Announcements

School Announcements related to the coronavirus outbreak (in reverse chronological order)

Coming up: Lessons Learned from the HIV Epidemic and their Application to COVID-19

image
Join the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center on Thursday 5/28 at 2 p.m. to learn how the past 30 years of the HIV epidemic relates to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Then, identify key steps in educating health professionals from the HIV epidemic, and discuss how lessons learned from the HIV epidemic can help address current concerns in the COVID-19 pandemic.   

"Conversations about COVID-19" seminar series continues!

image
Each Friday this May and June, Pitt Public Health experts will have a conversation about different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and then address questions from attendees. The goal of the COVID-19 series is to provide our school community, alumni, and the public with credible information about the virus and the associated health impacts.   

Chancellor's message: Planning for Fall 2020 (5/1)

Chancellor Gallagher thanks the Pitt community for "making it happen" over recent weeks and invites us to turn to prepare for the fall and plan for operations—navigating multiple possible scenarios and significant uncertainty—as government restrictions continue to evolve. During this intense planning and preparation, Pitt's primary goal is to explore maximizing activities related to our core mission while still honoring our responsibilities to m... 

Pitt Public Health COVID-19 update (4/24)

Congratulations to everyone for making it through the term and especially to all of our new graduates. Pat yourselves on the back for the creativity, flexibility, and empathy that got us through the past five weeks. The experiences that we have had together (apart) these past few weeks have had an enormous impact on all of us. We hope that your time at Pitt has given you the personal and professional tools to tackle the next set of challenges ..... 

Exemption process for in-person practice experiences (Summer 2020)

Because University educational activities are remote for this summer, practice experiences (e.g. internships, practicums and residencies) should be remote. Rare exceptions can be made after school-level review, prioritizing student safety including physical distancing. Each exemption request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  Submit brief requests to Jessie Burke, associate dean for education (jgburke@pitt.edu).   

Student Emergency Assistance Fund

The health and safety of our Pitt community, particularly our students, is paramount. The provost's Student Emergency Assistance Fund provides financial support for degree-seeking Pitt students with unanticipated and insurmountable expenses related to emergency situations. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students facing such a financial hardship may apply for funds when they have exhausted all other available resources.  

Limited access to GSPH facilities

Reminder: At this time only individuals who are on the “essential personnel” list may enter the building. Others who may need entry (for example to retrieve critical teaching materials) should contact your department administrator, who will request access for a specific entry time. All individuals in the building are required to wear masks and practice appropriate physical distancing.  

ASPPH webinars on 4/3 address public health challenges in today's context

image
This Friday afternoon the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health continues its 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting with sessions addressing "Policy and Politics in the Midst of a Pandemic" (with CNN's Candy Crowley) and "Academic Public Health Challenges and Responses During Social and Political Unrest." See publichealth.pitt.edu/calendar for details and to register.   

COVID-19 PILOT GRANT PROGRAM - Letters of Intent due April 3

image
Award funding of up to $50,000 is available to cover direct costs of research led by Pitt investigators to develop novel solutions to challenges posed by COVID-19. Of particular interest are new research initiatives that will make immediate progress towards reducing the harm to individuals, groups, and society from COVID-19, especially projects that lead to larger-scale trials or studies. Submit your letter of intent to CTSI by April 3.   

What You Can Do About Coronavirus Right Now (3/26, NY TIMES)

NY TIMES - You have an essential role to play in slowing the spread of the new coronavirus. The good news is that small changes in personal behavior can buy time — slowing the outbreak, preventing hospitals from becoming overwhelmed and reducing cases until scientists develop treatments and, eventually, a vaccine. Here’s some practical advice from doctors and public health experts to protect yourself and your community.  Check out this comprehen... 

Pre-register for “Science and Health Law : Navigating through COVID-19” on 4/9

image
Preventive medicine physician Wendy Braund joins IDM’s Jeremy Martinson, legal epidemiologist Elizabeth Van Nostrand, and disease modeler EPI’s Wilbert van Panhuis for an interactive Go-to-Meeting webinar exploring the outbreak from their unique perspectives and addressing vital scientific and legal questions around COVID-19.  Free pre-registration required by 4/8. Organized by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center (MAR-PHTC) i... 

