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.

Nov. 12 - Holiday gathering safety, floored by Stern family generosity

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Dreaming in color: a view over “Cultural Codex” at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

Dreaming in color: a view over “Cultural Codex” at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Photo by Ian Parker

Ask the Expert

In this continuing series, UCI experts answer 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:

How should I handle a holiday gathering with some family members who are vaccinated and others who are unvaccinated?

As we approach the winter holidays, many of us are looking forward to gathering with family and friends or office colleagues, some for the first time since the pandemic began. Even though vaccines are widely available, these gatherings can present increased risk for transmission of COVID-19 as members of different households are coming together and often may include unvaccinated children or adults.

In general, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to protect those not yet eligible for vaccination, such as young children, to get yourself and other eligible people around you vaccinated. If you do gather with people who don't live with you, gatherings and activities held outdoors are safer than indoor settings. If you are gathering indoors, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces and open windows if you are able. If you are indoors around others who are not fully vaccinated, consider having those at the gathering wear masks while indoors. If you are sick or have symptoms, don't host or attend a gathering and get tested for COVID-19.

For additional guidance, see the CDC guidelines for small gatherings here and additional guidance for holiday gatherings here.


Jonathan Alexander’s new books are about homophobia he encountered during a recent health scare and his youth in New Orleans in the 1970s and ’80s.

English professor's new books grapple with lingering effects of homophobia

It wasn’t by choice that the latest books by Jonathan Alexander, Chancellor’s Professor of English and informatics, were published a week apart. Bullied: The Story of an Abuse was supposed to have a 2020 publication date, but the pandemic delayed the release until Tuesday. Alexander’s Stroke Book: The Diary of Blindspot was published Oct. 26.

Ralph and Sue Stern gift to support cancer center at new UCI hospital in Irvine

In recognition of the latest gift from the longtime UCI donors and their lifetime giving of more than $12.5 million to UCI Health, a cancer clinic floor in one of the medical center’s three buildings will bear their names. The floor in Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care will include 36 private exam rooms integrating research, prevention and the most advanced diagnostics, treatments and rehabilitation programs.


Friday fun fact

Sharing knowledge: More than 8.3 million UC academic scholarly materials are viewed and downloaded in California alone.

All adults can get a COVID vaccine booster in California, not just those CDC listed

All fully vaccinated adults in the state seeking a booster shot should be eligible to get one, according to the California Department of Public Health. "Do not turn a patient away who is requesting a booster," writes CDPH Director Tomás J. Aragón in a letter to healthcare providers. "Allow patients to self-determine their risk of exposure." Those 18 and older are eligible for a COVID booster shot as long as at least six months have passed since their second dose of the two-shot Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months since their Johnson & Johnson shot.

State health chief urges childhood vaccinations as we head into uncertain winter

“Vaccines are our way through this pandemic,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s health and human services secretary, said during a briefing. “We are concerned about the winter. We’re concerned about rising case numbers, pressure on our hospitals from a number of other issues on top of COVID, so do what you can today to get your vaccine. Protect yourself into the winter.”

OC health officer pushes back against parents’ ‘our kids, our choice’ rallying cry

“I don’t think that it is acceptable to have COVID as [among the] top 10 reasons for death in the pediatric population,” said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, a County of Orange deputy health officer. “I think we need to do better at protecting them. And now that we have this vaccine, this is a great opportunity for us to provide a more effective measure that can protect them against severe illness and death.”

New clues to the biology of long COVID are starting to emerge

Researchers are scrambling to figure out why some people experience persistent, often debilitating symptoms after catching SARS-CoV-2. It remains unclear how often it occurs. But if only a small fraction of the hundreds of millions of people who've had COVID-19 are left struggling with long-term health problems, it's a major public health problem. "I think it's the post-pandemic pandemic," says Dr. Angela Cheung, who's studying long-COVID-19 at the University of Toronto.


Open Educational Resources & Affordability Workshop
Monday, 10 a.m. (sponsored by UCI Libraries)

Get Involved in Research
Monday, 4:30 p.m. (sponsored by Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program)

Public Health Pop-up Booths: Flu Vaccine
Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. (sponsored by UCI Program in Public Health)

Conversation Kitchen with UCI Fresh Director Andrea Gutierrez
Tuesday, noon (sponsored by UCI Illuminations)

Joy Harjo, Poet Laureate of the United States, Tuesday:
, noon,
and reading, 5 p.m. (sponsored by UCI Illuminations)

Cafecito with Professor Tobar
Tuesday, 1 p.m. (sponsored by Latinx Resource Center)

Umoja Connections: Securing the Bag
Tuesday, 2 p.m. (sponsored by Student Success Initiatives)

Urban Women and China’s Demographic Crisis
Tuesday, 2 p.m. (sponsored by School of Social Sciences)

Working the Room - What To Say When Networking
Tuesday, 5 p.m. (sponsored by School of Business)

Arriving Today—From Factory to Front Door—Why Everything Has Changed About How and What We Buy
Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. (sponsored by School of Business)

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.

Experts Worry About Southland COVID-19 Surge as Holidays and Colder Weather Approach

KCBS (video), Nov. 10
Cited: Dr. Alpesh N. Amin, chair of the department of medicine and director of hospital medicine

U.S. workers have been striking in startling numbers. Will that continue?

The Washington Post, Nov. 11
Co-author: Judith Stepan-Norris, professor of sociology and vice provost for academic planning

Xi Jinping ensures his future with a resolution that rewrites China's past

Los Angeles Times, Nov. 11
Cited: Jeff Wasserstrom, Chancellor’s professor of Chinese history


2 new campus cases

One employee and one student tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday through 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.