UW News

COVID-19


January 19, 2021

UW health law expert: COVID-19 vaccine rollout presents ethical, logistical questions

gloved hand holding up a vial of a vaccine

University of Washington law professor Pat Kuszler provides perspectives on the ethical issues of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.


January 8, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines are ‘remarkable achievement,’ but soothing mistrust is necessary to end pandemic

Larry Corey

“Of course, we didn’t put Democrats in the vial; we didn’t put Republicans in the vial,” University of Washington’s Dr. Larry Corey writes in a recent COVID-19 Vaccine Matters blog jointly produced by Johns Hopkins University and the UW. While development of vaccines now being distributed to combat COVID-19, the deadly disease caused by the novel coronavirus, are…


December 28, 2020

In pandemic milestone, UW brings COVID-19 vaccines to frontline health care workers

The first scheduled to receive vaccinations were frontline personnel working with COVID-19 patients. In addition to patient-care staff in intensive care units, COVID acute care floors and emergency departments, the immediate list also included environmental services staff, as well as emergency medical responders in the community. Next in line are nursing home residents and their caregivers.


Video: News and research highlights from 2020

instructor uses a camera to record his lecture

As the year draws to a close, we present highlights from video stories produced by UW News during 2020 — a year that will be largely defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and the many ways it impacted our lives and work.


December 15, 2020

How to have holidays ‘full of love and connection’ and set goals for 2021

smiling snowman on campus

The COVID-19 pandemic and social-distancing guidelines have changed how we celebrate the holidays this year. University of Washington psychologist Jonathan Kanter explains that, by being intentional about how we approach and experience the season, we can find joy, and recognize – even embrace – how we’ve weathered this year.


December 14, 2020

Highlights: UW, Johns Hopkins symposium on preserving scientific integrity in COVID-19 vaccine research

woman speaking on camera

Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington brought together leading experts in October to explore these issues and put forward a concise plan for protecting the scientific integrity of these lifesaving efforts. Here’s a 4-minute highlight reel of the symposium.


December 8, 2020

Policies around pregnancy, birth during pandemic failing both patients and nurses

Molly Altman

As an experienced nurse midwife, whose scientific research focuses on respectful and equitable care during pregnancy and childbirth, the University of Washington’s Molly Altman has been studying pregnancy and childbirth during the pandemic alongside colleagues across the UW and in affected communities. While her work is being distilled into formal studies that will be submitted…


December 2, 2020

COVID-19 vaccines may not prevent spread of virus, so mask-wearing, other protections still critical

Larry Corey

Excitement and relief over news of vaccines that help prevent people from getting sick, winding up in the hospital or dying from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are warranted, says University of Washington’s Dr. Larry Corey. But, these messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines may not prevent people from getting infected or spreading the virus….


November 30, 2020

Washington nonprofits feel more urgency during this ‘season of giving’

people handing out food at a food bank

Nonprofit organizations throughout Washington state are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, as revenues and volunteering drop but demand for services remains high.


November 24, 2020

UW public health expert calls on state officials, citizens to defend and rebuild public health agencies

Betty Bekemeier

Even before the pandemic and disagreements over social restrictions recommended by public health officials across the state, public health agencies in Washington were struggling due to a lack of resources. In recent weeks, firings, resignations and death threats targeting local health officials has led to a staffing crisis in the agencies most responsible for local…


Q&A: Animal Crossing to K-pop: Gaming, music fandom groups provide human connection during the pandemic

A screenshot of people gathered around a table in the game Animal Crossing. There are cakes and balloons and everyone is smiling.

In this Q&A, UW Information School associate professor Jin Ha Lee discusses how video game and music fandom communities can be “places of light” during the COVID-19 pandemic.


November 23, 2020

US seafood industry flounders due to COVID-19

fish being harvested

The global pandemic is hurting the seafood industry, and American fishmongers may flounder without more government aid, according to the largest study of COVID-19’s impacts on U.S. fisheries.


November 2, 2020

Video: Free coronavirus testing for UW community open for more enrollment

preparing a COVID-19 test

The Husky Coronavirus Testing program, powered by the Seattle Flu Study, launched on Sept. 24 and now has more than 12,500 members of the UW community enrolled and has conducted more than 10,000 tests.


October 29, 2020

Models show how COVID-19 cuts a neighborhood path

A research team led by UC Irvine and the University of Washington has created a new model of how the coronavirus can spread through a community. The model factors in network exposure — whom one interacts with — and demographics to simulate at a more detailed level both where and how quickly the coronavirus could spread through Seattle and 18 other major cities.


October 22, 2020

COVID-19: CDC advisory committee hones in on vaccine rollout recommendations

Vaccine and syringe

When a vaccine to fight COVID-19 has been approved by the FDA for distribution, it’s unlikely that at first there will be enough doses for everyone. Consequently, the United States will need an equitable and effective plan for who gets those first doses, how they get them and who’s next. Just as important, that plan…


October 21, 2020

Pandemic further isolating older adults, as senior services struggle to adapt

older man sitting on park bench with laptop

A new UW study of senior services in Washington during the COVID-19 pandemic reveals providers’ concerns about isolation, and worsening mental and physical health among older adults.