Coordination of COVID-19-Related Research

image
Pitt's CTSI is the central hub for resources related to COVID-19 research studies including  all studies that require HRPO (IRB) approval . If your team is 1) currently conducting COVID-19 research, 2) planning to implement COVID-19 research, or 3) amending a current research study to include COVID-19 measures, submit a description of your work identifying any resources needed to remove barriers and expedite research.  

Pitt Public Health COVID-19 update (3/25)

Pitt Public Health leadership provides additional updates and guidance to the community including ACHD collaborations, exams & graduation milestones, research, building access, resources, and privacy guidelines.   

ASPPH webinar: What you Absolutely Need to Know as a College Student about COVID-19

image
Join ASPPH via Zoom on March 26 at 1 p.m. EDT for a free webinar with important information on how to stay healthy, help reduce community spread of COVID-19, and provide comfort in challenging and uncertain times, while we promote the health and safety of universities, college students, and young person(s).  

University COVID-19 Update: First case on campus (3/22)

The University announced a confirmed case of coronavirus disease, COVID-19, in one of our Pittsburgh campus residence halls and outlined efforts to support the affected student and help reduce the spread of infection to others. To help limit the spread of the virus, we are encouraging every Pitt community member to practice social distancing, self-isolate as appropriate, and cooperate with current public health guidance and officials.  

Pitt Public Health COVID-19 update (3/20 part II)

Extensive updates from school leadership and the provost's office regarding the closure of campus facilities to non-essential personnel, facilities access, educational and research continuity, help desks and counseling resources, and more.   

COVID-19: Reduction in Research Operations (3/19)

As Pitt prepares to restrict on-campus research operations to only essential work, senior vice chancellors Rutenbar, Cudd, and Levine advise all faculty, staff, and students conducting research efforts to begin to work remotely where possible by close of business on Friday(3/20). Pitt will restrict use of all non-essential facilities on campus at that time.  

HR's DeJong on Workplace Concerns and Resources for Employees (3/19)

Addressing potential concerns of employees whose physical presence is critical for ensuring safety, maintaining critical infrastructure, and providing bare-minimum operational support, including for the students who remain on campus, OHR Vice Chancellor DeJong highlights two critical resources: the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) and the Department of Employee Relations in the Office of Human Resources (OHR).  

Chancellor's message: A Reduction in Operating Status (3/19)

image
Leadership announces plans to “reduce—to an absolute minimum—the need for faculty and staff to be on our campuses while allowing our core teaching and research mission to continue.”  All faculty, staff, and students who can do their jobs from home should do so. On-campus research operations will be scaled back to include essential functions and essential research only. Most campus buildings will be locked, and open to university ID swipe access ... 

Pitt Public Health COVID-19 updates (3/18)

The latest updates and resources from school leadership regarding graduation/convocation, Dean's Day, remote defenses, recording classes & online instruction, work locations, self-isolation, and resources for international students.  

Expert Offers Tips for Teaching Online (3/16)

image
PITTWIRE spoke with Cynthia Golden of the  Center for Teaching and Learning  on how her staff of 60-plus learning professionals has been working tirelessly to help Pitt transition to remote learning for the remainder of the spring term.  As faculty adjust to a new way of teaching, Golden advises, “Try to keep focused on the most important and basic things you need to deliver to finish your course and assess your students. Don’t get overwhelmed b... 

Teaching Center Expands Instructional Continuity Resources (3/16)

@PITT - Beginning March 15, the  University Center for Teaching and Learning  expanded its resources on instructional continuity in order to better assist faculty with the transition to remote and alternative learning methods. Topics such as moving materials online, conducting live and recorded lectures, facilitating discussion from a distance and academic integrity and cheating are among those to be covered during a robust schedule of remote of... 

Guidance from Pitt HR for University staff and supervisors (3/16)

The Office of Human Resources has put together detailed guidance for supervisors on COVID-19 precautions, the applicability of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the use of sick time, prohibiting employees from coming to work, and sending people home. Generally, supervisors should encourage employees to stay home when sick, discourage public conversations about the health status of any employee, and continue to follow all applicable laws and p... 

