Face coverings are required indoors regardless of vaccination status.
UW personnel and students are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Updated: Sept. 21, 2021 at 3:30p.m.

Frequently asked questions about novel coronavirus

Table of contents

In addition to the FAQ below, information and resources for students and for staff, faculty and other academic personnel are available, and UW Bothell, UW Tacoma and UW Medicine also offer additional resources specific to their communities.


COVID-19 information

How does COVID-19 spread?

You can spread COVID-19 without having symptoms, which is why getting vaccinated is critically important. In addition, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, continue following the UW’s current mask-wearing requirements when on campus or at any UW facility.

COVID-19 spreads mainly through respiratory droplets and particles expelled when an infected person breathes, coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings while in close contact with another person.

Additionally, these small droplets and particles linger in the air and infect people who are more than 6 feet away. This is more likely to happen in poorly ventilated indoor spaces, particularly when the infected person is exercising, singing or doing other activity that causes them to breathe heavily.

If you are not vaccinated, diligently follow the three W’s — wearing masks, watching our physical distances and washing our hands — and avoiding crowded indoor spaces.

Learn more: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “How COVID-19 Spreads.” .

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?

COVID-19 symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you have any of these symptoms, stay home and get tested – even if you are vaccinated.

If you test positive, notify the UW COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team at covidehc@uw.edu or 206-616-3344. UW medical center personnel should contact their respective employee health services.

For more information, see “What do I do if I feel sick?

I feel anxious about coronavirus. What can I do?

This is can be a stressful, difficult time for everyone. You don’t have to go through it alone.

Students can access support through campus mental health services:

UW employees can access support through CareLink.

Washington residents can also call or text Washington Listens at 1-833-681-0211, M–F from 9 a.m.–9 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Language access services are available, and TTY can be accessed by dialing 7-1-1 or preferred method.

You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated and following public health guidelines.

Additionally, you can protect yourself and your community by opting in to receive notifications of potential COVID-19 exposures on your smartphone through the Washington Exposure Notifications – WA Notify app.

Where can I get more information about the novel coronavirus?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides regular updates on COVID-19 pandemic.

For information about COVID-19 in Washington state:

County information:

UW Medicine has updated information on COVID-19 care and services, and COVID-19 info is available by phone at 206-520-2285 or 855-520-2285.

Are there resources for combating stigmatization and bias related to the coronavirus?

There is no connection between race, ethnicity or nationality and the novel coronavirus.

As President Ana Mari Cauce wrote, “Our common humanity calls on us now to offer support, empathy and understanding to those most affected by this virus…All of us, as individuals and as a community, are responsible for treating each other with kindness and empathy. We are best equipped to deal with any threat to health when we work together.”

Stigma doesn’t fight the illness, but it does hurt innocent people. Public Health – Seattle & King County has anti-stigma resources. You can report bias or discrimination in our University community using the appropriate UW bias reporting tool:

 

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Prevention, health and vaccines

What do I do if I feel sick?

If you are sick with any potential illness, you must stay home, regardless of your vaccination status.

COVID-19’s most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you’re symptomatic, take the following steps to protect yourself and your loved ones:

Get tested and stay home until you receive your test result.

  • Husky Coronavirus Testing participants: Report your symptoms in the daily survey to receive testing instructions. You will hear from the UW COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team if you test positive.
  • If you are not enrolled in Husky Coronavirus Testing, you can still sign up for testing through the program, or access testing through public testing sites, pharmacies, or potentially your health care provider. To protect the health of other people, do NOT visit a doctor’s office, urgent care clinic or other health facility without notifying them that you may have COVID-19.

If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, immediately notify the UW COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team at covidehc@uw.edu or 206.616.3344. UW medical center personnel should contact their respective employee health services.

Follow public health guidelines to help you recover and protect loved ones from getting sick. Stay home, stay masked and stay 6 feet away from other people and pets whenever possible. For more about the steps you’ll need to take, see our FAQ, What do I do if I have confirmed or suspected COVID-19?”

You can also learn more from Public Health – Seattle & King County and the Washington State Department of Health.

I want to get tested for COVID-19. Where can I go?

The following COVID-19 testing options are provided at no cost to you.

Husky Coronavirus Testing program: We strongly encourage participation among employees and students. If you are not enrolled, you can still sign up now to be tested.

Free testing is also available through local public health departments:
  1. UW medical center personnel should contact their respective employee health services.
Additional testing options
    1. Hall Health Center: COVID-19 testing is available by appointment only. Call 206-685-1011 to schedule.
    2. UW Medicine offers testing for current patients. Visit the patient portal to make an appointment.
    3. Some pharmacies offer COVID-19 testing that is billed to your health insurance.
    4. Your personal health care provider may be able to arrange testing.

Multilingual information about COVID-19 testing options is available from the Washington State Department of Health.

What do I do if I have confirmed or suspected COVID-19?

Contact the UW COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team at covidehc@uw.edu or 206-616-3344. UW Medicine personnel should contact their respective employee health services.

The UW COVID-19 Response & Prevention Team conducts contact tracing, a critical part of stopping disease spread among UW community members. Follow the instructions of your contact tracer when they call you.

If you have COVID-19, you must take the following steps to protect other people and help you recover:

  • Stay home except for necessary medical care.
  • Rest as much as possible.
  • Physically isolate yourself from other people and pets.
  • Wear a mask if you must be around other people. Ask them to wear a mask near you.
  • Avoid public transit, taxis, carpools and ride-share services.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
  • Continue frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces every day, e.g., counters, doorknobs, mobile devices and keyboards.
  • Don’t share personal items, including dishes, cups, eating utensils, towels and bedding.

