KN95 Masks and Other COVID-19 Updates

To the Case Western Reserve Community:

As we prepare for the return to in-person classes Monday, we want to provide additional information regarding adjustments and additions to our current pandemic protocols. 

First and perhaps most importantly, starting today members of the university community who show their CWRU ID can receive up to six KN95 masks at the following locations:

  • Undergraduates and Commuter Students: At the Area Offices in Wade and Fribley Commons beginning Friday, Jan. 21, or the service desk in Thwing Center.
  • Staff in UGEN Departments*: At Access Services in the basement of Crawford Hall; you must show your university ID.
  • Faculty and Staff in Schools: Please visit our mask pickup page to see the pick-up location in your school.
  • Graduate and Professional Students: Please visit our mask pickup page to see the pickup location in your school.

As the president and provost wrote earlier this week, we strongly recommend wearing KN95s; if for some reason you cannot wear them, we encourage you to wear a surgical mask covered by a cloth mask.

Below are updates on other changes:

Surveillance COVID-19 Testing: All undergraduates are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test every other week. Your testing week depends on the first letter of your last name. All of those whose last names begin with the letters A though L must test the week of Jan. 22 (i.e., submit your test between Saturday, Jan. 22, and 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28). Those whose last names start with M through Z must test the week of Jan. 29 (i.e., submit your test between Saturday, Jan. 29, and 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4). This requirement applies whether you live on or off campus. 

Free tests are available through vending machines around campus. Staff also administer tests on the first floor of the medical school’s Robbins Building; see the schedule.

Optional COVID-19 Testing: Other members of the campus community may submit tests as well, but we ask that you do so no more than once a week.

More About Masks: Masks continue to be required at all times indoors, even for those teaching courses. Instructors who have pedagogical reasons to request an exemption from this requirement must provide their reasoning in an email to Lisa Camp ( no later than 5 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 21).

Dining Halls: Student dining halls will continue to provide boxed meals and limited seating through Monday, Jan. 31. Starting Tuesday, Feb. 1, full dining services and seating will resume, but students who prefer to get boxed meals and depart still will be able to do so.

Events: Starting Monday, Jan. 24, members of the campus community no longer must request permission to hold an event unless attendance is expected to exceed 50 people—so long as no food or drink is provided. If you plan to have an event that is larger than 50 people, and/or to have food or drink present, you still have to request permission.

  • If the event primarily involves students, please use the student form.
  • If it primarily involves faculty, please use the faculty request form.
  • If it primarily involves staff, please use the staff request form.
  • If the event involves equal numbers of each category, then use the form that most aligns with the intended audience.

Thank you for your cooperation with these pandemic protocols; we will provide additional updates as circumstances warrant.

Peter Poulos
General Counsel

Carol Gregory
Vice President for Human Resources

Lou Stark
Vice President for Student Affairs

*Essential employees such as custodians, public safety staff, and certain facilities staff will receive masks in the locations where they work.