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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.

April 29 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1


Remdesivir, therapy with UCI connections, shows promise

In preliminary results from Gilead Sciences, 50% of patients that were treated with a 5-day dosage of remdesivir improved and more than half were discharged within two weeks from the hospital. A number of studies are testing remdesivir to see if it’s effective in stopping the coronavirus from replicating. UCI Health launched a clinical trial to test the efficacy remdesivir as a potential therapy for COVID-19 back in March.

UCI launches video podcasts

UCI launched a video podcast series featuring experts on issues related to COVID-19. The first two episodes are now available on the UCI YouTube channel. In episode 1, UCI developers discuss TrackCOVID, a new free smartphone application that enables COVID-19 contract tracing while maintaining privacy and anonymity. In episode 2, Andrew Noymer, UCI associate professor in public health, discusses how and when life will return to normal after this current phase of the coronavirus crisis.

UCI Forum on COVID-19: Where Are We & What to Expect Next: Public Policy

Critical leadership is required for any crisis, but the impacts of COVID-19 go far beyond any challenge experienced by modern policymakers. This event will address the current state of our community through the lens of our elected officials and examine public health within the boundaries of public policy. Panelists will discuss public safety, economic impact, rebuilding of the community, business/manufacturing and education.

WhenApril 29, 2020
Opening message: UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman
Moderator: Dean Bill Maurer, UCI School of Social Sciences


  • Mayor Christina Shea, Irvine
  • Supervisor Don Wagner, Orange County
  • Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (74th Assembly District)
  • Sen. John Moorlach (37th Senate District)
  • Rep. Lou Correa (46th Congressional District)

Mathematicians create new tool to combat disease including COVID-19

UCI researchers have developed a new mathematical machine-intelligence-based technique that spatially delineates highly complicated cell-to-cell and gene-gene interactions. This novel approach may have an immediate application in finding critical communication links in the lung when the COVID-19 virus attacks. “With this tool, we can identify cross-talk between virus-infected cells and immune cells,” said co-author Qing Nie, UCI professor of mathematics.

Internships and Jobs in the Time of COVID-19 - roundtable for students

The Division of Career Pathways (DCP) is inviting you to attend “Internships and Jobs in the Time of COVID-19: What We Know Now” online roundtable on Friday, May 8, from 12 to 1:00 p.m. Registration is required.

Esports teams continue to represent from home

Despite the significant impacts to campus life, UCI’s esports teams continue to play from home and represent our university in top collegiate competitions. There are opportunities to watch the teams online and cheer them on as they strive to make the Anteater community proud. The Overwatch team matches are every Monday for a tournament on the East Coast. The team will also begin a new competition on May 1 at 12 p.m. The League of Legends team matches are on the UCI Esports Twitch Channel.

Improving Equity and Health During COVID-19 on May 15

What are the campus and medical center resources available for collaboration and inroads to care during the current pandemic? The Office of Inclusive Excellence and the LEAD-ABC (Leadership Education to Advance Diversity-African, Black, and Caribbean) program invite all campus and medical center members to join “#ActForInclusion: Improving Equity and Health during COVID-19” on May 15 from 1 to 2 p.m. This event is free and open to all students, faculty and staff at UCI. Participants will gain insights from key leaders about cutting-edge research and education emerging to support community wellness and health professionals’ success in the battle against COVID-19.

Digital accessibility resources

In this unprecedented time, UCI confronts a variety of digital accessibility issues. Regardless of the challenges, we stay committed to accessibility and equity, both in our work environment and in our educational mission. We have fostered a strong partnership between the Office of Information Technology (OIT), the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD), and the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (DTEI). While each office is issuing guidance specific to their area, we wanted to provide an aggregated list of resources and an overview for those who are new to the principles of digital accessibility.

Earth School

On Earth Day, the United Nations announced the start of a new environmental education program for the world’s 1.5 billion youth who are confined to their homes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and unable to physically attend school. Earth School – sponsored by UN Environment and TED-Ed and supported by numerous global organizations such as UNESCO, the National Geographic Society and the World Wildlife Fund – includes teaching modules developed and delivered by UC Irvine faculty including Steven Davis, Bill Tomlinson, and UCI Blum Center Faculty Director Richard Matthew.


Feeding our healthcare heroes

Since late March, Shanbrom Hall, home to the UCI Health Surgical Education Center and numerous medical research offices, has also become a makeshift commissary where medical center staff can swing by during their shifts for a free bag of staples, including beans, rice, bread and – yes – toilet paper. The idea for the commissary came from Chad T. Lefteris, the new CEO of UCI Health. He and other health system leaders had been thinking of ways to make life easier for the 4,800 people they call “healthcare heroes” who report to work each day at the medical center during the COVID-19 crisis.


DACA Students to Get Emergency Aid From California System

The University of California and Cal State say they will give emergency grants to DACA students, after the education secretary excluded them from the stimulus bill. The University of California and California State University systems said they will use their own funds to help the immigrant students during the pandemic. The moves come after Betsy DeVos last week announced undocumented students brought illegally to the U.S. as children are not eligible for the $6 billion in emergency grants Congress set aside for college students in the CARES Act.


CDC advises on pets and COVID-19

The CDC is advising that the public do not let their pets interact with people or animals that live outside of their household. The CDC recommends keeping cats indoors, walking dogs on a leash while maintaining the appropriate social distancing, and avoiding dog parks.

President Trump Declares Meat Supply ‘Critical’

In an effort to ensure meat processing plants and facilities across the country remain open, Trump signed an executive order declaring meat processing plants “critical infrastructure.”

