COVID-19

Microscopic COVID-19

Coronavirus Updates to our Campus Community

Case Western Reserve provides regular updates about COVID-19 and efforts to ensure the health of our campus community.

Read the Latest News

FAQs

To help address questions from our community, we have created a list of Frequently Asked Questions and provided answers. If you have additional questions about the School of Dental Medicine's operations during COVID-19 please let us know. All questions received are compiled and reviewed by a team prior to responses being sent out. Please give us 48-72 hours to respond as we are receiving numerous questions at this time. Thank you!

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Dean's Messages

The Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine is committed to providing an outstanding education while simultaneously easing the transition to distance learning during the COVID-19 crisis. Like dental schools around the country, we are facing some uncertainties, but we will work to provide accurate and up-to-date information. Review messages from Dean Chance below.

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

Thinking back to December 2019, as we were all setting our goals for 2020 none of us could anticipate what would unfold. 

In March, we were abruptly thrown into a new reality that forced us to quickly reevaluate our expectations and priorities. We went from seeing each other in person every day to interacting over Zoom. Handshakes and hugs were replaced with long-distance waves and virtual greetings. Even the simple act of sharing a meal and socializing with friends no longer felt safe. Our entire lives changed. 

Reflecting on the last eleven months, I am filled with immense gratitude. While this year has brought unprecedented difficulties, it has also pushed all of us to slow down and focus on what truly matters—the people around us. In this spirit, I extend my utmost appreciation. 

  • Thank you to our faculty for your tireless efforts and your ability to adapt in this challenging environment. 
  • Thank you to our staff for your dedication to our community and unwavering support.
  • Thank you to our students for your resilience in the face of adversity and your trust in our ability to help you reach your career aspirations.

We have so much to be proud of. By investing early and working together, we were able to resume in-person learning experiences and offer critical dental health support to our patients. Our success is thanks to you. 

Your adherence to the policies and feedback shared through the ongoing school forums have been critical throughout this process. Transparency and communication are more important than ever, and we’ll continue to do all we can to ensure your voices are heard. 

Indications point to a challenging winter, but there is hope on the horizon. Despite whatever outside forces may impact our day-to-day, I strongly believe we will come out on the other side better than we were before.

It is my hope that over this upcoming holiday season you all enjoy some much-deserved rest and relaxation. 

Have a wonderful winter break. We look forward to joining together again in the new year. 

Dean Chance 

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

Turkey. Stuffing. Mashed potatoes. And to top it off, a laptop at the end of the table. 

This year’s holiday season for the Chance family will look a little different. Rather than gathering together in the traditional sense, my wife Keli and I are hosting a virtual Thanksgiving for the first time. 

While this will be quite a shift from our typical holiday, some things won’t change. I still plan to oversee the turkey roasting process, watching over it like a dentist would watch over a patient. We will still share a meal with our children and a toast with our respective families, and we will still join together in love and joy—even if it is through a screen. 

We’re adding new traditions this year, too. The Chance family is blessed to have four children and 10 grandchildren, spread across the country. Our youngest granddaughter, Olivia, is 10 months old and on the verge of walking. Naturally, we had to make this milestone even more interesting by placing bets on when she will take her first steps. I’m banking on Thanksgiving day, preferably during our virtual festivities. Fingers crossed she’ll cooperate and help her grandfather out!

This message is starting to feel like a commercial for Zoom. In all seriousness, it is thanks to this technology that my family has been able to connect and make memories from miles and states apart—and most importantly, we can do so while keeping each other safe. 

The holidays can be a difficult time, especially this year with the uncertainty swirling around us. It’s easy to focus on all that we are unable to do and forget the opportunities we still have. By hosting a ‘virtual’ Thanksgiving this year, my family is increasing the chances of having a wonderful in-person get together next year.

It is my hope that you all take some well-deserved time over this upcoming holiday season to connect with those you love, make new memories and share in the goodness life has to offer. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving,

Dean Chance


Holiday schedule and COVID-19 reminders

As previously communicated, there will be changes to the course and clinic schedules to accommodate for the holidays and end of fall semester. Case Western Reserve University is observing the fall break, Labor Day and Thanksgiving holidays for students from Nov. 23-27. Faculty and staff will have Nov. 25-27 off of work. The dental clinic will be closed starting Wednesday, Nov. 25 and will reopen on Monday, Nov. 30. 

Understanding you may be planning to visit loved ones in the coming weeks, it is important to keep Ohio’s travel advisory policy in mind. With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing in many states, please check this page regularly for the latest quarantine guidance. If you are impacted by these guidelines, please let us know and we will work with you. Transparency on travel and exposure during this time is critical

In addition, continue to complete the  daily attestation form before visiting campus, wear a mask, physical distance, clean hands and surfaces often, closely monitor any potential symptoms and avoid large gatherings. It is incumbent on all of us to stop the spread of this virus.


Share your news 

Do you have exciting news to share? The School of Dental Medicine wants to ensure our faculty, staff and students are being recognized for the amazing work they do in this profession and on behalf of our community. 

Use this form to share department updates, professional accomplishments, special projects, community involvement, award recognition or any other notable achievements. Submissions will be collected by our Internal Communications Manager for consideration.


CWRU login now requires passphrase

CWRU recently changed user login requirements to promote stronger security and improve usability. This change requires users to convert passwords associated with their network ID (abc123) to passphrases which are more difficult to brute-force guess while also remaining easy to remember. Passwords associated with your network ID must be converted to passphrases by Jan. 18, 2021. Learn more about requirements and how to make this change.

To the Students of the School of Dental Medicine: 

There is no question that the United States is seeing a surge in positive COVID-19 cases, with the country reporting an all-time high in infections just this week. As I mentioned previously, it is easy to fall into complacency during this “new normal.” In spite of this, we must continue to do all we can to mitigate the spread. 

The steps needed to support this are easy: Wear a mask, monitor symptoms through completion of the daily health attestation, continue to physical distance and wash hands and surfaces regularly. These are small practices requiring little effort to incorporate into our daily routines—but can support the health and safety of those around us.

