COVID-19 General Update (9/1/23)

We have seen a slight expected increase in COVID-19 cases recently, both at the LA County and campus levels, as people have returned from summer schedules into the patterns of fall activities. This follows a similar trend as in previous years when returns from travel and the increase in contact between people can lead to an uptick in cases. Campus COVID-19 protocols remain consistent with the systems in place from the previous academic year. The reminders in this message can serve to help reduce illness and help us navigate this fall’s respiratory illness season.  

What Should I Do? (Symptoms)

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, take an antigen test. If it is positive, follow these instructions, including completing a contract tracing form in MySHR. Isolation accommodations are available to students in USC Housing, and you will see a link for requesting isolation in the contact tracing form. If you are positive and your symptoms require…

Updates to COVID-19 Protocols (4/11/23)

For next year’s incoming class, for students in non-health degree programs, the COVID-19 vaccination (primary series and booster when eligible) is moving to the category of “strongly recommended” instead of required. This change in policy also applies to most campus-based employees (faculty and staff). for students in the health professions degree programs — your requirements will be communicated by your academic programs.This change will take effect on May 19, after the end of the Spring 2023 semester. Also on this date, COVID-19 testing at both HSC and UPC will move from saliva testing at the tents to pick up of antigen kits, as the testing tents will be permanently closed down. Antigen kits will continue to be available to students and employees at no cost.

Best Practices for Travel: Spring Break 2023

With the approach of Spring Break, USC Student Health advises students, faculty, and staff to remember best practices for reducing risk of potential COVID-19 transmission through travel-related exposure. PRE-TRAVEL: Do no travel if you have symptoms, or have been exposed to COVID-19, within the past 10 days. PRE-TRAVEL: Testing* before travel is recommended, the best…

Medicines to Treat COVID-19

1/19/23—The LA County Dept. of Public Health has released updated information about treatments for COVID-19. Treatments can help you from getting very sick, and may also help you feel better sooner. In addition, early evidence suggests that treatments may make people test negative sooner and lower the risk of developing long COVID. People with symptoms…

Preparing for Holiday Parties

Photo of a group of coworkers celebrating New Year's Day/ Eve together in their office, wearing protective masks and keeping distance

As you prepare to attend holiday gatherings at USC, please see this safety tip sheet prepared by USC Environmental Health and Safety on ways to have a safer event when rates of transmission of respiratory illness is higher in the local area.

Update: Flowflex tests extend date

The FDA has extended the shelf-life the Flowflex COVID-19 antigen kits distributed by USC Student Health. The current lot in circulation, LOT: COV201007, with a printed expiration date of January 2023, has been extended to October 2023. See the full list from the FDA

Pre-Travel COVID-19 Testing

For USC students who need testing to board international flights, please know that testing hours through the Pop Testing (PCR) program currently runs from Monday-Friday; testing is not available on weekends.

Results typically return within 48 hours, but this is not a guaranteed timeframe. Testing offered at USC’s PCR program is designed for screening and diagnosis but not travel services.

Students who have rush needs to meet pre-boarding testing requirements for international flights may need to engage external, commercial testing services (ex: Curative, Testing DX, Hummingbird, 911 COVID Testing); rush charges may not be covered by insurance.

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

Pick up antigen testing kits for COVID-19: these can be obtained at no cost at the Jefferson Lot testing site, and the Pappas Quad testing site, all students and all employees are eligible to pick up kits. Students may also obtain kits from the CSC desks in USC Housing.

Test pre-and post-exposure: Travel increases risk of exposure, so use a test before traveling, and after arriving. Use a second test 24-48 hours later to confirm your negative status.

Get a flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster: If you have not yet received your immunizations, it is strongly recommended to get updated vaccinations for these illnesses before traveling and meeting with groups of friends and relatives.

It is strongly recommended that you wear a high-quality mask when you are in indoor public settings, including all public transit hubs. Indicators that are monitored by the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health have tracked recent increased transmission in Los Angeles, prompting this upgraded recommendation for masking protection. Remembers the “three C’s”: closed indoor spaces with poor air flow, crowded settings, and settings where people are breathing talking or breathing heavily closely together.