COVID-19 Medical
Response Office

Dear Pitt Community,

Thank you for your patience over the past few weeks as we monitored the virus and consulted with public health experts to plan for the Spring 2022 term. Based on currently available information about the virus and the increased transmission rate of the omicron variant, we will be increasing COVID-19 testing for students in University housing and implementing a University-wide shelter-in-place beginning Saturday, Jan. 8. We anticipate classes will begin as scheduled on Jan. 10. The Provost or your regional campus president will provide more details about classes shortly.

Students and their families should carefully read and understand the following COVID-19 Medical Response Office guidance.

Testing Before Travel

Pitt will make available one COVID-19 test through Quest for all students returning to our campus communities in order to maximize a safe return. The test should be taken and returned to Quest prior to commencing travel.

Unvaccinated students living on campus are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result prior to returning to University housing.

Students should register for the test to be delivered to their current location as soon as possible.

Testing After Travel for Students in University Housing

University residence halls will re-open on all campuses on Saturday, Jan. 8. Pittsburgh campus students will return in a phased, cohort-based arrival. Regional campus students will return beginning Saturday, Jan. 8 and throughout that weekend.

All students living in University housing will be required to submit a COVID-19 test after arriving on campus. The test should be ordered and sent to their University address prior to traveling to campus. To ensure timely delivery, we encourage you to order your post-arrival test as soon as possible. Students should not go to class until they’ve received a negative COVID-19 test result. Students who test positive will be provided more details on how to isolate.

Panther Central and the regional campus housing offices will provide more details, including test ordering and drop-off details and move-in dates and information.

University-wide Shelter in Place

A University-wide shelter-in-place period will begin on Saturday, Jan. 8 on all campuses for students in University housing. During the shelter-in-place period, students should only leave their rooms or apartments to attend classes, labs or clinicals in person (if in-person classes were approved by the dean of your school); pick up food; exercise safely; study in the library; work when necessary; and shop for essentials and medical needs. Read more about sheltering in place after travel.

The shelter-in-place period will remain in effect until the CMRO advises that it is safe to lift, but will be in place at least 5 days after the last cohort arrives. Based on the above timelines, the Pittsburgh campus will shelter in place through at least Wednesday, Jan 26. The regional campuses will shelter-in-place through at least Jan. 13.

Resumption of Mandatory Testing for Unvaccinated Individuals

As previously announced, unvaccinated individuals must have an approved exemption and are required by the University to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test between Monday-Saturday, every week of the term. This program will resume the week of Jan. 10.


While on campus, everyone must wear a face covering indoors at all times. Masking will be enforced and public access to our buildings is restricted. The University plans to update the isolation and quarantine guidance to reflect the CDC’s update which shortens the recommended isolation and quarantine periods.

Boosters are critical, so register for your booster today or plan to be boosted shortly after returning to campus. The booster provides an increased immune response that improves protection against getting infected with COVID-19.

We know that many of you are excited to return, but please also limit your close contacts and do not plan or attend social gatherings.

All of these details, and more, can be found on


The COVID-19 Medical Response Office