Novel coronavirus information

Winter quarter 2022

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

Last updated: Jan. 31, 2022

Thanks to the hard work of everyone in our Husky community, the UW is continuing with another successful quarter on our campuses this winter. Read on for an overview of our current operations, health and safety measures, and links to more detailed information for students and personnel.


Academics

The improving public health situation and the resulting reduction in coronavirus-related disruptions allowed us to follow through with our plans to return to largely in-person classes and learning experiences on Monday, Jan. 31. You should expect your classes to be in the original format listed in the time schedule unless your instructors inform you otherwise.

We look forward to welcoming more of you back to our campuses and into our classrooms and labs. As was the case in the fall, accommodations can be requested by those with health-related conditions or needs that put them at heightened risk. We’re also asking instructors to be flexible when it comes to student absences due to illness or other coronavirus-related disruptions, including the need to quarantine or because of daycare or school closures that may affect our students who are parents. Please note that while instructors will work to find ways for you to make-up missed coursework, they are not required to provide a synchronous remote option for classes that are being taught in person.

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, our University’s vaccination rates are outstanding, and Washington state’s vaccination levels remain some of the nation’s highest. We will continue making decisions that reflect the most current public health guidance, as we have throughout the pandemic.


Facilities and learning spaces

Learn more about how our Facilities teams are keeping campus buildings safe for in-person learning and work.

UW Libraries continues to expand hours as they are able to, dependent on hiring and onboarding additional permanent staff for nights and weekends. Be sure to check current hours and operations for Bothell libraries, Seattle libraries and Tacoma libraries  before you go.


Housing and dining

Seattle campus housing has returned to full occupancy. Dining venue hours will continue to expand as HFS hires new and returning employees.

Find more information about how we protect your health and safety in our housing and dining facilities.

Bothell campus housing and Tacoma campus housing are open and will continue following public health guidelines.

The UW will continue to follow all preventive health guidelines and support students who may have a COVID diagnosis while living on campus. Students who test positive are asked to temporarily move to a designated place where they can recover safely away from people who may be at risk of getting sick. During this time, we’ll help with food and mail delivery, laundry service and engagement activities to help students stay connected. Our Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 response team will work with you to understand whether other people may have been exposed, so we can get them tested and protect their health as well. You can learn more about how the University responds to positive cases on our COVID-19 FAQ page.


Student Life and activities

Recreation, Husky Union Building and other student spaces

On the Seattle campus, the IMA is open to current students, faculty and staff, and all UW recreation facilities follow state COVID-19 guidelines to protect your health and safety.

The HUB is open and reservations are not required for UW students, faculty and staff to visit. Learn more about visiting the HUB. Please contact individual offices for information about their services and hours.

UW Bothell’s Activities & Recreational Center and UW Tacoma’s University Y Center are open and following state COVID-19 guidelines.

Husky Athletics

UW has implemented a vaccine verification system for all Husky ticketed events, including basketball games and gymnastics meets. All spectators 12 and older will need to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event. Additionally, in accordance with state policy, all spectators are required to wear a mask, indoors and outdoors, regardless of vaccination status at all Husky athletics events.


COVID-19 vaccines, testing and prevention

International students: We recommend bookmarking International Student Services coronavirus information for F1 and J1 students for information on visas, travel and COVID-19 protocols. ISS will update this page as new information becomes available. Continue to monitor your local embassy or consulate’s website, airline guidance and CDC travel notices.

Vaccines

All students, including students in fully online programs, are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 if they do not receive a medical or religious exemption. You must verify your COVID-19 vaccination status and upload documentation – such as a vaccination card or other proof of vaccination – or upload an exemption request for review by the UW’s Hall Health Center in order to register for classes. The deadline to upload your documentation is prior to your winter classes orientation and registration.

Visit our FAQ to learn how you can check whether you have met the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Testing

There are many free testing options available to you, including Husky Coronavirus Testing, a voluntary research study.

Prevention

The UW will continue to follow local and state public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as we have throughout the pandemic.

We will continue to 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.

Vaccinations and face coverings help us protect each other, making it possible for us to be in community together. You can read all the details about our UW Face Covering Policy from Environmental Health & Safety.

Outdoors, face coverings are required for UW events with 500 or more people, regardless of vaccination status. We also recommend face coverings in outdoor settings where there is a decreased ability to consistently maintain a physical distance between others. You’re welcome to continue wearing face coverings wherever and whenever you wish for any reason. 

The UW is fortunate to have outstanding Facilities teams who keep our classrooms and buildings safe all day, every day. If you’d like a deep dive into our cleaning and safety protocols, UW Environmental Health & Safety has a wealth of information on its COVID-19 resources page, including its building readiness guidelines.


What would cause the UW to change the course of our coronavirus response?

In March 2020, the UW was the first university in the country to move to remote courses. In autumn 2021, we were one of the last to return to largely in-person instruction. Those decisions, along with the many others made along the way, such as moving classes and experiences mostly online to start winter quarter 2022, were guided by some of the world’s top health experts and made with health and well-being as our priorities.

We have also considered what would prompt a major change in course, such as a return to largely remote working and/or learning. No single metric can accurately capture a complex public health situation. We will continue to engage in science- and evidence-based decision making, relying on the expertise of our UW, local and state experts to guide us. Several scenarios are considered when evaluating a return to largely remote instruction and/or operations, including a major uptick in on-campus transmissions or positivity rates; greatly diminished capacity in our area hospitals; major disruptions in our K-12 schools or transportation systems; or the imposition of state or local restrictions, such as distancing requirements or “stay at home” orders.