CMU Athletics COVID-19 FAQs and Spectator Policy – Updated January 6

Aerial view of Carnegie Mellon campus includes numerous yellow brick buildings with football stadium

The following FAQ document is intended to serve as a resource for the Carnegie Mellon Athletics community. This update was posted January 6, 2022 and it will be updated as more information becomes available.

Will spectators be permitted to attend competitions?

As of January 6, 2022:

Given the current COVID situation, spectators are not permitted to attend indoor and outdoor competitions through events of January 30, 2022. The university aspires to return to a normal operating posture on January 31, 2022.

Will Carnegie Mellon University sports compete this 2021-2022 academic year?

Carnegie Mellon University Tartans will resume all intercollegiate athletics competition and normal activities starting in the fall of 2021. The UAA and PAC (football only) conference schedules will resume normally as well.

How will I know if there are any changes to the current schedule?

The Carnegie Mellon Athletics website will have the latest updates to any changes or cancellations to any of our competition schedules.

Will events be webcast?

Yes, whenever possible. We will have live webcasts or home events and they will be streamed on our website.

Will student-athletes need to wear facial coverings while they practice and compete?

Student-athletes will be expected to wear facial coverings at all times when they are not actively participating in their sports. Facial coverings must be worn in team locker rooms, during indoor team meetings and in other gatherings when distancing is not possible. During practice and competition, student-athletes are exempt from wearing facial coverings. As a result, student-athletes will be subject to COVID-19 testing each week.

If a student-athlete is not vaccinated, can they participate in intercollegiate athletics?

Those who are not fully vaccinated (e.g., two weeks have passed since the final vaccine dose) or who have received an approved exemption from the vaccine requirement will be permitted to engage in intercollegiate athletics provided they uphold the following mitigation requirements: completing the Daily Self-Assessment, participating in weekly Tartan Testing, wearing facial coverings in all indoor settings (or maintaining physical distancing of 6 feet when eating) and wearing facial coverings in outdoor settings whenever physical distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained.

Are vaccinated individuals who are close contacts of an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 required to quarantine?

No, vaccinated close contacts are not required to quarantine if they are asymptomatic. They will be required to obtain a test through University Health Services, not Tartan Testing, on day 5-7 after being defined as a close contact, and must wear a mask until a negative result is received, including during practice and competition.

Will student-athletes be expected to wear facial coverings in the varsity weight room?

Yes. Given the university’s current posture related to facial coverings in indoor spaces, and consistent with the athletics department’s approach in its fitness centers, student-athletes are expected to wear facial coverings in the varsity weight room. The weight room capacity will be set at 50, in accordance with university policy.

Will student-athletes be expected to wear facial coverings during team travel?

Yes. If student-athletes cannot remain distanced on team buses, on team vans or on planes, they are expected to wear facial coverings.

Will intercollegiate laundry services resume?

Yes. The athletics department will resume its laundry services for varsity athletes.

Is Carnegie Mellon testing its student-athletes?

Yes. Carnegie Mellon will test its student-athletes weekly through the Tartan Testing program. Student-athletes who fail to be tested during a given week, will not be eligible to compete until their next test. If they miss a second test, they will not be eligible for competition for the remainder of the season.

Is Carnegie Mellon testing its coaches?

Yes. Any personnel who cannot remain distanced from students and other coaches will be subject to weekly testing through the Tartan Testing Program.

Are visiting teams following NCAA protocols?

Yes. All teams that come to compete at Carnegie Mellon University must comply with the NCAA Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: 2021 Fall Training and Competition.

Should student-athletes report if they have tested positive for COVID-19?

Yes. Student-athletes are expected to report any positive test that they have had to their athletic trainer if they plan on participating in intercollegiate athletics this year. The athletic training staff will coordinate required notifications to the university to initiate contact tracing and to provide ongoing support and care.

Did student-athletes use a year of eligibility in the 2020-2021 academic year if they engaged in athletically-related activity within the declared playing season in which no outside competition was conducted?

No. A student-athlete is only charged with a season of participation when the student-athlete participates (practices or competes) during or after the first contest in the traditional segment. If the student-athlete's engagement in athletically-related activity does not include outside competition, the student-athlete may practice without being charged with a season of participation.

The NCAA has issued two blanket waivers providing relief for student-athletes during the 2020-2021 academic year. The first waiver is a season of participation waiver which allows all student-athletes (Fall, Winter, Spring) not be charged the use of a season of participation for any participation that occurs during the 2020-21 academic year. The second waiver is the extension waiver which allows all student-athletes eligible for competition receive an extension of their 10 semester/15quarter enrollment limit for each semester/quarter used during the 2020-21 academic year.

Can a student-athlete who has another year of eligibility graduate on time and come back to play the following fall season?

No. A student-athlete must be enrolled in classes at the institution in order to participate that semester in intercollegiate competition.

1. If a student-athlete has graduated, prior to the 2021-22 academic year, then they may be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours each semester or quarter in a second baccalaureate, graduate program or classes approved by an academic authority outside of athletics that progresses the student-athlete toward a professional or career goal.

2. If a student-athlete will graduate during the 2021-22 academic year, the student-athlete may:

a. Enroll in a minimum of six hours of academic credit during the fall 2021 term and then enroll in the classes necessary to complete their degree per the final term exception (Bylaw for the spring semester of 2022; or

b. The student-athlete enrolls in the classes necessary to complete their degree per the final term exception (Bylaw for the fall 2021 semester and then is enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours for each subsequent term for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic year (e.g., Spring 2022 semester) in a second baccalaureate, graduate program or classes that progress the student-athlete toward a professional or career goal and are approved by an academic authority outside of athletics.

Whom should I see about any eligibility questions I may have due to the blanket waivers the NCAA has provided?

Please contact Kim Kelly, Associate Director of Athletics in charge of Compliance. She will be able to help with any eligibility questions a student-athlete may have.

Are prospective student-athletes allowed to visit?

Yes, prospective student-athletes are permitted to schedule visits with coaches and follow approved university protocols for those visits.

What are the protocols for athletics facilities?

Protocols for athletics facilities can be found here.

NCAA COVID-19 Resources:

Division III COVID-19 Q&A - pdf

NCAA Social Series

The New Normal: Stories from Campus

NCAA Sport Science Institute updates resocialization guidelines

COVID-19 and Mental Health

Carnegie Mellon COVID-19 Resources:

University COVID-19 Homepage

Academics and Remote Instruction FAQ

Housing, Dining and Transportation FAQ