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Planning for a safe return to in-person learning

Governor Inslee’s Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan sets out a phased recovery from COVID-19 restrictions, and the state has also issued guidelines for higher education institutions.

In light of current and expected coronavirus case counts in Washington, more than 90% of class sections on the Seattle campus are remote during spring quarter, with similar percentages at UW Bothell and UW Tacoma. Only classes that cannot be taught remotely will be held in person, with appropriate safety measures and physical distancing in place.

The University intends to return to largely in-person instruction in autumn quarter 2021 and will be issuing additional information to guide this transition over the course of the spring and summer.

Updates

Earlier updates

Guidance and resources for UW units and employees

On March 19, 2021, chancellors, deans, vice presidents and other direct reports to President Cauce and Provost Richards received Back-to-the-Workplace Guidance covering the period from the start of Phase 3 on March 22, 2021 through Sept. 10, 2021. This guidance works in concert with each unit’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan and Safe Start Checklist, which is submitted to the Executive Office for review and approval.

And on March 31, 2021, the Back-to-School Task Force issued guidance regarding in-person instruction-related activities and student services for the spring and summer, running from the start of spring quarter on March 29, 2021 through Sept. 10, 2021. The UW is developing guidance for a safe return to primarily in-person instruction in autumn 2021.

The UW’s prevention plan and an accompanying presentation available for use by unit leaders are available below for reference, as well as a link to signage, posters and graphics for units to use.

UW Environmental Health & Safety also maintains a collection of COVID-19 health and safety resources for UW leaders and employees, including details on cleaning and disinfecting procedures, food service and personal protective equipment.

Prevention planning

Student resources

Trainings & presentations

Personal protective equipment

Signage, posters and graphics

Task force members

  • Suzanne Allen, School of Medicine
  • Mary Gresch, University Advancement
  • Joseph Janes, Faculty Senate
  • Sharon Jones, UW Bothell
  • Elizabeth Lowry, Office of the Provost
  • Jill Purdy, UW Tacoma
  • Phil Reid, Academic and Student Affairs
  • Mark Richards, Office of the Provost
  • Ed Taylor, Undergraduate Academic Affairs
  • Joy Williamson-Lott, Graduate School

This task force continues to review University protocols to protect student, faculty and staff health in campus spaces including residences, classrooms, labs and libraries. Their work is informed by public health experts, including the UW’s Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, Environmental Health & Safety and UW Medicine infectious disease specialists.