By SUSAN JONES
As of Aug. 7, Pitt was reporting 11 active cases of COVID-19 among members of the University community who have been on the Pittsburgh campus in the past 14 days. All 11 are either faculty or staff members.
While 31 students have tested positive since Pitt began reporting cases on June 26 — compared to 20 faculty or staff — there currently are no active cases among students on campus.
A Pitt spokesman said that the University will continue to update the number of active cases on the Oakland campus as students begin to return. Since June 26, the case numbers have been updated each Friday.
Students will begin to move into residence halls for the fall semester on Aug. 11, with 1,500 arriving over two days. The next group of 1,500 won’t arrive until Aug. 15 and 16. If there are no pauses, Pitt Arrival will run through Aug. 28 with a couple days gap between each group.
John Williams, director of the COVID-19 Medical Response Team and chief of the medical school’s Division of Infectious Diseases, said the University plans to randomly test 400 students in each group of 1,500 to determine the prevalence of the virus. If the prevalence is higher than expected, then student arrival will be paused.
Students, faculty and staff are being asked to read and acknowledge a Community Compact that stresses that their actions not only affect their own health and wellbeing, but also the health and wellbeing of all those around them. Everyone who returns to campus also will have to watch a health and safety training video about the pandemic and safe practices.
Masks and social distancing will be required in University buildings under all operational postures. Students who don’t follow these guidelines could face sanctions from the student disciplinary board.
The number of cases reported by Pitt does not include University members who have tested positive but have not been in campus facilities in over 14 days or unconfirmed cases. For all campus cases, contact tracing is performed and notifications are made to University members who might have been exposed. Anyone deemed at risk of exposure will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-648-4294.
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