Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

Scotty with mask and vaccination bandaid

Minimum Requirements to Return to Campus

Last updated: 7/28/21

In accordance with the values of Carnegie Mellon University, CMU community members are expected to behave with integrity, act honestly and ethically and to observe the appropriate health and safety measures in all campus settings.

Effective: August 1, 2021

Facial coverings: Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear a facial covering on campus, though they are welcome to continue doing so at their discretion.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or who work in health care (conducting clinical work), child care or public transportation settings must wear a facial covering (sufficient to cover the nose and mouth) at all times as required by PA and/or CDC regulations, and whenever physical distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained outdoors. Exceptions include: while eating or drinking, if working outdoors during hot and humid conditions, or when alone in a private space, such as an office, assigned residence hall room or enclosed vehicle. If you cannot wear a facial covering due to a medical condition, please contact either the Office of Disability Resources (students) or HR Disability Services (employees) to request an exemption.

Daily Symptom Self-Assessment and Frequent Hand-Washing: Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to participate in the Daily Symptom Self-Assessment survey. All faculty, staff, students and visitors who are not fully vaccinated must participate in the applicable CMU daily symptom self-assessment survey, which includes temperature monitoring, for any day they are planning to be on campus or at any CMU facility. It is strongly recommended to participate even if not planning to be on campus and fully vaccinated. 

All CMU community members should continue to practice good hygiene, including frequent hand-washing or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. 

COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing (Effective August 1): All students who are in progress with becoming fully vaccinated or those students who have been exempted from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, and faculty/staff who have not uploaded their vaccination information to the university’s Vaccine Database, must participate weekly in Tartan Testing (the university’s COVID-19 asymptomatic testing program). 

In connection with our launch of the fall semester, the university requires every student to complete two baseline tests through the Tartan Testing program. The first of these tests should ideally be completed within five days after arrival to the Pittsburgh area, while the second must be completed sometime during your second week in Pittsburgh. Students already living in the Pittsburgh area should plan to complete their testing within the two weeks prior to their engagement with campus activities, research, orientation or classes. 

Tartan Testing will also be available for fully vaccinated CMU community members who desire a weekly test. 

Documentation of Vaccination Status (Effective August 1): 

  • Becoming fully vaccinated is the most effective method of reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms when exposed. CMU community members who receive a COVID-19 vaccine should share documentation of their vaccination status via HealthConnect. 
  • Carnegie Mellon requires all enrolled students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 this coming academic year and to verify vaccination status in the HealthConnect database. 
  • Students requesting to be exempted for a medical (PDF) or religious belief/strong moral or ethical conviction (PDF) will need to complete an application for exemption form. Any student with an approved exemption will be required to complete the Daily Self-Assessment (DSA), participate in weekly Tartan Testing and wear a facial covering. 
  • Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated and are asked to verify vaccination status in the HealthConnect database. 
  • For faculty and staff — absence of vaccination status verification in the database will result in a requirement to complete the Daily Self-Assessment (DSA), participate in weekly Tartan Testing and wear a facial covering. 

Anyone who displays COVID-19 symptoms or is diagnosed with COVID-19 must stay home. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated who is identified as a close contact with a positive COVID-19 case must stay home. Employees and students who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or have had close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual must inform Community Health and Well-Being at and follow any applicable self-isolation or quarantine requirements.

Visitors, contractors and other persons who are planning to be on campus and received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or close contact exposure within 10 days of their time on campus must inform their local supervisor or CMU host. The supervisor or CMU host will inform Community Health and Well-Being at to initiate communication protocols. 

In-person Meetings and University-Sponsored Events: 

Indoor meetings and university-sponsored events of up to 50 persons are permitted. However, recognizing that many colleagues may still be operating remotely during this transition period, virtual alternatives are encouraged and may be necessary to ensure adequate participation. 

Outdoor meetings and university-sponsored events are permitted up to 50% of outdoor facility capacity. 

Enhanced Sanitation and Disinfection: Every 24 hours, Facilities Management and Campus Services (FMCS) will conduct enhanced sanitation and disinfection in high-traffic and common areas that are in use. FMCS is following CDC guidelines for cleaning and is available for consultation regarding additional or enhanced cleaning of offices, laboratories and other spaces needed for unit operational plans. Email FMCS to arrange a discussion about specific spaces.

Exceptions to the minimum requirements may only be made with the approval of the COVID-19 coordinator.

Effective: August 1, 2021 

Pandemic Safety Initiative

Carnegie Mellon University's Pandemic Safety Initiative is comprised of two distinct roles, the Pandemic Safety Officer (PSO) and the Community Pandemic Safety Ambassador (CPSA). Both roles serve as resources to the CMU community, assist in the COVID-19 mitigation strategy and assist in Return-to-Campus efforts.

A PSO is an individual identified by their supervisor to assist in the development, support and regular reviews of their organization's Return to Campus Operational Plan, ensuring that colleagues have the information and resources to comply with the minimum Return to Campus requirements and monitoring their organization’s activities for ongoing compliance to their Operational Plan.

CPSA is a voluntary program intended to support the university’s COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy and report instances that do not follow its guidelines. A CPSA is to serve as a resource of information, monitor responsible areas to identify needs and submit requests for assistance or supplies. In addition to the existing roles and responsibilities of a PSO within their respective department or unit, a CPSA will support the campus community in common areas and classrooms, perform health and cleaning spot-checks and assist the campus community implement physical distancing.

Learn more about the pandemic safety initiative and find the list of PSOs