A cluster of 15 positive cases of the coronavirus have been identified on the Row in the last few days, Chief Health Officer Dr. Sarah Van Orman announced in a communitywide email Thursday.
Van Orman also shared results of USC Student Health’s coronavirus testing within the University community beginning March 16, announcing that 5.1% of students and 5.2% of employees, which include staff and faculty, have tested positive for the virus.
Those numbers spiked to 6% and 6.5% for students and employees, respectively, in the week from June 28 to July 4. 1,432 students and employees have been tested in total.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Health, the number of people who have tested positive in proportion to tests administered in L.A. County is about 11% — a 5% greater positivity rate than that from three weeks ago.
“We are writing to you at a time when Los Angeles County is seeing unparalleled growth in transmission and percentage of positive cases in our community,” Van Orman wrote.
Those who have tested positive in the community are currently in self-isolation or are being privately transported to isolation.
The numbers of individuals who have tested positive will be updated weekly on the University’s coronavirus website. These figures do not include members of the community who were tested outside of Student Health.
For students, faculty and staff who test positive, Student Health will perform contact tracing by notifying any individuals who may have had exposure to the virus and providing recommendations on quarantine and testing options. Students will receive wellness check-ins and care from Student Health, while employees will receive wellness check-ins from Student Health but care from their current providers.
Van Orman encouraged all members of the USC community to adhere to social distancing guidelines, wear a face covering and practice frequent hygiene measures. The email stressed that students and employees should follow these precautions at home and on campus as the University allows some students to return in a low-density environment.
“We expect those in our community to follow all guidance issued by USC for returning to campus – this guidance is designed to keep us safe,” Van Orman wrote. “We all must do our part. This is especially important at this moment, as the next three weeks are critical to keeping hospitals from being overwhelmed with cases of severely ill patients.”
Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly cited an increase in cases from the week of July 28 – July 4 instead of June 28 – July 4. The article was updated at 2:04 p.m. on Friday, June 10 to reflect the accurate information. The Daily Trojan regrets the error.