Slowing Our Rapid Rise in COVID-19 Cases

To Our Students:

As you all know, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 around the country, including in Ohio and Cuyahoga County, has surged substantially in the past few weeks. Until recently, our own positivity rate was 1% or less, and the number of you in quarantine or isolation was also relatively low. Students played an important role in our favorable outcomes by following the “Rules of the Road.” 

Unfortunately, last week’s numbers for CWRU increased significantly. Our positivity rate doubled, and the number of people in quarantine and isolation increased by 58%.  

We can trace this sharp jump in key health metrics to a handful of small gatherings of students. While we understand the increasing desire to socialize as the semester continues, the health risks are simply too high to do so without preventive measures. Masks, physical distancing, handwashing and disinfecting surfaces—all are essential to stopping this spread.

With just 10 days left until the end of the in-person part of the semester, neither of us wants to have to send students home early. We also do not want dozens of you to have to stay here for Thanksgiving because you are in quarantine or isolation and prohibited from travel.

To avoid those outcomes, please remember the Community Commitment that started the semester, and follow it—for yourself, your classmates, and all of the faculty and staff with whom you interact.

We do not want to enact stricter measures to reduce infection risk, or impose harsh consequences for non-compliance. Instead, we ask you to help us maintain a safe and healthy campus. 

Scott Cowen
Interim President

Ben Vinson III
Provost and Executive Vice President