UW Emergency Management

March 6, 2020

January 21, 2020 – Spring 2020: UW’s response to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

When an unknown viral outbreak started in Wuhan, China in mid-December 2019, most Seattle’ites never heard of the (new) novel coronavirus or COVID-19 communicable disease.  Within a month, the virus had spread throughout the world and became a pandemic. The first COVID-19 case in the US was found in Everett.  By early March, hundreds of WA State residents were exposed and tested.  UW recalled most overseas students, researchers and global study participants.  The UW prohibited all in-person classroom teaching and exams from March 9-30, 2020 including Spring Break.  All online instruction was extended for the Spring Quarter and Commencement was impacted.  The UW’s Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (ACCD), and various Unit Response Centers were activated to support the response and recovery. The EOC was activated on March 6th in a virtual-only status to practice social distancing.