FAQ: General Restart

Below are the answers to general questions related to the campus restart. For health-related information, view the Health and Safety FAQs. See our Events and Activities FAQs for events-related information.

If you have questions that are not answered in our FAQs, please email covid19@usc.edu. Our response team will help find an answer.

Phases

We are currently in Phase 3. This involves:

  • Research activity will be ramped up from 50% of normal capacity to full capacity, while continuing to adhere to physical distancing, PPE, and testing guidelines.
  • Study canopies are now available for individual students to reserve. Guidelines and information on how to make reservations are available on the USC Student Affairs website.
  • USC libraries will allow for higher density, though at reduced capacity compared to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Our museums will begin to reopen, also at reduced capacity. More information will be distributed soon.
  • Outdoor intramural and club sports will resume for students living on or near campus. Sign up for an Intramural Sports league or contact the Recreational Club Council if you are interested.

For additional details, please visit the phases and guidelines section, which includes a link to the official guidelines.

Our strategy is guided by the following principles:

  1. Health and safety come first: Protect the well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and patients – and be there for our neighbors and local community.
  2. Decisions will advance our mission: Ensure the excellence and continuity of our educational programs, student activities, and research, while promoting access and equity.

As a community that supports and respects one another, we must all join the fight against COVID-19. United and committed, we will prevent the virus from spreading. Commit to protect yourself, your peers, your neighbors and the entire Trojan community. When we all thrive, we all succeed. View the commitment.

We are taking a carefully planned phased approach, which we designed in consultation with local health authorities, our own health care experts, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. We are now in Phase 3 of our plan.

In addition, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a set of protocols for higher education that covers policies and practices to protect employee health, maintain physical distancing, control the spread of infection, communicate with employees and the public, and ensure equitable access to critical services. We are working closely with L.A. County officials and will ensure that the university is fully compliant.

For the latest information on Phase 3 guidance, please see the Phase 3 Guidelines (USC Single Sign On required for access).

Our progress from one phase to another will not follow a calendar schedule. Instead, these decisions will be made based on conditions on and around campuses, the continued spread of COVID-19 in Los Angeles, and the need to adhere to federal, state, and local guidance.

Campus Access

USC is proud to be an open and publicly accessible campus. However, due to the unprecedented COVID-19 public health situation, we are currently limiting access. Entry to the University Park Campus will remain limited to certain vehicle and pedestrian entrances, but it will now require those who enter to have completed a daily symptom check using our Trojan Check app. At the Health Sciences Campus, access will continue to be controlled at the building level but will now also require the completion of the daily symptom check via the Trojan Check app as well.

Beginning 1/22, Trojan Check will allow campus access only if you have completed the following:

• completed the appropriate “Health, Hygiene and Safety” online module, accessible through Trojan Learn.

• completed your influenza compliance (see information for students and for employees); receipts, attestation, and exemption forms may be uploaded in the “Downloadable Forms” section of the secure health record portal, https://usc.edu/myshr.

• completed the required COVID-19 testing, Pop Testing 3.0 for the week (or twice weekly, for undergraduate students)

Your Trojan Check sign-in screen will indicate if your compliance is current, or the reason(s) it may be deactivated.

Pedestrian Access/Screening Hours (effective January 4, 2021):

McClintock/Jefferson: 24 hours a day
McCarthy/Figueroa: 6 AM to 9 PM
Trousdale/Jefferson: 6 AM to 9 PM
Trousdale/Exposition: 6 AM to 9 PM
Downey/Vermont: 6 AM to 9 PM
Watt/Jefferson: 6 AM to 9 PM

Community members are welcome to enjoy the campus, but they will be required to complete a wellness attestation via Trojan Check prior to entering campus. You will be required to wear an appropriate face covering and must maintain proper physical distancing during your time on campus.

Students can still come to campus for exercise, but they will be required to complete a wellness attestation via Trojan Check prior to entering campus. Face coverings are required during exercise. Prior to entering campus, students should check the availability of preferred athletic facilities to see if they are open or closed.

Beginning 1/22, Trojan Check will allow campus access only if you have completed the following:

• completed the appropriate “Health, Hygiene and Safety” online module, accessible through Trojan Learn.

• completed your influenza compliance (see information for students and for employees); receipts, attestation, and exemption forms may be uploaded in the “Downloadable Forms” section of the secure health record portal, https://usc.edu/myshr.

• completed the required COVID-19 testing, Pop Testing 3.0 for the week (or twice weekly, for undergraduate students)

Your Trojan Check sign-in screen will indicate if your compliance is current, or the reason(s) it may be deactivated.

You are welcome to come to campus, but you will be required to complete a wellness attestation via Trojan Check prior to entering campus. You will be required to wear an appropriate face covering and must maintain proper physical distancing during your time on campus.

Beginning 1/22, Trojan Check will allow campus access only if you have completed the following:

• completed the appropriate “Health, Hygiene and Safety” online module, accessible through Trojan Learn.

• completed your influenza compliance (see information for students and for employees); receipts, attestation, and exemption forms may be uploaded in the “Downloadable Forms” section of the secure health record portal, https://usc.edu/myshr.

• completed the required COVID-19 testing, Pop Testing 3.0 for the week (or twice weekly, for undergraduate students)

Your Trojan Check sign-in screen will indicate if your compliance is current, or the reason(s) it may be deactivated.

Trojan Check is only required to enter campus and is not enforced at the retail vendors at USC Village. USC Housing at USC Village will require Trojan Check.

No. You will need to make arrangements to meet the recipient at the nearest entrance.

Food delivery services are not considered visitors due to the limited time and interaction with the campus community. They do not need to complete Trojan Check.

