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Pitt relaxing some COVID-19 restrictions starting Monday

PITTSBURGH — The University of Pittsburgh is relaxing some of its COVID-19 restrictions Monday.

Pitt has three levels established as part of its mitigation efforts: high, elevated and guarded.

The university has been in the “elevated” risk category, but it is moving down to “guarded.”

The transition to “guarded” means more in-person classes for students and restrictions on gatherings are loosened -- moving from groups of 25 to up to 250 people. Common areas are also opening.

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Face masks are still required, and everyone must continue to practice social distancing.

“If people want to have fun with everything opening up, good for them. Just be smart. Be safe. That’s all I gotta ask for because, otherwise, we go back to the risk posture again,” Benjamin Moss, a senior at Pitt, said.

If students want to continue taking classes online, they can.

Students are still being asked to limit the number of people they come into close contact with.

“The guarded risk posture still requires our responsible behavior, each of us needs to continue to do our part to safeguard the health and well-being of our community,” Dean Kenyon Bonner said in a statement.

University officials said the transition is possible for reasons including a low number of COVID-19 cases on campus and more testing.

The changes come at the start of homecoming week, and for the first time this season, fans will be able to watch the Pitt football game in person at Heinz Field on Saturday. The university announced last week that 5,500 fans would be allowed inside the stadium for the final two home games of the season.