(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
5/27/2020 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Grad Students and Post-Docs,
Did you miss me? I’ve had a few of you stop by virtual office hours and say you miss the daily messages. Well, you got your wish! At least this week it seems. So enjoy me filling your inbox again. We just have a couple of things that we need to share, but we know just how much you miss us over in Grad Division. So, here you go:
Grad DTEI Fellowships and Summer Funding - LAST CALL!
If you still do not have summer funding, and you would like to apply for some, please fill out this SHORT form to apply to be a DTEI Fellow. The deadline is TOMORROW at noon.
We expect there to be more applicants than funds for DTEI fellows, but your applications will all be forwarded back to your schools and kept centrally for other opportunities that we are still planning. We need to start moving on assignments and getting these names out to the schools, so PLEASE apply if you are not funded for the summer or are unsure about your funding. It should take less than five minutes.
Post-Docs and Research Oriented Grad Students - Transitioning to Phase 2 Research Activities
Hopefully by now you have seen the message that came out from the Office of Research about restarting research activities on campus. From VC Khargonekar’s Message:
The State transitioned to early Stage 2 in the California roadmap on May 8, 2020, and Orange County transitioned to later Stage 2 in the California roadmap on May 23, 2020. We are consulting with Orange County Health Care Agency and are expecting that UCI’s transition to Phase 2 research activities will be effective on June 8, 2020.
There have been many questions regarding this topic. What I will say first off is this does not mean everyone will (or even wants to or could if you wanted to) go back to their offices or labs or to the library or art studios on June 8th. The transition process will START on June 8th. This means that this process will be a gradual ramp up when it comes to conducting research activity that poses a low risk of virus transmission. Even when we fully reach Phase 2, campus buildings/labs will still not hold more than 30% of their capacity.
Each department will have different standards and processes for opening, depending on what the research is and of course the amount of risk to others contracting the virus. I know there are still a lot of questions and concerns. We will continue to keep you updated as we find out more. Please also stay in touch with your PI/Advisor/Department Chair, and yes read those emails you usually delete.
Another COVID-19+ Graduate Student
By now, you may have seen another graduate student test positive for COVID-19, making that three within the last week. This student is in isolation, and the county’s usual procedures for contact tracing will be implemented. The risk to the general campus population still remains low with the reduced presence of staff and students and physical distancing measures in place, but please follow the procedures we outlined in yesterday’s message. They are repeated here in case you deleted or can’t find that email easily.
As general guidance, if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, coughing, shortness of breath), you should call the Student Health Center or your physician’s office for further guidance.
If you feel ill or think that you qualify for testing, contact your provider BEFORE going into the clinic. And please consider using LiveHealth Online, a UC SHIP covered service that connects you via a TELE-MEDICINE visit with a provider online, from the convenience of your home 24 hours a day. See the details here: https://shc.uci.edu/services/livehealth-online.
Also note that UC SHIP will reduce the student cost share to $0 for all medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19 in a manner consistent with directives issued last week by the CA Department of Managed Care and the CA Department of Insurance. Cost sharing includes, but is not limited to, copays, deductibles or coinsurance. Medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19 may include hospital (including emergency department), urgent care visits, provider office visits and/or telehealth encounters (e.g., LiveHealth Online) where the purpose of the visit is to be screened and/or tested for COVID-19.
For students who qualify based on the criteria above, and if those students pay out-of-pocket costs related to COVID-19 services to hospitals, urgent care centers, LiveHealth Online or other providers, Anthem will reimburse the student (i.e., copay, coinsurance). The student can reach out to Anthem directly, or they may contact the Student Health Center Billing or Insurance Departments for assistance in obtaining reimbursement.
For students who have health insurance coverage other than UC SHIP, we encourage you to contact your insurance carrier directly for information related to your benefits and out-of-pocket costs associated with COVID-19 services. While LiveHealth Online is available to all registered students, students who have health insurance other than UC SHIP may have a tele-health option available to them through their own health insurance plan.
As we continue through the end of Spring Quarter and into the Summer, let us also continue practicing physical distancing – this means refraining from in-person meetings, no matter how small the gathering. We can all do our part to prevent the spread of viral droplets by socializing via the internet and staying more than six feet apart.
Dean’s Office Hours
As always, come see us in Office Hours. Today, we got a visit from one of our PDY winners (btw, the word is President, and my brain is mush… yesterday I called them Provost Dissertation Year fellowships, oops). We love to celebrate with you as much as commiserate, plot, plan, and solve problems. So, come see us!
Upcoming Dean’s Virtual Office Hours: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
- Thursday, May 28 9– 9:30AM
- Friday, May 29 10– 10:30AM
- Monday, June 1 8:30-9AM
- Tuesday, June 2 9-9:30AM
- Wednesday, June 3 8:30-9AM
- Thursday, June 4 11:30AM-Noon
- Friday, June 5 11-11:30AM
Winston Churchill has been a bit of a controversial historical figure, but the man really did have a good turn of phrase. One of his most famous quotes seems apt today: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
California and Orange County are moving into Phase 2 of our COVID-19 crisis and pandemic plans. And yet, we still have new cases. We see the opening of beaches and restaurants and even weird lakeside pools (nope, I am not over that one yet). And yet, I still wear face coverings when I go out. My kids still can’t have a playdate. And I am still very worried about my immune compromised father in law. I am sure you have those same stories too.
We are moving along a continuum. We may well move back. We may lock down more strictly. We may open up more. The science is rapidly changing, in part due to UCI researchers. The public health guidance is rapidly changing, in part due to UCI experts. All of the decisions we are making are guided by the best scientific and public health expertise we can find, and those decisions change rapidly when they need to. We will get through this, together, in large part due to our UCI community. But we are not through it yet. I don’t know who said it first, but I know when times got tough throughout my life, my mother always said “The only way to the other side is through.” So, let's go. Let’s get through.
Looking forward to seeing you all out and about on the other side!
On behalf of all of Graduate Division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division