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COVID-19 Employee FAQs

Fall to Winter Quarter Transition

  • What is exit testing and how can I participate?

    Exit testing is an opportunity for CWU students to be voluntarily tested for COVID-19 prior to returning home to their families and friends. The goal of the exit testing effort is to provide students with vital health information that will help them protect others in case they have become infected.  

    CWU will offer voluntary exit testing and free flu shots to students November 12-13, and students can sign up online. In the case of a positive COVID test, the university will follow current safety protocols.

  • When does the winter quarter begin at CWU?

    Classes will begin January 5 and end March 12 (with finals March 16-19). All classes will be held online the first two weeks of the quarter. In-person classes can begin on January 19.

  • Will a COVID-19 test be required for students prior to the start of winter quarter?

    Yes. CWU students who live in university housing (residence halls or apartments), are enrolled in hybrid or in-person learning courses, or are employed on campus will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon returning to campus between January 8-13. Anyone who lives off-campus and plans to be on-campus for class or work during winter quarter is required to take a COVID test. 

  • What if students choose not to return to campus until after the initial two-week testing period?

    Students may choose to be tested at home but must provide CWU Student Health Services with the COVID-19 negative test results upon their return. The test must be equivalent to the PCR tests used on campus (i.e., nasal swab test) and should be no older than 72 hours before presenting to campus. In the case of a positive test, we will follow current safety protocols.

  • Will those tested be required to self-isolate or quarantine for the first two weeks?

    No. The initial testing process at the start of winter quarter is intended to provide CWU and public health officials with a baseline about active COVID-19 cases on campus and in the community. However, the same safety protocols in place during the fall — such as wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and avoiding large groups — will still be followed. 

  • Will CWU conduct surveillance testing throughout the year?

    Yes. CWU and KCPHD will continue to screen members of the CWU community for COVID-19 throughout the winter and spring. We will also offer more robust prevalence testing protocols during the winter quarter. Our plan is to test a sample of the student population each week in a way that allows us to monitor—and respond to—any potential spread of the virus in the community.

COVID-19 Testing / Retesting Results

  • How many people were retested at Wendell Hill Hall B ( (WHHB) on October 26 and what were the results?

    A total of 148 Wendell Hill Hall B students and employees were retested for COVID-19 during the retesting phase on Monday, October 26. One student, who was symptomatic, tested positive and has been in isolation since Monday.

  • How many active COVID-19 cases were identified from the recent outbreak?

    With the one new case revealed during follow-up testing, there were nine active cases related to the current outbreak. Eight CWU students — all residents of WHHB — tested positive for the virus on October 19 and have since been released from isolation by the Kittitas County Public Health Department.

  • Are visitors now allowed in WHHB?

    Yes. Residents of WHHB may resume having visitors, while maintaining COVID-19 protocol: limiting the number of visitors while maintaining six feet physical distancing and wearing face coverings.

  • How many students and staff were tested October 19 and what were their results?

    A total of 169 students and staff were tested as part of the WHHB testing measures on Monday, October 19. There were eight positive COVID-19 cases, all CWU students. There were two indeterminate student cases, meaning they are not confirmed negative or positive, and they were retested for final results.

  • What happened with students who tested positive for COVID-19?

    Some students who tested positive were moved to different housing based on the type of room they live in. Students assigned to a single room and enclosed single bathroom suite may be able to stay in their space during their isolation. A list of resources was made available to them.  

    All students who tested negative were required to be retested on Monday, October 26, in WHHB. If residents did not take a retest on October 26, the student was responsible for providing Student Health Services with a PCR COVID-19 test that shows a negative result within the previous 72 hours.

  • Were the students who tested negative on October 19 retested?

    Yes. All students who tested negative were required to be tested again on Monday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to noon in WHHB. If residents did not take a retest on October 26, the student was responsible for providing Student Health Services with a PCR COVID-19 test that shows a negative result within the previous 72 hours.

  • Why were residents of WHHB who tested negative on October 19 retested? 

    Out of an abundance of caution, the Washington Department of Health and the Kittitas County Public Health Department requested to conduct prevalence testing (retest) for all residents who tested negative.

  • Has WHHB reopened now that all testing has been completed and results are confirmed?

    Yes, but is imperative that all students and staff remain vigilant with state, local, and university policies and expectations around COVID-19. Maintain minimum physical distancing of six feet between all on-campus personnel, including with visitors, wear a face covering, regularly self-monitor your health, do not visit with others if you feel sick, and wash your hands frequently.

  • What are the new residential housing mandates outlined in the governor's recent proclamation regarding gatherings, enforcing compliance, and providing isolation housing and support services?

