July 31 - Updates on COVID-19
Setting sun on Krieger Hall. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI.
UCI approved for a new School of Pharmacy
In a message from the Chancellor, it was announced that yesterday afternoon the University of California Board of Regents voted to establish the UCI School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, elevating the program started in 2006 to full school status. It is only the third school of its type in the UC system. Under the leadership of Founding Dean Jan Hirsch, and already ranked among the top10 pharmaceutical sciences departments in the nation, it will add a Pharm.D. program for practicing pharmacists to its current Ph.D. and other programs training the next generations of researchers and advancing research in the pharmaceutical sciences.
Positive cases and recoveries
Three previously positive employees have clinically recovered and cleared to return to work. For an up-to-date case count, visit www.uci.edu/coronavirus.
$5M competition to increase COVID-19 testing capabilities
As part of our collaborative response to the pandemic, UCI is a partner in the XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance, a vast network of the world’s clinicians, researchers, data scientists and experts who come together for collaboration, data sharing, and innovation. With support from its founding member, Anthem and sponsor Illumina, a new project has been launched - XPRIZE Rapid Covid Testing (XRCT), a $5 million, 6-month competition that aims to increase COVID-19 testing capabilities. Potential competitors, whether a team or an individual looking for a team, should visit xprize.org/covidtesting to register, access all the resources available and read the competition guidelines. Registration ends August 31, 2020.
UCI COVID-19 NEWS AND STORIES
Are esports a pandemic-era salve for sports-hungry fans?
While the coronavirus pandemic has caused uncertainty about whether college athletics programs will be able to compete this fall, it has also spurred some colleges to more aggressively market their competitive esports teams. But the pandemic has also stalled plans by some institutions to expand or create esports programs. Mark Deppe, the UCI Esports program’s director co-hosted a webinar on July 30 centered around how esports programs can continue to operate remotely without bringing students physically together.
UCI COVID-19 VIRTUAL EVENTS
Virtual Lunch with Leadership with Sheefteh Khalili, Ph.D.
Lunch with Leadership has gone virtual! This event provides staff members the opportunity to engage in casual conversation with various UCI leaders. Join us for a virtual lunch featuring Sheefteh Khalili, Ph.D., Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice Chancellor, Health Affairs. The event is August 4 from noon to 1 p.m. and registration is required.
HOPE, INSPIRATION, LAUGHTER
Amid the heartbreaking loss of life and economic hardship wrought by the coronavirus, we recognize the need for stories of kindness, hope, courage and humor.
Reopened brewery goes totally contactless with new ‘Beer-O-Mat’
Temescal Brewing’s beer garden is open, just with a few changes: namely, a pastel pink and green contraption labelled “BEER-O-MAT” in huge block letters that has taken on beer-serving duties.To order a beer, you scan a QR code with your phone at the brewery’s entrance (where a host will assign you a table), enter your name and payment information, then select your beer of choice. Once it’s ready, you receive a perky text: “Hey Pal! Your order is ready for pickup at our Beer-O-Mat.” You walk up to the contraption, and in a compartment labeled with your table’s number, a hand from behind the wall magically pops out to place your beer inside (canned beer only, at least for now).
From the staggering toll of the pandemic, a shared story of human kindness emerges
Alex Bernard dedicated his life to ministering to people who were suffering. As a pastor at Desert Reign Church in Downey, he organized food delivery programs, mentored young people and worked as a substance abuse counselor. He also volunteered as a chaplain at the same hospital where he would eventually die of COVID-19.
Pandemic hasn’t slowed patient safety advocate’s quest to walk to every MLB ballpark
Dave Mayer arrived outside Nationals Park bringing the total number of major league ballparks the 67-year-old retired anesthesiologist and die-hard Chicago Cubs fan has visited this year to 13. He is in the midst of a walk and drive across America to raise awareness for patient and caregiver safety. He’s covered more than 1,100 miles on foot over the last six months and hopes to complete his tour of all 30 MLB parks by the start of spring training in 2021.