We are still seeing a failure by some students to comply with these guidelines across the Health Education Campus, specifically in terms of wearing masks. Whenever you are on campus, you must wear a mask at all times, even in small group meetings, with the exception of eating and when alone in an enclosed office. 

If increased compliance is not seen across the School of Dental Medicine, and our partner schools in the HEC, we will be forced to take more individualized and direct action. 

These COVID-19 precautions are essential to our ability to continue the in-person, clinical learning experiences that are an integral part of the educational experience. We must work together to continue these opportunities. 

Thank you for your support of this mandate. 

Sincerely, 

Dean Chance

To the School of Dental Medicine Faculty, Staff and Students:

As we enter the final months of 2020, it’s easy to fall into old routines—including visiting in large groups and hosting get-togethers indoors. However, we are also beginning to see a rise in COVID-19 cases across the country and in Cuyahoga County. 

It is critical during this time we do not lose sight of the health precautions we all must follow in order to keep each other safe and limit the spread of this virus. 

The university has made a great effort in providing detailed guidance to protect ourselves and our community—but every one of us plays an integral role in upholding this commitment. We must do more.

While we expect complete cooperation in filling out the daily attestation form before visiting campus, it is disappointing to see only half of us are actually doing so. This provides important information needed to act quickly when a positive case is suspected or confirmed, and we all must make an effort to fill it out daily—for the sake of your colleagues, friends and loved ones.

In addition, as you maintain your activities, be they professional, training, educational or social, remember to follow the necessary COVID-19 health and safety precautions, including wearing a mask, physical distancing, cleaning hands and surfaces, and closely monitoring any potential symptoms. 

This has not been an easy time. I deeply appreciate everything you have done to keep yourselves and each other safe. I’m confident in our ability to successfully finish this fall semester and enter into a new calendar year. 

Thank you, 

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

As was shared last week, a School of Dental Medicine student recently tested positive for COVID-19. First and foremost, Case Western Reserve University is focused on the student’s health and safety, along with all those who were exposed. Thank you for your patience, understanding and compassion during this time. 

Our goal, as it has been since we resumed campus operations this fall, is to limit the spread and encourage prevention practices as much as possible. When positive cases do occur, the university follows a defined set of procedures, in partnership with state and local health officials, that focus on safety, privacy and respect—with thorough cleaning, contact tracing and ensuring those who may be most significantly impacted are notified first. 

For more insight on the protocols for COVID-19 symptoms and diagnoses, I encourage you to reference the details Carolyn Gregory, vice president for Human Resources, shared in this July message. Additional information is also available, including the:

This serves as a critical reminder that we must continue to monitor symptoms daily, complete the health attestation form before reaching campus, wear a mask, physical distance and continue healthy practices such as hand washing and cleaning workstations often. 

As part of the Case Western Reserve community, we are in this together. Thank you. 

Sincerely, 

Dean Chance 


Preventing a COVID-19 Wildlife Pandemic

Martin Nweeia, assistant professor with the dental school, is leading an international research team focused on protecting wildlife from a potential coronavirus wave. To start, the team will study the narwhal, an arctic whale with a 9-foot tusk and a high potential for infection. 

Read the spotlight article in the daily to learn more, and join the Research on the Human-to-Wildlife Transmission of COVID-19 event on Oct. 21 at 5:30 p.m. ET. 


Homecoming and Reunion Weekend 2020

Thank you to everyone who participated in the virtual homecoming activities on Oct. 8-11. Our alumni relations team worked tirelessly to ensure this year’s festivities were a success. If you weren’t able to attend, visit the Homecoming 2020 Virtual Events page to view the parade of classes, tour of the dental clinic and awards ceremony. 

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

As we embark on the second half of the fall semester, I want to thank you for your resilience and commitment to this profession, especially in this unprecedented time. Without your dedication, we wouldn’t be where we are today. 

To continue this success, we must remain vigilant, particularly when following the health and safety guidelines in place. While we know the “new” in our “new normal” is starting to wear off, it is critical that we not let our guard down. 

We all bear personal responsibility in limiting the spread of COVID-19. What we do on and off campus impacts everyone around us—our neighbors, family, classmates, colleagues, patients, friends and ourselves. 

Before visiting campus you must complete the daily attestation form. As an added incentive, the #EveryoneWins university-wide campaign is providing all faculty, staff and students who complete the attestation form for five consecutive days the chance to win a gift basket. On a weekly basis, two winners from each group will be announced.

As a reminder, masks are required on campus at all times, including when you are at the Health Education Campus and Samson Pavilion, and physical distancing must be maintained. These precautions help to ensure our ability to continue in-person learning and community support in our clinics.

In addition, we are also approaching flu season. Compounded with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s important we do all we can to prevent illness, to protect those around us and help reduce potential strain on our health systems. The university is offering flu shot clinics throughout the month in support of these efforts. 

Working together, I know we can continue to cultivate a safe and successful learning environment. 

Thank you again for your support. 

Sincerely,

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

Last week, the country came to Cleveland—virtually. The first presidential debate provided the opportunity for people from all over the United States to learn more about the great work we do here at Case Western Reserve University and shed a light on our outstanding Health Education Campus. 

Thank you for your patience and support as we prepared for this historic event.

The last few days have also marked a bittersweet transition for the university, as we said goodbye to outgoing president Barbara R. Snyder. In recognition of the profound impact of her dedicated and inspiring leadership, the Barbara R. Snyder Scholarship Fund was established to provide partial scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need and academic merit. The campaign, which ended on Sept. 30, raised more than $27 million

I know I stand with so many across Case Western Reserve, the Cleveland community and beyond in extending my deepest thanks and gratitude for all she has done to advance this great university. 

We are excited to welcome Scott Cowen as the new interim president, returning to Case Western Reserve after a 16-year tenure as president of Tulane University. Cowen spent 23 years at the Weatherhead School of Management, serving as dean from 1984-1998. We look forward to his leadership as the university conducts a national search for the next president. 

