Carnegie Mellon University
23 January 2020 - 5:00pm

Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon Community:

As you may be aware, reports of a novel (new) virus called CoronaVirus 2019-nCoV have made the news in recent days. University Health Services (UHS) is monitoring the emerging facts about the disease and working very closely with the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to understand and enact best practices for screening and treating any student who may report with symptoms. There has been no person diagnosed with the coronavirus in the Pittsburgh area, including at Carnegie Mellon, at this time.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in Atlanta reports that most human coronaviruses are relatively mild, although some coronaviruses cause more severe symptoms. The concern with this virus is that it is new, and therefore health officials do not have experience with its long-term effects. For the latest information from the CDC please see their website.

Out of an abundance of caution, any student with fever and cough who has been to Wuhan, China, within the last 14 days should report to the UHS immediately. If you are a faculty or staff member, you should contact your primary care provider for guidance.

Symptoms for coronaviruses may include:

  • Runny nose;
  • Headache;
  • Cough;
  • Sore throat;
  • Fever; and
  • A general feeling of being unwell.

Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, which in some rare instances can lead to death. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, weakened immune systems, infants and older adults. These viruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Because of the time of year, we also are experiencing increased cases of seasonal flu on our campus. It is therefore imperative that every community member take the following precautions.

  • Wash your hands often. This is the best defense against the spread of all viruses.
  • Stay home when you are ill. A day or two of rest will assure quicker recovery and decrease the spread of infectious illness on campus.
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue or the crook of your arm, and then promptly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
  • Get plenty of rest/sleep.
  • Get the seasonal flu vaccine. Though not protective against coronavirus, the seasonal vaccine may prevent against flu, which is circulating on campus and is known to cause possible severe respiratory illness.

Please direct any questions to UHS at or call 412-268-2157 and press the option for the triage nurse. UHS also has an after-hours nurse call line at 1-844-881-7176, so help is available 24 hours a day.

Thank you for doing your part in supporting a safe and healthy campus this winter.

Help ensure the safety and well-being of the CMU community.
University Police: 412-268-2323
Ethics Hotline: 
1-877-700-7050 (Username: tartans; Password: plaid)

The hotline is NOT an emergency service. For emergencies, call University Police at 412-268-2323 or 911.

What is CMU-Alert?

What is Rave Guardian, and how do I get it?

cmu safeThe well-being of every individual in the Carnegie Mellon University family is a top priority for the university. CMU offers a variety of health and safety services — from departments such as University Health Services to Environmental Health & Safety to a dedicated University Police unit. 

The mission of CMUSafe is to empower the CMU community to say something if we see something.

Helpful Info

Emergency preparedness - what you should do if ...

Emergency Preparedness Checklist

Guidance for 16 different emergency scenarios

AED Locations and Emergency Communication Devices Map

AED Locations and Emergency Communication Devices

Active Shooter Training

CMU Police PatchThe Carnegie Mellon University Police Department has published a training video on its website that explains what to do in the event of an active shooter on campus. A pocket guide, poster and pamphlet with instructions on how to respond also are available on the site.

If your workgroup, class or organization is interested in an active shooter presentation, contact Chief Tom Ogden at

What is CMU-Alert?


CMU-Alert is Carnegie Mellon's emergency notification system used to communicate important information during an emergency. The system uses multiple methods of communication to ensure the campus and community is notified during an emergency situation.

Please visit the Enterprise Risk Management website for a comprehensive description of CMU-Alert, as well as helpful resources and a Frequently Asked Questions section. If you have any other questions, you can email directly. 

  • The system will send text and/or voice messages, and email to the CMU community.
  • Messages are posted to Facebook and Twitter for parents, alumni and community.
  • Emergency help stations on campus will emit alert tones and verbal instructions as well as provide a way to communicate with University Police.
  • Regular updates will be posted at the top of this webpage.

How can I be notified?


All students are automatically registered for CMU-Alert if their information is up-to-date in SIO. 

Update your information in SIO

Need help? See our student guide for signing up with the SIO system

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff are automatically subscribed to receive CMU-Alert messages through an integration with Workday, the university's human resources system. As a result, it is recommended that you go into Workday or work with your Department Initiator to verify and update your contact information.

Update your information in Workday

Unsure how to update your information in Workday? Read this quick guide to find out how.

In the event you wish to unsubscribe from receiving emergency communications messages to your mobile and/or home phone numbers, please follow this guide: Unsubscribe from CMU-Alert in Workday Quick Guide.

Parents, Alumni, Visitors

CMU visitors are encouraged to follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Information about alerts will be posted on these sites, as well as on this webpage.

By following the instructions below, visitors to Carnegie Mellon University may enroll in an annual subscription to receive CMU-Alert messages:

Text keyword: VISITORS to 67283.

You will receive the following message: "Welcome to CMU-Alert, Carnegie Mellon University's emergency notification system. "Visitors will have the option to renew once their subscription has expired after one year.

To opt-out: Text STOP VISITORS to 67283.

Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Twitter!  

What should I do when I receive an alert?

Follow the directions of CMU-Alert messages unless doing so will place you in greater danger. CMU-Alert warnings are intended to support decisions for personal safety. When you become aware of a warning, make sure others around you are also aware of the potential danger. DO NOT respond to the scene of an emergency unless directed to do so. In addition to the possibility of becoming injured, your presence could interfere with the work of emergency response personnel.

What is Rave Guardian, and how do I get it?

Rave Guardian is a free smart-phone app that provides users with access to helpful safety and security resources on campus, a safety timer for a virtual buddy system, and interactive campus maps. It also pushes CMU-Alert emergency communications through the app to your smart phone. To download the app, search for "Rave Guardian" in Google Play or the App Store.

Visit the Rave Guardian Webpage to learn more.