COVID-19 cases are on the rise with more than 1,000 active cases on campus. 3,377 cases have been reported to the university since Jan. 1, according to data USC released on Tuesday.
There are currently 1,003 total active COVID-19 cases. Of these cases, 907 are students and 96 are faculty and staff.
This is a large increase of 395 cases from the 608 active COVID-19 cases reported by USC last week.
At a 23.5% positivity rate for students, about one in four students who got tested from Jan. 16 to Jan. 22 tested positive.
This falls in line with national averages due to the spreading Omicron variant. There are currently 10,469 cases in South Carolina, according to data the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported on Friday.
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, 70% of staff and 80% of faculty are vaccinated, the university reported.
USC students, faculty and staff can get tested and vaccinated on campus. Monthly student testing is required.
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.