Novel coronavirus information

COVID-19 prevention in learning spaces

Over the past few months, people across the University of Washington have been hard at work preparing for how we can be safely together on our campuses when the conditions in our region allow us to do so. It is clear that protecting the health of our community is a responsibility we all share. It is also clear that we will all need to be flexible. No one can predict with absolute certainty the course the pandemic will take, and it is possible that we may have to again pivot to all-remote learning, as we did in spring quarter, if the virus is spreading too quickly in our state.

View the Learning Spaces COVID-19 Prevention Operational Guidelines for the Seattle campus below or download them as a PDF. Additional guidelines for building operations can be found at the Facilities website.

Table of contents

Roles and responsibilities

Space specific guidelines

Notification and response to confirmed COVID-19 cases

Change log

Roles and Responsibilities

UW Custodial Services

Building Coordinators

      1. Building coordinators who are sick or experiencing even mild symptoms of illness must stay home. If symptoms of illness are experienced by an individual while at the University, they must leave the campus as described in Section B of the University of Washington COVID-19 Prevention Plan for the Workplace.
      2. Report COVID-19 symptoms and positive test results to EH&S, covidehc@uw.edu.
      3. If you have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 stay home, and report close contact to EH&S, covidehc@uw.edu.
      4. Perform daily symptom attestation through Workday before coming to campus.
      5. Face coverings are required to be worn indoors where other people are present. This includes common areas, such as hallways, stairways, restrooms and elevators. Face coverings are required outdoors whenever keeping a 6-foot distance from other people may not be possible. More information is at Guidance on Face Covering Use for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19.
      6. Ensure cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer are available in common areas of buildings.
      7. Place University COVID-19 prevention posters at entrances and in common areas of buildings.
      8. Post COVID-19 Prevention: Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols in all spaces used for instruction.
      9. Help disseminate information and updates to building occupants related to COVID-19 prevention and about restricted areas for cleaning in response to COVID-19 cases in a building.
      10. Attend training and coordinating sessions organized by UW Facilities.
      11. Establish and monitor adherence to access control, building operations, egress routes and emergency procedures as they relate to the University plan.

Instructional support staff

      1. Instructional support staff who are sick or experiencing even mild symptoms of illness must stay home. If symptoms of illness are experienced by an individual while at the University, they must leave the campus as described in Section B of the University of Washington COVID-19 Prevention Plan for the Workplace.
      2. Report COVID-19 symptoms and positive test results to EH&S, covidehc@uw.edu.
      3. If you have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 stay home and report close contact to EH&S, covidehc@uw.edu.
      4. Perform attestation through Workday before coming to campus.
      5. Maintain inventory of supplies for safe classroom operation (staff and classroom occupants) available through the Safe and Clean Storefront.
        1. Face coverings and masks
        2. Cleaning solutions/sprays
        3. Disinfectant wipes
        4. Hand sanitizer
        5. Gloves
      6. Use Safe and Clean Storefront and Stay Healthy, Huskies to obtain appropriate signage for instructional and hallway spaces.
      7. Acquire and use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when maintaining instructional spaces including gloves, eye protection, and gowns/aprons whenever applicable.
      8. Face coverings are required to be worn indoors where other people are present. This includes common areas, such as hallways, stairways, restrooms and elevators. Face coverings are required outdoors whenever keeping a 6-foot distance from other people may not be possible. More information is at Guidance on Face Covering Use for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19.
      9. Practice good hand hygiene after cleaning or working in a classroom.
        1. Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
        2. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (≥60%) if soap and water not available.
      10. Ensure that support staff employees are properly trained on the hazards of cleaning chemicals used in the workplace as described in COVID-19 Chemical Disinfectant Safety Information.
      11. Ensure that a copy of COVID-19 Prevention: Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols are posted in each classroom.
      12. Remove furniture from rooms to designate new physical distancing seating layouts where possible. Clearly mark unusable seats/furniture if they cannot be removed from the room.
      13. Post laminated copies of new seating layouts at each room entrance and instructional podium if applicable.
      14. For rooms with non-moveable furniture, place markers on the floor in front of each “safe” seat consistent with the seating layout.
      15. As needed, create single ingress/egress points in classrooms where this restriction would help mitigate crowding and group exposure. One way signage is available at the Safe and Clean Storefront.
      16. In buildings with access to digital signage, ensure COVID specific information is integrated into the slide deck as appropriate.

