Welcome Back to Campus; Fall Mitigation Reminders
Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon Community,
I write today to extend my warm welcome as we start a new academic year. While we are still managing the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin this year in a far better place than last year given the broader mitigation tools available to us, particularly vaccines and our Tartan Testing program. It is gratifying to see our campus bustling once again with such energy and vitality.
Throughout this past summer, the COVID Coordination Team, alongside campus leadership and with the support of outside experts, has been continually tracking the latest research and data including the nature and impact of the Delta variant. We also monitor a host of risk indicators including regional and CMU cases, ongoing testing results, compliance data and our supply base.
Based upon this collective input, CMU has developed a comprehensive strategy for the fall semester that upholds our commitment to community health and well-being, while facilitating our ongoing return to more and more in-person opportunities and interactions on campus. To highlight the key elements of that plan:
- All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated.
- All students are completing two baseline asymptomatic tests as we begin the semester.
- Any individuals with an approved exemption from the vaccination requirement must participate in ongoing asymptomatic testing and completion of the Daily Self-Assessment.
- For now, regardless of vaccination status, everyone is required to consistently and properly wear facial coverings.
- We have implemented improvements and enhancements to air handling and air quality in our facilities.
Related to the first bullet, I would like to draw your attention to the recently added Vaccine Database section of our CMU COVID-19 Dashboard. Our University Health Services staff are diligently working their way through the verification process as our students, faculty and staff upload their documentation to fulfill this requirement. Studies and data continue to show the strong efficacy of the vaccines, and while we are identifying cases among our highly vaccinated community, most are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic.
I will also note that we are preparing for campus support and delivery of COVID -19 booster shots as needed and will communicate further details when we get to that stage.
While I am confident that CMU has put in place a rigorous and comprehensive mitigation plan, it is incumbent upon each of us to diligently and faithfully play our part. Our collective actions on and off campus not only impact CMU but the Pittsburgh community at large. I thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation as together we embark on another exciting year of learning, teaching, research and service.
Daryl Weinert, Vice President for Operations, Interim Vice President for Research, COVID-19 Coordinator