Novel coronavirus information

August 25, 2020

Your back-to-school checklist (Message to Seattle campus students)

This message was sent to all incoming and current students at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. Similar messages were sent to UW Bothell and UW Tacoma students from their campus leaders.

Dear UW Student,

First, I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well. As the University of Washington prepares for autumn quarter, I write to share information and expectations for all students to protect your health and the health of our community.

The rise of cases this summer underscores how important it is for every one of us to remain personally committed to stopping the spread of COVID-19. The science is clear: Young people are just as likely to contract COVID-19, even if they are less likely to experience serious illness. Studies also show that serious illness is possible at any age and that the long-term effects of this disease are still unknown. With that in mind, I write to equip you — and those around you — with how to stay healthy as you return to your Husky Experience.

In addition to the University’s steps to reduce density, increase physical distancing, and provide testing and contact tracing, the UW’s Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases has developed guidelines for students. Huskies have shown time and again a great capacity to care for each other in challenging situations, and I know you will respond with compassion to meet the needs of this moment.

For EVERY Husky, including if you plan to access all services and classes remotely:

  1. Familiarize yourself with resources for students to make your time as a UW student safe and successful, whether you’re learning on campus or remotely.
  2. Review and commit to the Husky PACK Pledge, which outlines the responsibilities all Huskies have to protect themselves and each other.
  3. Bookmark to quickly find physical and mental health and wellness resources when you need them.
  4. Save the information for UW Environmental Health & Safety to your personal device, and contact EH&S staff if you receive a positive or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis: / 206-616-3344.
  5. If you plan to live with other students off campus, please review our sample roommates agreement together before the quarter starts so you can develop and reach consensus on guidelines for your shared living situation.

Wherever you are this autumn, please keep practicing good hygiene and remember the 3 Ws: Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Watch your distance.

If you have questions about your courses, please contact your college, school, department or instructor. Housing & Food Services can answer questions about on-campus housing, and has an FAQ about autumn quarter.

For Huskies who will live in residence halls or Greek housing, or will be on campus for ANY reason this autumn, including in-person classes:

  1. If you have not been on campus this summer, please quarantine for 14 days before coming to the UW for the first time by staying home and away from gatherings and from people outside your household. (Right now, avoiding even small gatherings is good advice in general!)
  2. Please get a COVID-19 test before leaving your home, within 72 hours of coming to campus. If you test positive, notify the UW Environmental Health & Safety Department (EH&S) at immediately.
    1. If you become ill or test positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of your planned return to campus, whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms, you MUST self-isolate before coming to the UW. Contact your advisor and instructors to make coursework arrangements.
      • If you have symptoms, self-isolate until your symptoms improve, your fever is gone for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications, AND it’s been at least 10 days since your symptoms started.
      • If you don’t have symptoms, self-isolate for 10 days after receiving your positive COVID-19 test result.
    2. If you come into close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (by spending at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of them) within two weeks of your planned return to campus, quarantine at home for 14 days and get tested before coming to the UW. (See “I may have been exposed to COVID-19. What should I do?” for more information.)
  3. Get a flu vaccine this year. You can get a shot before coming to campus or can get vaccinated on campus, and we’ll share more information in the coming weeks. Please note: Health sciences students who participate in the Health Sciences Immunization Program are required to receive flu vaccines by the deadline noted in their CastleBranch immunization portal.
  4. If you are travelling to Seattle, take precautions by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guide for how to stay safe while traveling.

The UW is finalizing a campus testing program for autumn quarter. We will share more information in the coming weeks.


If you are planning to return to campus, please bring these things with you:

  1. Face coverings, which are required to enter all UW buildings, including classrooms and labs. If you have a U.S. address listed as your permanent residence, the University will send you two UW masks in the mail. If your address is outside the U.S., you can receive your masks when you arrive on campus.
  2. Hand sanitizer for times when hand-washing isn’t available
  3. A thermometer for daily symptom monitoring
  4. Cleaning supplies and disinfectants for high-touch surfaces inside your living space or other places you access frequently, like door handles, light fixtures and bathrooms
  5. Contact information saved on your personal device:

This autumn quarter will be different from any we have experienced. Yet, many key elements will remain the same. We will welcome new Huskies into the fold and welcome back those of you who are continuing your journeys. We will celebrate achievements and overcome challenges. We will learn, grow and add to the vibrancy and diversity of our world. Whether you are joining us in person or online, I look forward to the unique commitment and contributions every Husky brings to our community — and to what we will accomplish together.


Denzil J. Suite
Vice President for Student Life

* Link to Seattle-area testing updated Sept. 2, 2020