Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

Scotty with mask and vaccination bandaid

COVID-19 Guidance and Protocols

Last updated: 1/23/23


Facial Coverings

Facial coverings both indoors and outdoors are optional for members of our community. Exceptions include situations where facial coverings will continue to be required in accordance with the university’s Minimum Requirements.

You cannot require, but you can request that individuals wear a facial covering in a classroom, theater, lab or common space. If individuals choose not to wear (or wear) a facial covering based on your request, there should be no negative consequences or repercussions.

You can require anyone coming into your private office or residence to wear a facial covering.  (If you are sharing an office or residence, please respectfully discuss with your office or roommates.)

In order to be respectful of the personal health choices and medical privacy of others, it recommended that you do not inquire about the reasons for an individual’s choice to wear or not wear a facial covering.

A faculty member, staff member, student, contractor, or other third party may not be sanctioned, disciplined, reprimanded, or be subjected to any other negative actions based on the individual’s decision to wear or not wear a facial covering (except in situations where facial coverings are still required).

Examples of negative consequences or repercussions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Removing an individual from a class, meeting, event, or other activity;
  • Negative grading or academic decisions;
  • Formal or informal disciplinary action;
  • Verbal reprimand;
  • Adverse academic actions or adverse changes in academic opportunities or assignments;
  • Adverse change in work assignments, opportunities or the terms and conditions of employment;
  • Harassment or bullying;
  • Threats of any of the above actions.
Close Contact and Exposure

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, or if you are not fully vaccinated (including booster when eligible) and been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 10 days, please stay home. Faculty and staff should contact their health care provider. Tartan Testing is available to all asymptomatic and symptomatic enrolled students, and it remains available to all faculty and staff who seek an asymptomatic COVID-19 test.

Individuals should complete any isolation or quarantine period as instructed by CMU contact tracers prior to resuming participation in Tartan Testing.

We will use a combination of quarantine and isolation plans to help protect our community by preventing exposure to people who have or may have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 10 days. 

Quarantine requirements for close contacts have shifted. For those that are able to wear facial coverings, quarantine is no longer required for those deemed to be a close contact of a COVID-19 positive case, regardless of vaccination status. However, you must wear a facial covering while in public for 10 days after the last exposure to the positive COVID-19 case.

Vaccine Requirements

Carnegie Mellon University requires all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID19 (including booster dose when eligible) and to upload confirmation of booster vaccination status and date of vaccination to the CMU Vaccine Database in HealthConnect.

All students, faculty and staff eligible for a COVID-19 booster are required to upload documentation and date of vaccination within 60 days of their eligibility in HealthConnect.

CMU has taken the critical step of requiring all faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated (including booster when eligible) in order to further protect the safety of our campus and neighboring communities.

To be fully vaccinated (including booster when eligible) against COVID-19, all enrolled CMU students, both domestic and international, along with faculty and staff working in the United States, are required to either (i) be vaccinated with a WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine and document their vaccination status or (ii) receive an approved exemption for medical, religious or strong moral/ethical conviction reasons. This policy applies to all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as visiting, non-degree, guest and cross-registered students, in U.S.-based programs and students participating in approved study abroad programs overseas. CMU faculty and staff members taking courses as a non-degree student must also be vaccinated.

Our goal is to have almost all of our community members vaccinated. We are providing multiple opportunities for individuals to receive the vaccine, and we will continue to do so.

Yes, if vaccination is not advised for medical reasons or conflicts with your religious belief/strong moral or ethical conviction. Anyone requesting to be exempted from vaccination or boosters will need to complete an application for exemption form:

• Students: medical, religious belief/strong moral or ethical conviction

• Faculty and staff: medical, religious belief/strong moral or ethical conviction

If you have already received an exemption from vaccination, you are automatically exempted from the booster requirement. If you are vaccinated but need to request exemption from a booster, an exemption form will need to be completed.

Learn more about immunizations and vaccines on the University Health Services website.

Yes. CMU is offering booster shots to eligible faculty, staff and students with a priority on vaccinating our most vulnerable community members at this current time. See clinic dates and register for an appointment.

Yes, all students, faculty and staff are required to participate in the CMU COVID-19 Vaccine Database as part of the university's vaccine requirement.

Students are required to participate in CMU's COVID-19 Vaccine Database as part of the university's vaccine requirement and must either request an exemption or upload confirmation of their vaccination status. If you have not done so already, upload your vaccination status to the CMU Vaccine Database immediately. 

Faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated (including booster when eligible) for COVID-19 and upload vaccination documentation into the CMU Vaccine Database immediately.

