Date: June 30, 2020
To: USC Employees on Campus
Sarah Van Orman, M.D., MMM, FACHA, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health Division Chief of College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC
Felicia A. Washington, Senior Vice President of Human Resources
Re: COVID-19 Campus Health Advisory
Recent data from the California Department of Public Health and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is confirming a rise in cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations. Approximately one month ago there were roughly 1,000 new cases per week; last week that rate had increased to roughly 1,900 new cases per week and is now likely higher.
On campus, we have seen a matching increase in positive cases among our employees and students. Over the past three days alone, we have tested more than 150 individuals, mainly USC employees, for COVID-19 testing.
In light of the rising cases in Los Angeles, we remind employees on campus to adhere to the following safety requirements:
Safe physical distancing (6 ft.) and diligent face covering wearing when around co-workers and others on campus. As COVID-19 has turned up in members of our community, adherence to these two requirements has kept their co-workers safe. To date no transmissions between co-workers have been found, largely because of these two measures.
Co-worker exposures have almost entirely involved food breaks and meals. This is one of the riskiest activities for transmission, so please use safe distancing when eating, and:
- Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance while eating;
- Eat alone when possible, preferably outside;
- Avoid eating in shared breakrooms if unable to maintain physical distancing;
- Do not bring in food for sharing;
- Do not use common serving utensils;
- Serve individually packaged foods only (wrapped sandwiches, boxed lunches, bottled drinks).
An employee who tests positive for COVID-19 should notify USC through the hotline number, 213-740-6291. An employee who has been exposed does not need to notify the hotline; they can make arrangements for testing at USC Student Health by calling 213-740-9355 (WELL).