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April 21 - Updates on COVID-19

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UCI Creates COVID-19 Research Biobank

The UCI School of Medicine Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Center for Clinical Research, and Institute for Clinical and Translational Science are developing a comprehensive COVID-19 research biobank available for COVID-19 related research projects. The IRB has approved the program. Beginning shortly, Dr. Rob Edwards and a team of physicians and scientists, will work with clinicians, patients and research teams to develop this institutional resource. For more information please visit the COVID Biobank Website.

Earth Day Virtual Events

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is coming up on Wednesday, April 22. The theme for 2020 Earth Day is “climate change.” The School of Biological Sciences has put together a website to celebrate, learn more and take action. The UCI Sustainability Resource Center also has created a website showcasing additional virtual events throughout Earth Week hosted by organizations at UCI and around the world.

Future of Bar Exam During Pandemic

School of Law Dean L. Song Richardson has written a letter to the California Supreme Court on the future of the 2020 bar exam given the current pandemic environment.

Workshop Series: Managing Distress in the University Community

UCI Wellness, Health and Counseling Services is offering a series of three workshops for UCI faculty and staff designed for participants to learn skills to respond to an individual who is distressed or who is causing distress. Although these workshops are focused on learning how to help students, these same skills can be used to help a colleague or peer in distress. Participants must register for the free educational workshops.

New App by ICS Students Lets You Advertise Your Virtual Events for Free

UCI students have developed a new feature for the popular UCI Now app that lets anyone with a UCInetID list their virtual meeting or event for free. When you list your event in UCI Now, it will appear in the app and on the Virtual Events calendar on the Student Center website. This product is intended as a free service to the UCI community to help lessen the impact of COVID-19 and keep our vibrant social and cultural community connected during remote learning mode. Download the app on Google Play for Android or from the Apple Store for iOS users. Visit the Student Center’s Virtual Events mini site for details.

Beall Applied Innovation offers virtual event: Investing in University Startups and Implications from COVID-19

On April 24, at 11 a.m. Alex Andrianopoulos, chief research and development officer at Kairos Ventures will cover how research institutions will respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the economic repercussions will affect the commercialization of these and other vital technologies. Registration is required for this virtual event.

Counseling Center Offers Remote Services

The UCI Counseling Center is open and offering all services remotely. The center offers individual counseling services, initial assessments, urgent care, single-session appointments, workshops, and drop-in groups. To make an appointment or learn more, call 949-824-6457 and speak with a live staff member. There are also online videos, live social media posts, web-based resources, and the Mental Health Minute Newsletter. Visit the website, and follow the center on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


University of California offers Perkins Loan borrowers relief

The University of California is offering alumni student debt relief in response to the coronavirus pandemic, suspending interest and payments on $140 million in education loans it owns. The move mirrors much of the student debt relief offered in the $2 trillion federal stimulus package but covers a type of federal loan that was excluded from the deal: Perkins Loans for low-income students. Nearly 40,000 former students with $92 million in Perkins Loans stand to benefit from UC’s decision, which also applies to Dream loans, made to undocumented students.

Virtual Financial Education Classes Now Available For Your Team

UCI’s dedicated Fidelity Retirement Planner, Andrew Smith, is now available to offer custom department financial education classes via Zoom. This is an opportunity to host a virtual financial class for your team about the UC retirement, investments, market volatility, and more. Meetings are flexible and can be customized to fit your teams’ needs and schedule.


Facebook Live Event on Homeownership and Renting Challenges

California State Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris’s office is sponsoring a Facebook Live event to discuss challenges being faced by homeowners and renters during COVID-19 and offer resources and solutions. The event is tomorrow, Wednesday, April 22nd, from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. via Facebook Live. The event will cover how to apply for state and federal benefits, the state’s mortgage relief and forbearance program, and additional resources for how to work with your landlord or mortgage company during the pandemic.

