Youth at UW

Operational Guidance for UW Youth Programs During COVID-19

Updated April 21, 2021

The following guidance aligns with University of Washington Healthy Washington recovery phases and Washington State Department of Health guidance specific to youth engagements. This guidance has been reviewed and approved by the UW Office of the President.

During the COVID-19 recovery phases:

  • There are very limited allowances for in-person youth program activities, prioritizing child care services (e.g., licensed and exempt child care, preschool, seasonal day camps, and afterschool programs).
  • In order to minimize the risk of exposure, any non-child care youth program activity that can be accomplished virtually must be carried out as such, rather than in-person.
  • Allowable in-person activities by non-child care youth programs are limited to those deemed necessary in order to achieve a deliverable or outcome that cannot be achieved by virtual means.
  • Activities that cannot meet the requirements outlined in the COVID-19 Prevention Plan Addendum for Youth Programs must postpone, cancel or operate online.

Allowable Youth Program In-Person Activities

Note on Third Party youth program operations

In alignment with UW COVID-19 Recovery Status, non-UW in-person social events and gatherings may not occur on UW campuses during Phase 1 or Phase 2.

Healthy Washington Phase 1

No non-UW youth programs on UW campus

Allowable in-person youth programs

  • All types of child care, e.g., licensed and exempt child care, preschool, seasonal day camps, and after-school programs, with group sizes following DOH guidelines.
  • Necessary non-child care indoor youth gatherings that involve no more than six people per group including adults.
  • Necessary non-child care outdoor youth gatherings that involve no more than 10 people per group including adults.

Healthy Washington Phase 2 

No non-UW youth programs on UW campus

Allowable in-person youth programs

  • All types of child care, e.g., licensed and exempt child care, preschool, seasonal day camps, and after-school programs, with group sizes following DOH guidelines.
  • Necessary non-child care indoor youth gatherings with group sizes up to 15 people including adults, and at no more than 25% room capacity. Total attendance in a single space cannot exceed 200 people regardless of room capacity. Events over 50 people will require approval by Environmental Health and Safety. 
  • Necessary non-child care outdoor youth gatherings that involve no more than 15 people per group including adults. Total attendance cannot exceed 200 people. Events over 50 people will require approval by Environmental Health and Safety.

Healthy Washington Phase 3 

Allowable UW in-person youth programs

  • All types of UW operated and contracted child care, e.g., licensed and exempt child care, preschool, seasonal, and after-school programs, with group sizes following DOH guidelines
  • Necessary UW operated non-child care indoor youth gatherings with group sizes up to 32 people including adults, and at no more than 50% room capacity, whichever number is lower. Total attendance in a single space cannot exceed 400 people regardless of room capacity. Events over 100 people will require approval by Environmental Health and Safety. Groups must continue to abide by University 6 feet physical distancing requirements. (updated 4/21/21)
  • Necessary UW operated non-child care outdoor youth gatherings that involve no more than 32 people per group including adults. Total attendance cannot exceed 400 people. Events over 100 people will require approval by Environmental Health and Safety. Groups must continue to abide by University 6 feet physical distancing requirements. (updated 4/21/21)

Allowable non-UW (i.e., third party) youth programs (updated 4/21/21)

    • Youth program activities that serve a child care purpose, e.g., licensed and exempt child care, preschool, seasonal, and after-school programs, with group sizes following DOH guidelines.
    • Necessary non-child care youth programs that are sponsored* by a UW department or operated by a UW Athletics coach. *Sponsored means that an activity is in alignment with UW’s mission, a unit head (e.g., Dean, VP) endorses the program and that the sponsoring unit is willing to support the third party in COVID-19 safety planning preparations as needed. Group sizes must adhere to limits set for indoor and outdoor non-child care youth programs as stated above. 

Note about concurrent groups

Multiple concurrent group gatherings may take place as long as:

      • more than 6 feet between each group is maintained at all times, and
      • there is no interaction between members of groups, and 
      • Adequate staff are in place to manage separate screening and supervision of activities within each group.

Healthy Washington Phase 4

TBD upon release by the state. 

Departments should align with the current phase of the region in which the activities are located.

Can my UW youth program operate?

Reminder: in alignment with UW COVID-19 recovery status guidance, non-UW or third party in-person events and gatherings may not occur on UW campuses during Phases 1 and 2. The below graphic references only UW-led initiatives.

University guidance for in-person youth program activities

All youth programs operating in-person must fully comply with the current guidance published by the State Department of Health and the local public health district, as well as University requirements for in-person youth programs outlined by the Office for Youth Programs Development and Support.

Guidance for virtual youth programs 

All UW youth programs must comply with University guidance on safe virtual interactions.

Guidance for virtual youth programs

All activities, events and programs operating virtually or in-person and regardless of location must comply with APS 10.13 requirements for University and Third Party Led Youth Programs. 

Direct questions to uwminors@uw.edu.