NBA allowing limited workouts

The NBA informed its teams that it is targeting no earlier than May 8 to allow limited, individual workouts in team facilities in areas where local stay-at-home restrictions have eased.

Individuals can purchase COVID-19 antibody testing for themselves online

Quest Diagnostics announced that individuals can now skip a doctor’s visit and order a coronavirus antibody test online.

YouTube expands fact check panels To U.S. as COVID-19 misinformation spreads

As more people come to YouTube for news and information, the company announced that it would be expanding its fact check information panels to the United States. Originally launched in Brazil and India last year, the fact check feature is intended to help users connect to the most authoritative sources.

First known COVID-19 death in nation autopsy revealed

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner has released the autopsy report for the first known death of COVID-19 in the country. According to the report, COVID-19 had infected the individual’s heart, causing inflammation, and leading to the heart attack that caused the individual’s death.

Four stages to open CA

Governor Newsom described four “stages” of modifying the stay-at-home order:

  • Stage 1 is the current stage, in which officials are continuing to work toward expanding testing and contract tracing, while increasing hospital surge capacity and safety measures at essential workplaces
  • Stage 2 will include the reopening of “lower-risk workplaces,” and will see the gradual opening of some workplaces, “with adaptations.” Retail and manufacturing will be among the first to reopen, Newsom said. Public spaces could also reopen and offices in which telework is not possible may reopen.
  • Stage 3 calls for the reopening of higher-risk businesses and personal services that include close physical contact, e.g. salons, gyms, theaters, sports without live audiences, weddings and in-person religious services.
  • Stage 4 would be the end of the stay-at-home order, which would see concerts, live-audience sports and other large events and venues able to reopen.

California schools might reopen as early as July, Gov. Newsom says

Schools across California could reopen this summer – as soon as July – to get students back on track. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state is considering the possibility of starting school earlier this year to make up for the learning loss students faced when their schools closed to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

State launches data portal to track COVID-19 cases

California has launched a new user-friendly data portal that tracks COVID-19 cases statewide and breaks down data by county, age, gender, and ethnicity.

California gig workers now allowed to apply for unemployment

The California Employment Development Department unveiled its Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, allowing thousands of unemployed gig workers in California to file for unemployment benefits. California will begin accepting unemployment applications from those who usually do not qualify for unemployment, such as self-employed workers, contractors, and gig workers.

OC Board of Supervisors approves guidelines for reopening businesses

The Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a set of business guidelines that could help inform the county’s eventual easing of stay-at-home rules that have helped slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Orange County Teams Up with Google Fiber to Help Job Seekers

Orange County announced its partnership with Google Fiber and Orange County United Way to provide loaner laptops and hotspots to increase access to workforce development programs and services. Those interested in checking out equipment can do so at the Irvine One-Stop Center by contacting the Orange County Economic and Business Recovery line at 714-480-6500 and completing an application.

Newport Beach City Officials Vote to Keep Beaches Open

Newport Beach City Officials rejected a proposed measure to close beaches for the next three weeks. This came after people flocked to the beaches over the weekend.

Laguna Beach City Officials to Reopen Beaches on Weekdays

In a unanimous vote, Laguna Beach City Officials decided to reopen city beaches, but with a strict set of weekday rules. The beaches will now be open on weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., however, people are not allowed to lay out beach towels, use umbrellas or sunbathe. Surfing, swimming and other physical activities are allowed.

UCI IN THE NEWS - COVID-19 Article List

CNN, April 29, 2020
Dubious coronavirus claims by California doctors condemned by health experts

Columbia Journalism Review, April 29, 2020
There’s no wisdom in crowd photos

University Business, April 29, 2020
Screen time use sparks discussion over how much is too much

Becker’s Health IT, April 29, 2020
Hospital IT spend pivots to mission-critical projects: 7 leaders on the key focus for the next 12 months

World Economic Forum, April 29, 2020
5 ways universities are helping tackle COVID-19

Sacramento Bee, April 29, 2020
Newsom is cutting huge, secret deals for coronavirus in a hurry. Lawmakers want to know more

South Florida Sun Sentinel, April 29, 2020
University of California, state college systems ‘profiting from this pandemic,’ student lawsuits claims

Salem Statesman Journal, April 29, 2020
Centenarian Oregon couple enjoys rare visit through glass during COVID-19 isolation

Politico, April 29, 2020
New York Playbook

Newsday, April 28, 2020
Death certificate data suggests higher number of COVID deaths than state’s total

San Francisco Chronicle, April 28, 2020
How can California improve confidence in elections? Count the vote faster

Life Hacker, April 28, 2020
Don’t Let Cognitive Biases Cause You to Engage in Risky Public Health Behavior

ABA Journal, April 28, 2020
For some law students, clinic work during COVID-19 feels more real than ever before

Daily Pilot, April 28, 2020
3 new deaths reported in Orange County due to COVID-19

Politico, April 28, 2020
‘The Nightmare Scenario’: How Coronavirus Could Make the 2020 Vote a Disaster

Politico, April 28, 2020
If you half-open an economy, is it closed?

The Epoch Times, April 28, 2020
California Students and Educators Share Their Distance Learning Experiences

Ms. Magazine, April 27, 2020
Injecting Bleach Is Not An Elixir For What Ails The United States

Editor’s note: Yesterday’s digest included a report called “Fair Elections During a Crisis.” This report was completed by a committee led by Richard Hasen, UCI Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science.