Ride hailing services are not considered visitors due to the limited time and interaction with the campus community, and they do not need to complete Trojan Check. It is important to note that these drivers will have limited access to campus after 8 p.m.

Faculty, staff, and student parking at both campuses will begin free for the Spring semester, but you DO need to be displaying a permit at all times. If you have a Fall permit with an expiration date of 12/31/2020, there is no action you currently need to take. Existing Fall permits will be honored as long as the campus remains largely closed.

If, at some point in the Spring, the Department of Public Health lifts restrictions and the campus reopens, we may begin charging for permits at that time. We will notify all permit holders in advance if that scenario comes to pass.

Student Workers

In Phase 3, student work that can be conducted remotely should continue to be done remotely. On-campus student employment will be expanded to permit hiring to support the level and density of campus operations.

Federal work-study aid may be reduced or replaced for students with need who are receiving the Living at Home Grant. We are pursuing additional ways to help students awarded work-study who may have difficulty obtaining a job. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

USC Hotel

USC Hotel now has some of its rooms available to the public, and it also is being used by the university as part of the overall USC response plan to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our reservations and sales teams are currently available to book rooms. Please call the hotel at 213-748-4141 or 1-833-2-BOOK-USC for reservation inquiries or general questions.

The hotel is committed to supporting the university as it responds to the COVID-19 pandemic while providing a limited amount of rooms for its clients and university guests. Please contact the front desk anytime at 213-748-4141 with questions or concerns.

The hotel has implemented rigorous health & safety protocols in accordance with USC Environmental Health & Safety, LA County guidelines, and the CDC. Additionally, the hotel is Clean + Safe certified by the California Hotel & Lodging Association. For more information on our extensive safety and sanitation protocols, please visit https://uschotel.usc.edu/health-and-safety.

The USC Hotel is not currently hosting special events. This is part of our compliance with the City of Los Angeles and USC Department of Health & Safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also do not currently have a confirmed start date as to when we can begin hosting events. However, our event and catering team is available to support your virtual events and to assist you with planning for the future. Please contact our events team at private.events@usc.edu. We look forward to hosting your event in the future.

General Questions

Under the red tier status, the university will take several additional steps that align with Phase 3 of USC’s reopening plan:

-   Research activity will be ramped up from 50% of normal capacity to full capacity, while continuing to adhere to physical distancing, PPE, and testing guidelines.

-   Study canopies are now available for individual students to reserve. Guidelines and information on how to make reservations are available on the USC Student Affairs website.

-   USC libraries will allow for higher density, though at reduced capacity compared to pre-pandemic levels.

-   Our museums will begin to reopen, also at reduced capacity. More information will be distributed soon.

-   Outdoor intramural and club sports will resume for students living on or near campus. Sign up for an Intramural Sports league or contact the Recreational Club Council if you are interested.

Class instruction will remain online for the spring, though some exceptions may be made for coursework that requires students to access labs and studios. Student housing remains by exception only, and indoor dining and the fitness centers will not reopen for the time being.

If conditions continue to improve, we expect to take the following steps towards reopening:

-   Resumption of some in-person courses in the Summer II session (June 30 – August 10) following a mostly remote Summer I session (May 19 – June 29).

-   Residence halls reopened at reduced occupancy.

-   Fitness centers reopened at reduced capacity.

-   Undergraduates will be able to work in laboratories, taking into account all appropriate physical distancing and safety protocols. This includes summer programs for non-USC undergraduates.

-   Depending on public health guidance, travel restrictions and advisories, faculty travel for conferences and research may be restarted.

 

Undergraduate students who enrolled full-time in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 and earned fewer than 30 graded units over the course of the academic year may apply for a summer Academic Progress Scholarship. Students who meet the eligibility criteria will be approved for either one or two degree-applicable online courses. The application period opens on April 1. More information is available here.

Looking ahead to fall, we plan to resume a normal range of campus activities, though with some measures to reduce density where needed. Overall, we expect:

  • Primarily in-person classes.
  • Typical occupancy for USC Housing.
  • Indoor and outdoor dining options for students.
  • Resumption of most student life activities.

All non-essential USC business travel remains suspended until further notice. See additional travel guidance.

The Spring 2021 semester will begin on January 15, with classes ending on April 30, and exams concluding on May 12 for undergraduate students.

Graduate programs may elect to follow the revised calendar as detailed above or adhere to their original calendars. Please consult with your individual programs if you are unsure.

To minimize the risk of the virus spreading due to travel, there will be no spring break. In its place, the university has scheduled five Wellness Days, on which there will be no classes and no classwork expected of students. Students are encouraged to use this time to rest, exercise, and connect with friends and family.

Spring 2021 Wellness Days

  • Friday, March 12
  • Tuesday, March 23
  • Wednesday, April 7
  • Thursday, April 22
  • Friday, April 30

Graduate and professional students should check with their individual programs for information about Spring 2021 Wellness Days/spring recess.

To support members of the Trojan family affected by COVID-19, the university established funds for students, employees, the community and Keck Medicine. For more information on how to donate to or apply for support from these funds, please visit our support funds page.

To see a few examples of how our fellow Trojans are coming together during these challenging times, meet some of our USC heroes.

Right now, health care workers at Keck Medicine of USC’s hospitals and clinics have the gear they need to protect themselves and others as they care for patients with COVID-19.

But with the number of COVID-19 patients rising daily, leaders at Keck Medicine are asking for the community’s help in donating supplies now. That way, supplies will be ready if needed in the coming days and weeks to protect staff and patients at Keck’s academic medical center and outpatient clinics.

If you are able to help with any of the items listed here or are interested in providing other donations, please email DonateProtectiveGear@med.usc.edu.