Medical FAQs

What to Do and Who to Contact

Procedures for students, faculty, staff or other individuals on campus

  • 24/7 Hotline: Please call 213-740-6291 with questions.
  • Students: For medical appointments involving respiratory symptoms or any other health care services, please make your appointment on MySHR or call the USC Student Health line, 213-740-9355.

The following information is provided for USC students, faculty and staff.

For health care employees, including those at Keck Medicine of USC, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, USC School of Pharmacy, USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, and USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, please follow current guidelines for employee health clearance.

Email EmployeeHotline@med.usc.edu with general questions. For health clearance to return to any Keck Medicine facility, contact the Employee Health Services dedicated service line: 323-442-5219.

Symptoms and Testing Information

Please see the list of symptoms for COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

The most important step to take is to stay home and practice respiratory hygiene (cover your cough and wash your hands frequently). Call your health care provider and let them know your symptoms. Do not go directly to an urgent care or emergency department unless you are experiencing severe, life-threatening symptoms. In many cases, your health care provider will schedule a telehealth appointment to assess your situation. Wear a face covering before interacting with others.

  • For employees (faculty and staff): Please stay at home and contact your medical provider. Notify your supervisor. Telecommute if possible, and please seek guidance from your HR partner. If you have been in a USC facility, please notify the university by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 213-740-6291.
  • For students: Your health provider is USC Student Health. Please call 213-740-9355 (WELL).

You should practice strict self-isolation until your test results are available. This includes staying home, ideally in a separate room, and practicing self-isolation.

  • For employees (faculty and staff): Please stay at home and contact your medical provider. Notify your supervisor. Telecommute if possible, and please seek guidance from your HR partner.
  • For students: Students living in shared rooms on/near campus will be relocated to a single-occupancy room. Contact the 24/7 Hotline at 213-740-6291 for assistance.

Testing will become very common over the next few months, and most people will soon know someone who is being tested. Many tests will be negative. Household, intimate, and close contacts should practice self-isolation until test results are known or as advised by your health care provider.

  • For employees (faculty and staff): Within the workplace, thorough cleaning of surfaces is a proactive step while awaiting final test results. Please contact the hotline at 213-740-6291 for guidance on this issue.
  • If you are unsure if you should practice self-isolation, please contact the hotline at 213-740-6291.

Testing and new diagnoses will become very common over the next few months, and most people will soon know someone who is diagnosed. Local public health authorities will evaluate and notify close contacts. They will be advised to self-isolate and monitor their symptoms for a period of 14 days since contact. While awaiting formal notification, practicing self-isolation and monitoring symptoms is advised.

  • If you are unsure if you should practice self-isolation, please contact the hotline at 213-740-6291.
  • For employees (faculty and staff): Within the workplace, thorough cleaning of surfaces may be recommended. Please contact the hotline at 213-740-6291 for guidance on this issue.

Notify the university—call the hotline at 213-740-6291 to provide additional details.

Your information will be taken and forwarded to campus leadership to develop an individualized and coordinated campus response to support you and/or your unit. This may include access to campus support resources such as housing as well as initiation of deep cleaning of campus facilities. Managers and departmental leadership should coordinate all notifications through this process to protect privacy and ensure accurate and timely information.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines the operational description of close contact as being within 6 feet of another person for 15 minutes or longer. Brief interactions are less likely to result in transmission. However, symptoms and the type of interaction (e.g., if an infected person coughs directly into the face of the exposed individual) remain important in determining if an exposure occurred.

An exposure to an exposed person does not require self-isolation or additional steps. Contact the hotline at 213-740-6291 if you have additional questions.

There is emerging data that COVID-19 is viable in aerosol form (“in the air”) and via fomites (“contact with surfaces”); this information is important to the health care setting where close contact with patients is frequent.

This may impact infection control recommendations for personal protective equipment (PPE) and sterilization processes in clinical patient care settings, such as hospitals and dental practices (where close contact and aerosolized equipment are necessities for most procedures). It is unclear how much this contributes to the spread of infection in general community settings.

For general public interaction, this does not change current best practices recommendations:

  • Physical distancing, including keeping a distance of 6 feet from other people, avoiding congregating in groups and not sharing food/drinks/utensils
  • Handwashing (or sanitizing gel of 60% alcohol solution) is the best protection for contact from surfaces
  • Staying home if you are sick and using telehealth to communicate with your medical provider
  • Cleaning of common surfaces in your environment with a household cleaning product

Please see the guidelines from the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidelines for returning to regular activities for those who have recovered from COVID-19.

