COVID-19 Surge Operations Update

Dec. 23, 2021

TO:  USC Students, Faculty and University Staff

RE:  COVID-19 Surge Operations Update

FR:  Sarah Van Orman, MD, MMM, FACHA, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health

Los Angeles County is experiencing a growing surge of COVID-19 cases, which we are also seeing in the USC population. Current USC test positivity rates are at 10%.

To adjust to the expected volume of positive cases over the next weeks during this surge, contact tracing is now largely automated through a MySHR secure message form. The following instructions are now in place:

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should follow the LA County Department of Public Health guidelines for isolation.

  • You are required to isolate for 10 days from your onset of symptoms or the date of your positive test, whichever came first.
  • You are required to isolate if you receive a positive even if you do not have symptoms.
  • You are required to isolate even if you are retested and have a negative test.
  • Isolation means staying in your home except to seek needed medical care.
  • You are required to isolate even if you have no symptoms or mild symptoms.

If you have tested through USC Student Health, you will automatically receive a contact tracing interview form via secure message. Notify any close contacts of exposure to COVID-19.

If you are fully vaccinated and receive information that you have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, you should arrange to test and should self-monitor for symptoms. You may continue to work and continue normal activities if you are not symptomatic. You do not need to contact USC for exposures to positive individuals.

Close contacts include anyone you spent more than 15 minutes within 6 feet while you are infectious. You are infectious starting 48 hours before your onset of symptoms; if asymptomatic, 48 hours prior to the date of your positive test.

Please complete the interview form as accurately as possible. Include information about any high-risk medical conditions you have. If you are a faculty or staff employee and have a high-risk medical condition or concern about your symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.

If you are a student and have high-risk medical conditions, or have worsening symptoms, call Student Health, 213-740-9355 (WELL) for additional evaluation. High-risk medical conditions include the following:

  • Age >65
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Immunosuppression
  • Cardiovascular disease or hypertension
  • Chronic Lung Disease
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Questions may be directed to the COVID-19 Response Center, which is operational until 7 pm daily, seven days a week: 213-740-6291, covid19@usc.edu.