Building access will be limited from Dec. 12 to Jan. 10


When staff and faculty return to the Oakland campus on Dec. 1, after the Thanksgiving break, access to buildings will remain the same as it has been throughout the semester, until Dec. 11, according to the Office of Business and Operations.

The building safety concierge stations will be active during that time — staffed with security guards and staff volunteers. Student workers also were used through most of the semester.

From Dec. 12 to Jan. 10, the majority of University buildings will be closed and locked, with Pitt ID card access available only to faculty and staff who have received authorization in the Authority to Operate system. Faculty and staff can submit access requests and view status updates at (Pitt log-in required).

Security guards will be present inside University buildings but will not be posted at building entrances. Buildings are scheduled to reopen Jan. 11, with safety concierge stations staffed.

At a faculty town hall on Nov. 19, Provost Ann Cudd said that since there will be limited access to the classrooms for a month-long period between Dec. 11 and Jan. 11, “I would recommend that faculty plan ahead if they need to use the classrooms to say film something or do something in there. … Why not plan ahead and get the things that you know that you're going to need well before the buildings are locked in that kind of holiday mode.”

The University Library System will be closed to patrons from Dec. 12 through Jan. 10. Library staff will be on site until Dec. 20 and starting Jan. 7. Find updated hours for all Pitt libraries on its daily calendar.

At the faculty town hall, a question was asked about why the libraries were remaining open even after undergraduate students leave. Amanda Godley, vice provost for graduate studies, said there are a number of graduate and professional programs, particularly ones that are clinically based, that require students to be around campus and continue to engage in clinical or academic work further into December. “I think when we look at that, from the graduate perspective, there’s more of a need for library services, even after the undergrads leave campus,” she said.

Residence halls close at 5 p.m. Nov. 25. The William Pitt Union will be closed from Nov. 26 through Jan. 9. The O’Hara Student Center will be closed from Nov. 23, through Jan. 10. Classes resume on Jan. 19, but there has been no announcement yet about when students will begin returning to campus. John Williams, head of Pitt’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office, has suggested that student arrival will be staggered like it was in August.

Forbes Street Market will remain open during winter break, with all remaining campus dining locations closed.

Some buildings will operate on modified schedules, including:

  • School of Medicine: Classes and clinicals remain in session Monday through Friday from Nov. 30 to Dec. 18. Alan Magee Scaife Hall will remain open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays from Dec. 18 to Jan. 4 for faculty and staff with authorization.

  • Health Sciences research facilities: Scaife Hall, the three Biomedical Science Towers and leased research spaces will remain open through the break for research operations for faculty and staff with authorization.

  • School of Dental Medicine: Salk Hall and the Dental Clinic will be closed from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3.

If the University shifts to High-Risk posture during any of this time, the plan will be modified as needed for safety. On Nov. 18, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh announced that all of its locations are suspending in-person services after the Allegheny County Health Department issued a stay-at-home advisory earlier in the day.

Most Pitt employees will be on paid leave from Dec. 21 until Jan. 4. Last month, the University added Dec. 21 to 23 to the winter break.

Around 100 students have requested housing extensions over the winter break — 64 will depart by Dec. 6, and 37 will remain throughout the winter recess. Students will be provided with campus housing, cleaning, maintenance and security services during their extended stay.

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at or 724-244-4042.


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