King and Pierce counties are currently in Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start plan.
The UW’s Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma campuses are also in Phase 2. Learn more.

Planning for more employees to return to our campuses

Governor Inslee set out a four-phase process for lifting restrictions put in place to stem the COVID-19 pandemic. In alignment with that effort and similar efforts at the local level, President Cauce commissioned a task force to develop plans for how more UW employees can return to in-person work on our campuses.

For autumn quarter, in any instances where UW faculty and staff are teaching, conducting research or providing critical services in person, we are committed to ensuring that you can do so with the appropriate protective measures and in sanitized spaces. Employees who can telework will continue to do so throughout the autumn quarter and we remain committed to supporting all faculty and staff with maximum empathy and flexibility throughout the challenging months ahead. If you have questions about your specific work circumstances for the fall, we encourage you to speak with your chair or supervisor about your unit’s local COVID-19 Prevention Plan.

We also recognize that many faculty and staff have caregiving responsibilities, and we have commissioned a task force that has provided recommendations on additional measures we can take to support caregivers in our UW community.

The work of this group is informed by public health experts, including the UW’s Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, Environmental Health & Safety and UW Medicine infectious disease specialists.

Guidance and resources for UW units and employees

On May 29, 2020, chancellors, deans, vice presidents and other direct reports to President Cauce and Provost Richards received the COVID-19 Prevention Plan and Safe Start Checklist to use as the basis for developing unit-specific plans. These unit plans are submitted to the Executive Office for review and approval.

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

Trainings & presentations

Personal protective equipment

Signage, posters and graphics

University of Washington COVID-19 Safe Start phases

The move from one phase to another will happen gradually, be based on public health guidance and contingent on units completing their COVID-19 Prevention Plans. Learn more about how each move to a new phase will take place.

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: If necessary and with no more than 5 people. Hold remote when possible.

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

Instruction:

  • Offered remotely.
  • Conducted in accordance with the state’s Campus Reopening Guide.
  • 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, per July 16 revisions to Phase 3 limits by Gov. Inslee. 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: If necessary – more than 50 people are permitted. 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.

Task force members

  • Denise Bender, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Cheryl A. Cameron, Academic Personnel
  • Lou Cariello, UW Facilities
  • Steven Charvat, UW Emergency Management
  • Mary Gresch, University Advancement
  • Katia Harb, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Mindy Kornberg, UWHR
  • Joe Lawless, UW Tacoma
  • Mary E. Lidstrom, Office of Research
  • Brian McCartan, UW Finance
  • Jack Martin, University Marketing & Communications
  • Aaron Powell, UW-IT
  • Gowri Shankar, UW Bothell
  • Margaret Shepherd, Office of the President