Pitt adds 100 new COVID-19 cases since Dec. 1


Pamela Smith | Visual Editor

The CMRO recommends students avoid unmasked indoor gatherings Halloween weekend and says the Pitt CoVax Vaccination Center will offer COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5-11 as early as Nov. 4.

By Martha Layne, Assistant News Editor

Pitt officials said Thursday that 69 students and 31 employees tested positive for COVID-19 from Dec. 1 to Dec. 7.

According to an email sent by Pitt’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office, community transmission in the state is “high,” and cases at Pitt are slightly rising. According to the email, Pitt’s number of new student cases per day are, on average, the highest of the semester, which is of “some concern.” 

The CMRO encouraged all eligible adults to get their booster shots, especially those who had COVID-19 and are still unvaccinated. 

The University’s CoVax Vaccination Center is hosting two vaccine clinics at the Petersen Events Center for adults including Pitt students, faculty, staff and families. They will administer Moderna and Pfizer booster shots, first and second doses and flu shots. The clinics are next Thursday and on Jan. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. by appointment, with walk-ins when available. A shuttle will run from Soldiers & Sailors parking garage to the Pete. Volunteers — especially health sciences faculty, staff and graduate students — are needed for the clinics.

The CMRO said masking and mitigation are still important, regardless of vaccination status or infection history.

Onsite testing is available next week, and will resume on Jan. 10, according to the email. The CMRO said unvaccinated students living on campus next semester must have an exemption by Jan. 1 and produce a negative COVID-19 test the week before returning to the campus. Other unvaccinated students, faculty and staff, with an approved exemption, must submit their negative COVID-19 test result by the week of Jan. 9. For those traveling abroad, the at-home Quest test may not be appropriate. 

The email said while there is not a lot of information about the new Omicron variant, preliminary data suggests that younger people are getting it in South Africa and the vaccine does offer some protection. They said the Pitt community needs to get vaccinated — including booster shots — as well as continue wearing masks and following proper mitigation guidelines.