March 9 Message to Faculty/Staff: Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Cuyahoga County

To Our Faculty and Staff:

This afternoon, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine reported that the state has three confirmed cases of COVID-19, all of whom are Cuyahoga County residents. The state reports that the three individuals are in their mid-50s; two recently returned from a cruise on the Nile River in Africa, and the third from a Washington, D.C., conference that saw three other attendees test positive for COVID-19.

To our knowledge, none of Ohio’s confirmed cases involve members of the campus community.

As you are aware from Provost Ben Vinson’s email Sunday, the university has asked faculty and staff involved in teaching to review preparations for delivering courses remotely. The message also detailed webinars, workshops and other resources available to assist in those efforts.

University leaders also are working to address potential implications of COVID-19 developments as they relate to research. These include issues involving remote work, reduced on-campus staffing, and federal and other funders’ approaches to regulations and funding under such unusual circumstances. The Office of Research and Technology Management has shared some preliminary questions for researchers to consider as part of their planning, and will provide additional updates as new information becomes available.

We recognize that today’s news quite literally brings this outbreak closer to home. We recommend reviewing the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance for those it considers to be of higher risk for serious illness from contracting COVID-19, as well as its broader prevention recommendations. If you have symptoms common to COVID-19, please call your health care provider—do not go directly to a provider’s office, urgent care, hospital or other facility. 

If you have COVID-19 health questions relating to your work on campus, please email If you would like to speak to a counselor about these developments, please visit this Human Resources webpage for information.

We will provide additional updates as developments warrant.

Carolyn Gregory
Vice President for Human Resources

Sara Lee, MD
Executive Director for University Health and Counseling Services