Carnegie Mellon University

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to provide additional guidance for CMU’s research community as a follow up to the communication from CMU COVID-19 Coordinator, Daryl Weinert about the change in campus posture following the  additional, temporary COVID-19 protective mitigation measures issued from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

As noted in Daryl’s message, the university has moved to a restricted services posture. This means that research under approved plans may continue. However, I am strongly reinforcing the message that any work that can be done remotely needs to be done remotely. Researchers should stop all research-related in-person meetings or meeting-like activities. Do not spend time on-site having extended conversations with colleagues, even in a socially distant manner. Time on site should only be spent doing work that unambiguously cannot be done remotely or via zoom or other platforms.

In addition, consistent with the move of all dining services to carry-out, all eating must be done in isolation. Researchers should not eat food in the presence of another person while on-site in an approved lab space. 

For work that must be done on-site, we strongly advise all researchers do the following in addition to any requirements and protocols already in place:

  • Use your scheduling and communication tools within your research groups to minimize the circumstances in which more than one person occupies a room or space, even for short periods of time. 
  • If you have not already done so, consider using shifts or working off-hours  to further reduce density wherever possible  
  • PI’s and lab managers should continue to monitor schedules and entrance and exit logs to ensure that researchers are adhering to the lab schedule
  • To the extent possible, avoid ANY period of time spent within 6 ft of another person who is not part of your household, no matter how brief. Minimize any training and/or joint experimental work that may result in such circumstances.

Finally, I reemphasize a message I have previously delivered: all members of our community must consider their personal choices and their impact on others. In particular, all researchers must remain sensitive to the fact that the decisions that individuals make in their professional and personal lives can negatively impact not only their own health and/or ability to do their work but that of their colleagues and the broader research community. I thank you in advance for your continued vigilance with following processes and protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the CMU community.

Your help is greatly appreciated,


J. Michael McQuade
Vice President for Research