CWRU Responses to New Strain of Coronavirus

To the Faculty and Staff of Case Western Reserve:

We write to assure the campus community that university officials are monitoring developments involving the new strain of coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China, and closely following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

As of this writing, Ohio has no confirmed cases of infection. Yesterday, federal health officials reaffirmed their position that, in the U.S., the public risk from this virus is low. That said, we recognize that this situation continues to evolve, and will continue to provide updates as circumstances warrant.

Staff and Faculty Health

People with this infection tend to have fever (at or above 100.4 degrees), cough and/or shortness of breath. Please keep in mind that this time of year is the height of cold and flu season; as a result, the presence of any of these symptoms does not mean the cause is this strain of coronavirus.

If you have these or other flu-like symptoms and have recently traveled from China (i.e. within the last 14 days), or been in contact with someone believed to have contracted this strain, the CDC advises that you contact your medical provider before going and provide information about your recent travel and/or contact with someone from the area believed to have contracted this strain.

Student Health

University Health and Counseling Services communicated with all students last week and again yesterday. The office has created a page on its website where students can find the most recent updates and guidance regarding this strain of coronavirus.

Travel

As a university that embraces internationalization, we welcome students from other countries and encourage our faculty and students to engage in research and educational activities across the globe. That commitment remains as strong as ever, but events in China are likely to have at least a short-term impact.

For example, earlier this week, the CDC expanded its highest-level travel alert—which urges avoiding all unnecessary travel—beyond Wuhan’s Hubei province to encompass all of China. Last week, Chinese authorities canceled travel into or out of Wuhan, and since have expanded the ban to include an area of roughly 50 million people. They also are starting to restrict travel out of the country.

The implications of these developments for individuals from China who are scheduled to come to our campus this semester are not yet clear.

We appreciate that ongoing news reports regarding the new strain of coronavirus have increased concern among many throughout the U.S., including here on our campus. In a context that changes as rapidly as this one, our ability to provide definitive answers is limited. We will provide additional updates as new information becomes available.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Gregory
Vice President for Human Resources

Lou Stark
Vice President for Student Affairs