COVID-19 Updates for CWRU Undergraduates

To Our Undergraduates:

With classes starting later this month, we want to update you regarding Case Western Reserve’s plans for managing COVID-19 this fall.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, this guidance emerges from careful monitoring of community and national developments, as well as consultation with our internal and external experts.

We are fortunate that our community’s high vaccination rates—nearly 96% when the spring semester ended—significantly reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization for those who become infected. Given this context, we are continuing our vaccination requirements, but providing more room for individual choice for other preventive measures. 

This approach reflects the information we have at this time; should new circumstances require changes, we will notify you as promptly as possible.

Vaccinations

Case Western Reserve requires that all members of the university community be fully vaccinated (meaning that they have received the full initial dosage of their specific vaccine, along with at least one booster when eligible). 

If you have not yet been able to become fully vaccinated, you can learn how to schedule an appointment to receive your dose on this COVID-19 vaccine webpage.

The only exceptions to the requirements are for individuals who do not come to campus (e.g., online students or those faculty and staff performing duties at another location) or those who have received a medical or religious accommodation. 

Students living in university housing must comply with the university's vaccine policy.

Students may apply for a medical accommodation through the Office of Disability Resources; details are available on the office's accommodations webpage. For a religious accommodation, they must contact the Office of Equity; more information can be found on its website.

Note: Everyone who would like an accommodation for the 2022-23 academic year must complete a new application—even those who previously secured accommodations for the past academic year. 

Students who fail to comply with Case Western Reserve’s vaccination policy will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community, which will begin the university’s Conduct Process.

Testing

We strongly recommend that all students take a COVID-19 test before coming to campus. If you test positive, please do not come to campus until you have completed the isolation period and have tested negative.

If you are not able to secure a test before you leave for campus, please quickly take a rapid test as soon as you arrive. They will be available at no cost in vending machines across campus—including in dining halls near residence halls. 

If you test negative, you do not need to submit your result. 

Regardless of whether you take your test before or after arriving on campus, you must submit positive results to University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) via myhealthconnect.case.edu. Instructions are at the bottom of this COVID-19 testing page

After submitting the result, you will receive a reply via secure message. It will include information about isolation protocols, as well documentation that you can share with faculty and staff. In addition, navigators will receive direct notifications so that they can assist you.

Symptoms

If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 after arriving in Cleveland (including minor ones such as a runny nose or sore throat), please isolate wherever you are living—whether it is on or near campus. 

Please take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test as soon as possible, either by securing one yourself (from a vending machine or local pharmacy) or by contacting health services. If your test is positive, please submit the result through myhealthconnect.case.edu.

If your rapid antigen COVID-19 test is negative—but you still have symptoms—please contact UHCS to arrange for a PCR test. You can call 216.368.2450 or make an appointment through myhealthconnect.case.edu

In addition to being tested, you will receive documentation that you can share with your navigator and/or faculty and staff.

Isolation

Students who test positive are required to isolate in place for up to 10 days; they may leave isolation early if they have a negative rapid antigen test on or after day six of isolation. We encourage you to isolate at home if possible.

This semester, students who live on campus will isolate in place in their residence; depending on where they live on campus, they either will pick up their meals or have them delivered. 

If students living on campus who test positive have a roommate with whom they share a bedroom, the non-infected student may have the option to stay in one of the nearby hotel rooms that the university has reserved for this purpose—depending on availability at the time.

Masks

As of this writing, masks are recommended indoors on campus—but mandated for MD students and instructors during classes in the Health Education Campus. As always, we encourage everyone in the campus community to respect individual choices to wear a mask; research released last month, for example, underscores the severe risk COVID-19 poses to people who are immunocompromised.

Should circumstances demand additional mask requirements, the university will notify the campus and provide detailed guidance regarding the changes.

Since COVID-19 arrived in the spring of 2020, our community has demonstrated a deep commitment to supporting one another and reducing health risks. We appreciate all of your efforts throughout the pandemic, and very much look forward to welcoming you to the Fall 2022 semester.

Sara Lee, MD
Executive Director, University Health & Counseling Services

Shirley Mosley
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students