Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

Scotty with mask and vaccination bandaid
August 04, 2020

Fall Update: New Minimum Requirements, HVAC, Travel and Visitor Protocols

Full email text from 8/4/20 below

Dear Members of the CMU Community:

I hope that all of you are managing well as we embark upon the four-week sprint that will lead us to the beginning of the fall semester. I remain grateful for your patience and flexibility as we complete our preparations for the return to campus while keeping our community’s health and wellness top of mind.

Hopefully, many of you were able to review the July 15th message, from Provost James Garrett and Gina Casalegno, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, which provided updates on the student experience, health and safety protocols, course schedules and more.

We are now in the process of reviewing and approving detailed plans for each college, school and unit as they prepare to bring faculty and staff back to campus for the start of the semester. Those faculty and staff who are approved by leadership to return to campus must follow a number of minimum requirements.

The newest requirement is a daily self-assessment tool. Going forward, an important part of every Tartan’s daily routine will be a self-assessment to make sure everyone is symptom-free before coming on campus. Each of us has to do our part to keep virus spread from happening. This simple and quick daily reminder to check for symptoms is an essential part of that process. Details concerning the daily self-assessment requirement will be coming soon.

Additionally, the requirements include:

  • Facial coverings must be worn at all times.
  • Anyone who is sick must stay home.
  • 6 feet of physical distancing must be maintained.
  • Hands should be washed frequently.
  • Outside of instruction, in-person gatherings or meetings are strongly discouraged and will be limited in size.

What CMU Is Doing

icon of CMU clock

Preparing Campus

Enhancing HVAC Systems
Modifying Spaces
Installing Plexiglass Barriers
Providing Clear Directional Instruction on Campus
Frequently Sanitizing and Disinfecting


icon of person with a thermometer

Expanding Services

Developing Tool for Daily Symptom Self-Screening
Doing Contact Tracing after Positive Cases
Enhancing Support for Student Academic Success

In order to help protect the safety and well-being of the members of the CMU community, we have also updated our protocols for travel and concerning visitors to campus.

Once you return to campus, you will notice a number of changes. This includes enhancements to cleaning services, modification of spaces, protective barriers and additional campus signage. There are a few enhancements that you won’t see. For instance, Facilities Management and Campus Services (FMCS) has evaluated many options for improving HVAC systems, and they have implemented accelerated maintenance schedules, modified automation logic, increased operating hours to maximize air ventilation, verified high filtration, and also are deploying portable air cleaners in certain spaces. Watch as university engineer and FMCS Assistant Vice President Steve Guenther explains how changes in HVAC filtration systems are creating healthier environments inside campus buildings.

Our COVID-19 website continues to provide the most up-to-date guidance for students and families, faculty, researchers and staff as well as answers to many frequently asked questions.

As we implement the hybrid teaching and learning model, each of us has a critical role to play in maintaining our community’s standards of behavior. These shared responsibilities are necessary both for supporting our core research and instruction missions, and for keeping each other safe while we do so. On behalf of my colleagues in the university’s leadership, thank you for your support and cooperation as we move forward.


Daryl Weinert
Chief of Staff and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
COVID Coordinator