If you have trouble breathing, or your fever is above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, call 911 and let them know that you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

You must stay home and away from others until all three of these are true:

    1. Your symptoms improve;
    2. You have had at least 24 hours with no fever, without taking fever-reducing medication;
    3. And it’s been at least at least 10 days since your symptoms started (or, if you’ve had no symptoms, since your COVID-19 test date). Stay home for the full 10 days, even if your symptoms are mild or you are fully vaccinated.

EH&S provides guidance on self-isolation and quarantine.

I may have been exposed to COVID-19. What should I do?

Regardless of your vaccination status, if you have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, contact the COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team in the UW Environmental Health & Safety Department at covidehc@uw.edu or 206.616.3344. They will give you guidance that aligns with your specific circumstances. There is more information about public health guidance for close contacts on the EH&S Quarantine and Isolation Guidance webpage, in this FAQ: “I’ve had close contact with a person who has COVID-19. What should I do?”

When should I wear a face covering?

All University units must follow the current UW COVID-19 Face Covering Policy.

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.

University personnel verified to be fully vaccinated in accordance with the University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy may temporarily remove their face coverings when formally presenting to or instructing a group or class in a large space from behind a podium or in a stage-like setting. Physical distance of at least six feet from others is required at all times while the face covering is removed.

UW Medicine clinical personnel should continue to follow UW Medicine policies, and masks are encouraged for everyone when in crowded outdoor settings where distancing isn’t possible.

When and where can I receive a vaccine?

All UW students and personnel must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect everyone’s health and safety. UW Medicine offers vaccinations at multiple locations, or use the Washington Vaccine Locator to find a vaccine provider.

Should I get vaccinated if I already had COVID-19?

Yes. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends anyone who previously had COVID-19 get the vaccine.

If you currently have COVID-19 or you had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should wait to get vaccinated until after you have completed isolation or quarantine.

For more information, read the Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.

Is Hall Health Center open for services?

Hall Health Center is open for medical and mental health care to current UW students, as well as medical care to UW faculty, staff and alumni. Call 206-685-1011 to schedule in-person, video and telehealth appointments.

COVID-19 testing at Hall Health Center

Hall Health offers coronavirus-related care to students, staff, alumni and the greater UW community. Call 206-685-1011. Please do not come to Hall Health without calling first.

There are two types of tests available through Hall Health Center:

  • A swab of the nasal cavity, known as a PCR. This test checks to see if you have a current COVID-19 infection. In most cases, Hall Health Center providers order this test for people who have symptoms.
  • Antibody test, a blood draw. This test looks for antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 illness, which your immune system produces in response to infection. It usually takes 1-2 weeks for your body to produce these antibodies after you get sick. The test is not administered until at least two weeks after you have recovered from fever or other symptoms.

Insurance companies are required to cover the cost of COVID-19 related care, including both PCR and antibody tests when you visit a provider who is contracted with your insurance plan.

Learn more about Hall Health Center services.

Medical advice for students

Students can access telehealth nurse advice by calling 206-616-2517.

Pharmacy

The pharmacy at Hall Health Center remains open. You may arrange for curbside pick-up for prescription medication if desired by calling the pharmacy at 206-685-1011.

Lab

You need a lab order from a health care provider prior to coming in for testing. Call Hall Health Center at 206-685-1011 to arrange for an appointment to get a lab order.

Mental health

If you’re a current UW student and need urgent help day or night, call 866-743-7732 to connect with UW’s partner, My SSP.

To schedule an appointment with UW counseling and mental health staff, call 206-543-1240.

What should I do if I am at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19?

The CDC maintains a list of medical conditions that are considered at increased risk of severe outcome from COVID-19 infection. If you have any of these conditions, you should follow public health guidance.

UW Human Resources has developed COVID-19 accommodation guidance for high-risk employees.

Talk with your health care provider about whether your situation puts you at higher risk for severe illness and, if so, how to minimize risk to you and members of your household.

Are the vaccines safe and effective?

Yes, the vaccines authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are safe and effective for use against COVID-19.

Read more about the vaccines and how to get vaccinated.

I was vaccinated and now I have symptoms. What should I do?

Even if you are fully vaccinated, do not go to work or attend class if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms. Some people can acquire COVID-19 infection even after being vaccinated, so do not assume any symptoms are vaccine side effects. Additionally, you are not fully protected by the vaccine until at least two weeks post-vaccination.

Get tested and stay home until you receive your test result. If you test positive, notify the UW COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team at covidehc@uw.edu or 206.616.3344. UW medical center personnel should report positive COVID-19 test results to their employee health services. You may want to also consult with your health care provider.

I was vaccinated, then exposed to COVID-19. Should I quarantine?

Monitor your health closely. If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, get tested and quarantine at home until you receive your test results. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

Notify covidehc@uw.edu or 206-616-3344. UW medical centers employees should follow UW Medicine guidance regarding post-exposure quarantine for health care workers.

Do I need to follow COVID-19 prevention measures after I am fully vaccinated?

Regardless of vaccination status, all employees who come to a UW facility or campus must continue following the University’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan and their unit’s COVID-19 prevention plan. For a summary of the most recent updates to the UW’s COVID-19 prevention measures, please review the EH&S COVID-19 health and safety resources.

