Frequently asked questions about coming to Pittsburgh
in the era of COVID‐19
What is the status of the pandemic in Pittsburgh?
Fortunately, Pittsburgh has not been hit nearly as hard as many cities. Our ICUs were never filled, much less overwhelmed. The hospital systems are moving briskly toward normal operations. Pennsylvania has been gradually reopening institutions based on a red, yellow, green designation county by county. Pittsburgh moved into the “green” condition a week ago, so businesses and other institutions are carefully reopening although at restricted capacity. Green does require maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask in public spaces.
Public Transportation: what are the current restrictions and guidelines for public transportation in Pittsburgh/Oakland:
Currently the buses are generally considered safe. Riders are required to wear a mask.
Personal Protective Equipment: What are the School of Medicine’s guidelines for PPE for students during on-site instruction? Will the SOM provide face masks and PPE for students?
Masks are required in public spaces. Students will supply their own masks during preclinical times, but clinical
services will provide students with PPE specific to the requirements of that setting.
Will I need to self‐quarantine when I come to Pittsburgh?
If you are coming from a “hot spot” where citizens are still required to stay at home, you should self‐quarantine for 14 days before entering University or hospital building. If you have been in contact with anyone known to have, or suspected of having, the coronavirus, or have any symptoms yourself, you should self‐isolate or seek medical attention.
Cleaning classroom/public spaces
Cleaning will adhere to recommended protocols once the medical school building reopens. Details will be provided soon.
Shopping: How is the supply chain of food, cleaning products and PPE in Pittsburgh?
Currently there is no major problem with the supply chain for the items students need. Hand sanitizer comes and goes, but is available on line, if not in your store. Food shopping has never been a problem, although stores are restricting the number of people inside, so there are sometimes lines to get in. Some items seem to be in short supply so many
stores are restricting the number of a given item one can purchase at a time.
We anticipate a hybrid approach with much of the courses’ content provided on line with ecorded lectures and small groups via digital platforms. Depending on the progression of the pandemic we may be able to have small groups meet in large classrooms. Meetings with advisors will be either remote or in person as the infection risk changes.
Anatomy Block – Is it being moved later in the year and how is social distancing being implemented in the anatomy lab environment?
We are not changing the timing of anatomy. We expect much of the course to move to an online format but we anticipate that there will still be in‐person components. This may include rotations in the lab, with physical and temporal separation, and prosection. Small group sessions may be done in larger rooms with smaller numbers of people.
Technology Requirements: Will the SOM give guidance of technology requirements needed to support the remote learning portion of the curriculum? Will the SOM assist students who don’t have the resources to acquire these additional technology requirements?
Yes, UPSOM is preparing a technology requirement guide for incoming students that will be made available soon. It will be likely to include a laptop or tablet with video camera and good internet service. UPSOM will assist students who don't have those resources‐‐we have or will obtain technology resources that can be loaned to students who need it, as best as we can.
How is the SOM preparing if there is a second wave?
We are prepared to move the entire curriculum to a remote format at a moment's notice, something we did in March and can do again. This may require deferrals of some clinical skills instruction, but that can be made up flexibly later if necessary.