Dear Campus Community,
WWU Incident Command (ICS) carefully monitors the COVID-19 pandemic with our top priority of keeping students, staff and faculty as safe as possible. Unfortunately, we continue to see surging numbers of COVID-19 cases locally, regionally and nationally.
ICS has reviewed relevant factors and issued a recommendation that has been approved by University leadership. The approved recommendation is that the University adopt the same approach to class modality in Spring and Summer 2021 quarters as it adopted for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 quarters, with the majority of classes taking place remotely and only research and experiential classes on site.
We are glad to see COVID-19 vaccines being distributed in our region and state. However, given that the projected availability of vaccinations during spring/early summer to the general public (including students and employees who are not in a high-risk category) will be limited, to increase our presence on campus may serve as a means of spreading infection as opposed to containing the number of cases.
The COVID testing program for students and employees will continue. Western will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 by regularly testing all students with an on-campus presence. This includes students living in campus housing, participating in face-to-face classes or working on campus. Testing for employees identified as critical also will continue. Employees not identified as critical employees for on-campus activities will continue to work remotely during spring quarter. Decisions on remote work for summer quarter will be announced at a later time and will be dependent on circumstances related to the pandemic.
Western students in other locations including Everett, Bremerton and Poulsbo should follow local guidance.
Please stay safe, make healthy choices, and avoid the three Cs: crowded places, closed spaces and close contact.
Rich Van Den Hul
WWU Incident Manager and Vice President for Business & Financial Affairs