CORONAVIRUS PREPAREDNESS


Eastern Washington University has been closely monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Latest Updates

COVID-19 Case Statistics for EWU Safe Back to School Plan (PDF)

More: Risk Management at EWU


What’s new as of Thursday, Jan. 21:

What’s Open?


Washington State Announces COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

Two vaccines are authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both vaccines are currently being distributed in Washington state and are being rolled out in phases starting with those most at risk for COVID-19 infection. Check your eligibility and find a vaccine distribution location at doh.wa.gov.

WA State COVID-19 Vaccine Info


Gov. Inslee Issues New COVID-19 Restrictions for Higher Ed

A proclamation was issued on Oct. 20, 2020, announcing additional guidance for colleges and universities in the state of Washington. EWU has reviewed the Governor’s proclamation and made necessary updates to current health and safety measures, as outlined in our Safe Back to School Plan (PDF).

Highlights of the updated plan per the Governor’s order are as follows:

  • EWU is now offering quarantine and isolation housing to non-resident students who are not able to safely quarantine or isolate at their current residence. Students who are interested in this option should contact Housing and Residential Life at housing@ewu.edu, or call: 509.359.2451 from 9-3 p.m. (after 3 p.m. call: 509.209.0444).
  • Dining service locations are no longer able to accept cash.
  • Employees are encouraged to avoid any non-essential travel for university purposes. Employees should self-quarantine consistent with local public health guidelines after any travel to high-risk areas as defined by the CDC.
  • Gov. Inslee imposed additional requirements on fraternities, sororities, and other organizations providing congregate housing to university students.
  • As of Nov. 19: the University Recreation Center (URC) is closed until the end of December. Any previously approved, indoor, face-to-face social activities for the duration of fall quarter/semester 2020 are now canceled.

Case Reporting, Tracking & Notification Procedures

EWU has received reports of positive coronavirus cases and reports of potential exposure of individuals among the campus community. We are tracking all reported cases, coordinating with public health officials, sanitizing affected areas, and following contact tracing and notification protocols. Individuals and groups who are identified as having been in close contact with someone on campus who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be appropriately notified. The CDC has updated the definition of close contact to anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Should a situation arise with a broader impact, the university will notify the campus community of any issues or concerns.

Case Statistics Report a Case Symptom Check

All employees who are working on one of EWU’s campuses are required to fill out a daily symptom attestation online before coming to campus or immediately upon arrival.

Accountability Measures

EWU and its community partners are taking an educational approach to help students stay safe and healthy in response to COVID-19. We are committed to partnering with students to maintain a healthy environment both on campus and in our surrounding communities. However, EWU will hold students accountable through our established student conduct process when students either fail to respond to our educational approach or pose a significant health risk to our campus or our communities. Depending on the severity of the conduct infraction, lower levels of consequences may be skipped.

EWU COVID-19 Accountability Measures (PDF)

Conduct Accountabilty Chart (PDF)

Graphic showing disciplinary actions that will be taken based on the number of offenses. No masks/Distancing Offenses: 1. warning, 2. warning, 3. conduct hearing, 4. restrictions & discipline. Parties and Events: 1. warning, 2. conduct hearing, 3. restrictions and discipline. Failure to follow health directives: 1. restrictions and discipline.

New Messages

Sent to all faculty and student emails Jan. 19, 2021

Dear Campus Community,

I know that the past year has been difficult and that all of us have been disrupted in our daily lives and in our educational mission and goals. I am mindful too that the pandemic has had differential impacts on some communities and has brought pre-existing inequalities into sharper focus. We must continue to work together to hold ourselves accountable as we work toward a more diverse and equitable community.

I’m excited to announce the university is planning for the possibility of returning to mostly in-person instruction this fall. Using our Max-Flex approach, we are developing a comprehensive plan to prepare us for the goal of normal or near-normal operations. This plan will include checkpoints along the way and ongoing assessments of state guidelines and public health measures.

To be clear: While that is our goal right now, getting to that goal will depend on how things progress with the pandemic and the rollout of vaccines in the coming months. I pledge to everyone we are not going to be fully back on campus until it is safe to do so. The health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty will continue to be the primary driver for all of the decisions that we have to make. Last year has taught us there are no absolutes, and we know that we have to continue to navigate the challenges of living, working, and learning during a pandemic.

It will take the collective actions of all of us to achieve our goal. This includes being vaccinated if and when you are able to do so, and continuing to wear masks, wash hands, clean and sanitize regularly, practice social distancing, limit non-essential travel, and follow other precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. We are currently working with the Spokane Regional Health District to develop vaccine eligibility criteria and distribution plans for EWU employees and students.

