Conversations about COVID-19

Pitt Public Health brings together a variety of experts to have a conversation about different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and address questions from seminar attendees. The goal of the seminar series is to provide our school community, alumni, and the public with credible information about the virus and the associated health impacts. 

View past sessions below and stay tuned for future sessions. 

Recent Session Summaries & Recordings

Disinformation & Misinformation: Politics, Pandemics & Public Health

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In the final fall session of Conversations about COVID-19 seminar series, Jaime Sidani and Michael Colaresi join BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman to discuss ways that public health can address dis/misinformation in the era of COVID-19, with a particular focus on implications for COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.  

CDC NIOSH's Response to PPE Challenges During COVID-19

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As part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) has responded ot the unique personal protective equipment (PPE) challenges that have arisen during COVID-19. This presentation, with Maryann D'Alessandro, PhD, and John Powers, both of the NPPTL, provides an overview of their response to COVID-19 and effort... 

Pennsylvania State Response to COVID-19

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Wendy Braund, COVID-19 response director, Pennsylvania Department of Health, leads a conversation about the Pennsylvania Department of Health response to COVID-19, addressing the current situation and containment and mitigation efforts.   

COVID-19 & Health Disparities

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As part of the Conversations about COVID-19 seminar series, EPI doctoral candidate Chantele Mitchell Miland , and Pitt's director of health sciences diversity, equity, and inclusion, Mario Browne (BCHS '05), discuss COVID-19 and health disparities.  

HIV-related stigma in healthcare settings during COVID-19

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As part of the Conversations about COVID-19 seminar series, Mackey Friedman of IDM and BCHS joins IDM's Sarah Krier to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the lives of people living with HIV including their beliefs and attitudes about their healthcare needs and experiences.  

Conversations about COVID-19

 

COVID-19 News Headlines

Can air pollution make coronavirus worse? Wenzel says yes. 

Can air pollution make coronavirus worse? Wenzel says yes.

ALLEGHENY FRONT - There’s plenty of biological evidence, said Sally Wenzel, EOH chair. Pollution can damage cells that line breathing passageways, which form the lung’s natural defense from foreign agents. “When they’re damaged, they don’t function nearly as well as a barrier. And so things like vi... (04/04/2020)

Roberts says projections seem accurate that Pennsylvania is nearing peak of pandemic 

Roberts says projections seem accurate that Pennsylvania is nearing peak of pandemic

WHYY PHILADELPHIA – Referencing the model used in recent White House briefings, Mark Roberts, HPM chair and director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, said, “It’s a surprisingly accurate model. Their predictions of what today would look like three weeks ago are very good.” The model puts th... (04/06/2020)

Wenzel explains how to handle package deliveries 

Wenzel explains how to handle package deliveries

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE – EOH Chair Sally Wenzel says, “The easiest way to make sure that you aren’t bringing the virus in with your packages is to treat the package as though a COVID-19 positive person last handled it: Wipe off all items before putting them away, throw out your packaging and wash ... (04/02/2020)

Roberts says publicly released data doesn't tell full story of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania (video) 

Roberts says publicly released data doesn't tell full story of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania (video)

WTAE – “We don’t really know what’s the proportion of people who get the disease that don’t have any symptoms at all, what’s the proportion of people who have mild symptoms, and what’s the proportion of people who have severe symptoms requiring hospitalization,” said Mark Roberts, chair of health p... (04/07/2020)

‘It’s very sad’: Black Americans facing higher rates of COVID-19 infections (video) 

‘It’s very sad’: Black Americans facing higher rates of COVID-19 infections (video)

WTAE - On Tuesday, local group 1Hood hosted a virtual town hall called “What Black Pittsburgh Needs to Know About COVID-19.” Panelist Tiffany Gary-Webb, an epidemiologist at Pitt Public Health, said it’s important to have data broken down by race and zip code. “If we know that certain communities a... (04/07/2020)

Roberts says social distancing is our best tool in fighting COVID-19 

Roberts says social distancing is our best tool in fighting COVID-19

90.5 WESA - “If nobody ever went out and nobody ever touched anybody else, this disease could not pass at all,” said HPM's Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory. He thinks the current restrictions on daily life need to continue for the time being. “If people went ab... (04/01/2020)

Roberts, Pennsylvania’s leading COVID-19 modeler, explains how life might start returning back to normal 

Roberts, Pennsylvania’s leading COVID-19 modeler, explains how life might start returning back to normal

PUBLIC SOURCE - How might we come out of extreme social distancing? Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Lab, thinks the most interesting option might be relaxing social distancing behaviors based on the ability to know whether the person is immune to the disease or not. We could te... (04/06/2020)

Angus on launch of ‘learning while doing’ clinical trial to fast-track testing of coronavirus therapies 

Angus on launch of ‘learning while doing’ clinical trial to fast-track testing of coronavirus therapies

WTAE – “The solution is to find an optimal tradeoff between doing something now, such as prescribing a drug off-label, or waiting until traditional clinical trials are complete,” said Derek Angus (BCHS '92), chair of Pitt Med's Department of Critical Care Medicine. “By building this one-stop soluti... (04/09/2020)
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