End of an era: Three years of USC coronavirus policies


April 12, 2023

Effective May 19, the University will no longer require coronavirus vaccinations for students in non-health degree programs, Student Health announced in a Universitywide email Tuesday morning.

The testing sites at Jefferson Boulevard Structure and Pappas Quad will also close on that date. Antigen test kits will be available at USC bookstores, student health centers and Customer Service Centers in USC Housing facilities. Students who have tested positive and are in quarantine will also no longer require a negative antigen test to leave isolation after five days, only no fever for 24 hours and improving symptoms.

This announcement marks the beginning of a new era in USC’s coronavirus response after three years of various restrictions, ranging from mask mandates to daily symptom checks and complete campus closures. The Daily Trojan compiled a timeline to look back at USC’s coronavirus response over the course of the pandemic.

Background image: Viktor Forgacs | Unsplash

March 6, 2020: USC announces all classes are moving online for three days as a precaution following the announcement of a public health emergency in Los Angeles County.

March 10, 2020

USC announces classes will remain virtual for a week following spring break, until March 29.

Springfest 2020 is canceled.

Study abroad programs are canceled and students are recalled to the United States.

James Wolfe | Daily Trojan file photo

March 12, 2020

The Pac-12 tournament and all NCAA championships are canceled.

James Wolfe | Daily Trojan file photo

March 13, 2020

Students are ordered to vacate University housing.

James Wolfe | Daily Trojan file photo

March 15, 2020: First USC student tests positive for coronavirus.

March 16, 2020

First medical professional at Keck Medical Center tests positive for coronavirus.

The University announces that the remainder of Spring 2020 will be conducted online.

USC Student Health begins administering coronavirus tests and offering remote services.

Simon Park | Daily Trojan file photo

March 24, 2020

Keck Medicine bans all visitors. USC begins quarantining students at USC Hotel around this time.

Daily Trojan file photo

March 30, 2020: USC extends the pass/no pass deadline until May 27. A new No Record option also allows students to expunge classes taken in Spring 2020 from their transcripts.

July 1, 2020

USC announces most classes will continue to be online for Fall 2020. Labs, performance classes and studios are still expected to be conducted in-person.

Sarah Cortina | Daily Trojan file photo

July 13, 2020: USC joins a lawsuit with a coalition of 20 American universities to block the Department of Homeland Security from revoking the visas of international students whose studies will be entirely online in the fall.

October 14, 2020

President Carol Folt announces the acceptance of a student petition to extend the pass/no pass option for Fall 2020.

Amanda Chou | Daily Trojan file photo

November 11, 2020

USC announces the continuation of pass/no pass policy into the Spring 2021 semester and a new Wellness Days initiative.

Beth Mosch | Daily Trojan file photo

December 17, 2020

First 2,500 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrive at Keck Medical Center.

Marco Verch | Flickr

January 22, 2021: Trojan Check, a daily coronavirus symptom monitoring service to access campus, begins operation.

April 15, 2021

Vaccines become available in Los Angeles County for individuals 16 and older.

Focal Foto | Flickr

June 1, 2021: All students, staff and faculty are required to submit proof of coronavirus vaccination or statement of declination.

The deadline is later extended to July 15, 2021.

August 23, 2021

Classes resume in person for the first time since March 8, 2020. Masks are mandated for all campus activities.

Vincent Leo | Daily Trojan file photo

October 18, 2021

USC Housing reverses its no guest policy and begins allowing USC student visitors with Trojan Check to enter residential buildings.

Gina Nguyen | Daily Trojan

December 6, 2021: First student tests positive for the omicron variant.

December 28, 2021

USC begins requiring booster shots for all individuals living and working on campus.

Sarah Cortina | Daily Trojan file photo

January 5, 2022

Medical-grade masks, which at a minimum are surgical masks, not cloth face coverings, are required for all students, faculty and staff on campus.

Sarah Cortina | Daily Trojan file photo

January 7, 2022: USC announces that the first two weeks of instruction in Spring 2022 will be virtual in light of a new surge in omicron cases.

January 19, 2022: Aidan Moriarty, a Keck School of Medicine doctoral candidate, sends a reply-all email asking how long she should wait to receive the booster after getting the coronavirus.


I tested positive for covid in late December 2021. How does that affect the booster requirement? Don't I need to wait to receive that?

Thank you,
Aidan Moriarty

March 1, 2022

USC drops Trojan Check requirement for fully vaccinated and boosted students.

Julia Lin | Daily Trojan file photo

March 7, 2022: USC ends indoor masking requirement on campus.

April 7, 2022

The University rejects a student petition to continue the pass/no pass grading option in Spring 2022.

Gina Nguyen | Daily Trojan

April 11, 2023

Coronavirus vaccine requirements are lifted for students in non-health degree programs.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases