October 21 - Updates on COVID-19
TODAY’S CAMPUS UPDATES
How UCI could be forced to close student housing
Nobody wants it to happen, but a real-life story illustrates how quickly UCI could go from success story to shelter-in-place. The incident started innocently. Six students hung out in an apartment with people outside their pod. It wasn’t a party, just a small, seemingly safe gathering of friends. Unfortunately, at least one of them was contagious and infected the others. They, in turn, unwittingly visited more friends, both on- and off-campus. The end result is six positive student cases in isolation and nine other students in quarantine.
As the chart above shows, COVID-19 can spread exponentially. Even with weekly testing of students, the virus can quickly infect between screenings because students can be contagious even if they don’t have symptoms. This cluster was caught early through asymptomatic tests and contact tracing. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for things to get out of hand in the future, which could ultimately overwhelm the campus and lead to closing UCI housing. It’s up to everyone to help UCI stay healthy and open by avoiding gatherings and visitors, wearing face coverings, staying physically distanced, completing the daily symptom checker and participating in COVID testing.
Office water dispenser cleaning
Many offices on campus property have water dispensers in break rooms and kitchens that have been dormant since the campus went remote in March. It is recommended you do not consume water from a dispenser that has been unused for an extended period of time. Environmental Health & Safety has issued guidance providing recommendations on how to safely use your bottled water dispensing system after the unit has been unused for an extended period.
Four students have tested positive for coronavirus since Monday, bringing the total active student cases to 10, and active cases for staff/faculty remains at one. Please visit the UCI dashboard for the daily status on testing and cases.
UCI COVID-19 NEWS AND EVENTS
Is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your mental health?
UCI’s counseling center is available for registered students who need support. The Counseling Center is offering virtual appointments and has a variety of resources to support you. Visit the website to see the many resources available.
How do you feel about COVID-19 vaccinations?
The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) is asking for UCI’s help in conducting a survey of attitudes toward vaccination for COVID-19. Receiving feedback from our community will help them in planning for distribution of the vaccine when it becomes available. The survey is available in several languages and will take less than five minutes to fill out. You do not need to give your name or any other identifying information. All responses are anonymous and confidential.
GENERAL COVID-19 NEWS
This section curates noteworthy coronavirus news, trends and opinions. No endorsement by UCI is implied. Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and OC Register for students, faculty and staff
Disneyland might not reopen until next summer
With new guidelines released from state officials yesterday requiring counties to severely reduce transmission rates before theme parks can reopen, Disneyland won’t be able to reopen anytime soon.
Older patients, women most at risk of “long Covid”
According to a paper published by researchers at King’s College London, older people, women, and those with a wide range of symptoms in the first weeks of their illness are more likely to develop “long Covid” or having symptoms for more than four weeks.
California to allow fans at sporting events in counties that have low COVID-19 rates
Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health announced that counties that have low COVID-19 rates, and are in the lowest two levels of the tier system, can allow a limited number of fans into stadiums. Only fans who live within a 120-mile radius may purchase tickets. Read more here.
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.
Six hot dog-shaped vehicles travel America spreading joy
“As you can imagine, how can you not smile when you see a giant hot dog on wheels rolling down the road, even if it’s just playing music and waving out the window,” said Ed Roland, the senior experiential marketing manager at Oscar Mayer. “That brightens people’s day.”
‘inspirational Flo’, 89, defies age to make pies
An 89-year-old woman who has made more than 100 pies for the elderly and vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic has become a social media hit.
What have you been up to during the pandemic? Send photos and/or words about your activities, workstation, volunteering or academic adventures to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.