This week, University administrators shared the protocols for responding to confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Pitt community members. These action plans are part of Pitt’s pandemic response plan, a framework developed years ago in the wake of the swine flu (H1N1 virus) pandemic. The plan has been updated in recent years and was reviewed and adapted again in recent months as COVID-19 began its global spread.
Officials with Pitt’s Emergency Operations Center noted that when a confirmed case is a staff or faculty member, the University follows guidance provided by local health authorities and performs appropriate contact tracing, notifies and supports any affiliated close contacts and disinfects and sanitizes workspaces.
In responding to confirmed cases among students, faculty or staff members who remain on or have recently been to campus, notifications will be made to those whom health officials determine would need to take protective measures based on their close contact with an affected individual. Additional information will be shared to advance public health safety of the broader Pitt community.
“Providing our community with the information and tools they need to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is one of our top priorities,” said Ted Fritz, associate vice chancellor of public safety and emergency management. “When it is appropriate to share details about confirmed cases on campus—and when we can do so while respecting individuals' privacy—we will do that.”
In letters to students and families on Monday, Vice Provost and Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner advised that the University has notified everyone that was determined to have close contact with the Pittsburgh student confirmed to have COVID-19—including students who shared a residence hall with the sick student.
“If you have not received a notification, you are not at elevated risk for COVID-19 due to this confirmed case,” wrote Bonner.