July 28, 2020

Dear Students:

In this message, the University of Pittsburgh’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office identifies key tips to keep in mind during your upcoming travels to campus. This advice applies regardless of where you live or what type of transportation you’re using.

For your trip to Pitt, we encourage you to:

  • Start early. If you’re slated to live in University housing, we’ve requested that you shelter in place for seven days prior to your scheduled move-in date. If you are living off campus, safe travel can occur before, during or at the end of 14 consecutive days of sheltering in place. Read our earlier update to review our guidance on sheltering in place details and why this approach helps support the health of our entire campus community.
  • Review your options. Driving to Pitt—regardless of whether you’re living on campus or off—is generally the safest transportation option. However, some students and families don’t have the luxury of just hitting the highway come move-in day. If other modes of transportation—like planes or buses—are part of your plans, be sure to check out the latest travel guidance before you go. Two resources we recommend are from the University’s Healthcare Advisory Group and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Think about brown bagging it. If possible, pack food and water for the trip (nonperishable options are a good idea in case restaurants and stores are closed). If you must buy food en route, opt for picking up items at drive-throughs or utilizing a curbside restaurant service.
  • Practice good hand hygiene…on repeat. Before traveling, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol for at least 30 seconds. The more stops or layovers your trip involves, the more times you should put this same hand hygiene routine into practice.
  • Have these three supplies handy. While traveling, we recommend three must-have items to keep close:
    • a medical mask or cloth face covering.
    • sanitizing wipes.
    • hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Accessorize for safety. Always wear a mask or cloth face covering when you are around people from another household. This step is particularly important when physical distancing is difficult (e.g., while riding on a train or bus, waiting at a rest stop or riding in a car with people from different households).
  • Consider your face off limits. Whenever possible, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Be smart with coughs and sneezes. Try to cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and then wash or sanitize your hands right away.
  • Mind your space. Physical distancing works. Whenever possible during travel—and in addition to wearing a mask or cloth face covering in public—try to keep at least 6 feet away from any member of another household.
  • Don’t stop now. When you reach campus, many of these same tips apply as you settle into life at Pitt. By putting these tips into motion, you’re already off to a great start in supporting your own health and the well-being of those around you.

Visit coronavirus.pitt.edu for much more information about returning to our campuses.

On behalf of the University: Safe travels. We look forward to seeing you soon!


Drs. John Williams and Chris O’Donnell
with the University of Pittsburgh’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office


Tuesday, July 28, 2020