To the Case Western Reserve Community:
We are pleased to share that declining positivity rates on campus and in Cuyahoga County make it possible for the university to resume in-person classes starting Monday, Jan. 24.
The university’s surveillance test positivity rate now stands at 5.2%, a full point lower than last week. Cuyahoga County, meanwhile, now reports a 17% rate, just under half the level two weeks earlier.
Part of Case Western Reserve’s progress against COVID-19 can be attributed in large part to your cooperation with the university’s booster requirement—as of this writing, you have collectively achieved an 86.1% boosted vaccination rate.* Thank you for acting so quickly to protect yourselves, and our broader campus community.
As you return to classrooms and lecture halls next week, masks will continue to be required when indoors. The Office of the Provost will be sharing additional guidance regarding the return to in-person teaching later this week. Please keep in mind that the university has yet to see a confirmed case of classroom transmission.
Given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent mask guidance, we encourage members of the campus community to wear KN95 masks or, in their absence, a surgical mask with a cloth mask over it. We have ordered KN95 masks and expect the first shipment to arrive later this week; we will update you regarding distribution as soon as we have more definitive details.
Until further notice, this mask mandate also applies to those teaching courses; faculty and instructors who wish to request a pedagogically related exemption should provide their reasoning in an email to Lisa Camp, Chief of Staff to the Provost (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In addition, those who test positive still must isolate for up to 10 days. However, they also have the option to leave isolation after six or seven days if they satisfy all of the following:
- they have a negative rapid antigen test;
- they do not have a fever; and
- their symptoms are improving.
We will provide additional updates later this week, but wanted to share this information as promptly as possible.
Eric W. Kaler
Ben Vinson III
*The remaining 13.9% are individuals who are not yet eligible for a booster, are exempt from receiving a booster, or in the process of applying for an exemption.