You can be with others after:

  • Three days with no fever and
  • Symptoms have improved and
  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared

Depending on your health care provider’s advice and availability of testing, you might get tested to see if you still have COVID-19. If you will be tested, you can be around others when you have no fever, symptoms have improved, and you receive two negative test results in a row at least 24 hours apart.

Those with immune-compromised health conditions, or those who tested positive but had no symptoms, can find additional information on the CDC website.

Trojans Return

Fall 2020 Semester

For information about environmental health and safety, view the restart health and safety FAQs

If you identify as someone who might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 due to age or underlying health conditions, or have family members in the “high risk” category, temporary academic or workplace accommodations will be granted to the extent feasible. Staff and faculty with concerns should contact their supervisors, department chairs, HR partners, or deans of faculty, who will work with Disability Services and Programs (DSP). Students should contact DSP directly.

Before returning to campus, every student, faculty, and staff member must complete the 'Health, Hygiene and Safety Training' module on TrojanLearn (requires flash-compatible browser), which covers topics such as proper handwashing, physical distancing, mandatory use of facial coverings, and sanitation protocols, as well as illness reporting and actions for individuals at higher risk of severe disease from COVID-19.

As part of the training, each person will sign an attestation committing to follow the protocols the university is putting in place. Every person who returns to campus is responsible not only for their own health, but in caring for the health and well-being of everyone around them. The training and attestation underscore the need for a commitment by all to adhere to USC’s physical distancing, hand hygiene, and facial covering requirements.

  • Cases and outbreaks are expected to occur. All students should have honest and thoughtful conversations about their personal health and well-being with their families and/or personal support networks in order to decide whether any sort of campus return is right for them.
  • Isolation and quarantine procedures will be available and required. When the inevitable cases of COVID-19 occur, individuals who are exposed will be required to quarantine for 14 days, and those who are ill will be required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days and sometimes longer. While USC is prepared to provide support through dedicated accommodations and regular check-ins, quarantine and isolation may be difficult for many students. Students should consider this impact when deciding to return.
  • Students with high risk medical conditions such as underlying medical conditions (e.g., immunocompromised, pregnancy, diabetes, heart or lung conditions) should discuss their health with their current provider. Students should consider whether being in a campus environment in the City of Los Angeles is right for them this semester. If you decide to access campus this fall and have a chronic medical condition, contact USC Student Health. Please make sure you have a continuity of care plan with campus providers.

All students, faculty, and staff members returning to campus will be required to complete Trojan Check, a brief wellness assessment that must be completed each day before entering campus. Trojan Check is available online. View an overview video of Trojan Check along with step-by-step videos for how to log in, create reservations and complete your wellness assessment.

Upon completion of the assessment, the system generates a pass that will be required to access campus and select buildings.

Employees: If you are unable to complete Trojan Check online due to lack of access to a personal computing or mobile device, please contact your supervisors, department chairs, HR partners or deans of faculty.

Testing is available on campus for faculty, staff, and students who develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or are exposed. Surveillance testing (a sampling of the population) will be conducted on an ongoing basis. We will share more information about where and when testing will be administered on campus over the coming weeks.

A dedicated USC contact tracing team through USC Student Health will coordinate notification of any exposed persons with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, as well as any needed cleaning and community notifications. The dedicated team closely tracks all cases to allow for early recognition of outbreaks.

We will provide regular online updates about rates of infection and notifications for groups who may have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. Notifications will be targeted to individuals and groups who may need to be tested, self-isolate, or self-monitor for symptoms.

All students – whether they live on or off campus – will have accommodation arrangements made for quarantine. The medical team at USC Student Health will authorize these arrangements. We will also provide lodging for faculty and staff who cannot quarantine safely at home.

For the general public, a cloth face covering is required. For additional guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) in specialized settings, please visit the USC Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 Resource Center.

It is imperative that we share the responsibility for keeping our entire community safe. Faculty, staff, and students will be expected to follow all on-campus protocols – including wearing a face covering – and to observe the safety guidelines in their offices, classrooms, laboratories, residence halls, and off-campus housing and when out interacting with the community. We all must do our part to protect ourselves and those populations on our campus and in our neighborhoods who are at a higher risk. Anyone who is unable to follow these rules can request accommodation; all others are required to comply.

All travelers from international destinations are required by the L.A. County Department of Public Health to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the United States before arriving on campus or residing in campus housing.

While USC provides hand sanitizer in dispensers at locations throughout the campuses, it's important to note that hand sanitizer does not replace handwashing with soap and water. Handwashing is a more effective way to reduce the spread of infection.