Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

Scotty with mask and vaccination bandaid
February 19, 2021

Tartan Testing Appointments Available for Week of Feb. 22

Dear Members of the Pittsburgh Campus Community,

I am pleased to announce that we have completed the ramp-up period of the Tartan COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing Program, and beginning the week of February 22, all Pittsburgh-based faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in Tartan Testing. Appointments are now available, and we invite you to schedule ONE asymptomatic COVID-19 test for next week.

The ability to make Tartan Testing available to all Pittsburgh-based faculty, staff and students requires your diligence in following the program’s process. While detailed directions for testing are provided online and below for your convenience, I wanted to highlight some important items:

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, do NOT participate in Tartan Testing. Instead, please follow the instructions on our Health & Wellness webpage.
  • Arrive on time for your scheduled appointment. If you are unable to make your appointment, please cancel and schedule for a new day and time.
  • After you check in for your appointment, proceed directly to the East Campus Garage to provide your sample. Samples must be provided at the time of your scheduled appointment.
  • You should receive your test results within 2-3 business days. Participants during the ramp-up may have received their results in a shorter time; however, as we provide access to asymptomatic testing to all of our Pittsburgh CMU community, your results may take longer to process than during the ramp-up period.

Tartan Testing is an important element of our strategy to mitigate COVID-19 on campus. It is important to remember that any test only provides a snapshot of the moment at which the test is taken, so it is critical that we remain committed to our COVID mitigation behaviors. Please continue to complete the daily self-assessment, maintain physical distance from others, wear a facial covering and wash your hands.

Visit our Tartan Testing webpage for the most up-to-date information, and if you have questions, please contact


J. Michael McQuade
Vice President for Research
Carnegie Mellon University



All faculty, staff and students planning to be on campus each week are expected to complete one asymptomatic COVID-19 test weekly through Tartan Testing. If you come to campus occasionally, you are expected to test during the week you will be on campus. If you are not coming to campus, you are not expected to participate in Tartan Testing; however, the opportunity to obtain an asymptomatic test is still available to you.

  • Individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 should not access testing through Tartan Testing.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive within the past 14 days, stay home and notify Community Health and Well-Being at chwb@andrew.cmu.eduSymptomatic students should access care by calling University Health Services at 412-268-2157. Symptomatic faculty and staff should consult their health care provider.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, do not schedule an asymptomatic test at this time.
  • Being vaccinated does not exempt you from testing.
  • For more information on Tartan Testing participation, please review the FAQs.

Scheduling Your Appointment

The sooner you log on to schedule your appointment, the more flexibility you will have to choose among available slots.

Preparing for Your Appointment

  • During the 60 minutes prior to your appointment, you should not eat, drink (other than water), smoke, brush your teeth or chew gum.
  • Ten minutes before your appointment, you should swish water in your mouth and swallow it. After this, do not drink anything else before your appointment.
  • Do not wear lipstick, lip gloss or lip balm to the appointment.
  • Bring your university ID (or government-issued ID) and a mobile device (or printed page) to display your appointment QR code.
  • Wear a face covering/mask throughout the testing process except during saliva sample collection, when you will be asked to lift your mask to provide the sample.

During Your Appointment

  • Check-in at Danforth Lounge in the Cohon University Center.
  • Share your appointment QR code on a mobile device or printout (the QR code is available via the “Show Barcode” link near the top of the HealthConnect home page).
  • After receiving your test kit from a testing coordinator, proceed directly to the East Campus Garage along the guided pathway.
  • Signs will guide you to individual testing stations, where you will provide a saliva sample.

Receiving Your Results

  • Results will be available within 2-3 business days.
  • Once your results are ready, you will receive an email from University Health Services and/or the Tartan COVID-19 Testing Lab with instructions for accessing your test results.

For additional information, please refer to the Tartan Testing webpage, FAQs and Tartan Testing Shuttle webpage. If you have questions, contact