UW Medicine clinical personnel should follow UW Medicine guidance for fully vaccinated health care workers.

When you are in a private residence or in public (i.e., not at work), after getting vaccinated you can follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.

What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?

It takes up to two weeks to develop antibodies against the COVID-19 virus. You are considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

 

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About the UW's response

Does the UW require vaccinations?

In order to protect the health of our community, the UW will require all students and personnel to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by autumn quarter, with certain exemptions allowed. For students, this is similar to our existing tri-campus immunization requirement. Please review the vaccination requirement page for information about how to submit your attestation or declare an exemption. UW Medicine personnel should continue to follow UW Medicine policies and procedures.

How is the UW testing for coronavirus on campus?

The Husky Coronavirus Testing program conducts testing to detect individual cases in the community to mitigate the potential for outbreaks to occur.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 receives guidance from the COVID-19 Response and Prevention Teamin the UW Environmental Health & Safety Department regarding care, self-isolation and contact tracing.

Find out more about Husky Coronavirus Testing.

What does the UW do when a member of our community has confirmed COVID-19?

We depend on people to report when they have confirmed or suspected COVID-19. We protect your identity and disclose only on a need-to-know basis for situations such as the public-health response and unit management.

Once we receive a positive report, we take the following steps to protect community health and safety:

    1. We document the person’s symptoms, anywhere they recently spent time on campus, and any close contacts with other UW community members.
    2. We conduct a risk assessment that helps us decide on a specific action plan, which may include any or all of the following:
      • Helping the person understand how to take care of themselves and others by staying home and physically apart from other people.
      • Notifying the person’s academic and/or work unit, and providing information about steps we’re taking to prevent the virus’s spread, such as cleaning and disinfection, following CDC guidelines.
      • Notifying people who were in close contact
      • If the person spent time in a work space on campus recently, we notify coworkers and others who have also been in that space and share information about steps we’re taking to prevent the virus’s spread. We do not include the person’s name who tested positive in those communications.

Read more about how the UW responds to cases of COVID-19.

How does the UW follow up with close contacts of a person who tested positive for COVID-19?

When a student or employee notifies the University about their positive test result, the UW COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team works with them to reduce the risk of other people getting sick.

The team asks the person who tested positive to identify the UW locations they visited and the UW-affiliated people they had close contact with up to 48 hours before symptoms began (or 48 hours before the date of their COVID-19 test if they have no symptoms).

If you’re notified that you may have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, the UW COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team will help you understand what you need to do, such as staying home and away from other people, monitoring your health for 14 days and getting a COVID-19 test.

Read more about how the UW responds to cases of COVID-19.

What happens when a UW student with in-person classes tests positive for COVID-19?

If you were in a classroom, lab, office or other University location where a COVID-19-positive person spent at least 10 minutes during their infectious period, even if you were not a close contact of that person, you will be notified of your potential exposure and receive guidance to help prevent spread.

EH&S will notify instructors directly if a student in their in-person class has a suspected or confirmed case, and provide them with a notification to send to all other students who attended the class. The notification includes information about the date of the potential exposure, as well as guidance on how to watch for symptoms and quarantine, if necessary.

Only those who have been in close contact with a COVID-19-positive individual may need to quarantine. And in most cases, fully vaccinated people who are not experiencing symptoms do not need to quarantine following an exposure.

While in quarantine and isolating, students must not attend class. Instructors and students are both encouraged to communicate needs for accommodations and questions or concerns regarding their ability to fulfill the class’s academic requirements.

UW staff will receive a similar notification about potential exposures in the workplace.

If you are not directly contacted by a contact tracer, that means you were not identified as a close contact.

Learn more about how contact tracing works at the UW.

Where can I find information about current research and clinical trials at the UW?

The Institute of Translational Health Sciences maintains a list of current UW COVID-19 clinical research for interested researchers and study participants.

 

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Information for current and prospective students

What are the UW’s plans for autumn quarter?

We look forward to safely returning for in-person instruction and activities this autumn.

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 are trending in a very positive direction.

Since the UW is on a quarter system, we have even more time to prepare classrooms and campus facilities for the start of autumn quarter on Sept. 29. Our experts know how to ready the UW’s living, learning and working spaces so you can come to campus for in-person classes and activities. As vaccination rates and vaccine availability climb in our region, we will continue making decisions that reflect the most current public health guidance.

What will campus housing look like in autumn quarter?

We will return campus housing to full occupancy in the fall, as long as public health guidelines permit. Housing & Food Services (HFS) will provide updates as the overall public health picture becomes clearer in summer, when more people have been vaccinated. Find more information about how we protect your health and safety in our housing and dining facilities on the HFS website.

Does the UW require students to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

In order to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, academic personnel, staff and the broader community, the UW will require all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Before the start of autumn quarter, students will need to attest to being fully vaccinated unless they declare an exemption. This is similar to our existing tri-campus immunization requirement. If students are unable to get vaccinated where they currently live, the University will provide access to vaccinations upon arrival on campus. Please review the vaccination requirement page for information about how to submit your attestation or declare an exemption.

Do I need to follow the UW’s COVID-19 policies after I am fully vaccinated?

Yes. Regardless of vaccination status, all personnel who work on site at a University facility or campus must continue following the University’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan and their unit’s COVID-19 prevention plan. For a summary of the most recent updates to the UW’s COVID-19 prevention measures, please visit the UW Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 Health and Safety Resources webpage.

UW Medicine clinical personnel should follow UW Medicine guidance for health care workers

What options are there for students who do not have access to technology at home?

