Conversations about COVID-19

Pitt Public Health brings together a variety of experts to have a conversation about different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and address questions from seminar attendees. The goal of the seminar series is to provide our school community, alumni, and the public with credible information about the virus and the associated health impacts. 

View past sessions below and stay tuned for future sessions. 

Recent Session Summaries & Recordings

Biden coronavirus task force appointee Michael Osterholm discusses "The COVID Pandemic: The Evolving Reality" (video)

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In a special IDM Seminar, Michael T. Osterholm answers questions regarding the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection, public health strategies to reduce transmission, and thoughts on how the world will likely look one year from now. Osterholm was recently appointed to President-elect Biden's coronavirus task force and directs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.  

Disinformation & Misinformation: Politics, Pandemics & Public Health

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In the final fall session of Conversations about COVID-19 seminar series, Jaime Sidani and Michael Colaresi join BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman to discuss ways that public health can address dis/misinformation in the era of COVID-19, with a particular focus on implications for COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.  

CDC NIOSH's Response to PPE Challenges During COVID-19

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As part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) has responded ot the unique personal protective equipment (PPE) challenges that have arisen during COVID-19. This presentation, with Maryann D'Alessandro, PhD, and John Powers, both of the NPPTL, provides an overview of their response to COVID-19 and effort... 

Pennsylvania State Response to COVID-19

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Wendy Braund, COVID-19 response director, Pennsylvania Department of Health, leads a conversation about the Pennsylvania Department of Health response to COVID-19, addressing the current situation and containment and mitigation efforts.   

COVID-19 & Health Disparities

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As part of the Conversations about COVID-19 seminar series, EPI doctoral candidate Chantele Mitchell Miland , and Pitt's director of health sciences diversity, equity, and inclusion, Mario Browne (BCHS '05), discuss COVID-19 and health disparities.  

Conversations about COVID-19

 

COVID-19 News Headlines

Lawmakers vote to end Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 emergency, but Gov. Wolf says it’s not over. Burke is concerned. 

Lawmakers vote to end Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 emergency, but Gov. Wolf says it’s not over. Burke is concerned.

PENN LIVE - Epidemiologist Donald Burke said, “The reason our case rates are as low as they are right now is exactly because of these emergency orders and the business closures and mitigation efforts that have followed. To pull back completely from these protections now… would be unwise in the extr... (06/09/2020)

Rappocciolo responds to possibility that cholesterol could be the culprit in COVID-19 deaths 

Rappocciolo responds to possibility that cholesterol could be the culprit in COVID-19 deaths

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE – The study is plausible, says IDM’s Giovanna Rappocciolo, but “rough around the edges”— a situation that could be remedied through the peer-review process. "If the research is verified, then COVID-19 potentially could be treated by manipulating cholesterol levels, with d... (06/07/2020)

Hoffman says scientists and vaccination proponents need to get better at engaging on social media to combat vaccine misinformation 

Hoffman says scientists and vaccination proponents need to get better at engaging on social media to combat vaccine misinformation

INSIDER – As the anti-vaccine movement grows on social media, Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '23) talks about the importance of public health professionals having an active presence on social media. Now is the time for more scientists to find creative ways to get information out to combat conspiracy theor... (06/01/2020)

Felter on informing the public when COVID-19 guidelines keep changing 

Felter on informing the public when COVID-19 guidelines keep changing

90.5 WESA - “It’s really challenging from a communications standpoint,” said BCHS’ Elizabeth Felter. For example, the World Health Organization started using “physical distancing" instead of “social distancing” because it’s important to be physically distant but still be socially connected.  It's d... (05/27/2020)

Understanding and Addressing the COVID-19 Infodemic 

Understanding and Addressing the COVID-19 Infodemic

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 h... (05/30/2020)

When 511 epidemiologists expect to fly, hug and do 18 other everyday activities again: Mair weighs in 

When 511 epidemiologists expect to fly, hug and do 18 other everyday activities again: Mair weighs in

NEW YORK TIMES – A group of 511 epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists were asked when they expect to resume daily life activities. On the question of sending a child to school, camp, or day care, BCHS’ Christina Mair responded that she’d do it this summer because she’s “willing to take... (06/08/2020)

Gary-Webb on the new Pittsburgh coalition tackling racial inequities and the pandemic 

Gary-Webb on the new Pittsburgh coalition tackling racial inequities and the pandemic

WESA - Coalition scientists have pushed to get more coronavirus testing into communities of need. To get that done, EPI’s Tiffany Gary-Webb said they mapped out where Black families live in poverty and lack access to quality medical care, and then created an overlay showing where the federally qual... (06/08/2020)

Contract tracing: Haggerty compares app to human approaches 

Contract tracing: Haggerty compares app to human approaches

PITTSBURGH CURRENT - EPI’s Catherine Haggerty says, “A key strength of active case investigation is that instructions can be immediately shared and explained. Additional continued monitoring of close contacts provides public health officials an ability to quickly identify if symptoms develop among ... (06/02/2020)
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