Remote instruction will continue through winter and spring terms. We expect most summer courses to remain online and are currently evaluating the possibility of offering summer camps.

As we continue the planning and exploration of returning to mostly in-person classes in the fall, the university will provide monthly progress updates outlining where we are in the process and what obstacles lie ahead. Join us this Thursday, Jan. 21 at noon for a Covid-19 Town Hall for a more in-depth discussion about the state of the pandemic, vaccinations, and preparing for a safe return to campus.

I thank you for your time, commitment, and your incredible patience as we work our way through this together and I know that we will remain Eagle Strong!

David May
Interim President

Sent to all faculty emails Dec. 8, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, below are reminders, resources and recommendations for helping students who may be impacted and in need of support:

  • If a student reaches out to you with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 please encourage them to report it: EWU COVID REPORT FORM. You may also report using the form and our EWU Contact Tracers will reach out to the student. Reporting may also occur by calling EWU’s Health and Wellness Team (509-359-6900) or emailing the University Risk Manager at riskmanager@ewu.edu. The online form was developed to give the EWU campus community a method for reporting a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, or for reporting close contact.
  • Please view this PDF flowchart for guidance our Health & Wellness team provides with respect to quarantining and resources.
  • If a student reaches out to you with a concern that COVID-19 has impacted their ability to complete assignments, or fulfill attendance requirements please work directly with your students and use your discretion to outline a plan. It is also recommended that students reach out to the Financial Aid Office to discuss how various grade options might impact their financial aid. The XC grade option is available for the fall term for students who have been impacted by COVID-19 and may need a little more time to complete their coursework. You can also reassure students that this grading option has also been extended for winter quarter/spring semester. We advise not requesting a doctor’s note. If a student expresses experiencing long-term side-effects or needing additional accommodations, please encourage them to work directly with Disability Support Services.
  • The Student Care Team is committed to serving the campus community and working with students in crisis. If you are concerned for the well-being of a student or a student shares that they are in need of additional support, please complete an online ICARE referral form. All forms submitted are reviewed and triaged by a member of the Student Care Team. Students in need of support or resources may also submit a Student Intake Form.
  • EWU’s Stepped Care Guide offers a number of resources to support students physical and mental wellbeing. We recognize that COVID-19 has had both a mental and physical impact on students. Please review and, where you see fit, share with students.
  • EWU Housing will offer housing over the Winter Break for students who need it. If you hear of a student in need of a place to stay over Winter Break and/or in need of funding support to stay in EWU Housing over Winter Break, please have them contact the Housing Office to inquire about funding support, rates and availability.
  • For students who may be in need of a laptop or financial resources to support a hotspot, please encourage them to complete a Student Emergency Fund Request Form. We do have laptops on-hand to support students in need and, for students with specific (high-end) tech-needs, the Student Care team will connect them with options.
  • All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to regularly visit the University’s Coronavirus Preparedness website for the latest information and updates as it relates to COVID-19 and the University.

Thank you for all you do to educate, support, and make a difference in the lives of students.

Robert R. Sauders, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs

At the request of the Department of Health and Gov. Inslee’s Office, EWU is closing the University Recreation Center (URC) until the end of December. EWU is also canceling any previously approved, indoor, face-to-face social activities for the duration of fall quarter/semester 2020. EWU encourages everyone to remain vigilant and comply with the Governor’s new restrictions.

Sent to all employee and student emails Nov. 16, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

As many of you are aware, in light of surging COVID-19 cases locally and statewide, Gov. Jay Inslee Sunday announced roll-backs to the state’s “Safe Start” plan to reopen. Eastern Washington University continues to follow the Governor’s recommendations to protect the health and safety of all members of our campus community.

While EWU is already carefully following many of the restrictions implemented under the latest order, the university continues to assess whenever the Governor’s Office revises the latest plan and reviews what needs to be implemented on campus. So far, it looks like higher education is not impacted.

More than anything this is a reminder that during the upcoming holiday season we all have to be vigilant in following public health guidelines as we continue to battle this virus. This is why Eastern made the decision early this academic year to move all fall classes – including finals – fully online after Thanksgiving. Other information on how students should prepare for the Thanksgiving break will be sent out to students and parents in the coming days.

I would like to thank those working to keep our buildings clean and sanitary, faculty who have done a remarkable job to ensure our online offerings meet student expectations, and to all the others working to keep our university thriving. I know this has been a very taxing time for everyone and on behalf of the whole leadership team I thank you all for your daily efforts to keep us Eagle Strong.

Once again: I want to urge you to wear a mask, follow social distancing guidelines, and wash your hands. Also, please check the EWU website we’ve set up to answer questions and provide critical information: www.ewu.edu/coronavirus.

David May

Sent to all employee emails Oct. 14, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

The health and well-being of students, faculty and staff remains our primary focus during this challenging academic year. It hasn’t been easy, but I commend each of you for adjusting and rising to the demands of delivering instruction mostly online this quarter.

As we plan for winter quarter it is apparent the pandemic is not slowing down, and health experts are encouraging us all to be more diligent than ever.

This is why I have made the decision that Eastern will continue to deliver instruction primarily online for winter 2021 quarter – while in-person instruction will again be allowed for certain classes or labs if it is safe to do so. This includes semester courses as well, which will follow the same format utilized this fall.

I am certain our “online-first, maximum flexibility” plan utilized this term is the most sensible approach as it allows the university to follow public health guidelines while also providing academic continuity so students can continue their progress toward a degree. The plan for winter quarter is also to have Campus services and operations remain on the same schedule as they were for fall.

Your cooperation is essential as we chart a strong path forward. It’s critical that we follow important strategies such as wearing a mask, social distancing and washing our hands so that we can do our part in returning to normal.

I also encourage you to stay up to date on the latest information surrounding COVID and its impacts on the university by visiting www.ewu.edu/coronavirus.

David May

Sent to all employee and student emails Sept. 17, 2020

EWU Students and Employees,

Months of planning and preparation will be put to the test in the coming weeks as we begin fall quarter in the middle of a pandemic.

Eastern has shown its grit by taking a leadership role in thinking about how to safely provide access to higher education during this challenging time—we were one of the first colleges nationwide to prepare for a mostly virtual fall term.

Still, while most classes will be online this quarter, we do have students returning to the area to live, work and—when necessary—attend classes in-person. EWU understands the very real concerns tied to the start of the academic year, and we have a lot of education to do outside of classes.

The university is committed to implementing and enforcing policies aimed at maximizing public health and safety, both on our campuses and in the broader Cheney and Spokane communities. Much of this education effort is being led by our EWU Crisis Management Team, which continues to monitor best practices related to virus-transmission mitigation, and is working to develop strategies aimed at reducing infection risks.

In developing our protocols, the team is following the advice of state and federal agencies, the Spokane Regional Health District, and the expertise of our own faculty. So please follow these guidelines: Watch your distance, wash your hands, and wear your mask. Everyone is required to wear a mask when they cannot physically distance outside and when inside a university building except when they are alone in their dorm room or office.

Please take time to read the following information on how we’ve prepared, and what will be expected of our EWU community this fall to ensure we all stay safe and healthy, and have a great academic year.

ON-CAMPUS

Various campus buildings and services are now open on a modified basis, please take the time to read updates on InsideEWU as things continue to evolve.

EWU will be providing two (2) masks to students living on campus upon arrival. Additionally, all students can pick up one mask at the PUB Welcome Desk, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (as staffing allows).

All students living on campus or engaging in on-campus activities are required to take a COVID-19 educational course via Canvas. Employees who are returning to campus are also required to take this training, which covers COVID-19 symptoms, the importance of wearing masks, physical distancing and what to do if you develop symptoms.

Students, faculty and staff are required to visit Inside EWU and complete a Daily Symptom Check. Faculty who are teaching in-person courses submitted detailed plans for student health and safety for approval prior to instruction.

For students in the residence halls: 

  • We anticipate 550 students living on campus in four residence halls: snyamncut, Pearce, Anderson and Brewster.
  • Move-in is spread out over three days. Students will have designated move-in time slots. Cleaning supplies will be used for carts and high touch areas. Elevators will be limited to one family at a time.
  • Virtual activities will be provided and promoted by Community Advisors to help students stay engaged.
  • Students will be required to wear masks in the dorms except when they are alone in their rooms.
  • Students are asked to maintain six (6) feet of physical distancing at all times, and to follow new occupancy rules for kitchens, laundry, and lounges.
  • EWU is prepared to isolate and quarantine, in a designated facility, any students who develop symptoms while living on campus. EWU Health, Wellness & Prevention Services will be coordinating these efforts, and checking in on students in the designated facility on a daily basis.
  • Food delivery will be coordinated through EWU Dining Services and EWU Facilities.
  • Custodial staff will provide cleaning services seven (7) days a week.

When EWU’s COVID Response Team receives a report of a positive COVID-19 test, or a potential case involving a student, faculty or staff member, contact tracing will be initiated and the team will coordinate other appropriate response measures. The team will report positive case statistics, and will provide information to executive leadership that will enable the leadership team to provide a timely response to community needs and concerns.

The university has also developed written plans and engaged in a tabletop exercise to prepare for any potential outbreak in campus housing.

Study space:

EWU is opening up some buildings to provide students with opportunities to connect to the internet and to study. Students can access study space in the Pence Union Building (PUB) or Tawanka Hall Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
OFF-CAMPUS 

EWU is working side-by-side with community and regional stakeholders. We are collaborating with our EWU Police Department and city of Cheney to ensure that our responses are coordinated.

We have developed an off-campus expectation guide for our students that outlines both university expectations and resources tied to COVID-19.

All recognized student groups/organizations are required to register any activities, and to abide by physical-distancing and masking parameters that restrict gatherings to no-more than five people.

EWU staff has held Zoom meetings with sorority and fraternity leaders and advisors regarding our COVID-19 expectations and how these may affect their organization’s plans for the year. We continue to provide support and resources to all student organizations and advisors to safely return to campus and connect with one another.

ACCOUNTABILITY

When a student or group of students do not abide by the parameters we have developed in collaboration with the Spokane Regional Health District, we are committed to addressing violations by following protocols outlined in our COVID Accountability Measures and our Student Conduct Code. If community members have concerns, or witness students gathering unsafely, they are encouraged to click the “Give Feedback or Report a Case” button at the bottom of our Coronavirus Preparedness page.

To help promote our message, students in EWU’s Masters of Public Health program are developing a peer-to-peer educational campaign to emphasize the importance of following safety protocols and the dangers associated with COVID-19.

Overall, EWU believes a collective, proactive approach will not only help protect the health and safety of students and the entire university community. We also believe this approach will help ensure that opportunities currently available to students can continue throughout the coming academic year–among these the ability to live on campus, access to dining establishments and recreational facilities, and attend some in-person classes.

All of us – students, faculty and staff – have a great opportunity to show some grace and gratitude to each other and help EWU be a leader in how colleges across the nation can still thrive through this pandemic. Hopefully, this will allow us to take the next steps toward returning to normal.

Finally, if you are a student and would like to connect with a member of the Student Care Team, please submit a Care Team Intake Form.

If you are a concerned faculty, staff, or community member and wish to alert us about a student needing assistance, please submit an ICARE form.

Stay up-to-date with how EWU is responding to the challenges of COVID-19 and working to support students, faculty and staff by visiting the Guide to Fall 2020 and ewu.edu/coronavirus.

Thank you for your help and cooperation in this time of shared responsibility.

Go Eags!

The EWU Crisis Management Team

Sent to all employee emails Aug. 24, 2020

Good Afternoon,

The Eastern Washington University Human Resources Office is receiving numerous questions about what employees may expect regarding the University’s operations for fall quarter 2020.  In response, we have prepared and attached “Fall 2020 Reopening Guidance” which is designed to respond to the most frequent questions. The guidance covers the following topics:

  • COVID-19 training;
  • Daily attestations;
  • Masks;
  • Social distancing requirements;
  • Hand washing and routine sanitization;
  • COVID-19 symptoms, positive tests, quarantine, and isolation;
  • Teleworking;
  • Online school for employees’ children;
  • School or daycare closures; protocols for programs in locations other than the Cheney campus;
  • What to do if you have safety concerns or questions; and
  • Links to additional information regarding COVID-19

If we can be of additional assistance, let us know. You are welcome to call the Human Resources Office at 509.359.2381.

Deborah Danner, JD
Associate Vice President of Human Resources
Human Resources Office

Sent to all employee and student emails August 12, 2020

Today we are announcing more details about the university’s “Max Flex” approach for instruction this fall. In order to minimize potential health-related disruptions in instruction and to maintain our attentiveness to public health concerns, Eastern will offer only online instruction after the Thanksgiving/Native American Heritage day holiday break. 

This means that any course approved for in-person instruction will not meet in person after the holiday: this includes finals week. By limiting in-person interactions, we will mitigate the possible transmission of infection and allow us the best possible start-up environment for faculty and students in winter quarter and spring semester.

While some students may opt to live off-campus once courses transition to the online-only format, we welcome them to continue living in the residential halls through the remainder of the term and will provide them with all the necessary support services.

The university is currently working on a comprehensive telework and return-to-work plan for faculty and staff. Human Resources will share more information once the plan has been finalized.

We are continuing to update the Guide to Fall 2020 website with this and more information related to fall operations.

For information related specifically to COVID-19, please visit EWU’s coronavirus website.

Stay strong! Masks and social distancing saves lives.

David May
Interim President

Sent to all employee emails July 31, 2020

Good Afternoon,

EWU has updated its process for employees who are working on campus to provide a daily verification that they are not experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 or under a current quarantine order. All employees who are working on one of EWU’s campuses are required to fill out a daily symptom check online before coming to campus or immediately upon arrival. A link to this form is available at the top of the webpage at inside.ewu.edu.