Currently enrolled students at the Seattle campus can access the Student Technology Loan Program, which allows students to borrow laptops, tablets and other equipment for free. Visit their site to see real-time equipment inventory and learn more.

Students at UW Bothell may borrow laptops and other technology via the UW Bothell Laptop and Wifi Hotspot Lending Program.

Students at UW Tacoma may borrow laptops and other technology by contacting the UW Tacoma IT Helpdesk.

What restrictions are there on fieldwork?

The University has released new COVID-19 guidance that allow the relaxing of many current COVID-19 restrictions for research. The Office of Research has issued guidance for units and PIs on revising Return to Research Plans, which must be approved by the process your unit used earlier in the pandemic.

What happens if I am defending my dissertation?

If you are a doctoral student who will be defending your dissertation, the Graduate School has waived the requirement that the Graduate School Representative must be physically present during general exams and dissertation defenses. Also, the student no longer needs to be “proctored,” which means that they do not need to be on campus and in a room with a faculty member. The Graduate School continues to update its information for current and prospective students.

Do public defenses need to be postponed?

At this time, public defenses should take place in a livestream format. The Graduate School continues to update its information for current and prospective students.

What can students in residence halls and other communal living situations do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Students who live in residence halls and communal housing should take these steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated.
  • Wear a face covering when outside your bedroom and when spending time with people who don’t share a bedroom with you.
  • Clean your room and bathroom daily. Use a disinfectant to clean high-touch surfaces regularly, such as door handles, light switches, remote controls and phones.
  • Practice physical distancing. Maintain a 6-foot distance from other people. Avoid parties and get-togethers. If you do want to meet friends, take steps to minimize risk: limit the number of people, stay outdoors, wear masks, and maintain 6 feet of distance between people.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Good handwashing hygiene is even more important for people living in close proximity. Use soap and water, scrub for 20 seconds and dry your hands.
  • Don’t touch your face. Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands.
  • If you live off-campus, consider adopting a roommates agreement.

The University is following guidance from local health departments and has taken the following steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in residence halls:

  • Increased cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces twice each day, with more frequency in the dining facilities.
  • Dining facilities are operating consistent with the Washington State Proclamation for Higher Education.
  • Residence halls on all three campuses offer dedicated spaces for isolation and quarantine.

When should students consider missing class?

While remote instruction eliminates the need to physically stay home from class, illness may cause you to miss a remote class session. You should take steps you normally would when sick, including focusing on caring for your health, contacting your health care provider if you feel you need to, and in the event you miss a class session due to illness, working with your instructor on any necessary arrangements for making up coursework.

In general, if you are sick, stay home.

Please see the “What do I do if I feel sick?” question for more information.

Where can prospective Huskies find information about COVID-19 and admissions?

The Office of Admissions maintains updated information and COVID-19 Admissions FAQs for applicants on its website.

Are campus visits, tours and information sessions being offered?

Campus tours and in-person events are back! Bookmark the Office of Admissions visits page for future updates — and while you’re there, watch an admission information session on demand, or download our guide to take a self-guided tour whenever it’s convenient for you to visit campus.

 

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Information for all UW employees

Will the UW require vaccines for employees including staff, faculty and other academic personnel?

In order to protect the health of our community, the UW will require all students and personnel to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by autumn quarter, with certain exemptions allowed. Please review the vaccination requirement page for information about how to submit your attestation or declare an exemption. UW Medicine personnel should continue to follow UW Medicine policies and procedures.

What guidelines are in place to protect employees when they work on site?

The UW’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan for the Workplace helps ensure the health and safety of personnel by reducing the potential for COVID-19 transmission at UW facilities and campuses.

All on-site work must follow the University plan and the COVID-19 prevention plan of your specific unit.

Learn more about these and other measures on the Back-to-the-Workplace Task Force and Back-to-School Task Force webpages.

What are the UW’s current policies on wearing face coverings?

All University units must follow the current UW COVID-19 Face Covering Policy.

The UW require 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.

University personnel verified to be fully vaccinated in accordance with the University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy may temporarily remove their face coverings when formally presenting to or instructing a group or class in a large space from behind a podium or in a stage-like setting. Physical distance of at least six feet from others is required at all times while the face covering is removed.

UW Medicine clinical personnel should continue to follow UW Medicine policies, and masks are encouraged for everyone when in crowded outdoor settings where distancing isn’t possible.

Can I ask other people at the UW about their vaccination status?

No. An individual’s vaccination status is private and confidential information. It is not appropriate to ask UW personnel or students about their vaccination status in the classroom or the workplaceRead more information on the UW COVID-19 Vaccination Policy webpage.

Can academic units and supervisors include vaccination status as part of their return-to-work planning for individual employees?

No. Do not treat individual vaccinated and unvaccinated employees differently as you develop plans for returning staff to the workplace.

In certain work settings, PPE may be required for personnel according to job-specific risk of exposure to COVID-19. Unit leads may refer to the Workplace COVID-19 Risk Level and Selection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guide for additional guidance on selection of PPE. Units should evaluate whether additional or alternative strategies are necessary in their work settings based on their likelihood of exposure to COVID-19.

Regardless of vaccination status, all employees who return to on-site work must follow the UW’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan for the Workplace.

Where can I find current information about remote work policies?

In May, the Board of Deans and Chancellors, President’s Cabinet, and HR partners and administrators received telework guidance for staff covering the timeframe after Sept. 10, 2021, accompanied by new UWHR resources on the return to onsite work and telework.

