CA Dept of Public Health releases Fact Sheet on the Omicron Variant

Nov. 28, 2021—Information from CA DPH—

We are still learning about the new variant, including how it spreads and infects individuals as well as how it responds to vaccines. Here is what we know:

There are currently no cases in the United States; however, based on other variants, it is only a matter of time before Omicron is detected in the United States. New variants will continue to evolve as long as there are large proportions of unvaccinated people. Additional information is available on the CADPH website.

Health Advisory: Pre-Holiday Gatherings

Getting a booster shot for COVID-19 is strongly recommended. With the combination of colder weather keeping people indoors, the waning of vaccine and natural immunity, and more mingling among non-household members, California public health officials are urging residents to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible to help prevent a possible winter surge in COVID-19 cases. Test before travel, and after you return. If you have symptoms, do not travel. See the CDC Safer Travel Guide for additional travel tips.

Health Advisory — Prevention of Respiratory Illness

Current CDC data on COVID-19 has demonstrated that individuals who are unvaccinated have a six-times greater risk of illness than vaccinated counterparts; and have a 11-times greater risk of death. Within the USC community, unvaccinated individuals have a 2-4 times greater risk of infection. Unfortunately, since late October, positivity rates have increased each week in both LA County and in the campus populations.

Last week, (week 10 since move-in) there were 69 positive cases, (0.21% positivity rate among students, 0.62% among faculty and staff).

Vaccine Update for Campus— Influenza and COVID-19 Boosters

9/28—As we enter the influenza season, the University has renewed the decision to require influenza vaccines for all USC students, faculty, and staff for the 2021-2022 influenza season. The deadline for completion is November 1, 2021. As a reminder, please continue to use recommended hygiene practices: wash your hands, follow masking guidelines, and if you are sick, please stay home.

Recently, the FDA and CDC have also made key announcements on COVID-19 booster shots for the Pfizer (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine. Information for USC students in our campus communities about both these vaccines is outlined in this message..

8/23 Nasal Swab Testing; Other Testing Updates

As of this week, USC Student Health is re-introducing nasal swab as a method for collecting samples for COVID-19 testing. Nasal swab appointments are available through MySHR (Monday-Friday until 3:30 PM) at Jefferson Lot and Pardee Marks locations. Please refer to the Pop Testing Hours and Locations page for updated information.

Thank you to our community — 27,000 tests were administered this past week, and there was less than 0.5% positivity among students — much lower than in the general population (3.52% is the current positivity rate for Los Angeles County). Your participation in our vaccine programreaching above 91% for fully vaccinated among students, faculty, and staff, has also made the opening of the fall semester safer for everyone.

8/20 New Extension Period (Friday 8/27 deadline) for Trojan Check Requirements

Students are advised of an extension period for your COVID-19 surveillance test; and for completing the “Hygiene Health and Safety” learning module in Trojan Learn (https://trojanlearn.usc.edu).

If you are vaccinated and your Trojan Check is showing as “noncompliant” for either of these two reasons; you have until Friday, August 27 at 12 midnight to complete these requirements.

5/6 – Health Advisory on COVID-19 and Advancing into the Yellow Tier

May 6, 2021 TO:      USC Faculty and University Staff FR:       Sarah Van Orman, MD, MMM, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health                Division Chief of College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC             Deona Willes, MPH, CLS, Executive Director of USC Environmental Health and Safety RE:       Health Advisory on COVID-19 and Advancing into…