UCI Forward

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.

December 1 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1


Remembering spring. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI


Reminder for on-campus residents who travel during holidays

Here is information for both undergrads and graduate students on testing, sequestration, and how to update your travel plans.

#UCIconnected: the games people play

“Plants vs. Zombies” and “Animal Crossing”? A new study indicates playing video games may improve mental health and happiness. That piqued our curiosity about what games UCI students, staff and faculty are playing to help weather the pandemic. Post your recommendations on social media with the hashtag #UCIconnected or send photos and/or words to marketing@uci.edu. We’d love to hear from you and share game ideas!

Blood drive tomorrow

The UCI Bloodmobile will be parked in Lot 5 (located on Campus Drive & West Peltason) this Wednesday, Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Everyone who donates will receive a Chick-fil-A gift card and a Baskin Robbins free pint certificate. The event is by appointment only.

Announcing COVID asymptomatic testing for select on-site employees

Starting next week, on-site employees, as identified by their local HR representative, will be offered COVID-19 PCR testing each week. This program will supplement current testing of all symptomatic employees and is consistent with the asymptomatic testing program offered to students living on campus. Symptomatic employees should continue to contact the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (949) 824-8685 for priority nasopharyngeal testing.

UCPath downtime coming

UCPath, including UCPath Online, will be down from 10 p.m. on December 9 until 6 a.m. on December 14 when UCPath transfers to a new hosting platform. During the outage, employees, transactional users, and central offices will not have access to UCPath Online and will not be able to:

  • View earning statements and W-2s

  • Make address changes

  • Enroll in direct deposit

  • Make benefit selections

If you have any urgent questions during this downtime, please call UCI’s Employee Experience Center at 949-824-0500, email eec@uci.edu, or visit eec.hr.uci.edu.

Case count news

Four new campus cases (all employees) have been reported since yesterday. For more information, visit UCI’s COVID-19 dashboard.


Smiling sincerely or grimacing can significantly reduce the pain of needle injection

The coming of winter means cooler temperatures, shorter days and flu shots. While no one looks forward to a vaccination, a study led by the University of California, Irvine, has found that either a sincere smile or a grimace can reduce the pain of a needle injection by as much as 40 percent.

COVID-19 Chatline

The Program in Public Health COVID-19 Chatline is available for general questions and inquiries. The chatline is staffed Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST and Saturday-Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Upcoming events


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 TimesWall Street Journal and OC Register for students, faculty and staff.

CDC to vote today on who will get coronavirus vaccine first

Today, advisers to the US CDC have called an emergency meeting to vote on who they recommend should be the first to get a coronavirus vaccine once authorized.

Governor Newsom warns of stricter restrictions

Governor Newsom warns that intensive care units could be overloaded by the middle of December, and its hospitals could be dangerously close to full by Christmas. If these trends continue, Newsom stated California will need to take ‘drastic action.’

Orange County saw increase in COVID-19 patients over holiday weekend

According to data from the California Department of Public Health, hospitalizations jumped 12 percent in Orange County over the holiday weekend - double that of Los Angeles County and the state over the same period.

Dentists and optometrists may give COVID vaccines in CA

In California, the professional organizations representing dentists and optometrists are in talks with state officials to expand their job descriptions to include administering vaccines.

Small business relief measures in CA

Small businesses in California will receive a three-month extension to pay sales taxes. The sales tax extension is one of three new measures to prop up small businesses, which includes an emergency appropriation tool be used to give small businesses up to $25,000 in cash grants, and more cash is being set aside for a new business rebuilding fund.

Dictionary companies choose same word of the year: pandemic

For the first time, two dictionary companies on Monday — Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com — declared the same word as their tops: pandemic.

2020’s legacy is how the remote workforce made emojis an integral part of written language

A study of people reading sentences with emojis while having their brain activity measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has shown that the little symbols activate both verbal and nonverbal parts of the brain, indicating that they enrich communication in ways normal letters and numbers can’t.


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.

50 ways to celebrate a birthday during a pandemic

For the traditionalist, the tech enthusiast, the adventurous spirit, the superstar, or the sentimentalist; here are 50 ways to wish someone a happy birthday during a pandemic.