(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
3/26/2020 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Hi Graduate Students and Post-Docs,
It’s Throwback Thursday, so before we dig in too much on today’s news, I thought we could lighten your load a little with pictures of life in Orange County the last time there was a global pandemic (Spanish Flu 1918). First, we have boating on Lake Orange, from the online archive of California.
And now onto the news of the day.
Federal Stimulus Package
There is some good news at last regarding federal aid to help alleviate some of the COVID-19 suffering. I am sure it is not perfect, no bill is, but it should help at least some of you take off at least some of the pressure. Here is what little bit I understand about it. Please note that no one in the Graduate Division, especially not me, is an expert, and this law is very very long. So, we are relying on what we can gather online. We recommend consulting with a tax guru of some sort or just waiting and seeing as more information comes out.
Direct Payments for American Taxpayers (estimated to come April 6 for those who have direct deposit on file with the federal government), which appear to include green card holders but not other non-US-citizens:
- Individuals who earn $75,000 or less in adjusted gross income receive $1,200
- Married couples earning up to $150,000 receive $2,400
- Plus an additional $500 per child will be tacked on to that.
Unemployment Benefits Expansion:
- Unemployment insurance is now expanded federally by 13 weeks and includes a four-month enhancement of benefits -- an additional $600 per week - on top of what state unemployment programs pay.
- Total of up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits.
- Includes freelancers, furloughed employees and gig workers, such as Uber drivers.
Aid to Universities, Hospitals, and Non-Profits:
We hope to see some additional federal funds to help us recover and to support health operations. Again, the bill is dense, and people are still working through it. So, we don’t know what that looks like yet.
Here are some additional articles about the stimulus package:
Please be aware also that the FBI has issued a warning about stimulus package fraud.
UCI Health Live Well Newsletter Special Edition
UCI Health published a special edition of the Live Well Newsletter. This special edition provides the most relevant and useful information about staying healthy during this difficult time.
OIT Providing Free Remote Access to Select Software
As we are all adjusting to teaching, working and learning in a virtual world due to COVID-19, OIT would like to remind students and employees of the technological services and tools available to facilitate campus business remotely. Whether you need to instruct a course, meet and collaborate with a colleague, or complete coursework remotely, OIT is committed to meeting your technology needs. Here are recently deployed tools that support our collective remote work:
- Zoom: A powerful web conferencing tool is now available to all faculty, staff, and students. You can host an online gathering for instruction or meetings for up to 300 people.
- Campus VPN: We’ve added capacity on the campus VPN (Virtual Private Network) to accommodate the increase in off-campus traffic. VPN allows you to access University resources, such as your work computer or UCI Libraries resources from off campus.
- Virtual Computing Lab: The virtual computing lab allows students and faculty to use common research software such as Matlab, SPSS, SAS, and others in a virtual environment remotely.
- Respondus Lockdown Browser + Monitor: Facilitate exams with this combination of tools that restricts computer activity and provides for automated exam session monitoring and recording.
- Adobe Creative Cloud: For a limited time through May 31, Adobe has made the Creative Cloud suite available to all campus. This includes popular applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and other premium Adobe software.
- Laptops for Loan: Faculty, staff, and students who do not have a computer available at home may request OIT-provided laptops to loan on a limited basis.
If you need support for any of the above services, please contact the OIT Help Desk at (949) 824-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow OIT on Twitter for tips, tools and updates on technology at UCI.
UCI IN THE NEWS - COVID-19 Article List
- The Atlantic, March 26, 2020 The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to Normal
- Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2020 (Editorial) Editorial: Congress has to immunize election day against fear of the coronavirus
- Newsweek, March 25, 2020 Congress’ $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package not ‘nearly enough’ to safeguard 2020 election, experts say
- Newsweek, March 25, 2020 School closures due to coronavirus could widen education inequality among students
- The Washington Times, March 25, 2020 Coronavirus forces election officials across U.S. to craft contingency plans
- Victoria Advocate, March 25, 2020 What should I do if my coworker is sick?
These are difficult times, and you have the absolute right to be frustrated, sad, and worried. You also have the right to be happy and enjoy the sunshine. Do what you can, when you can, and be kind to yourself and others. I am ever grateful to be in a university environment surrounded by smart people who truly care about each other and care about the mission of the university.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes, it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering I will try again tomorrow.” - Mary Anne Radmacher
We are here with you. We hear you, even when you whisper. And we know you will get through this time with courage, strength, and a little luck.
Stay home. Stay safe. Stay calm.
We will see you soon!
On behalf of all of graduate division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division