Pitt to release new COVID-19 case numbers weekly

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Kaycee Orwig | Visual Editor

The Cathedral of Learning watches over an empty Pitt campus.

By Jon Moss, Editor-in-Chief

Pitt officials said Monday that they would start releasing COVID-19 case information weekly on Fridays.

The position is a reversal from a late March policy in which the University said it would not publicly announce coronavirus cases on campus. Pitt instituted the policy the day after it announced the first confirmed COVID-19 case of a student living in a residence hall.

University spokesperson Kevin Zwick said Pitt is releasing case information again as part of its “ongoing efforts to keep the community informed about the prevalence of the virus.” He added that to protect the privacy of those who test positive, no additional information will be provided about them.

The first virus report, released last Friday, showed five students and one employee testing positive, all of whom had been on campus within the last 14 days.

The Oakland campus is mostly empty, besides for a few Pitt football players who began a phased return on June 8, and quarantined for two weeks before beginning voluntary workouts. Panthers who had been medically cleared at the end of the quarantine period on June 22 were allowed to return to workouts that were strength-and-conditioning-based, supervised by strength and conditioning coaches and in groups capped at 10 athletes at a time. Virtual gatherings are also being used for larger meetings.

Pitt Athletics spokesperson E.J. Borghetti declined to comment on whether any of the individuals were associated with the Athletics department, but did say voluntary football workouts would continue.

Men’s and women’s basketball and soccer, as well as volleyball players and staff, are set to return to campus Monday in the next phase of Pitt’s staggered return of athletics to campus.

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