Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

Minimum Requirements to Return to On-Site Work

Updated May 20, 2020

The university is beginning a phased return of on-site activities. This process is beginning with a few pilot projects selected by university leadership. At this time, please do not send unsolicited requests.

  • Return to Work Plan: For selected pilot projects, supervisors, working with their Pandemic Safety Officer(s), must submit a Return to Work 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.
  • Pandemic Safety Officer (PSO): Supervisors must assign a primary and backup individual to serve as a Pandemic Safety Officer 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.

    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 Work Operational Plan, ensuring that colleagues have the information and resources to comply with the minimum Return to Work 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. For additional information and training on the role of a PSO, contact
  • Anyone who is sick must stay home: Personnel who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, received a positive diagnosis or have had close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual within the last 14 days must inform Human Resources and stay home and cannot return to work until they are cleared by a healthcare practitioner and they have provided documentation of that clearance to Human Resources.
  • 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 for more than 10 minutes.

    Staggered work schedules, modified work spaces, one person in an elevator at a time, one-way stairwells and installation of physical barriers or Plexiglas shields in customer services areas are a few recommended mitigations.

    In-person gatherings or meetings are 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.
  • Facial coverings: While on CMU premises, all faculty, staff, researchers, students and contractors must wear a facial covering (sufficient to cover the nose and mouth) at all times — both inside and outside of buildings — including while alone in private offices or other CMU campus spaces and facilities.

    If you are in need of a facial covering, contact drbc@andrew.cmu for assistance.
  • Hand-Washing: Personnel will wash their hands after coming into contact with high touch surfaces. Personnel are required to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available.
  • Temperature Checks: Personnel must comply with any currently required screening or testing.

    Per current Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requirements, CMU will implement temperature screens of employees in affected areas for 14 days after a COVID-19 positive case is discovered. When necessary, they will receive a communication that temperature screenings will occur at their workplace. In these instances, employees will be required to be screened by staff overseen by University Health Services prior to entering the workplace and will be sent home if they have a temperature of 100.4 or higher. They will not be able to return to work until they have received clearance by a healthcare provider and provided documentation of that to Human Resources.
  • Enhanced Sanitation and Disinfection: Every 24 hours Facilities Management and Campus Services will conduct enhanced sanitation and disinfection in high traffic and common areas that are in use. Facilities Management and Campus Services 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 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.