Health Advisory: Pre-Holiday Gatherings

Nov. 18, 2021

TO: USC Students, Faculty and University Staff

RE: Health Advisory for Pre-Holiday Gatherings

FR: Sarah Van Orman, MD, MMM, FACHA, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health
Deona Willes, MPH, CLS, Executive Director, USC Environmental Health and Safety

As you may be preparing for the Thanksgiving break, we share some considerations for safely enjoying the upcoming holidays.

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. If you have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and 6 months or more have passed since your second dose, you are eligible for a booster dose. If you have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and two months or more have passed since your dose, you are eligible for a booster dose.

Boosters are recommended for individuals working in educational settings, working in health care settings, or living in congregate living situations (residence halls, housing arrangements with multiple residents in close contact), and other environments common in the USC community. USC Pharmacies offer campus vaccination; MyTurn provides appointments at retailers across CA. You may choose to receive any vaccine as your booster.

Test before travel, and after you return. If you have symptoms, do not travel. See the CDC Safer Travel Guide for additional travel tips.

Complete your flu vaccine. NOTE: Trojan Check will activate check for flu compliance in December, 2021. Getting your flu vaccine earlier in the season provides better protection for you, and for the community.

Consider CDC Safer Ways to Celebrate Holidays to minimize risk to family and friends during celebrations.

  • Even those who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask in public indoor settings in communities with substantial to high transmission.
  • Outdoors is safer than indoors. Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
    If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have a close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

We appreciate the many precautions our community has continued to observe to keep our campuses safe, and wish you a safe, enjoyable, and happy Thanksgiving holiday.