August 11, 2020
Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
As we prepare to start the new academic year, we know that each one of us wants to be safe and remain healthy. If there is one thing this global pandemic has taught us, it is that we each share personal responsibility. All of us at USC have to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols and requirements issued by the CDC, LA County Department of Public Health (LADPH), and other health authorities.
All faculty and staff whose jobs can continue to be performed remotely will continue to work remotely. Faculty approved to be onsite to enable online teaching may do so, but should minimize their time on campus. We ask all other employees to please not report onsite unless notified by a department chair or supervisor and in accordance with an approved University Project Restart plan of the department or unit, which follows local, state, and federal guidelines. The University is committed to observing public health directives to manage onsite population density.
For the safety of all of us, USC offers one-time mandatory training and daily mandatory screening for those employees who are approved to work onsite. No employee should come to campus or to a USC facility without completing the one-time training and the daily screening.
An essential part of our social contract is not to expose others in our community to risks, so we are counting on you to abide by these health and safety measures necessary to protect our University community while onsite at USC:
- Wear an effective face covering at all times except when inside a private office. (Note that USC is providing face coverings for all employees and students.)
- Wear assigned PPE as required by departments and job functions.
- Abide by physical distancing requirements everywhere on campus; this includes while walking on campus, during breaks and lunch, and while participating in meetings.
- Follow USC signage regarding health and safety requirements.
- Complete Trojan Check daily and accurately, and make reservations before visiting designated spaces that require reservations (e.g., labs).
- Keep personal and shared spaces (e.g., break and copy rooms) sanitary and regularly wash hands.
- Avoid non-essential travel, and quarantine for 14 days after returning from international travel.
- Participate in COVID-19 testing as required by USC.
- Quarantine for 14 days as required by the LA County Department of Public Health in the event of exposure to COVID-19.
- Self-isolate, cooperate with USC and the LA County Department of Public Health for contact tracing purposes, and alert USC upon receiving a positive result from a COVID-19 test.
- Remain aware of evolving University instruction on COVID-19 health and safety requirements, and comply with that instruction.
The safety measures above have been recommended by our own faculty and staff committee of experts and by the public health authorities, who have determined that taking these steps is critical to safeguard the health of the faculty, staff, and students with whom we come in contact. Whatever our individual views, we ask each of you, in the spirit of personal accountability, to meet these measures and to remind others to do so. Requests for accommodations or interpretations of these measures can be made through the HR Service Center at (213) 821-8100 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and the guidelines are posted on the We Are USC site.
We are asking department chairs and division heads to help faculty carry out these important responsibilities by reminding them, and we ask chairs and heads to notify their deans of willful or repeated non-compliance. Similarly, we are asking all staff supervisors (including faculty who supervise staff) to remind their direct reports of these responsibilities and to notify the HR Partners of any non-compliance.
Additionally, all faculty and staff members can report concerns about non-compliance by any USC employee to the COVID-19 hotline by calling (213) 740-6291. A triage team will work collaboratively with the COVID-19 Safety Committee, the Office of Academic and Faculty Affairs, and HR Partners to promptly resolve COVID compliance challenges that occur in the workplace.
For those who come to campus or to a USC facility, the safety measures listed above are all extremely serious matters, required for the health and safety of our community. Willful refusal to comply or repeated forgetfulness threaten immediate harm to others and will be regarded as neglect of duty that can result in discipline up to and including termination of employment, and immediate administrative leave while the disciplinary process is carried out, under the procedures set forth in the Faculty Handbook and staff policies, the policies and procedures for employees of Keck Medicine of USC and Keck School of Medicine which were developed for the medical enterprise environment, or the progressive discipline practices for employees in represented groups.
We are counting on you to abide by these health and safety measures necessary to protect our University community. An essential part of our social contract is not to expose others in our community to risks. We wish you continued good health. Please take care of yourselves and each other.
Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Senior Vice President of Human Resources