Rapidly Increasing Cases and Exposure Guidance

To the Case Western Reserve Community:

We will provide additional details about the university’s booster requirement shortly, but first want to update you regarding University Health & Counseling Services’ (UHCS) response to significant case increases among the campus community—as well as Cuyahoga County more broadly.

Please know that after extensive case investigation, we have found no evidence that any of last week’s infections were acquired in classroom settings. We have identified cases that may have been acquired in an office setting among individuals who spent a long duration together unmasked, particularly while eating. 

Given the rapid climb in positive cases numbers, and the likelihood of continued rapid spread, UHCS staff must concentrate on care for members of the campus community who have tested positive. 

As a result, UHCS will not issue “Potential COVID-19 Exposure and Guidance” notifications for the next two weeks. Instead, we advise all members of the campus community to continue to practice fundamental mitigation measures—wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and washing or sanitizing hands frequently. 

In addition, we encourage you to monitor closely for COVID-19 symptoms—particularly fever, cough, or difficulty breathing/shortness of breath. 

If students experience such symptoms—including fever greater than 100 degrees, cough or difficulty breathing—they should contact Health Services at 216.368.2450. Faculty and staff experiencing such symptoms should contact their primary care physician. In all instances, those with symptoms should remain at home while awaiting further instructions. 

If you know or are concerned that you have been exposed to someone who tested positive, we recommend that you secure a COVID-19 PCR test within five to seven days of that known exposure. Between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. tomorrow and Wednesday, you can secure a free test at the Robbins Building (2210 Circle Dr.; testing is on the first floor). Free tests also can be obtained at CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid—or at community sites listed at ccbh.net. During the holiday break, please follow the guidance posted on the UHCS website

Finally, if you have not yet received a booster, please stop by the Office of Resiliency vaccine clinics tomorrow or Wednesday in the Nursing Research Building; operating hours are 9 to 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:45 p.m. From Jan. 4-8, booster doses will be available in Adelbert Gym. No appointment is needed, but faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to schedule theirs at myhealthconnect.case.edu if at all possible.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. Please be safe this holiday season.

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

Lou Stark
Vice President for Student Affairs

Carolyn Gregory
Vice President for Human Resources