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COVID-19 Policies
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About . Safety + Security . COVID-19 


Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, the Cleveland Institute of Art has continued to plan for maintaining a healthy environment when our community is on campus.  

• Submit your questions about our pandemic planning by visiting

• View our COVID-19 Dashboard.

CIA works in partnership and consultation with the office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, the Cuyahoga County Health Department, the City of Cleveland and the Centers for Disease Control.

Last updated: November 29, 2022

Section Index

Fall 2022 Semester

Policy: All COVID protocols outlined below—vaccination/booster requirements, masking requirements, testing policies and more—will remain in place until further notice. If/when policies change, this page will be updated accordingly.

Visitors to CIA

Policy: Visitors to CIA are required to adhere to the masking requirements outlined below in the Face Coverings section. 

Visitors are encouraged to be vaccinated and boosted against COVID but are not required to be. As such, proof of vaccination need not be shown upon entry.

Visitors include all non-CIA employees and non-degree seeking students, public-programming patrons, visiting artists, guest speakers, parents, alumni, Board members, community partners and others.

Examples of public-programming patrons include but are not limited to families attending Open House or taking part in campus tours; visitors to Reinberger Gallery and the Ann and Norman Roulet Student + Alumni gallery; Cinematheque filmgoers; Lunch on Fridays attendees; and visitors to the Jessica R. Gund Memorial Library.

Face Coverings 

Indoors: Effective October 17, 2022, face coverings at CIA are optional but encouraged.

Please note that if you have classes or appointments at Case Western Reserve University, you must still adhere to its masking policy. CWRU's current prevention measures (including masking) can be reviewed here.

Exceptions: The COVID Task Force will reinstate masking requirements when necessary. Examples of when this might happen include when our community returns from a holiday or semester break—when COVID cases at CIA typically spike—or when CIA is advised by local government and health officials to take action. In such instances, communications will be sent in advance.

Types of masks: CIA encourages the use of N-95 masks, which are considered top-of-the-line for filtering out airborne particles. Also encouraged are KN-95 and KF-94 masks, but keep in mind many counterfeit KN-95 and KF-94 masks are on the market. The CDC offers guidance for identifying counterfeits. If surgical or cloth masks are all that are available to you, CIA encourages you to wear both simultaneously, placing the cloth mask over the surgical mask. The more snug the fit, the better your face covering(s) will protect you and those around you.

Vaccination Requirement: Continuing Education

Fall 2022 classes: Those participating in fall classes for Adults and Young Artists are considered visitors to CIA and must adhere to the visitor protocols outlined on this page related to masking. As visitors, participants in fall classes are not required to be vaccinated.

Residential programs: Those enrolled in Pre-College or Summer Teacher Residency—programs that result in living and learning on campus for extending periods of time—are required to be fully vaccinated. Instructions on how to comply with that requirement will be communicated prior to classes starting. Exemptions will not be granted.

Vaccination Requirement: CIA Community

Policy: CIA students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive an approved exemption. Those with information on file from a previous semester needn’t take action unless their vaccination status has changed. 

Students and employees new to CIA and who are vaccinated should refer to the Vaccination Status Form section below. Those who would like to request an exemption should refer to the Exemption Options section below. 

Exemption Options: Students and employees who cannot receive a COVID vaccination may request a medical or religious exemption, which are subject to review by the Dean of Students and Vice President of Human Resources + Inclusion, respectively. Those who receive an exemption will be required to wear a mask at all times.

  • Religious/moral exemptions: Students can request a religious/moral exemption by completing this form online. They can also print and fill out the form. Employees can do the same by completing this form online or printing and filling out this form.
  • Medical exemptions: Students can request a medical exemption by printing and completing this form. Employees can do the same by printing and completing this form. Please note that an online version of this form doesn’t exist because a portion of it must be completed and signed by your medical care provider.

Students and employees completing an online exemption form will need to save it as a PDF prior to submitting. They will need to upload this PDF into their respective Vaccination Status form. Students and employees who print and fill out a form by hand will need to scan it in order to upload into their respective Vaccination Status form.

In addition, anyone whose medical care professional is preventing completion of their medical exemption request is required to communicate that to either the Dean of Students (for students) or Vice President of Human Resources + Inclusion (for employees) prior to the deadline and provide proof of the delay.