    Below is the abridged content. Read the full Proclamation by the Governor on Higher Education online.

    o Limit gatherings in university residential facilities as follows: 

    • A gathering in a bedroom must be limited to the one person (abridged for CWU) who resides in the room and one visitor at a time; 
    • A gathering in a residential unit, outside of a bedroom, must be limited to five people at a time, and only one such gathering may occur in a residential unit at a time; 
    • A gathering in a residential facility, outside of a residential unit, must be limited to five people at a time in any one room; 
    • All people gathered must wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet, except as otherwise provided herein or in Order of the Secretary of Health 20-03.1, and any subsequent amendments thereto; 
    • Furniture must be moved, gathering spaces must be modified, and attendance must be limited to accommodate the required physical distancing of those gathered. If a gathering space cannot accommodate physical distancing, it must not be used.

    o Provide isolation and quarantine housing and support services

    o Make diligent efforts to monitor and enforce compliance with the requirements of this proclamation by students and personnel within the institution’s disciplinary authority and procedures and any other applicable authority;

    o Make diligent efforts to arrange for local law enforcement agencies with appropriate jurisdiction to patrol the areas surrounding the campus and enforce the legal requirements imposed by state and local officials limiting the size of gatherings, requiring the wearing of face coverings, requiring physical distancing, and imposing other obligations intended to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19; 

    o For institutions with police forces, undertake the patrol and enforcement activities described above in areas within the police force’s jurisdiction. 

  • How can faculty support their students if CWU engages in another active surveillance testing protocol like Wendell Hill Hall B?

    Faculty who have classes with scheduled meeting times are encouraged to discuss the importance of following the testing requests from the Kittitas County Public Health Department and CWU. Scheduled testing events will take precedence over attending class. Clear and immediate communication from students unable to attend class is, as always, essential. Students are not required to disclose that they are self-isolating or quarantining. However, they are responsible for making up missed work.

Testing at Wendell Hill Hall B

  • What happened on campus Monday, October 19?

    Wendell Hill Hall B (WHHB) residents and support staff were tested for COVID-19 as part of an active surveillance protocol. Residents and staff were to be under self-isolation from Monday until they receive their test results and are released by the Kittitas County Public Health department (KCPHD). 

  • What does “active surveillance protocol" mean?  

    An active surveillance protocol is when public health authorities initiate disease data gathering from health care reporting authorities including laboratories, physicians, hospitals, or the general population. Active surveillance is typically initiated when the number of positive cases of an infectious disease exceeds the expected or baseline number.

    See the CWU Dashboard for additional COVID-19-related definitions.

  • How many cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Wendell Hill Hall B (WHHB)?

    As of Sunday afternoon, October 18, there were six confirmed positive cases or 3% of the residents in WHHB.

  • Why did CWU test residents and staff in WHHB?

    Out of an abundance of caution, CWU issued a directive, with the support of the KCPHD, to test all residents and support staff in Wendell Hill Hall B as part of its active surveillance protocols. This community is under investigation because of the number of positive COVID-19 cases and the potential of an epidemiological link between the cases and the residence hall. 

  • Who was tested and when did testing take place?

    All 178 residents in addition to staff who work in Wendall Hill Hall B were tested on Monday, October 19, in the residence hall lobby. Those who were tested were notified and provided instructions by text, e-mail, phone call, flyer, or a combination of these communication channels. Small groups of residents were escorted to the testing site to ensure proper physical distancing and adherence to safety protocols. Support staff was tested as one group, separate from the students. 

    Upon completion of their tests, residents were required to self-isolate until they receive their test results and are released by KCPHD. They were provided with information regarding access to their meal plan, health and wellness, plus other helpful resources. CWU’s Student Medical staff handled all aspects of testing. 

  • How long do test results take and how long must I self-isolate?

    Test results are typically available after 48 hours; however, with high testing volumes at the reference labs, results can take up to seven days. Individuals who were tested will be required to self-isolate until they receive their test results and have been released by KCPHD.

  • Were other campus facilities locked down, at least temporarily, due to the outbreak?

    No other campus facilities were locked down due to these current cases. All cleaning procedures have continued and will continue throughout campus. 

    This closure only pertains to Wendell Hill Hall B.

  • What should I be doing now to protect myself and others in the community?

    Complete the Daily Health Check that’s located in MyCWU. Also continue to wear your face covering, maintain physical distancing, and wash your hands frequently.

  • If I don’t want to teach in person anymore, what should I do?

    Please contact your department chair to discuss your concerns and the options for your course(s).

Human Resources Information

  • Why are the layoffs announced Sept. 30 necessary?

    A decline in fall 2020 enrollment of 597 students, or about 5%, coupled with having fewer students living on campus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in a revenue shortfall of about $9 million. In March, the university froze new hiring, eliminated travel and major equipment purchases, and instituted full and partial furloughs during the summer, but it was not enough.

  • How many people and which departments are affected by the reduction in force?

    Fifty-six (56) university positions, or roughly 3% of the permanent workforce, are affected. The positions include 45 civil service positions and 11 exempt positions. These positions are located in Facilities Management, Housing Services, Dining Services, Enrollment Management, and Information Services.

