March 6 Message to Faculty/Staff: Common Questions about Travel

To Case Western Reserve Faculty and Staff:

Given the common themes among some of your questions regarding yesterday’s message, we wanted to send all of you this broad email—and will follow up with individual responses this evening and weekend. 

For all travel that is not university sponsored:

After consultation with infectious disease experts and out of an abundance of caution, we asked members of the campus community to register their spring break travel. The likelihood that anyone would be required to self-isolate for 14 days is extremely low. We requested information so our health professionals could offer geographic-specific advice and counsel if needed. 

For personal travel to places where the university has prohibited sponsored domestic travel:

We encourage the following for 14 days upon return:

  1. Self-observation for fever, cough or difficulty breathing. Faculty and staff who experience any symptoms should contact their primary health care provider.
  2. Avoid sharing food or drink with others (e.g. eating or drinking from the same plates or containers).
  3. Avoid close contact with others—e.g. shaking hands, hugs, etc.

For sponsored travel to places other than Los Angeles and King counties—or where the CDC has declared high risk:

The university issues sponsored-travel restrictions based on its assessment of the actual health risk of contracting COVID-19 in a particular area. This assessment involves review of reported and confirmed cases, size and population of the area under a declared health emergency, and consultation with infectious disease experts and colleagues at peer institutions.

In some instances, officials have declared states of emergency when the incidence of confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 are quite low; for example, Indiana declared a state of emergency today—after identifying its first confirmed case. 

We fully appreciate that many of those leaders are declaring emergencies to become eligible for funds designated to assist with COVID-19 responses, and respect their efforts to be proactive regarding this expanding outbreak. In those instances, however, the current risk to people who travel there is minimal. Therefore we are not restricting travel to such places at this time. We will continue to monitor developments across the country closely, and will provide updates as appropriate.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we respond to this rapidly changing situation, and also plan for potential scenarios involving more severe disruptions.

Carolyn Gregory
Vice President for Human Resources

Lou Stark
Vice President for Student Affairs