This week, Carnegie Mellon's Pittsburgh campus had four cases of COVID-19 among students on campus, four cases among students off-campus, and three cases among staff and faculty on campus. This is consistent with last week's cases, when there were four cases among students on campus, seven cases among faculty and staff on campus, and four cases among faculty and staff off-campus. No isolation or quarantine bedding is in use, and 116 beds are still available. From Oct. 19 to Oct. 21, Tartan Testing flagged two positive cases out of 1,164 tests.
Additionally, Carnegie Mellon now reports 98 percent of its Pittsburgh community is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 98 percent of students, 99 percent of faculty, and 95 percent of staff are fully vaccinated. The vaccination rate may have topped out, as Carnegie Mellon has approved vaccine exemptions for 1.73 percent of the population.
This week, Carnegie Mellon announced that it will offer booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next month for eligible community members. The CDC expanded its eligible group for booster shots. Now, the CDC recommends that anyone who received a Pfizer or Moderna shot six months ago who is also older than 65, works in a long-term care setting, has an underlying medical condition, or works in a high-risk setting gets a booster shot. Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over two months ago and is over 18 should get a booster shot, the CDC recommended. People can find out if they are eligible for a booster shot at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html.
For those who are eligible for a booster shot, the CDC also advised that the booster shot does not need to be the same type as their original shot, allowing for "mixing-and-matching" of vaccines. CVS, Rite Aid, and Giant Eagle are all scheduling appointments for booster shots among other locations.
The Allegheny County Health Department reported 698 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 19 hospitalizations in the week beginning Oct. 17, compared to 1,907 confirmed cases and 144 hospitalizations the week before. There have been 76 deaths due to COVID-19 in Allegheny County in October. The CDC reported 28,185 COVID-19 cases and 485 deaths in Pennsylvania in the past seven days.