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.

Dec. 16 - Town Hall highlights, vaccinations anniversary

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Anteater Time Machine: Two years before the campus opened, the season was celebrated at a holiday party in the university’s interim office in December 1963.

Anteater Time Machine:Two years before the campus opened, the season was celebrated at a December 1963 holiday party in the university’s interim office.


Town Hall highlights

The fourth town hall of 2021 took place today, hosted by Health Affairs. Leaders from UCI Health and campus were on hand to share the latest on the omicron variant, holiday gatherings and travel, and the winter quarter. They emphasized the importance of getting a vaccine booster. Employees should upload their booster verifications at the Occupational Health upload portal. Students should upload their vaccination booster record at the UCI Student Health Center patient portal. Look for emails and in the Digest soon with information on incentives for those who upload their booster records by Jan. 4 (if eligible to be boosted). A more detailed summary and a video of the Town Hall will be shared in tomorrow’s Digest.

Upload your booster verification record

Student Record Upload

Employee Record Upload


Respiratory therapist Vita Susin gets the first COVID-19 vaccination at UCI Health on Dec. 16, 2020.

One-year anniversary of vaccines for UCI Health’s frontline healthcare workers

UCI Health CEO Chad T. Lefteris notes that 500 of the system’s frontline healthcare workers had signed up for the COVID-19 vaccine by the first hour shots were initially given on Dec. 16, 2020. “Since then,” writes Lefteris in a one-year anniversary message, “I am happy to share that 96% of UCI Health co-workers are fully vaccinated.”

Coronavirus case numbers then and now

Despite resuming in-person operations this fall, UCI’s COVID-19 case numbers for the quarter were significantly lower than a year ago. Last fall at this time, UCI had logged 379 cases. This year, the campus counted 250 cases during the fall quarter, a testament to the power of vaccines and other safety measures.

How to travel safely for the holidays

Travel has been an ever-changing landscape since the start of the pandemic and this year’s winter holidays are no different. “Yes, it is possible for friends and families to visit during the holidays,” says Dr. Susan Huang. “But it will take some serious advance planning to keep everyone safe from COVID-19, especially with the recent arrival of the omicron variant.” UCI Health’s medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention lays out steps you should take to ensure safe travels.

Games + Learning + Society Conference set for June on campus

UCI videogame research and development experts are inviting the world’s gaming community to the Games + Learning + Society Conference to be held June 15 - 17 on campus. “The GLS Conference has been going strong since 2005, and we are excited to be presenting it for the first time here in Southern California, home to the nation’s biggest global entertainment and interactive media community,” said conference chair Constance Steinkuehler, professor of informatics and chair of the game design and interactive media program.


‘We rose to meet the moment’

President Michael V. Drake has prepared a holiday card for the UC community reflecting on a year of resilience and accomplishments.

The 10 best research stories of 2021

Impactful research stories from UC campuses over the past year have been rounded up and, amazingly, only two of the 10 are coronavirus-related. Is UCI represented on the list? You bet.

With coronavirus variants, the world is learning the Greek alphabet, one grim letter at a time

The 15th letter of the Greek alphabet had been a fairly innocuous entity for 2,500 years. But in just two weeks, it became notorious. Omicron moved beyond classical philosophy texts, beyond the realm of the 13 million or so people who speak Greek as natives, and exploded into use in urgent scientific reports, breaking news headlines and social media feeds around the world.

Can your pet get COVID-19?

Yes, pets and other animals can get the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but health officials say the risk of them spreading it to people is low. Dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, otters, hyenas and white-tailed deer are among the animals that have tested positive, in most cases after contracting it from infected people.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.

What Are The Differences Between The Omicron And Delta COVID Variants?

Huffington Post, Dec. 15
Cited: Andrew Noymer, associate professor of population health & disease prevention

Federal Charges Filed Against 3 Companies For OC Oil Spill

KCBS (video), Dec. 15
Cited: Alejandro Camacho, Chancellor’s Professor of law

Understanding Why Certain Memories Flood Back (And Others Don’t)

Discover, Dec. 15
Cited: Kei M. Igarashi, assistant professor of anatomy & neurobiology


Friendly reminder: Look on the bright side

Friendly reminder: Look on the bright side

Alltruism (“all true”) is a project supported by the Barnes & Noble Scholarship that aims to create connections through community, compassion and the creative arts. The initiative was part of The Alltruism Project, and more letters can be found on Instagram.

#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


Eight new campus cases

Four employees and four 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.