1/8: IMPORTANT Spring Testing Program (Pop Testing 3.0) and Campus Access Updates

To: USC Students, Faculty and Non-Medical Employees

From: Sarah Van Orman, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health, Division Chief for College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Date: January 8, 2021

Subject: IMPORTANT Spring Testing Program (Pop Testing 3.0) and Campus Access Updates

We have been monitoring the public health conditions in Los Angeles County and California, and the current situation continues to warrant seriousness and concern. As we write this update, LA County and the Southern California region remain in a critical state for hospital, emergency and ICU care. We strongly recommend that if at all possible, students living in off-campus private residences consider a delayed return to the region until local conditions improve. We plan to have an update about physical campus prospects for mid-Spring, May and Summer opportunities, after evaluating the current situation over the next three weeks.

If traveling to Los Angeles is your only viable option for the start of the semester, please take all precautions—wearing face coverings, maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 ft. wherever possible, avoiding areas where food and drinks are shared within an enclosed environment, and practicing good hand hygiene. Plan to follow the 10-day self-quarantine for recent travelers into the region. Test for COVID-19 upon arrival before interacting with others at work or on campus; the Pop Testing 3.0 program is required for all USC students and employees (note that Keck Medicine of USC employees have a different set of instructions appropriate to the clinical health care environment).

RESTART PLANS: Faculty and Staff

As faculty and staff, you are expected to coordinate with your department to ensure your access to campus is part of an approved Restart Plan. Only employees who have supervisor approval to work on our campuses should do so. No other employees should return to campus until receiving notice from the University, or their supervisor, department chair or dean.


REQUIRED TESTING: Faculty, Staff and Students (Weekly/Semi-weekly Testing) – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY FOR IMPORTANT UPDATES

Surveillance Testing (Pop Testing 3.0):Undergraduate students who reside in USC Housing or come onto our campuses will be required to test twice weekly for COVID-19. Graduate and professional students, faculty, and staff who come onto our campuses will be required to test once weekly. These required tests will be provided by the University at no cost to our current students, faculty and staff. Tests are PCR (polymerase chain reaction); Keck Medicine of USC Clinical Laboratories is providing the laboratory services for this program which will replace the COLOR program for most individuals.

  • The specimen collection for Spring testing involves saliva collection: see the Quick Guide to Pop Testing for additional information on Spring locations and preparing for saliva collection. Anterior nasal swab collection, the same collection type as the Fall surveillance program, will be added in the next few weeks. 
  • Scheduling COVID-19 testing is through the secure health record portal, MySHR (usc.edu/myshr). Log in by using your USC NetID and password. For users new to the portal, please see the Quick Guide for MySHR.
  • For USC populations on the unmonitored testing program (kit distribution and sample drop-off) this program will continue until further notice; your program manager will be contacted if there are changes to this system for your group.
  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 should not test within 90 days of their positive test, and are automatically exempted from the testing requirement if their testing is through USC Student Health. If you have results that are from outside of USC Student Health, please upload them to MySHR (usc.edu/myshr) .
  • Please note: the USC COVID-19 Pop Testing 3.0 program is for eligible USC students, faculty, staff, authorized contractors and USC Housing residents only. Results are associated with your medical record; positive case information is required to be reported to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Do not use this program to let others screen/test using your identity, as this constitutes identity fraud, delays contact tracing, and may lead to University disciplinary action and civil/criminal charges.

INFLUENZA VACCINATION—Faculty, Staff and Students

  • Faculty and Staff are required to complete a flu vaccination to access USC campus facilities.
  • Students are required to complete a flu vaccination to access USC campus facilities, including USC Housing.


  • In order to access Trojan Check, students and employees must first complete the appropriate “Health, Hygiene and Safety” online module, accessible through Trojan Learn.


Symptom Check (Trojan Check): As we required for the Fall semester, all students, employees, and visitors this coming Spring will be required to complete a daily symptom check prior to entering facilities on our campuses. Students and employees must log in using their USC Net ID.
NOTE: Beginning January 19, 2021, individuals who are out of compliance on flu immunization or testing compliance will have Trojan Check access temporarily deactivated. If the deactivation is due to testing non-compliance, users may schedule a same-day testing appointment to temporarily re-activate access.

For the University Park Campus (UPC), perimeter access is granted to individuals who have completed compliance on Trojan Check.

For the Health Sciences Campus (HSC), access points are by building; academic and research buildings require Trojan Check. Please see the HSC building list for additional details.

Given the community spread in Los Angeles, we can expect to continue to have cases reported on campus. Our screening, testing and contact tracing teams are greatly expanded in order to halt transmission before it reaches many individuals. We are relying on the cooperation and accurate recall/records of individuals in order to keep the virus from spreading, as we follow the established process for campus notifications.

To report a positive case, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, 213-740-6291, or email covid19@usc.edu. This line may also be used for general questions. Information about USC’s COVID-19 data, health alerts, vaccination progress, and other key information may be found online at coronavirus.usc.edu .

We encourage all in the USC community to use the California notification system for contact tracing, CA Notify, through their mobile phones.

As always, stay safe, and thank you for your collaboration in keeping all in the USC Trojan Family safer from COVID-19.