Health Advisory on COVID-19 and Advancing into the Yellow Tier

Although guidance on masking and distancing in informal personal settings, especially among vaccinated individuals, may be changing as the vaccines are now more widely available, the University is currently maintaining a work and academic environment that adheres to the 6 ft. physical distancing, low workplace density, and masking requirements. On-campus events, activities, and in-person work continues to be limited to activities previously approved through the restart process. This will remain in place until Los Angeles County updates guidelines for institutions of higher education and the University’s reviews and issues additional guidelines. Wearing face coverings and remaining physically distanced from others is required on campus. While fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to complete surveillance testing, all USC faculty, university staff and students may continue to access COVID-19 testing with USC Student Health’s Pop Testing sites. If you are planning summer travel, please also be advised of important reminders about California (CDPH) and CDC Travel Advisories.

Continuity of Care for Summer 2021

As we are approaching the end of the spring semester, we remind all students that the Spring Student Health Fee coverage period formally ends on May 23, 2021. Students who would like to continue accessing services (primary care visits, illness/injury visits, immunizations, mental health visits, group therapy, workshops) through USC Student Health over the summer may opt-in for the summer health fee for either one or both summer session periods.

USC Athletics to Transition Student-Athlete Care to Keck Medicine of USC

As you may have read from Keck Medicine of USC, the care of USC Athletics sports medicine will become part of USC Student Health’s portfolio of patient care. We have created strong partnerships with USC Athletics, especially as safety of student athletes practicing and competing during the pandemic has been part of the strong work of our teams throughout the past year. This builds on the superb care established earlier with our sports psychology team in Counseling and Mental Health Services.

Wellness and Prevention Programming for Students

As we prepare for the final wellness days of the semester, we are pleased to announce the programs for our last two wellness days, an expansion of our embedded counselor model, and the launch of an education and harm reduction program to address opioids. Counseling and Mental Health Services announces the largest expansion of the Embedded Counselors model, a program that brings Counseling and Mental Health clinicians more closely into specific student communities, based on areas of need. The embedded counselor model was initiated when USC received insight on student’s well-being through an annual survey of student well-being (2019 Healthy Minds data).

Students Educating Students: NaloxoneSC Distribution Program in the USC School of Pharmacy

“Prevention programs such as Naloxone SC are an important aspect of population health for college students,” says Dr. Sarah Van Orman, chief health officer and division chief for college health at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Partnering with the students who created this program is particularly gratifying, as they are familiar first-hand with contemporary issues and norms in college culture. They have put tremendous thought and research into creating this program, and we hope this will educate students and save lives.”

Embedded Counselors: Meeting students where they are

College can be stressful but finding help shouldn’t be. To further support students on campus, Counseling and Mental Health Services is expanding a model of care called embedded counselors—where therapists are situated within a cultural community, a school, or other environment that is comfortable to students and where the therapist can become more deeply engaged with the population. The program began earlier in the year as mental health professionals were placed in the cultural centers in SEIP (Student Equity and Inclusivity Programs) and a few key professional schools. The program is now debuting its largest program, with five counselors in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Update on CDC/FDA-recommended pause on J&J/Janssen vaccine

Following the CDC/FDA announcement of April 13, the USC Student Health vaccinations scheduled at the Lyon Center for April 15 and 16 will now be switched from J&J/Janssen to Pfizer first doses. Patients are advised to prioritize their schedules to receive a second dose given 21 days after the first dose; this may impact student plans related to travel after the academic semester ends. A second dose will be reserved for you at Student Health; you will receive a reminder to schedule your second dose within 7 days of the 21-day milestone.

When COVID-19 vaccinations began, the USC community sprang into action

From day one of distribution to today, Trojans have been delivering vaccines to hard-hit communities, volunteering at mega-sites and ensuring that hundreds of thousands of shots get into arms. The numbers tell the story: Since Pfizer received emergency approval for its COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December, quick efforts by USC have contributed to more than 800,000 people in Los Angeles getting inoculated.

Leadership Message on SAAM and Denim Day

This April, as we acknowledge Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), we are sharing with you some information and resources to become better educated and aware of sexual assault and sexual and gender-based harassment, and the resources on campus that are available for survivors. SAAM offers a unique opportunity to learn about and discuss this difficult and important topic throughout the month of April, and will culminate with a day to show support for survivors on Denim Day, April 28. We encourage all students to learn about these resources, use our toolkit to spark conversations on preventing sexual and gender-based harm and how to be an upstander, and encourage others to learn more. For the survivors, we acknowledge your courage and resilience, and hope the resources through our programs and services will help support you in moving toward healing. We know we can, and will, and must, do more, until relationship-based, sexually-based, gender-based, and power-based harm is eliminated from our community.