Coronavirus Updates: USC  |  SCA

April 21, 2021

Note to Staff Regarding Fall Return

Dear SCA Staff:

As the University prepares to reopen for the Fall (https://coronavirus.usc.edu/2021/03/23/3-23-an-important-update-from-provost-zukoski/ ), we know that many of you have questions about how this impacts SCA as well as questions about University procedures and protocols for a return to on-campus instruction.

From the beginning of the pandemic, our primary concern has been the safety of our students, faculty and staff.  This remains our number one priority as we approach the Fall reopening.  Although COVID infections and hospitalizations are decreasing and vaccination rates are increasing, there are still more questions than there are answers at this time.  The trajectory of the virus has slowed down, but its course is still unpredictable.

We know you have many questions about every aspect of return to campus: Whether classes will be in person, remote or a combination of the two; what the vaccination requirements will be; whether working from home or having a flex schedule is possible during the early days of the return; the safety protocols and procedures while working; and much more.  Most of these protocols are still being determined by the University. We will provide updates on a newly created FAQ page on the SCA website as soon as we have worked out the in-person protocols for the Fall semester.  Vaccination information may be found here: https://coronavirus.usc.edu/covid-19-vaccine-information-center/

In addition, the University has created a Remote Work Task Force that will define parameters around remote work that will support each unit in developing their return to campus and long-term workforce strategies. This university-level guidance, coupled with the survey data on our workforce’s preferences, can help each unit emerge stronger from the pandemic.

In the coming weeks, please feel free to express your concerns with your supervisor or email your questions to communications@cinema.usc.edu.  We hope to provide answers to your concerns once the University has determined the overall guidelines for our community. 

Below is a list of measures that have already been taken and are currently in place within the SCA Complex.  As requirements change, signage and HVAC measures will be adjusted accordingly. 

HVAC (Heating/Ventilation/Air/Cooling) 

- Energy efficiency measures that were intended to reduce energy consumption have been deactivated. This will ensure that outdoor air rates remain as consistent and as high as possible, resulting in the largest possible ratio of fresh air to recirculated air in the building.

- In order to flush the entire building prior to and after occupancy, the HVAC systems are scheduled to operate beyond their normally scheduled times. Using outdoor air to flush the building will help dilute building contaminates.

- The term MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is used to measure air filter efficiency. Filters have been upgraded to MERV-13 or MERV-14 depending on the type of HVAC system located in our buildings. The filtration efficiency in SCA, SCB, SCC, SCE, SCX, and SCI is MERV-14.

COMPUTING

- Access to Virtual Desktops via Teradici will remain available in the Fall.

- Creative Tech is in the process of determining what changes will need to be made for on-campus / remote instruction as it relates to faculty and student experiences.

CLASSROOMS

- Rooms with fixed seating (theatres) have courtesy spacer signs to indicate which seats are available to maintain a six-foot distance from others.

- Rooms with movable furniture have been reconfigured and excess furniture removed to maintain a six-foot distance from others. 

- Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are located in every classroom.

COMMON AREAS

- Hand sanitizers are located at building entry points.

- Several types of signs have been placed throughout the buildings to indicate the following:
-- Elevator maximum occupancy.
-- Where to stand in areas where lines may form such as elevators, restrooms, etc.
-- Signs to encourage the use of stairs.
-- Courtesy signs with reminders to stay six-feet apart, cover our faces, and sanitize our hands.
-- Courtesy spacer signs for restroom stalls and sinks.
-- Arrows at stairwell landings indicating up and down directions.

- Furniture in common areas have been reconfigured or removed to maintain physical distancing.

We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more information.

Sincerely,
SCA Human Resources