The University of Pittsburgh is reinventing our operations to keep the Pitt community as safe and healthy as possible while maintaining our focus on building a better future for humankind. All of our planning is built within the Resilience Framework, which allows us to monitor the pandemic conditions globally, locally and on our campus, and establishes rules to guide our behavior. 

To do that, we’ve established three operational postures that drive our decision making and activity levels. We’re also creating rules and recommendations that will apply across our campuses and serve as the foundation for each office and department to prepare detailed plans addressing their unique needs.

Operational Postures

Like Pennsylvania’s red, yellow and green county phases, Pitt’s operational postures define what is allowable across our people, places and programs. While all of our operational postures will meet the minimum requirements of the current phase of our counties, we will customize our operational posture based on factors unique to the University, including cases on campus, adherence to health and safety guidelines and availability of personal protective equipment and isolation beds. 

Guarded Risk Posture meets the minimum standards of Pennsylvania’s green phase. Here, fewer restrictions are in place, while many mitigation measures remain. The activities taking place will account for chronic risk of operating during a pandemic, while continuing to prioritize health and safety. 

Elevated Risk Posture meets the minimum standards of Pennsylvania’s yellow phase. Under this posture, life on campus resumes at a minimal level, prioritizing activities that have high value but lower risk, such as certain research activities. 

High Risk Posture meets the minimum standards of Pennsylvania’s red phase. In the High Risk Posture, the University is open, but activity is heavily restricted to help stop the spread of the virus.

A change in operational posture would be communicated by an all-campus email with a reminder of what that change entails. In those instances when the change in posture results in lessening restrictions—as in the case of moving from Elevated to Guarded—we would provide at least one week notice to give people time to plan for the adjustment. Such notice may not be possible when the change is to a more restrictive posture, but we will make every attempt to ensure that everyone has sufficient notice of such changes.