Preparing for Seasonal Holiday Travel & Gatherings (11/18)

TO:     USC Students, Faculty, and University Staff FR:     Sarah Van Orman, MD, MMM, FACHA, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health, Division Chief for College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC RE:       Preparing for Seasonal Holiday Travel & Gatherings As we prepare for holiday travel and reconnecting with relatives and friends, the following checklist can help…

Booster Vaccines for COVID-19

Recommendation from the LA County Dept of Public Health: Everyone 5 and older should get one fall updated (bivalent) booster at least 2 months after their last COVID-19 vaccine dose (either the final primary series dose or the last monovalent booster). This is regardless of how many boosters or which type of vaccine(s) they got in the…

What to know about rebound COVID-19

COVID-19 rebound is when people with COVID-19 get better, then begin to get symptoms 2-8 days after they have recovered. They may also test positive again. If your COVID-19 symptoms come back or get worse after you have ended isolation, you must isolate yourself from others again. You can end isolation for COVID-19 rebound 5…

Masking Update

9/23/22—As the COVID-19 case rate in Los Angeles County has dropped in community-level transmission, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has revised guidelines on mask requirements and recommendations.

Masks are required in health care settings (including the Engemann and Eric Cohen student health centers, COVID-19 testing sites, the USC Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, USC Pharmacies, and other patient care settings on campus). They are also required for individuals who have COVID-19 (through day 10), or have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 (for 10 days following exposure).

Masks are strongly recommended on all forms of public transit, including trains, buses, shuttle buses, and ride-shares. Masks are an individual preference in all other indoor public settings.

CDC makes recommendation on bivalent COVID-19 boosters

Sept. 1, 2022—CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendations for use of updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for people ages 12 years and older and from Moderna for people ages 18 years and older.

Updated COVID-19 boosters add Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current vaccine composition, helping to restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination by targeting variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading. Read the full CDC announcement.

USC Pharmacies has temporarily suspended its booster clinic with the previous booster formulations. Pending new clinical guidance, booster vaccination will resume with supplies of the new bivalent formulations.

8/2 COVID-19 Safety & Other Key Reminders

We are looking forward to a vibrant fall semester, and the arrival of our students for the beginning of the academic year. As we prepare to greet one another in person once again, we want to share important reminders with the community to continue to take precautions regarding COVID-19 in our campus communities. Currently, Los Angeles County is experiencing a slight decline from a high level of community transmission (7,009 new cases reported as of the week ending 7/28) that has trended throughout the summer months, driven by the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron. Some of the cases include reinfection in individuals who previously had COVID-19. We strongly recommend wearing medical-grade masks or respirator masks (including surgical, N95, KN95, KF94) when indoors around others to reduce transmission and risk of infection. Masking is most effective when there is both a good fit (no gaps, covering the nose, mouth, chin) and good filtration. Testing before arrival (1-2 days) to campus and testing upon arrival (3-5 days after) will help keep our campuses safer from transmission.

7/13 Health Advisory

We strongly recommend wearing medical-grade masks or respirator masks (including surgical, N95, KN95, KF94) when indoors around others to reduce transmission and risk of infection. Masking is most effective when there is both a good fit (no gaps, covering the nose, mouth, chin) and good filtration. If and when the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issues changes to the Public Health Officer order regarding indoor masking protocols, the university will align with required measures.

Update on COVID-19 Procedures

In keeping with the state and county’s revised definition of “close contact” (someone sharing the same indoor space for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) the university is revising its COVID-19 notification practices. This change is needed to ensure compliance with the new definition. 

Beginning on Wednesday, May 4, all currently enrolled students and all university employees will receive a daily email message with an update on reported cases. A sample message is attached. The message contains a link to the daily report of cases, and instructions for individuals who believe that they have been in close contact with a positive individual. 

Trojan Check no longer required as of 4/4/22

As of April 4, 2022 (Monday), USC campuses will no longer require Trojan Check for access to campuses. Perimeter check at the UPC campus will be discontinued on that date. Read the complete university message.

Spring Break Antigen Kits for Students

All USC students are encouraged to pick up a free COVID-19 antigen testing kit for use after spring break travel. You will receive an email from the USC Bookstores with a unique QR code for pickup, and when you return to campus from travel, use this kit within the first 24 hours of arriving back to your residence. If you test NEGATIVE, you may proceed to classes and activities. No uploads are necessary. Schedule a PCR test through Pop Testing between days 3-5 after your return from travel to confirm your results. Learn more about safety over spring break and kit pickup locations.