Pitt added 10 new COVID-19 cases, composed of six students and four employees, as of Friday’s weekly case report. The University has had a total of 20 students and nine employees test positive since June 26, with 11 students and two employees recovered thus far. The Friday report follows a tripling of cases in the previous report, which covered the period between June 26 and July 2.
The University’s uptick in cases comes as Allegheny County has seen a persistent surge in cases over the past few weeks. The county reported several days of record-breaking case numbers last week, with more than 200 people testing positive on three different days.
The Oakland campus is mostly empty, besides for student-athletes who have returned for voluntary workouts. Pitt football players began a phased return on June 8, and quarantined for two weeks before beginning voluntary workouts. Men’s and women’s basketball and soccer, as well as volleyball players and staff, returned to campus June 29 and are finishing their second week of quarantine this week.
Officials said the University still plans to bring students back to Oakland in August — roughly four weeks away — for classes. Flex@Pitt, the University’s new teaching model, will enable students to attend class in-person or online, in an effort to prevent continued spreading of the virus. The University will operate under a three-tiered reopening system, with different amounts of in-person activities allowed under each tier. Pitt’s fall testing, quarantining and contact tracing plans have not been released yet, though the University said they would be available later this month.
Pitt spokesperson Kevin Zwick said the University’s plans are designed to be flexible and will allow Pitt to maximize its mission while keeping the community as safe as possible during the pandemic.