DATE: August 2, 2021
TO: USC Students, Faculty and University Staff
FR: Sarah Van Orman, MD MMM FACHA, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health,
Keck Medicine of USC; Division Chief for College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC
RE: COVID-19 Safety Updates for In-Person Activities
As we ready ourselves for in-person programs and activities on the campuses this fall, we are sharing important information on COVID-19 safety for our community.
The university has launched a new version of our mandatory “Hygiene Health and Safety” training for students (HHS student edition, which includes information relevant to student employees) and for faculty and staff (HHS employee edition). Please take 10-15 minutes to complete this online module in Trojan Learn. Again, this is required for all students, faculty, and university staff.
Beginning August 15, your Trojan Check compliance will require completion of this new course (even if you have previously taken an earlier version) in order to provide valid entry to campuses. Please complete this course before that date.
Trojan Check is required every day you come to campus. Complete the Trojan Check questions verifying that you do not have any active symptoms, and you are up to date with testing and vaccine requirements. Be prepared to show and scan your Trojan Check pass when you enter campus facilities. We recommend that you log on now to see if you have any incomplete safety compliance requirements, including meeting the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, last updated on June 29. The policy requires vaccination or an approved medical or religious exemption and applies to all USC students, faculty and staff who are accessing the USC campuses and facilities.
COVID-19 testing for students—All USC students will be required to arrange for COVID-19 testing within 3 days of arrival to Los Angeles. Your first test must be completed by August 22 or your Trojan Check will be non-compliant.
- Fully vaccinated students: Due to the significant rise in COVID-19 infections in fully vaccinated individuals, weekly testing will be required until further notice while COVID-19 cases are rising in Los Angeles. We will reevaluate this policy based on community case levels.
- Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students, faculty, and staff: You are required to complete ongoing testing (twice weekly testing for undergraduates and once weekly testing for graduate students and employees).
The USC Pop Testing program is available for students, faculty, and university staff; please schedule through MySHR. Employees returning for in-person work may also test if they are re-joining campus after summer travel or other potential exposure.
Key guidance in the module includes the following information:
- Masks (facial coverings) are required in all indoor settings or additionally as directed by current university guidance.
- Daily symptom checks are required when accessing the campuses; please re-familiarize yourself with the symptoms, and if you are experiencing new onset of symptoms, stay at home—do not go to work, class, or any other activity.
- Eating with others presents a high risk of exposure between individuals, as this involves removal of facial coverings and easier spread of respiratory droplets. Stay a minimum of 6 feet apart from others when eating, preferably outdoors. Put your facial covering back on when finished dining. Do not eat in class.
- Mixing households, unmasked social mingling, attending large gatherings and events, and travel increases risk of transmission. It is not advisable to participate in these activities if you are not fully vaccinated (two weeks past the second dose of a two-dose series, or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen).
- If you receive a contact-tracing email notification from USC Student Health that you are believed to have had a COVID-19 exposure, you are recommended to test even if you are fully vaccinated. Vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine and may go to work, class and other activities if they do not have any symptoms. Unvaccinated (including not fully vaccinated individuals) should quarantine and test.
- Students are reminded to update their local address in OASIS for the academic year (if you are not living in USC Housing) so the university has accurate information for contact-tracing.
The best protection against COVID-19 is to become fully vaccinated (2 weeks after completing a two-dose series or single-dose vaccine); if you have not yet been vaccinated, please consider getting vaccinated to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community.
Stay safe and stay well.