Pitt to relax mask requirements, adds 69 new COVID-19 cases since March 2


Pamela Smith | Visual Editor

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

By Martha Layne, News Editor

Pitt officials said Thursday that the University would soon relax its mask requirements, with a precise date released next week, “contingent on conditions continuing to improve on campus and in our surrounding communities.”

An email sent by Pitt’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office said the University’s Healthcare Advisory Group recommended making the change. Pitt currently requires all community members to mask up inside University buildings.

The CMRO said the policy change would align with the new COVID-19 Community Levels system introduced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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 an area.

The email said while some community members may feel uncomfortable around unmasked individuals, studies have shown that masks are effective at reducing COVID-19 transmission, even among mixed masked and unmasked individuals.

Pitt also said 45 students and 24 employees tested positive for COVID-19 from March 2 to March 15.

The CMRO said it’s important for Pitt community members and their loved ones to get vaccinated, whether that is at Pitt or a local pharmacy. Once they receive a booster dose, community members need to update their vaccination records.