Covid-19 Health Alert, 7/9/20

We are writing to you at a time when Los Angeles County is seeing unparalleled growth in transmission and percentage of positive cases in our community.

In the past few days, a cluster of 15 positive cases of COVID-19 among houses located on 28th Street has been identified and is being evaluated. Patients with confirmed positive tests are in self-isolation at home or are in the process of being privately transported to isolation.

We have seen a rapid acceleration in community spread in the last three weeks, as has the rest of Los Angeles County. The current positivity rate for LA County is 11%, up from 5% about three weeks ago. Statistically, 1 out of every 7 people in Los Angeles would test positive for COVID-19 at this point in time.

Regarding Rule 1557 of the ACA

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources finalized a rule on June 12, 2020 regarding Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that removes “gender identity” and “gender expression” from the protections against discrimination “on the basis of sex.” This action effectively reverses federal protection against discrimination in healthcare and in health insurance coverage that was explicitly inclusive of transgender men, transgender women, gender nonbinary and other members of the LGBTQ community. The rule also eliminated protection against discrimination for terminations of pregnancy.

As a health care organization, and as part of a world-renowned academic medical center, we would like to affirm to our patients that this change in federal rules announced on Friday afternoon will not diminish any access, care, services, or support from USC Student Health. Although most insurance plans carried by California residents, including the Student Health Insurance Plan and Medi-Cal Managed Care plans, will not be affected by the new rule, we encourage you to verify other coverage. We firmly believe that all patients deserve to be treated with respect, sensitivity, and understanding for their individual identity and context.

Letter from the Chief Health Officer 6/1/20

Our campus communities have endured difficulties over the past months. Struggling with the impact of Covid-19, the sudden disruptions, and civil unrest. Helping our community heal goes to the core of who we are, what we believe, and how we serve. Student Health is united as a community that cares, and we will provide care  to students who need our help. We are extending one-time service eligibility to students (including recent May 2020 graduates) for urgent counseling or Covid-19 related care to help relieve the extraordinary stress of this moment in time. Provider care (medical and mental health) is available by TeleHealth to all USC students residing in California; workshops and “Let’s Talk” drop-ins are available to students regardless of current location.

Services Update

As of June 1, 2020, USC students who are out of eligibility (not enrolled in services through the Summer Health Fee) but whom were eligible in Spring 2020 may be seen for one visit for the following urgent circumstances: urgent mental health appointment, or testing and treatment for Covid-19 related exposures and symptoms. This service extension applies through June 30, 2020 and includes recent class of 2020 graduates. Call 213-740-9355 (WELL) for appointments.

Summer Operations

Student Health services will continue to be in operation for all our services, including all the TeleHealth care that has recently been launched — primary care, injury/illness care, mental health services, and continuing public health monitoring, prevention, and care for COVID-19 patients. For continuing students and recent graduates, USC Student Health (Counseling and Mental Health Services, Medical Services) can continue to be your provider from May 23 through August 14, 2020; sign up for summer coverage by contacting studenthealth@usc.edu. 

Mental Well-Being: A self-paced online exploration

Mental Well-being for Students

The self-paced module, “Mental Well-being for Students” (available by logging in through TrojanLearn) was developed in partnership with the Jed Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults.

“Let’s Talk” Drop-in Schedule for Students

Counseling and Mental Health Services invites students for virtual “Let’s Talk” sessions. Log in to usc.edu/myshr to sign up and get the Zoom link. Students can drop in and share what they are going through with the current disruption from COVID-19 and social distancing, in a discussion facilitated by a clinician. (Schedule subject to change, check “workshops” tab in MySHR for most up to date schedule.) Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 12 – 1 pm:  Lets Talk About Coping and Connecting. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12 – 1 pm: Workshop— Thriving During COVID.

Operational Update from USC Student Health

3/20: In alignment with the “Safer at Home” order for control of COVID-19 issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on March 19, the following operational changes are in effect for USC Student Health as of March 20, 2020. Telehealth visits are strongly recommended as the primary route for patient visits; available appointments are viewable through the student health record portal, MySHR, https://usc.edu/myshr. Respiratory care protocols are in effect for patient care. All in-person routine and “well” visits are temporarily suspended.