I encourage all of our faculty and staff to leverage the opportunity to hear more from the interim president and Provost Ben Vinson III during our fall meeting this Friday at 10 a.m. ET. 

Pivoting to important school news, we are currently in the midst of conducting admissions interviews and gearing up for December when decisions will be announced. Thank you to everyone who is supporting these virtual interviews. 

In addition, our third-year DMD students recently started their clinical experience, continuing to enhance their expertise while also providing invaluable care to our community. 

Last, but certainly not least, this weekend is the 2020 Homecoming and Reunion Weekend. I encourage everyone to check out the wonderful virtual events that the university and dental school have to offer.

I look forward to the start of another successful month together. Thank you. 

Sincerely,

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” —Coretta Scott King

When we come together, we can accomplish inspiring things. I see this sentiment highlighted in the great work you do to support each other and the community.

This Saturday, September 26, our American Student Dental Association (ASDA) chapter is hosting the McGuire Nelson Memorial 5k in memory of Richard McGuire, a fourth-year dental student who lost his battle to sickle cell anemia in August 2019, and Katie Nelson, a third-year student who passed away from leukemia this past April. 

I encourage you to visit the Case Western Reserve University ASDA Facebook page for more information on the virtual 5k and to see how you can offer your support. I’d also like to extend a special thank you to everyone who organized this special event.

As we continue to move through the fall semester, we are quickly approaching the national election, an important moment for our country that showcases the impact of communities coming together for a collective purpose. Leading up to the vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic will  host the first presidential debate  Tuesday, September 29 in our  Health Education Campus. 

While this historic event will provide an important forum for voters to learn more about the candidates, it also will affect many of our regular operations. Samson Pavilion and the JJ Garage will be closed beginning Saturday, Sept. 26, through Wednesday, Sept. 30. 

With adjusted traffic patterns and road closures also impacting access to our facilities, we are closing the dental clinics starting Monday, Sept. 28, through Wednesday, Sept. 30. We regret any inconvenience this may cause patients.

Samson Pavilion, JJ Garage and the dental clinics will reopen on Thursday, Oct. 1. 

Additional updates will be shared through our social media pages in the days leading up to the event. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and announcements. I appreciate  your patience and support. 

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

“Health care is a team sport.” 

This motto is at the heart of the collaborative environment cultivated on the Health Education Campus, and has brought on new meaning during a time when working together is imperative to our success. 

Through this integrated approach, we partnered with our colleagues across the medical and nursing schools, as well as Cleveland Clinic, to try to ensure a safe start to the academic year. We continue to draw insight and inspiration from each other and act together to support our community’s overall well-being. 

Our strong collaborations uniquely positioned us to host the first presidential debate on September 29. We are proud to provide this forum where voters can learn more about the candidates as the election approaches.

However, we know the event will cause some disruption to our established schedule. Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic are working closely with the Commission on Presidential Debates, as well as local and federal officials, to prepare for the debate. We know that Samson Pavilion will be closed for some of the days in advance of the debate, and at least the following day, but details are still being finalized at this time. We will provide additional information as soon as it is available, and thank you in advance for your patience. 

An integral part of our team spirit is also ensuring everyone at Case Western Reserve University feels welcome. Now, more than ever, this is of the utmost importance. 

To continue necessary conversations around equity, inclusion and systemic racism, the university is hosting a second Day of Dialogue on September 17. Throughout a series of sessions and panels, the Case Western Reserve Sustained Dialogue Program is providing an opportunity to share updates, receive feedback and highlight resources for mental health support and wellness. 

In many ways, our work is just beginning; but through our ongoing efforts we are paving the way for a better tomorrow. 

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

With the new academic year underway, I find myself thinking back to when I began my journey into the dental profession. Bear with me as I reminisce for a moment. 

We all had a time in our lives when we were faced with the age-old question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some follow in their parents’ footsteps. Others are influenced by their role models. At a young age, I knew I wanted to do something that made a real impact on people’s lives. 

But why dentistry? No one in my family was a dentist. When I researched professions as a junior high school student, becoming a lawyer or a physician was the trend. While those are both noble professions, they weren’t for me. 

Growing up in the southeast Bronx, in what is considered an underserved area, I befriended entrepreneurs who I felt really had a pulse on the community. These were dedicated, intelligent business owners and professionals. Yet, they often dealt with the hurdle of “not looking the part” because their oral health care was lacking. Many of them, along with their families, endured chronic oral pain that even impacted job hours or school attendance—and usually resulted in tooth loss. 

Seeing these challenges, and the opportunities oral health care assistance could provide, is what first sparked my interest in becoming a dentist. I started to visit local dental offices, which were friendly and inviting. I realized this path could provide a way for me to work with my hands, become an entrepreneur, and most importantly, impact those in my community who need support. That decision led me to where I am today.

You might be wondering: What does this have to do with me? 

As we navigate the ongoing uncertainty this environment poses, and continue to grapple with the loss of normalcy, I find it helpful to think about what drives each of us to be in this field. Why are we here? What difference can we make today?  

The ability to help our neighbors who might be in pain, or just the simple act of guiding them down a healthy path, is important work. I am proud to be part of the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine family because of the passionate people who show up every day to further this commitment—because of every single one of you. 

Thank you for all you do. 

Sincerely,

Dean Chance


Important Reminders

In support of our mission to provide for those around us, we also bear the responsibility to limit the spread of COVID-19. When visiting campus, remember to complete your health attestation before you arrive, wear a mask, wash or sanitize hands regularly and practice physical distancing. If you witness someone not following the safety precautions in place, the university’s COVID-19 CARE Report is available to share your concerns. In addition, the Community Commitment is an important and helpful reminder of our ongoing pledge to support one another’s well-being.