Status of Research Operations at Pitt (3/16)

Senior Vice Chancellor for Research Rob A. Rutenbar shares guidance on research operations, emphasizing continuity and caution. As we plan for future contingencies, such as a restricted research posture, principal investigators are invited to complete a web-based Survey of Potential Pandemic Impacts on Research and to report their suspension or limiting of any studies.  

Pitt Public Health COVID-19 updates (3/15)

School leadership provides updates to the Pitt Public Health community of faculty, staff, postdocs, and students addressing: work and children, travel, instruction planning, stress, diagnosis & treatment resources, as well as privacy and reported cases.   

Message from Chancellor regarding recent steps (3/14)

Chancellor Gallaher clarified University actions aimed to “de-densify” our work environment so that the University can continue operating and fulfilling our most important functions while prudently lowering the risk of infection within the university and to our surrounding communities. He also clarified changes in the workplace and offered additional guidance on what you can do in this uncertain environment.  

HR Update for Supervisors (3/14)

Pitt HR Communications shared a note from Provost Cudd and VC-HR DeJong outlining procedures for requesting approval to close a unit or facility or to cancel a  service or program.   

Message from the Chancellor regarding University decision-making (3/14)

School leadership emphasizes Chancellor Gallagher's recent outlining of steps recently taken to “de-densify” our work and educational environment so that the University can continue fulfilling our most important functions while lowering the risk of COVID-19 infection within the University and in our surrounding communities. The University is not closed.  

Pitt Public Health COVID-19 Update for students (3/13)

Associate Dean for Education Jessica Burke shares current information for students regarding classes, events, work, campus facilities, and respect/inclusion.  

Pitt Public Health Online Education Help Desk & Resources (3/12)

Associate Dean for Education Jessica Burke offers initial guidance for faculty converting coursework to online format.  

Pitt Public Health Leadership provides COVID-19 updates for Faculty and Staff (3/12)

Leadership summarizes the newest information regarding classes and events, remote work, and facilities/working on campus.  

Grand Rounds requirements suspended for the spring term (3/12)

image
In response to the University's COVID-19 response and the associated changes to course structures and large events, the Grand Rounds requirements for the spring term are being suspended. All students enrolled this term receive an S (satisfactory) grade, regardless of the number of GR events attended and points earned this term.  

Pitt HR recaps plans for ongoing University operations (3/11)

Vice Chancellor David DeJong of the Office of Human Resources confirms that Pitt's daily operations will continue and asks all to prepare for rapidly changing circumstances. "We are in the process of determining whose presence is critical for supporting the conduct of business, and those who could potentially support operations remotely.... Use your best judgment when deciding whether to come into the office or work from home. Do not come into w... 

Provosts' Update to All Faculty regarding COVID-19 (3/11)

Provost Cudd asks faculty to find creative solutions to continue our essential teaching and research missions. "Our first priority is the health and safety of our community. We are also committed to continuing to deliver a first-rate Pitt educational experience to students on all five of our campuses."  The changes we must now realize are deeply significant and will present challenges. We will address them together.  

Online resources announced for graduate and professional students and postdocs (3/11)

Vice Provost for Graduate Studies Nathan Urban announced a webpage with specific, evolving guidance for graduate and professional students and postdocs.  "The University will remain open, and we are committed to the education of our graduate and professional students.... [We] believe it is important to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff."  

Pitt Public Health Leadership summarizes steps in response to COVID-19 (3/11)

School leaders thank the Pitt Public Health community for understanding, patience, and professionalism as we take steps necessary to minimize risks related to the global COVID-19 pandemic and summarize today’s guidance from Chancellor Gallagher including that classes are to be canceled March 16 - 23 and thereafter to be replaced with online instruction through the end of the current semester. Stay informed, stay flexible.   

Chancellor Gallagher responds to COVID-19 outbreak, announcing move to online instruction (3/11)

image
In light of the unprecedented scenario facing U.S. universities, Chancellor Gallagher announces major steps to be taken for the remainder of the term, including the suspension of in-person instruction, restricting non-essential travel and events exceeding 25 persons, requesting students not return to University housing if possible, and expanding work flexibility and remote work arrangements. To prepare for this transition, Pitt is postponing the... 

