January 19 - Updates on COVID-19
TODAY'S CAMPUS UPDATES
Our UCI Health team delivered vaccines on campus for the first time this weekend to those eligible under Orange County’s distribution plan. The weekend’s events were extremely successful, and we thank everyone involved for their efforts. Demand for the vaccine far exceeds supply, with doses distributed in accordance with state and county guidelines. See today’s message from the Chancellor for more information.
New campus cases*
Seven new positive cases were reported from Jan. 15 to Jan. 18: four students and three employees. As of Monday, there were 137 active positive cases. View the UCI dashboard for additional case count information.
UCI COVID-19 NEWS AND EVENTS
Tech helps people with visual disabilities social distance and more
The pandemic has brought a host of challenges, with social distancing presenting difficulties for everyone – especially those with a visual disability. How do you know your proximity to people if you can’t see them? How do you get assistance from others while remaining 6 feet apart? These are questions Stacy Branham, a UCI assistant professor of informatics, decided to address together with Toyota Motor North America.
UC’s economic impact on California hits new high: $82B annually
The University of California is an essential economic engine for the state, contributing roughly $82 billion annually to California’s economic output. Over half a million jobs in California — or one in every 45 — are supported by the University, and UC-related spending generates nearly $12 billion annually in federal, state and local tax revenues. These are some of the highlights from a detailed economic impact report released today.
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.
College Board scraps SAT’s optional essay and subject tests
The College Board announced it will discontinue those assessments. Officials said the pandemic has “accelerated a process already underway at the College Board to simplify our work and reduce demands on students.”
California launches site for schools to report virus concerns
State officials have launched an online hub intended for school staff and parents to find guidance and resources on the planned resumption of in-person classes. The website, schools.covid19.ca.gov, allows school staff and parents to report coronavirus-related health and safety concerns and access resources about the state’s education-related public health directives and on-campus coronavirus testing.
A new COVID challenge: Mutations rise along with cases
The race against the coronavirus has taken a new turn: Mutations are rapidly popping up, and the longer it takes to vaccinate people, the more likely it is that a variant could emerge that eludes current tests, treatments and vaccines. The coronavirus is becoming more genetically diverse, and health officials say the high rate of new cases is the main reason. Each new infection gives the virus a chance to mutate as it makes copies of itself.
China and WHO acted too slowly to contain virus, says panel
In its second interim report, the Switzerland-based Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response determined that Beijing could have been more vigorous in applying public health measures when cases were first detected in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei province.
Trends that will shape travel in 2021
From digital vaccine cards to close-to-home river cruising opportunities, FamilyVacationist.com has pulled together a list of what you should know about the trends that could shape travel in the year ahead.
California pauses shots from one lot of Moderna vaccine
Health officials in California are telling medical providers not to administer doses from one lot of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine while they investigate possible severe allergic reactions last week in a number of people who got shots at a community vaccination clinic. More than 330,000 doses from the lot were distributed to 287 providers across the state from Jan. 5-12.
Another coronavirus variant linked to cases in California
A coronavirus variant first identified in Denmark has ripped through Northern California — including outbreaks at nursing homes, jails and a hospital in the San Jose area — prompting officials to investigate whether it may be more transmissible. California disclosed the rise of the variant Sunday night after genetic monitoring linked it to a fast-growing share of new cases.
L.A. County deputies bust illegal ‘superspreader’ parties
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials continued to crack down on coronavirus “super-spreader” events and underground parties over the weekend. The department’s Super-Spreader Task Force busted an underground event in South L.A. on Saturday night and approximately 167 adults were cited for violating county health orders and released, sheriff’s officials said.
California becomes first state to hit 3 million COVID cases
On Monday, California became the first state to reach 3 million COVID-19 infections, according to the tracker from Johns Hopkins University. California has about 40 million residents, so the number isn’t particularly shocking, but the speed it took to reach three million is. On Christmas Eve, California recorded its two-millionth case, meaning it took less than a month to add another million to the total count. One-third of all the cases in the state are in L.A. County.
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.
Need a hotline to call and just scream?
If 2021 already seems like too much, there’s a hotline that urges people to call in and scream. Just Scream!, created by elementary school teacher Chris Gollmar, aims to reduce tension for those needing an outlet. All you have to do is call the hotline and scream as loud and as long as you want -- and then hang up.
If you have a shoutout, or if you’d like to share what you’ve been up to during the pandemic, send photos and/or words about your activities, workstation, volunteering, etc., to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.
* Potential workplace exposure: UCI provides this notification of a potential workplace COVID-19 exposure. Employees and subcontractors who were in these locations on the dates listed may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You may be entitled to various benefits under applicable federal and state laws and University-specific policies and agreements. The full notification is available on the UCI Forward site. If you have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, the UCI Contact Tracing Program will contact you and provide additional direction.