Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

Health & Wellness

Get tips for staying healthy, and learn what to do should you feel ill.

Health Care Tips

Icon of a person wearing a facemask

Wear a Face Covering

When you are at CMU locations, whether outside or inside, whether in private offices or common areas.

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Wash Your Hands

With soap and hot water for 20 seconds. Wash your thumbs, wrists and in-between your fingers.

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Cover Your Mouth

With the crook of your arm or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then promptly wash your hands.

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Practice Social Distance

Keep at least 6 feet (2 meters) of distance between you and others. This may mean rearranging rooms to keep a safe distance.

Social Distancing Guidelines

Every individual has an important role to play to protect from the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Social distancing is an evidence-based public health practice to mitigate the spread of viruses. We want to empower supervisors to use strategies that will keep our community safe. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Guidelines for Students

  • Practice good personal health by washing your hands often with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, and make sure you wash your thumbs, wrists and in-between your fingers. This is the best defense against the spread of all viruses. Learn more health care tips.
  • 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.
  • Keep 6 feet (2 meters) of distance between you and others; this may mean rearranging rooms to keep a safe distance.
  • Replace in-person meetings with remote options. If you must meet in person, hold meetings in larger rooms to allow greater spacing of participants.
  • Food needs to be individually wrapped and should not be openly shared (for example, foods like pizza, chips or dip).
  • Please keep your areas clean and free of clutter to allow for easier sanitizing and cleaning. This includes both residence, recreation and professional spaces.

See additional guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on preventing COVID-19 spread in communities.


Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure to COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
This list is not all-inclusive. Other, less common gastrointestinal symptoms have also been reported. Please consult your medical provider or call University Health Services at 412-268-2157 for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. For more information, visit CDC’s Coronavirus website.


Emergency: If you are having a medical emergency, please call 911 if you are off campus and if on campus, call 412-268-2323 to access Emergency Medical Services.

If you become ill, call University Health Services (UHS) immediately at 412-268-2157. You will consult with a nurse who will give you instructions to protect you and others before seeking care. If you experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, call campus police at 412-268-2323 immediately to alert them to your medical emergency.

For more information about how UHS will utilize telehealth care to provide continuity of care with medication refills, psychiatric care, transcare, and other primary care needs, please visit the UHS website. After-hours non-emergency medical advice can continue to be accessed by TeamHealth at 1-844-881-7176.

Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms who may require some short-term academic accommodations related to their illness should contact Disability Resources. If you have received a positive COVID-19 test result and have documentation of that result, please attach it to the email when you contact Disability Resources.


Please reach out to your primary care provider for guidance in treating symptoms and keeping others around you safe. Human Resources has also provided guidance about supports and available options (.pdf).

Additionally, you must report your diagnosis to Matthew McCabe within the Office of Human Resources at, or to Community Health and Well-Being at so that we can connect you with supports and take proper precautions to keep you and our community safe. Information regarding your diagnosis will only be shared as necessary for the university to safe guard the community and to comply with any applicable laws or government orders.

Graduate student researchers who experience symptoms must notify their research supervisors. Supervisors should then notify University Health Services.

If you suspect you may be sick, do not come to your designated work location. Stay home, notify your supervisor and consult your healthcare provider. If you begin to feel ill while on-site, leave the premises, notify your supervisor immediately and consult your healthcare provider.

Exposure and Diagnosis

What Happens if I Suspect or Know I Have Been Exposed to COVID-19?

There are many people who may be carrying the virus and not showing active symptoms. For this reason, it is now important to assume that everyone you come in contact with may have the virus, regardless of if you think they appear ill. That is why we urge everyone to remain at a 6-foot distance from others at all times while maintaining good hand hygiene practices. It is imperative that you monitor yourself for symptoms.

If you suspect or know you have been exposed to COVID-19:


Call University Health Services at 412-268-2157 immediately for a consultation.

Faculty, Staff & Graduate Researchers:

Contact your supervisor immediately to determine the next appropriate steps.

What Happens If a Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis is Reported?

Upon confirmation of a positive diagnosis or a presumptive positive diagnosis, Community Health and Well-Being will initiate and/or support the Allegheny County Health Department with contact tracing.

Contact tracing will require you to provide as much information as possible about close contacts you many have had in the previous weeks and those contacts will be notified. Your identity will be protected during this process.

The positvely diagnosed person will not be able to return to work until they have received clearance by a healthcare provider and provided documentation of that to Human Resources.

What Happens in My Workspace/Building If a Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis is Reported?

The impacted space(s) will be temporarily closed for a period of least 24 hours.

Upon expiration of the closure, the space(s) will be deep cleaned by Facilities Management and Campus Services or authorized third party remediation service. When the space is reopened, temperature screenings will be performed by University Health Services staff or their trained designees for 14 days following the first exposure.

Prior to entering the workplace, anyone who has a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be sent home. They will not be able to return to work until they have received clearance by a healthcare provider and provided documentation of that to Human Resources.


How to Self-Isolate:

  • Self-isolation means you should avoid contact with other people
  • If others are with you in self-isolation (e.g., family), stay at least 6-8 feet away from them
  • Do not attend worksites, laboratories, study groups or other events and activities on- or off-campus
  • Self-isolation must last 14 days following departure from a high-risk area and until you are symptom-free. Once these criteria are met, continue to practice social distancing.

Students who are staying on campus

  • For students living in university housing and do not have other resources for support, the university will provide a space on-campus to self-isolate, and you will be supported by Student Affairs.
  • Any student who is impacted will be provided academic accommodations and support. The university will help identify options to support students living off-campus, where self-isolation is not possible.

Faculty and staff members

  • Faculty or staff members who are subject to an associated self-isolation should contact their supervisors or department head.
  • For additional information and help, faculty, staff and supervisors may consult the Leaves Administrator in the Benefits Unit of the Office of Human Resources.

Reporting & Support for Self-Isolation

For any questions about the university’s expectations and to notify the university of your self-isolation (student, faculty or staff), please contact Maureen Dasey-Morales, associate vice president for community health and well-being.

We ask that any university community member who is self-isolating notify the university so we can provide support during your time away from campus. Your personal information will be treated sensitively and with appropriate confidentiality.

Faculty and staff are asked to make appropriate accommodations for students' missed coursework, research time and student employment.