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

May 6, 2021

From Sarah Van Orman, MD, MMM, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health, Division Chief of College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC; and Deona Willes, MPH, CLS, Executive Director of USC Environmental Health and Safety

As Los Angeles County has reached a milestone in meeting the requirements (vaccine equity, decreased rate of hospitalizations and deaths, declining test positivity) for moving into the State of California’s least restrictive yellow tier, we can expect to see a steady increase in capacity for in-person activities throughout the region and the state.

We have worked very hard as a community to move toward this moment, due in large part to the availability of vaccines and the responsibilities each of us has taken to heart to protect one another: testing, working with contact tracers, quarantining and isolating, and now, getting vaccinated.

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 these important reminders about California (CDPH) and CDC Travel Advisories:

If you are unvaccinated:

  • Get tested 1-3 days before travel, and 3-5 days after travel
  • After travel, self-quarantine for 7 days, no matter what your test results were. If you didn’t get tested, self-quarantine for 10 days.

If you are vaccinated:

  • After travel, self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • You do NOT need to get tested or self-quarantine if you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months.

Questions about COVID-19 may be directed to the COVID response team at covid19@usc.edu, 213-740-6291.

Stay safe and stay well.