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 Wednesday, March 31:

What’s Open? WA State COVID-19 Vaccine Info


Case Reporting, Tracking & Notification Procedures

EWU is 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 Accountability 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 student emails March 18, 2021

Dear Students,

I know many of you are having an enjoyable spring break–and for those of you who are having finals this week, I wish you all the best as you prepare for your spring break! Your persistence and dedication during this historic time are to be commended. As you wrap up the winter term, I want to update you on the university’s plans to reopen for in-person learning this fall.

There are many positive signs as we emerge from this pandemic. We have just one more quarter to go to put this remarkable and challenging academic year in the books. But we can’t let up! As you know, spring and summer quarters will also be online, and as we communicated last week, we have made the difficult decision to once again hold virtual commencement ceremonies this spring. A cross-campus team is working hard to make this the best celebratory experience possible, given the circumstances.

We need to do this right. So proceeding with caution, while following the guidance of public health experts, is the most responsible thing we can do to ensure a safe, in-person learning experience come the fall.

The first step is for us all to have a safe and healthy spring break. When classes resume, please remember we are offering free COVID testing and ask that everyone visiting campus follow safety protocols. Also, by the time spring quarter starts we will have moved into Phase 3 of the state’s Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery plan so please visit our Coronavirus Preparedness page for the latest updates on what this means for campus operations. Information on the vaccines is rolling out faster as well, so we will provide campus updates as we learn new details.

Eastern will continue to plan and adjust as each new development surfaces, all with an eye on seeing you back on campus for in-person classes this fall!

David May
Interim President

Sent to all faculty and staff emails March 18, 2021

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Spring is here and as we wrap up the current terms, I want to thank you for your continued dedication to our students this year. I also want to update you on the university’s plans to reopen for in-person learning this fall.

There are many positive signs as we emerge from this pandemic. We have just one more quarter to go to put this remarkable and challenging academic year in the books. But we can’t let up! As you know, spring and summer quarters will also be online, and as we communicated last week, we have made the difficult decision to once again hold virtual commencement ceremonies this spring.

We need to do this right. So proceeding with caution, while following the guidance of public health experts, is the most responsible thing we can do to ensure a safe, in-person learning experience come September.

The first step is for us all to stay vigilant in following public health guidelines as we venture outside and do more activities. Please remember we are offering free COVID testing on campus and ask that everyone visiting campus follow safety protocols. Also, by the time spring quarter starts the state will have moved into Phase 3 of Gov. Inslee’s Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery plan so please visit our Coronavirus Preparedness page for the latest updates on what this means for campus operations. Information on the vaccines is rolling out faster as well, so we will provide campus updates as we learn new details, including this recent update.

We are working with department and office managers to prepare plans by April 15 for returning employees to work. A form developed by Risk Management will help guide them through the planning process. Annika Scharosch or Trent Lutey will be available to answer any questions and concerns that come up during this process. We are working to have campus buildings and departments open on July 1 with employees returning to their on campus locations in the weeks prior to July 1.

Eastern will continue to plan and adjust as each new development surfaces, all with an eye on seeing you back on campus for in-person classes this fall!

David May
Interim President

Sent to all student emails Feb. 18, 2021

Dear Students,

The downward trend in positive COVID cases, the introduction of vaccines among some of our most vulnerable citizens, and the East Region’s move to Phase 2 in the state’s reopening plan have given us hope that there might be a way for us to deliver some in-person ceremonies for both our semester and quarter spring programs.

I do not want to give out false hope. Concerns about the pandemic are still top of mind, as state parameters and our need to act responsibly in the community are of paramount importance. We cannot make a firm statement on commencement today but want to inform you that we are considering several possibilities and will update the campus in the next few weeks. When we announce the decision, the commencement web page will be updated with the latest information.

As mentioned, our collective efforts to flatten the curve have resulted in the East Region moving to Phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s “Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery” plan. For updates on how this impacts campus services, such as the PUB, URC, and student activities, and athletics events, please visit InsideEWU.

We will continue to update the EWU Covid-19 website at www.ewu.edu/coronavirus with all the latest information.

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 and staff emails Feb. 18, 2021

Dear Faculty and Staff,

With COVID numbers declining and the vaccine slowly taking hold, I have called on all university staff to prepare a plan for a return to work on or about July 1. We know that predicting the exact health environment at any given time is a best guess proposition, but we must start building a plan to return to our regular work stations so we are prepared to do it right.

We would like managers to begin coordinating the return of staff so that it is a safe, phased transition with all departments being open to serve students in-person on July 1.

Over the next couple of weeks, departments will receive information about how to plan for this transition in a safe, phased manner. Just like we did a year ago when we suddenly moved online, we will all need to work together to identify and overcome the challenges ahead as we transition back to campus.

As the East Region moves into Phase 2 of Gov. Inslee’s “Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery” plan, we are modifying access to campus services, such as the PUB, URC, catering, athletics events, and more. Please visit Inside EWU for more details.

Lastly, we are continuing to evaluate our options for the possibility of some in-person Commencement ceremonies for both semester and quarter programs. I do not want to give out false hope. Concerns about the pandemic are still top of mind, as state parameters and our need to act responsibly in the community are of paramount importance. We cannot make a firm statement on commencement today but want to inform you that we are considering several possibilities and will update the campus in the next few weeks. When we announce the decision, the commencement web page will be updated with the latest information.

We will continue to update the EWU Covid-19 website at www.ewu.edu/coronavirus with all the latest information.

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 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

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
asymptomatic, 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 touch points, 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 alone in their room. (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

EWU now provides free voluntary Covid-19 antigen testing for students and employees. Testing will be available through June 11 (end of quarter) inside the Roost in the University Recreation Center (URC) during the following days and times:

  • Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday: noon-2 p.m.

For spring quarter, all students involved in on-campus activities are required to participate in EWU’s Re-entry Covid-19 antigen testing. This includes students living in the residence halls or apartments, attending class in-person or using university facilities. These tests are available free of charge.

Before coming to the testing location, students and employees should fill out the antigen testing form. Students will be notified of the test results via email. If students test positive, EWU will follow its current isolation protocols. Students can also contact Health, Wellness & Prevention Services with any questions at 509.359.4279 or stuhealth@ewu.edu.

Please read the following FAQ on the student health website for more information.

Faculty with specific questions about the testing protocols, please have them email riskmanager@ewu.edu.

You do not have to have symptoms to be tested on campus. Testing is free and does not require a referral.

For more information about testing protocol off-campus visit: CDC’s COVID-19 testing guidelines,

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

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.

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