Effective immediately, masks will no longer be required on campus for those that have been fully vaccinated and have submitted their vaccination record to the MySHR portal, the Office of the Provost announced in an email to staff Tuesday. The decision comes a day before USC resumes in-person classes for the second summer session.
While the University plans to return to in-person classes for the fall, USC anticipates for most students and faculty to resume some form of in-person work in the coming weeks as different schools and departments begin creating individualized resumption plans.
“Whether you are back in person or working in a hybrid capacity, our vaccination and masking policies are focused on keeping the Trojan community safe, enabling the university to meet our teaching, research and community engagement missions, and being compliant with the latest health guidelines,” the email read.
The memo also stated that USC will require all employees and students to continue self-reporting their daily symptoms through TrojanCheck. Masks will still be required while riding on public transit, including all USC shuttle buses and in healthcare settings, including Keck Medicine of USC facilities. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health strongly recommends mask wearing in indoor public settings, including those who are fully vaccinated, as the Delta coronavirus variant, which is twice as transmissible as other coronavirus strains, continues to become widespread. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Delta variant is now the third-most common strain in California.
With the exception of being alone in a private office or eating or drinking while socially distanced, students and faculty who are not vaccinated are still required to wear masks indoors at all USC campuses. Unvaccinated students, faculty and staff must continue to get regularly tested for the coronavirus — once per week for faculty, staff and graduate students and twice per week for undergraduate students. According to the email, those who are unvaccinated may be unable to participate in activities and events that require a fully vaccinated status for attendance.
On March 5, the University announced they would require all students to receive full vaccinations with the exception for medical or religious reasons. Students are required to submit their vaccination status or an exemption or declination form to the MySHR portal by July 15, Provost Charles Zukoski and Senior Vice President of Human Resources Felicia Washington stated in the email.
International students who have applied for housing and are unable to get vaccinated by July 15 will be expected to notify student housing and receive their vaccination upon arrival,a memo issued June 18 states. Students who arrive to campus from outside of the United States and are not fully vaccinated must adhere to a seven-day quarantine.