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As part of the 1A phase of the vaccination roll-out, health professional students, faculty and staff who are in direct contact with patients or collected specimens have been invited to sign-up for their vaccinations at the Lyons Center. Those in the 1A phase include faculty, staff and students of the Keck School of Medicine, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, and the USC School of Pharmacy. The dental faculty, students, and staff were also invited as the first group to be vaccinated at UPC. Dean Avishai Sadan and Associate Dean Douglas Solow were on hand to support their students as they were vaccinated. The Ostrow School not only were the patients in the vaccine rollout, they were also actively assisting, sending dozens of D.D.S. students to volunteer in preparing the vaccines in the USC Student Health immunization clinic and assisting at the vaccine site.
REQUIRED TESTING: Faculty, Staff and Students (Weekly/Semi-weekly Testing)
Surveillance Testing (Pop Testing 3.0):Undergraduate students who reside in USC Housing or come onto our campuses will be required to test twice weekly for COVID-19. Graduate and professional students, faculty, and staff who come onto our campuses will be required to test once weekly. These required tests will be provided by the University at no cost to our current students, faculty and staff. Tests are PCR (polymerase chain reaction); Keck Medicine of USC Clinical Laboratories is providing the laboratory services for this program which will replace the COLOR program for most individuals. For the University Park Campus (UPC), perimeter access is granted to individuals who have completed compliance on Trojan Check. For the Health Sciences Campus (HSC), access points are by building; academic and research buildings require Trojan Check. Please see the HSC building list for additional details.
Join Dr. Sarah Van Orman, Chief Health Officer for USC Student Health, for January 2021 updates on the current situation in Los Angeles County (including the 10-day quarantine for people traveling from outside of the Southern California region), COVID-19 spring testing at USC, and the vaccine phases as it applies to California and campus.
If you are notified that you have had an exposure to a COVID-19 individual, you may have a shortened quarantine period of 10 days from date of exposure. Your return-to-work instruction letter from USC Student Health will provide the date, and instructions for self-monitoring, 213-740-9355 (WELL). You may access your test results, dates, and your other private health information from the secure electronic health records portal, MySHR (usc.edu/myshr).
When the USC Student Health contact tracing team member contacts you, they are only focused on one thing: keeping you healthy, and keeping your friends and co-workers safe from COVID-19. Team members who are health professionals will ask about your symptoms, and about others you may have had close contact with during the time you may have been infectious. Your patient privacy matters to USC Student Health. Your name will not be shared with those who are notified.
For the January 2021 start of spring term, the Keck Medicine of USC team, in partnership with campus operational teams working around the clock, have spearheaded a plan that will greatly scale our community surveillance program for COVID-19.
Testing capacity for fall 2020 was 5,000 tests per week; for spring 2021, capacity will be expanded to 100,000 per week. An expansion of 50 health care staffing positions, including additional contact tracing, will support this daily testing operation, with locations at HSC (Pappas Quad) and UPC (Pardee/Marks, Fluor/King, Jefferson Lot/Engemann Plaza, and the addition of The Lab/Figueroa).
For students, faculty, and staff planning travel to China, please be advised of the testing requirement that “Starting from 0:00 on November 6 Pacific Time, passengers whose final destination is China (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) must provide nucleic acid negative test certificate and IgM anti-body negative test certificate to the Chinese embassy/ consulates in the United States.” The full policy is online from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. Students who need to find a local service to fulfill these testing requirements may utilize USC Pharmacies, that are now offering perform IgG/IgM point of care testing. The cost is $25; the testing time is approximately 15 minutes and the patient will be provided with the results. Kroger Health COVID Care, located through Ralph’s Supermarkets in-house pharmacy services, also provides services.
This past week, we have seen an increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in both student and employee populations; currently there are 29 active patient cases, up from a low of 8 average weekly cases two weeks ago. In addition to the cases where there was a clear exposure (a total of 15 minutes or longer, within 6 ft., over a 24-hour period) to someone positive with COVID-19, there has also been an increase in positivity in the surveillance testing of individuals without known exposures. In many cases, the transmission has been through close contact with just a small number of people—small gatherings with family and friends, study groups, and travel.