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Pitt Lifts Mask Mandate

by James Mainier

Photo via Kyle Austin on Unsplash.

On Monday, March 28, the University lifted its face covering requirement, and masking is now optional inside of all facilities besides clinical settings and University-operated shuttles.

This change comes after the CDC released its new “COVID-19 Community Level” tool that recommends prevention measures to counties by categorizing them as low risk, medium risk, or high risk areas. Nurse Pamela Freger, the director of Pitt-Greensburg’s Health Center, said that the CDC’s guidance informs Pitt’s COVID-19 prevention protocols.

“Everything we do comes from the CDC,” Nurse Freger said. “First, [guidance] comes from Oakland, who follows the CDC, and then it trickles down to us [Pitt-Greensburg]. … We would [also] have meetings with the COVID response office, and that includes an epidemiologist and some other various physicians.”

The CDC calculates risk levels based on the current COVID-19 case count, number of hospital beds available, and hospital admissions in each county. According to the CDC, Westmoreland, Allegheny, and Cambria Counties are currently considered low risk, and Bradford County is a medium-risk area. 

The CDC recommends that the general public wear masks indoors only when they are in a high-risk county. 

For low- and medium-risk counties, the CDC recommends that members of the public stay up-to-date on the spread of COVID-19, get tested if they have symptoms, and talk with their physician if they have questions or concerns about masks.

In the Intercom newsletter on April 4, Pitt-Greensburg’s administration encouraged students to respect others’ choices regarding masks.

“Mask optional, kindness required,” the Intercom said. “We asked that everyone please respect individual decisions regarding whether to or not to wear a face covering. All members of our community are welcome to wear a face covering at any time for any reason. The University will continue to provide face coverings at concierge stations throughout our campus.”

All other COVID-19 precautions are still in place. This includes the University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement, weekly testing for anyone exempt from the requirement, guest registration policies, and restrictions on campus building access. 

The University also recommended that vaccinated students get a booster shot if they have not already. Pitt-Greensburg students can upload their updated vaccine card here after receiving their booster.

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