January 21 - Updates on COVID-19
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both offer more than 94% protection against COVID-19 if the two doses are taken. Full protection starts seven days after the second dose. #ThisisOurShot #UCIPride
TODAY'S CAMPUS UPDATES
UCI’s workplace COVID prevention plan
Under emergency regulations that took effect Jan. 1, the California Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Standards Board requires employers to mitigate workplace exposure to COVID-19 by establishing and implementing a written COVID-19 Prevention Program. UCI’s COVID Prevention Plan can be viewed at UCI’s Environmental Health & Safety website.
Six new campus cases*
A half dozen students tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. No new employee cases were reported. For more info, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.
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.
OC case numbers continue downward slide
Although still high and straining resources, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Orange County has steadily fallen over the last two weeks, from a Jan. 7 peak of 2,259 to 1,935 on Wednesday, a 14% decline (similarly, L.A. County hospitalizations are down 10% since Jan. 5). ICU cases in Orange County have leveled off from a high of 544 on Jan. 13 to 517 on Wednesday. Both figures are dramatically higher than last summer’s surge, which topped out at 722 hospitalizations and 245 ICU patients in mid-July.
Vaccinating California seniors may take till June
Under current allocations from the federal government, the state receives about 400,000 doses a week, or 500,000 in a good week. At that rate, it could take until June to finish injecting 70% of the state’s seniors, a top state health official said.
Lilly antibody cut virus risk 80% in nursing home study
Eli Lilly’s antibody therapy reduced nursing home residents’ and workers’ risk of symptomatic COVID-19 by as much as 80% when used preventively in a study.
California resumes Moderna vaccine after illness reports
California said it’s safe to resume using a batch of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine after some people fell ill and injections were halted. The decision frees up more than 300,000 doses to counties, cities and hospitals struggling to obtain supplies. The state had paused a specific lot after several people at a San Diego vaccination site needed medical care after getting the shot, possibly from rare but severe allergic reactions.
Wine country group sues Newsom over outdoor dining ban
Over 50 restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms and suppliers across Napa and Sonoma counties filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Gov. Gavin Newsom, citing a lack of scientific evidence that outdoor dining furthers the spread of COVID-19.
Long Beach to offer vaccine to grocery, restaurant workers
The city of Long Beach will offer COVID-19 vaccines to food sector workers in coming days, officials announced Wednesday. This includes employees at grocery stores and restaurants who live or work in Long Beach. But it excludes drivers for food delivery apps. Long Beach officials said they’re contacting employers, and that the vaccinations will take place at the Long Beach Convention Center — appointments required.
Three variant strains in California may be fueling surge
The CAL.20C strain was found in 36% of patients at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. Another mutation, the L452R strain, was responsible for infecting 90 people in a hospital in San Jose.
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.
Satire: Old and new presidents
We try to steer clear of politics in this newsletter, but as the White House torch was passed yesterday, a touch of two-party humor seemed apropos. We spotted satirical headlines poking fun at both the incoming and outgoing president. The Onion spoofed America’s new commander-in-chief with “Secret Service agent heroically dives in front of strong breeze that could have killed Biden.” And the Babylon Bee lampooned the former Oval Office occupant with “Trump close to filling impeachment punch card for free sub sandwich.”
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.