Pitt updates isolation, quarantine protocols


Pamela Smith | Visual Editor

Pitt’s CoVax Vaccination Center located at the bottom of Nordenberg Hall.

By Punya Bhasin, Assistant News Editor

Pitt updated its quarantine and isolation protocols last Friday in time for spring semester move in, which now include specific guidelines for unvaccinated students and a recommended isolation period of five days.

These are the latest in a series of guidelines Pitt enacted amid the surge in cases due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Pitt also installed a two-and-a-half-week shelter-in-place and moved nearly all remote classes for the beginning of the spring semester.

According to the protocols, people who have tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate regardless of whether they experience symptoms. People who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, as well as those waiting for test results, should also isolate themselves at home for five days from the first day they experience symptoms, or from the first date of a positive test if asymptomatic.

People may leave isolation after five days if they are asymptomatic or are no longer experiencing symptoms, but must continue to wear a face covering everywhere for five more days. If a student’s symptoms have not resolved, they must wait until they are without a fever for 24 hours and their other symptoms improve before leaving isolation.

The locations for isolation will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Students should follow the guidance of contact tracers and the Student Health Service. Faculty and staff should seek advice from their physician or health care provider.

The updated guidelines also included quarantine protocols, which are put in place for people who come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. The guidelines recommend that people quarantine if they are unvaccinated or haven’t completed a series of COVID-19 vaccine doses, including boosters, if eligible. People do not need to quarantine if they have completed a series of COVID-19 vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.

If students have to quarantine, they will be able to quarantine within their residence hall room or suite, unless advised otherwise by the Student Health Service. Students should quarantine for five days after the last contact with a person with COVID-19 and wear a face covering in all settings for an additional five days. Students can also get tested on day five, but it isn’t required.

Pitt has created a website where Pitt affiliates can check if they have access to University buildings after their quarantine or isolation period ends. This application allows students, faculty and staff to temporarily access a building, even if their Panther card shows that they shouldn’t be granted access because of quarantine, isolation or a lack of a negative COVID-19 test result on file. The application can be accessed on a smartphone, and it must be used alongside a pitt.edu account.