Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

Scotty with mask: Tartans All In everywhere

Pre-Thanksgiving Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing

Prior to Thanksgiving break, the university is offering asymptomatic COVID-19 tests to all Pittsburgh-located students to support their travel plans and minimize risk of virus transmission. Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing prior to departure from the region is another way you can help plan for the health and well-being of yourself, your family and your community.

Each student is eligible for one asymptomatic COVID-19 test during this testing period at no cost. If traveling, you should allow for at least 5 days from the time of the test to allow for the results to come back prior to your date of travel.

We know many of you are planning to travel for the holiday and may be concluding the remainder of the fall semester in another location. The best way to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus to others is to quarantine for 14 days before travel and to avoid high-risk travel whenever possible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that traveling increases the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19 and the American College Health Association (ACHA) recommends a “know before you go” approach to travel this fall to help keep our communities healthy.

It is important to remember that a negative COVID-19 test result represents a moment in time, and that anyone could become infected at any time before or after a test is administered or results are received. However, when paired with careful adherence to our COVID risk mitigation behaviors — completing the daily self-assessment, maintaining physical distance, wearing a facial covering and washing your hands — the ACHA finds that asymptomatic testing can be a valuable tool to inform your travel plans. 

Let's Get Started

How To Schedule a Test

Pre-Thanksgiving asymptomatic testing from November 9-13 and 16-18 is being offered to all students who wish to be tested, especially for those who are traveling. It is not required.

If you wish to schedule a test, we encourage you to schedule your appointment as soon as possible through the HealthConnect portal.

  • Login
  • Select "Forms" and read/approve treatment agreement (note: not “Consent Forms” or “Survey Forms”)
  • Select "Treatment Agreement Form 2020"
  • Please read it and indicate if you agree at the end.
    The Treatment Agreement gives UHS permission to communicate with the Division of Student Affairs in the event your test result is positive so we may provide support and protect the broader community. 
  • Select “Appointments”
  • “Schedule an appointment”
  • Select “ COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing”
  • “Continue” to select your appointment time

How the Testing is Conducted

University staff will be distributing the PCR test, and students will be guided to self-administer the nasal swab (Anterior Nares) sample collection. Testing site staff will wear required personal protective gear and practice safe protocols consistent with public health and CDC guidelines for this type of testing. Students are required to wear a face covering/mask throughout the testing process, except during nasal swab collection where they will be asked to lower the mask below the nose.

Testing appointments will take approximately 15 minutes. However, during high volume testing periods, the process may take longer. Additionally, unexpected delays may occur (e.g., inclement weather, etc.). We appreciate your support and patience with this very important testing process.

What To Expect At Your Appointment

  • Testing takes place on the first floor of the East Campus Garage. Look for signs at the entrance.
  • Please bring your student ID or government-issued ID with you to the test site.
  • Just before you are called to a check-in table, click “Appointments” in the HealthConnect menu and select today’s appointment to pull up your personal QR code. It is important to wait until just prior to approaching the check-in table so the original QR code is active (we cannot scan a download or screenshot).You will be provided a test kit and a healthcare professional will guide you through self-administering the nasal swab.
  • All students, staff and health care workers will be wearing facial coverings and physically distanced from one another at all times.

Remember to practice CDC recommended hygiene practices after you complete your test appointment.

Receiving Your Results

Results will be processed by Curative (our test supplier) and are anticipated to be returned approximately 2-4 days after test administration.

If You Have a Negative COVID-19 Test Result: You will receive a text message instructing you to log on to HealthConnect to view the result.

If You Have a Positive COVID-19 Test Result: You will receive a text message instructing you to log on to HealthConnect to view the result. A healthcare practitioner from University Health Services (UHS) will also call you to provide instruction on how to monitor your health, isolate from others and initiate contact tracing.

Our normal policies for isolation, contact tracing and care will remain in place for students receiving a positive COVID-19 test result during this testing period. Anyone who becomes ill, receives a COVID-19 diagnosis between now and the holiday break or has close contact to someone with the virus will be expected to isolate or quarantine and delay travel. UHS and university staff will provide guidance and support to those who test positive or are close contacts of someone testing positive.