Updated Masking Guidance for Campus Environments

Per these revised guidelines for workplaces, individuals on USC campus premises in locations where masking is required are now required to wear medical grade masks, which at minimum are surgical masks and may also include higher grade respirator masks (N95, KN95, or KF94). Campus premises where PPE is required include indoor common spaces, public areas, classrooms, libraries, offices, and laboratories (unless higher grade PPE is already specified). Faculty, staff, and students in clinical settings should follow guidance for health care settings as determined by the facility. If you are an employee who has been directed by USC Environmental Health and Safety to wear (and previously fit-tested for) a respirator mask as PPE for occupational safety, continue to wear this level of protection.

Reminders—Testing for Spring 2022

Peak access times for MySHR (to schedule testing) is expected to be highest on Monday, January 3 (and again on Monday, January 10 & Tuesday, January 18), from the morning through the afternoon. High access volume may result in system unavailability for some users. Accessing MySHR during the weekend, and evenings after 6 PM are recommended. If you have tested positive during Winter Break with results from outside of USC, please upload a photo or scan of the results into MySHR (in “upload documents”) and complete the contact tracing form. Uploading your positive result, or a photo of your home testing kit result, AND completing the contact tracing form will automatically exempt you from surveillance testing for 90 days once it is reviewed by our staff. This ensures your Trojan Check will permit you access to campus.

Spring 2022 COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols

We hope you are enjoying a restorative Winter Break. As we prepare for the new year and the 2022 Spring semester, we are sharing some specific details regarding health and safety campus protocols around COVID-19. The University is requiring booster doses for all students, faculty, and staff. The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19. See previous important messages regarding test positivity in the surge operations message of Dec 23, 2021 and the Spring semester update of Dec. 24, 2021. Pre-travel: Students are required to test for COVID-19 prior to leaving their Winter Break location, it is recommended that you test 48 hours prior to leaving. Upload your results into MySHR. If you test positive, you should remain in your current location and isolate for ten (10) days; complete the contact tracing form in MySHR.

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).

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.

6/29 – Masking Policy Updates

June 29, 2021 We are writing to give you an update on our masking policy. On Wednesday, we will begin teaching some classes in person during our second summer session and are continuing to plan for a full return to in-person activities on our campuses this Fall, with our undergraduates returning in mid-August and most…

6/16 – Restart Update and Vaccine Policy Update

June 16, 2021 Dear Colleagues, As the state continues to relax pandemic restrictions, many of you have asked if there is a specific date when USC will return to normal operations. While we are ramping up in-person activities throughout the summer and preparing to welcome students back to campus in August, the simple answer is that there…