Updated State and County Guidance and Campus Response
Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon University Community:
Just this past Monday, we communicated that the number of COVID-19 cases was increasing at an alarming rate throughout the nation and closer to home here in Pittsburgh. As a result of these rising caseloads, I write today to inform you of several updated COVID-19 guidelines recently issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Allegheny County Health Department [PDF]. These new guidelines provide orders, advisories and recommendations in the areas of testing, travel, gatherings and usage of facial coverings.
In response to these new guidelines, effective immediately, we are suspending all in-person non-curricular gatherings and meetings on the Pittsburgh campus until further notice. As the semester winds down, we encourage groups to pivot toward virtual activities. At this time, all other campus services and research activities can continue to operate. The CMU COVID-19 website continues to provide the latest information for students and families, faculty, researchers and staff. In addition, specific guidance [PDF] is posted for families coming to town to relocate their students.
Additionally, we want to remind everyone that as originally planned, all in-person instruction ends next Tuesday, November 24th and that instruction and finals will be delivered remotely following the Thanksgiving break. Previously approved return-to-campus plan activities may continue, though we encourage those on return plans to evaluate whether they may be able to pull back some on-campus work during the coming weeks in the spirit of the county’s stay-at-home advisory.
As has been the case throughout the pandemic, we must all remain ready to quickly change to a more restrictive posture if the situation worsens. The leadership team is evaluating this latest commonwealth and county guidance and ascertaining how it will specifically affect our campus community, however, it is clear that all of us need to take a more conservative approach to potential travel plans. As has been the case since March, university business-related travel remains suspended and we strongly discourage all non-essential personal travel at this time. However, should you still choose to travel, please keep in mind that a 14-day quarantine will be required upon your return. We will communicate further as we continue to gain clarity on this newly announced guidance.
I appreciate everyone’s efforts to keep us on track. It will continue to be the responsibility of each of us to keep the collective health of our community top of mind and to ensure our actions reflect the behaviors that we know reduce the risk for our entire community, particularly during this most challenging phase of the pandemic.
Chief of Staff and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives