Masks required again on Oakland, Greensburg, Titusville campuses

Pitt announced today that face masks are once required inside any Pitt building on the Oakland, Greensburg and Titusville campuses.

On May 26, the CDC moved Allegheny, Westmoreland and Crawford counties’ COVID-19 Community Levels to “high.” In high level, the CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public. CDC Community Levels are updated weekly on Thursdays.

Allegheny County moved to “medium” risk on May 12 after being designated as “low” since Feb. 25. The other two counties had been at “low” until just recently.

The Post-Gazette reported today that during the week ending May 25, there were 92 reported virus-related hospitalizations in Allegheny County, according to data released by the county Health Department. That’s up from 76 the week ending May 18, and 41 hospitalizations the week before that. 

The coronavirus mutant that is now dominant in the United States is a member of the omicron family, according to the Associated Press, but scientists say it spreads faster than its omicron predecessors, is adept at escaping immunity and might possibly cause more serious disease. Why? Because it combines properties of both omicron and delta, the nation’s dominant variant in the middle of last year. The omicron “subvariant” gaining ground in the U.S. — known as BA.2.12.1 — was responsible for 58 percent of U.S. COVID-19 cases last week 

McKean County, where the Bradford campus is located, remains at the “low” level, and Cambria County, home of Pitt’s Johnstown campus, is at “medium.” Masks remain optional on those campuses.

Last week’s update from Pitt’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office said, regionally, hospitalizations are increasing with the majority coming from unvaccinated and inadequately vaccinated individuals.

The CDC also continues to recommend staying up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines, getting testing if you have symptoms and additional precautions for people at high risk for severe illness.

Once you have received a COVID-19 vaccine, Pitt is requesting you submit proof of your vaccination.

The Pitt CoVax Vaccination Center on the Oakland campus remains open for the summer on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; walk-ins are welcome but appointments are preferred. Operating hours and registration are available online. 

— Susan Jones


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