Beginning this Saturday, USC will now require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to attend all home athletics events to ensure coronavirus cases remain low in preparation for Trojan Family Weekend, according to Director of Athletics’ Chair Mike Bohn and the USC athletic department.
This announcement came after the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health updated their guidelines for Outdoor Mega Events. In accordance with these guidelines, the university will now require all students and guests entering campus or the Coliseum on game day to provide proof of full vaccination. If guests are unable to provide proof of vaccine, they can present a negative COVID test taken no more than 72 hours prior to the game, according to Mike Bohn’s update.
Also according to Bohn’s announcement on September 8, tailgating is still permitted on a limited, registered tailgates only. Additionally, masks and Trojan Checks are required to enter campus and the stadium.
The updated guidelines from this week’s message, however, specify the requirements for game days this week. All game attendants must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test - both of which are new policies.
The new policy will most noticeably come into effect just before the university’s family weekend. The USC athletic department will get its first glimpse of these updated guidelines when the Trojans take on Utah at the Coliseum on Saturday.
Some students are in favor of the guidelines and increased safety measures being taken.
“I think it’s a good thing to do,” said Tracy Wang, a sophomore at USC. “Even though we’re doing a good job here, there’s going to be a lot of people coming from different states, maybe between countries.”
There were only 34 positive cases among students last week, and the numbers have continued to decrease since the beginning of the school year, according to USC’s COVID-19 statistics. The required vaccination or negative test is an extended measure to ensure an outbreak does not occur following family weekend, according to Bohn.
Dr. Sarah Van Orman, chief health officer at USC, said requiring tests or vaccination of visiting families will hopefully prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 cases around University Park Campus.
“We’re very hopeful with where we are. We see really good numbers in California as well as here at USC,” Van Orman said.
Despite the low COVID-19 numbers on campus, many students view this as a necessary measure to keep all students and faculty safe.
“I think it’s a small act that all of us can do to get through this pandemic,” said Diane Brand, a USC parent. “I think it’s part of being a responsible person in society that we can all do this together, and this is what we need to do for sure.”
A full breakdown of USC’s health and safety protocols can be found on the USC website.