Year-end Health and Travel Precautions

As part of our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, especially during the upcoming holidays, CWRU is implementing a number of measures to keep members of our campus community safe. Among them are:

Daily Health Attestations

Daily Health Attestations will include additional questions about holiday travel. These questions will include communicating employee travel destinations and the size of the gatherings attended. If a destination is reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19, and therefore on the Ohio Travel Advisory list at the time of departure from that state, employees will be required to use paid time off and quarantine for 14 days upon their return.

Information Regarding Thanksgiving Break at CWRU

As many people in the United States begin to plan for fall and winter holiday celebrations, CDC offers the following considerations to help protect individuals, their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19. They are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which holiday gatherings must comply. When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees.

Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

You can get COVID-19 during your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may spread COVID-19 to other people including your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus.

Don’t travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.

Before you travel, consider the following:

Is COVID-19 spreading at your destination?

Do you live with someone who might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19?

  • If you get infected while traveling, you can spread the virus to loved ones when you return, even if you don’t have symptoms. 

Are you at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19?

  • Anyone can get very ill from the virus that causes COVID-19, but older adults and people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Does your destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers?

  • Some state, local, and territorial governments have requirements, such as requiring people to wear masks and requiring those who recently traveled to stay home for up to 14 days. Check state, territorial, tribal and local public health websites for information before you travel. If you are traveling internationally, check the destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page external icon for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers, such as mandatory testing or quarantine.
  • If you stay in town, but are getting together with out-of-town family or friends who are traveling from states designated RED you may need to quarantine as well.  


Considerations for Types of Travel

Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Your chances of getting COVID-19 while traveling also depend on whether you and those around you take steps to protect yourself and others, such as wearing masks and staying 6 feet away from people outside your household (social distancing). Airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces. These are also places where it can be hard to social distance. In general, the longer you are around a person with COVID-19, the more likely you are to get infected.

Air travel

  • Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. Also consider how you get to and from the airport, as public transportation and ridesharing can increase your chances of being exposed to the virus.

Bus or train travel

  • Traveling on buses and trains for any length of time can involve sitting or standing within 6 feet of others, which may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. If you choose to travel by bus or train, learn what you can do to protect yourself on public transportation.

Car travel

  • Making stops along the way for gas, food, or bathroom breaks can put you and your traveling companions in close contact with other people and frequently-touched surfaces.

RV travel

  • You may have to stop less often for food or bathroom breaks, but RV travel usually means staying at RV parks overnight and getting gas and supplies at other public places. These stops may put you and those with you in the RV in close contact with others.

Other travel


Planning for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.

Lower risk activities

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

Moderate risk activities

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
  • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Attending a small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place

Higher risk activities

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
  • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
  • Attending crowded parades
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household; as a reminder, mass gatherings in Ohio remain limited to 10 people, and should be kept to close friends and family


In summary

We are humbled and grateful for the continued efforts of our campus community to stop the spread of COVID-19. As a reminder, below are some helpful tips to protect yourself and others:

  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings.
  • Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet apart (about 2 arms’ length) from anyone who is not from your household.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.