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

Biden coronavirus task force appointee Michael Osterholm discusses "The COVID Pandemic: The Evolving Reality" (video)

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In a special IDM Seminar, Michael T. Osterholm answers questions regarding the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection, public health strategies to reduce transmission, and thoughts on how the world will likely look one year from now. Osterholm was recently appointed to President-elect Biden's coronavirus task force and directs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.  

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.  

Conversations about COVID-19

 

COVID-19 News Headlines

Gov. Wolf names replacements for departing Pa. Health Secretary Rachel Levine  

Gov. Wolf names replacements for departing Pa. Health Secretary Rachel Levine

AP — Wolf said he intends to nominate a deputy chief of staff, Alison Beam, to take over as secretary of the Department of Health. Wolf, meanwhile, elevated Dr. Wendy Braund  to acting interim physician general. Braund is currently the DoH's COVID-19 response director. Before that, she held multip... (01/25/2021)

Amanpour & Salk: Vaccine lessons from history (video) 

Amanpour & Salk: Vaccine lessons from history (video)

CNN — Christiane Amanpour discusses with IDM's Peter Salk the 97% drop in polio prevalence within a few years of initial vaccine adoption. In 1953, Dr. Peter Salk was one of the first to receive a polio vaccine—from none other than his father, Jonas Salk. They go on to discuss herd immunity and vac... (01/13/2021)

Vaccinating home-bound seniors a growing concern 

Vaccinating home-bound seniors a growing concern

ALBANY HERALD — About 1.9 million adults over 65 are mostly homebound and another 5.3 million have health conditions that make leaving home difficult. BSCH's Steven Albert warns it's likely that family or other caregivers will need to arrange for transport to vaccine centers. "For every one person ... (01/27/2021)

COVID-19 Update: As Pa. cases decline, did state avoid post-holiday surge? 

COVID-19 Update: As Pa. cases decline, did state avoid post-holiday surge?

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE — Lee Harrison, a Pitt epidemiologist and chairman of the Allegheny County Board of Health, said that the drop in the positivity rate was encouraging, but warned that the state is not done with the winter surge. “We’re in the middle still of a raging pandemic,” he said.  "I ... (01/26/2021)

Editorial | Ramp up vaccinations to protect individuals, community  

Editorial | Ramp up vaccinations to protect individuals, community

TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT - As we did in wearing masks and taking other precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19, we should focus together on getting inoculated to move toward what scientists and doctors call “herd immunity” – a collective level of protection that blocks the spread of the virus. Herd immu... (01/12/2021)

Pandemic exposes weakness in Pa. counties without health departments, like Westmoreland 

Pandemic exposes weakness in Pa. counties without health departments, like Westmoreland

TRIB-LIVE - Westmoreland County, like 61 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, leaves the issue of public health to the state to handle. Upfront investments in public health that lead to a deeper knowledge of the community could be a bargain in the long term, said Dr. Noble A-W Maseru , a professor of pu... (01/19/2021)

UK approves anti-inflammatory drugs to treat sickest Covid-19 patients after strong results in clinical trial 

UK approves anti-inflammatory drugs to treat sickest Covid-19 patients after strong results in clinical trial

WASHINGTON POST - Two rheumatoid arthritis drugs that suppress the immune system may help critically ill patients survive Covid-19, providing a benefit even on top of steroids. The results had an unusual path into the public domain—via Twitter—after DSMB monitoring found that the drugs were so effe... (01/12/2021)

In West Virginia’s poorest communities, the state’s vaccine rollout has left vulnerable residents behind 

In West Virginia’s poorest communities, the state’s vaccine rollout has left vulnerable residents behind

MOUNTAIN STATE SPOTLIGHT / WVPB — Although West Virginia is currently leading the nation in its vaccination rate, the state has primarily aimed for the low-hanging fruit. “When you have to get the vaccine distributed out as widely and as quickly as possible, the inequities that already exist have t... (01/22/2021)
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