    All affected positions are related to direct student support. When the number of students decreases, either in enrollment or residence halls, the amount of work also decreases.

  • When will employees be notified if their position is affected?

    Employees who have been affected will be notified by October 8. The reduction in force will go into effect November 6, 2020. 

  • Are these layoffs permanent?

    Yes, the layoffs are permanent. However, employees who have been laid-off may apply for open university positions in the future when the budget situation improves.

  • Are more layoffs anticipated?

    It is likely additional layoffs will occur after January 1, 2021, because of a directive from the state of Washington to cut 15 percent of state funding from the budget, or about $19.9 million over the next two years. There will not be any layoffs in December 2020. There is not yet a timetable or other specific information regarding additional staffing reductions.

  • If I am issued a layoff notice, where can I go for help?

    Please contact the CWU Human Resources Department at cwu.edu/hr or 509-963-1202.

  • What are my options if working from home is too difficult?

    CWU employees who are having problems working remotely should discuss your options with your supervisor. You may be able to change your work hours or use some of your accrued leave time. 

  • What is the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

    The FFCRA provides temporary protected leave and paid leave benefits for certain absences arising from the COVID-19 outbreak. The benefits became available April 1, 2020. The FFCRA provides for two categories of leave:

    • The first expands existing FMLA coverage to provide up to 12 weeks of paid Public Health Emergency Leave (“PHEL/FMLA”) for eligible employees forced to miss work due to closure of their child’s school or the unavailability of the child’s childcare provider for reasons related to COVID-19. 
    • The second provides up to 10 days of Emergency Sick Leave for various reasons related to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

    CWU’s Human Resources staff is available to work with employees to help them learn about how the FFCRA program applies to them. The interactive process with HR begins by filling out a web form at cwu.edu/hr

  • Do the state of Washington COVID-19 employee communications and rules apply to faculty and staff at CWU?

    It depends. Rules and communications that reference “higher education” employees apply, generally, to CWU and the other four-year state institutions. The term “general government” or “state employee” refers to employees of Washington state agencies, for example the Department of Transportation. We understand there can be confusion and we will work hard to ensure we communicate with faculty and staff about what applies to CWU employees.

2020 Fall Quarter

  • What efforts are being made to keep campus safe?

    The following practices currently apply to the Ellensburg campus and all university centers and teaching sites: 

    Reduced Density on Campus
    The number of staff, faculty, and students on Ellensburg’s campus was reduced in order to limit the risk of spreading COVID-19. The number of students living on campus this fall was limited to 1,600 (normally 4,000); more courses were offered online; and a majority of faculty and staff members continued to work remotely.

    Health Attestation
    All students and employees will be required to complete a COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Compliance form at the beginning of each quarter. This form is available on MyCWU and will help ensure students and employees understand the health risks of COVID-19 as well as their roles and responsibilities in mitigating those risks for themselves and others.

    Daily Health Screening
    CWU has developed an online tool that will allow employees and students to monitor their potential COVID-19 symptoms on a daily basis. This tool is located in MyCWU and must be completed each day, prior to coming to campus. If you are sick, you must stay home.

    Distancing
    Until a vaccine is available, physical distancing is a crucial factor in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The best distancing practice is to remain six feet or more from one another. The use of face coverings is also required. These rules will apply inside and outside of buildings. In addition, learning spaces and offices spaces are being reconfigured to accommodate six feet of physical distancing. Signage is being placed throughout campus to encourage traffic flows and keep people properly spaced apart inside and outside of buildings. 

    Client-facing Spaces
    Many spaces on campus involve face-to-face service, such as dining, stores, and advising/counseling. In addition to using online service options, the spaces will be reconfigured in ways modeled after retail stores (i.e., using protective barriers).

    Face Coverings and Other Physical Protections
    Everyone who comes on campus will be required to wear face coverings. This rule applies to all employees, students, visitors, and outside personnel (vendors) unless they are unable to do so because of a health-related reason. Face shields may be worn while teaching or working if the employee prefers. The Face Covering Policy, CWUP 2-40-145, is available online.

    CWU will provide cloth face coverings to all students and employees. Alternative face coverings (hoods, shields, face guards) will also be made available to employees whose positions require additional protection, as well as to students and staff, upon request.

    Sanitizing and Washing
    The university will continue to emphasize the sanitization of shared spaces and the importance of regular handwashing and sanitizing. CWU’s custodial staff will clean all classrooms, labs, and studios at least once daily, and they will sanitize public washrooms twice a day. Sanitizing wipes will be available in all teaching and work areas so spaces can be cleaned between uses. Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the university facilities.

  • Has COVID-19 safety training been provided?

    Yes. Training for faculty and staff included COVID-19 safety measures, cleaning protocols, and CWU socialization expectations. Training materials for students also were provided.  

    The following required courses are available in CLA Online by clicking on the COVID-19 hotspot or using the links below. 

