Novel coronavirus information

Autumn quarter 2021

Planning holiday travel or gatherings? See this safety advice.
Additionally, booster shots are now available to anyone age 18 or over.

Last updated: October 12, 2021

The pack is back! Autumn quarter is underway and we are thrilled to have you on campus this year. Read on for an overview of our current operations, health and safety measures, and links to more detailed information for students.


Academics

In-person instruction and activities have resumed

As a public research university, we’re fortunate to have experts in medicine and public health who’ve been studying the pandemic from its beginning. We understand much more about the virus now than when it emerged, and Washington state’s vaccination levels remain some of the nation’s highest. We will continue making decisions that reflect the most current public health guidance, as we have throughout the pandemic.

First time on campus?

Get connected to special programs for first-year students to build connections and friendships at the UW. We also have opportunities for second-year students who were admitted in the 2020-2021 academic year, to help you find your footing on campus.

Campus tours

In-person campus tours are back and excited to welcome you!


Classrooms and learning spaces

Learn more about how our Facilities teams prepared campus buildings for your safe return.

All UW Libraries are open in a limited capacity, and hours will expand as more student employees are hired during fall quarter. Be sure to check current hours and operations for libraries before you go.


Housing and dining

Campus housing has returned to full occupancy. As HFS rehires student workers, dining venue hours will continue to expand.

Find more information about how we protect your health and safety in our housing and dining facilities.

We have well-honed plans in place to follow all preventive health guidelines and support students who may have a COVID diagnosis while living on campus. Students who test positive are asked to temporarily move to a designated place where they can recover safely away from people who may be at risk of being sick. During this time, we’ll help with food and mail delivery, laundry service and engagement activities to keep students stay connected. Our Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 response team will work with you to understand whether other people may have been exposed, so we can get them tested and protect their health as well. You can learn more about how the University responds to positive cases on our COVID-19 FAQ page.


Student Life and activities

Recreation, Husky Union Building and other student spaces

The IMA is open to current students, faculty and staff, and all UW recreation facilities follow state COVID-19 guidelines to protect your health and safety.

The HUB is open and reservations are not required for UW students, faculty and staff to visit. Learn more about visiting the HUB. Please contact individual offices for information about their services and hours.

Husky Athletics

UW has implemented a vaccine verification system for all Husky ticketed events, including volleyball and soccer matches. All spectators 12 and older will need to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event. Additionally, in accordance with state policy, all spectators are required to wear a mask, indoors and outdoors, regardless of vaccination status at all Husky athletics events.


COVID-19 vaccines, testing and prevention

International students: We recommend bookmarking International Student Services coronavirus information for F1 and J1 students for information on visas, travel and COVID-19 protocols. ISS will update this page as new information becomes available. Continue to monitor your local embassy or consulate’s website, airline guidance and CDC travel notices.

Vaccines

All students, including students in fully online programs, are required to be vaccinated if they do not receive a medical or religious exemption. You must verify your vaccination status and upload documentation – such as a vaccination card or other proof of vaccination – for review by the UW’s Hall Health Center. The deadline to upload your documentation is Oct. 29, 2021.

Testing

Did you know that the UW has a campus-run testing program that’s free for students, staff and faculty? Husky Coronavirus Testing has been running since autumn quarter 2020 and will continue to provide free, fast testing for current UW students, faculty and staff throughout the academic year. You can use Husky Coronavirus Testing if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, or if you have COVID-like symptoms. And we have experience with what we call “surge” or “rapid-response” testing to stop or mitigate potential outbreaks. HCT is a research study and your participation is voluntary.

Since Husky Coronavirus Testing started, the UW’s COVID-19 levels have been lower than in the broader region. We’ve conducted nearly 80,000 tests, with less than 1% coming back positive for COVID-19.

Prevention

The UW requires all individuals to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. A mask or other suitable face covering is required indoors when other people are present and in all public and common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, stairways, restrooms, elevators and shared vehicles.

Vaccinations and face coverings help us protect each other, making it possible for us to be in community together. You can read all the details about our UW Face Covering Policy from Environmental Health & Safety.

Outdoors, face coverings required for UW events with 500 or more people, regardless of vaccination status. We also recommend face coverings in outdoor settings where there is a decreased ability to consistently maintain a physical distance between others. You’re welcome to continue wearing face coverings wherever and whenever you wish for any reason. 

The UW is fortunate to have outstanding Facilities teams who keep our classrooms and buildings safe all day, every day. If you’d like a deep dive into our cleaning and safety protocols, UW Environmental Health & Safety has a wealth of information on its COVID-19 resources page including its building readiness guidelines.