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.

March 12 - Updates on COVID-19

Section 1


Eastern redbuds at UCI

Eastern redbuds are in full-bloom at UCI, reminding us that spring is near. Submitted by Jose A. Santamaria


No new campus cases*

No students or campus employees tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.


UCI Podcast: We’re tired of COVID-19, let’s go to Thailand!

On this special episode of the UCI Podcast, infectious disease specialist Daniel Parker and communications officer Nicole Feldman take you on a tour of Southeast Asia. They talk about Parker’s work with diseases that affect millions of people each year but are rarely discussed in the United States.

Upcoming events


Friday Fun Fact

Serving foster youth: In Fall 2019, over 1,800 foster youth enrolled in the UC system as undergraduates, with UCLA, UC Davis and UC Riverside having the most foster youth.


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.

President Biden announces that all adults should be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by May 1

In his first primetime address on March 11, President Joe Biden delivered hopeful news by announcing that all adults should be eligible for the vaccine by May 1.

California releases details on upcoming vaccine eligibility guidelines

Four days before an estimated 4.4 million Californians with disabilities or underlying health conditions become eligible for the vaccine, the California Public Health Department released guidance on the verification process.

Orange County continues march toward reopening more businesses

On Thursday, Orange County continued to decline in COVID-19 cases as it nears the less restrictive red tier in the state’s coronavirus reopening system. The county reported 139 more coronavirus cases, raising the cumulative to 248,217.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine authorized for global emergency use

The World Health Organization announced Friday that it has listed the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson for emergency use worldwide and for use in its COVAX program. COVAX, the WHO program coordinating global access to COVID-19 vaccines, has already booked 500 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in preparation for further WHO guidelines on rollout.

Breweries, wineries and distilleries in California receive new reopening rules

Health officials released a new blueprint on Thursday to reopen breweries, wineries and distilleries that do not serve food. Businesses that don’t offer meals can operate outdoors only with several modifications for counties in the purple and red tiers.


Becoming a nurse during COVID

Our weeklong series of pandemic anniversary stories continues today with Katie Teixeira, a nursing student at UCI who embarked on a career in healthcare during the global pandemic.

Coming of age as a nurse during a pandemic was devastating, but the timing could not have been better to validate my choice of career. As nursing students, my cohort had multiple opportunities to volunteer over this past year, performing COVID-19 screenings and administering COVID-19 vaccinations, in addition to our 12-hour clinical shifts in ICUs, Medical-Surgical units, Labor & Delivery, and more. This past year has been an immense challenge, especially as a nursing student. But with each passing obstacle, I have developed admiration and pride for my cohort for handling this year with dedication, humility, and adaptability. Witnessing the university’s thoughtful, innovative, and progressive response to the pandemic helped me grow in my appreciation of how UCI’s nursing program empowers its students to contribute to the health and well-being of patients and build caring communities.

Katie and fellow student nurses
Katie (left) “smizes” with two other student nurses.

UCI nursing students
UCI nursing students have been volunteering tirelessly during the pandemic.


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.

Grandparents are hugging their grandkids for the first time after getting vaccinated

It had been a year since Evelyn Shaw had hugged anyone, let alone her granddaughter, even though both had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Then her granddaughter arrived at Shaw’s apartment with a unique gift. It was a prescription, which Shaw’s doctor offered to write, and it read, “You are allowed to hug your granddaughter.”

The man who saves forgotten cats in Fukushima’s nuclear zone

Sakae Kato, 57, has been rescuing cats abandoned by neighbors fleeing radiation for a decade. “I want to make sure I am here to take care of the last one,” he said from his home in the contaminated quarantine zone. So far, he has buried 23 cats in his garden and is looking after 41 others in his home and another empty building on his property.


With support from UCI Student Affairs, student Karishma Muthukumar, who is UCI’s Dalai Lama scholar and a Barnes & Noble College Scholar, led a campuswide call for letters of support to UCI students. The initiative was part of The All-truism project, and more letters can be found on Instagram. All-truism (“we can all be true”) is a new project supported by the Barnes & Noble Scholarship that aims to create connections through community, compassion and the creative arts.

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.