January 21, 2021
Dear Trojan Community,
As we begin the new year, one important area of focus – and ray of hope in this pandemic – is the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Like all other universities across the country, USC is working with its local health authority – the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) – to coordinate the distribution and administration of vaccines via a phased approach. The first phase, 1A, includes health care workers with direct patient contact and others in the health care environment. As of this week, LA County has announced moving to the first group of Phase 1B – individuals ages 65 and older. See LADPH phases and tiers for additional information.
Campus vaccination operations under USC Student Health will be opening vaccination appointments to faculty, emeriti, students, and staff ages 65 and older. If you are in this group, you will receive information on how to schedule an appointment via USC email in the next several days. Please note it will take some time to vaccinate everyone in this group, and we appreciate your patience.
Vaccines will be offered free of charge. If you are faculty or staff and would like to verify your contact information or eligibility, contact the HR Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, we urge you to keep in contact with your regular health care provider, health system, or pharmacy to receive updates on vaccine availability, as distribution varies in different counties and states. If you are a patient of Keck Medicine and are 65 or over, you will receive an email from Keck soon about how to schedule an appointment in the coming weeks.
Looking ahead, it is important to understand that USC is dependent on LA County in terms of the quantity and timing of vaccines we receive. We will continue distributing vaccines as the county authorizes progress into subsequent tiers and phases. Employees will be invited to receive a vaccination based on age eligibility or occupational risk assessment. The majority of USC students will be eligible to receive vaccinations in either Phase 1C or Phase 2. Whether you are a student or an employee, we urge you to take your first opportunity for vaccination, whether it comes from your health care provider, the County or the University. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines at coronavirus.usc.edu.
As we continue to face a surge of COVID-19 infections, please remain vigilant. Despite the increased rate of infection, the actions to avoid exposure remain unchanged: maintain six feet of physical distance from others; wear appropriate PPE and face coverings; wash your hands; and clean common surfaces. When on-site, abide by physical distancing requirements everywhere, including while walking on campus, during breaks and lunches, and while participating in meetings. In addition, the University continues to advise students to refrain from returning to campus for the time being and urges supervisors to work with employees to ensure that everyone who can work remotely continues to do so.
We also recommend that you test for COVID-19 at regular intervals (weekly for employees and graduate students; twice weekly for undergraduate students) to keep transmission from occurring between co-workers, friends, and family.
We will communicate regularly as the vaccine roll-out continues in LA County. We ask for your continued patience and understanding as this rapidly evolving implementation proceeds. As we receive updates, we will post them on the vaccine section of our COVID-19 Resource Center.
The weeks and months ahead will not be easy, but as Trojans, we will endure by facing them together. I hope you all have a productive and engaging Spring semester.
Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
cc: Office of the President
President’s Senior Leadership Team
Provost’s Leadership Team