Travel, Vaccinations and the Spring Semester

To the Case Western Reserve Community:

Although we have barely reached the midpoint of the fall semester, it is already time to begin thinking about the start of the spring one—including protocols involving the COVID-19 vaccine. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, some of what follows may change in response to new developments or information. Even so, we wanted to provide guidance now so that those affected have relevant information as early as possible.

Vaccine-Related Protocols for Faculty, Staff and Students

Booster Doses

The university’s requirements for booster doses will depend largely on the final recommendations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding their criteria for who should receive booster doses from the respective manufacturers. Once this information is available, the university will confer with its own experts. Once that process is complete, you will receive separate communication regarding the issue.

Until Case Western Reserve notifies the campus regarding booster doses, the university continues to define “fully vaccinated” as being two weeks from the final dose of the respective manufacturer’s vaccine. 


The university will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; as of now: 

  • Fully vaccinated individuals returning to Northeast Ohio from within the U.S. should self-monitor for symptoms. If returning from outside the U.S., they are advised to self-monitor for symptoms AND test three to five days after travel. Students who are vaccinated must participate in testing when arriving back on campus; those living on campus do not need to delay moving until they receive test results (i.e., they can return to their university housing while waiting).
  • Unvaccinated individuals are advised to quarantine for seven days and test three to five days after any travel—international or domestic. Students who are not vaccinated must quarantine and participating in testing upon their return to campus. Please note: Returning students living on campus next semester who are required to quarantine will receive additional details regarding quarantine housing arrangements later this semester. New students subject to these quarantine requirements should plan to arrive in Northeast Ohio by Sunday, Jan. 2, or at the latest, Monday, Jan. 3, before noon. The university will provide additional information regarding housing check-ins, meals, and testing locations in subsequent communications.  

Religious and Medical Exceptions

Those who received an exception from the appropriate university office do not need to submit an additional request for the spring semester—unless the university has notified them otherwise because of issues relating to compliance with exception requirements.

All of those who have received exceptions must continue to comply with relevant university requirements (e.g., testing) to maintain that status during the spring semester.

Vaccine-Related Protocols for New Spring Students Only

Students newly enrolling at Case Western Reserve in the spring must adhere to the protocols detailed above, as well as other requirements those on campus this semester already have fulfilled. Below are details regarding these expectations:

Proof of Vaccination Compliance

New students can comply with the university’s vaccine requirements by doing one of the following no later than Friday, Dec. 3, 2021:

  • submitting proof of vaccination to the university’s secure health record system;
  • notifying the university that you are unable to access vaccine doses the university considers eligible for compliance and wish to receive one from the university upon arriving in Cleveland; or
  • requesting a formal medical or religious exception from the appropriate office.*

*Students should submit religious exception requests to the Office of Equity, and medical exception requests to Disability Resources.

Again, compliance requires completing on of these three steps no later than Friday, Dec. 3, 2021.

Those new students who are not yet fully vaccinated and wish to live on campus during the spring semester should plan to reside in the university’s housing reserved for unvaccinated and/or quarantining students—Triangle I of the Triangle apartments.

Faculty and staff who are new to campus next semester will be subject to the same requirements as exist today regarding vaccinations requirements and exceptions.

Case Western Reserve will continue to provide updates regarding all matters relating to vaccines as additional information becomes available.

Carolyn Gregory
Vice President for Human Resources

Lou Stark
Vice President for Student Affairs