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.

May 6 - COVID exposure instructions; vacation accrual increase ends

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Purple reign: Blooming jacaranda trees beautify Aldrich Park near McGaugh Hall. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI

Purple reign: Blooming jacaranda trees beautify Aldrich Park near McGaugh Hall. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI

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 fielded by David Souleles, director of UCI’s COVID-19 Response Team:

I was exposed to someone with COVID-19. What should I do?

If you were recently exposed, reply to the daily symptom checker email for further instructions and review the isolation and close contact instructions on the UCI Forward page.

If you were in close contact with a COVID-19 case (closer than 6 feet for at least 15 cumulative minutes over a 24-hour period), the following instructions apply, regardless of vaccination status:

  • You do not need to quarantine*.

  • Consider testing as soon as possible** and, if negative, test again at least a day later but within three to five days after your last exposure. Free COVID-19 testing is available on campus at the Student Center and Plaza Verde, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Home antigen test kits are also available for pickup from campus testing sites and in student residential housing offices.

  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days, especially indoors and when near those at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease. Free masks are available for students and employees from pickup locations on campus.

  • You are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated or boosted if you have not already done so.

  • If symptoms develop, test and stay home.

  • If you test positive, follow the campus isolation recommendations.

*This guidance does not apply to employees in Student Health Services or the Counseling Center. Please contact UCI Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services for guidance at contacttracing@uci.edu or 949-824-2300.

**Persons infected within the previous 90 days do not need to be tested unless symptoms develop.


Temporary vacation accrual increase ends June 30

On June 1, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, vacation accrual maximums for policy-covered employees were temporarily lifted to allow more time to use accrued vacation leave. Per presidential order, the temporary change was effective through June 30, 2022. The university has been advised that the change will not be extended.

Emissions tied to the international trade of agricultural goods are rising: UCI-led study

Earth system scientists at UCI and other institutions have drawn the clearest line yet connecting consumers of agricultural produce in wealthier countries in Asia, Europe and North America with a growth in greenhouse gas emissions in less-developed nations, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere. The connection is detailed in a paper published today in Science.

During his NBA career, Metta Sandiford-Artest was known as Ron Artest and later Metta World Peace. Photo by Vincent Tullo

During his NBA career, Metta Sandiford-Artest was known as Ron Artest and later Metta World Peace. Photo by Vincent Tullo

Metta Sandiford-Artest to be featured throughout Mental Health Innovation Challenge

Former Laker and NBA champion Metta Sandiford-Artest will be featured during all three parts of the ANTrepreneur Center’s Hacking Student Success: Mental Health Innovation Challenge. A small forward known for his smothering defense, he will share how becoming an entrepreneur helped him overcome his mental health struggles in a series of videos that will be shown at the May 11 and May 18 events. Sandiford-Artest will be on campus to deliver the keynote address at the May 25 event.


Friday fun fact

Higher yield: Student Academic Preparation and Education Partnership community college participants are more likely to come to UC than non-program participants.

World’s true pandemic death toll nearly 15 million: WHO

COVID-19 has caused the deaths of nearly 15 million people around the world, the World Health Organization estimates. That is 13% more deaths than normally expected over two years. The WHO believes many countries undercounted coronavirus death totals as only 5.4 million were reported.

FDA dramatically narrows use of J&J vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration has restricted the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to adults who are unable or unwilling to get the Pfizer or Moderna shots. The FDA recently completed an updated risk analysis of developing thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, a rare and possibly fatal combination of blood clots and low platelet counts one to two weeks after receiving the J&J vaccine.

Comic-Con will require face coverings this year, but not any old mask will do

Finally back after two years, Comic-Con International recently updated its website to say attendees must wear a face covering throughout the San Diego convention and show proof of either vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours. Protocols are very specific about masks to be worn during the July 21-24 event. Fortunately, the San Diego Union-Tribune has costume ideas.


Cup of SOAR
Tuesday, 10 a.m. (sponsored by Student Outreach and Retention)

PSAC Town Hall: Re-envisioning UCI Community Safety
Tuesday, 3 p.m. (sponsored by Public Safety Advisory Committee)

Inventing Environmental Future: Science Fiction as Practice
Tuesday, 4 p.m. (sponsored by School of Social Sciences)

UCDC Information Session
Tuesday, 4 p.m. (sponsored by Capital Internship Program in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento)

Conversation with Award-Winning Playwright Karen Zacarias and Luiciana Valero, director of Brown Bag Theatre Company's Native Garden
Tuesday, 5 p.m. (sponsored by Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative)

Survival. Resilience. Hope. A Holocaust Survivor Shares His Story
Tuesday, 7 p.m. (sponsored by Chabad Jewish Student Center)

Virtuoso pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and cellist Gautier Capuçon
Tuesday, 8 p.m. (sponsored by Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative)

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.

Nearly $4 billion committed to the future of health care in Irvine

Irvine Standard, May 4
Cited: Dr. Steve Goldstein, vice chancellor, health affairs, and Chad Lefteris, UCI Health CEO

AAPI Heritage Month is a time for solidarity amid anti-Asian attacks

WVXU (podcast), May 5
Guest: Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Chancellor’s Fellow, Humanities Center director and professor, Asian American studies

The Surprising Scale of the Seagrass Sanitation Service

Hakai Magazine, May 4
Cited: Joleah Lamb, assistant professor, ecology & evolutionary biology


#IamUCI student - Laura Flores - Law

#IamUCI: Q&A with Class of 2022 graduate Laura Flores, J.D.

First-generation college student Laura Flores, who grew up in a working-class, immigrant household in Tampa, Florida, decided to attend law school not only to support her family but to uplift and serve her community and other marginalized communities through legal advocacy.

Graduating this year? Share your UCI story and photos! Tag us with #IamUCI on Instagram and Twitter.


35 new campus cases

On Thursday, UCI recorded 35 new cases of COVID-19: 33 students and two employees. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

Upload your vaccine and booster records

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.