Temporary Suspension of HEC Flyer Route

Effective Monday, September 7, the university will temporarily suspend operations of the HEC Flyer shuttle route that travels between the Health Education Campus and the Institute of Pathology building. The remaining Main and Nursing routes will continue as usual. This decision is prompted by exceptionally low ridership, likely because an increased number of remote courses reduced some of the travel needs between the two campuses. The university will explore restarting the route as circumstances change.  

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

“Resilience in the face of adversity.” This is a phrase we’ve heard countless times, a phrase I believe perfectly encapsulates this moment. 

The past few months have not been easy. But your ongoing commitment to this profession is what drives our success as a university. It is through your resilience that we successfully began this academic year. 

As we resume clinic operations and introduce in-person learning opportunities, we understand it may feel like a slow process. However, taking a gradual, intentional approach enables us to focus on your health and safety and allows for ample time to adjust processes and improve efficiencies to ensure your well-being. 

Last week, we welcomed our fourth-year DMD students into the clinic, which allowed us to see more patients. Overall, the feedback we received from patients, students, faculty and staff has been overwhelmingly positive. With that in mind, it is our goal to double patient capacity in the clinics starting this week. Thank you for your patience and support. You are the reason this goal is possible. 

In addition, we are excited for our first-year dental students to receive their instrument kits in the coming days, marking an exciting milestone for more hands-on and interactive virtual instruction.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to reinforce the safety protocols in place when visiting campus. Completing the daily health assessment before arriving on campus, wearing masks and physical distancing are not only critical when it comes to limiting the spread of COVID-19, they are the reason we are able to support more patients and provide in-person educational experiences. 

If you are in need of additional masks to add to your rotation, the Schools for Slowing the Spread network is providing the opportunity to show your school spirit and contribute to a great cause. If you purchase a Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine face mask by September 6 (use code CWRU2020 for free shipping), the proceeds will be donated to the university’s Student Emergency Fund and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund.

As we embark on a new month, I would again like to thank you for everything you do for the Case Western Reserve community and the dental profession. 

Sincerely, 

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

Today marks the official start of the fall 2020 semester across Case Western Reserve University. At the School of Dental Medicine, we are excited to welcome all of you and look forward to beginning the new academic year. 

This milestone reinforces the important responsibility each of us has to intentionally and diligently limit the spread of COVID-19. We understand returning to campus may be met with mixed feelings, which makes it more important than ever for us to come together.

As you may have read in the daily, student leaders recently launched the Stay Healthy, Stay Here effort, including the Community Commitment, a unified pledge to think for the good of your neighbor, your health and your community. The COVID-19 Care Report is also available as a way to identify others who may need additional support, have symptoms/exposures, or may be having difficulty adhering to public health guidelines such as wearing a mask or social distancing. 

We have witnessed the effects of not taking safety measures seriously in real time, as other institutions have opened and then, shortly thereafter, closed—and we can learn from these examples. Which is why we are taking a gradual approach to resuming in-person learning instruction and clinic operations. 

Last week, the clinics began offering expanded patient services through our graduate student residents. Starting today, we are welcoming the fourth-year dental students to begin their clinical experiences, and our third-year students are starting their simulation clinic courses. While capacity numbers are limited and clinic operations are severely restricted, this is a step in the right direction. By easing into broader services, we are able to be flexible and nimble, adjusting and adapting as necessary.

But we need your help. As you navigate this new normal, please share with us what is working and what is not so we can adjust procedures to best support students, faculty, staff and patients. 

We all serve together in this noble profession, and as professionals we have a responsibility to exercise care and caution. We must support one another in our efforts to further the overall well-being of our community.

If this year has taught us anything, I personally believe it has taught us the power of coming together for a common purpose—looking beyond ourselves for the good of our neighbors and the good of our loved ones. 

Drawing from the inspiring compassion I continue to see from this Case Western Reserve family, we start this year with hope for a brighter future. 

Sincerely, 

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

We are excited to announce, as of this week, we are expanding operations of our dental clinic. With the disruption caused by COVID-19, closing the clinic and limiting appointments to emergencies and urgent care was not an easy decision, and we look forward to offering additional support for our patients. 

To ensure the health and safety of patients, students, staff and faculty, we are implementing precautions including plexiglass partitions, physical distancing guidelines, PPE requirements and capacity constraints. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in planning for these important preparations, and for all those who have been actively working on prioritizing and scheduling patient appointments. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you.

This next phases of reopening include reentry of staff who support the clinic, graduate residents and fourth-year DMD students (starting the week of August 24). While the clinic’s hours will remain the same, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., operations will be extremely limited in order to mitigate health risks.

I encourage you to visit this page for additional details on how the patient experience will be adjusted, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. 

We are also excited to be starting the first phase of pre-clinical education in the SIM lab next week. As part of this, students in the class of 2022 will complete the labs that were interrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak before entering the Dental Clinic for the first time. 

Thank you again for all of the important work you do, and for your ongoing commitment to this profession.

Sincerely, 

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

As we enter a new month we are also embarking on the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, with our first-year students beginning their virtual orientation tomorrow. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to the incoming class of 2024! 

Over the next few weeks, faculty, staff and students must participate in a series of virtual orientations and pre-recorded training resources  to ensure we’re all taking the necessary safety precautions. You should have received emails detailing the next steps. However, please reach out if you have any questions. We encourage you to complete the self-guided training as soon as you are able. 

Understanding that some may be in the process of arranging plans to return to the area, please let us know if you are encountering issues and we will work with you. If you are returning to campus from out of state, we ask that you reference Governor Mike DeWine’s latest guidelines and travel advisory to ensure you’re adhering to the quarantine requirements. If you are living in a state that is part of the travel advisory on the day of your departure, the university requires you complete a 14-day self quarantine before coming to campus.

We all bear a personal responsibility in limiting the spread of this virus. It’s up to every one of us to provide honest information in support of keeping one another healthy and safe. As an important reminder, you will need to complete a health attestation form each day before coming to  campus. 

In what will undoubtedly be a historic academic year, we are proud to also play a historic role in hosting the first presidential debate at Samson Pavilion on September 29. Now, more than ever, we’re seeing firsthand the critical role health care providers and scientists play in our society, which is why the debate will be centered on this topic. We look forward to providing the stage for this important discussion.

