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To the Keck School of Medicine of USC community:
The Keck School, in accordance with University policies and the recommendations of public health officials, has taken a series of preemptive steps in recent days to ensure the safety of our faculty, staff, and students during the coronavirus pandemic, while also fulfilling our responsibilities to care for our patients and protect our work.
Here’s the latest information we have for you:
(Updated Friday, March 27)
KSOM Dean Dr. Laura Mosqueda hosted an informative webinar about a range of virus-related issues, including the particulars of social distancing. Watch:
Leave it to the quick-thinkers of USC to come up with solutions to fill a pressing need: As medical personnel around the country struggle with a shortage of protective gear, several labs at the University — including ones at Viterbi, Dornsife and Iovine and Young Academy — are 3D-printing a bunch of masks and plastic face shields. That’s on USC’s new COVID-19-focused research page.
Read this Medium post about the global effort to crank out this gear.
Dean Mosqueda went on Larry Mantle’s KPCC-FM show “AirTalk” to discuss the growing problem of elderly people getting swindled in coronavirus-related scams. Mosqueda comes in about the 21-minute mark.
(Updated Thursday, March 26)
Viterbi has a story on the team that’s taking part on the worldwide effort to find a viable vaccine for coronavirus.
Eric Lindberg of USC News wrote about the inspiring response to Keck Med’s call for donations of medical gear.
Ron Mackovich of USC News wrote about the effort to deliver food to those in need in the community.
(Updated Wednesday, March 25)
Because some people just can’t play nice, the university has changed the rules for Zoom meetings to make them more secure. For instance, the Waiting Room feature is now a full-time thing, which means the host of the meeting gets to decide whom to admit to a meeting.
“While these are strong preventative measures, our goal is to create a safe and secure on-line environment for our university,” USC Information Technology Services said in a statement.
The goal is to prevent “Zoombombing,” a new word we now have to deal with. It’s “a new form of trolling in which a participant uses Zoom’s screensharing feature to interrupt and disrupt meetings and classes,” ITS says.
To read the new guidelines and protect your meetings from the shenanigans of uninvited guests, visit this page.
(Updated Tuesday, March 24)
If you or anyone you know has any medical personal protective equipment (PPE) they’d like to donate, read this Keck Med post to find out how: https://www.keckmedicine.org/coronavirus-donate/.
Jenesse Miller of USC News offers advice for parents on how to talk to children about the virus.
(Updated Monday, March 23)
Drs. Michael Hochman and Michael Wang and their team came up with an interactive “self-triage” tool, which might help you decide whether you have coronavirus or something else. Here’s a post on the tool the doctors wrote, along with author Katy Butler, in STAT.
(Updated Friday, March 20)
Match Day happened! Emails went out at 9 a.m. Friday alerting students about which residency program they’ve been matched to. Read our story about what was a more subdued tradition than usual, yet no less joyous.
Gov. Newsom’s order Thursday for all Californians to stay home, with certain exceptions, affects everyone in the state. The Los Angeles Times has a story expanding on the order and providing details, while the university has updated its guidelines about USC campuses.
(Updated Thursday, March 19)
The three core facilities in the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center will shut down at noon Friday, March 20. They are the Choi Therapeutic Screening, Optical Imaging, and FACs. “As soon as we are able to reactivate core facility operations, we will inform all users,” according to a KSOM memo.
Year I and II students won’t be able to take an exam review session in person or remotely. But the quality of the Endocrine System Exam (for Year II) will be reviewed by the Exam Development and Administration Committee. As that exam is finalized, “the EDAC will take this unusual circumstance into consideration as we review the exam performance,” a memo read.
Same guidance goes for Year 1 students, who are preparing for the Neuroscience System mid-term Exam.
(Updated Wednesday, March 18)
All USC faculty, staff, and student laboratory researchers should prepare to pause all non-essential laboratory and core research activities in USC facilities by 5 p.m. Friday.
According to a memo from USC Interim Vice President for Research Maja Mataric, “only individuals who will be granted access to research and core laboratories on campus will be a small number of individuals designated as essential to maintain continuity of labs during the suspension of research, as well as individuals conducting COVID-related research that has been approved by the KSOM dean and vice president of research.”
Keck School Dean Dr. Laura Mosqueda adds this: “To implement this policy within the Keck School, each principal investigator with a laboratory research program or a core laboratory needs to follow the instructions on the attached directive from Dr. Mataric.”
The school has suspended all clinical rotations and clinical assignments for students.
- Visit USC’s dedicated coronavirus page. Bookmark this page for campus-wide updates.
- USC also has set up a special page all about research. It has a great deal of useful information.
- Tips for conducting classes online:
Follow USC Information Technology Services’ tips for creating your own USC Zoom account and getting started hosting or taking part in meetings.
- CDC’s advice for protecting yourself and your family
A note about events
Given the guidance on limiting gatherings of large groups of people, many scheduled meetings, lectures and other events have been postponed to a later date or canceled altogether. Others will be held virtually. Check the KSOM Events page for the most up-to-date calendar.