Academic instructors can also find resources on the Teaching Remotely site, including new information about preparing for autumn quarter 2021.

Where can I find information about child care resources?

UW Human Resources maintains information about child care options and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible staff can take a family care emergency absence when regularly scheduled care plans are interrupted due to a school, camp, facility closure and/or the unexpected absence of a care provider. Family care emergencies apply to both child and elder care situations.

 

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Information for faculty and other academic personnel

What should instructors do if a student refuses to wear a mask in class?

All UW students and personnel are required to follow the University’s COVID-19 Face Covering Policy at all times. If a student is not complying with this policy while indoors, including in a classroom, instructors should begin with a polite, verbal request to remind and educate the student about the UW’s face covering policy and to ask them to wear a face covering. The following are campus-specific guidance and resources:

Seattle

  1. If the student does not have a face covering with them, direct them to:
  2. If a student refuses to comply with the policy, the instructor can politely but firmly ask the student to leave the classroom/building. Under the Student Conduct Code, instructors have the authority to exclude a student from any class session in which that student is being disruptive.
  3. If a student does not comply with a request to leave, the instructor may choose to stop instruction, dismiss the class, and then report the student to the Seattle Student Conduct Office at cssc@uw.edu or 206-685-6194. Instructors should also contact this office in the case of belligerent non-compliance, or if they need assistance managing the situation. Student Conduct Office personnel are trained in de-escalation and trauma-informed mediation.

Bothell

  1. If the student does not have a face covering with them, direct them to the free, single-use mask dispensers located next to hand-sanitizing stations in buildings throughout campus.
  2. If a student refuses to comply with the policy, the instructor can politely but firmly ask the student to leave the classroom/building. Under the Student Conduct Code, instructors have the authority to exclude a student from any class session in which that student is being disruptive.
  3. If a student does not comply with a request to leave, the instructor may choose to stop instruction, dismiss the class, and then report the student to the UW Bothell Office of Student Conduct.
  4. In the case of belligerent non-compliance, or if the instructor needs assistance managing the situation, they should contact UW Bothell Campus Safety at 425-352-5359 or uwb-safety@uw.edu. Bothell Campus Safety personnel are unarmed and trained in de-escalation and trauma-informed mediation.

Tacoma

  1. Instructors will be provided masks to offer to students who come to class unmasked.
  2. If a student refuses to comply with the policy, the instructor can politely but firmly ask the student to leave the classroom/building. Under the Student Conduct Code, instructors have the authority to exclude a student from any class session in which that student is being disruptive.
  3. If a student does not comply with a request to leave, the instructor may choose to stop instruction, dismiss the class, and then report the student to the UW Tacoma’s Office of Student Conduct.
  4. In the case of belligerent non-compliance, or if the instructor needs assistance managing the situation, they should contact UW Tacoma Campus Safety & Security at 253-692-4416 or uwtsafe@uw.edu. Tacoma Campus Safety personnel are unarmed and trained in de-escalation and trauma-informed mediation.

In the case of threats of violence, instructors should call 911.

For more information, visit:

Will COVID-19 impact promotion/tenure-review schedules?

Using President Cauce’s declaration of “extraordinary circumstances” under Executive Order 27, the Office of Academic Personnel is offering automatic extension of the promotion and/or tenure clock for up to 2 years for eligible faculty who request the waiver of the 2019-20, 2020-21, and/or 2021-22 academic years from the mandatory promotion clock.

The details on eligibility criteria and how to seek an extension to the promotion/tenure clock through this clock waiver provision are available on the Office of Academic Personnel website.

I am a faculty member who has been instructed by my physician, EH&S or UW Medicine to self-isolate due to unprotected and direct COVID-19 exposure. Should I apply for faculty sick leave?

At the University of Washington, faculty do not formally track paid time off for reasons other than sick time off under the Faculty Sick Leave Policy. Faculty sick leave (i.e., paid sick time) covers: a) your own serious health condition as certified by your health care provider; b) temporary disability due to pregnancy, childbirth, or recovery therefrom; or c) care for a family member with a serious health condition.

If you have been directed to self-isolate for up to 14 days, you should continue to follow your unit’s procedure for short-term absences. For example, this might involve informing your supervisor (chair/director/campus dean/dean), who can help you arrange for remote work or with reassignment of responsibilities. And for specific suggestions related to research activities, see the updates from the Office of Research.

If your absence occurs during a time in which you are otherwise entitled to receive a salary from the University, you will continue to receive your salary. If your condition changes and you have a serious health concern, you may be entitled to use up to 90 days of faculty sick leave, using the process outlined by Academic HR. Your Academic HR Business Partners are available to offer guidance by contacting: apleaves@uw.edu.

What resources are available for instructors in remote learning environments?

The UW Center for Teaching and Learning has published new information about preparing for autumn quarter 2021. It also offers updated teaching and grading information and resources for remote learning environments. UW Bothell faculty may also review additional information about instructional continuity from the Office of Digital Learning & Innovation. UW Tacoma faculty can find information on the UW Tacoma Instructional Continuity webpage.

Should faculty and other academic personnel ask students who miss remote classes or course work following an illness to provide documentation or physician’s note?

Even in a situation involving remote instruction, “Instructors are strongly discouraged from requiring medical or legal documentation from a student for any absences. Requiring such documentation places burdens on all parties involved,” according to the Faculty Council on Academic Standards Syllabus Guidelines. The syllabus guidelines recommend that instructors offer students accommodations, such as makeup exams, alternate assignments, or alternate weighting of missed work. The UW Center for Teaching and Learning offers updated information and resources for technology and pedagogical best practices that can help you and your students in the event of any missed class time.