Individuals who have begun their vaccination process should upload their first dose documentation into HealthConnect and then follow up with second dose documentation (if required).  

Please note that until full documentation is uploaded, students, faculty and staff will be expected to participate in all mitigation requirements and testing protocols.

You can learn more about the process and how to submit your documentation on the COVID-19 CMU Vaccine Database page.

You will not receive an immediate confirmation after uploading. A member of our staff will review your upload within five business days. After we have verified your record, you will see your COVID-19 vaccine listed under Immunizations in the left menu.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, visit CDC guidelines.

If you’ve lost or misplaced your card, please contact your primary care physician or the place where you received your vaccinations to get a new card.

If you were vaccinated in Pennsylvania, you can contact the PA Department of Health at 877.774.4748 or email and request replacement documentation. Visit the PA Department of Health's Statewide Immunization Information System (PA-SIIS) for more information.

Additionally, to ensure timely reporting of your vaccinated status, please contact for help with questions related to reporting status for individuals who were not issued a COVID-19 vaccination card, lost/misplaced it or have other questions related to uploading an image of the card.

Yes, faculty and staff should plan to get their vaccination as soon as possible, and when fully vaccinated (including booster when eligible), upload documentation even if not planning to be on campus regularly. You can learn more about the process and how to submit your documentation on the COVID-19 Vaccine Database website.

Please note that until documentation is uploaded, staff and faculty members will be considered to be unvaccinated for the purposes of adherence to mitigation requirements and testing protocols.

Vaccination Data and Compliance

University Health Services (UHS) staff will review and verify vaccine information submissions through the secure electronic health record system, HealthConnect. CMU will use this information to determine whether individuals are compliant with the vaccine requirements or the university’s minimum mitigation requirements expected of community members who do not have a verified COVID-19 vaccine record or approved exemption from UHS.

Vaccination data will also be used in aggregate form to help inform our campus posture, as well as plans for booster vaccine clinics if and when they become recommended by public health officials.

CMU is committed to protecting the confidentiality of your vaccination information, and will share it only with those individuals who have valid reasons to access the data solely for the purposes described in the COVID-19 Vaccination Data Collection Privacy Notice (PDF).

Up-to-date records of those who are expected to comply with the university’s mitigation requirements will be available to Student Affairs for students and Human Resources for faculty and staff. If concerns are raised about compliance, Student Affairs will engage directly with a student to assure compliance. Human Resources will engage directly with employees to assure compliance among faculty and staff. Supervisors will be engaged only if the issue cannot be brought to resolution through direct engagement with Human Resources.

CMU is committed to protecting the security of your vaccination data through the use of technologies and procedures, such as technical and organizational security policies and procedures, security controls and employee training. Further information on CMU’s security measures may be found in the COVID-19 Vaccination Data Collection Privacy Notice (PDF).

All students, faculty and staff eligible for a COVID-19 booster are required to upload documentation and date of vaccination within 60 days of their eligibility in HealthConnect.

Enrolled students at CMU include:

  • Part-time and full-time students
  • Non-degree students
  • Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education and dual degree students from other institutions

Compliance with the university’s mitigation strategies has been crucial to our success throughout the pandemic and we expect community members will continue to uphold their obligations to protect the community and their own health and safety. The university is committed to an educational approach to assure compliance; however, the university reserves the right to take employment or disciplinary action when warranted.

Importance, Safety, Eligibility and Distribution

Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following the CDC's recommendations to protect yourself and others offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Learn about how federal partners ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.

All people living in the United States age 6 months and older are eligible for vaccination at no cost.

On June 18, 2021, the CDC director adopted the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This expands eligibility for vaccination to nearly 20 million additional children and means that all Americans ages 6 months and older are now eligible for vaccination. 

In addition as of July 21, 2022 the CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older.

Yes, anyone living in the United States age 6 months and older, including international students, are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. A passport or other photo identification will suffice when checking in to receive your vaccine.

According to the CDC, getting a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Prevents serious illness
  • A safer way to build protection
  • Offers added protection
Learn more from the CDC about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC recommends vaccination for all eligible people, including individuals with prolonged post-COVID-19 symptoms (i.e. loss of sense of smell/taste). There is no recommended minimum waiting period between infection and vaccination, however, you should hold on vaccination until recovery from acute illness symptoms and have met criteria to discontinue isolation before vaccinating.

Travel is permitted. For more information on current travel guidelines, visit Travel Risk Management Program.
Visitors are permitted. For more information, go to CMU - Visit.