    Safety Short: Coronaviruses and COVID-19 (26 minutes) is required for all CWU employees, regardless of whether or not they will be coming to campus. 
    Deadline for completion: Sept. 18, 2020. 

    Hazard Communication: An Employee’s Right to Understand (23 minutes) is required for those who are working on-site. 
    Deadline for completion: Sept. 18, 2020.

    Additional information regarding recommended training is available on the Fall 2020 SharePoint site.

  • Where can employees find more information about CWU’s safety protocols?

    Additional information is available on the Welcome to Fall 2020 SharePoint site and CWU’s Fall Guide 2020COVID-19, and Faculty FAQs webpages.

  • Are face coverings required? What happens if they aren’t worn?

    Yes. Everyone on campus is required to wear face coverings. Face coverings will be provided for all faculty, staff, and students. If you received a single-layer black mask in August, you may pick up new two-layer black face mask by visiting the SURC Information Desk. Clear face shields are also available by contacting Human Resources. Employees, students, and visitors can now pick up their face coverings at the SURC Information Desk. Individuals are also welcome to bring their own face coverings when coming to campus. 

    If you seek an exemption, see the question “Can I get an exemption from having to wear a face covering due to a medical condition.”

    Supervisors will be responsible for ensuring their employees are compliant with this university policy. 

    Students who enter classrooms or gathering places without face coverings, or remove them after entering the classroom, will be asked to cover their faces immediately or leave.

    Faculty/staff can direct the student to the SURC Info Desk to obtain a face covering or they can ask the student to leave the classroom. If the student refuses to wear a face covering and will not leave the classroom, the faculty should dismiss the class and submit a Student of Concern Report online to Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR). It is important to engage in a way that does not escalate the situation and frames the conversation around public health and wellness for all members of the community including faculty and students. SRR will contact the student and discuss the noncompliant behavior before the student will be allowed to return to the classroom.

    CWU can apply the following Washington Administrative Code that can address noncompliant student and employee behavior:

    • WAC 106-125-020 (5) Failure to Comply
    • WAC 106-125-020 (15) University Policy Violation
    • WAC 106-125-020 (12) Safety Violations
    • CWUP 2-40-145 Employee Face Covering
  • Where can I get a face covering if I need to be on campus? 

    CWU-branded face coverings are available for employees who must be on campus. Faculty and staff can pick up their free face coverings at the SURC Information Desk. One to two face coverings will be issued per employee. 

    If you received a single-layer black mask in August, you may pick up new two-layer black face mask by visiting the SURC Information Desk. Clear face shields are also available by contacting Human Resources. Individuals are also welcome to bring their own face coverings when coming to campus. 

    Additional options are available for purchase at the Wildcat Shop.

     

  • Can I wear a face shield instead of a face mask or other face covering?

    According to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, a face shield is not an acceptable substitute for a face mask or cloth face covering. If wearing a face shield, a cloth face covering or mask should also be worn. 

    There are exceptions, however. If an individual has a medical reason for not wearing a face covering, then just a face shield will suffice. When requesting a face shield, the user is not required to disclose that they have a medical condition, nor is CWU allowed to ask. In addition, if a faculty member (or any other individual) is teaching or working with an auditory impaired individual, then wearing only a face shield is acceptable.

  • Can I get an exemption from having to wear a face covering due to my medical condition?

    Yes. CWU faculty, staff, and students may request a medical or health risk accommodation regarding face coverings. Determination of the accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis through an interactive process. An option for someone unable to tolerate a face covering may include attending classes online or work remotely. 

    Employees should complete the online accommodation form. Employees may be required to provide documentation to establish their need for an accommodation. 

    People who have difficulty communicating due to face coverings can inquire about the availability of clear masks.

    Accommodations that pose a threat to the health or safety of other people are not appropriate. An accommodation may not include allowing someone to not wear a face covering where it is required.

  • How did CWU make decisions about Welcome to Fall 2020?

    The Fall 2020 Planning Group, led by Project Management Office Director James Jankowski, included representatives from 33 departments and all five divisions of the university, as well as Dr. Mark Larson, a Kittitas County Public Health officer. Additional members include Elvin Delgado, 2020-21 faculty senate chair; Walter Szeliga, 2019-20 faculty senate chair; and Gary Bartlett, United Faculty of Central president — all of whom sit on the advisory council that reviews submitted plans. 

    Final recommendations were overseen by President Gaudino and his cabinet, and Lynn Franken, who served as assistant to the president for special projects.

    Plans were developed in 12 areas, with multiple subsets in some cases. The areas are teaching and learning; library; housing; auxiliary services (i.e., dining, child care center); police and public safety; facilities (pedestrian traffic flow/ventilation, cleaning guidelines, materials procurement, furniture moves); administrative (office spaces/conference rooms); service centers (transactional spaces, such as cashier windows); programming (campus events); athletics; managing COVID-19 (testing, contact tracing, self-screening); and socialization (plan for dissemination and compliance).  

  • Will the decline in enrollment have an impact on Services and Activities (S&A) funding?

