Novel coronavirus information

March 28, 2022

Spring quarter health and wellness reminders (Message to the UW community)

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

Dear UW Community,

On behalf of the UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, I’m writing to share some health and wellness reminders to help us all have a healthy and successful start to the spring quarter. We continue to see progress in declining COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in our region and case counts have remained generally flat after the lifting of state and local mask mandates earlier this month. The University continues to monitor prevalence of the Omicron BA.2 variant on campus and in our community, and we must all continue to be vigilant.

Over the course of the pandemic, we have traditionally seen increases in the number of University community members testing positive for COVID-19 at the start of each quarter, including those quarters when classes and operations were largely remote. We expect this trend will continue as we start spring quarter.

That is why — though we are following federal, state and local health guidance by making masks optional inside most UW facilities starting todaymasks continue to be strongly recommended the first two weeks of the quarter, and we continue to recommend them, especially for those at higher risk, for the remainder of the spring. Exceptions are health-care settings, UW shuttles, and returning to campus after isolation and quarantine where masks continue to be required indoors for all.

When you wear a mask, make it a well-fitted, high-quality mask, such as an N95, KN95, KF94 or surgical mask — these protect you better than a cloth face covering. These types of masks are available for free in several locations on each campus. See the University’s face covering policy page for more information and FAQs.

There are also additional steps you can take to help you stay healthy and avoid COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:

Thank you for all that you’ve done to keep yourself and our community safe throughout the last two years, and best wishes for a healthy and successful spring.


Geoffrey S. Gottlieb, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair, University Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (ACCD)
Medical Director, Environmental Health & Safety Department
Professor, School of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases