COVID-19 cases are down from last week with 2,256 cases reported to the university since Jan. 1, according to data USC released on Tuesday. The university is currently on "low alert".
There are currently 608 total active COVID-19 cases on campus. Of these cases, 523 are students and 85 are faculty and staff.
This is a large decrease from the 867 cases that marked student's return from winter break last week.
At a 19.5% positivity rate, about one in five students who got tested from Jan. 9 to Jan. 15 tested positive. This falls below the national averages.
There are currently 968,084 cases in South Carolina, according to data the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported on Tuesday.
Interim university President Harris Pastides said in a message to the Carolina community during the first week of class that he expects a surge of cases throughout January and February.
"I'm hopeful that, in a couple of months, the worst of Omicron will be behind us," Pastides said in the email. "In the meantime, the university will continue to encourage physical distancing and safe gathering practices, require masks in classrooms and other indoor spaces, mandate universal testing at intervals dictated by the data, require isolation of those with positive test results for the period recommended by national and state public health authorities, and encourage vaccination and boosters for all."
Approximately 70% of students and staff are vaccinated and about 80% of faculty is vaccinated, the university reported.
USC students, faculty and staff can get tested and vaccinated on campus. Monthly student testing will be required starting this week.
USC's COVID-19 dashboard calculates an alert level based on 11 factors including campus testing, isolation capacity and campus case burden. The current alert level is set between the low and moderate levels.
USC updates its COVID-19 dashboard every Tuesday.