In addition, we wanted to remind you that we all have a responsibility to protect one another and do our part in helping to promote a healthy and safe campus community. This includes protecting yourself, others, and our community. Here are some simple steps you can take:

  1. Protect Yourself
    • Complete the daily COVID-19 symptom check whenever you are coming to campus
    • Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet when possible
    • Wash your hands often using soap and water
    • Use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
    • Avoid touching your face
  2. Protect Others
    • Wear a face mask both indoors and outdoors unless you are alone or in your home
    • Stay home if you are sick, have symptoms associated with COVID-19, or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  3. Protect Our Eagle Community
    • Notify the COVID-19 Response Team immediately if you know of an EWU community member who has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19. The reporting form is available at: ewu.edu/reportcovid. This allows us to immediately respond with contact tracing, sanitizing, and support.
    • Follow guidance from the local health district and EWU with respect to testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine

Thank you and stay safe! 

Deborah Danner, JD
Associate Vice President, Human Resources

Sent to all employee emails July 6, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

From the beginning of the pandemic, EWU has put the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty at the center of our decision-making. Now, as the number of new cases increases significantly in our region, we will continue and even redouble those efforts.

Keeping health and safety in mind, and after consulting with our local public health experts, we’ve made the difficult decision to have courses beginning in the second summer session be delivered all online. This decision does not change the specific learning opportunities in semester-based courses that have already been approved as required for licensure or accreditation.

If you have questions, please contact Provost May or others in his office who will be able to give answers for individual situations.

I know this decision will disappoint some, but it was made unavoidable by current public health realities. To help answer questions and hear concerns about summer and fall, I invite you to join me, executive leadership, and campus experts for a virtual town hall focused on campus preparedness and plans for fall:

Date:  Tuesday, July 14
Time: 11 a.m. to noon
Zoom link: ewu.zoom.us/j/99475925722

I hope you are staying healthy and safe. I look forward to meeting with you by Zoom next week.

Mary Cullinan
President

Sent to all employee emails July 2, 2020

Good Morning,

Based on the significant influx of COVID-19 cases in Spokane County, EWU is taking steps to reduce the amount of potential exposure to the virus on its campus. For the health and safety of our university community, it is imperative that people follow the Governor’s order to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols.

Effective Monday, July 6th:

  • Employees are encouraged to telecommute whenever possible
  • No in-person meetings or events will be permitted on campus until July 20th
  • Employees should not be working on campus if they cannot maintain a minimum of six feet of distance between themselves and others. If there are areas where this is not possible, such as cubicles or confined work spaces, employees should rotate between teleworking and being on campus to minimize contact between individuals. If teleworking is not an option, employees should contact their supervisors to see if an alternative work location is available where they are able to adequately socially distance. Essential employees whose jobs do not allow them to maintain social distancing should contact their supervisors to discuss other protective measures
  • Masks are required within EWU’s buildings unless someone is working alone in their office.  You may wear your own mask or contact your supervisor to obtain a cloth mask

We care about the safety and welfare of our employees and campus community.  Please help us in keeping our community safe.

Thank you.

Deborah Danner, J.D.
Associate Vice President Human Resources

Sent to all employee emails June 25, 2020

Good Afternoon,

Please take time to reviewed the important EWU news article posted today on Inside EWU regarding COVID-19.  The article provides details on the following:

  • New requirements to wear face masks beginning Friday, June 26th in response to the Order issued by Governor Jay Inslee;
  • How to obtain a university-supplied reusable mask;
  • How to file a report of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19; and
  • Link to EWU’s COVID-19 resource page

You can access the article on Inside EWU at https://inside.ewu.edu/.

If you have questions regarding these updates,  you can contact Human Resources at 509.359.2381.

Deborah Danner, J.D.
Associate Vice President, Human Resources

Sent to all employee emails May 28, 2020 – see email for important attachments

Good Afternoon,

As of May 22, 2020, the Governor’s Office approved Spokane, Pend Oreille and Stevens County to progress to Phase 2 of the “Safe Start” Recovery plan.  Under Phase 2, employees who perform professional services, which means employees who perform office based occupations, can begin returning to work onsite in these counties on June 1, 2020.  The University has spent the past few days preparing safety plans to support this transition.

Employee Guide and Training

You will find attached the Employee Guide for Returning to Work During COVID-19 Pandemic.  All employees who will be working on site, including those who have remained on campus over the past few weeks, must review this document.  The Guide details new procedures that employees will be expected to comply with as we move into Phase 2.

