3/25: COVID-19 Update and Return from International Travel

Date: March 25, 2020
To: USC Students
From: Sarah Van Orman, Chief Health Officer for USC Student Health
Re: International Travel and COVID-19 Update

Following the increase in testing of COVID-19 over the past two weeks, I would like to share general information based on an overview of the currently available results.

Cases have been identified involving students that are related to return from international travel, some from organized study abroad programs in Europe and others from personal travel to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. All cases have been contact traced and individuals who may have had a close contact exposure have been individually notified and provided instructions. No individuals have accessed public campus locations within their infectious period.

Special Advisory: Students returning from international travel

If you have recently returned from travel abroad, we urge you to self-isolate for 14 days. Call 213-740-9355 (WELL) or make an appointment online at usc.edu/myshr if you develop respiratory symptoms (cough, fever, difficulty breathing, congestion.)

In Los Angeles, availability and criteria for COVID-19 testing may change as we receive guidance from public health officials in this rapidly evolving health care environment. Social distancing measures, including self-isolation when warranted, are a necessary preventive measure, especially if testing continues to be difficult to expand across a wider population in our region.

The USC campuses continue to make adjustments in preventive measures as we move forward; both in terms of public health impacts, and to mitigate the disruptions to our daily lives. We are part of the larger effort to protect our neighbors across the region and the country, to slow the existing community spread in Los Angeles and #flattenthecurve as we prepare for surge in health care demands. Our colleagues in Keck Medicine, in an effort to encourage donations of much-needed equipment for health care workers, have created a drive for equipment donations, and Student Health’s Engemann location will serve as a donation point for any personal protective equipment (PPEs, including N95 masks) that can be sent to the Health Sciences Campus.

We encourage you to access self-care resources, including well-being and mental health care resources, and the launch of the “virtual Let’s Talk” that can provide some respite from the stressors of these turbulent times.

USC advises persons who may have questions, concerns, or need to report a positive test to call the COVID-19 Hotline: 213-740-6291. Additional answers to questions on what to do next are available on the COVID-19 website.

Stay safe, stay well, and know that we will continue to keep you informed.