Novel coronavirus information

March 6, 2020

Beginning March 9, classes and finals will not be held in person (Message to faculty and staff)

This message was sent to staff, faculty and other academic personnel across the University of Washington.

Dear Colleagues,

The last week or so has been difficult as the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has gained a foothold in our region and country. Thank you for the calm, resilience and care that you have demonstrated toward each other, as well as toward our students, patients and communities, as we work together to minimize the impact of the virus on our state. Our focus remains keeping this community healthy as we fulfill our important educational, research and service mission.

With the continued spread of COVID-19 in the region, and in consultation with public health officials regarding social distancing, I write today to announce actions the University of Washington is taking to increase precautionary health measures and ensure the successful conclusion of the quarter for UW students on all of our campuses. Evolving public health recommendations indicate our best course of action is to take additional social-distancing steps to support the region’s efforts against this outbreak and conclude this quarter in an orderly and cohesive way for our students and instructors.

Starting Monday, March 9, classes will no longer be meeting in person. For the remainder of the quarter, instructors are asked to conduct classes and/or exams remotely, as possible, until the quarter concludes on March 20. In some cases, when the nature of a class is not suited for remote delivery, other options, including submitting grades based on work conducted to this point, may be used. Faculty and graduate students will receive additional information in a follow-up message from Provost Mark Richards and Faculty Senate Chair Joseph Janes. Our goal is to make sure that students’ academic work is fairly recognized and that any disruption does not present a disadvantage to their future academic progress, including admission to their preferred major in the months or years to come.

Our campuses will remain open to serve all those who rely on our services, including hospitals and clinics, dining services, residence halls, and recreation and athletics facilities. Husky athletics events will proceed as scheduled.

In addition to providing maximum flexibility for our University community to take health precautions and finish classes this quarter, this transition provides our facilities crews additional time to deep clean classrooms, auditoriums, libraries, restrooms and other public spaces, as is their standard practice. We plan to resume normal class operations when the spring quarter begins March 30, pending public health guidance. When you return, know that you will be returning to a well-prepared, clean and safe campus.

The novel coronavirus is not the first challenge this region, or our University, has faced. It will not be the last. In its 158-year history, the UW has endured two world wars, a depression and other crises that have tested our resilience and our compassion. Generation after generation of Huskies have risen to the challenge, working together to support each other through difficult times. The University we enjoy today is in many ways a result of their stalwart determination and grace under pressure. Today it’s our turn to take on the challenge of keeping our community safe by listening to public health experts, remaining calm and doing all we can to protect the most vulnerable in our midst. Using common sense, following the best hygiene practices and adhering to our values are our best strategies for keeping everyone safe and healthy. We are fortunate to be in a region that has outstanding medical services and public health infrastructure, and that is already taking steps to increase access to health care in the face of this outbreak.

Finally, this situation continues to be fluid and your best source of up-to-date information is always Once again, I thank you all for your resilience, perseverance and empathy as we make our way through this challenge together.


Ana Mari Cauce
Professor of Psychology