12
January
2022
|
13:17 PM
America/Los_Angeles

Testing and getting a booster shot remain top priorities in 2022

Jan. 12, 2022

Dear Valued Patient,

So far, the new year has been dominated by the surge in coronavirus cases, primarily due to the omicron variant.

While this variant appears to be more contagious than others, data is showing that cases tend to be milder with less severe illness, hospitalizations and death.

However, the omicron variant can still be very dangerous, especially for those who are unvaccinated. 

With Los Angeles County experiencing a record number of COVID-19 cases, we want to share important updates with you so you can make the best decisions concerning you and your family’s health.  

COVID-19 testing

There are two types of COVID-19 tests, PCR tests, which are usually performed in a laboratory, and antigen tests.

You can get an antigen test in a clinic or at home through one of the many over-the-counter home tests available. Results are usually available within 15-30 minutes.

While currently there is a shortage of tests, if you are able, we recommend you use at-home tests as needed. It’s best to repeat a home test within a few days, with at least 24 hours between tests for the most accurate results.

You can also find local testing sites here.

Should you test positive for COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for guidelines on quarantining.

Please be aware that emergency rooms, such as ours at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital (USC-VHH), are not testing sites. Please visit your local emergency room if you have an urgent medical issue that needs immediate attention.

Get your booster shot now

Booster shots are crucial for staying safe and all eligible individuals should get one.

Booster shots have now also been approved for 12-15-year-olds, and the CDC has reduced the amount of time you should wait between finishing your vaccine series and getting a booster shot from six to five months.

Booster shots are easily accessible. Many local pharmacies offer them, or you can visit the My Turn website to find a location convenient for you.

Additionally, Keck Medicine of USC, in partnership with USC Pharmacies, is offering booster doses to individuals 16 and older at the lower level of Norris Healthcare Center (HC3), located at 1516 San Pablo St., Los Angeles, CA 90033, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

No appointment is needed; walk-ins are accepted. You must either bring paper or electronic proof of vaccination.

Staying safe in 2022

Out of utmost caution for our patients, we have changed our visitor policies. You can find the updated visitor policy for Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Cancer Hospital and outpatient clinics on the USC Health Sciences Campus here. For an updated policy for USC-VHH, please click here.

In addition to getting vaccinated, please continue to protect yourself and your loved ones by wearing a mask and maintaining social distance in indoor spaces. Make sure your mask fits snugly on your face and consider upgrading your cloth mask to an N95 or K95 mask.

Thank you for your efforts to stay safe and for entrusting us with your care.

Sincerely,

Rod Hanners
CEO
Keck Medicine of USC