Travel Policy

Find details below on travel-related policies and guidance for the spring 2021 semester. This information, which is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, is subject to change.

Faculty, staff and students (including independent contractors and temporary employees) conducting university-related travel must follow all relevant policies and procedures.

University-Related Travel

Case Western Reserve is prohibiting all international travel and domestic travel outside of Northeast Ohio for university-related activities.

In both instances of a faculty or staff exception request, the respective committees will include representation appropriate to the request—for example, international affairs, student affairs, campus services, university health services, emergency management, general counsel and the president.

The university’s highest priority is the well-being of the campus community. Given the health risks of COVID and infection risks related to travel and large gatherings, applications are unlikely to win approval unless the purpose is truly compelling in terms of benefit to the university—and cannot be achieved in any other or later way.

All Faculty/Staff Travel

One of the key factors contributing to Case Western Reserve's relative success in navigating the pandemic’s evolving changes has been prioritizing safety within the broader context of essential operations.

It is in that same spirit that the university will follow the protocols below until further notice:

Before Out-of-State Travel

All faculty and staff anticipating out-of-state travel for any reason should notify their supervisors, chairs or program directors (SCPs) prior to departure; if such notice is not possible (e.g. travel is prompted by an emergency), employees should notify SCPs as soon as possible—and absolutely before any return to campus.

Returning from Out-of-State Travel

Consistent with our own COVID-19 testing requirements and federal recommendations, faculty and staff who have traveled to a state on Ohio’s advisory list as of the date of their return must have a negative test result prior to returning to their campus workspaces. Employees may come to the university’s testing site at the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center to be tested but must depart campus immediately after that process. 

Below are the three protocols to follow for faculty and staff who return from states on Ohio’s advisory list as of the date they enter Ohio.

  • Essential employees whose on-campus duties can be fulfilled by others—even if at increased cost: Quarantine and COVID-19 test upon return to campus.
    • Example: CWRU Police Officer returning from travel: Quarantine absence can be covered by other officers, but likely to incur overtime costs. Quarantine proceeds; unit manages substitute staffing/budget considerations
  • Essential staff within UGEN who are subject to travel-related quarantine and report that their on-campus duties cannot be fulfilled by others: Referred to VP for HR for evaluation and decision (full quarantine, no quarantine, or restricted time on campus)
    • Example: Residence Life Staff Member who says duties require on-campus presence: VP for HR confers with immediate supervisor and/or VP for division. If needed, consults with University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) prior to final determination. Determination is disseminated in writing to employee, supervisor, division leader and UHCS.
  • Essential staff and faculty within schools who are subject to travel-related quarantine and report their on-campus duties cannot be fulfilled by others: Referred to dean or dean's designate for evaluation and decision 
    • Example: Research Associate who says duties require on-campus presence: Dean or designate (for example, Associate or Vice Dean for Research) confers with supervisors and/or department chairs/program directors; if needed, consults with UHCS prior to final determination. Determination is disseminated in writing to employee, supervisor, division leader and UHCS.

Those with questions about these protocols should email AskHR@case.edu.

General Guidance Regarding Out-of-State Travel

Case Western Reserve University is following the newly released Centers for Disease Control guidelines regarding travel. First, the CDC strongly advises against travel right now because of the high prevalence of COVID-19 infections around the country. Its guidance includes a recommendation that you be tested for COVID-19 one to three days before departure, check travel restrictions at your destination(s), and be tested again three to five days after get back to Cleveland.

Regardless of the result of your test after your return, you must self-quarantine for a minimum of seven days after travel out of state. That requirement continues for seven days even if your COVID-19 test is negative.

If you enter Ohio from a state with a positivity rate of 15 percent or higher, the state requires that you self-quarantine for 15 days. You can find the list of states on the Ohio Department of Health website; it is updated weekly on Tuesdays.

Quarantine Exceptions

  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past three months do not need to quarantine after travel. They should continue to mask, distance, practice hand hygiene, and monitor for symptoms. 
  • Any staff/faculty member who is deemed to be "essential" must speak with their supervisor, who will work with HR, to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they can be exempt from the seven- or 15-day quarantine.
  • Any student who is deemed to be "essential" must speak with their supervisor/project lead/instructor, who will work with dean/school to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they can be exempt from the seven- or 15-day quarantine.   
  • Essential contractors should contact the department for whom they are working to determine if they are "essential" for approval to come back to campus without the seven- or 15-day quarantine.