Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

Scotty with mask and vaccination bandaid

Requirements for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Complete the vaccination process

Upload your vaccination documentation to HealthConnect. If you are not fully vaccinated (including booster when eligible), locate a vaccination site.

Report positive cases

Report your positive test result to Community Health and Well-Being (CHWB).

Recommended Guidelines

  • Facial coverings both indoors and outdoors are optional, but remain strongly recommended.
  • Participation in weekly in Tartan Testing if you are not fully vaccinated (including booster when eligible) is strongly recommended.
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to notify their close contacts.

International Students

The university and Office of International Education (OIE) remain mindful about the potential impacts Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance may have on our international students. 

Students who have questions about maintaining their immigration status or other foreign-student related questions are encouraged to reach out to OIE. All international students should continue to review OIE’s website for the latest news and announcements, as well as a list of frequently asked questions, which is updated as new information is available.

In-Person Activities & Spaces

Assuming all of the university’s minimum requirements are being upheld and all relevant COVID-19 policies and guidelines are followed, student organizations can plan in-person meetings, events and activities without prior approval.
If your organization’s activity, as currently planned, cannot comply with the university’s minimum requirements and related policies and guidelines, please 
schedule a meeting with SLICE for consultation.

While the vast majority of activities can be modified to comply with the requirements, in rare cases it may be appropriate for an exception to be requested. If appropriate, SLICE will request an exception on the organization’s behalf following the consultation meeting.

Learn more on the COVID-19 Student Organization Guidelines page.

Contribute to the Identification of COVID-19

Contact tracing is critical to our strategy for preventing community spread of the virus, protecting your health and to maintaining the privilege of an in-person educational experience. Our current practice is to provide each individual who tests positive for COVID-19 with detailed isolation instructions, guidance and resources for support. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to notify their close contacts. Read more from the CDC about determining close contacts and informing close contacts.

Students are encouraged to communicate directly with faculty or research supervisors if they must miss class or have other academically-related needs. You may also elect to give permission for your college liaison to assist with disclosing your status to your faculty members or others on campus who can provide individualized support or accommodation.

Clinical care coordination, emotional and academic support are offered to students diagnosed with COVID-19. Faculty and staff will also be provided support through Human Resources.

Space Tracing

Space tracing helps identify where an individual who tests positive or is deemed probable for COVID-19 has been on campus for longer than 15 minutes.

Close Contact

"Close contact” is defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Allegheny County Health Department as someone who has spent more than 15 minutes within 6 feet of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 during the time they were presumed to be infectious. Read more from the CDC about determining close contacts.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to notify their close contacts. Read more from the CDC about informing close contacts. Close contacts who do not have symptoms should test 5-7 days after the most recent date they were in close contact with the COVID-19 positive individual. Only close contacts with symptoms should test right away and should reach out to UHS or their health care provider for guidance regarding testing.

University Health Services (UHS) staff routinely processes clinical tests in their on-site laboratory and are trained and certified by the federal government through CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) to conduct in-house symptomatic COVID-19 testing for students. 

Throughout the semester, if students present with any symptoms that suggest a COVID-19 infection or are close contacts of known positive or probable cases, our testing strategy calls for two levels of testing to quickly assess students and provide rapid results. Based on clinical guidelines and testing supplies, UHS will administer a rapid PCR test or a rapid antigen test so we can take swift action for confirmed positive cases (residential students will be administered a rapid PCR test so that appropriate housing accommodations can be made). For negative antigen test results, we will administer a confirmatory PCR test (with results in 2-4 days).

All students with positive test results, as well as those waiting for confirmatory results, will be provided care, guidance and contact tracing as appropriate.

Support the Containment of COVID-19

We will use a combination of quarantine and isolation plans to help protect our community by preventing exposure to people who have or may have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 10 days. 

Quarantine requirements for close contacts have shifted. For those that are able to wear facial coverings, quarantine is no longer required for those deemed to be a close contact of a COVID-19 positive case, regardless of vaccination status. However, you must wear a facial covering while in public for 10 days after the last exposure to the positive COVID-19 case.

University Quarantine and Isolation chart

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who are asymptomatic but need to be monitored due to close contact with an individual confirmed to have COVID-19. Students will be directed to quarantine when appropriate, given instructions on how to meet their basic needs and receive support from the university while ensuring they do not contribute to community spread.

  • Under current Pennsylvania guidance (PDF), students who are identified as a close contact but are fully vaccinated (including booster when eligible) will generally not be instructed to quarantine.
  • During quarantine, we expect students to monitor their health and follow the guidance of a health care provider. They must remain in quarantine until cleared by a health care provider to return to any campus or community activities.
  • If students in quarantine receive a positive diagnosis of COVID-19, they will be directed to isolate until cleared by a health care provider.

Isolation separates people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as people who are close contacts of someone with a positive diagnosis and are symptomatic (probable cases) from people who are not sick. Students with a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 and probable cases will be directed to isolate until cleared by a health care provider to return to any campus or community activity.

  • Residential students living in University Housing should refer to the housing website for instructions and resources related to isolating in their rooms, suites or apartments.
  • Off-campus students will be given instructions on how best to isolate in their residence, including when you are living with family or roommates.
  • All students diagnosed with COVID-19 will be actively supported by university staff throughout their isolation period to ensure their physical, mental and emotional well-being.