To the Case Western Reserve Community:
Nearly a year after COVID-19 arrived in Ohio, we have started to see real signs of hope.
The state’s daily case counts are 90 percent lower than when 2021 began, and the nation’s trends are nearly as promising. Cuyahoga County’s positivity rate is a third of what it was two months ago, and 13 percent of its residents already have been vaccinated.
And so, while we cannot know for certain what the fall may bring, we are approaching the next academic year with a sense of possibility. We will plan for full occupancy of our residence halls, for the vast majority of classes to be in-person, and for extracurricular activities and campus events in their fall 2019 formats.
Whether we realize those aspirations, of course, will depend entirely on our ability to achieve them safely. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will closely follow all COVID-19 developments. We will base every decision on the best available scientific information and expert guidance, and update you throughout the spring and summer.
We are sharing this perspective now because preparations for the next academic year have already started. Last week, the Board of Trustees approved tuition, room and board rates. This week, undergraduates will receive information about the process for room selection for next year’s on-campus housing. And, later in April, undergraduate registration for fall classes begins.
For now, all campus health and safety protocols continue: wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, weekly testing and so forth. If positivity rates climb significantly, we will increase preventive measures—just as we did last November. And if developments this summer require that we adapt plans for fall ’21 housing or course delivery, we will act accordingly.
We appreciate everything that all of you have done to help keep our campus safe during this academic year. And we very much hope that the coming months continue to bring us closer to the end of this pandemic.
Ben Vinson III
Executive Vice President and Provost