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Central Washington University

Update: CWU Academic Plans for COVID-19

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

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Dear Campus Community,

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on any of the Central Washington University campuses and sites. The virus, however, is moving through communities throughout the world, with a single case detected as of Saturday in Kittitas County. No doubt, as testing becomes faster and more available, you’ll hear and read about new cases, here and all over Washington.

We recognize that many have concerns about COVID-19 especially with the situation so quickly evolving. With that in mind, the university has adopted “social distancing” measures, which according to the CDC, means avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible. This includes encouraging university units to consider using Skype, Zoom, or other virtual strategies for meetings when possible.

Throughout this process, three guiding principles have informed our decision-making:  safeguarding our community; protecting the continuity and quality of the educational experience of our students, and participating in the international effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Following careful consideration and intensive collaboration with the deans, associate provosts, and others in key academic roles at CWU, I have decided to take the following precautionary actions:

  • Last Week of the Quarter (Monday, March 9 – Friday, March 13): All classes, including at University centers and sites (CWU-Des Moines, CWU-Lynnwood, CWU-Moses Lake, CWU-Pierce County, CWU-Wenatchee, CWU-Yakima, CWU-Sammamish, and CWU-JBLM), will be taught in their current modality (in-person; on-line; or hybrid). Exceptions, including exceptions related to disability accommodations, will be considered on a case-by-case basis, through recommendation by the department chair and approval by the dean of the college. Approved exceptions will be conveyed to students, posted on individual departmental and college websites, and reviewed and adjusted daily throughout the week.

Faculty and staff will continue to provide students with advising and mentoring as necessary.  Social distancing protocols, opportunities to “meet” via e-mail, text, or phone, and other commonsense health and safety measures will be observed.

  • Finals Week (March 17 – 20): Final examinations will not be given in class, in laboratories, or in any face-to-face setting. All final examinations will be delivered on-line or via email, or through other virtual modalities. Exceptions, including exceptions related to disability accommodations, will be considered on a case-by-case basis, through recommendation by the department chair and approval by the dean of the college. Approved exceptions will be conveyed to students, posted on individual departmental and college websites, reviewed daily, and adjusted as necessary.

Multimodal Learning has gathered a variety of resources to help faculty members offer final assessments outside the classroom: https://www.cwu.edu/multimodal-learning/multimodal-learning-academic-con.... As of today, Multimodal will host workshops to assist faculty in making these adjustments. Consult the Multimodal Learning website link above for more information about on-line instruction or contact Delayna Breckon (delayna.breckon@cwu.edu).

  •  Spring Quarter (March 31 – June 12): As the status of COVID-19 in our area becomes clearer over the coming days and weeks, we may be required to adjust our procedures for teaching and learning for some portion of or for the entire quarter, primarily by planning for more flexible instructional modalities. To ensure readiness in case it may become necessary, faculty members are encouraged to prepare for transitioning in-class course work to modalities that would allow students to work from their residence halls or from home.

University operations will continue as usual unless the situation changes. If non-faculty staff members have concerns about working on any of the campuses, they are encouraged to speak to a supervisor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is spread the same way cold and flu viruses spread: when someone coughs or sneezes and respiratory droplets land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. It’s also possible to catch COVID-19 by touching something that has the virus on it, and then touching your own face.

In response, CWU staff are sanitizing surfaces across campus twice as frequently as they were a few weeks ago. Central also has increased the number of hand-sanitizing stations in buildings and set up a website, cwu.edu/respiratory-viruses, which is regularly updated with information about the virus.

The best way to avoid the virus is to avoid close contact with people who are sick and to not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, make sure it contains at least 60 percent alcohol. If you are sick or feeling you are becoming sick, please stay home.

CWU is evaluating operations day by day—including any campus events that bring together large numbers of people.

If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, contact the Student Medical Center (for students). Employees contact their primary care provider. Be sure to call your health provider in advance. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care, or other health facility without calling first.

The highest priorities are to provide a safe educational environment for all of us. We’ll continue to do our very best to keep you safe and informed.

Sincerely,

President James L. Gaudino's signature
James L. Gaudino
President

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