Healthy Practices and COVID-19 Concerns: February Update

A blue sign that reads "Pitt COVID Concern Connection" with a photo of a telephone next to itUniversity of Pittsburgh students, faculty and staff are being proactive to support the health and safety of our campuses and communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts include wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance, volunteer safety ambassadors and neighborhood visits, as well as ongoing reporting of COVID-related concerns or questions.

As part of the shared commitment to keep everyone safe, the University will now provide ongoing updates about reports made to the Pitt COVID Concern Connection. These updates will complement the medical information in the ongoing COVID-19 Medical Response Office (CMRO) updates.

Reporting a concern

Pitt COVID Concern Connection: Use this tool to ask a question or report a COVID-related concern. This confidential resource can also be used via phone (800-468-5768) or text (412-903-3456).

All concerns are accessible by the COVID Compliance Team. Laurel Gift, assistant vice chancellor in the Office of Compliance, Investigations and Ethics, reviews all reported concerns on a daily basis and ensures that they are properly assigned to the correct department and COVID Compliance Team member. People reporting a concern can expect an immediate response from the system acknowledging receipt and a follow up from one of the COVID Compliance Team members. Learn more about the process.

The compliance committee, which includes representatives from the CMRO, Student Affairs, Panther Central, regional campuses, Community and Governmental Relations, athletics and the Office of Compliance, Investigations and Ethics, meets regularly.

If a report has enough information to identify an individual and behavior that violates the Student Code of Conduct, the matter will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. Any alleged violations of the University’s COVID-19 standards and guidelines by staff or faculty are similarly reviewed, investigated and referred to the appropriate department or supervisor for educational outreach or disciplinary action if necessary.

The COVID Compliance Team also meets daily to review high-risk events or concerns, discuss trends and brainstorm about how to best keep our University communities healthy and safe.

Reporting statistics: Jan. 14-27

During the period of Jan. 14 to 27, 115 questions and concerns related to COVID-19 were submitted. This compares to 44 submissions for the previous period, Dec. 31 to Jan. 13.

  • The majority of questions and concerns received were about testing in preparation for the return to campus and the availability of the vaccine.
  • There was a slight increase of reports in off-campus parties and gatherings without proper physical distancing or masking compared to the previous period.

Healthy practices: reminders

Wearing your mask and gathering virtually are two of the most important things we can do to protect the University community, our neighbors, ourselves and our families.

If you are invited to participate in surveillance testing, please do your best to attend so the CMRO can continue to monitor the prevalence of the virus on our campuses.   

As a University community, we are all working hard to build a culture of health and safety that extends beyond our campus borders. In addition to our health standards and guidelines, we hope the Pitt COVID Concern Connection allows our campus communities to ask questions and elevate concerns. Expect the next update from the COVID Compliance Team through Pittwire in March.