To the Case Western Reserve Community:
When remote classes began Jan. 10, our campus had more than 280 positive cases. When we transitioned to in-person classes two weeks later, that number was below 130.
Today, it’s 27.
Just as shifts in data led us to adapt instruction last month, promising new information is cause for additional adjustments to some of our COVID-19 protocols.
Specifically, effective this Wednesday, Feb. 16:
- fully vaccinated students may remove their masks while in residence halls;
- food may be served at events, so long as grab-and-go options are available for those who want to eat elsewhere; and
- if a proposed university event follows all current COVID-19 protocols—including the ones listed above—organizers no longer need to submit event request forms.
To be clear, the drop in campus case counts isn’t the only trend driving these decisions. This week’s positivity rate is 1.8% (as compared to 6.2% when spring semester classes started). Nearly 95% of the campus community is vaccinated and boosted if eligible. And Cuyahoga County’s positivity rate today is 4.6% (versus 25.7% as of Jan. 10).
In addition, several existing protocols remain for now, among them:
- undergraduates still must take a COVID-19 test every other week (and those with testing requirements as part of an accommodation also must continue to take them as directed);
- with the exception of residence halls, people must mask indoors—including in classrooms (excluding faculty who have received exemptions); and
- dining halls will continue to offer limited food cooked-to-order and reduced seating—as well as boxed meals for people who want to eat their food elsewhere.
During the coming weeks, we will continue to follow data on our campus and in the broader community. Depending on the direction of those trends, we may return to prior practices, relax them further, or continue as detailed in this email.
Whatever happens next, we will update you regularly, and always appreciate your cooperation.
Vice President for Human Resources
Vice President for Student Affairs