UCI Forward

UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

Oct. 8 - Mask mandate update, nurses’ dual trauma

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Rainy Days and Mondays: Croul Hall

Rainy Days and Mondays: Croul Hall appears afloat the morning after a ferocious thunderstorm that took out power to the UCI campus on Monday. 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 answered by David Souleles, director of UCI’s COVID-19 Response Team:

The university follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which does not require indoor masking for vaccinated individuals in counties where there are low transmission levels. Since low transmission is defined as at or below 9.9 cases per 100,000 people and the county's latest daily case rate is 8 cases per 100,000, will the indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people on campus be suspended?

The CDC and the California Department of Public Health have recommended and the University of California has required universal indoor masking regardless of vaccination status in communities with substantial to high levels of community transmission per CDC standards. As of Oct. 7, Orange County is at a substantial level of community transmission per CDC, whose guidance applies to the weekly not daily case rate. For the seven days ending on Oct. 6, the CDC had Orange County at 62.57 cases per 100,000. (See this link.) UCI must also comply with Cal OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards related to the use of face coverings in the workplace.

As the community transmission level decreases, the campus will evaluate updating campus directives on face coverings taking into consideration campus and community case rates and testing positivity rates, UC systemwide guidance, and Cal OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards.


UCI Podcast: Nurses’ trauma and the two fronts of the war against COVID-19

Candace Burton, associate professor of nursing, is conducting a study about nurses’ experiences during the pandemic. On the UCI Podcast, Burton shares what nurses are telling her, why reforms in the nursing profession are needed, and how everyone can help prevent more trauma as nurses confront a deadly disease and a culture that refuses to take it seriously. 

UCI-led study finds psychological therapy reduces biobehavioral impact of testicular cancer

Psychological therapy reduces adverse biobehavioral effects among young adult survivors of testicular cancer, according to a UCI-led pilot study. Biobehavioral is the interaction of biological processes and behavior, and testicular is the most prevalent non-skin cancer among males in late adolescence and early adulthood. Michael A. Hoyt, associate professor of public health and corresponding author of the research published in the American Journal of Men’s Health, says “there is significant need for increased attention to these survivors,” who “face both psychological and physical impacts, including body image disruption, social relationship difficulty, fertility and sexual distress, anxiety, depression and fear of cancer recurrence. It is particularly challenging because men, especially young men, tend not to seek professional help for stress.”

‘How To’ Series Volunteers Wanted

Can you teach a fun skill or a simple do-it-yourself project? Whether it is cooking, arts and crafts, home improvement or a special talent, UCI Staff Assembly’s Community Relations Committee would love to hear from you. Sign up to volunteer.


Friday fun fact

This week, one UC faculty member and two UC alum received a Nobel Prize. If the UC were a country, it would rank fourth for the number of awards received.

What’s the best advice to new students?

When the UC Action Network asked the community in September to share six words of wisdom for new UC students, more than 500 entries poured in. The votes were close when it came to the advice that resonated the most with the UCAN audience, but the winners are Katherine H., Karen P. and Aniket S. with:

most heartfelt advice

Most heartfelt advice: Your GPA isn't who you are.

academic advice

Academic advice: Office hours have GPA-boosting powers.

funniest advice

Funniest advice: Find good restrooms during week 0.


Staff Appreciation Week 2021:
Virtual Scavenger Hunt, Monday, noon
Excellence in Leadership Awards Ceremony, Tuesday, 2 p.m.
(sponsored by Staff Assembly)

The Futures of Higher Education Festival:
Artistic and Academic Integrity, Monday, 7 p.m.
Peter Pop-Ups: Walk and Talk: Female Athletes, Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.
A Scholarship Odyssey, Tuesday, 1 p.m.
(sponsored by Division of Undergraduate Education)

Yellow Jazz Black Music: A Conversation with Marketus Presswood
Tuesday, 2 p.m. (sponsored by UCI Illuminations)

Distinguished Artist Speaker Series: Janet Graham Borba of HBO Films
Tuesday, 7 p.m. (sponsored by Claire Trevor School of the Arts)

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.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.

Orange County oil spill implications

KCBS2, Oct. 6 (Video)
Kim Fortun, professor and department chair in anthropology

You asked: Is it safe to travel to a music festival?

The Washington Post, Oct. 7
Cited: Andrew Noymer, associate professor of population health and disease prevention

What Squid Game’s fantasies and harsh realities reveal about Korea

Vox, Oct. 6
Cited: Kyung Hyun Kim, professor of visual and East Asian studies


#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


5 new campus cases

One employee and four students tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

Remember to upload your vaccine record

Student Record Upload

Employee Record Upload

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

UCI Health COVID-19 FAQs

UCI Coronavirus Response Center - available at covid19@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-9918

Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services - assistance with vaccines and vaccine uploads; available at contacttracing@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-2300

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.