Dear Colleagues,

In light of the shifting nature of the pandemic, the University of Pittsburgh is reinventing our operations to keep the Pitt community as safe and healthy as possible while maximizing our ability to carry out our mission. I encourage you to visit our resource page frequently to learn about our planning to resume operations in the presence of this pandemic. This should be your go-to site for all of the latest information on our planning, and to find resources to assist you.

The Resilience Framework combines a constant monitoring of conditions on our campuses and the prevalence of the virus with a set of universal health rules to help keep us safe and foundational principles to guide our operations. We’ve developed three risk-based operational postures to drive our decision-making throughout the pandemic. Similar to Pennsylvania’s red-yellow-green phases, these postures define what is allowable across our people, places and programs. Every activity area of the University will use these common standards and operational postures to plan for safe operations during the pandemic.

operational postures

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While we depend on Pennsylvania’s phases as a minimum, we will customize our operational posture based on the assessed risk level on and near our campuses. On July 13, we plan to move from the emergency posture all of our campuses have been in since March to the Elevated Risk Posture on the Pittsburgh campus, and to the Guarded Risk Posture for our campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville. 

The University’s Healthcare Advisory Group established universal health rules to help keep us safe. These rules underpin the principles for planning and operations throughout all of our campuses and within each area. Everyone’s adherence to these health rules keeps our community as healthy as possible, and the health rules are not surprising:

  • You will be required to wear a face covering on our campuses and in our facilities.
  • Physical distancing is necessary, with a minimum of 6 feet between you and others when possible.
  • You should limit your time with others in small spaces, like elevators and bathrooms.
  • Gatherings should be held remotely, although Guarded Risk and Elevated Risk Postures allow for some limited-capacity events.
  • Frequently wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

To maximize social distancing on our campuses and in our facilities, faculty and staff should work from home for the duration of the pandemic except when their presence on campus is needed to support students, research and other operations. For those who must work on campus, staggered shifts and other scheduling strategies will be used to help limit the number of people on campus at any one time. Additionally, appropriate personal protective equipment, barriers and other infection-control measures may be required in your work area.

While we’ve been planning for the return since late May and have accomplished a great deal, there is still much more work to be done and we are forging ahead. More guidance is in development now, including additional information regarding:

  • How we will bring students, faculty and staff back to our campuses and how they will live and work during the pandemic;
  • How our Flex@Pitt instructional model will be implemented, including technology and spaces;
  • Plans for virus testing, symptom monitoring, quarantining and contact tracing;
  • Accommodations for vulnerable populations; and
  • Alternative enrollment options for international students, and international travel safety guidance for students, faculty and staff.

Additional details will be shared weekly, starting next week, and is our planning and communication headquarters.

Stay tuned and stay well,

Patrick Gallagher