To Our Faculty and Staff:
We write today regarding the university’s approach to travel-related quarantines amid record levels of COVID-19 cases around the country.
One of the key factors contributing to Case Western Reserve's relative success in navigating the pandemic’s evolving changes has been prioritizing of safety within the broader context of essential operations. In the spring, for example, university leaders supported the medical school’s plan to reduce laboratory-based research substantially rather than suspend it altogether. Members of the school community closely adhered to prevention protocols, allowing projects to proceed without significant increases in infection rates. This approach avoided devastating interruptions (or ends) to longstanding projects, as well as the considerable costs of complete restarts.
It is in that same spirit that the university will follow the protocols below until further notice:
Before Out-of-State Travel
All faculty and staff anticipating out-of-state travel for any reason should notify their supervisors, chairs or program directors (SCPs) prior to departure; if such notice is not possible (e.g. travel is prompted by an emergency), employees should notify SCPs as soon as possible—and absolutely before any return to campus.
Returning from Out-of-State Travel
Consistent with our own COVID-19 testing requirements and federal recommendations, faculty and staff who have traveled to a state on Ohio’s advisory list as of the date of their return must have a negative test result prior to returning to their campus workspaces. Employees may come to the university’s testing site at the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center to be tested but must depart campus immediately after that process.
Below are the three protocols to follow for faculty and staff who return from states on Ohio’s advisory list as of the date they enter Ohio.
- Essential employees whose on-campus duties can be fulfilled by others—even if at increased cost: Quarantine and COVID-19 test upon return to campus.
- Example: CWRU Police Officer returning from travel: Quarantine absence can be covered by other officers, but likely to incur overtime costs. Quarantine proceeds; unit manages substitute staffing/budget considerations
- Essential staff within UGEN who are subject to travel-related quarantine and report that their on-campus duties cannot be fulfilled by others: Referred to VP for HR for evaluation and decision (full quarantine, no quarantine, or restricted time on campus)
- Example: Residence Life Staff Member who says duties require on-campus presence: VP for HR confers with immediate supervisor and/or VP for division. If needed, consults with University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) prior to final determination. Determination is disseminated in writing to employee, supervisor, division leader and UHCS.
- Essential staff and faculty within schools who are subject to travel-related quarantine and report their on-campus duties cannot be fulfilled by others: Referred to dean or dean's designate for evaluation and decision
- Example: Research Associate who says duties require on-campus presence: Dean or designate (for example, Associate or Vice Dean for Research) confers with supervisors and/or department chairs/program directors; if needed, consults with UHCS prior to final determination. Determination is disseminated in writing to employee, supervisor, division leader and UHCS.
Those with questions about these protocols should email AskHR@case.edu.
As always, thank you for your efforts to keep yourself and your colleagues safe and healthy.
Sara Lee, MD
Executive Director, University Health and Counseling Services
Vice President for Human Resources