 

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Information for staff and student workers

Should supervisors allow employees to work remotely?

With the end of the state’s Healthy Washington phases on June 30, the University of Washington’s Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma campuses are basing our updated health and safety guidelines on state and local health requirements and guidance.

Telework is supported through Sept. 10, 2021. If an employee can telework and it does not impede operations, they should be allowed to do so. Employees who can telework but would prefer to come to campus are encouraged work on site as long as COVID-19 safety measures are in place and it is operationally feasible.

Units must provide employees with at least 30-days’ notice before they ask them to report back to work in person to support unit preparations for an in-person autumn quarter. Exceptions can be made for emergency situations and in accordance with relevant collective bargaining agreements.

All on-site work must continue adhering to all appropriate safety measures and the unit’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan. Follow the Return to On-site Work Decision Tree to determine what work activities are permitted to occur on-site.

What resources exist for employees and supervisors on topics like telework and time off?

Units will apply the Back-to-the-Workplace Guidance for Staff for the period beginning Sept. 11, 2021 to their operations. This guidance is supplemented by UWHR’s Return to on-site work page, which includes on-site work and telework resources for managers and employees.

The new telework guidance for staff provides unit leaders the flexibility to work with their teams on how to incorporate more telework into their operations in ways that are consistent with achieving their unit’s missions and business needs. As we do this, certain functions should be prioritized for in-person work, including essential and clinical operations, instruction, research, student services, and services provided to the public, as well as the support services that underpin our teaching, research, clinical and service operations.

Taken together, these guidelines will enable us to safely achieve our missions and come together in community with each other, while still providing flexibility and making use of the innovations developed during these challenging times

What technology can I use to work remotely?

Staff and student workers can prepare for the possibility of disruptions by becoming familiar with the technology tools that make it possible to work even when you can’t get to campus. UW Information Technology offers free tools for videoconferencing, chat, collaboration, online storage, and more. Find out what tools you can use in this helpful tech guide for working remotely.

When can I use accrued sick time off?

If you are sick, stay home. Staff and student workers should continue to follow their unit’s procedure for requesting sick time off and can find more information on the following webpages about sick time for regular contract covered, classified, and professional staff and for temporary and student hourly employees.

Additionally, President Cauce has authorized expanded use of sick time off to cover situations that may be unique to the risks posed by COVID-19. For example, if your duties cannot be performed remotely and you have a significant health concern that makes you feel unsafe in the workplace. Sick time off can also be used if you have had direct exposure to COVID-19 and you have been directed to complete a 14-day self-isolation. Your HR consultant is available to offer guidance.

 

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University operations

Environmental Health & Safety has a wealth of resources about the UW’s COVID-19 health, safety and cleaning protocols, including detailed information about face covering requirements on campus, guidelines on Plexiglas for high-traffic areas, and cleaning and disinfection protocols.

What's the status of summer quarter operations?

Most summer classes will be offered remotely, and the UW intends to offer more in-person student services and activities as the quarter progresses.

Those courses held in person will once again largely be clinical instruction, certain labs, and arts- and performance-based courses. These will continue to have appropriate safety measures and physical distancing in place.

We remain dedicated to providing you with an excellent education and look forward to returning to in-person operations this autumn. Our faculty, teaching assistants and academic support staff are all committed to your success in your classes. And we’re equally committed to providing as many services — and as much of the college experience — as we can remotely, as well as to providing as many in-person activities and services as health guidelines allow.

What are current restrictions on campus events?

Restrictions for on-campus events vary depending on the event type, location, organizer and sponsors. If you’re organizing an on-campus event, you are required to follow these steps:

Which campus buildings will be unlocked for autumn quarter? (Updated 09/20/21)

Due to the ongoing pandemic, most UW campus buildings will remain accessible only to UW students, faculty and staff for autumn quarter. Please check directly with the building or service that you wish to visit to find their opening hours and policies.

Seattle

Buildings with general assignment classrooms will be unlocked and accessible during instructional hours. Individual units and departments will determine days and times of instruction in departmentally-controlled spaces and provide that information to UW Facilities to ensure access to these spaces.

Individual units or departments interested in opening their buildings to members of the public and/or for extended hours should work with their building coordinators to inform UW Facilities and the UW Police Department. Please allow at least one week for these changes to take effect.

If a building is not fully open during instructional hours, access is limited to those with keys or keycards. Building coordinators may also request that buildings be open to anyone with a valid Husky Card.

For more information, visit the UW Facilities building locking/unlocking and building access and keys pages.

Bothell

Buildings with classrooms will be open during scheduled class hours.

Tacoma

Main entrances to academic buildings will have unlocked doors during scheduled class hours. Other entrances, and access to academic buildings outside classroom hours, will be via Husky Card for students, faculty and staff. Signage will indicate those entrances requiring Husky Card access.

For more information on Husky Cards, visit the UW Tacoma Registrar Husky ID Card page.

Are UW Libraries open?

All UW Libraries will reopen on or just before the start of fall quarter in September.  Libraries will be open in a limited capacity to start and hours will expand as more student employees are hired during fall quarter. Each Library will have different hours, so be sure to check the Libraries hours prior to visiting. In addition to hours, there are new services and policies in place, so be sure to read this “Know Before You Go” blog post before your first visit.