COMMUNITY UPDATES & NEWS
Fauci advocates trying to reopen schools, despite coronavirus challenges
“You should try to the best of your ability with all considerations to the safety and welfare of the children and the teachers, we should try to get the children back to school as best as we possibly can,” said Dr. Fauci. Teachers will be part of the “experiment” of reopening, he said.
Coronavirus outbreak at USC’s fraternity row
USC is dealing with an outbreak of the coronavirus spread across the university’s Greek row. The school has detected around 40 positive COVID-19 cases involving individuals living on 28th Street, where many fraternity groups associated with the university are based.
Californians set to receive over $1 billion in tax credits
Governor Newsom announced over $1 billion in tax credits through the California Earned Income Tax Credit and Young Child Tax Credit. Families with children who are also eligible for the CalEITC will receive an additional $1,000. The development of the CalEITC and the installation of the YCTC comes in response to Californians’ need for financial assistance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
With government offices closed as virus spreads, weddings return to Honda Center
Concerts, rodeos and hockey games are still on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, but weddings are back on at the Honda Center, where county workers will issue marriage licenses – and for those who wish it, perform the ceremony – from the safety of the arena’s box office.
OC Health Care Agency announces ad and outreach campaign aimed at protecting each other
The OC Health Care Agency announced a new advertising and community outreach campaign to encourage Orange County residents to be vigilant in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 by protecting themselves and others. This campaign takes a “Stop, Drop and Roll” approach to help people remember the basics – “Face, Hands and Feet.” Featuring simple steps – Wear a FACE covering, Wash HANDS often and stay 6 FEET apart, the key message focuses on simple actions we can all take to care for ourselves and one another.
Lapses in state and county coronavirus data
According to county health officials, a recent backlog of coronavirus tests and lagging data have caused artificial drops in Orange County’s rate of COVID-19 cases.
Study finds young children have higher viral load
A new study found that children younger than 5 have between 10 to 100 times more genetic material from the novel coronavirus in their noses compared to older children and adults.
Orange County announces second round of funding to support small businesses
Orange County is launching the second round of funding for small businessesimpacted by COVID-19, where eligible businesses can receive up to $10,000 in grant funds.
Some California theme parks reopen without rides
With innovative solutions like zoo exhibits, food festivals, walk-through installations, shopping, and more, some California theme parks are reopening without the rides, parades, and fireworks.
Blood plasma from coronavirus survivors may reduce deaths
Studies show that blood plasma taken from coronavirus survivors and given to hospitalized patients reduced mortality rate by about 57%.
UCI IN THE NEWS - COVID-19 Article List
The New York Times, July 31, 2020
The risk that students could arrive at school with the coronavirus
NBC News, July 30, 2020
As California coronavirus cases spike, contact tracing stalled by fear and embarrassment
KPCC, July 30, 2020 (Audio)
COVID-19 AMA: When a vaccine is available, will we still have to wear masks?
BBC, July 30, 2020
US election: Does Trump have power to delay it?
San Francisco Chronicle, July 30, 2020
Trump can’t delay the election. But many states are unprepared for this year’s changes
Bloomberg TV, July 30, 2020 (Video)
Bloomberg Markets: The Close
Voice of OC, July 30, 2020
Confusion reigns around Orange County’s coronavirus death counts and hospitalizations
Inside Higher Ed, July 31, 2020
Are esports a pandemic-era salve for sports-hungry fans?
World Magazine, July 30, 2020
The COVID-19 chasm: Viral division
OC-COVID19.org - powered by UCI and UCI Health, a website devoted to providing timely, useful, evidence-based information about the novel coronavirus pandemic to our friends and neighbors across Orange County
UCI Coronavirus Information Hub - more information on campus status and operational updates
UCI Health COVID-19 Updates - important information related to UCI Health