Governor to Announce Tomorrow on Reopening Status

Governor Newsom says he will announce this Wednesday where the state stands on the six key categories needed for reopening the economy amid the coronavirus.

Disney Chairman Bob Iger Talks about Obstacles to Getting People Back to Work

After being named to California’s COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force, The Walt Disney Company Executive Chairman Bob Iger spoke with KABC about what he feels will need to be done as public conversation begins to shift to when and how non-essential businesses can reopen.

Cal State Fullerton to Remain Remote in the Fall

Cal State Fullerton officials announced plans to start the fall semester with virtual classrooms and to gradually ease restrictions if it is safe to do so due to the uncertainties about the coronavirus pandemic.

Federal Aid for Orange County Universities

Three state universities serving Orange County will get nearly $120 million in federal aid and local community colleges will get about $48 million via the recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Half of the funds will be used for student aid and half for coronavirus-related needs such as distance learning tools.

President Trump to Suspend Immigration to US

In a bid to save American’s jobs amid the pandemic, President Trump announced that he plans to sign an executive order that will temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.

Facebook Banning Posts and Groups Promoting Anti-Lockdown Protests

Facebook announced it was banning all posts and groups that promote anti-lockdown protests that do not comply with the government health directives. Organizers of these events and protests seek to recruit new members on social media, something Facebook is working against.

Cross-Sector Partnerships to Support Distance Learning in California

Governor Newsom announced new cross-sector partnerships to support distance learning efforts and help bridge the digital divide across the state. Companies, business leaders, and philanthropists are set to provide internet access for thousands of households, Chromebooks, and tablets for over 70,000 students.

Laguna Hills Inn Will Officially House Homeless People

Yesterday, a judge ruled that Orange County can use the Laguna Hills Inn to temporarily house homeless people that are over the age of 65, have underlying health conditions, are showing symptoms of coronavirus or have tested positive. This ruling comes after the city of Laguna Hills filed a lawsuit against the hotel’s owner in an attempt to block the effort.

Facebook Maps Coronavirus Symptoms Across the US

Facebook has partnered with researchers at Carnegie Mellon University to help predict coronavirus activity across the US. The map shows county-level data on those that have symptoms, not confirmed cases of COVID-19.

UCI IN THE NEWS - COVID-19 Article List

The Conversation, April 21, 2020
5 ways that colleges and universities are pitching in to deal with the coronavirus pandemic

The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 21, 2020
How hard will it be to vote during the coronavirus? It depends on where you live.

USA Today, April 21, 2020
Amid coronavirus concerns, two-thirds of voters support mail-in ballots for November, poll finds

Interesting Engineering, April 21, 2020
Tesla Bioweapon Defense Mode Can Keep Most Particles Out, but Not Viruses

Voice of OC, April 21, 2020
Growing Protests in Orange County Over Stay Home Orders Raises Enforcement Questions

Daily Pilot, April 20, 2020
UC Irvine researchers develop app to help track COVID-19, but will people use it?

CBS2, April 20, 2020 (Video)
UCI Medical Center Nurses Hold Vigil Outside Hospital Over Lack Of PPE, Workers Diagnosed With COVID-19

NBC News (National), April 20, 2020
Nurses are protesting working conditions under coronavirus – and say hospitals aren’t protecting them

Orange County Register, April 20, 2020
UC Irvine Medical Center nurses hold vigil calling for more masks, protective equipment

KTLA5, April 20, 2020 (Video)
Nurses at UCI Medical Center hold vigil for those affected by COVID-19 and demand protective equipment

Elemental, April 20, 2020
‘A New Greatest Generation’: How Our Natural Resilience May Surprise Us

New York Daily News, April 20, 2020 (Opinion)
Opinion: GOP war on mail ballots may backfire

SciTechDaily, April 20, 2020
Finding Effective Face Mask Fabric for DIY “Bandanas Useless”

Common Dreams, April 20, 2020
Trump’s Reelection Strategy: Pit Workers Against Democrats