President Barbara R. Snyder shared in her email last week that preparing the building will require closure for several days. While we’re still working through these plans, I assure you that we’re focused on minimizing class disruption as much as possible. Given the fluid nature of the pandemic, circumstances may change causing the debate to be conducted online. We will keep you updated as decisions are made.

I look forward to our new year together.

Sincerely, 

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

At Case Western Reserve University, we are more than just an institution, we are a community. As such, it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves and one another. 

While it is my hope that you are excited for the fall semester as you finalize your plans to return to campus, I understand you may have concerns given the circumstances. 

To mitigate health risks and reinforce the daily actions we must all take to keep each other safe, the university and the School of Dental Medicine will provide virtual training to all faculty, staff and students that must be completed before the start of the semester. In addition, everyone will need to  complete a health attestation form each day before coming to  campus.

As Governor Mike DeWine announced last week, people must wear masks inside and outside in the state of Ohio. Case Western Reserve also requires all individuals on campus to wear masks unless individuals are alone in a room, in addition to adhering to physical distancing requirements, frequently washing or sanitizing hands and regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces. 

If you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19–no matter how mild–or test positive, you should  stay home and contact University Health Services, along with your personal health provider, for further guidance. Please also notify the necessary supervisors that you are not coming to campus, or are leaving if already here, due to medical reasons.

For the Doctor of Dental Medicine program, fall 2020 didactic courses will begin virtually on August 10. We are still working through a specific date when the simulation preclinical courses will begin, and will share this information as soon as it is confirmed. However, if you are unable to return to the area by August 3, please let us know and we will work with you to make the necessary accommodations. 

I also encourage all of you to take advantage of the university resources available to help you navigate this uncertain time, including International Student Services and University Health and Counseling Services. They are here to assist you.

As always, thank you for your trust and support.

Sincerely, 

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

First, I would like to welcome our new and returning class of residents joining our various graduate specialty programs who recently completed their orientation. We are excited to have you here, and look forward to welcoming the rest of our students this fall.

Planning for the academic year is another acute reminder that these are historic times.

Future generations will read about what we are living through today. They will analyze the pandemic and report on the events we are watching unfold before our eyes. This is a time of tremendous transformation.

I am so proud of our Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine family. You continue to adapt to this uncertain environment in innovative, thoughtful and creative ways. Thank you.

While the upcoming year will undoubtedly be a unique experience, I assure you we are committed to delivering the high-quality education you deserve and expect. Your courses and your time spent on campus will look and feel different. However, we’re diligently working to ensure they meet the same requirements, even enhancing areas where we can.

As President Barbara R. Snyder and Provost Ben Vinson III have shared previously, our ability to provide in-person offerings heavily depends on each of us adhering to the health and safety measures designed to protect everyone in the campus community. 

Detailed below are the health protocols we will all be expected to follow this fall.

Safety Guidelines

  • Prior to arriving on campus, you must participate in an online orientation session involving infection prevention and control. We will share more details about dates and registration processes for these sessions once they are finalized.
  • A daily health attestation form must be completed prior to each visit to campus.
  • Health kits will be distributed before returning to campus, including two cloth masks, one thermometer, travel-size disinfecting wipes, alcohol swabs, tissues, two individually wrapped disposable masks to be worn in the event of illness, and travel-size hand sanitizer on a silicone strap. More details to come.
  • We ask that you check your temperature prior to visiting campus. Temperatures will be checked when entering the dental clinic.
  • Masks must be properly worn at all times while in the building and outside when approaching Samson Pavilion.
  • Eye protection/face shields must be worn at all times while in the labs in Samson Pavilion.
  • Hand washing (or sanitizing) upon lab entry (before donning gloves) or reentry.
  • Gloves must be worn while working on manikins.
  • Frequent hand washing and/or use of sanitizer is required when not wearing gloves.
  • You must not touch the belongings, supplies and instruments of other students.
  • High-touch surface areas must be frequently disinfected using recommended disinfection agents that will be available in the lab. During unassigned times the labs will be disinfected by CBRE staff according to established safety guidelines.
  • You will be asked to clean your own workstation (counter, drawers, instruments, overhead light and chair) after use with disinfectant wipes on all surfaces.
  • There will be a limited number of students seated in labs and classrooms at one time and you must adhere to physical distance requirements. Capacity numbers have been set for each room to accommodate this.
  • All students, faculty and staff are expected to maintain a minimum of six feet from one another when indoors.

Thank you again for your patience, understanding and support during this time. I look forward to the start of a new and successful year. 

Sincerely, 

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

With the hot July days passing quickly, we’re reminded of how rapidly autumn is approaching. 

We understand you all have many questions about how we are addressing the new year and what to expect for the “new normal” in the School of Dental Medicine. 

We are continuing to work through specific answers as quickly and thoughtfully as possible. Our first priority is ensuring your health and safety, while also providing an excellent academic experience. I encourage you to reference last week's message from President Barbara R. Snyder and Provost Ben Vinson III to undergraduate students detailing plans for the fall, as many of these considerations will also apply to your experience on campus.

As announced late last month, the Health Education Campus is in the process of being fully restored for academic use, with a goal of reopening by August 17. This marks an exciting transition as we plan for faculty, staff and students to return to campus. 

We will have a phased approach to the fall semester, while also closely following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the state of Ohio and city and county officials. Everyone returning to Samson Pavilion and/or the dental clinic will participate in online orientation sessions that outline requirements and provide opportunities to ask questions. We look forward to offering expanded clinic operations, enhanced remote learning capabilities and accommodations for in-person courses. We are also creating reentry instructions for all faculty, staff and students outlining the new procedures. 

Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding. We look forward to sharing more detailed information soon. 

