leaves longer than a few days should file a leave request via UCI's partner Sedgwick. For long leaves, staff employees may qualify for disability income and should coordinate with Sedgwick and HR.
UCI ANNOUNCEMENTS AND NEWS
Vaccination proof due Monday
The deadline to upload your vaccination verification or submit an exception or deferral request is less than one week away. Students and employees are strongly encouraged to upload their COVID-19 vaccine records or apply for one of the exemptions today.
UCI Law welcomes new students and faculty
Last Monday, the School of Law began in-person instruction. Of the 445 total J.D. students, 170 make up the incoming first-year class. The LL.M. program welcomes 42 students. which is tied for the largest number of LL.M. students enrolled in the program’s history, and the Graduate Tax Program welcomes 11 students. UCI Law also welcomes three new full-time faculty members this year, as well as two new and two continuing visiting faculty members.
Additional family resources available for employees
To continue to assist employees during this unique and unprecedented period of transition, UCI has partnered with Bright Horizons to expand the resources available to support you and your family. As part of the Bright Horizons Back-Up Care and Additional Family Supports programs, all UCI faculty/academics, staff, resident physicians and graduate students now have access to additional academic support, including virtual tutoring and the Bright Horizons College Coach program. Visit families.uci.edu for more information and resources for dependent and elder care. To register for the Bright Horizons program, visit https://clients.brighthorizons.com/uci. If prompted, enter the username UCI and the password care4you. Contact the Employee Experience Center at 949-824-0500 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
What can we expect from the delta variant in the coming months?
In this two-minute video, Dr. Susan Huang, medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at UCI Health, details the four waves of the COVID-19 delta variant we can expect over the next six months, and explains why now is the time to get vaccinated.
New exhibit at UCI’s Institute and Museum of California Art
A new exhibition at UCI’s Institute and Museum of California Art called “The Resonant Surface: Movement, Image, and Sound in California Painting,” opens Sept. 11 at IMCA’s interim location at 18881 Von Karman Ave. in Irvine. It’s free, open to the public and will run through Feb. 19. The exhibition integrates works from IMCA’s Irvine Museum and Buck collections and features 24 paintings and two films from the early to mid-20th century.
NASA funds project to make STEM learning more inclusive
NASA has granted $750,000 to fund a project proposed by UCI and Oregon State University to expand access to science, technology, engineering and math learning opportunities for underserved students. UCI and OSU are among 10 institutions receiving the Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry award, which is intended to improve understanding of climate change and its effects. The program will include a new graduate-level course in remote sensing and ocean biology.
Needle phobia? You’re not alone - here are some helpful hacks
Speak up: You know yourself best. It is OK to tell providers what they can do to make you comfortable. Think about what you will need and be ready to spell it out for them. Practice it out loud to boost your confidence. You can download this and other hacks to take with you to your vaccine appointment.
UC NEWS AND GENERAL NEWS
Nine campuses, one application
The University of California fall 2022 application is now open. Applications for undergraduate admissions and scholarships are due Nov. 30.
UC assets grow by $38 billion
The University of California’s Office of the Chief Investment Officer announced that its assets under management grew to $168 billion as of June 30, a 29% jump over the prior fiscal year and the largest one-year gain in its history.
UCI IN THE NEWS
Texas Public Radio (The Source), Aug. 29 (Audio)
Guest: Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Chancellor’s professor and founding director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy
Forbes, Aug. 28 (Contributor)
Cited: professors, philosophers and authors Cailin O’Connor and James Owen Weatherall
The Washington Post, Aug. 25
Cited: Omri Marian, assistant law professor
COVID-19 NOTIFICATION AND RESOURCES
No new campus cases
No new on-campus cases were reported Monday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.
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.
For COVID-19 questions
UCI Forward - information on campus status and operational updates
UCI Health COVID-19 Updates - important information related to UCI Health
Program in Public Health chatline - answers to questions about COVID-19
For questions specific to your personal health situation, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.