Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

Scotty with mask and vaccination bandaid
January 29, 2020

Coronavirus Update; Travel Warning Elevated

A message from University Health Services:

Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon Community,

I’m writing to provide you with an update on the evolving situation pertaining to the new coronavirus, a respiratory illness that continues to be a serious health concern around the globe. Fortunately, at this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus at Carnegie Mellon, in the Pittsburgh area or in Pennsylvania. We at CMU are continuing to monitor the situation and are working with the Allegheny County Health Department to understand and employ recommended protocols regarding prevention as well as responses to any student who reports symptoms. If you are a faculty or staff member experiencing symptoms, you should contact your primary care provider for guidance.

On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its travel warning and is recommending that individuals avoid all nonessential travel to China at this time. I urge all members of the CMU community to adhere to this travel warning. Students, faculty and staff planning future travel to China should visit the CDC’s travel advisory website. In addition, you can view CMU’s Travel Risk Information Program website for travel information and updates. You can get updates about the coronavirus 24/7 by visiting the CDC website.

Several people have asked for guidance on hosting international visitors from impacted regions. Our counsel for any visitors, regardless of city of origin, is the same as that for CMU community members: if an individual has a cough and fever and has been in a region impacted by coronavirus in the last 14 days, they should seek screening at a local urgent care center or hospital if they do not have a primary care provider in the area.

As I stated last Wednesday, 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 University Health Services immediately.

As a reminder, symptoms for coronavirus may include:

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

Because of the time of year, we also are seeing increased cases of the seasonal flu on campus, so please 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.

The coronavirus and seasonal flu are serious health concerns and we have protocols in place to monitor and promptly respond to these concerns. Please help by being vigilant about your health and doing your part in supporting a healthy campus community.