    With the enrollment reduction, the number of students paying into the Services and Activities funding pool will reduce the availability and use of S&A funds for the continued support of positions, services, facilities, and programs. The S&A Committee is preparing for a quadrennial budget process and will have to consider the long-term impact of the enrollment decline on current and future S&A budgets.

Daily Health Checks & Attestation

COVID-19 Reporting Forms

  • Why am I being asked to complete the COVID-19 Reporting form?

    Students, faculty, and staff that attend in-person classes or work on the CWU Ellensburg campus are urged to complete the online COVID-19 Reporting Form when:

    • You have been tested for COVID-19
    • You have been instructed to self-quarantine for suspected COVID-19 infection
    • You have received a positive COVID-19 test result
    • You have met any of the following in the last 14 days:
      • Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, nausea, change in taste or smell)
      • Been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.

    Do not use the COVID-19 Reporting form for:

    • Reporting your concern or knowledge of others COVID-19 condition. The form is only for individuals to report their own health conditions.
    • Asking for academic assistance related to your COVID-19 status.
  • Who has access to data from the COVID-19 Reporting form?

    CWU is committed to ensuring that your submission remains confidential in accordance with applicable law and will only be used to provide support and resources. Only public health officials and CWU’s dean of student success and director or Student Health will have access.

  • If I hear someone has COVID, should I fill out the reporting form?

    No. This form is not for reporting your concerns or knowledge of others COVID-19 condition. It is only for individuals to report their own health conditions.

  • What should I do if a student or employee notifies me of their COVID-19 diagnosis?

    Supervisors and faculty could use the following script when notified by an employee or student informs them of a COVID-19 diagnosis:

    As mandated by campus, local and state entities, I am instructing you to leave work or school immediately or stay at home. Campus administrators have asked everyone to self-report via the COVID-19 Reporting Form. You should stay away from others, including your own household members (including roommates or housemates) if possible. Early symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other illnesses, and some people do not have symptoms at all. The first few days of infection are symptom free. Please remember that COVID-19 can be spread unknowingly by someone who is not aware that they are infected, such as in the first few days of infection.  

Faculty Information

  • How can faculty support their students if CWU engages in another active surveillance testing protocol like Wendell Hill Hall B?

    Faculty who have classes with scheduled meeting times are encouraged to discuss the importance of following the testing requests from the Kittitas County Public Health Department and CWU. Scheduled testing events will take precedence over attending class. Clear and immediate communication from students unable to attend class is, as always, essential. Students are not required to disclose that they are self-isolating or quarantining. However, they are responsible for making up missed work.

  • What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

    Professors who test positive for the virus will be required to isolate for 14 days. Treatment will be provided by the individual’s personal physician or other self-selected health provider. Depending upon timing and other situational issues, the professor’s classes will continue remotely or revert from in-person to remote. Those classes may be temporarily overseen by another professor, or they may be postponed to a future academic quarter.

  • How will CWU foster compliance with health and safety protocols? How might the faculty contribute to the effort of creating a willingly compliant campus?

    All syllabi will contain a message about COVID-19 and safety protocols. CWU is creating signage, floor decals, a toolkit, videos, and other materials to disseminate information, guide behavior, promote compliance, and build community. Student, staff, and faculty Influencers for a safe campus are being identified and will undergo training before fall quarter begins. If you are interested in becoming an Influencer, email Marissa Howat at Marissa.Howat@cwu.edu

  • Is the Emergency Pass/Fail grading system still in place for fall quarter?

    For the 2020 summer and fall quarters, undergraduate students are allowed to convert their letter grades to EP/EF on a course-by-course basis. A decision about whether to offer the system during the 2021 winter and spring quarters has not yet been announced. Under the EP/EF system, all grades of a C- or better (at the undergraduate level) will convert to an EP, which will still count toward degree requirements. More information is available here. Consult your advisor to determine if this is the best option for your academic goals.

  • Where can I go if I have more questions?

    For additional faculty-related FAQs, visit the Associate Provost’s Faculty FAQs web page.

Fall Schedule/Academics

  • How are classes being offered on the Ellensburg campus?

    During the accelerated fall quarter (September 9-November 20) on the Ellensburg campus, about 25 percent of courses had a face-to-face component and 75 percent were fully online. Faculty were allowed to choose between teaching in-person, using virtual modalities, or combining the two. All three options are currently available to view and select when students register for winter classes online.

  • How have classrooms been configured to ensure physical distancing?

    All of the classroom spaces being used have been reconfigured to ensure students sit six feet apart. Enrollments in classes have been adjusted, as necessary, based on the number of seats available in the reconfigured classrooms. 

  • How many students were in a typical in-person classroom? 

    The average number of students enrolled in in-person classes this fall was approximately 30-35. Some classes, such as science labs, may have smaller numbers. Six feet of physical distancing will apply inside classrooms that have been reconfigured.

