To Our Faculty, Staff and Students:
We write today to request your assistance in our efforts to protect and support our community.
As COVID-19 cases continue to mount, we recognize that our own faculty, staff and students are among those directly affected—by their own diagnosis, and/or those of family or friends.
To date the university knows of fewer than five community members who have tested positive for COVID-19, including individuals who left Northeast Ohio more than 14 days ago.
In each instance, University Health Services and/or the relevant public health department has notified the close contacts of that person. If you have not been contacted, health officials have determined that you are not at increased risk of becoming ill from exposure to that individual.
Now for our requests:
- If you know of members of the campus community who have tested positive, please respect their privacy.
First, assurances of anonymity help people feel more comfortable about reporting their results to the university, a step that benefits all of us. Second, these individuals need to be able to focus entirely on their health right now, and respecting their confidentiality is a sign of your support.
- No matter where you are located, please let us know if you are being tested for COVID-19 (or if you already have been tested).
We recommend that you share this information with University Health Services (UHS) before informing others in the university community. This information will assist us in understanding the pandemic’s effect and allow us to offer support and guidance.
You can email us at email@example.com. If you are living off campus, please indicate the last day you were on campus.
- If you are living or working on campus and feel ill, please immediately contact us and self-isolate.
If you are a student, call UHS at 216.368.2450. If you are faculty or staff, please (a) do not come to campus and (b) contact UHS (216.368.2450) and notify Human Resources at askHR@case.edu or 216.368.6964.
- Take Care of Yourself.
Wear Masks: Yesterday the Centers for Disease Control updated its guidance, now recommending that people wear cloth masks when in public places where maintaining physical distance from others can be more difficult (such as grocery stores).
Take Other Preventive Measures: Wash your hands regularly; clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (door, dresser and desk handles, light switches, sinks and toilets, keyboards, phones, tablets, remote controls and gaming devices); and maintain distance from others who are ill, including those within your home.
Move: Even modest physical activity benefits body and mind; stretch, take a walk, take one of the free virtual classes the university’s One to One Fitness Center is offering, or if your schedule doesn’t allow, participate in one of the recorded versions.
Connect: Call or email that old friend, invite people to join a Zoom lunch; play video games together—whatever the activity, make time to interact with others.
Ask for Help: With regular updates of patient and death counts, widespread concern is entirely understandable. Sometimes, worry and sadness can begin to overwhelm, and no one needs to endure either alone.
Students can reach counseling services 24/7 at 216.368.5872; faculty and staff also have around-the-clock access to counselors through IMPACT Solutions at 1.800.227.6007. These conversations are confidential; please do not hesitate to call.
Thank you for all that you are doing to contribute to the health and well-being of the Case Western Reserve University community.
Sara Lee, MD
Executive Director for University Health and Counseling Services
Vice President for Human Resources