Update on COVID-19 Procedures (5/2/22)

May 3, 2022

To:       USC Community

Fr:        Sarah Van Orman, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health

Division Chief for College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC

RE:       Update on COVID-19 Procedures

The following information provides updated guidance on campus procedures related to COVID-19 safety and public health notifications to our campus community.

Currently, Los Angeles County is experiencing in increase of cases, with a 40% increase in positive cases this week over previous weeks. The weekly case rate is now 126 cases per 100,000 residents, placing the county back in the category of high transmission. We are seeing a similar increase of cases on campus.

As we move into the end of the semester, we want to ask everyone to help mitigate spread and protect yourself and others. Use of well-fitting medical grade masks or respirators when indoors around others is strongly recommended.

Masking is most effective when there is both a good fit (no gaps, covering the nose, mouth, chin) and good filtration.

Keeping your vaccines up to date, with boosters if eligible, is also strongly recommended.

COVID-19 NOTIFICATIONS

In keeping with the state and county’s revised definition of “close contact” (someone sharing the same indoor space for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) the university is revising its COVID-19 notification practices. This change is needed to ensure compliance with the new definition.

Beginning on Wednesday, May 4, all currently enrolled students and all university employees will receive a daily email message with an update on reported cases. A sample message is attached. The message contains a link to the daily report of cases, and instructions for individuals who believe that they have been in close contact with a positive individual.

Notifications regarding employees who report being positive and on campus during their infectious period will be shared with supervisors and human resources partners, who will in turn distribute notifications to impacted work groups. Accurate email addresses for specific close contacts provided by positive individuals will also receive university notifications.

PROTOCOL REMINDERS

All students and employees are reminded to stay home from work/class if they are experiencing symptoms.

  • Pop testing is available to you; schedule a test in MySHR.
  • If you test positive (either through USC Student Health or through a home antigen kit) begin isolation and complete the contact tracing form in MySHR. [“Contact Tracing Form for Persons with a Positive COVID-19 Test” form is located in MySHR > Messages > New Message.] See the complete instructions for individuals with positive test results.
  • The contact tracing form contains instructions and a link for students to request isolation accommodations in the USC Hotel.
  • Notify any personal close contacts you may have had during your infectious period (48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms; or 48 hours prior to the test date if you are asymptomatic.) If you enter accurate email address in the “close contacts” field, these individuals will receive university notifications.
  • If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should monitor yourself closely for symptoms. Wear a well-fitting medical grade mask or respirators while indoors and schedule a COVID test 3-5 days after exposure. See the complete instructions for individuals exposed to COVID-19.
  • Consider testing before you leave campus and travel home, especially if you have contact with individuals at higher risk.

If you have questions regarding COVID-19 at USC, please visit coronavirus.usc.edu, or contact covid19@usc.edu, tel: 213-740-6291.

Stay safe and stay well, and good luck on finals!


SAMPLE LETTER IS BELOW:

Dear USC Student / Faculty member / Staff member:

We recently received information about confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the USC campuses. This information is updated and shared daily during weekday operations for the campuses. Because your health and safety are important, please read the information below and follow the instructions outlined below.

The Process for Positive Cases

When positive results are either 1) provided to individuals who have tested through USC Student Health or 2) a student or employee notifies us that they have tested positive outside USC, those individuals are advised to notify their personal close contacts, and to complete the contact tracing form in MySHR (https://usc.edu/myshr). The contact tracing form contains information for positive students to obtain isolation accommodations through the university at the USC Hotel, and fields to enter email addresses for known close contacts during their infectious period.

 

Notification to USC Employees

 

The information reported by positive individuals about workplace exposures to USC employees are further relayed through supervisors and HR partners. Information is also sent to USC employees whose email address has been provided on the contact tracing form. If you are a supervisor with unit employees who do not regularly access email, or who have limited English proficiency, please ensure that this information is appropriately circulated to your teams.

There are xx new cases reported today, May xx, 2022.

Please click on the “Daily Digest” icon below to see the locations where individuals have reporting being present, including a list of classes that positive individuals are registered to attend, campus housing units, and other known campus locations as reported by the individuals. De-identified details of locations on campus reported by positive individuals are also shared on this page. This information is available to all USC community members in compliance with California law (AB 685) and to curb transmission of COVID-19 on our campuses.

After reviewing the list of locations, if you believe you may have been in close contact proximity of a positive individual, (sharing the same indoor airspace for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during an infected person’s infectious period) please follow the instructions for an exposure to a positive individual. This page also contains information regarding hygiene and infection prevention, testing, and leave and other benefits available to employees.

COVID notification iconTo view this information, you must be logged out of a personal Gmail account, and logged in to your USC account, in order to access this site. Use your primary USC NetID; school/unit-based subdomain accounts (“med,” “law,” “marshall,” etc.,) will cause you to see a 404 error.

For instructions on how to log in to USC Google G-Suite apps using your USC NetID, visit the ITS instruction page.