Additionally, employees who will be working on site, including those who have remained on campus over the past few weeks, are also required to complete Return to Work Training which can be accessed at https://canvas.ewu.edu/enroll/NKNT6T by June 8, 2020 or within one week of return to campus.

How do I Prepare to Return to Work

You will need to work with your supervisor to coordinate arrangements for your return.

As you return to work, you will need to ensure you have your keys or prox card because buildings remain closed to the public, except for the PUB.  Employees must be free of symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 before reporting to work.  Each day, employees are expected to check their temperatures to ensure they are below 100.4◦ and to confirm that they do not have any shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or a new cough that is not associated with a non-COVID related illness or condition.  If employees have these symptoms, they will need to call their supervisors and not report to work.

If you are eligible to return, but feel unsafe, immediately contact your supervisor to discuss telework or leave options.  If your supervisor is willing to authorize telework, you must have a new telework agreement on file with Human Resources Office.  A copy of the telework and leave forms are attached.  If authorized to telework, employees must submit a task sheet to submit to their supervisor documenting the tasks performed while teleworking.  A copy of the task sheet form is also attached.

If you have any questions about this email, you can contact Human Resources at 359-2381 and if you have any questions about employee safety measures or Phase 2 operations, you may contact Risk Management at 359-6618.

Deborah Danner, J.D.
Associate Vice President, Human Resources

Sent to all student and employee emails May 8, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

The Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) recently notified EWU that a member of our campus community tested positive for COVID-19. While we are unable to share specific details about the case, we have been reassured by SRHD that the individual had not been on campus during the time they were contagious. The individual is currently in stable condition at their home; EWU has reached out to offer our assistance.

SRHD has been in contact with the individual and followed its contact-tracing protocols for anyone who may have been impacted. At this time, no further health or safety actions need to be taken by EWU or by our students, faculty and staff.

Moving forward, the university will only notify the campus of incidents that require broader action by our community. EWU will continue to work with the health department on contact-tracing and notifying those who may have come in contact with individuals in instances such as these.

Please continue to follow all CDC and public health guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water or, if not available, use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Consider wearing a mask

If you think you have been exposed to COVID‑19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

More information about COVID-19 and EWU’s response plan can be accessed at: www.ewu.edu/coronavirus

Sent to all student and employee emails May 5, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

Today we announced our “online-first, maximum flexibility” model for instruction and campus operations this fall. This approach will help ensure the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. I want to thank our faculty experts in public health and science who provided the leadership team with counsel and insight as this framework was developed.

All courses where online instruction is possible will be developed with the goal of delivering those courses online this fall. We will identify courses that cannot be offered online, such as some labs, so they can be approved for face-to-face instruction while following public health guidelines and reducing health risks to students, faculty, and staff.

This plan allows for flexibility: online offerings could switch to face-to-face instruction or a hybrid model if public health restrictions ease. Likewise, if health concerns increase, all courses can shift online using the existing class meeting schedule.

This approach will help students as they plan their schedules, mitigating disruption in their progress toward a degree.

While the first-year live-on requirement has been waived, residential halls and dining operations will be open for students who choose to live on campus. Only one student per room will be permitted; facilities will be cleaned and sanitized frequently. Housing staff will assist residents with social distancing practices and guidance on how to follow other public health measures.

We will continue to monitor and reassess the ongoing situation and, following directives from public health and government officials, make adjustments as needed in the best interest of the health and safety of our campus community.

As always, I deeply appreciate everyone’s flexibility, thoughtfulness, and creativity as we face the complexities of this situation.

If you have questions, please submit them to my Q & A page.

Best wishes,

Mary Cullinan
President

Looking for an older message? See: Archived Messages

Planning, Prevention & Reporting

EWU is committed to providing a safe environment for students, employees, and visitors. This plan outlines the current procedures that must be maintained by Eastern Washington University personnel, activities and programs at all locations in order to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus SARSCoV-2 (COVID-19). No location or activities may operate until the program can meet and maintain all requirements, including providing materials, schedules, and equipment required to comply.

Until further notice, any person who enters any EWU facilities, for any purpose, agrees to follow this plan.

EWU Safe Back to School Plan (PDF)

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to practice the three Ws:

  • Wash your hands
  • Watch your distance—stay at least six feet apart
  • Wear your mask

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person to person. Someone who is
aysmptomatic, presymptomatic or actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the
illness to others. Transmission occurs via respiratory droplets that travel up to six feet in the air after an infected person coughs, talks or sneezes. This transmission is similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Shared common surfaces not regularly cleaned are another route of transmission, such as desks, counters, doorknobs, etc.

