Healthy Practices and COVID-19 Concerns: March Update

A blue sign that reads "Pitt COVID Concern Connection" with a photo of a telephone next to itAs part of the shared commitment to keep everyone safe, the University is providing 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 statistics: February 2021

During the period of Feb. 1 to 28, 101 questions and concerns related to COVID-19 were submitted. Reporting has slightly slowed down since students first returned to campus at the end of January.

  • The majority of questions and concerns received were about access to the vaccine, wearing face coverings on campus and in indoor spaces, and parties and gatherings being held on and off campus.
  • There was an increase in reports about people not masking properly indoors on campus.

Healthy practices: reminders

Face coverings should be worn indoors on campus and off, including in the Hillman Library, which has been cited in reports as an area where people are frequently seen removing face coverings. Face coverings should cover both the mouth and the nose. For on-campus dining facilities, face coverings should be worn until people are seated and eating or drinking.

If you are invited to participate in surveillance testing, please attend so the COVID-19 Medical Response Office (CMRO) can continue to monitor the prevalence of the virus on our campuses.   

As spring approaches, Pitt asks that students stay vigilant, since warm weather may invite more opportunities for social gatherings.

St. Patrick’s Day has been identified as a potential super spreader day for social gatherings, similar to Halloween—shortly after Oct. 31, Pitt campuses experienced sharp increases in COVID-19 positive cases.

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 April.

A blue graphic showing four incorrect masking methods and one correct one. Make sure your mask covers your your nose, mouth and chin fully.

Reporting a concern

Use the Pitt COVID Concern Connection 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 daily 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.

Be as descriptive as possible to help the team identify potential areas of interest, such as providing a house number or apartment number, including dates and times of events or uploading photos. All reports are anonymous and kept confidential to the COVID Compliance Team.

Learn more about the reporting 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.