Covid-19 Medical
Response Office

Dear Pitt Faculty and Staff,

Many of you have inquired about surveillance testing for faculty and staff.  Based on the data from the fall term, we are not recommending random surveillance for faculty and staff and believe this approach would provide an incomplete snapshot of what is happening on our campuses and their surrounding communities. However, given the increased virus circulation in recent months, we are recommending targeted SARS-CoV-2 testing for Pitt faculty and staff.

To fulfill this recommendation, the University has partnered with Quest to offer self-collected PCR tests for faculty and staff in specific circumstances based on exposure. This testing is NOT for symptomatic individuals. Please contact MyHealth@Work Work if you have symptoms to determine whether testing is indicated. If testing is indicated, it will be arranged through Employee Health.

Starting on Monday, Jan. 25, you can begin ordering Quest testing kits using a link on the newly created faculty and staff testing page at

Faculty and staff members must fit into one of the three categories below to quality for a free Quest test kit:

1. Are identified as a close contact through exposure to someone who has COVID-19 (i.e., within 6 feet for 15 minutes with or without a mask).

a. Begin quarantine immediately.
b. For all exposures—on or off campus—please call MyHealth@Work at 412-647-4949 to discuss the exposure and determine next steps.
c. To shorten quarantine from 14 to 10 days, order the Quest kit and use it on day 8 or later of your quarantine period. You must receive a negative test result to exit quarantine on day 10. 


2. Work in an area on campus that has been identified as having a localized outbreak.

a. If there is a need for focused testing, Pitt will contact you and relay any necessary safety recommendations.

3. Have travelled outside the area in which you reside for either University business or personal reasons.

a. Review the University’s safe travel guidelines and requirements for additional details, especially for out-of-state travel.
b. If you are testing after travel, quarantine at home until you receive a negative test result.

To reiterate, if you are ordering a test based on criteria above, you should be quarantining. Someone in quarantine stays in their home, place of residence or other designated facility since it is possible to be contagious, even before someone develops symptoms.

Faculty and staff Quest test results will be shared with MyHealth@Work, just as student Quest test results are shared with Student Health Service. These records are not shared anywhere else. Please contact MyHealth@Work with questions at 412-647-4949.

As a reminder, anyone who is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 or who thinks they have been exposed to the virus via travel or contact with others should call their health care provider to talk with a medical professional as soon as possible. Faculty and staff should also contact MyHealth@Work at 412-647-4949 if they think they’ve been exposed.

Update: Vaccinations

Pitt does not have vaccine yet but is actively engaged with the state to secure and distribute COVID-19 vaccinations for our faculty, staff and students on our campuses. Our number one priority is to vaccinate members of the Pitt community as efficiently and equitably as possible. Currently, the state is only providing vaccine to health care entities.

On Thursday and Friday of next week, Jan. 28 and 29, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) will be providing vaccinations at the Petersen Events Center. ACHD controls this process and will only vaccinate clinical students who are patient-facing health care providers. 

We will continue to post updates to keep you informed of Pitt’s own vaccination planning efforts. Please understand this will take time. When it is your turn to receive the vaccine, we will contact you. In the meantime: Thank you for your patience.  

Daily Health Check app

Effective Monday, Jan. 25, faculty and staff will no longer be required to complete the health check app before entering a building on campus.  Some exceptions will occur: University offices may still require staff to complete this step and faculty, staff and students who are in quarantine or isolation will be required to complete the app.

Thermal scanners remain in place for temperature checks, and all students, faculty or staff who lack the authority to be on campus—or any Pitt affiliates who are supposed to be in quarantine or isolation—will not have swipe access to enter campus facilities.     

This does not mean we are relaxing mitigation. Virus circulation remains high and mitigation remains critically important. Studies have shown that mask wearing, physical distancing, and good hand hygiene are highly effective. However, there is no indication that daily health check apps reduce virus spread. Our goal is to focus on what we know works.

We urge you to continue to monitor your health and symptoms closely. Wear a face covering, maintain six feet of physical distance from others, maintain good hand hygiene, and don’t make new close contacts.

Thank you for your patience and partnership throughout this challenging time.


The COVID-19 Medical Response Office