9/3: Guidance for Upcoming Long Weekend

To: USC Students, Faculty and Staff

From: Sarah Van Orman, MD, MMM, FACHA, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health, Division Chief for College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Date: September 3, 2020

Subject: Guidance for Upcoming Long Weekend

As we approach the Labor Day weekend, we hope you find time to rest and recharge. Many students will be looking for ways to engage in activities, both virtual and in person, with the extra time away from class schedules. The following is guidance on ways in the local area to enjoy the time off while staying safe and keeping others safe from COVID-19:

In–Person: Outdoor time is one of the best ways you can recharge away from the stressors of academic life.

  • Parks and hiking trails in Los Angeles are open; if taking rideshares or public transportation, maintain a safe distance from others and wear a face covering at all times.
  • Walks or bike rides around the neighborhood with a friend (maintaining distance and face coverings) is a benefit to your emotional and physical well-being.
  • Beaches are open for safe, physically distanced activities, including walking, swimming and surfing.
  • If renting equipment, bring hand sanitizer to help keep yourself and others safe.


At this time, due to the current prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, the University strongly advises against travel during the Labor Day weekend. Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. COVID-19 cases and deaths have been reported in all 50 states and in many international locations. If it’s not essential for you to travel, it’s best for you to postpone your trip. And if you’re sick or have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, you shouldn’t travel. If you choose to travel, review helpful information from USC Environmental Health and Safety in this Domestic Travel Safety Guide:

  • Don’t travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Avoid attending large social gatherings, crowds and mass gatherings.
  • Do not travel on cruise ships.
  • Review your travel destination to determine if the area is experiencing high levels of COVID-19.
  • Consider being tested when you return.

For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html


When around others, always continue to practice safe measures: wear face coverings; maintain six feet distance from others; avoid eating/drinking in proximity with others; avoid gatherings; clean common surfaces frequently; frequently wash hands and sanitize.

If you experience any symptoms of COVID-19 described below, or have had an exposure (within 6 feet, 15 minutes or longer) to someone who has tested positive, do not participate in activities, begin self-isolation, and call USC Student Health at 213-740-9355 (WELL).

Chills or fever of 100 degrees or higher; loss of taste or smell; muscle soreness or headaches or fatigue; cough or runny nose or sore throat or congestion; difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; conjunctivitis (“pinkeye” inflammation of the eye including redness, itching and tearing) along with feeling feverish; gastrointestinal symptoms (stomach upset, such as abdominal pain or diarrhea or nausea or vomiting).


All students in the USC vicinity (in both USC Housing and in private off-campus residences) are encouraged to participate in weekly surveillance “Pop Testing.” Pop Testing is a valuable tool in keeping asymptomatic spread from developing in our community. Pop Testing should not be used if you are experiencing symptoms—call 213-740-9355 (WELL) if you have symptoms. Quick contact tracing will be initiated by our nurse team; the interviewers will respect and protect your identity and privacy, while also keeping your close contacts and other members of the community safe from transmission. This is especially important if you have had any activities involving close contact with others.

For questions, concerns and comments regarding USC and COVID-19, contact the response center at 213-740-6291, or email covid19@usc.edu.

We appreciate the measures that many students are taking to learn and support each other, keeping fellow Trojans safe from COVID-19.  Keep fighting on, together, as we navigate the challenges of the pandemic.

Stay safe and stay well.

cc: Office of the President

Office of the Provost

Academic Deans

President’s Senior Leadership Team

Provost’s Leadership Team

Academic Senate

Staff Assembly

GSG President

USG President