  • How are classes being offered at the university centers and sites?

    Instruction at the eight university centers and sites is being offered entirely online. For more information about the sites and centers, visit the University Centers web page.

  • How does this situation affect academic advising, career advising, and tutoring?

    All three services are still being offered. The only difference from previous quarters is that all appointments with university faculty and staff — including academic advisors, career counselors, and tutors — must be conducted remotely, using an online meeting platform, such as Zoom.

    Tutoring and academic coaching are available via Zoom, and students can self-schedule by visiting tutortrac.cwu.edu/. We have expanded hours across all tutoring offerings to meet needs, and academic coaches are ready to work with any student who wants to learn more about online study techniques. Students can easily connect with us by clicking on the "Tutoring" link on the left-hand menu of their Canvas course, or by visiting cwu.edu/academic-success/tutoring-services.

Operations

  • Which facilities are open on the CWU-Ellensburg campus?

    Most CWU buildings are closed to the public, but campus housing and dining services remain available to students who continue to reside here. The Student Medical & Counseling Clinic also remains open for services. Information specific to dining will be posted on the website.

    For updated information about the plans for fall quarter, visit cwu.edu/fallguide2020.  

  • Is the Student Union & Recreation Center (SURC) open?

    Beginning September 9, the SURC will only be accessible at the main entrances by CWU students, staff, and faculty. Community members who wish to access the campus store (Wildcat Shop) must do so through the external southeast entrance near the loading dock during business hours.

  • Which CWU staff members are currently working on campus? 

    Staff members whose jobs allow them to work remotely will continue to do so as the university tries to limit density on CWU campuses. Staff whose jobs cannot be successfully performed remotely will be on campus. Supervisors are working with their teams to determine the appropriate working environments that balance the risk of infection and the need to accomplish required tasks. 

  • Do I need to keep my office door closed when working on campus?

    All faculty and staff with individual offices will be asked to close their office doors when possible to protect themselves and others. If an employee is unable to keep his/her door open, he/she must wear a facial covering to prevent any potential transmission of infection to others in the immediate area. Those working in a partitioned work space (i.e., a cubicle), also must wear a mask when they are working on site.

  • Can I schedule in-person meetings with students or other staff members?

    Yes, but CWU recommends meeting virtually whenever possible. Individual meetings and small groups are permitted, but facial coverings must be worn by everyone in attendance. Physical distancing of approximately six feet must be observed at all times. 

  • Will events still take place on campus?

    Yes. While things might look a bit different, CWU is committed to offering an array of programs and activities for students this fall with the flexibility to respond to changing conditions as needed, while also adhering to health department requirements..

    Events and activities will be promoted in various ways,  including posters, digital screens, social media, the university event calendar, announcements, and the CWU Connect  app. To stay current, visit the CWU Event Calendar, download the CWU Connect app from the app store (free), and follow @cwuhype, @CWUwildcats, and other CWU department social media accounts.

  • What happens to mail and deliveries while buildings are locked?

    Standard U.S. postal service packages continue to be delivered normally to each building’s mail room.

    FedEx and UPS have been notified to deliver all packages to Central Stores. Signs also have been placed on the doors of buildings, notifying vendors to deliver items to Central Stores.

    Staff can arrange to pick up deliveries from Central Stores once the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order is no longer is in effect.

    Until further notice, all purchases should list the delivery location as:

    Central Stores
    Department (Name), Individual (Name)
    400 E. University Way
    Ellensburg, WA 98926-7523

Health & Safety

  • What efforts are being made to keep campus safe?

    The following practices currently apply to the Ellensburg campus and all university centers and teaching sites: 

    Reduced Density on Campus
    The number of staff, faculty, and students on Ellensburg’s campus will be reduced in order to limit the risk of spreading COVID-19. The number of students living on campus has been limited to about 1,600 (normally 4,000); more courses will be offered online; and a majority of faculty and staff members will continue to work remotely.

    Health Attestation
    All students and employees will be required to complete a COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Compliance form at the beginning of each quarter. This form is available on MyCWU and will help ensure students and employees understand the health risks of COVID-19 as well as their roles and responsibilities in mitigating those risks for themselves and others.

    Daily Health Screening
    CWU has developed an online tool that will allow employees and students to monitor their potential COVID-19 symptoms on a daily basis. This tool is located in MyCWU and must be completed each day, prior to coming to campus. If you are sick, you must stay home.

    Distancing
    Until a vaccine is available, physical distancing is a crucial factor in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The best distancing practice is to remain six feet or more from one another. The use of face coverings is also required. These rules will apply inside and outside of buildings. In addition, learning spaces and offices spaces are being reconfigured to accommodate six feet of physical distancing. Signage is being placed throughout campus to encourage traffic flows and keep people properly spaced apart inside and outside of buildings. 

    Client-facing Spaces
    Many spaces on campus involve face-to-face service, such as dining, stores, and advising/counseling. In addition to using online service options, the spaces will be reconfigured in ways modeled after retail stores (i.e., using protective barriers).

