To the Case Western Reserve Community:
With spring break starting next week, many of you (and, in the case of some students, your parents) have contacted us about both global and domestic travel plans—as well as additional preparations regarding COVID-19.
Below is the most current information and guidance we can provide, but please keep in mind that the situation continues to evolve rapidly; for the latest university information, please visit our COVID-19 updates page.
Spring Break Travel
University-Related Study Abroad
Yesterday (March 2) Case Western Reserve leaders made the difficult decision to cancel all university-related study abroad programs. Two factors drove this decision:
- The rapidly changing circumstances surrounding COVD-19 and its spread; and
- The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidance that colleges and universities consider canceling or postponing international exchange programs.
Faculty for the affected programs are working now to develop alternative approaches to allow students to complete requirements to obtain credits. The Office of Education Abroad has been working with schools and students to secure refunds and assist with other logistical needs.
The university has not yet made any determinations regarding May or summer academic programs involving travel.
Other Travel Abroad
The CDC has posted information for individuals considering whether they should cancel upcoming international travel. One important point involves the agency’s guidance regarding layovers—specifically, the CDC’s position that its recommendation to avoid non-essential travel to certain countries includes travel that involves simply stopping at an airport within that country.
As noted in our Feb. 26 message, Case Western Reserve asks that all faculty and staff traveling internationally this spring complete this registration form at least three days prior to departure. Students are asked to provide their information on this registration form with the Office of Education Abroad. We make this request to be able to update you in the event of developments that might affect your plans and/or your ability to return to the U.S.
Given increasing concerns about the spread of COVID-19 within the U.S., some have inquired regarding the advisability of traveling during spring break to such places as Washington state, or one of the other states with significant numbers of reported cases.
To date, the CDC has not provided specific guidance regarding domestic travel. That said, those considering trips next week should keep in mind their own individual risk factors (for example, if they suffer from chronic illness or immunosuppression) and closely follow the CDC’s travel updates and others related to COVID-19 before and during travel.
Additional University Preparations
- Students Now Staying on Campus During Spring Break: In collaboration with Bon Appetit, the university will provide students daily meals from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Leutner starting Friday, March 6, and continuing through Saturday, March 14 (dining halls resume service Sunday, March 15). While students will not have to pay for the meals, they will be required to swipe their ID cards upon entry.
- Supervisors with New Hires Arriving from International Locations: The university asks that all supervisors who have new hires coming from abroad to start positions at Case Western Reserve please email firstname.lastname@example.org with that individual’s name, start date, and contact information. All of these individuals will need to participate in a telephone screening before arriving on campus.
- Prescription Medicines: Human Resources has been in contact with the providers for the university’s respective health insurance programs regarding their preparations in the event of disruptions due to COVID-19 spread; they have assured the university that they have multiple resources for medications, including for less-common ones.
We will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available; please also check the COVID-19 page for updates.
Vice President for Human Resources
Vice President for Student Affairs