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Central Washington University

COVID-19 Update from Human Resources

Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear CWU faculty and staff,

The potential spread of the COVID-19 virus is a concern for all of us. I write to share basic information relevant to us as CWU employees. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is spread when someone coughs or sneezes and respiratory droplets enter the mouths or noses of people nearby. This can happen directly or by touching something that has the virus on it, and then touching your own face.

To avoid contracting the virus, limit close contact with people who are sick and do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you are sick or feel you are becoming sick, please stay home.

We remain open for business. There currently are no plans to close the university or cancel classes. Should the situation change, information will be available at


• If you have symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath, stay home for 72 hours after the fever is gone and symptoms have improved. In the event you must miss work, talk with your supervisor to make any necessary arrangements for working from home and/or using leave.

• Practice social distancing, which means avoiding large gatherings and standing six feet or more away from other people when possible. Refrain from shaking hands. Use Skype, Zoom, or other virtual strategies for meetings when possible.

• If you feel fine BUT a friend of a friend of yours has COVID-19, continue to come to work as long as you feel well. If you have not been around someone with COVID-19, the chance of contracting the virus is fairly low.

• If you feel fine BUT you have had close contact with a person confirmed with COVID-19, monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person. You should not go to work or school and should avoid public places for 14 days. Again, talk with your supervisor about working from home and/or using leave.

• If you are feeling anxious, there are resources available via the Employee Assistance Program (username: cwu). It can help to talk to supportive people in your life – maybe a friend, family member, partner, or other trusted person. Or, engage in your favorite calming activity such as taking a walk, doing some deep breathing, coloring, or listening to music.

• Practice compassion. Be thoughtful and respectful of people at high risk of COVID-19. We are all in this together.

Thank you for your continued good work and understanding during this uncertain time.


Staci Sleigh-Layman
Executive Director
Human Resources

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