July 15, 2021
TO: USC Students, Faculty and University Staff
FR: Sarah Van Orman, MD MMM FACHA, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health,
Keck Medicine of USC; Division Chief for College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC
RE: Health Alert: Indoor Masking Required, Effective Immediately
In alignment with the LA County Department of Public Health Public Health Officer Order announced today, USC is now requiring masking indoors for all individuals in campus facilities, including vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, to protect yourself and others from transmission.
Los Angeles County has seen a recent rise in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks, confirming a trend of rising transmission among unvaccinated individuals. For the first time since March, Los Angeles County has reported more than 1,500 new cases daily. There is also growing concern about the Delta variant, which is highly transmissible and now has been detected in all 50 states in the U.S., and accounts for the vast majority of cases currently identified in LA County.
Throughout the duration of the pandemic, we have seen a matching rate of cases in our campus communities when surges have occurred in LA County. A rise in cases increases the risk of increasing variants that may defeat progress made by vaccination efforts. The following guidance can protect you and your close loved ones, and protect classmates, co-workers, activity partners and the community at large.
Vaccines have proven to be safe and effective protection against COVID-19. See the current vaccine clinic schedule for the UPC campus; all USC students, faculty and staff are welcome to make an appointment for the Pfizer 2-dose series or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines. Learn the facts about vaccines so you can make well-informed decisions. Vaccine appointments are also available at Keck Medicine of USC on the HSC campus.
· Approximately 89% of people who tested positive for the Delta variant in L.A. County in June were either unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated. Because of increased intermingling and summer social activities and the circulation of more variants of concern like the highly transmissible Delta variant, LA County Dept of Public Health continues to caution there is increased risk of COVID-19 infection for people who aren’t fully vaccinated.
Stay safe and stay well as we navigate this next phase of the pandemic.