Is the HUB open for services and studying?

The HUB is open for UW students, faculty, staff, and non-UW guests utilizing HUB services and businesses. Reservations are not required to visit the HUB. Learn more about visiting the HUB.

Private Space for Students

Students can reserve a private conference room for scheduled interviews, mental health services/appointments, or non-departmental testing by completing this form. Reservations are required to use the space and can be submitted 48 hours in advance. Students may request one reservation of up to two hours per week.

How does the UW clean and disinfect?

The UW Environmental Health & Safety Department (EH&S) has a COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection Protocol for campus partners that comply with guidelines from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for preventing the spread of coronavirus.

The University’s custodial cleaning program follows the COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection Protocol to regularly clean shared spaces, such as public and common areas, restrooms, and break rooms, and regular cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces. In some areas, individual users are also be responsible for regularly cleaning and disinfecting equipment/items they share.

When a person diagnosed with COVID-19 is known to have been on campus, the specific locations where the individual spent time while potentially infectious are evaluated for cleaning and disinfection, in accordance with state and federal guidelines.

Additional information regarding cleaning and disinfection on the Seattle campus is available from UW Facilities and Housing & Food Services.

Are support and reporting options still available if someone experiences sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, or relationship violence?

Yes, SafeCampus, confidential advocates, the Office of the Title IX Coordinator, and the offices that investigate reports of misconduct are all still available by email, phone, or Zoom. For immediate support and consultation, or to be connected with a confidential advocate, contact Safe Campus at 206-685-7233. You can also reach a confidential advocate directly by phone or e-mail.

To make an inquiry or report to an investigation office, there are several ways to make a report.

For consultation or any other concerns related to sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or compliance with Title IX, contact the Office of the Title IX Coordinator.

 

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Research and laboratory operations

What planning should research groups and researchers undertake to mitigate the effects of any disruptions due to COVID-19?

In light of the UW’s new COVID-19 guidance, the Office of Research has issued guidance for units and PIs on revising Return to Research Plans, which must be approved by the process your unit used earlier in the pandemic.

Please refer to the Office of Research’s COVID-19 page for more information. The HHRB and IRB are fully operational; if you need to reach them, you can find more information at the bottom of that page.

How can laboratories and research spaces prevent the spread of COVID-19?

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your labs and other work spaces, please read and implement the following EH&S guidance documents and resources:

Much like the rest of the University, EH&S is operating with fewer staff members on campus and more working remotely. EH&S is collecting waste, reviewing and responding to research applications, and providing ongoing health and safety support for campus. The Institutional Safety Committees, Institutional Biosafety Committee and Radiation Safety Committee are operational and meeting remotely.

University Facilities staff members are implementing enhanced cleaning of high-touch surfaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, tables, computer keyboards, handrails and exercise rooms).

EH&S asks research laboratories and facilities to also implement enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces. This includes switches, benchtops, commonly used hand tools and shared PPE:

  • Disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces with an EPA-registered disinfectant, an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol or a 10% bleach/water solution.
  • It is also recommended that all departments purchase single-use disinfectant wipes for touch points within their work spaces.
  • Avoid putting disinfectant gels or liquids on electronics and other equipment, including elevator buttons, unless they have been indicated as safe to use on those devices.
  • Additional guidance is available in the EH&S enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols.

If you have any questions about cleaning and disinfecting work spaces or about resources for addressing health and safety issues, please contact EH&S Research & Occupational Safety at labcheck@uw.edu or 206.685.3993.

 

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UW Medicine hospitals and clinics

For more about care and services during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit UW Medicine’s central coronavirus page.

What is UW Medicine doing about coronavirus?

All staff, patients and visitors in UW Medicine clinical facilities must wear a mask to protect against COVID-19 transmission. For patients and visitors, these can be cloth face coverings or personal masks. UW Medicine will provide masks to patients and visitors who arrive without their own masks.

Wherever possible, clinical areas and waiting rooms maintain physical distancing precautions. All UW Medicine employees are required to sign a form every day at the start of their shift to indicate that they do not have a fever or symptoms of any respiratory illness. Those employees who have symptoms of a respiratory illness are required to stay home until they have recovered completely. All employees also have quick access to COVID-19 testing when they have symptoms of the disease.

As a patient, should I be worried about getting infected with novel coronavirus at a UW hospital or clinic?

All hospitals and clinics have protocols and systems in place to keep all patients, visitors and health care workers safe and so you should not avoid seeking care out of concerns over the coronavirus. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please contact the clinic or hospital first so they can advise you.

 

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Travel and study abroad

The Office of Global Affairs provides information about the UW’s international travel rules and restriction policy for UW employees, graduate students, and undergraduates. UW Study Abroad provides timely and updated information regarding student travel abroad on their COVID-19 & UW Study Abroad page.

Are there restrictions on travel by UW employees?

International travel

The UW Office of Global Affairs has issued revised rules for official international travel, effective June 15, 2021. “Official travel” applies to any trip that involves the University in any way (e.g., through funding, salary, credits, support, sponsorship), for research, study abroad, conferences, events or meetings.

  • For Department of State Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 destinations: official travel is approved for faculty, other academic personnel, and staff, provided that you register your trip with UW Global Travel Security.
  • For Department of State Level 4 destinations: you must complete a travel waiver request that requires review and official approval, in addition to the required travel registration.
  • Regardless of destination, all official international travel must be registered with UW Global Travel Security (GTS). 

