Pitt adds 73 new COVID-19 cases since Feb. 23, plans to reevaluate masking policy


Pamela Smith | Visual Editor

Students who received a booster vaccine dose should update their vaccination status, according to a Thursday email from the CMRO.

By Martha Layne, News Editor

Pitt officials said Thursday that 56 students and 17 employees tested positive for COVID-19 from Feb. 23 to March 1.

An email sent by Pitt’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office said COVID-19 case counts on Pitt campuses remain low or at zero, which is “encouraging.”

The CMRO said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced a new COVID-19 Community Levels system, which offers a layered approach to prevention strategies. In this new system, community levels are determined through used hospital beds, hospital admissions and the total number of COVID-19 cases in the area.

The email said while Pitt is currently determining how to respond to the CDC’s guideline changes, masking is still currently required when indoors. The Healthcare Advisory Group is meeting this week to reevaluate the current masking policy, according to the CMRO. The email also said while Pitt anticipates that “changes will be made” to the policy before the end of the semester, there will be no announcement until after spring break.

The CMRO said it’s important to continue practicing good hygiene and staying home when feeling ill. COVID-19 testing is still available through the University, and on-site testing will be open regular hours next week except for March 11, when it will be closed.  

With many people traveling for spring break, the CMRO said everyone should continue practicing healthy habits — like testing and washing hands — in order to keep the Pitt community safe.

The CMRO said unvaccinated community members are required to continue with weekly COVID-19 testing over break. They also encouraged members of the Pitt community to update their records with the COVID-19 booster dose.