Campus Updates; New Booster Available
Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon Community,
I write today with hopes your semester is off to a good start, and to update you on several COVID-19-related items.
I am glad to report that vaccination and booster rates in our campus community remain very high. Overall, 98% of students, faculty and staff are vaccinated and 96% have been boosted. You can view our immunization rates on our COVID-19 Dashboard. There is currently a medium transmission level in the county — down from the high level at the start of the semester; CMU cases have been trending downward as well, and with very low levels of severity. That said, the county levels are still changing often, so it is important we remain vigilant.
New Booster Available
The new bivalent booster is now available at local pharmacies and will be given at clinics on campus on September 28, October 24 and November 15. You can make an appointment online. The updated booster is designed to provide broader protection against the virus, including its Omicron subvariants.
As you know, the university requires all community members to be fully vaccinated with at least one approved booster shot. (If you are already boosted, this new bivalent booster is not required, but is strongly recommended.) As a reminder, everyone is required to upload documentation of vaccine and booster compliance to HealthConnect. You are not required to upload proof of additional boosters, but it is encouraged. Anyone requesting an exemption must complete an application for exemption form.
Flu vaccines also remain available for students as well as faculty and staff.
Tartan Testing remains open and is available to all members of the campus community. Located in TCS Hall, Tartan Testing offers a quick turnaround for results, and is now accepting walk-in appointments. Remember, for students who are symptomatic, please call UHS at 412-268-2157 to make an appointment to be tested.
While not required, well-fitting, high-quality facial coverings are strongly recommended while on campus. Free at-home test kits and KN95 facial coverings are available by swiping your CMU ID at four vending machines across campus. Cloth facial coverings are not recommended.
There has been some discussion about class attendance expectations among students and faculty. To be clear, being identified as a close contact no longer requires isolation. Students should attend class in person unless they have tested positive or are experiencing COVID symptoms. Those students should self-isolate until receiving a negative COVID test and symptoms resolve. Students who test positive should report their result through the online self-reporting tool and follow all relevant guidance.
Students who need to miss class should email their professors, self-isolate until cleared by Community Health and Well-Being, and wear a high-quality, well-fitting facial covering for 10 days after testing positive. If personal accommodations are needed, students should reach out to the Office of Disability Resources.
Thank you for your continued attention, cooperation and diligence in contributing to the health and safety of our campus community. I wish you all an enjoyable and successful fall semester.
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, and COVID-19 Coordinator