Sincerely, 

Dean Chance

To the faculty, staff and students of the School of Dental Medicine:

This month marks an important milestone for our graduate studies students–graduation! While I regret that we are not able to celebrate together in person, I know each department chair has worked tirelessly to ensure you are recognized for your hard work and dedication. The complete list of our graduates is posted on our website. Congratulations!

In similar celebratory news, the graduating Endodontics Residency Program students recently participated in the national Endolit final examination for the first time in the program’s history. We are proud to announce Kerolos Elsayed achieved the highest score out of everyone who participated in the exam across the country. All of our endodontics residents scored high enough to earn a place in the top 20, with Jennifer Barrord ranking No. 5, Alexis Herring ranking No. 10 and Jenna Gaw ranking No. 16. 

In addition, these graduating residents also passed the onerous American Board of Endodontics written exam, necessary to become board certified. This continues the 22-year tradition of 100% of Case Western Reserve residents passing the exam. For reference, less than 25% of endodontists in the world are board certified. 

We’re also excited to announce Asma Almijlad, who is graduating from our Periodontics Residency Program, will be joining the PhD program in Clinical Translational Science as part of the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. 

Please join me in congratulating all of our residents on their notable accomplishments.

As we prepare to celebrate the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, I also encourage you to use this as an opportunity to reflect on the issues raised during our recent Day of Dialogue, and as part of the national conversation, learn more about the history of our nation. Understanding that for some this holiday may bring about mixed emotions, it is through thoughtful consideration that we can continue to strengthen our relationships with others, broaden our perspectives and move forward together toward a brighter future. 

Above all, I hope you’re able to take this weekend to rest, celebrate your accomplishments and spend time with those you love. 

Sincerely,

Dean Chance

To the faculty, staff and students of the School of Dental Medicine:

This is an emotional time for many of us as we reflect on the events of the past few weeks. Our university’s Day of Dialogue proved to be an important first step in the process of opening-up about race, police and protest. However, we all recognize there is more work to do. 

We encourage you to visit the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity to engage in opportunities for healing including trainings, events, programs, lectures and more. The American Student Dental Association and Student National Dental Association also have a number of resources directed specifically to dental students. 

We are happy to report that dental clinic operations have, thus far, been operating smoothly. Our patients are happy to be seen, and are largely very appreciative of the extra safety measures we’ve put into place. We are working on plans to gradually reopen other areas of the clinic, as well as plans to access Samson Pavilion once it is not needed for COVID-19 patients. 

Finally, I would like to send a special word of encouragement to our postgraduate students who are working hard on finishing their requirements and research work. We look forward to celebrating you in just a few weeks at your graduation!

Please have a wonderful weekend.

Sincerely,

Dean Chance


To the faculty, staff and students of the School of Dental Medicine:

Today, I want to take a moment to echo the words of President Snyder in her recent message to faculty and staff and call your attention to some additional points.

First, please know that you—all of you—are making extraordinary contributions to our community. You have supported our students, found new ways to perform your functions, and continued your learning and research through so much uncertainty. We are so grateful.

And while we wish we could provide you specific details about our future operations, we are left with much ambiguity. With that said, however, we do wish to update you on several, specific items you have been asking about:

  1. Dental Clinics: Our dental clinics continue to provide emergency services to patients. We are working with all the different groups involved to expand these operations in a safe and healthy manner. We anticipate clinics will reopen on a rolling schedule and will provide updates as they are available.
  2. Academic Calendar and Course Offerings: For the summer semester, we have shifted class offerings for D3 students to offer didactic classes, which have previously been given in the fall semester. This will allow for additional hours of patient interaction once the dental clinics completely reopen to students. The university plans to announce the fall semester’s calendar during the first week of June.
  3. Deliberation and Decision: As President Snyder noted in her recent message, a 60-plus member committee has been working since March to make recommendations and provide comments prior to final decisions by the President’s Cabinet. Special thanks to the many members of our school who have been involved in these efforts and have played pivotal roles while representing the School of Dental Medicine.
  4. Summer Session 2020: As a reminder, all Summer Session 2020 courses will be delivered remotely.
  5. Health Education Campus (HEC): Cleveland Clinic continues to maintain Samson Pavilion as a potential overflow space for patients in the event of a future spike in COVID-19 cases. We do not yet have a firm idea of when the HEC might return to full use as an academic setting, but can say it is unlikely to happen before mid-August, and could extend for several more months. As a result, facilities and other university staff are working to identify and prepare alternative classroom options on campus within our former buildings. For further details visit our FAQ page.

I hope you’ve found this information helpful. If you have any additional questions, I encourage you to submit them to our FAQ page.

Sincerely,

Dean Chance

“Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.”
—Unknown Author


To the faculty, staff and students of the School of Dental Medicine:

What a week it has been! A week of celebration and reflection as we saluted the class of 2020. For those of you who have not yet seen our virtual commencement festivities, I encourage you to take a few moments to view the University Convocation and the School of Dental Medicine Diploma Ceremony.

As we now march forth into the unknown and make plans for whatever the fall might hold, I am reminded of something I once heard… Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path. I want you to keep that in mind as we work together to confront, head-on, whatever challenges lie ahead of us! I truly believe there is a rainbow after this storm.

I also want to take a moment to call your attention to two “good news” items from around the school.

First, our dental clinics have reopened to emergency and urgent care patients. Our operations are currently limited to emergency and urgent care services for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Advanced Education in General Dentistry services only, but we are thrilled to be back in our space—even if in a limited manner.

It should be noted that these services are being provided exclusively by residents and faculty of these departments. Students should not return to campus until further notification is provided.

I want to commend our support staff for their work to support the reopening! And special thanks to our scheduling staff who, during the course of our closure, have worked tirelessly to reschedule almost 8,000 patient appointments. Thank you!!

Finally, please take a moment to read this story about how our faculty helped a victim of a terrorist attack put his life back together. This is just one of the many examples of the life-changing work happening all around our school and yet another reason that I am so proud to be your dean.

