Masks are recommended inside facilities they aren't otherwise required.
Updated boosters provide enhanced protection against current COVID-19 variants.

With the end of the state’s Healthy Washington phases on June 30, 2021, the University of Washington’s Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma campuses are basing our health and safety guidelines on state and local health requirements and guidance.

The following guidance applies to all UW campuses and work locations, with certain exemptions as indicated below and summarized by UW Environmental Health & Safety. UW Medicine and units with clinical operations should continue to follow health-care-specific guidance.


You must continue to stay home if you are sick, have COVID-19 symptoms, or if you test positive for COVID-19. Notify UW Environmental Health & Safety if you test positive for COVID-19 or have close contact with an individual who has tested positive. This requirement applies even if you’re fully vaccinated. EH&S conducts public health follow-up, including contact tracing. UW Medicine medical center employees should contact their respective Employee Health Center. Additional details and contact information are in the relevant FAQ.


Current health requirements and guidelines

Classes and instruction

After a combination of in-person and online instruction across all three UW campuses to start winter quarter, the University returned to largely in-person instruction and experiences on Jan. 31, 2022. Spring and summer quarter 2022 classes were also held largely in person, just as autumn quarter 2022 classes will be.

  • Instructors are expected to teach their classes in the mode of instruction listed in the time schedule. In consultation with their dean, chair or director, they may alter a course’s instructional modality, including a temporary change to remote instruction, for limited periods of time if there are COVID-related factors that impact the ability to teach in person, such as a need to isolate or quarantine or disruptions to day care or K-12 schools.
  • Instructors are asked to be flexible with those students who need to miss class due to illness, the need to quarantine or other coronavirus-related disruptions and provide them options for continuing their learning and making up any missed work. However, they are not expected to provide in-person and remote instruction simultaneously.

Students needing accommodations and/or auxiliary aids due to a disability or temporary health condition should contact Disability Resources for Students.

Additional information for instructors is available in the Faculty and academic personnel FAQ.

Student life and services

Services are largely in-person, following public health guidance. Residence halls are operating at full capacity.

Vaccinations

Face coverings

Indoors

As of August 15, 2022, the University recommends wearing a well-fitted, high-quality mask such as an N95, KN95, KF94 or surgical mask indoors. These types of masks are available for free in several locations on each campus. Masks are strongly recommended the first two weeks of autumn quarter since the University generally sees a temporary uptick in cases following breaks.

Masks continue to be required in health care and clinical facilities. This includes the Health Sciences Express, UW/Fred Hutch South Lake Union and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance shuttles. The UW Face Covering Policy outlines these specific settings. UW locations and facilities not specified in state, local or University face covering policies should not set their own mask policies.

Masks that allow the lips to be visible in order to increase accessibility are available for units to purchase from the UW Creative Communications Safe and Clean Storefront.

Outdoors

Masks are optional. This includes at events of 500 or more people, as of Feb. 18, 2022.

Physical distancing, capacity and other updates

Based on state guidance, as of July 7, 2021, the UW lifted both indoor and outdoor distancing and COVID-19 capacity requirements, though distancing is still recommended for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.

Also consistent with state requirements, Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) updated the University’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan template, in-person events guidance, cleaning and disinfection procedures, training and other guidance documents on its COVID-19 health and safety resources.

On-site work and related activities

Employees without telework agreements returned to in-person work after Sept. 10, 2021, and we continue to work with unit leaders to provide the flexibility needed to account for any changes in the public health situation and the resulting impacts on K-12 schools and services such as child care. Additional information can be found on UWHR’s Return to on-site work page, which includes on-site work and telework resources for managers and employees.

During periods of largely online instruction, UW’s campuses remain operational and buildings are accessible. During these times, such as for the first four weeks of winter quarter 2022, unit leaders have flexibility to manage remote and hybrid work arrangements while also prioritizing essential operations, including instructional and student support services, clinical operations, research and related support, and other public-facing services.

