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.

February 2 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1

UCI Health CEO Chad Lefteris received this poem from a grateful patient:

Caregiver’s Poem

Oh noble ones we offer here, the gratitude we share.
We praise you and we thank you, for giving of your care.
Although the days are long and so many chores to do.
Patience, love and courage, are the tools that see you through.

We thank you when we first arise, the day has just begun.
From the moment our love first awakes, to see the morning sun.
While you were ready, standing by, before the dawn of light.
That tenderness in care you give, abounds and makes it bright.

We thank you for the comfort, giving all our love may need.
Sometimes the appetite is there, still more than that you feed.
Vicariously it’s known, for angels’ whisper while they sing.
You cannot measure love with care, there is no greater thing.

We thank you for the evening, when you tuck our love in bed.
With pleasant dreams now all in place, remember here what’s said.
The joy you’ve spread, will stay with us, forever as we live.
Caregiving’s more that taking care, it’s everything you give.


New campus case*

One new positive employee case was reported yesterday. There are currently 31 active positive cases.


Coping with Stress
Learning more about how to cope with stress is the next topic of a short coronavirus video series from the UCI Counseling Center. Other videos will be included in our newsletter each day this week. The clips run about 90 seconds.

Upcoming events


UC President Michael V. Drake reflects on Black History Month

In this video, UC President Michael V. Drake reflects on the Black workers, scholars, artists and activists who have propelled the University of California — and the world — forward, and the work that remains to be done to achieve our ideals of equality, inclusion and justice.


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.

County of Orange partners with State of California to establish oxygen depot

The State of California’s Emergency Services Authority, in partnership with the County of Orange’s Orange County Emergency Medical Services team, has established an Oxygen Depot at the former El Toro Marine base in the City of Tustin. The Oxygen Depot, which is being staffed by a California Medical Assistance Team, is comprised of a large, deployable system that draws in normal air and separates out the nitrogen, producing an output of concentrated oxygen used to fill tanks to support the needs of local hospital and medical facilities within OC and across the broader Southern California region.

CDC requires wearing of face masks while on public transportation and at transportation hubs

The CDC is requiring the wearing of masks by all travelers into, within, or out of the United States, e.g., on airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares. The mask requirement also applies to travelers in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and seaports; train, bus, and subway stations; and any other areas that provide transportation.

There’s increasing evidence that California stay-at-home order, ban on outdoor dining worked to slow COVID-19 surge

After weeks of overwhelmed hospitals and record death tolls, the improvements seemed sudden and surprising. But experts say they are the consequence of changes that Californians started to make two months ago.

California groups call for Latino community to be prioritized in vaccine distribution

The latest California data shows Latinos have been disproportionately impacted by this virus. Currently, Latinos make up 55% of California’s COVID cases.

School employees across Central California receive vaccinations

School district employees across the Central Valley are starting to receive their COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Rebecca Malmo, Executive Director of Student and Family Support Services, said she didn’t hesitate when Madera Unified School District offered her the chance to get vaccinated.

Daily COVID-19 vaccinations are outpacing daily reported cases

More than 26.3 million cases have been reported over the past year, according to Johns Hopkins University. And in less than two months, more than 26 million doses of vaccine have been administered, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

California COVID-19 infection rates decline to pre-Thanksgiving numbers

The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 slipped below 14,850 statewide, a drop of more than 25% in two weeks, according to the state Department of Public Health. The positivity rate for people being tested has been falling for weeks, which means fewer people will end up in hospitals.

At current supply rate, it would take Kaiser 4+ years to get enough vaccines for all CA patients

Kaiser Permanente says a lack of supply has led to the slow and messy vaccine rollout among its patients, many of whom have described frustratingly long waits only to be told there are no available appointments. In an email sent to patients over the weekend, CEO Greg Adams acknowledged these concerns and explained just how bad the vaccine shortage is. He said Kaiser cares for 9.3 million Californians and has so far received only 300,000 doses.

3 trends that will define remote work in 2021

Everything indicates that remote work will continue to change, but what will 2021 bring us in terms of this modality? Will we still like to work in our pajamas or from the garden? These are some trends that will mark the home office during 2021.


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.

Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach on a beach is the musical healing the world needs right now

Every so often, there’s a musical performance that speaks to a time, a place, and indeed a world in need of beauty. In his wintery beach performance, Yo-Yo Ma is literally playing music to the waves of uncertainty, anxiety and grief that so many of us are feeling right now.


sunset and verano

Karma Rose Zavita, a doctoral student in the School of Social Ecology, sent us this photo she took last week “as the sun decided to peek out over the new construction near Verano.”

UCI received the below shout out to share in this newsletter (edited for length):

“I got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at UCI Bren Center. I could not have been more impressed by the efficiency and attention to detail of the entire staff, from the moment I entered the parking structure, to the kindly assistance from the injector. Someone immediately talked to me to ask how I felt. A second nurse or doctor talked to me about 10 minutes on. I felt attended to and as safe as possible. Everyone in the intake and the nurse who gave the vaccine were gowned, masked and visored.”
~ Paul Loop

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 marketing@uci.edu 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.