Pitt adds 46 new COVID-19 cases since Sept. 22


Pamela Smith | Visual Editor

Pitt’s CoVax Vaccination Center — located at the bottom of Nordenberg Hall — recently expanded its hours to daily operations, and will offer flu shots starting next Wednesday.

By Martha Layne, Assistant News Editor

Pitt officials said Thursday that 30 students and 16 employees tested positive for COVID-19 from Sept. 22-28. The report also said 95% of undergraduate students on the Oakland campus have uploaded proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

According to an email sent by Pitt’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office, 97% of undergraduates living on campus and 93% of those living off campus submitted proof of vaccination. The office also said 95% of graduate students, 92% of faculty and 91% of staff uploaded proof of vaccination.

The CMRO reported a 94% overall undergraduate vaccination rate last Thursday. At the time, 95% of graduate students, 91% of faculty and 89% of staff had provided proof of vaccination.

The email also said since the majority of the Pitt community is vaccinated, COVID-19 testing is available for people in four specific situations — for those with COVID-19 symptoms, for those who have been in close contact to anyone who recently tested positive for COVID-19, for unvaccinated individuals and for anyone who is asymptomatic but is worried about possible exposure or transmission. While there are many types of tests, the CMRO said PCR tests are the most accurate, and are available to any student, faculty member or staff member who would like one to be shipped to their address.

Another option for COVID-19 testing is the on-site testing facility located in the first floor dining room of the O’Hara Student Center. This testing facility is open six days a week exclusively for asymptomatic individuals.

The email also said booster shots are recommended for individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine six months ago or longer and who met certain criteria, such as age and medical conditions. The CMRO stressed that the booster shot is not because the vaccine is ineffective, but because immunity can lessen over time in older adults. The Pitt CoVax Vaccination Center is offering booster shots to eligible individuals. Walk-ins are accepted based on availability, and appointments can be made on the website using the access code “panthers” or by calling 412-383-4372. The vaccination center also offers COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots for the Pitt community and their families.

The CMRO said it attributes the lower cases this week to the high vaccination rate and mitigation efforts, and added that masking while indoors, practicing good hand hygiene and making smart decisions about activities will continue to protect the Pitt community during the ongoing pandemic.