2/23/2020 Study abroad and travel updates for COVID-19

TO: USC Students, Faculty and Staff

FROM:   Charles F. Zukoski,Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Felicia A. Washington, Senior Vice President for Human Resources; Winston B. Crisp, Vice President for Student Affairs; Anthony Bailey, Vice President for Strategic and Global Initiatives

DATE: February 23, 2020

SUBJECT: Study abroad and travel updates for COVID-19

We want to provide important new guidance regarding international travel as the situation for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to evolve. There are reports of increasing cases in areas such as South Korea and Japan, and new outbreaks in Italy. With these developments we are closely evaluating university associated international travel to ensure we can best support our faculty, staff and students. There have been no cases at USC.

(Note: Starting on Feb. 28, USC has implemented a standalone website to make it easier to get updates about current university policy and activity regarding COVID-19. Visit the website, www.usc.edu/coronavirus/, for the latest information.)

In order to ensure the continued safety and our close communications with all members of our community who are studying, working and traveling abroad, please see the additional measures below:

For Students:

  • If you are studying abroad in an affected area and wish to voluntarily return home from study, please contact your program administrator and our COVID-19 hotline at 213-740-6291. We will support travel needs and discuss academic continuation options in each of your individual cases.
  • Should the travel condition in the area where you are studying reach the CDC Level 3 or U.S. State Department Level 4 travel advisory, which is currently the case in China only, we will require that you leave the area. Our office of Campus Support & Intervention will immediately contact you to facilitate your safe departure and inform you about academic continuity plans.

For Faculty and Staff:

  • To ensure we are able to immediately contact and support all of our employees who are traveling, you are now required to upload your itineraries for all university-related travel into Concur. For guidance on this process, please follow this link, https://businessservices.usc.edu/travel/ (see “Travel Safety” > “Duty of Care”). This system will automatically send you travel alerts and text messages.
  • Any employee seeking travel to a CDC Level 3 or State Department Level 4 country must receive prior written approval from your Dean and the VP for Global Initiatives.

As a reminder, the risk of contracting this illness remains low in the United States. To prevent the spread of many infections please practice good respiratory hygiene including frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home while you are sick.

Any students who are feeling worried or concerned for family or friends overseas should contact Counseling and Mental Health Services in USC Student Health at 213-740-9355 (WELL). Faculty and staff are encouraged to call the Center for Work and Family Life at 213-821-0800. Campus Support & Intervention is also available for any university audience at 213-740-0411. We are all here for you.

For general questions or comments about COVID-19, please call 213-740-6291 or email studenthealth@usc.edu. You can find all the latest information at our campus emergency website, including frequently asked questions.

Your safety, well-being and ability to continue your regular university activities remain the highest priorities for the entire leadership of USC.