October 12, 2020

Engineering lecture focuses on contact tracing: Monitoring COVID-19 infections while respecting privacy

A photo of the front of the Gates Center

This fall the UW’s annual engineering lecture will feature Stefano Tessaro, an associate professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.


October 7, 2020

Turning hotels into emergency shelter as part of COVID-19 response limited spread of coronavirus, improved health and stability

hotel hallway interior

A King County initiative to relocate people from homeless shelters to hotel rooms during the pandemic not only limited the spread of COVID-19, but also improved people’s mental health and well-being, and allowed them to focus on long-term goals.


October 5, 2020

Video: Using ‘Street View’ to track pandemic in Seattle over time

A 360 camera is mounted on top of a sedan

As the city of Seattle shut down in March 2020 to try to slow the spread of COVID-19, a group of University of Washington researchers decided to track how the city would react.


September 30, 2020

UW researchers driving around Seattle to track COVID-19 response over time

A panoramic view of a street corner. Cars and a pedestrian are labeled

UW researchers developed a project that scans the streets every few weeks to document how Seattle has reacted to the pandemic and what recovery looks like.


September 24, 2020

Colleges with primarily in-person instruction leading to thousands of COVID-19 cases per day in US

As universities and colleges struggle to find the right combination of in-person and online classes combined with protective measures to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, a new study by researchers from four institutions has reached a troubling conclusion. Reopening university and college campuses with primarily in-person instruction is associated with a significant…


Video: ‘Art game’ looks at the pandemic through an artist’s eye

Chanhee Choi is creating a digital art game called “Pandemic,” a vehicle for her thoughts and experiences since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.


September 23, 2020

Video: UW students move into residence halls

a banner for alder hall

Around 4,000 students are moving into the residence halls at the University of Washington this week. This number is less than half the UW’s normal residence hall capacity. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of special precautions are being taken to ensure minimal contact and proper physical distancing during the move-in process.


September 22, 2020

Soundbites & B-roll: UW students move into residence halls

Man and young woman carry small fridge into dorm room

University of Washington students living in residence halls began moving in on Tuesday, and about 4,000 students total will move in this week. This number is less than half the UW’s normal residence hall capacity.


September 15, 2020

Wildfire smoke disproportionally harms poorer communities, remedies necessary to address health inequity

downtown seattle in smoke

With most of the Northwest blanketed by wildfire smoke, public officials and health experts suggest staying inside as much as possible to reduce exposure to the significant health risks of wildfire smoke. However, inequity in our communities means not every home provides great protection and many workers in disadvantaged populations can’t afford to stay home,…


September 4, 2020

Mask mandates delayed by nearly a month in Republican-led states, UW study finds

Person wearing a face mask with New York City skyline in the background

Political science researchers at the University of Washington examined the factors associated with statewide mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. When controlling for other factors, states with Republican governors delayed imposing broad indoor mask requirements by nearly a month.


September 3, 2020

First responders get training on how to decontaminate masks

N95 masks under a green light

A University of Washington-led team has developed a box that can decontaminate N95 respirator masks using ultraviolet light.


August 20, 2020

February lockdown in China caused a drop in some types of air pollution, but not others

colored maps of China

Atmospheric nitrogen dioxide, which comes from transportation, was half of what would be expected over China in February 2020. Other emissions and cloud properties, however, showed no significant changes.


August 14, 2020

UW team developing model to help lower COVID-19 infections in King County, guide eventual vaccine distribution

A UW Medicine worker wearing personal protective equipment stands outside a car at a drive up testing clinic

A UW team has received a grant to develop a model that uses local data to generate policy recommendations that could help lower COVID-19 infections in King County.


July 31, 2020

Soundbites: UW epidemiologist says face masks can be a tool for community health

Face coverings will continue to be an important and effective tool in combating the spread of COVID-19, public health experts say. 


Empathy and understanding: UW psychologists offer tips on relationships during the pandemic

University of Washington psychologists say there are ways to approach interactions with friends and loved ones that can provide a positive path forward and help maintain healthy relationships during the pandemic.


July 30, 2020

Video: Face coverings an important tool to fight COVID-19

Face coverings will continue to be an important and effective tool in combating the spread of COVID-19.


National Academies publishes guide to help public officials make sense of COVID-19 data

University of Washington professor Adrian Raftery is lead author on a National Academies guide to help officials interpret and understand different COVID-19 statistics and data sources as they make decisions about opening and closing schools, businesses and community facilities.


July 29, 2020

Expert FAQ: Wildfires in the Pacific Northwest during the COVID-19 pandemic

forest on fire

The University of Washington has a long history of leading research into the impacts of wildfires from an ecological and health perspective. We worked with two experts to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about wildfires in the Pacific Northwest, including the ways that the pandemic is increasing our community’s vulnerability to extreme wildfire events in the region.


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

The University of Washington and Public Health – Seattle & King County continue to respond to a cluster of cases among residents of Greek houses north of the Seattle campus, and their close contacts.


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.



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