TO: USC Students, Faculty, and University Staff
FR: Sarah Van Orman, MD, MMM, FACHA, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health, Division Chief for College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC
RE: Preparing for Seasonal Holiday Travel & Gatherings
As we prepare for holiday travel and reconnecting with relatives and friends, the following checklist can help you and your loved ones enjoy the holiday season while reducing interruptions due to respiratory illness.
- Pick up antigen testing kits for COVID-19: these can be obtained at no cost at the Jefferson Lot testing site, and the Pappas Quad testing site, all students and all employees are eligible to pick up kits. Students may also obtain kits from the CSC desks in USC Housing.
- Test pre-and post-exposure: Travel increases risk of exposure, so use a test before traveling, and after arriving. Use a second test 24-48 hours later to confirm your negative status.
- Get a flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster: If you have not yet received your immunizations, it is strongly recommended to get updated vaccinations for these illnesses before traveling and meeting with groups of friends and relatives.
- It is strongly recommended that you wear a high-quality mask when you are in indoor public settings, including all public transit hubs. Indicators that are monitored by the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health have tracked recent increased transmission in Los Angeles, prompting this upgraded recommendation for masking protection. Remembers the “three C’s”: closed indoor spaces with poor air flow, crowded settings, and settings where people are breathing talking or breathing heavily closely together.
STAYING WELL: Best Practices
- Making a habit of handwashing (for 20 seconds) is one of the best ways to keep viruses at bay. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
- If you are feeling sick, stay home from work/class/group meetings and other activities.
- Practicing good respiratory hygiene (“covering your cough/sneeze”) also reduces the spread of illness.
We thank you for doing your part to prevent respiratory illness and wish you a delightful holiday break.