UW News

COVID-19


July 2, 2020

Commencement, UW’s biggest celebration, reimagined as an online event

photos in caps and gowns on green lawn

Sara Griggs describes how the UW Office of Ceremonies moved its biggest event online for the unique circumstances of the quarantine restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.


June 30, 2020

UW, Public Health – Seattle & King County responding to coronavirus cases in Greek system

Aerial view of University of Washington campus in Seattle

Several dozen students living in fraternity houses north of the University of Washington’s campus have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days.


June 25, 2020

Sleep improving for university students under stay-at-home orders

an alarm clock at night

In a study published June 10 in Current Biology, a team from the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Washington reports that a group of students at CU Boulder generally got more sleep after widespread stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines were put into place in mid-March.


Soundbites: UW public health experts on benefits of face coverings

Hilary Godwin

Beginning June 26, face coverings will be required statewide in Washington. Hilary Godwin, dean of the UW School of Public Health, offers some practical information about using masks to slow the spread of COVID-19.


June 24, 2020

Study asks Washington state residents to describe food security and access during pandemic, economic downturn

a plate, knife and fork

A new online survey for Washington state residents has launched to gather data on how the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn have affected food access and economic security. The Washington State Food Security Survey, which went live June 18 and runs through July 31, is open to all Washington state residents aged 18 or over.


June 23, 2020

UW’s K-8 reading program saw record numbers during COVID-19

two girls with UW sweatshirts on

When schools closed because of the coronavirus, Real Dawgs Read, a UW program that asks kids to read 30 minutes a day over 30 separate days, was there to fill the gap. During a special session between March 25 and June 5, it experienced its highest level of participation — with 3,240 readers taking part.


June 22, 2020

Amid pandemic, UW School of Social Work’s Project Connect provides opportunities for students to learn, serve community

Two boys lying on floor, looking at tablet screen

The UW School of Social Work’s Project Connect supports 15 different research and outreach endeavors, all oriented specifically around community needs during COVID-19.


June 18, 2020

University of Washington issues COVID-19 face covering policy

person wearing facemask

The University of Washington has issued a face covering policy for all university personnel, students, staff, contractors and visitors who are on campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As a reminder, only employees designated as critical can be working in-person and only at the direction of their supervisor.


June 17, 2020

Virtual classes offer fitness and mindfulness at home

Fitness, dance and mindfulness instructors are teaching virtual classes in light of COVID-19 closures, part of UW Recreation’s effort to make its activities accessible while people are physically distancing during the pandemic.


Is the air getting cleaner during the COVID-19 pandemic?

San Francisco at sunset

Using air quality data from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency monitors across the U.S., a UW-led team looked for changes in two common pollutants over the course of 2020.


June 16, 2020

UW reinvents summer research, internships during COVID-19

Woman standing against outside of law school building

The COVID-19 Clearinghouse at UW Law is just one of the ways that faculty and staff across the university have revamped summer research internships and worked with outside partners and employers to involve students in a remote working environment, even for jobs that would normally be out in the field.


June 9, 2020

Health care workers march to protest racism as a public health risk

Thousands of doctors, nurses, health care workers and public health experts from the University of Washington and other medical institutions turned out in downtown Seattle on June 6 to demand an end to systemic racism and calling for police reform.


June 4, 2020

UW guidelines helping to ramp up research safely during COVID-19

A person speaking at a lecturn

Mary Lidstrom, vice provost for research at the University of Washington, talks about the evolving picture of research at the UW in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


May 29, 2020

UW launches online training for contact tracing to help fight COVID-19

Image of video screen

As businesses and public spaces reopen across the nation, the old-school public health detective work known as contact tracing is becoming a major component of the battle to contain the novel coronavirus that causes the deadly COVID-19 disease. It’s an investigative strategy long used for finding and informing people exposed to contagious diseases, such as…


May 27, 2020

UW experts on challenges to worker safety in meat processing industry

Meat processing plants face challenges in keeping workers safe during the pandemic. Carrie Freshour, a UW assistant professor of geography, and Marissa Baker, an assistant professor in the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and an expert on worker safety related to infectious diseases, provides comments on what the industry can do to protect workers.


May 22, 2020

How cloth face masks protect people during the pandemic

The dean of the UW School of Public Health shares information about using face coverings, including what kinds of masks are appropriate to wear and how they protect people.


Q&A: UW’s Teresa Ward talks us through sleep troubles during the COVID-19 pandemic

Panda sleeping on stump

A UW sleep expert sat down with UW News to provide some perspective on sleep during the pandemic, and what we can do to help ourselves and our families get through this time a little more well-rested.


May 21, 2020

UW research team seeks campus input with survey on coronavirus mobility impacts

Three professors are teaming for a study of the mobility impacts of the coronavirus — and they are inviting UW faculty, staff and students to complete a short online survey to assist the research.


May 18, 2020

Soundbites: UW dean of public health gives advice on where and how (and how not) to wear masks 

Beginning May 18, King County is directing people to wear face coverings in most public settings. Expert Hilary Godwin answers questions about the directive and shares information about using face coverings.


COVID-19: UW study reports ‘staggering’ death toll in US among those infected who show symptoms

COVID-19 is a lot more deadly than the flu, according to a new study by the University of Washington published May 7 in the journal Health Affairs. The study’s results also project a grim future if the U.S. doesn’t put up a strong fight against the spread of the virus.