High-risk populations

Accommodations are required for employees at high-risk for serious illness who request them.

Travel

Intercollegiate athletics

UW athletics operates under specific guidance from state and local health authorities. This includes relaxing mask requirements for indoor sporting events as of March 12, 2022.


Archived information: Healthy Washington phases

The state’s Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan ended June 30, 2021. The following information is maintained as an archive of the University’s application the Healthy Washington phases. Units may have had guidelines that were stricter than the University-level guidelines.

Healthy Washington Phase 1

On-site work and related activities: Telework is strongly encouraged. All on-site work must adhere 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.

High-risk populations: Accommodations are required for employees at high-risk for serious illness who request them.

In-person, non-instructional university-sponsored events: Must follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines for events, including submitting a prevention plan. In general, events must follow specific capacity restrictions below.

  • Indoor: Only if necessary and with no more than six attendees. Hold events remotely when possible. No non-UW events on UW campuses.
  • Outdoor: Only if necessary and with no more than 10 attendees. Hold events remotely when possible. No non-UW events on UW campuses.

Travel: Official international travel and non-essential domestic travel are restricted under University guidelines. Non-essential personal travel is strongly discouraged. Check with your unit’s leadership regarding unit-specific restrictions.

Instruction:

  • Conducted in accordance with the state’s Campus Reopening Guide and UW guidance.
  • 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 with limited exceptions for services only able to be delivered in person.
  • Dining services match restaurant guidelines.
  • Student residents de-densified with appropriate physical distancing and public health procedures (roommates are considered household members).

Intercollegiate athletics: Operates under specific guidance from state and local health authorities.

Healthy Washington Phase 2

On-site work and related activities: Telework is strongly encouraged. All on-site work must adhere 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.

High-risk populations: Accommodations are required for employees at high-risk for serious illness who request them.

In-person, non-instructional university-sponsored events: Must follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines for events, including submitting a prevention plan. In general, events must follow specific capacity restrictions below.

  • Indoor: Maximum 25% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less. Events over 50 people require University approval via Environmental Health & Safety. Hold events remotely when possible. No non-UW events on UW campuses.
  • Outdoor: Groups of 15 attendees, not to exceed 200 people. Events over 50 people require University approval via Environmental Health & Safety. Hold events remotely when possible. No non-UW events on UW campuses.

Travel: Official international travel and non-essential domestic travel are restricted under University guidelines. Non-essential personal travel is strongly discouraged. Check with your unit’s leadership regarding unit-specific restrictions.

Instruction:

  • Conducted in accordance with the state’s Campus Reopening Guide and UW guidance.
  • 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:

  • 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).

Intercollegiate athletics: Operates under specific guidance from state and local health authorities.

Healthy Washington Phase 3

On-site work and related activities:

  • Telework flexibility is supported through Sept. 10, 2021, which will also apply in Phase 4. 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 may work on site if authorized by their unit as long as COVID-19 safety measures are in place and it is operationally feasible. All on-site work must adhere 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.

High-risk populations: Accommodations are required for employees at high-risk for serious illness who request them.

In-person, non-instructional university-sponsored events: Must follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines, including submitting a prevention plan. In general, events must follow specific capacity restrictions below.

  • Indoor: Maximum 50% capacity or 400 people, whichever is less. Events over 100 people require University approval via Environmental Health & Safety. Face masks and at least a six-foot distance between people are required. Hold events remotely when possible. No non-UW events on UW campuses.
  • Outdoor: Not to exceed 400 people. Events over 100 people require University approval via Environmental Health & Safety. Face masks and at least a six-foot distance between people are required. Hold events remotely when possible. No non-UW events on UW campuses.

Travel: Official international travel and non-essential domestic travel are restricted under University guidelines. Non-essential personal travel is strongly discouraged. Check with your unit’s leadership regarding unit-specific restrictions.

Instruction:

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).

Intercollegiate athletics: Operates under specific guidance from state and local health authorities, including guidelines for spectator events.


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.