Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

Scotty with mask and vaccination bandaid
November 08, 2021

Updated Facial Covering and Travel Guidance

Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon Community,

I am pleased to share that our CMU community has achieved a 99% COVID-19 vaccination rate among students and faculty, and 95% among staff. As we enter the latter half of the fall semester, I have two important updates.

First, after thoughtful deliberation, we are slightly adjusting the minimum requirements for facial coverings. Effective November 8, facial coverings are not required in the following instances:

  • When outdoors;
  • While eating and drinking;
  • When alone in a private space, such as an office or vehicle; and
  • In designated residence hall floor spaces when used by vaccinated residents.

Otherwise, except as noted above, everyone must continue to wear a facial covering (sufficient to cover the nose and mouth) at all times indoors in university buildings, regardless of vaccination status. Individuals may always choose to wear a facial covering at times even when it is not required.
While we are slightly relaxing the facial covering parameters for campus, COVID-19 case numbers in Allegheny County remain high. It is critically important that all faculty, staff, students and vendors continue to wear well-fitting facial coverings of suitable quality, and to wear them properly, covering both the nose and mouth while indoors. As colder weather approaches, please bear in mind that seasonal attire such as scarves, ski masks and balaclavas do not meet the CDC guidelines for facial coverings. Facial coverings are available at no cost to members of the university by contacting
Second, while the overwhelming majority of faculty, staff and students are already vaccinated, as a federal contractor, Carnegie Mellon is subject to President Biden’s Executive Order of September 9, 2021, regarding COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors and the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Guidance issued on September 24, 2021. Accordingly, Carnegie Mellon amended its COVID-19 vaccination requirement to apply to all Carnegie Mellon employees working anywhere within the United States.
And finally, as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we encourage you to continue to utilize Tartan Testing prior to and following travel. Additional travel guidance can be found on the COVID website.

Thank you again for supporting our COVID protocols and thereby re-energizing campus this fall. We have much to be thankful for as a Carnegie Mellon community.

Daryl Weinert
Vice President for Operations, Interim Vice President for Research, COVID-19 Coordinator