Sincerely,

Dean Chance

To the faculty, staff and students of the School of Dental Medicine:

What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been! It is hard to believe we are nearing the end of another academic year, but here we are, just over a week away from graduation. I hope that you are all staying safe and well during this time. Please know that I am thinking of you!

These have not been an easy few weeks and I know many of you will relish in the relatively slower pace that the summer brings. As faculty and staff begin to make plans for a “distanced” summer, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the many resources the university has to offer. From sleep management techniques, to building leadership skills, there is no shortage of resources for improving your own learning or wellness. Students may find these resources helpful as well!

Remote Learning Resources
The university has compiled a list of professional development classes and wellness activities for supervisors and staff to utilize.

Remote Wellness Resources
CWRU is building a campus culture that supports your health and well-being. Review remote wellness opportunities to help better manage work-life balance. Additionally, the ADA and Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Dentist Health and Wellness Committee has compiled a list COVID-19 Mental Health Resources specific to those in the dental field.

I hope that you will plan now to take advantage of some of these resources and I look forward to an exciting week ahead!

Sincerely,

Dean Chance

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of the School of Dental Medicine:

The new state order issued last night expands activities permitted to take place in Ohio, including “non-essential surgeries and procedures” by “medical providers, including dentists.”

We have been preparing for this likely development since last week, and have determined that we will resume emergency and urgent care only on Monday, May 18.

This decision affects only faculty and staff. No dental students will be part of these initial re-opening efforts, and they should not return to campus.

In the meantime, we are working with the university to ensure that we have taken all necessary steps to preserve both patient and clinician safety prior to that date. These include acquisition of needed protective equipment and development of detailed pre-screening and screening protocols; the university also will be ensuring that our space arrangements and protocols follow social distancing requirements.

We will provide all of you additional information regarding these plans as they progress, as well as updates about when other clinic operations will begin. For now, we will be working most closely with the individuals who will be involved in direct care.

Please also know that we are cognizant that some students may wish to enter the School of Dental Medicine clinic building to retrieve personal belongings. At this time, students will not be permitted to access the building. We regret the inconvenience this may cause and will share additional details as soon as the building is accessible.

As always, I thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this complex new world! We will continue to share additional details as information becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any additional questions or concerns, please submit your questions on our web page.

Sincerely,

Dean Chance 

To the faculty, staff and students of the School of Dental Medicine:

As we close-in on another week of remote instruction, and as I reflect on the end of another school year, I'm again reminded of the physical distance between us. But as I think about the future, I’m filled with hope. Perhaps the following quote may be especially meaningful in this moment.

“Hard times may have put you down sometimes but they will not last forever. 
When all is said and done, you will be wise and strong.” 
– Anurag Prakash Ray

While we cannot all be on campus together right now, please know that I am thinking about you, and know that I hope this holds true for each of you.

Sincerely,

Dean Chance 

To the faculty, staff and students of the School of Dental Medicine:

As many of you are aware, there have been numerous rounds of discussions held by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) over the last several weeks pertaining to graduation guidelines. On Tuesday, the agency released its guidance on temporary flexibilities in accreditation standards for the Class of 2020. 

All dental schools are responsible for determining whether each member of the Class of 2020 is eligible for graduation based on these standards. During the coming weeks, the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine will be applying the temporary flexibility guidelines to our Class of 2020 students, residents and fellows, so that we can move forward with determining their eligibility for graduation.

In addition, on or before May 15, we will provide a full report to CODA on the curricular modifications applied to the Class of 2020 to ensure we comply with its accreditation and temporary flexibility standards. The groundwork we already had in place gave us a great start to complete the report ahead of schedule. I would like to recognize our faculty and staff for leading in that preparation. Without you, we are nothing. 

As we move forward, I want to reassure you that you, our students, are well-prepared. I believe the students of Case Western Reserve University are some of the most qualified students in the nation, and I am confident our student body will meet the challenges ahead. I look forward to sharing more details about our future as they emerge.

I would also like to take a moment to recognize our school for stepping up during this time of crisis. We recently donated a large amount of gloves and gowns to be used in the fight against COVID-19, and I am extremely grateful to all of our faculty, staff and students who have made other personal contributions. At times like this it is incredibly encouraging to see so many people come together to support a common cause and to defeat a common foe. If you have additional personal protective equipment you would like to donate, please complete this form

Finally, as we continue to remember third-year student Katie Nelson, I want to offer my deepest condolences to her friends, instructors and loved ones. Please know support is available for those in need. Students are encouraged to contact counseling services at 216.368.5872. Faculty and staff can access counseling by calling IMPACT Solutions at 800.227.6007.  

Sincerely,

Dean Chance

To the faculty, staff and students of the School of Dental Medicine:

As another week draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to recognize a feeling we all may be struggling with at points during our remote learning…a feeling of distance.

It’s been a difficult week for many of us as we remember the life of third-year student Katie Nelson. Though we are unable to be together physically, I know we will continue to celebrate Katie and her many accomplishments individually. I encourage you to overcome the distance, to reach out to one another, to call or chat via video, and pick each other up during this difficult time. 

Students who would like support are encouraged to contact counseling services at 216.368.5872. This line is staffed by a counselor 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Faculty and staff also can access counseling at any time by calling IMPACT Solutions at 1.800.227.6007; you can learn more about their programs at myimpactsolution.com.

In the 128-year history of our dental school, we have faced hard times and overcome adversities. We have always done it together, with an eye toward community and helping one another, and with a spirit of unity and togetherness. This is the spirit that will carry us through these hard times.

I’m encouraged by the spirit I see from our students who have come together to support #MedSupplyDrive, a nationwide effort to redirect unused personal protective equipment to where it’s needed most. And now, our team is partnering with local hospitals to create face masks from surgical sheets. This is an incredible testament to our students, their ingenuity and their desire to help our community. I am incredibly grateful for these efforts. If you are able, please sign-up to help. To learn more, including how you can donate or loan materials, email medsupplydrive.cwru@gmail.com.