    Face Coverings and Other Physical Protections
    Everyone who comes on campus will be required to wear face coverings. This rule applies to all employees, students, visitors, and outside personnel (vendors) unless they are unable to do so because of a health-related reason. Face shields may be worn while teaching or working if the employee prefers. The Face Covering Policy, CWUP 2-40-145, is available online.

    CWU will provide cloth face coverings to all students and employees. Alternative face coverings (hoods, shields, face guards) will also be made available to employees whose positions require additional protection, as well as to students and staff, upon request.

    Sanitizing and Washing
    The university will continue to emphasize the sanitization of shared spaces and the importance of regular handwashing and sanitizing. CWU’s custodial staff will clean all classrooms, labs, and studios at least once daily, and they will sanitize public washrooms twice a day. Sanitizing wipes will be available in all teaching and work areas so spaces can be cleaned between uses. Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the university facilities.

  • What are the primary health and safety protocols in place on campus?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to encourage physical distancing, frequent handwashing, wearing face coverings, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. These preventive measures are expected to continue throughout the coming academic year, even if Kittitas County enters phase 4 of the state’s Safe Start plan before commencement 2021.

  • Are students and employees required to monitor their own health?

    Yes. All members of the CWU community must monitor their own health. Students, faculty, and staff who are coming to campus will be required to log into their MyCWU account daily to participate in a Self-Health Check. The Health Check is a short questionnaire that asks if the student or employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, is under quarantine, or is awaiting COVID test results. Once the questionnaire is complete, the student/employee will be instructed to come to campus, stay home and await their test results, or stay home and contact their health care provider about their symptoms. 

  • What happens if numerous students, faculty, or staff start testing positive for COVID-19?

    The university has put together a COVID Task Force that is updating and testing its plans to address positive cases on campus. If there is an outbreak on campus, CWU will work with public health officials to determine the best way to proceed. Quarantine and isolation protocols will be followed, and CWU will work with the Kittitas Department of Public Health on contact-tracing efforts. If there is a widespread outbreak, classes may be suspended or the campus may be closed entirely to ensure the safety of everyone in the community. 

  • What if a professor tests positive for COVID-19?

    Professors who test positive for the virus will be required to isolate for 14 days. Treatment will be provided by the individual’s personal physician or other self-selected health provider. Depending upon timing and other situational issues, the professor’s classes will continue remotely or revert from in-person to remote. Those classes may be temporarily overseen by another professor, or they may be postponed to a future academic quarter.

  • What is being done to ensure the proper circulation and filtration of air in university buildings?

    Air circulation and filtration has been tested in all buildings on campus. A small percentage of classrooms from several buildings, including Lind Hall, have been removed from consideration for classroom scheduling. Where possible, HVAC systems are being reconfigured to run on full fresh air rather than recirculated air. Air conditioning systems are being pre-purged. Portable filtration systems are being studied as possible supplements in specified areas. Outdoor dining and pop-up outdoor classes are being considered for fall quarter. 

  • Is there a recommended way to physically distance yourself in an elevator?

    When possible, the best option to maintain physical distance would be to wait for the next elevator car or take the stairs. If you must share an elevator with another person, wear a face covering and refrain from coughing and sneezing.

  • How often will classrooms and computer labs be cleaned and sanitized?

    Classrooms and computer labs will be cleaned twice a day. In addition, hand-sanitizing stations will be located throughout campus for faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

  • What should I do if I find out my co-worker, a student, or an instructor is suspected of having, or is diagnosed with, COVID-19?

    All confirmed diagnosed cases of COVID-19 are reported to the patient and the patient’s county public health department. If the student, faculty, or staff member is currently employed at CWU or attending classes, Kittitas County Public Health will contact Central’s liaison to begin contact tracing. Any individuals believed to have been exposed to the patient will be contacted by the public health department and provided instructions. 

    Speculation and suspected cases will not be addressed. COVID cases are only considered official once a confirmed diagnosis has been made and verified by Kittitas County Public Health.

  • What provisions are in place regarding contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine?

    Currently, the Kittitas County Public Health Department is handling CWU student and employee tracing. CWU has identified isolation/quarantine spaces for 50 individuals and has processes in place to provide medical attention and food for those in isolation.  

Resources

  • What additional technology is available to students and what steps are needed to get access?

    CWU have provided technological retrofitting of non-academic spaces according to the needs of the courses to be taught in such spaces. A request for voice amplification assistance and other teaching and learning technology needs for fall quarter was made to department chairs in mid-June. 

    About 200 laptops will be made available for loan to students, as needed. We encourage students to bring laptops with them to campus whenever possible. However, if you need a laptop for fall quarter, please complete the Equipment Checkout form. Supplies are limited, and devices are checked out on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • How can I request information services?

