Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

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Minimum Requirements to Return to Campus

Updated July 31, 2020

The university is implementing a phased return of on-site activities. This process has begun with select pilot projects; at this time, please do not send unsolicited requests to return to on-site work.

After being selected and approved by leadership to return to campus, units and individuals must follow a number of minimum requirements:

  • Facial coverings: Everyone must wear a facial covering (sufficient to cover the nose and mouth) at all times — both inside and outside of buildings.

    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. When outdoors, facial coverings are expected to be worn whenever physical distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained. 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 as an accommodation.

    If you are in need of a facial covering, contact fixit@andrew.cmu.edu for assistance.
  • *Daily Symptom Self-Assessment: All faculty, staff and visitors 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. Students must complete the applicable symptom self-assessment survey daily if they are in Southwest Pennsylvania.

    *planned to go live on August 10
  • Anyone who is sick must stay home: All employees, students, contractors and anyone else planning to be on campus who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms 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 within the last 14 days, must inform Community Health and Well-Being at CHWB@andrew.cmu.edu. They must stay home and cannot return to campus unless cleared by a healthcare practitioner. Students residing in on-campus housing must stay in their residence hall room and cannot return to class or other campus activities until cleared by a healthcare practitioner at University Health Services. Employees should provide documentation of their clearance to the Office of Human Resources.

    Visitors, contractors and other persons who are planning to be on campus and received a positive diagnosis or close contact exposure in the last 14 days must inform their local supervisor or CMU host. They must stay home and cannot return to campus unless cleared by a healthcare practitioner. The supervisor or CMU host will inform Community Health and Well-Being at CHWB@andrew.cmu.edu to initiate communication protocols.
  • Physical Distancing: All employees, students, contractors and anyone else on campus must maintain 6 feet (2 meters) distance between themselves and others and minimize any close contact to no more than 15 minutes.
  • Hand-washing: Personnel will wash their hands after coming into contact with high touch surfaces. For anyone who performs in-person customer service or retail operations, hand-washing breaks must be taken at least every hour. Personnel are required to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • In-person Meetings: In-person gatherings or meetings are strongly discouraged. All meetings should be held virtually via Zoom or other conferencing technologies whenever possible. However, in-person gatherings or meetings of up to 10 persons are permitted in spaces that will allow proper social distancing.
  • 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.

Note: The Minimum Requirements listed here are effective as of the date shown and are subject to change in the future. Exceptions to the minimum requirements as written into Return to Campus Plans may only be made with the approval of the COVID-19 Coordinator.

Additional Information

Pandemic Safety Officer

A pandemic safety officer (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.

This is an additional voluntary role similar to that of a floor marshal or facility coordinator. A PSO would need to be approved to be on campus to perform their primary job activities in addition to serving as a PSO. 

More About PSOs...

Supervisors must assign a primary and backup individual to serve as a pandemic safety officer (PSO) within each organization or work space to ensure compliance with requirements. Representatives of the University Leadership Council (vice presidents, deans and vice provosts) are responsible for ensuring adequate coverage of the physical spaces within their organization by pandemic safety officers.

If you have been named a PSO by your supervisor, register for online training.

Learn more about PSOs and find the list of PSOs.

For Departmental Leaders

All departments, working with their pandemic safety officer(s), must submit a Return to Campus Operational Plan, and have it approved by the appropriate channels.

Once a plan is in operation, they will be required to conduct regular reviews and assessments of the plan’s ongoing effectiveness.

Finally, they will need to demonstrate procedures for how a reversion to remote work can be accomplished within 24 hours.