Updated Jan. 11, 2022

Given the increased transmission rate of the omicron variant, COVID-19 testing will be increased and shelter-in-place will be implemented as students return to our campuses, 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.

Testing Before Travel

Pitt will provide 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 with approved exemptions 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.


University-wide Shelter in Place

A University-wide shelter-in-place period will begin on Saturday, Jan. 8 on all campuses. After arriving, students should shelter in place for at least 5 days, whether you live on or off campus. We urge you to do the following during the time you’re sheltering in place after travel:

1. Limit close contacts. The safest protocol is to limit all close contacts, wear a face covering and be physically distant at all times when around other people. The next best approach is to establish pods based on those with whom you cohabitate (a hallmark of quarantine or shelter-in-place protocols). You could be unmasked in the presence of your pod mates. Avoid new close contacts.

If you’ve developed a set of close contacts outside your pod, we highly encourage you to use virtual and technology-based connections for socializing during the shelter-in-place period.

2. Interact virtually. 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. Group work for classes and student activities should be held virtually. Although it may vary by campus, the University will close some public spaces that are higher risk or difficult to monitor or control.

Academic buildings are open for study spaces during shelter in place.

Students should be notified by their school and/or instructor of programs/courses/labs that will be in person.  Students with questions about the status of courses or labs should contact their instructors.

If the dean approves an in-person class during shelter in place, vaccinated students may attend as long as they are not symptomatic and not COVID-19 positive. Unvaccinated students with approved exemptions will need to provide a negative test through the weekly mandatory testing process before they attend class in person.

University residence halls will re-open on all campuses on Saturday, Jan. 8. Pittsburgh campus students will return in a phased, cohort-based arrival on the following dates:

Jan. 8-9
Jan. 14-15
Jan. 21-22

Regional campus students will return beginning Saturday, Jan. 8 and throughout that weekend.

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. 

Testing After Travel

All students living in University housing will be required to submit a COVID-19 test after arriving on campus. The test should be ordered immediately and sent to their University address prior to traveling to campus. 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.


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 has updated the isolation and quarantine guidance to reflect the CDC’s update which shortens the recommended isolation and quarantine period for people who are vaccinated and boosted.

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.