Conversations about COVID-19

Each Friday this May and June, Pitt Public Health experts had conversations about different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and then addressed questions from the seminar attendees. The goal of the COVID-19 seminar series was to provide our school community, alumni, and the public with credible information about the virus and the associated health impacts. 

You can watch any or all of the conversations below, and additional questions were also answered by the experts in text after the event. 

COVID19 and the Future of Public Health

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How does the current pandemic compare with other public health crises like the polio outbreaks in the 1940s and 50s? This final seminar will provide an opportunity to collectively reflect on what we can do to extend the reach of the field and to improve population health and well-being. IDM's Peter Salk and Mehran S. Massoudi (EPI '92, '93) share thoughts about how the current pandemic connects to Jonas Salk's work and reflect on what we can do ... 

COVID-19: The Effect on Immigrants and Latinos

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BCHS's Patricia Documet, associate professor and director of the doctoral program in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and director of Latinx research and outreach in the Center for Health Equity discusses with community leaders the effects of the pandemic on Latinos and immigrants. Panelists include Guillermo Perez, president of the local chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and Monica Ruiz, execu... 

Health Department Responses

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EPI's Catherine Haggerty and HPM's Wendy Braund lead a conversation about the health department response to COVID-19 at the local and state levels. Haggerty starts the conversation with a discussion of the approaches, impact, and challenges of containment and mitigation efforts at the county level. Braund continues the conversation by comparing and contrasting the response at the state level.   

Biostatistical Modeling and COVID-19

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Biostatistical modeling, estimation, and decision-making support have been playing an important role in responses to COVID-19 challenges. Lu Tang and Andriy Bandos will discuss statistical considerations involved in modeling the epidemic progression and in the use of COVID-19 related tests for estimation and decision making support.   

Understanding and Addressing the COVID-19 Infodemic

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Since the initial outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, social media misinformation appears to be spreading faster than the virus itself, prompting the WHO to declare an "infodemic" of misinformation. During this conversation, BCHS's Steve Albert and Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19 '23) will discuss how COVID-19 related misinformation fits within the framework of science denialism, and provide strategies to help public health professionals and othe... 

Conversations about COVID-19

 

COVID-19 News Headlines

Burke talks about how Pittsburgh’s virus success fizzled in crowded bars, eateries 

Burke talks about how Pittsburgh’s virus success fizzled in crowded bars, eateries

AP – Epidemiologist Donald S. Burke said a preliminary review of mobility data shows the recent spike is consistent with an outbreak fueled by a narrow demographic such as younger people at bars and restaurants. As a second tier of hot-spot cities, Pittsburgh is still fertile ground for the virus. ... (07/25/2020)

How to organize science in an emergency? Gellad has slammed U.S. leadership. 

How to organize science in an emergency? Gellad has slammed U.S. leadership.

SLATE – Since January, researchers hoping to fight COVID-19 have designed a stunning 1,200 clinical trials, but the effort has been marked by disorder and disorganization, with huge financial resources wasted. Applying history lessons to today, HPM’s Walid Gellad, director of the Center for Pharmac... (08/04/2020)

Study Asserts School Closures in the Spring Saved Lives, but Donohue has questions 

Study Asserts School Closures in the Spring Saved Lives, but Donohue has questions

NEW YORK TIMES - “We really can’t isolate the impact of school closures from other interventions,” said HPM’s Julie Donohue. “I do worry that these large estimates of the effect of school closures will lead people to give up because it is going to be challenging to open schools. I do worry that som... (07/29/2020)

Angus says “Covid vaccine shortages are very likely. Without a plan, it will be a feeding frenzy.” 

Angus says “Covid vaccine shortages are very likely. Without a plan, it will be a feeding frenzy.”

THE TELEGRAPH - Derek Angus (BCHS '92), chair of critical care medicine and HPM distinguished professor, says hard conversations about who should be prioritized will be needed both within and between countries. It might be decided that frontline workers should be at the head of the queue, but you c... (08/03/2020)

Why are minorities getting hit harder by COVID-19? Partly because of systemic racism, says Gary-Webb 

Why are minorities getting hit harder by COVID-19? Partly because of systemic racism, says Gary-Webb

THE MORNING CALL - EPI's Tiffany Gary-Webb, member of the Pittsburgh Black Covid-19 Equity Coalition, said there is a lack of robust and accessible testing, and that testing sites are not concentrated in communities of color. “We know that there’s disproportionate impacts, so we really think interv... (07/15/2020)

Telemedicine is booming — but Roberts says many still face huge barriers to virtual care 

Telemedicine is booming — but Roberts says many still face huge barriers to virtual care

STAT - “The temporary reform due to Covid allowed telemedicine visits from a patient’s home, but it presumed that patients had access to the technology to engage in those visits,” said HPM’s Eric Roberts, paper co-author. “We’re showing that there’s a substantial number of Medicare beneficiaries wh... (08/05/2020)

Albert on the COVID-19 testing shortage; Allegheny County residents share difficulties getting timely results 

Albert on the COVID-19 testing shortage; Allegheny County residents share difficulties getting timely results

PUBLIC SOURCE – BCHS’ Steven Albert believes the Allegheny County Health Department has done a great job despite a meager federal response and a decades-long disinvestment in public health. He said when our health department says to stay home if you have a problem but only get a test if you’re symp... (07/21/2020)

Gary-Webb testifies at PA Democratic Health Committee on Black COVID-19 Equity Coalition 

Gary-Webb testifies at PA Democratic Health Committee on Black COVID-19 Equity Coalition

EPI's Tiffany Gary-Webb presented testimony on COVID-19 disparities and our equity response at the July 15 House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on COVID-19 Health Disparities, impressing Representative Stephen Kinsey who wants to follow-up with Gary-Webb to connect the Philadelphia and Pittsbu... (07/21/2020)
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