May 15, 2020

Staff feature: What it’s like to photograph the stories of a quiet university campus and bustling medical center amid a pandemic

Fountain with light streaming in through the water

One of the essential roles that is often not seen is the work of our campus photographers. They continue to capture the visual stories and people on campus in a time when many of us aren’t there to see them ourselves. UW News asked one of our campus photographers to share some of his favorite photos he’s taken this spring, and to describe what it’s like working on campus now.


May 11, 2020

UW dean’s Senate testimony included in ‘Call on White House’ for COVID-19 guidelines for aviation industry

Hilary Godwin

In a letter to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) drew upon the testimony by Hilary Godwin, dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, in calling for federal guidelines be established for the aviation industry and the traveling public. 


B-roll: RV Thomas G. Thompson comes home

The UW’s large research vessel, the RV Thomas G. Thompson, returned May 8 to its home port after more than two years exploring the world’s oceans. A scheduled cruise in Tahiti has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the return is roughly two months earlier than planned.


May 7, 2020

For Mother’s Day, the gift of compassion: UW psychology professor on celebrating parenthood during a pandemic

What does it feel like to be a mother on this Mother’s Day? And how can we make the day seem special when life feels so uncertain and stressful? University of Washington psychology professor Liliana Lengua offers some perspective.


May 6, 2020

UW experts on understanding ‘quarantine fatigue’ and protecting workers

painted close sign

As the push to relax social and economic restrictions for combating the pandemic gain traction, we need to understand personal motives behind what many experts consider a dangerous rush to “reopen” and how to protect workers most at risk when communities do “go back to work.” Three UW experts weigh in.


Should you help a sick person? UW psychology, computer science faculty study ‘moral dilemmas’ of COVID-19

Elderly man opening front door to find a bag of food on his doorstep

A new international study led by the University of Washington aims to gauge the perception of ethical situations as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves around the world.


April 28, 2020

Food pantry, emergency grants help students in need during all-remote spring quarter

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Washington community – students, staff, donors and alumni – is rethinking traditional programs and services to try to meet the needs that arise. Emergency aid grants and a newly-online food pantry are coming to the rescue.


April 27, 2020

UW epidemiology graduate students participating in state’s surge response to COVID-19 pandemic

A little after 10 p.m. on March 19, University of Washington graduate students Anne Massey and David Coomes happened to be online when they received an email that would give them an unexpected role in Washington’s rapidly evolving response to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus. As context, the World Health Organization had just declared the…


April 23, 2020

Face masks sewn for UW housing, dining, custodial staff

A team of staff and students are sewing masks and offering them for free to UW housing, custodial, dining and food service workers.


April 22, 2020

A contact-tracing app that helps public health agencies and doesn’t compromise your privacy

A person on a train looking at their phone. Other people are on their phones behind that person.

Researchers from the University of Washington and UW Medicine, along with volunteers from Microsoft, have developed a new contact-tracing app called CovidSafe.


April 16, 2020

UW nursing students join frontline efforts to battle COVID-19, meet public health needs

Students working on computers

With their education forced online and in-person clinical practice opportunities canceled by the novel coronavirus pandemic, University of Washington nursing students eager to use their skills and knowledge during this historic challenge to human health and well-being had few options. UW School of Nursing and Public Health-Seattle & King County announce partnership. Unwilling to accept…


Dose of nature at home could help mental health, well-being during COVID-19

In light of stay-at-home orders, University of Washington researchers say studies show there is much to be gained from nature close to home, whether in a yard, on neighborhood walks or even indoors.


‘Hands-on’ classes online? How some instructors are adapting to a new teaching environment

A postal service box with lab materials inside

When the UW announced it was moving its spring quarter 2020 classes entirely online to combat the novel coronavirus, instructors across campus faced a new, uncharted challenge.


April 15, 2020

UW Center for Philosophy for Children helps families explore ‘big questions’ around COVID-19

Collage of children's book covers

The UW Center for Philosophy for Children created a resource list of books and short videos to explore the big questions around COVID-19 — about loneliness and isolation, boredom, illness and death, as well as fear and uncertainty.


April 14, 2020

How families can use technology to juggle childcare and remote life

A child in front of a laptop.

UW researchers are beginning a national study to help families discover technology that helps them both successfully navigate home-based learning and combat social isolation.


April 13, 2020

UW’s 3D printed COVID-19 face shields: From innovation to delivery

face masks

When the first U.S. COVID-19 patient emerged in Washington, UW Medicine, as the state’s foremost provider of advanced medical care, was thrust into the role of trailblazer. Its clinicians and researchers have since mustered a speedy and sometimes ingenious response.


UW team illustrates the adverse impact of visiting ‘just one friend’ during COVID-19 lockdown

After weeks of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, people of all ages may be asking: What could be the harm of visiting just one friend? Unfortunately, it could potentially undo the goal of social distancing, which is to give the COVID-19 virus fewer opportunities to spread. According to a website set up by researchers…


‘I saw you were online’: How online status indicators shape our behavior

A closeup of a hand holding a phone

After surveying smartphone users, UW researchers found that many people misunderstand online status indicators but still carefully shape their behavior to control how they are displayed to others.


April 10, 2020

US approaching peak of ‘active’ COVID-19 cases, strain on medical resources, new modeling shows

A new data-driven mathematical model of the coronavirus pandemic predicts that the United States will peak in the number of “active” COVID-19 cases on or around April 20, marking a critical milestone on the demand for medical resources.


Local response to UW social isolation study leads to national effort

person walking alone

With most states now under stay-at-home orders, UW researchers have launched a national study to test whether a motivational, mental health tip each day changes participants’ behavior during social distancing, and improves their mental and relational health.



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