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November 4 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1

Carpooling and how to prevent covid spread

Welcome to the inaugural chapter of Peter’s Tales, a weekly fictitious account of everyday situations when COVID-19 is spread innocently. These are shared in accordance with Public Health to demonstrate how best practices really can help to control the spread.

Peter’s Tales – Carpooling

Jack and Jill, neighbors who live at home with their families, both work at a coffeeshop and carpool to work regularly. They’re comfortable around each other and do not wear masks during their 18-minute commute.

As a barista, Jill interacts with dozens of customers. She wears her mask and there is Plexiglas at her station. Though the coffeeshop requires customers to wear masks, there is occasionally a non-compliant person. Jack mainly works in the back where he receives deliveries and interacts with vendors.

At the end of their shifts, Jack and Jill drive home together, removing their masks for the short commute home. It’s chilly, so the windows are rolled up and the heater is circulating indoor air.

One day, Jack’s dad begins exhibiting symptoms, tests positive for COVID-19, and is admitted to the hospital. The county is notified and deploys contact tracers. It is discovered that Jack is an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient and the source of his dad’s infection. He notifies his workplace and isolates for 10 days from the date of his test.

Contact tracers work to identify Jack’s close contacts. Although Jack interacts with vendors, the only person who fits the definition of close contact is Jill because they were within 6 feet of each other for 15 minutes or more. Because Jill is considered a close contact, she now must quarantine for 14 days and miss work.

After 7 days of quarantine, Jill gets a COVID-19 test and tests positive. Like Jack, Jill was asymptomatic. It’s possible that Jill was exposed to COVID-19 while carpooling with Jack.

What Jack and Jill should have done while ridesharing is worn masks, kept the windows down, and kept the middle seat open to help reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 while carpooling. For more information on how to safely rideshare, explore California Department of Public Health’s new Rideshare Toolkit.


No new cases

No new coronavirus cases were reported since yesterday. Currently there are a total of 2 active cases among students and employees. View the UCI dashboard for updates on testing, case counts and available isolation rooms.


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

Judge limits Gov. Newsom’s powers during pandemic

A judge preliminarily ordered California Gov. Gavin Newsom to stop issuing directives related to the coronavirus that might interfere with state law.

Over 130 CA TSA workers have contracted COVID-19

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 130 TSA agents at California airports have come down with COVID-19. More than half of those cases have been at LAX.

Wearing masks could save 130,000 lives by March

According to Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, more than 130,000 American lives could be saved by March if people wore masks.

Europe saw 43% increase in COVID-19 deaths in past week

With Europe currently being hit by the second wave of coronavirus, they saw a 22% increase in new coronavirus cases last week and a 43% increase in deaths. France, Italy, and the UK reported the highest numbers of new cases.

How to determine if something requires a meeting

Have a look at this diagram to determine if something should be a meeting.


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. 

One state keeping snow days so ‘kids can be kids’

A New Jersey school district wants to keep at least one winter tradition from the pre-COVID days intact: the snow day. “We have decided that few childhood acts remain unchanged due to COVID-19 and we will maintain the hope of children by calling actual snow days due to inclement weather,” the district announced in a statement. “Snow days are chances for on-site learners and virtual learners to just be kids by playing in the snow, baking cookies, reading books and watching a good movie.”


What have you been up to during the pandemic? Send photos and/or words about your activities, workstation, volunteering or academic adventures to marketing@uci.edu or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.