Please Upload Your Booster Information Into the Database Today
Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon Community,
As we look toward the first day of classes next week, we write to remind you of our previously announced booster requirement. This is yet another critical tool in our COVID-19 mitigation plans as we approach the start of the spring semester. Vaccinations and subsequent booster shots have proven to be safe and highly effective in reducing the severity of symptoms and risk of hospitalization, and preliminary indications are that boosters will prove to be an effective defense against severe symptoms with the Omicron variant as well.
This decision also reflects our commitment to science-driven and evidence-based approaches to this public health crisis. Medical experts and public health officials, including University Health Services leadership and consultants at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) with whom we have worked throughout the pandemic, strongly recommend vaccination/boosters as the best possible protection from this virus.
As communicated on December 16, Carnegie Mellon University is requiring all eligible U.S.-based CMU students, faculty and staff to receive COVID-19 boosters and subsequently upload confirmation of vaccination status to CMU’s COVID-19 Vaccine Database via HealthConnect by February 16. Anyone becoming eligible from December 16 onward is required to upload their booster verification within 60 days of their eligibility.
Instructions on how to enter your COVID-19 vaccine information to the database via HealthConnect can be found on the COVID-19 Vaccine Database page. Please note that you will not receive an immediate confirmation after uploading. After your booster record has been verified, you will see your COVID vaccine/booster listed under immunizations in the left menu.
A few other things to keep in mind:
- Consistent with federal and state law, anyone requesting to be exempted from vaccination will need to complete an application for exemption form.
- If you have already received an exemption from vaccination, you are automatically exempt from the booster requirement.
- If you are vaccinated but wish to request exemption from a booster, a booster exemption form will need to be completed.
- Anyone with an approved exemption will be required to complete the Daily Self-Assessment, participate in weekly Tartan Testing and wear a facial covering. You may read about these and other policies on this FAQ page .
- The university is also working with our vendors and contractors regarding implementation of this requirement for their employees working on our campus.
If you have not yet received a booster, we are offering free booster clinics throughout the spring semester. Please schedule an appointment. You can also visit Pennsylvania’s booster information page to access a list of providers near you.
We are maintaining our campus facial covering requirements as we begin the spring semester, and encourage everyone to wear facial coverings in high-risk situations off-campus as well.
Given the high-transmissibility of the Omicron variant, we suggest that everyone consider moving to a higher-grade of facial covering (such as a KN95 or KF94), or consider double-masking (for example, using a cloth mask over a disposable mask). Additional information regarding facial coverings is available on the COVID-19 website.
All CMU community members are required to complete a baseline test during the month of January regardless of vaccination status. This testing can be completed via Tartan Testing, using at-home testing kits or other available testing options. Tartan Testing resumed January 3 at its new location on the first floor of TCS Hall. For more information on this requirement, see the FAQs.
There is no doubt the Omicron variant is presenting additional challenges, particularly as we begin this semester. Although we are all anticipating a tough few weeks, we are hopeful for brighter prospects as the new year unfolds. We ask everyone to continue to exhibit flexibility and empathy as we resume our educational and research activities together.
Jim Garrett, Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Gina Casalegno, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Daryl Weinert, Vice President for Operations, Interim Vice President for Research, COVID-19 Coordinator