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April 15 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1


Thank you to our HEROES!

Heroes Work Here sign in front of UCI Health

A big thank you to Lt. Frisbee and UCI PD for organizing yesterday’s first responders salute to health care heroes at UCI Medical Center. The entire team greatly appreciated the enthusiasm and support of first responders from Orange PD, Orange FD, Anaheim PD, Anaheim Fire & Rescue, Orange County Sheriff Dept., CHP, Doctors Ambulance, UCI Police & Public Safety. OC Register provided news coverage as did LA Times, and ABC7 captured it in a video.

First responders, Taco Bell and Anaheim Ducks give back to UCI Medical Center

Police and fire agencies from across Orange County held a special drive-by parade at UCI Medical Center yesterday to show unity and support for the medical staff. Even though the salute was from a distance, they were able to touch hearts and lift spirits for those who are working long hours to get patients healthy. Meanwhile, Taco Bell’s taco truck made a stop at the hospital to provide workers free lunch. Next week, UCI Medical Center will get another dose of love, when the Anaheim Ducks send 200 meals a day.

UCI Health CEO Addresses City of Irvine

UCI Health CEO Chad Lefteris spoke at a City of Irvine press conference providing an update on how as an academic medical center UCI Health is uniquely prepared to address the pandemic.

Personal Cloth Mask Distribution at UCI Medical Center

UCI Health has received hundreds of cloth mask donations from friends and neighbors. Those will be distributed to employees on a first-come, first-serve basis today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the UCI Medical Center Gift Shop. Please note, the cloth masks are for personal use only and not to be used while treating patients.


UCI Researchers Develop Tool to Track Coronavirus Infections

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a tool that could be instrumental in the effort to tracing and tracking individuals in order to identify those who need to remain in isolation. TrackCOVID is a free, open-source smartphone application that permits contact tracing for potential coronavirus infections while preserving privacy.


Expression and Engagement During COVID-19

The University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement offers a new initiative called Speech Spotlight, which is intended to help members of higher education communities gain new insights into speech and civic engagement-related issues on university and college campuses. Each installment will address a specific topic by clarifying the issues, reframing the debate and raising critical questions to facilitate constructive discussion and effective action.


COVID-19 Guidance for Dentistry

In alignment with the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Dental Hygienists, the California Department of Public Health recommends the postponement of routine procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent dental visits during this period of the pandemic. Limiting dental practices to treating patients with emergencies will both reduce the risk of COVID-19 disease exposure and preserve the nation’s limited personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies.

Public Assistance for Food Distribution

FEMA issued a new policy that addresses the purchase and distribution of food eligible for Public Assistance funding under emergency and major disaster declarations for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taxpayers Directly Affected by COVID-19 Will Have Penalties Cancelled

The Orange County Treasurer (OCT) is now accepting penalty cancellation requests for taxpayers who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. If you have been directly impacted by COVID-19 and did not pay your property taxes by April 10, you should complete the COVID-19 Penalty Cancellation Request Form. Although the OCT was not able to change the payment deadline set by state law, they are now able to extend the time for you to submit and pay the base property taxes. You will need to submit the COVID-19 Penalty Cancellation Request form and pay the base tax amount (without penalties and costs) so that it is received between April 11 and June 30, 2020. The customer service center is available to assist taxpayers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (714) 834-3411 or via email ttcinfo@ttc.ocgov.com.

DMV Extends Driver License Renewals

With all field offices closed to the public during the pandemic, the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced it is extending driver licenses that are expiring for residents under age 70 until May 31.

Emergency Room Visits Down 50 Percent in SoCal

Southern California hospitals are experiencing a dramatic, up to a 50%, decline in overall emergency room visits. The decline is due to the strict public adherence to the stay-at-home directive and the fear of contracting the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus. As a result, many hospitals have laid off, furloughed or cut pay for affiliated physicians and staff.

OC Hotels Rooms for Homeless During COVID-19

Orange County officials have secured roughly 500 hotel and motel rooms to house medically vulnerable and elderly homeless people during the new coronavirus pandemic.

NIH Scientist Says Vaccine May Be Available This Fall

vaccine for the coronavirus may be available this fall, according to the National Institute of Health’s lead scientist Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett. The vaccine could be ready for emergency use by frontline workers this fall and then become available to the global population next spring.

Flattening of Coronavirus Cases in the US

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the US is seeing a flattening of new COVID-19 cases.

US to Halt Funding to World Health Organization

Trump announced he will halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), citing it has “failed in its basic duty” responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

US May Endure Social Distancing Until 2022

If a vaccine does not become quickly available, scientists predict the US may have to endure social distancing measures until 2022. This includes stay-at-home orders and school closures.

Abbott Laboratories Inc to Distribute Antibody Test

Abbott Laboratories Inc. announced it would start to ship a new coronavirus blood test that shows if a person has ever been infected with the virus. Abbott plans to ramp up manufacturing and produce 20 million tests per month by June.

Orange County No Longer on Pace to Match Italy

Dominik Wodarz, who studies the dynamics of infectious disease at UCI, and Natalia Komarova, a math professor at UCI, say the number of known cases of COVID-19 has downshifted this month and that for now, no longer match the disease rate that was seen in Italy.

Direct Deposit for Your Coronavirus Stimulus Payment

Coronavirus stimulus checks of up to $1,200 will start to hit bank accounts today if you already have direct deposit set up. If you do not have direct deposit set up, the IRS opened an online portal today to help you get your stimulus check faster.

UCI IN THE NEWS - COVID-19 Article List

ABC7, April 14, 2020 (Video)
Coronavirus: First responders, Taco Bell and Anaheim Ducks give back to UCI Medical Center

Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2020
14 heartwarming photos show first responders’ gratitude for healthcare workers

The Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2020
South Korea’s Coronavirus Test Run: How to Hold an Election

NPR, April 15, 2020
The Rich Really Are Different. They Can Shelter In Nicer Places

The Marshall Project, April 15, 2020
What Happens When More Than 300,000 Prisoners Are Locked Down?

Orange County Register, April 14, 2020
Hospital staff at UCI Medical Center get a parade of thank-yous from first responders

Daily Pilot, April 14, 2020 (Opinion)
Column: ‘Professor Dark Cloud’ sees a silver lining in growing immunity

The New York Times, April 14, 2020
N.Y.C. Death Toll Soars Past 10,000 in Revised Virus Count

Orange County Register, April 14, 2020
Coronavirus: New report says Orange County cases no longer on pace to match Italy

The Sacramento Bee, April 14, 2020
Is California winning the battle against coronavirus spread? Here are the surprising numbers

The National Jurist, April 14, 2020
UC Irvine Law students get creative, do pro bono work remotely

Orange County Register, April 14, 2020
Coronavirus sparks dramatic decline in overall ER visits, job losses for hospital workers

Bloomberg Law, April 14, 2020
California Bar Trustees Advise July Exam Be Delayed, or Scrapped

CNN, April 14, 2020
They can’t march in the streets. So they’re protesting in their cars instead

Daily Pilot, April 14, 2020
Burglary adds to ‘a very difficult time’ for UC Irvine food and toiletries pantry