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.

Dec. 9 - Omicron A to Z; car brakes and breathing

Section 1

Anteater Time Machine: Costumed singers usher in the holiday season at UCI’s annual Madrigal Dinner in December 1987.

Anteater Time Machine: Costumed singers usher in the holiday season at UCI’s annual Madrigal Dinner in December 1987.


Omicron: A to Z

Dr. Susan Huang, medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention for UCI Health, offers a detailed look at the omicron variant’s contagiousness and symptoms, how UCI Health is responding (9:48), the outlook for a winter surge (15:34), the critical importance of boosters, especially for Pfizer recipients (18:30), which booster to get (24:34), and vaccine safety (28:16).

Professor Don Blake grins after screeching into Rowland Hall's loading dock, where scientists huddled around his car’s tires to take air samples. Photo by Lucas Van Wyk Joel

This car brakes for chemists

A beat-up old Toyota Tacoma is helping UCI scientists study the gases and particles emitted by automobile brakes. Last week, chemistry professor Don Blake revved the car’s engine and let the brakes squeal as he drove into a campus loading dock and teams of scientists, like a NASCAR pit crew, swarmed around the tires to collect air samples. “Our hypothesis is that the emissions from brakes and tires could be affecting people’s health,” Blake said.

Winter break reminders for students

Student Housing issued a roundup of information on testing, boosters, sequestering and more for students who are traveling or staying on campus during the break.


CDC chief says omicron cases mostly mild so far

Of the 40 known cases in the U.S., more than three-quarters had been vaccinated, but nearly all experienced only mild illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The main symptoms were coughing, congestion and fatigue. One person was hospitalized.

The coronavirus attacks fat tissue, scientists say

The research may help explain why people who are overweight and obese have been at higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. The finding is particularly relevant to the United States, which has one of the highest obesity rates in the world.

FDA authorizes Pfizer booster for 16- and 17-year-olds

The emergency authorization makes Pfizer the only booster shot currently available in the United States for teenagers in this age group.


“The Messiah Triangle” (exhibit closing day)
Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. (sponsored by School of the Arts)

“Revolution Everywhere: Thresholds of Resistance” (exhibit closing day)
Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. (sponsored by School of the Arts)

“Madame Modjeska’s Wicked Fairytale”
Saturday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. (sponsored by UCI Illuminations)

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.


Predicting The Course And Impact Of The Covid Crisis In The New Year

Forbes, Dec. 8
Cited: Andrew Noymer, associate professor of population health and disease prevention

FAA research grants aim to tackle aviation’s massive deficit of greener fuel

CNBC, Dec. 9
Cited: Jan Brueckner, Distinguished Professor of economics

With standardized testing out, what’s next for University of California admissions?

EdSource, Dec. 9
Cited: Dale Leaman, undergraduate admissions executive director


Anteaters! How are you doing? Are you feeling alright? If you’re doing great, I’m so happy for you! However if you’re not doing so well, that’s alright too! Sometimes it’s OK to not be OK. It happens, it’s natural. Fight through it because it will pass and you will be OK. I promise.

Fun fact about cows: Cows are very social and don’t like to be alone. So follow cows’ lead and don’t isolate yourself! Surround yourself with good company!

Alltruism (“all true”) is a project supported by the Barnes & Noble Scholarship that aims to create connections through community, compassion and the creative arts. The initiative was part of The Alltruism Project, and more letters can be found on Instagram.

#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.


Five new campus cases

A quintet of students tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. 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.