King and Pierce counties are in Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start plan.

Current UW status: Phase 2

The University of Washington’s Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma campuses are in Phase 2 of the COVID-19 recovery, in accordance with Washington’s Safe Start plan and the state’s Campus Reopening Guide.

  • Face coverings are required on all campuses.
  • Telework is strongly encouraged for all non-critical personnel, and all in-person work must adhere to all appropriate safety measures and unit COVID-19 Prevention Plans.
  • Majority of courses offered remotely. Only instruction with approved safety protocols may be offered in-person.
  • Gatherings of more than five people are not permitted, with the exception of instructional sessions following approved safety protocols.

More details on Phase 2 are available below.

Individual campus units are eligible to move to Phase 2 after submission of their Safe Start Checklist and in accordance with their unit COVID-19 Prevention Plans.


If you are sick, you must stay home and if you have COVID-19 symptoms, or if your health provider confirms or suspects COVID-19, please notify the UW Environmental Health & Safety Employee Health Center. This will enable them to uphold their public health responsibility to follow up with people who may be at risk. EH&S can also help facilitate COVID-19 testing for UW employees. UW Medicine employees should contact their Employee Health Services office. Additional details and contact information are in the relevant FAQ.


University of Washington COVID-19 Safe Start phases

Units may have guidelines that are stricter than the University-level guidelines – please consult your supervisor or unit leadership with specific questions.

Surge

Onsite work: Critical personnel only. COVID-19 Prevention Plan safety measures required.

Telework: Required for non-critical personnel.

High-risk populations: High-risk population accommodations required.

In-person social events and gatherings: Not permitted.

Travel: Essential travel only.

Instruction: Offered remotely.

Student life:

  • Services offered remotely.
  • Dining services offer take-out only.
  • Student residents de-densified with appropriate physical distancing and public health procedures (roommates are considered household members).

Phase 1

Onsite work:

  • Defined by your unit’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan.
  • Critical personnel only with limited exceptions.
  • COVID-19 Prevention Plan safety measures required.

Telework: Required for non-critical personnel.

High-risk populations: High-risk population accommodations required.

In-person social events and gatherings: Not permitted.

Travel: Essential travel and limited non-essential travel to engage in Phase 1 activities is permitted.

Instruction: Offered remotely. Essential clinical instruction with safety protocols may be offered in-person with prior approval.

Student life:

  • Services offered remotely.
  • Dining services match restaurant guidelines.
  • Student residents de-densified with appropriate physical distancing and public health procedures (roommates are considered household members).

Phase 2 - Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma campuses

Onsite work:

  • Defined by your unit’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan.
  • Non-critical personnel may return to worksites if work can be performed safely and is absolutely necessary to maintain unit operations.
  • COVID-19 Prevention Plan safety measures required.

Telework: Required if employee cannot return to work safely. Strongly encouraged for all non-critical personnel.

High-risk populations: High-risk population accommodations required.

In-person social events and gatherings: Only if necessary and with no more than 5 people. In-person events must follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines. Hold events remotely when possible. No non-UW events on UW campuses.

Travel: Essential travel and limited non-essential travel to engage in Phase 1-2 activities is permitted.

Instruction:

  • Conducted in accordance with the state’s Campus Reopening Guide.
  • Majority of courses offered remotely.
  • Clinical instruction with safety protocols may be offered in-person.
  • Lab and practicum courses with physical distancing and safety protocols may be offered in-person.

Student life:

  • Services offered remotely.
  • Dining services match restaurant guidelines.
  • Student residents de-densified with appropriate physical distancing and public health procedures (roommates are considered household members).

Phase 3

Onsite work:

  • Defined by your unit’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan.
  • Non-critical personnel may return to worksites if work can be performed safely and necessary to maintain unit operations or employee prefers to report to work.
  • COVID-19 Prevention Plan safety measures required.

Telework: Required if employee cannot return to work safely. Strongly encouraged for all non-critical personnel.

High-risk populations: High-risk population accommodations required.

In-person social events and gatherings: If necessary and with no more than 10 people. In-person events must follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines. Hold remote when possible.

Travel: Non-essential travel permitted.

Instruction:

  • Conducted in accordance with the state’s Campus Reopening Guide.
  • In-person instruction for prioritized courses.
  • Courses of over 50 students must be offered remotely.
  • In-person courses have remote/asynchronous options (where possible) to accommodate students who are not able to attend in-person.
  • Courses will be required to adhere to an instructional plan to promote safety.

Student life:

  • Combination of remote and in-person services with appropriate physical distancing and public health procedures.
  • Student residents allowed with appropriate physical distancing and public health procedures (roommates are considered household members).

Phase 4

Onsite work:

  • Defined by your unit’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan.
  • Non-critical personnel may return to worksites if work can be performed safely.
  • COVID-19 Prevention Plan safety measures required.

Telework: Telework flexibility encouraged and allowable.

High-risk populations: High-risk population accommodations required.

In-person social events and gatherings: Guidance on in-person events TBD. Hold remote when possible.

Travel: Non-essential travel permitted.

Instruction:

  • Conducted in accordance with the state’s Campus Reopening Guide.
  • Potential increases in number of in-person courses with enrollments of up to 50 depending on available space and cleaning capacity.
  • Courses will be required to adhere to an instructional plan to promote safety.
  • In-person courses have remote/asynchronous options (where possible) to accommodate students who are not able to attend in-person.
  • Physical distancing requires that courses with enrollments over 50 continue be offered remotely.

Student life: All services open for general population with appropriate physical distancing and public health procedures.


Returning to our campuses will happen gradually and in phases

While the move to remote work and classes was across-the-board and immediate, the move to having more employees working in-person on UW campuses will be both phased and specific to each unit’s circumstances.

The general timeline for each move to the next phase will be:

  1. The state authorizes a county with a UW campus or workplace to move to the next phase of the Safe Start plan.
  2. The county applies to the state to move to a new phase. A new phase is authorized locally.
  3. The change in phase is communicated to unit leaders (chancellors, deans and vice presidents) by the Executive Office along with any changes or updates needed to the University’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan. Units review their unit COVID-19 Prevention Plan(s) to ensure any new required elements are addressed, including adequate supplies, signage, space considerations for social distancing and training, and report back to the Executive Office on their overall readiness.
  4. Unit leaders can then communicate with their units outlining their plans and timelines for moving to the next phase.
  5. Each unit moves to the next phase on the date it indicated, presuming there is no intervening change in the public health situation that would necessitate a reevaluation.

No unit can move to the next phase ahead of the state, county or University doing so, but a unit may delay its move to the next phase until it has completed the necessary preparations to do so safely.

The timeline for a county’s move to the next phase in the Safe Start plan will be determined based on the course of the coronavirus outbreak in the county. It is possible that a county will need to move back to a more stringent phase if there is a resurgence of infections in that county.


State and county dashboards

The state of Washington is monitoring the outbreak and reporting information through its COVID-19 Risk Assessment Dashboard.

Similarly, King County lists key indicators of COVID-19 activity for the county, which is relevant to the Seattle campus and UW Bothell. And Pierce County maintains a dashboard that is relevant to UW Tacoma.