Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you'll find answers to a variety of frequently asked questions related to learning, working and studying on campus.

Visit the specific pages if you have questions related to any of the following areas:

Exposures and notifications

Once University Health Services (UHS) receives notice of positive test result, staff first contact the student to learn more. These questions include whether the student has symptoms (and, if so, for how long); what classes, practices, or other meetings/activities the student has attended in recent days; what their living arrangements are, including whether they have roommates or suitemates; and whether they have contracted COVID-19 previously. 

Based on those factors—and others that may arise during the conversation—medical staff determine which individuals, groups and classes should receive notifications. In general, classes and instructors receive notification if class enrollment is around 25 students or fewer; sending messages for larger classes often creates a level of concern that exceeds the actual risk.

Please remember that the CDC also says that people who have had COVID-19 within 90 days of their exposure, or are fully vaccinated, do not need to quarantine. The additional guidance that the university provides in instances of exposure is to: report for COVID-19 testing on a specific date (determined by the date of known exposure), closely monitoring symptoms for seven days from known exposure, and continue to wear masks indoors when around others.

The accuracy of word-of-moth information can vary widely, not only with regard to whether someone actually has tested positive, but also in terms of the nature of exposure of others. For vaccinated people who are exposed, two of the three primary pieces of guidance—wear your mask and monitor closely for symptoms—should already be common practice. As for the third—reporting for testing as of a certain date—chances are high that you will receive the UHS notification before that date.

If you do not receive a notification, it means that UHS has determined that the level of exposure is not high enough to warrant notification.

It’s difficult to assess your actual risk based on these notices, because you likely are around others (on or off campus) who may be infected but asymptomatic. Your best protection is to be vaccinated, wear masks indoors when around others, and wash or sanitize hands frequently.

Unfortunately, no number of preventive measures can guarantee protection from infection—whether on campus or in the broader community. That said, every additional layer does reduce the likelihood of transition: becoming fully vaccinated; wearing masks; maintaining physical distance whenever possible; and frequently washing or sanitizing hands. Like you, we very much hope that the U.S. Food and Drug Agency is able to approve a vaccine for children under 12 soon.

As with the vaccines themselves, no single measure can provide a 100 percent guarantee against contracting COVID-19. But the combination of our high vaccination rates, masking and other preventive protocols substantially increases protections for instructors and students in classrooms and labs.

Feeling symptoms?

If you are feeling COVID-19 symptoms, you should remain in your residence (i.e., do NOT come to class or participate in other campus activities).

You can make an appointment through myhealthconnect.case.edu for “COVID SYMPTOMS.” This appointment will include COVID-19 testing. Please call Health Services at 216.368.2450 during clinic hours if you are unable to schedule an appointment OR anytime for medical advice.

You will receive medical advice from the on-call nurse, and a staff member from Health Services will follow-up within approximately 24 hours to check-in and give campus-specific guidance.

You should refrain from coming to campus and contact your primary care provider for guidance.

Please contact Health Services at 216.368.2450 for advice about returning to campus. Please also let UHCS know if you have tested positive.

Workplace issues

If you supervise the individual, yes, you will be notified. If someone else in your department or unit supervises the individual, that individual will be notified.

The accuracy of word-of-mouth information can vary widely, not only with regard to whether someone actually has tested positive, but also in terms of the nature of exposure of others.

For vaccinated people who are exposed, two of the three primary pieces of guidance—wear your mask and monitor closely for symptoms—should already be common practice. As for the third—reporting for testing as of a certain date—chances are high that you will receive the UHS notification before that date.

If you do not receive a notification, it means that UHS has determined that the level of exposure is not high enough to warrant notification.

The individual’s positive status is private health information, and should not be shared. Continue to follow the university’s existing health and safety protocols until notified by UHS. If you do not receive a notification from UHS within three days and the person is absent from work, contact the Office of Human Resources at AskHR@case.edu, and explain the individual situation.

The individual’s positive status is private health information, and should not be shared. Acceptable responses include: "X is out of the office for personal reasons," or "Y is out of the office for reasons I have approved."

Remind them that the university has taken multiple measures to protect the health and safety of the campus and that they are expected to be present. If they continue to resist reporting to campus and are staff members, contact the Office of Human Resources at AskHR@case.edu, and explain the individual situation. If they continue to resist reporting to campus and are faculty members, first contact the individual within your school designated to manage faculty Human Resources or workplace concerns.

As noted in our Aug. 23 message to faculty and staff, fully vaccinated faculty and staff (i.e., those two weeks removed from receiving the final dose of their COVID-19 vaccine) may remove masks to teach if wearing them negatively affects instruction.

Vaccinated faculty members who wish to remove their masks while teaching:

  • must be a minimum of 6 feet away from students—all of whom should be wearing masks;
  • should minimize the amount of time they are not wearing masks, because infection risks grow with increased duration of exposure; and
  • recognize that classrooms with microphones and speakers are settings where they can keep their masks on and use the available equipment to enhance their ability to be heard and understood.

Individuals who are unvaccinated cannot take their masks off in any setting in which they are not alone in a campus workspace or living area.

Yes, vaccinated students can remove their masks if there is no microphone and they can't be heard; they also must maintain 6 feet of physical distance. Students must re-apply their masks as soon as they finish presenting.

Students who are not vaccinated cannot take their masks off in any setting in which they are not alone in a campus workspace or living area.