From Sarah Van Orman, MD, MMM, FACHA, Chief Health Officer USC Student Health Division Chief of College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC
As Los Angeles County has moved into the Orange Tier—indicating “moderate” transmission of COVID-19—and vaccination rates in Los Angeles continue to trend in the direction that take us further into broad re-openings, we are thankful to our community for making safe precautions a priority as we move forward.
Regarding COVID-19 vaccines, LA County has recently announced that:
• April 1 will open vaccine eligibility to individuals over the age of 50; and
• April 15 will open vaccine eligibility to all over the age of 16.
We encourage our community to plan for vaccination as soon as you are eligible. Appointments are added on a regular basis as vaccine doses are received; please check the following websites for availability:
California State My Turn website
City of Los Angeles scheduling website (this includes the LA Fire Department/Flower Street clinic location at USC, staffed by the USC School of Pharmacy)
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health website lists comprehensive resources, including retail pharmacy chains with appointments
Delivery of vaccine doses vary from week to week, so check often for new dates that are added.
USC Student Health vaccinations continue at the Lyon Center, based on available doses. Please seek all avenues for appointments as soon as you are eligible. All three vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – are highly effective in preventing severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalization and death. The best vaccine is the one available to you as soon as possible.
For students: As the end of the semester approaches, please consider that vaccines are at full effectiveness two weeks post-vaccination. If you plan to travel after the semester ends in May, it may be advisable to seek the single-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine (if appointments are available); or delay travel for two weeks after your second dose if you take either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
For students, faculty and staff: The section for uploading vaccine completion (photos of cards suffice) has been renamed Upload Documents—(previously listed as “Downloadable Forms.)” Faculty, staff and students who get vaccinated outside of Student Health should upload photos or scans of vaccine cards (after each dose) at https://usc.edu/myshr. If you choose not to be vaccinated at this time, please complete the declination form.
As of April 1, the influenza season officially ends, with an historically low incidence of flu illness. We thank our community for getting flu vaccines. Your actions have undoubtedly kept additional cases from impacting care in our emergency departments and urgent care centers in Los Angeles. Influenza completion will no longer impact Trojan Check access as of the April 1 date.
COVID-19 is not yet eradicated in the community, so we remind all individuals to continue using Trojan Check and getting tested regularly (twice weekly for undergraduates; once weekly for graduate students, faculty, and staff) even if you have completed vaccination, as infection is still possible. Any positive cases at a campus or workplace location will be communicated to potentially exposed employees/students by email within 24 hours. Please check your USC email regularly for official communications from the university. Notifications of positive cases are also posted through coronavirus.usc.edu.
As of April 1, USC will pilot a “Tap for Tracing” station at five outdoor locations:
• Seeds RTCC
• McCarthy Lawn Dining Tent
• Rosso Oro’s
• Seaver Hall (SRH on the HSC campus)
• Transportation tram (pilot)
By tapping your USC ID card at these stations, you can ensure you will receive an email notification if an individual who tests positive has been at that location.
Please complete the space reservation feature in Trojan Check (if you are generally at one location throughout the day) and also ensure your workplace location is accurate in Workday to receive relevant location-based notifications. Your HR partner can make changes to correct a location if the information needs to be updated.
We thank everyone who has worked so hard to adhere to these safety measures. Adapting to these difficult circumstances has brought out the best of our Trojan Family for the health and safety of all.
Stay safe and stay well.