These travel rules do not apply to personal travel. However, we strongly encourage you to review applicable travel warnings and follow the CDC’s COVID-19 international travel guidance.

Domestic travel

Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. For more information, and additional guidance, see the CDC domestic travel website.

What is the status of study abroad programs?

For the most current updates, please visit and consider bookmarking UW Study Abroad’s information on COVID-19 and study abroad programs.

What should I do to stop the spread of COVID-19 before, during and after travel?

We strongly encourage you to delay any travel until you are fully vaccinated. As a reminder, the UW now requires students and employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for domestic and international travel.

People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization can travel safely within the United States. However, the CDC still recommends that every person take steps to protect others when traveling, even if you’ve been fully vaccinated.

International travel poses additional risks. Even fully vaccinated travelers face increased risk for getting and possibly spreading COVID-19 variants, so it’s important to follow CDC recommendations for international travel and check travel restrictions before you depart.

If you are traveling from abroad to the U.S., the CDC will require you to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding your flight. Once you are back in to the U.S., follow CDC recommendations for return travelers.

Visit the CDC Travel webpage for more information about traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I recently returned from travel and am having symptoms. What should I do?

Any UW faculty, staff, student or visiting scholar who is having any symptoms of COVID-19 infection (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath) are required to stay home and not go to work or class.

Refer to the FAQs “What do I do if I feel sick? and “I want to get tested for COVID-19. Where can I go?” for additional information.

If you have symptoms, you will need to get tested for COVID-19 and, if you test positive, notify the UW Environmental Health & Safety Department (EH&S) COVID-19 Response and Prevention Team (covidehc@uw.edu or 206.616.3344). UW Medicine personnel should contact their respective employee health services.

 

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Student visas

International Student Services maintains a page with coronavirus information for F1 & J1 students that features answers to many additional questions, and the Graduate School also maintains F1 / J1 information and FAQs.

What is the current status of guidance for international students on F-1 visas?

SEVP has communicated temporary changes to F-1 policy and practice through different communications (listed below). ISS continues to use this guidance as we advise students on their F-1 status during COVID-19. ISS will continue to update its information page as details become available.

      • April 2021: Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program would extend its March 9, 2020 Policy Directive  guidance for the 2021-22 academic year.
      • April 2021: The U.S. Department of State announced consulates and embassies around the world would continue to resume visa services on a post by post basis as conditions and staffing allows. If you have confirmed travel plans to begin studies in the U.S., be sure to contact the nearest embassy or consulate to determine whether you can qualify for expedited processing. If your I-20 start date is 9/29/2021 for autumn quarter, you may need to wait until later in the summer to obtain a visa appointment since UW classes do not begin until late September. Continue to monitor travel guidelines, restrictions, check visa wait times in your region, and review updates on the embassy or consulate’s web page for the most up-to-date information.

Students can also read COVID-19 Guidance from the government directly on the websites below:

I am nearing the end of my F-1 status and my plan was to return to my home country. I would prefer to stay in the U.S. for now. What are my options?

Every student’s situation is different. UW’s International Student Services (ISS) office encourages you to review the Final Quarter Checklist to understand your options. If you have additional questions or wish to meet with an ISS adviser, complete the ISS Have a Question form so an ISS adviser can reply to your specific questions.

 

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Scholar visas

I already have a visa sponsored through UW ISO, but I am unable to travel to the U.S. due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. What can I do?

Contact your host department and ISO. Additionally, we recommend monitoring the news, U.S. travel guidance, and this UW web page for updates.

What should I do if I am on a visa sponsored by ISO and recently arrived or returned to the U.S.?

Please see the Travel and Study Abroad section for more guidance. Specifically refer to the question “What should I do after returning from international travel?”

If you are an arriving J-1 exchange visitor, please also contact the following:

      1. Your host department
      2. International Scholars Operations (ISO)

All J-1 exchange visitors must request a remote check-in by contacting acadvisa@uw.edu as soon as possible upon arrival in the U.S. See J-1 Check-in for more information.

My J-1 visa sponsored through UW International Scholars Operations (ISO) expires soon, but I can’t book a flight home. What can I do?

In this difficult time, it is important to look for options to help you achieve your goals. We have listed some steps you can below.

  • Review the ISS Final Quarter Checklist to determine if any of the options apply to you (practical training, transfer out, etc.).
  • Contact your country’s embassy here in the U.S. to determine if any accommodations could be made to assist with your return home.
  • Use the Contact ISS form to report your situation to an ISS advisor.
  • Submit a Change of Status application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you wish to consider this option, we recommend you to consult an immigration attorney for legal advice on the change of visa status process.
  • The U.S. government has not announced any kind of automatic extension of grace periods as of now, but this concern has been raised by U.S. institutions and immigration attorneys across the U.S. We will post to this page any updates or changes to this policy when new information becomes available.

We encourage you to check this page and the FAQs regularly since this scenario will be very common for many international students. We hope to have an update from the government on this topic.

I have a J-1 visa sponsored through UW ISO that will start soon, but I can’t get a visa appointment or a flight to the U.S. What can I do?

Contact your host department and ISO to discuss revising your program dates or other assistance that may be available. We also recommend monitoring the news, airline travel information and this page for updates. Please note that due to the evolving nature of the coronavirus outbreak and associated travel limitations, there is no certainty as to when travel restrictions will be lifted.

I have an H-1B visa sponsored through UW ISO that will start soon, but I can’t get a visa appointment or am unable to travel to the U.S. What can I do?

Contact your host department and ISO.

 

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