Planning for Future Events

Due to the evolving situation with COVID-19, please carefully consider planning any future events. The City of Los Angeles issued a Safer L.A. Order on June 1, 2020 that included restrictions on events and gatherings. Specifically, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a residence are prohibited, except for the exempted activities described in the order. In conjunction with this order, USC has prohibited all university-sponsored on- and off-campus events until we receive further public health guidance. 

Once the county, city and the university allow events and gatherings of a certain size, all events must be reviewed by USC’s events operation committee for risk assessment. To proceed with event planning, you must register for a permit. If you have already applied for an event permit then there is no need to resubmit.

All medically-related public events on USC campuses and organized by USC departments (blood drives, screenings, etc.) at this time must be approved by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), with the exception of activities organized by the Keck School of Medicine, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, USC School of Pharmacy and Keck Medicine of USC.

Should your event be approved to move forward, please consider the following guidelines.

Guidance for Future Events

Event planning for groups may require additional considerations in light of public health recommendations related to communicable illnesses.

Hosting events, both on or off the university campuses, can benefit from enhanced planning, hygiene and public health measures. These actions help limit the spread of many communicable diseases and keep the community safe.

The following guidance provides information for student groups, academic and professional programs and professional event planning and production teams.

General Recommendations: Planning Considerations

  • Collect email and phone contact information (or establish a community channel, such as an event notice on calendar.usc.edu, website, social media channel, etc.) where hosts could communicate any public health related updates to the schedule.
  • Develop contingency plans if the event needs to be postponed or canceled.
  • If this is a paid event, consider flexible refund or credit policies for registration fees.
  • Ask about refund and cancellation policies for venues/services/rentals that your organization has deposits for currently.
  • If it is necessary and possible to turn the event into a webinar, become familiar with the Zoom platform.

Public Health & Hygiene Recommendations

  • Ensure adequate restroom facilities are available for proper hand washing.
  • Set up handwashing stations or alcohol-based (60% or higher) sanitizing stations on-site (station at entry areas).
  • Ask the venue manager for cleaning of the venue prior to your event.
  • For all-day or multi-day events, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. For events longer than 2 hours, ask for increased waste pick-up and restroom cleaning during.

Food & Beverage Planning Recommendations

  • Individually served, wrapped and packaged food is recommended over shared service items for large gatherings to reduce potential contact (wrapped sandwiches, brown bag, box lunches or items served table side to a single guest instead of open buffets or platters).
  • Canned or bottled beverages (or for informal events, a water station with “bring your own” water bottles instead of open pitchers) are recommended.
  • Eliminate sharing of commonly passed items, including serving utensils, pitchers, food and beverages.
  • Contact the food service or catering manager to ensure a high level of food safety training, handling and hygiene for your event.

Additional Resources & Contact Information

  • COVID-19 Hotline (for questions related to COVID-19): Call 213-740-6291 or email covid19@uscedu
  • Environmental Health and Safety (for environmental, public hygiene and food safety questions): https://ehs.usc.edu/ or call 323-442-2200
  • For event-related specific questions, please contact: firesafety@usc.edu