4/9: Mandatory COVID-19 Protections for our On-Campus Community

USC Essential Employees and Supervisors
USC On-campus Students

Felicia A. Washington, Senior Vice President of Human Resources
Winston B. Crisp, Vice President for Student Affairs
Sarah Van Orman, M.D., Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health
Deona Willes, Director, Office of Environmental Health and Safety

Date: April 9, 2020

Subject: Mandatory COVID-19 Protections for our On-campus Community

USC is deeply committed to protecting our students, faculty and staff. Yet, the biggest lesson learned from this outbreak is that it takes more than one person – and more than one organization – to protect the members of our society as a whole. Each one of us must follow government directives and take the proper care and precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

To protect each other, it is important that we continue to follow the health and safety measures for our on-campus community. To that end, USC on-campus faculty, staff, and students must follow the mandates of the order issued by Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti.

Effective Friday, April 10, 2020 and until further notice, the following protections must be adhered to by all on-campus USC faculty, staff, and students:

  • Students must use face masks and/or cloth face coverings that cover their nose and mouth in public settings on the USC campuses.
  • All employees must wear face masks and/or face coverings that cover their nose and mouth while performing their work.
  • Established social distancing guidelines, including maintaining 6 feet of distance from others, and proper hand hygiene practice must be followed.
  • Supervisors must ensure that employees are permitted to wash or sanitize their hands every 30 minutes.

Please know that failure to adhere to these mandatory protections will result in being asked to leave the campus or being declined service by any of our areas of operation (e.g., dining services, housing, transportation, etc.).

Additionally, the University has taken the following safety and precautionary actions:

  • Directed that all on-campus employees are protected by appropriate “contactless” workflow provisions. Contact the USC Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) if you have questions about “contactless” workflow provisions in your area.
  • Expanded the cleaning and disinfection of regiments in all common work areas. 
  • Provided appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as recommended by EH&S. 
  • Made available clean and sanitary restrooms that are stocked with all necessary cleansing products.

We want our community to also be aware of the following additional information:

USC Face Coverings Distribution and Information

  • Information on the distribution of face coverings has been emailed to on-campus students and essential employees. 
  • While it is generally appropriate for employees and students to choose to use a face covering of their choice that they make or provide themselves, those employees who have received direction from EH&S to use specific forms of personal protective equipment may not substitute personal face coverings. 
  • It is highly recommended that face masks/face coverings be washed every day.
  • This guide sheet from EH&S explains the grades of risk from very low to high, with the appropriate safety measures.
  • For more complete information on when and how to use, make, and clean cloth face coverings, please see these guidelines developed by EH&S
  • Additional information is also available from the Los Angeles County and California Departments of Public Health.
  • Face coverings are not a substitute for compliance with current social distancing and hand washing guidance, which should be consistently observed.

The Reality of COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to have significant community transmission in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the world, guidance on infection control measures will shift to meet the current challenges. In the U.S. and other countries, we should assume that everywhere we go, every surface we touch, every person who we come into contact with may potentially be infectious.

The Safest Measures for ALL Individuals

  • Stay at home for anything other than essential needs.
  • Social distance by minimizing contact with other individuals, staying 6 feet away from others.
  • Practice frequent handwashing for 20 seconds or using a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizing solution. 
  • The addition of a cloth face covering (cloth mask, scarf, bandanna) may help reduce the spread of potentially infectious droplets within the community when combined with these other measures. 

Please contact us if you have questions:

  • Questions or comments may be sent to covid19@usc.eduanswers to frequently asked questions are available on the COVID-19 website.
  • Notification about an exposure or positive test should be made to the COVID-19 hotline: 213-740-6291.
  • Supervisors with questions about physical environmental safety measures may contact the USC Office of Environmental Health and Safety at ehs@usc.edu, 323-442-2200.
  • Employees can also reach out to their HR Partners for help and support.
  • We will continue to update the community with current information and recommendations, as the health, safety and well-being of our Trojan Family remains front and center of all our actions and concerns. 

Stay safe and stay well.

cc: Dan Philip Carino, Sally Pratt, Maja Mataric, Silvia R. Da Costa