Welcome Back: Testing on Demand and Booster Requirements

To Our Students:

With the start of the spring semester just five days away, we write to offer reminders and updates regarding Case Western Reserve’s initial pandemic practices for this year. As you know, COVID-19 cases continue to set records around the world and in local communities; please read this message closely to ensure you are doing all that you can to reduce your chances of becoming infected.

As you no doubt recall, the university announced a new booster requirement in mid-December. Soon after, we notified undergraduates that most instruction would be delivered remotely until Jan. 24; depending on case trends, remote learning might end slightly earlier or later than that date. Regardless, we strongly encourage undergraduates to return to campus before classes begin Monday.

By now, graduate and professional students should have received information from their schools and/or programs regarding plans for courses and other academic experiences. 

We regret that these developments are all too similar to some of the disruptions endured during the 2020-2021 academic year. Like you, we very much hope that projections regarding an early peak to the surge prove accurate, and that we are able to return to a more normal semester relatively soon. 

Thank you in advance for your compliance with following requirements and guidance.

COVID-19 Testing on Demand: All faculty, staff and students will be able to get free COVID-19 tests from a dozen vending machines located across campus;* you do not need your CWRU ID to be able to access the tests. Drop-off boxes for PCR tests are located near the respective vending machines; if you have taken a rapid test, those results should be uploaded via myhealthconnect.case.edu. Those who want to receive tests from university staff still can go to the Robbins building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.

Re-Entry Testing Requirements I: All students must take a COVID-19 test in each of their first three weeks upon arriving to campus (e.g., if you arrive Jan. 6, you need to take your first test by Jan. 13; if you arrive Jan. 10, the deadline for your first test is Jan. 17). 

Re-Entry Testing Requirements II: If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you do NOT need to participate in re-entry testing until 90 days have passed since your positive test. In such cases, please make sure you have documented your positive test with University Health & Counseling Services through myhealthconnect.case.edu

Booster Vaccination Requirement I: As announced last month, all eligible members of the campus community must document their receipt of a booster vaccination as of Jan. 3. Those who were unable to secure a vaccination by that date may schedule an appointment via myhealthconnect.case.edu to secure one on campus this week. If you have not received a vaccination or requested an exemption by Friday, Jan. 7, you will be considered non-compliant. 

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, you are exempt from the booster requirement for 90 days from the date of your positive test. Please document your positive test through myhealthconnect.case.edu

Booster Vaccination Requirement II: Please remember, if you received your booster dose on campus, you do not need to take any other steps to be compliant. If you received the dose elsewhere, you must upload a picture of your CDC vaccination card to myhealthconnect.case.edu by Jan. 7; if you receive a message that the image cannot be uploaded, please crop the image as closely as possible to reduce file size.

Other Health-Related Issues: With high COVID-19 case counts anticipated this month, staffing constraints will keep University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) from being able to provide its usual range of care—including standard check-ups and physicals, as well as sexual/women’s health visits. Appointments for non-respiratory illness and injury will be limited, and students may need to be referred to local urgent care centers. For additional information, please visit the UHCS website.

Regular Student Meetings (e.g., student organizations or programs): Until at least Jan. 24, please hold all regular meetings online if at all possible. 

Gatherings and Events: Until at least Jan. 24, all university events—on- or off-campus—that involve 10 or more people must be pre-approved by the university’s COVID-19 Operations Team. Please complete this form if you are a student requesting an exception; this guidance applies regardless of the composition of the audience.

Thank you again for all you did last semester to protect yourselves and one another; we hope to be able to lift many of these restrictions soon.

Peter Poulos
Vice President and General Counsel

Lou Stark 
Vice President for Student Affairs