Instructors

      1. Instructors who are sick or experiencing even mild symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home. If symptoms of illness are experienced by an individual while at the University, the individual must leave the campus as described in University of Washington COVID-19 Prevention Plan for the Workplace. Notify your academic unit of your absence from campus.
      2. Report COVID-19 symptoms and positive test results to EH&S, covidehc@uw.edu.
      3. If you have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 stay home and report close contact to EH&S, covidehc@uw.edu.
      4. Perform daily attestation in Workday before coming to campus.
      5. Maintain 6 feet of physical distancing with infrequent and intermittent passing.
      6. Face coverings are required to be worn indoors where other people are present. This includes common areas, such as hallways, stairways, restrooms and elevators. Face coverings are required outdoors whenever keeping a 6-foot distance from other people may not be possible. More information is at Guidance on Face Covering Use for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19.
      7. Practice good hand hygiene after cleaning or working in a classroom.
        1. Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
        2. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (≥60%) if soap and water not available.
      8. Locate and read reduced-capacity seating layouts and ensure that all students are seated according to the posted documents.
      9. Assist in maintaining applicable ingress/egress protocols when students enter and leave the classroom.

Students

      1. Students who are sick or experiencing even mild symptoms of illness must stay wherever they are living – residence hall room, apartment or family home – and away from others and common areas. If symptoms of illness are experienced while on campus, students should leave campus and return to their residence.
      2. Report COVID-19 symptoms and positive test results to EH&S, covidehc@uw.edu.
      3. If you have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 stay home and report close contact to EH&S, covidehc@uw.edu.
      4. Determine whether you are experiencing even mild symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to campus. If you are participating in the Husky Coronavirus Testing program, perform COVID-19 symptom attestation before coming to campus.
      5. Face coverings are required to be worn indoors where other people are present. This includes common areas, such as hallways, stairways, restrooms and elevators. Face coverings are required outdoors whenever keeping a 6-foot distance from other people may not be possible. More information is at Guidance on Face Covering Use for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19.
      6. Maintain 6 feet of physical distancing with infrequent and intermittent passing.
      7. Practice good hand hygiene before entering and after exiting an instructional space.
        1. Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
        2. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (≥60%) if soap and water are not available.
      8. Follow ingress/egress protocols for spaces.

Space specific guidelines

 Lecture, case study and active learning classrooms

      1. Remove furniture or cordon off seating to reflect new capacities consistent with maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing.
      2. Depending on space size and entry points, establish traffic flow and designated ingress/egress points, and post appropriate signage.
      3. Plexiglass installations still require that 6 feet of physical distancing be maintained. Guidelines for using plexiglass are available, as is the request form for installation of a plexiglass barrier.

Laboratories

      1. Remove furniture or cordon off seating to reflect new capacities consistent with maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing.
      2. Depending on space size entry points, establish traffic flow and designated ingress/egress points, and post appropriate signage.
      3. Plexiglass installations still require that 6 feet of physical distancing be maintained. Guidelines for using plexiglass are available, as is the request form for installation of a plexiglass barrier.
      4. Plan for the safe use of shared spaces between laboratories.
      5. Follow normal chemical and waste disposal guidelines.
      6. Additional PPE (e.g., procedure masks and face shields) may be needed to support close interactions between students due to the nature of experiments or shared equipment. If there is a potential for face contact with biohazards or chemical hazards in labs, disposable procedure masks should be used instead of cloth face coverings.
      7. Develop and implement cleaning protocols for shared equipment.

Informal learning spaces

      1. Remove furniture or cordon off seating to reflect new space occupancy consistent with maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing.
      2. Depending on space size and entry points, establish traffic flow and designated entrance/exit and post appropriate signage.

Notification and response to confirmed COVID-19 cases

EH&S, in coordination with local and state public health agencies, responds to suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UW community and takes action to prevent further transmission.Once EH&S receives notification of a person with confirmed COVID-19, EH&S will contact them to learn

          • when their symptoms first presented (if applicable),
          • the activities performed on campus during the period of transmission,
          • the names of other students and employees who may have been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes),
          • the names of others who may have been in the areas where they spent time.

EH&S may also contact the course instructor to gather information about the contacts and activities in the class, including the classroom’s daily cleaning and disinfection procedures. If areas have not been cleaned and disinfected since the positive person was last in the space, EH&S will coordinate with the instructor, the custodial unit, and the building coordinator to arrange cleaning that follows the EH&S COVID-19 Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection Protocol.

EH&S will issue notifications directly to those who test positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts to outline isolation and quarantine requirements. EH&S will prepare a message that the instructor can send to the members of the class and/or workplace with information about the case and actions taken.

Neither the identity of the person who has tested positive for COVID-19, nor any information that could inadvertently identify the person, will be publicly disclosed.

Please see the EH&S COVID-19 Case Response page for more information and sample notifications.

Change log

  • July 2 – Posted
  • August 11 – Updated to remove references to Safe Start phases since instructional activities are covered by higher education rules that went into effect August 1.
  • September 21 – Updated with additional information on face coverings and notification and response procedure for confirmed COVID-19 cases.