To our D4 students, I know many of you have received calls from your residencies, who have already begun building their schedules. While we do not yet have a definitive date for graduation or completion, please know that we continue to have conversations with our partner agencies and we anticipate further directives from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) on or around April 13. All schools are faced with these unique circumstances and we are constantly sharing resources with each other to ensure no one is left behind.

For many of our students, staff, faculty and alumni the upcoming week is particularly auspicious as it marks a time when we typically spend time with family and friends to share stories, meals and gratitude. While this year our time may be different, please continue to find ways to stay connected, support each other and take good care of yourself and your loved ones. Better days are indeed ahead.

Have a healthy weekend,

Dean Chance

To the faculty, staff and students of the School of Dental Medicine:

As we approach the end of another week, I am writing again to provide you further updates related to ongoing developments involving COVID-19.

First, however, I want to remind you of the president’s two communications regarding the transition of the Health Education Campus into overflow patient space—in essence, turning Samson Pavilion into a surge hospital.

As a result, you should gather all needed belongings from the HEC’s main building before 5 p.m. TODAY (Friday, April 3), when you will lose card swipe access.

As of this time, the Cleveland Clinic has not indicated a need to use the dental clinic building.

Recent guidance from state, federal and CDC health officials recommends that dental facilities postpone elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent dental visits, now and for the coming several weeks.

With these recommendations in mind, we have extended the closure of our dental clinics. Our dental clinics will now remain closed through at least Monday, May 4.

We continue to work closely with the university, the Commission on Dental Accreditation, the U.S. Department of Education, the Ohio State Dental Board, the Ohio Department of Health and numerous other dental schools regarding potential paths forward.

During this time it is important that you remain where you are, and not return to campus. State and federal authorities emphasize the imperative of social distancing (6 feet of separation between individuals), and here in Ohio, we are under a statewide “stay-at-home” order until May 1. This week U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said on TODAY, that the federal government's "30 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines amount to "a national stay-at-home order" through the same time period.

To share messages like this one, and provide an outlet for additional information, we have also created a COVID-19 web page. We hope you will explore the page, particularly our FAQs, and use the submission tool to send us any additional questions you may have.

Finally, I want to take a moment to specifically recognize our D4 students. We are fully aware that the current situation has left you feeling unsettled about your future. But I want to assure you that we are in this together! We are all, as are dental schools across the country, trying to figure out the best way forward. We are fully committed to your well-being and your professional needs, in that order.

Best wishes for a healthy and productive week,

Dean Chance

To the faculty, students and staff of the School of Dental Medicine:

During the last several days, we have received numerous questions from our campus community regarding the education, research and overall operation of the School of Dental Medicine during the COVID-19 crisis. I want to thank you all personally for sharing your concerns and suggestions. Please know that we are doing everything possible under the circumstances to safeguard both the health of our community and the professional concerns of our students.  

As I noted in a previous email, our Dental Clinics are closed through at least April 13. Please know we continue to follow all federal, state and CDC guidelines. We are also in constant contact with our campus leadership, the State Dental Board, the Commission on Dental Accreditation and numerous other dental schools regarding potential paths forward. Many students have asked how this closure might impact their ability to complete preclinical course work, clinical experiences and competencies. While we do not yet have their answers, we will provide updates as information becomes available.

Regarding the delivery of didactic materials, our faculty have quickly adapted to using the online platform and early results indicate it is effective. We will continue to look for ways to improve it and welcome your feedback as we progress.

To our students, I want to acknowledge how difficult this change has been for you, and I want to commend you for how well you’ve adapted. These are indeed extraordinary times and you have risen to the challenge!

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our staff and faculty. Our staff have worked tirelessly to reschedule thousands of patient appointments; our faculty have come forward with helpful suggestions, including working “non-traditional hours,” to help both students and patients.

Your work is to be commended and praised during these unsettling times. I thank you for being extraordinary role models for our institution and stepping up in a time of need.

Please stay tuned as the situation remains fluid and changes are constant. We will keep you informed as we work together to overcome this crisis.

Dean Chance

To the students, staff and faculty,

In the nearly 128 year history of our Dental School, we have overcome hardships including those that have threatened our existence. Every time challenged, we have come out stronger and better. Our ability to overcome difficult times is because of the unified determination and resolve of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.  We will not waver this time either.  

Over the last several days, our leadership has been working with various groups as we try to minimize the exposure of COVID-19. Following CDC and Federal guidelines, we have adopted social distancing and have limited faculty and staff in our facilities. We are in touch with several dental schools across the country as we all face similar challenges during this unique time.  The Commission on Dental Accreditation has been working with the US Department of Education so they can provide Dental Schools guidance on preclinical and clinical curriculum requirements.  We are also in touch with the Ohio State Dental Board, the Department of Health and our own Central Administration.    

We have made the hard decision to extend the closure of our clinics and preclinical curriculum (didactic courses that can be delivered online will continue) till April 13th. Additional details on clinical, preclinical, and didactic courses will be forthcoming in the next day or so. 

This fluid situation is constantly changing and we will keep you informed.

Thank you for your cooperation and support during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dean Chance 

To our faculty, staff, students and residents:

In light of ongoing developments involving COVID-19, we write to update you regarding our efforts to protect the health and safety of our entire school community and the patients we serve.

Yesterday we instituted a respiratory screening process (using the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) screening form).  Staff are calling patients and if their responses to questions indicate respiratory infection symptoms (such as cold, cough and/or fever), they will reschedule those patients. Staff are also asking patients regarding whether family members are displaying such symptoms; if patients answer the affirmative, staff will reschedule the patient out of an abundance of caution.

We also want to encourage each of you to follow the infection control guidelines from the CDC and American Dental Association that include: frequent washing of hands with soap and water (20 seconds); covering your cough or sneeze; disposing of tissues in a trash bin; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.  Please check www.cdc.gov for all details and recommendations.

We understand these measures may cause an inconvenience to each of you and appreciate your patience and cooperation.

We will continue to monitor this situation and expect additional changes as it unfolds.  We will keep you informed.

Kenneth B. Chance
Dean