By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The University of Southern California will require returning students, faculty and staff to wear surgical or N95 masks on campus for the spring semester.

According to the university’s student-run newspaper The Daily Trojan, Chief Health Officer Dr. Sarah Van Orman announced the change during a student media briefing Monday.

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The N95 masks will be used instead of cloth masks or other facial coverings.

USC is currently using remote learning for the first week of the semester from Jan. 10 to Jan 17.

Students will be required to show a negative COVID test before moving into university housing on January 6 and before resuming in-person classes.

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In-person classes are scheduled to resume on Jan. 18.

All eligible faculty, staff and students will also be required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot.

In other parts of LA Tuesday, COVID testing sites had long lines. The line in Echo Park went around the block and remained that way for most of the day.

One local physician said vaccines and prior cases of COVID are boosting immunity to avoid severe infections from the Omicron variant. But without the vaccine or prior infection, people are still at high risk for critical illness.

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“If you’ve never been vaccinated this virus is not that mild,” said Dr. Nathan Newman of Santa Monica Urgent Care. “This is still COVID. This is still going to really hurt.”