USC has tried to wrangle the thousands of students living on the blocks around its campus south of downtown Los Angeles despite there being no in-person classes.
“We’re actively doing outreach to students living around campus to encourage them to get tested weekly,” said Dr. Sarah Van Orman, associate vice provost for student affairs and chief health officer.
About 3,000 students have been tested weekly for the virus, and the university has a team of about 30 contact tracers working to identify close contacts of those who test positive.
The steps have failed to stop the virus. With more than 500 cases reported since early July, the school has had about 2,000 students living at some point in isolation facilities or quarantined. The infections among students have been linked largely to parties and other off-campus gatherings, and officials are trying to enforce restrictions beyond campus borders. Students who disobey rules prohibiting large gatherings, for example, face potential discipline, including expulsion.