The university will follow guidelines developed by the CDC and Spokane Regional Health
District. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea) you should be tested and assume that you are positive until your test results come back. Begin self-isolation and complete the EWU COVID-19 report form.
  • Someone from EWU will follow up with you. If you are engaged in any in-person activities at EWU, any close contacts will be identified and asked to self-quarantine.
  • Negative COVID-19 results: If your results come back negative, you can return to class when you are feeling better and your close contacts can end self-quarantine.
  • Positive COVID-19 results: If you are positive, you will be asked to continue isolation and can return to class or work when:
    • You are fever free for 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications;
    • Your symptoms are improving; and
    • It has been 10 days since the onset of your symptoms.
    • Your close contacts will need to continue to quarantine for 14 days from their last close contact with you. It is recommended that they be tested at 4-7 days of their last exposure to you but must remain in quarantine even if this test comes back negative.

If you are involved in a clinic with patients, additional guidelines may be provided by EWU or the Spokane Regional Health District. If you have any questions, please call the COVID-19 helpline at 509.359.6900.

For more information, view the Spokane Regional Health District’s Return to Work Guide.

One of the ways that we can minimize risk to our community is if students, faculty and staff report to us early. We are asking that you report a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, or if you are in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19, at ewu.edu/reportcovid.

Isolation: separates people who have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 from those that do not

Quarantine: people that have been exposed to the virus by being a close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Someone from the Spokane Regional Health District or EWU should be in contact with you to talk about when you can end your isolation or quarantine. In general, these guidelines will be followed:

  • If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 with symptoms, you can leave home after these three things have happened:
    • At least one day (24 hours) have passed since recovery (defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
    • Improvement in symptoms; and
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  • If you did not have COVID-19 symptoms (asymptomatic) but tested positive and are under isolation, you can leave home under the following conditions:
    • At least 10 days have passed since the date of your positive COVID-19 diagnostic test assuming you have not developed symptoms since your positive test.
    • If you develop symptoms, then the above criteria should be used.
  • (As of Dec. 3) If you were a close contact of someone with COVID-19 during their infectious period, you can leave home:
    • 10 days from the last date of exposure, as long as you have not developed any symptoms.
    • You should continue to monitor yourself for symptoms and follow public health guidelines for the full 14 days. If you develop symptoms within the 14 days, self-isolate and contact your health care provider.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, people with preexisting health conditions are at higher risk to develop complications from COVID-19 infection. The Department of Health has created guidelines to help you plan and prepare in the event of needing to limit time in public or if you become sick.

Coronavirus is not specific to any ethnicity or race. Racist behavior and stereotyping are not tolerated at Eastern Washington University.

Faculty, instructors, and staff cannot tell students or employees to stay home based on their recent travel history or perceived nation of origin.

If individuals believe they are being treated unfairly, discriminated against or harassed, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action & ADA Compliance at 509.359.6612.

For More Information

Campus Services

For the most up-to-date information on what’s open and what services are available, please visit the Guide to Fall 2020 website.

Future Student Assistance

For the most up-to-date information on all the ways we’ve made the admissions process as smooth as possible for our future Eagles, please visit the EWU Admissions website.

Virtual Visits Look Book

Contact EWU Admissions with any questions.

Parents & Families

COVID-19 has affected many areas of our lives and the EWU Housing team has been planning all summer for students to arrive on campus. What we know is that we will need help to keep our community safe. Students will be living in a community of other students and staff at a time that is very different than any other year we have experienced.

Custodial staff will be cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms, elevators, common touchpoints, kitchens and laundry every day. Protexus spraying will be done once a day (this is a type of disinfecting focused on addressing COVID-19). Housing & Residential Life staff will be interacting primarily in a virtual format through social media, Zoom and Canvas. Staff are currently planning some fun virtual activities and events.

In accordance with directives from Governor Inslee, the Spokane County Regional Health District and Eastern Washington University leadership, students will be required to adhere to the following rules and expectations as a resident of campus:

  • Masks
    • Masks must be worn anytime a student is outside of their room or when they
      are not in their room by themself. (This includes hallways and all common
      spaces in a residence hall).
  • Visitors
    • Students may only have visitors that live in the same residence hall.
    • Students may only have one visitor at a time in their room and both people
      should wear masks.
  • Gatherings
    • Gathering in groups of any size in any of the lounges, hallways or common
      areas is not allowed.
  • Laundry
    • Laundry areas will be limited to one person at a time, with a student being
      able to make a reservation to do their laundry.
  • Kitchens
    • Reservations will be available to cook food in the residence hall kitchens.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 or is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, the university has identified isolation and quarantine space on campus. Protocols have been developed in consultation with the Spokane Regional Health District and following CDC recommendations. Students will be moved to this reserved space and will need to stay in it for approximately 10-14 days, depending on whether they are in isolation or quarantine. Accommodations for food delivery will be made during this time.

