Updates to Campus COVID-19 Protocols—Effective July 1

To the Case Western Reserve Community:

As of today, more than 60 percent of you have verified your vaccination status through our secure health record system. 

We thank every one of you who made that rate possible. It far outpaces the figures for our state (42) and county (47).

Unfortunately, it still falls well short of our 80 percent goal

Given that your health and safety are our highest priority, this rate requires that we continue some of our existing preventive COVID-19 protocols—at least for now. They—and other loosened or eliminated requirements—are detailed below by category, with an effective date of Thursday, July 1

If you would prefer to see some of the restrictions relaxed in the future, we strongly encourage you to (a) become fully vaccinated and (b) submit your vaccination card to our secure health record system at University Health & Counseling Services. For instructions on how to upload your card, please visit our COVID-19 website.


Effective July 1, fully vaccinated visitors and members of our community no longer must wear masks when outside on campus.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the final doses of the respective vaccine (for Moderna and Pfizer, two doses; for Johnson & Johnson, one dose).

Those who are not fully vaccinated—or not vaccinated at all—may remove masks so long as they maintain at least six feet of distance from others. Please note: This protocol should be self-enforced—that is, no university employee should approach people gathered in close proximity outside to ask about their vaccination status.

When indoors on campus, all individuals (including visitors) must wear masks.

The only exceptions to this requirement are when:

  • students are in university housing rooms or suites alone or with one roommate;
  • a faculty member, staff member, or student is alone in an office or other enclosed space;
  • faculty or staff are teaching and applying the exception would serve didactic purposes; and
  • anyone is eating at a campus dining location.

Daily Health Attestation

Individuals coming to campus are required to complete the daily health assessment. Submission of this form provides health services staff valuable information regarding the overall well-being of campus—including emerging illness trends.

Cleaning Supplies

Until further notice, the university will continue to supply units and offices with cleaning supplies such as disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol content.

Personal Hygiene

The university encourages those on campus to maintain the enhanced personal hygiene practices that health officials recommended as COVID-19 began to spread within the U.S. These include frequent handwashing for at least 20 seconds (and especially after a cough or sneeze), covering your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you do cough or sneeze, and avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

Physical Distancing

With the exception cited above regarding masking, physical distancing is not required indoors or out. Faculty and staff who believe they need an accommodation because of vaccination status or other factors should contact the university’s Office of Equity regarding their concerns. Students with similar concerns should contact the university’s Office of Disability Resources.


The university will resume welcoming visitors in accordance with prior policies and practices—as well as those pandemic-related restrictions (such as masking indoors) that continue past July 1.

Building Access

The university will restore access practices followed before the pandemic. Those buildings that previously required card access will continue to be closed to those without cards, but others will be open to the public during specific hours.


Campus dining facilities will return to normal operations, with one exception: Pre-ordering and pick-up via the Grub Hub/Campus Dining App will continue.

Events and Gatherings

The university will return to the practices and policies in place prior to COVID-19’s arrival—except for those pandemic-related restrictions (such as masking indoors) that continue past July 1.

Travel Exceptions

The university no longer will require prior written approval from the Office of the Provost (for faculty) or Human Resources (for staff) for travel outside Northeast Ohio. To be clear, the only travel policies coming ending July 1 are those enacted as part of pandemic-related protocols. All faculty and staff still must continue to follow existing university, unit and school policies and practices regarding travel; failure to comply may imperil subsequent reimbursements.

Travel-Related Quarantines & Testing

Domestic Travel

Fully vaccinated individuals who travel within the U.S. do not have to quarantine upon their return to the Cleveland area, nor do they have to take a post-travel COVID-19 test to be able to come to campus.

Those who are not fully vaccinated do have to quarantine for seven days after their arrival. They also must be tested for COVID-19 within three to five days—and have a negative result—before returning to campus.

International Travel

Fully vaccinated individuals who travel outside the U.S. do have to submit results of a post-travel COVID-19 test to be able to come to campus. Depending on applicable health guidance, they may have to quarantine for a specific time as well. Guidance regarding quarantine requirements will be provided prior to July 1 and updated regularly.

Those who are not fully vaccinated do have to quarantine for seven days after their arrival. They also must be tested for COVID-19 within three to five days—and have a negative result—before returning to campus.

Surveillance Testing

Campus-wide surveillance testing ended May 28. In the coming weeks, the university will conduct limited surveillance testing for incoming student cohorts from specific programs. In August, the university will require campus-wide testing for faculty, staff, and students prior to the start of the semester—and, for undergraduates who plan to reside in university housing, prior to being permitted to access their assigned room or suite.

This message provides an overview of the university’s protocols effective July 1. We will provide additional details regarding specific processes and policy details as next month approaches, but wanted to provide this broad information as soon as possible. 

We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19-related developments throughout this summer and fall. As we have throughout the pandemic, leaders will adjust university practices in accordance with guidance from health experts from within and beyond the university. Such changes may involve increased or relaxed restrictions, but one point will remain consistent over time: Those who are fully vaccinated face the lowest risk of infection, and therefore are subject to the fewest restrictions on campus. 

Again, you can verify your status by uploading a photograph of your vaccination card to Case Western Reserve’s secure health record platform. For additional information and instructions, you can visit the COVID-19 website.

Scott Cowen
Interim President

Ben Vinson III
Provost and Executive Vice President