    Although Samuelson Hall is closed, the Service Desk staff is working remotely. Any technology pickup/drop off or in-person assistance will need to be scheduled to take place outside of Bouillon Hall. Bouillon is locked, along with all other academic facilities, so please continue to contact the Service Desk to coordinate any hardware- or software-related support at 509-963-2001 or servicedesk@cwu.edu.

Travel

  • Is CWU restricting travel to other countries or locations?

    CWU has canceled all education abroad programs and university-related international student travel through the end of spring quarter 2021.

    While both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) have removed their previous global advisories, they maintain high-level, destination-specific travel advisories due to COVID-19 risk. The CDC maintains Level 3 Travel Health Warnings (Avoid Nonessential Travel)—its highest level of Travel Notice—for the majority of the world and continues to recommend US colleges and universities suspend student international travel programs. Similarly, the DOS maintains at least Level 3 Travel Advisories (Reconsider Travel)—the second highest level of Travel Advisory—for most of the world, specifically citing COVID-19. Moreover, the US and countries around the world continue to maintain an array of travel restrictions, stay-in-place orders and other measures to stem continued transmission. 

    The university administration and Office of International Studies and Programs continue to monitor developments and will evaluate the viability of further terms at a later date. Students should not make any non-refundable payments at the moment; CWU will not reimburse students for such expenses in the event of cancelation.

    Any member of the CWU community who chooses to disregard university recommendations for international travel must understand they will do so at their own risk and may face difficulties in return travel to the U.S. and/or possible restricted access to the CWU campus.

  • May I travel on official CWU business?

    No. CWU has suspended all non-essential, out-of-state university travel effective immediately and for the foreseeable future. This includes, but is not limited to, conferences and/or professional development opportunities. Essential travel is travel deemed necessary to the operations of the university. 

    If you previously booked travel to occur before June 1, 2020, talk with your supervisor. Because this is a rapidly changing environment, travel will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

  • What if I wish to travel on non-CWU-sponsored trips?

    If your plans include traveling, particularly internationally, please understand you will do so at your own risk and may face difficulties in return travel to the US and/or possible restricted access to the CWU campus.

    Depending on your destination, you may have to make difficult decisions to change or even cancel plans to ensure your own well-being and timely return to campus. In many countries, there may be new entry and exit control measures and even quarantines implemented with very little notice. These actions could severely impact your plans and/or delay your return home or your ability to return to campus once you are back in the state.

    Please carefully weigh the risks and benefits of any international travel and view US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on COVID-19 to learn more.

General Information

  • If the public health situation worsens, what additional steps will the university take?

    The university has extensive and thorough emergency procedures, and is committed to doing everything it can to ensure the health and safety of our community. Because this is a rapidly changing situation, we need to prepare for a range of possibilities.

    In the event that a quarantine involving students becomes necessary, we are preparing for a multi-faceted response that would include providing food service and/or moving students off-campus or to sequestered areas of the residence halls. In the event many cases are diagnosed, those who could safely leave the campus would be encouraged to do so, thereby increasing our capacity to assist others who are unable to travel.

    The university is coordinating closely with county public health agencies and the Washington State Department of Health on its response, including contingency planning.

  • Is there information available about any community members being screened for COVID-19?

    To protect their privacy, CWU legally is not able to release personal information about any students or university community members who are being monitored or tested for novel coronavirus, including their location. Information regarding COVID cases and screenings is available through Kittitas County Public Health, which maintains all COVID-related information.

  • How is CWU following up with people who were in contact with anyone who is being tested?

    Local health departments closely monitor people who are at potential risk and have protocols for contacting individuals who may have been in close contact with CWU community members being screened for the novel coronavirus, such as roommates. Should any CWU community member be diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, the relevant local health department and CWU would initiate appropriate protocols to protect the health of anyone deemed to be at risk.

  • Are there any resources for combating stigmatization, bias and xenophobia related to the coronavirus?

    Many of us are concerned about what the people in our communities may be experiencing, including possible stigmatization or discrimination based on racial bias or appearances. Please help others understand that the risk of coronavirus is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or nationality.

    Stigma doesn’t fight the illness and will hurt innocent people, but sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to keep rumor and misinformation from spreading. Public Health — Seattle & King County has compiled resources for combating stigmatization, bias and xenophobia that can be used to prevent and respond to incidents of discrimination.

    If you know of incidents of bias related to the novel coronavirus, please notify the CWU Diversity and Equity Center.

  • I am feeling anxious about this situation. Where do I go for help?

    If you are feeling anxiety, 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.

  • If I work from home and only have personal devices, may I use them?

    Yes. However, employees are required to keep work files separate from personal files if using a personal device. Using Office 365 and OneDrive allows for remote work options with the use of personal computer equipment. In addition to OneDrive, remote work options for use of personal computer equipment would include the use of flash drives to separate files and the use of our Virtual Private Network (VPN), when needed.

    These approaches allow employees to work from home on their personal devices and keep CWU files separate from personal ones. Check out CWU Remote Work Resources.