Vaccination Status Form: Compliance with CIA’s vaccine policy requires uploading a vaccination card or approved exemption form. Students must use this site. Employees must use Paycor. Instructions on how to do so are here. Both are compliant with HIPAA regulations. A CIA ID number is required is complete the student form. Those can be obtained by logging into myCIA and visiting “Profile and Settings.” 

Missing Vaccination Cards: Those who’ve lost their vaccination card or don’t have a copy should contact their vaccination provider directly. Those who can’t should contact their local health department. Ohio’s health departments can be found here. Those vaccinated outside of Ohio should contact their state board of health to start this process.

Compliance: Those who do not comply with CIA’s vaccine mandate—whether through vaccination or exemption—will not be allowed on campus. As a reminder, you're considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the final doses or your vaccine (two doses for Pfizer and Moderna; one dose for Johnson & Johnson). Ohioans still in need of a vaccine can start their search for one here. Those living elsewhere in the U.S. can search here.

Booster Requirement: CIA Community

Policy: CIA students, faculty and staff will be required to have a COVID vaccine booster shot. Those eligible for a second booster are encouraged to get it. However, this is not yet a CIA requirement given that, to date, the CDC has only authorized a second booster for those 50 and older and for those who are immunocompromised.

Deadlines: Booster eligibility begins five months after completing the primary Pfizer/Moderna vaccination series and two months after completing the primary Johnson & Johnson vaccination. Boosters can be obtained at most pharmacies and medical centers at no cost.

Those who've recently tested positive should get a booster when they're eligible. Anyone in that situation must wait until they've recovered from all COVID symptoms and they've met CDC requirements for ending quarantine or isolation before they can get a booster. If your doctor has provided you with specific instructions for receiving your booster based on your health or the severity of your symptoms, be sure to report such circumstances to the appropriate contact. Students should share that info with Dean of Students Jesse Grant, and employees should provide that info to Charise Reid, Vice President of Human Resources and Support Services + Chief Inclusion and Equity Officer.

Reporting: Students can confirm their booster status by completing this form. Employees can confirm their booster status via Paycor. Instructions on how to do so are here

Exemptions: CIA-approved exemptions for COVID-19 vaccinations apply to the booster as well.

COVID Testing

COVID tests: Students and employees can obtain COVID tests from the Office of Student Affairs or from the Office of Human Resources, respectively. 

Surveillance testing: CIA will not conduct surveillance testing during the Fall 2022 semester. 

Awaiting results: Per CDC guidelines, those without symptoms and without known exposure to COVID-19 are no longer recommended to quarantine while awaiting screening test results.

Building Access

Entering CIA: Entrance A, Entrance B and Entrance C have been designated as the main points of entry during hours of operation. Entrance C will also be open as a point of entry during Cinematheque screenings and other events. Visit the Building Hours page to see building access hours.


CIA-sanctioned travel and personal travel: CIA encourages students, faculty and staff to follow best practices when traveling domestically or internationally. Per the CDC, recommended practices include making sure you're up to date with vaccines and boosters; wearing a mask indoors when in public transportation vehicles or hubs; canceling travel if you’ve tested positive for COVID or are experiencing symptoms; checking the CDC’s current COVID-19 Community Level for your destination; and testing yourself for COVID as close to the time of departure as possible. 


Reporting: The Office of Human Resources and the Office of Student Affairs will be responsible for monitoring infection reporting and assessing and evaluating special accommodation requests. General updates will be posted to CIA's COVID Dashboard. Communications about new or heightened risk factors or about facility and classroom closures will be sent via email on an as-needed basis.

Enforcement: Community members are asked to pledge to comply with all safety policies. Those who repeatedly violate CIA safety policies will be subject to disciplinary action.

Quarantine and Isolation

CIA community members who test positive for COVID will be required to follow the following protocols for isolation:


  • Students are required to notify their status to the Office of Student Affairs by emailing
  • Students who do not show symptoms are required to self-isolate for five days, and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that with five days of wearing a mask when around others.
  • Students who show symptoms, but those symptoms are improving may end isolation after five days.
  • Students who show symptoms, but those symptoms are not improving should continue to isolate until they are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication).
  • Regardless of when a student ends isolation, they should wear a high-quality mask when indoors around others and should avoid being around people who are more likely to get sick from COVID-19 for at least 10 days.
  • Residential students will be provided with housing on CIA’s campus. Students in isolation will receive detailed information with more resources and guidelines.
  • Students should submit a request via Disability Services for a temporary accommodation to participate in courses remotely. However, depending on the class, this may not always be possible. Absences related to isolation will be considered excused, however the student will be responsible for making up missed content and assignments. (This is done when a student report their status.)
  • Access to the academic building will be suspended during the isolation period.


