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Pitt lifting pandemic access control restrictions

The University of Pittsburgh is lifting its on-campus, access control restrictions for university buildings. The amended access control protocols were instated following the arrival of the pandemic in 2020.

According to an official university release, the return to normal access control policies will apply to all Pitt campuses, effective July 1.

The return to normal policy means that a Pitt ID card will no longer be required to enter all campus buildings. Also, campus guests will not have to register in advance to gain access to campus facilities. Both measures were implemented during the pandemic to restrict access to campus facilities.

Pitt buildings that already had restricted access prior to the pandemic will continue to be limited to those students and campus community members with authorized access privileges.

Pitt officials say that the building access rules could revert back to pandemic protocols if health reasons should arise in the counties where Pitt’s campuses are located. All counties are currently at medium or low COVID levels.

Pitt first restricted building access with the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. When students began to return to campus in August 2020, safety concierge stations were installed at building entrances where security personnel and student workers would make sure people swiped their Pitt ID to enter.

Ted Fritz, vice chancellor for public safety and emergency management told the Senate’s Campus Utilization, Planning And Safety committee in March of this year that the security level of Pitt buildings is determined by a committee, which rates the spaces on different tiers.

Tier 1, for example, carries the most restrictive access and includes sensitive areas like labs, research facilities and residence halls, while the less restrictive Tier 3 is for business offices, recreation centers and libraries. Fritz says it’s been a couple of years since the committee last met, but it is planning to do so again soon.

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