Prevention Measures

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), please follow these steps—as well as the information outlined on this page:

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • wear a mask when in public (masks are required on campus both indoors, unless alone in a room with a closd door, and outdoors);
  • practice physical distancing (maintain at least 6 feet distance);
  • avoid close contact with other people who are ill;
  • cough into your elbow;
  • regularly clean door handles and other surfaces with disinfectant spray or wipes; and
  • stay home if sick.

Visit the CDC website for other resources and suggestions.


Masks are required indoors and outdoors on campus, unless you are by yourself in a room with a closed door (e.g. an individual office). Masks must be three-ply procedure paper masks or cloth masks that cover the nose and chin, no valves.

A face shield can be used as additional protection with a mask. A face shield provides additional protection; it cannot be used in place of a mask.

For spring semester, the university is distributing new Case Western Reserve masks to all faculty, staff and students coming to campus. (Faculty and staff members' masks will be distributed by their schools/departments. Students living in residence halls received theirs in their welcome kits, while undergraduate and graduate/professional students living off campus can pick theirs up at the Thwing Center Service Counter in the atrium Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sundays 1-9 p.m.)

The new cloth masks are three layers (two cloth layers and a permanent filter) and offer:

  • 90% Particle Filtration Efficiency
  • More than 95% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency
  • Different fabric layers (external is polyester; internal is cotton) for optimal performance and protection balance
  • Adjustable ear toggles, a robust nose piece, and the ability to fasten either behind the ears or around the back of the head
  • The ability to be laundered at high temperatures (>140 degrees F)
  • Complete protection for at least 60 washes

The masks meet or exceed World Health Organization and European Committee for Standardization standards. 

If you forget your mask, contact Public Safety (216.368.3300; to arrange to pick up a disposable one before reporting to your workplace.

Physical Distancing

All individuals on campus should follow physical distancing guidelines, both indoors and outdoors—maintaining 6 feet of distance wherever possible.

To follow physical distancing (also known as social distancing) guidelines, please:

  • Stay home. 
  • Limit contact when running errands.
  • Choose safe social activities.
  • Give yourself a buffer zone. Try not to get physically close to people when you’re outside your home. As a general rule, try to be 6 feet away from the closest person.
  • Rethink your greeting. Don’t hug or shake hands. 
  • Avoid groups of people. More people = more chances to come in direct (or indirect) contact with the virus. 

Find more information on the CDC website.

Hand Hygiene

Studies show that effective handwashing can reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses by as much as 20%. Below is specific guidance from health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides extensive guidance on handwashing; among its key recommendations are to wash hands for no fewer than 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice), and if using hand sanitizer, make sure it has at least 60% alcohol.

The World Health Organization has even more detailed hand hygiene guidance. Please pay particular attention to pages 3 and 4 of this document.