Sept. 15 COVID-19 update: Student cases up by 22; number in isolation drops

Pitt’s Oakland campus added 22 more positive COVID-19 cases among students who reported symptoms between Sept. 11 and 15.

The cases were all reported on Sept. 11 and 12, and none over the past two days. The new numbers bring the total cases among symptomatic students to 185 since Aug. 1, when students began returning to the Oakland area. Of those, 69 remained in isolation, a drop from 93 on Sept. 11. The five-day moving average of positive tests per day dropped from 9.8 to 5.2 in the past four days, according to the COVID-19 Dashboard.

"While no new positive cases were reported on Sunday and Monday of this week, the positive case count on the Pittsburgh campus remains higher than we would like," an email today from the COVID-19 Medical Response Office said. "We need to bring this number down, and we can, through continued mitigation efforts such as practicing physical distancing and wearing face coverings. If we do not continue to engage in safe behaviors, the virus will continue to spread and disrupt our lives."

No new cases were reported from surveillance testing of students on Sept. 9. There also were no new cases among faculty and staff, and only one person remains in isolation of the 11 cases since Aug. 12.

Surveillance testing is being conducted on 200 to 250 asymptomatic students each week on Mondays and Wednesdays on the Oakland campus, and new reports on the number of cases will be released on Tuesdays and Fridays. Numbers released today, do not include surveillance tests done on Sept. 14.

On Sept. 10, Provost Ann Cudd announced that some more classes could return to in-person if there was a “definable benefit” to doing so. Faculty members need to get permission from their deans to return to the classroom. There is no report yet on how many classes will return to in-person instruction.

The COVID-19 Medical Response Office said in an email last week that: "From a medical perspective, Pitt has taken proper actions to make classrooms as safe as possible for in-person instruction. Neither the classes that are already occurring in-person nor the research laboratories that have been operating since June have been identified as a significant source of transmission."

A majority of the student cases are among students living off campus. Find more details in last week’s update from the University Times.

— Susan Jones