Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

SCS COVID Guidance and FAQs

Effective for the MOdified services posture, As of january 5, 2022

Check back regularly for updated Q&A!

On January 5, CMU moved to Modified Services Posture. The first two weeks of most courses for undergraduate and graduate students will be taught via synchronous remote instruction (January 18-30).

All CMU faculty, staff, and students are required to be vaccinated or have an approved exemption.  In addition, all CMU community members must complete a baseline test during January and must recieve a COVID-19 booster (information to follow). Those with an approved exemption are required to complete the Daily Self-Assessment (DSA) and participate in weekly Tartan Testing.

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID within the last 90 days is EXEMPT from the baseline testing requirement for the start of the semester.

We expect guidance to continue to evolve as we continue to learn. You may email the SCS Resilience Team with comments, which are most welcome.

Yes, for example fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to participate in Daily Self Assessment, or Tartan Testing although they are welcome to do so if they wish. (Tartan Testing remains available for those who desire it.) Distancing is no longer required.

As of November 8, facial coverings are required for everyone at all times indoors (except when in private spaces or eating or drinking) and outdoors within 6 feet of others.

Everyone should continue to practice good hygiene, including hand washing or hand sanitizer.

Every 24 hours, FMCS will conduct enhanced sanitation and disinfection in high-traffic and common areas, following CDC guidelines. In case of a suspected case of COVID, contact tracing and other measures will continue.

Revised guidance for human subject research (HSR) has been posted. HSR researchers must advise study participants and those who accompany them of their obligations under the Minimum Requirements. HSR researchers should follow the guidance in the revised COVID-19 Screening Process and Questions.  Note in particular that the revised HSR guidance clarifies that, in the absence of a university-wide requirement, studies MAY NOT ask about or require vaccination of participants unless those requirements are written into an approved IRB protocol.  All human subject researchers should review these requirements carefully and may get in touch with Philip Lehman with any questions.

Staff supporting Human Subject Research (e.g. business office staff and faculty support staff) should be on campus at least as often as necessary to support experiments (as well as additional time for other roles, as needed).

No one’s vaccination status should be solicited and/or recorded by anyone except a central university authority.

However, when eligible, all students, faculty and staff are required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination and booster shot. Further information on deadlines and how to upload information is available via the CMU COVID-19 Vaccine Database.

In-person, on-campus events strongly discouraged during January 2022.

Eating with others is strongly discouraged during January 2022.

Consistent with university guidance, you are encouraged to consume food and beverages outdoors (weather permitting), at an open CMU dining location, or on a takeaway basis to be consumed in a private workspace.  Food should be in individually wrapped portions (not shared).

In cases where food is eaten indoors with others, there must be ample physical distancing among participants, such as a designated eating area (near the food vendors) or large, open space, away from offices.  If you are eating with others in a conference room or similar space, maintain distance from others when unmasked to eat.  If you are eating in the presence of others, remove your facial covering only to take a bite or sip, replace it promptly, and avoid conversations while you are eating.  Anyone who is not vaccinated (e.g. has received an approved exemption) may not eat within 6 feet of others.  All participants must comply with current signs and guidance.

Meetings and events:  We discourage food at regular meetings and events (such as research, education, and faculty meetings).  These should generally be scheduled outside of lunchtime, for example.  For exceptions (e.g. socially-oriented gatherings where food is an element) and for special/one-time events (e.g. gatherings or celebrations, including end of year), SCS requires an exception request to ensure protocols and capacity limits are understood and followed.  Please contact Philip Lehman with questions or requests for exceptions and guidance.

Finally, at CMU, food may never be consumed in classrooms (even during non-COVID times).  

Visitors to the Pittsburgh campus for one-time visits and/or recurring meetings are discourged during the month of January 2022, but are permitted with appropriate precautions in place.

Visitors must be masked at all times and it is expected that visitors coming to the CMU campus are also vaccinated against COVID-19, unless unable to be vaccinated due to a disability or strong religious/moral conviction. Visitors may be asked to attest that they are either fully vaccinated or have received a negative COVID-19 test result in the last 72 hours.  Visitors who are not fully vaccinated must complete the Daily Self Assessment.

See the Visitor Protocol page for more information.

Non-COVID-related visitor protocols and policies (including those for minors) also continue to apply.

University-sponsored travel for all CMU community members is permitted subject to approval from your department/manager.

If you are fully vaccinated, you do not have to quarantine following travel. However, per the CDC's guidance on travel, we continue to encourage students, faculty, staff, vendors, and visitors to wear a facial covering and avoid large events or crowded spaces during travel. 

Students, faculty and staff should also follow the university’s travel recommendations, which include symptom monitoring and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing through Tartan Testing before and after travel. Travel to countries that carry a CDC Very High or High level of risk is highly discouraged.

Facial coverings are required for everyone at all times indoors (except in private spaces or when eating and drinking) and outdoors within 6 feet of others. Wearing well-fitted, high-quality facial coverings is strongly recommended.

Fully vaccinated community members no longer need to complete the Daily Self-Assessment or participate in Tartan Testing before coming to campus. “Fully vaccinated” means that someone has completed an approved vaccine protocol and at least two weeks have passed since the final vaccine dose.

Note that Tartan Testing will also be available for fully vaccinated CMU community members who desire a weekly test. (Note that the check-in location has moved to the East Campus Garage.)

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID within the last 90 days is EXEMPT from the baseline testing requirement for the start of the semester.

For facial coverings, please contact:

For questions or further guidance, please contact your department business manager or Philip LehmanCPSAs and PSOs–as well as liaisons–continue as a source of expertise.