That is a choice for you to make with your student. We want you and the people you care about to feel safe when your student is in college. For some, that means living on
campus while taking classes online. For others, that means living at home and taking online classes. For more information, visit ewu.edu/fallguide2020.

Most fall 2020 courses will be offered online; however, some exceptions may be made for face-to-face classes, such as labs. Course scheduling and offerings are currently in development. Every course will be scheduled as a synchronous meeting pattern (regular meeting days and times). For some courses, there may be an asynchronous component as well. Your student should consult with their instructor, department chair, or academic advisor, as they will have the most up to date information as things continue to evolve.

At this point in time, EWU continues to require MMR immunizations for students. We do not have any plans in place yet to require additional immunizations. Visit ewu.edu/immunization for more information.

Travel & Study Abroad

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a travel advisory urging anyone entering Washington state to self-quarantine for 14 days to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The governor’s of Oregon and California issued similar advisories Friday.

The advisories urge the public against non-essential out-of-state travel and encourage residents to stay close to home. The advisory defines essential travel “as travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.”

Read the full advisory

All travel must be approved by a vice president or the provost. Employees should work with their supervisors to determine what travel may be considered essential.

Effective March 2, 2020, EWU has suspended Individual Student Study Abroad Programming and requested that all students currently abroad return to the U.S. Please see more information below for individual students currently overseas on Study Abroad Programming:

  1. Student are to return home from study abroad by Friday, March 6, 2020. Students should send an email or screenshot of their return itinerary to Elena Axton (eaxton@ewu.edu).
  2. Students are to contact their air carriers themselves to arrange their return; students should be sure to contact the official carrier site.
  3. Students are to return to their homes, not to campus, from abroad. Even students who have homes in Cheney should go to their home addresses but remain away from campus.
  4. All study abroad is on hold.
  5. EWU can reimburse up to $500 in expenses documented to be due to an early return. Students can apply for more funding with complete receipts and records.
  6. Students who had planned to be abroad longer and had arranged housing abroad will be able to stay on campus in a dorm for free for spring quarter 2020.
  7. EWU is in no way liable for students who choose not to return at this time.
  8. EWU is in no way responsible for side trips or non-approved programs study-related travel.
  9. EWU cannot pay additional expenses for students quarantined abroad because of any delay in travel.
  10. CAAR will work individually with students and their faculty to ensure that they will not lose progress to degree.

Students currently overseas on EWU Education Abroad programs or students planning to travel should reach out to their Education Abroad advisor, Elena Axton (eaxton@ewu.edu or 509.481.1128) and monitor this webpage for updates and guidance.

No. As of March 19, The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. Learn More

The travel implications of the health situation are changing quickly. At present, all travel abroad is on hold for EWU students. US travel is currently inadvisable but may be permitted in some critical situations. It is also inadvisable to invest non-refundable dollars toward EWU-related travel for the immediate future. For more travel tips and warnings, please visit the CDC.

This website will be the place to find all updates for the future.

Health Services & Testing

MultiCare Rockwood is our student health services provider and they are prepared and ready to care for patients. Their clinical teams have been trained to identify, isolate, and care for patients with COVID-19 or other contagious illnesses.

For more information, please visit their website.

If you develop the symptoms of COVID-19, and have been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19, please call your health care provider before going into the clinic. Multicare can help direct you to one of their facilities for testing.

For staff or students that receive their care through Multicare Rockwood, they are assessing symptoms when you call the clinic. This may be done through a virtual visit or they may schedule an in-person appointment. You can call Multicare Rockwood Cheney at 509.235.6151 for an appointment.

Per the CDC’s COVID-19 testing guidelines, most health clinics are only testing symptomatic people or those who have been in close contact with a  case COVID-19 case. However, EWU Health, Wellness and Prevention Services knows of two self-collection tests available, through Costco and EverlyWell.

For more information about testing resources in the Spokane area, visit the Spokane Regional Health District website.

Should any EWU community member be diagnosed with COVID-19, we work together with the Spokane Regional Health District to initiate appropriate protocols and communication to protect the health of anyone deemed to be at risk. In general, only those people who have been identified as a close contact (been within six feet of the person for 15 minutes or longer when they were infectious), will be notified. The university also keeps a tally of the number of cases on campus by week on the risk management website.

Feedback, Questions & Reporting

All members of the university community should report positive COVID-19 diagnoses or share their concerns and questions using the form below.

Give Feedback or Report a Case