  • Employees are required to notify their status to the Office of Human Resources by emailing
  • Employees who do not show symptoms are required to self-isolate for five days, and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that with five days of wearing a mask when around others.
  • Employees who show symptoms but those symptoms are improving may end isolation after five days.
  • Employees who show symptoms but those symptoms are not improving should continue to isolate in consultation with Human Resources until they are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication).
  • Regardless of when an employee ends isolation, they should wear a high-quality mask when indoors around others and should avoid being around people who are more likely to get sick from COVID-19 for at least 10 days.
  • Faculty should contact their department chair to temporarily deliver their courses remotely, if possible. Department chairs should contact the Office of Academic Affairs in this situation. Contact OAA for resources for remote learning and instruction.
  • The faculty member is responsible for informing their class rosters that class will be held virtually during the isolation period, how to attend class (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) and other logistics. Please note that the reason for the shift to virtual delivery should not be disclosed.
  • Contact tracing is done by the employee’s respective county department of health. There is no need to email your academic department to advise of a positive COVID case within the department.
  • Faculty who are ill and unable to work should work with their department chair to discuss substitution options for class coverage.

Exposure: Per the CDC, those who were exposed to COVID or have been told by a public health authority that they were exposed should follow these steps for 10 days following exposure. These steps include wearing a high-quality mask, watching for symptoms and getting tested at least five full days after exposure. As a reminder, “exposure” is defined as being in close contact (within 6 feet) of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or clinical diagnosis) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period.

Active cases: To view number of active cases within our campus community, please refer to CIA's COVID Dashboard. This is updated in real time. Due to privacy laws, names of CIA community members with COVID may not be disclosed. However, those affected will be contacted through the contact-tracing process (either via CWRU Health Services if students, county health department if employee).

Safety and Sanitization

Supplies: The Office of Facilities Management + Safety supplies hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment, such as masks, in frequented spaces and other high-traffic areas.

Personal spaces: Students, faculty and staff are responsible for maintaining clean and sanitized surfaces and equipment in their own workspace or studio throughout the day.

Case Western Reserve University Protocols

Stay informed: CIA students who take classes at CWRU and/or use their student services (dining halls, health and counseling center, athletic center, etc.) must be aware of the university's COVID policies. The most up-to-date information can be found here

COVID Task Force

CIA's COVID Task Force consists of students, faculty and staff members who represent a vast cross-section of the College. It regularly monitors guidelines set forth by the CDC and relevant local government agencies, and it meets on a biweekly basis to discuss, evaluate and refine protocols based on those guidelines and other public health factors. Questions for the COVID Task Force should be submitted here.

Current members:

Michael C. Butz
Director, College Communications + External Relations

Joe Ferritto
Director, Facilities and Safety

Jesse Grant
Associate Vice President, Student Affairs + Dean of Students

Kathryn Heidemann
President + CEO

Jeremy Jesenovec
Chief of Public Safety

Scott Ligon
President, Faculty Senate

Bella Lorraine '24
President, Student Leadership Council

Matthew McKenna
Associate Vice President, Information Systems and Technology

Malou Monago
Vice President, Institutional Advancement + External Relations

Charise Reid
Vice President, Human Resources and Support Services + Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer

Richard Sarian
Director, Enrollment Marketing

Jimmy Schlemmer
Chair, Staff Council

Jennifer Short
Executive Assistant

Greg Slaby
Associate Director, Network Administration

Matthew Smith
Assistant Dean, Student Affairs + Student Life and Housing

Yvette Sobky Shaffer
Vice President, Enrollment Management + Marketing

John Tortelli
Vice President, Business Affairs + Chief Financial Officer

Greg Watts
Vice President, Academic Affairs + Dean of Faculty

At the center of our COVID planning are our Six C's values

Care Safety for all stakeholders

Curricular Continuity Successful delivery and accessibility of learning outcomes

Community Maintaining engagement, building affinity, sense of belonging

Creativity Fostering a culture of creativity and innovation

Compliance Operating within governmental, accreditation and ADA standards

Communication Maintaining effective and regular communications with our stakeholders