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.

Aug. 19 - New state vaccination rules; Peter the (vaxxed) Anteater

Section 1

early days of Wayzgoose

Anteater Time Machine: The early days of Wayzgoose, a whimsical medieval festival that grew into a long-running campus tradition. Archive photo from October 1971.

Q&A Ask the Expert header

Each day, a UCI expert will answer one of your questions about COVID-19, vaccinations, variants or the future of work. Submit questions via email.

Each day, a UCI expert will answer one of your questions about COVID-19, vaccinations, variants or the future of work. Submit questions via email.

Today’s question (and several more) is fielded by infectious disease researcher Michael Buchmeier, who has been studying coronaviruses for more than 40 years:

Do you see COVID-19 circulating like influenza each year?

It appears that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been established as part of the human virome – which is the total collection of viruses in and on the human body – and will persist. The virus has spread rapidly among widely dispersed human populations. It has shown the ability to mutate to fine-tune and sustain the infectious cycle through several cycles of infection in humans and animals. Viral variants have arisen and will continue to appear, and some of these will be more capable of spreading. It’s possible that the virus may become less virulent for humans but, like the common cold coronaviruses, still persist. Finally, precursors of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 exist in bats and may provide a reservoir for future cycles of human infection.

Research efforts will continue to provide the means to control this virus, as we have done for polio and smallpox, both of which were controlled in the 1950s and 1970s. The principal difference with SARS-CoV-2 is that the virus has an animal reservoir in the Asian horseshoe bat and is capable of reemergence. This is also the case with influenza, which persists in waterfowl and is amplified in swine. The genetics of influenza are dictated by the host, with mammalian strains being selected by passage through the pig. If it’s shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus – like the flu virus – requires an intermediate host to make the jump from bat to human, then immunization of that host may be effective.


Diversity expert appointed as new Education dean

Frances Contreras, an acclaimed researcher on academic diversity and access from preschool to Ph.D., has been appointed dean of the School of Education. She will assume her new role on Jan. 1. Contreras is currently associate vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as professor of education studies, at UC San Diego. At UCI, she will be the first Chicana/Latina dean to head a school of education in the University of California system.

Anteater burritos? UCI’s Chipotle menu connection

When he isn’t studying for his executive MBA degree, Nevielle Panthaky works as vice president of culinary and menu development for Chipotle Mexican Grill. He also oversees a test kitchen at UCI Research Park, where he and his team are developing new menu items for the restaurant chain.

Peter returns to campus after uploading his vaccine record

UCI’s Anteater mascot gets ready for the fall quarter by verifying his vaccination status. Zot! Shot! Zot! And speaking of inoculation verification, UCI has added prizes to the student vaccination sweepstakes announced Wednesday. In addition to a drawing that will give 50 undergraduates priority registration for the winter and spring 2022 quarters, the contest will now randomly award four $50 gift cards to the Hill. To be eligible, students must upload proof of vaccination (or submit a request for exception on medical, disability or religious grounds, or a deferral based on pregnancy) by 5 p.m. Aug. 27.

Vaccine records can be uploaded here:

Student Record Upload

Employee Upload Record


California tightens vaccination rules for indoor events

Effective Sept. 20, anyone attending an indoor event with at least 1,000 people (instead of the current 5,000) will be required to show either proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test from the previous 72 hours. The rule will stay in effect at least through Nov. 1 to help combat the delta virus.


The Pericles Project Film Premiere
Saturday, 6 p.m. (sponsored by New Swan Shakespeare Center)

Visit today.uci.edu to see and submit event listings. Events of general interest will be shared in UCI Digest two days before they occur.


When will Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine recipients get a booster?

Fast Company, Aug. 18
Cited: Phil Felgner, director of the UCI Vaccine Research and Development Center

Vietnamese American refugees who witnessed fall of Saigon urge U.S. to accept more Afghans

NBC News, Aug. 18
Cited: Long Bui, associate professor of global and international studies

Dad diagnosed with cancer receives life-saving stem cell transplant at UCI Health

Spectrum News 1, Aug. 19 (Video)
Cited: Dr. Stefan O. Ciurea, professor of clinical medicine and director of the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center


New math curriculum defies logic, professor writes

Svetlana Jitomirskaya, a distinguished professor of mathematics, critiqued California’s new K-12 math guidelines in an opinion article published by CalMatters and The Orange County Register.


Four new campus cases

One on-campus employee and three on-campus students tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

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.

For COVID-19 questions

UCI Forward - information on campus status and operational updates

UCI Health COVID-19 Updates - important information related to UCI Health

UCI Health COVID-19 FAQs

UCI Coronavirus Response Center - available at covid19@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-9918

Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services - assistance with vaccines and vaccine uploads; available at contacttracing@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-2300

Program in Public Health chatline - answers to questions about COVID-19

For questions specific to your personal health situation, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.