Provost's COVID-19 Update: Exception to Expense Reimbursement Policy for Conference Attendance and Related Travel (3/7)

"The health and well-being of the Pitt community is our priority. We want everyone to be able to make the most informed and prudent decisions about travel without concern that they will incur financial losses should they want to decide against traveling...  if faculty or staff wish to cancel plans due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are hereby granting an exception to the policy for any otherwise reimbursable University-related travel booked throug... 

Pitt has been working on coronavirus plan since January (3/5)

UNIVERSITY TIMES -  As politicians debate whether the coronavirus COVID-19 poses a serious risk to the United States, Pitt officials are not waiting to find out. “In late January, we started the planning process for what was potentially headed our way,” Ted Fritz, associate vice chancellor for public safety, said from the University’s Emergency Operations Center in the Public Safety Building on Forbes Avenue.    

Provost's COVID-19 Update: Instructional Continuity Preparations (3/2)

Provost Cudd advises the faculty to prepare for a likely increase in the prevalence of COVID-19 and for ensuring instructional continuity if we need to move away from in-person course delivery. The Center for Teaching and Learning will provide guidance and expertise to help faculty plan a transition to alternative means of instruction if needed. While we have every intention of continuing with our courses as normal, we ask that faculty consider ... 

Pitt Continues Taking Steps to Prevent Disease's Spread (3/4)

PITTWIRE -  As the continuing spread of COVID-19 draws attention & concern, the University is monitoring the situation and taking steps to prevent the spread of disease. In light of CDC guidance, Pitt has canceled all University-sponsored spring break travel involving air travel. Whether traveling abroad or in the U.S., students are “encouraged to carefully consider their travel plans and to keep up to date and adhere to all travel guidelines." ... 

Student Organization Travel Advisory from SORC (3/4)

In light of the current outbreak, students who plan to travel to both domestic locations & abroad during spring break are encouraged to reconsider travel plans & to adhere to all travel guidelines. Upon return after travel to a country where there is sustained community transmission, all are asked to practice social distancing for 14 days by avoiding all public gatherings, classes, worksites, and shared transportation (buses, planes, ride-share)... 

Information on Coronavirus from the dean's office (2/28)

As we closely monitor the evolving coronavirus situation, be ready to apply our skills & expertise to help. Remember to follow everyday preventive actions to safeguard physical, social & emotional health. Review the latest advisories before making travel commitments. Fact-check, avoid bias, and consider the effects of anything you share; empathize with those who may be affected. Pitt Public Health is committed to respect & inclusion  

Provost's COVID-19 Update: Study Abroad and Spring Break Programs (3/3)

Following CDC guidance, the University has decided to cancel all University-sponsored spring break study abroad and spring break study-away programs that require air travel. In addition, we are taking a proactive approach in locations with an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, and thus are requiring students who are studying abroad in France, Germany, and Spain to return to the United States. We ask that members of the Pitt community who retur... 

UPMC is Prepared for COVID-19  (3/3)

INSIDE UPMC - In partnership with the Allegheny County Health Department, UPMC held a media briefing to discuss its extensive preparations for the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. If someone thinks he or she may have COVID-19 and does not need emergency attention – such as in the case of difficulty breathing – that person should call a primary care physician or local Emergency Department first.  

Provost's COVID-19 Update: Travel Guidance (2/28)

As the CDC and Department of State have increased travel advisories, the University discourages all non-essential travel to Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea, and endorses the current “Do Not Travel” to China directive. We ask that members of the Pitt community who return from affected countries practice  voluntary social distancing  for a period of 14 days. All Pitt travelers should carefully monitor this situation and follow the latest advic... 

Pitt prepares for spread of the coronavirus (2/27)

PITTWIRE - Though no cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Pennsylvania to date, the University continues to monitor the spread of the coronavirus disease and plan steps to respond to community needs. The CDC has stated that the individual immediate health risk to those in the U.S. is currently low, but that communities should prepare for the coronavirus to spread.   

Share stories about your COVID-19 work

If you are doing COVID-19-related work and would like the school to share your story online, in social media, and other venues, send a short paragraph to phcomm@pitt.edu describing what you are doing or visit publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news