Pittsburgh universities report COVID-19 cases on campus, focus on student safety

Pittsburgh universities report COVID-19 cases on campus, focus on student safety

PITTSBURGH — With the academic year now underway, 60 University of Pittsburgh students, eight Pitt faculty and staff members and one Carnegie Mellon University campus member have tested positive for Covid-19 since Aug. 1.

Pitt saw 46 of those 60 positive tests within the last week. The university currently has 50 students and eight faculty and staff members in isolation for active cases.

Channel 11′s Mike Holden talked to Pitt students who said they have been monitoring the announcements from the Dean and they said it’s disappointing.

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“People aren’t taking this seriously. They’re not. They don’t wear masks. They still go out on weekends. They still have parties. And that type of stuff is ruining it for everyone,” Pitt senior Brian Wilson said.

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CMU confirmed a total of 10 positive cases of coronavirus on its campus since March, with five of those occurring in July.

Pitt started classes on Aug. 19, and CMU started classes on Aug. 31. Both universities are operating instruction online for the time being, but both have moved students onto the campuses.

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Duquesne University has not yet reported any positive cases of Covid-19 on campus, but has one student isolated for a suspected case. The university reported five positive cases for faculty and staff.

However, Duquesne University has not yet implemented any asymptomatic, random testing yet, according to David Dausey, provost at Duquesne University. Duquesne started classes in a hybrid format on August 24.

Gabe Welsch, vice president of marketing and communications at Duquesne University, said in a statement to Channel 11:

“Duquesne University’s safety plan started with requiring all students planning to return to campus to quarantine for 14 days and answer daily health screen questions. That process detected a few suspected positive cases, and those individuals remained in isolation at home until they were symptom free.

On campus, Duquesne requires masks in all public spaces (inside and outside) and in classroom settings, has set distancing and hygiene requirements and taken other preventive measures. The University also has a process to test symptomatic students, and we have been doing that. All students and employees continue to answer the daily health screen questions.

Duquesne University will conduct prevalence testing with asymptomatic student and employees, with the first testing commencing next week. Prevalence testing will continue throughout the semester. The testing plan has been designed by health statisticians, epidemiologists and other professionals, and designed with our regional conditions as the baseline for modeling assumptions.”

University of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Co. health officials warn students against large parties