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Employee FAQs

Updated March 17, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.

Face-covering Policy

  • Has CWU updated its face-covering policy for indoor settings on campus?

    Yes. Effective Saturday, March 19, face coverings will no longer be required in most indoor spaces on the Ellensburg campus, with some exceptions that are outlined below.

    However, CWU will continue to require face coverings through the end of the day Friday, April 8, inside all classrooms and at large indoor gatherings with 500 or more people. Unless otherwise communicated, the CWU mask mandate will end for all indoor spaces on the Ellensburg campus at the end of the day Friday, April 8.

    University Centers and instructional sites will continue to follow the policies of their host institutions.

  • Which campus locations will continue to require face coverings after the mandate ends?

    Face coverings will continue to be required in several places, even after the mask mandate expires on April 9:

    • Lab classes that have close contact, as noted by the faculty member on their syllabus.
    • Public transportation.
    • Health and medical facilities, including the CWU Student Medical and Counseling Center.
    • University-owned or contracted vans or buses for the transportation of large groups of students.
  • Why did CWU change its face-covering policy for the Ellensburg campus?

    CWU updated its face-covering policy due to declining COVID-19 transmission rates and hospitalizations, in accordance with the state’s revised guidelines. New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) places Kittitas County in the low range for COVID-19 transmission, which means masks are encouraged but not required.

    Based on current data and guidance from state and local health officials, this is the direction CWU has chosen to follow. If our status changes and we move back into a higher range, the university’s shared governance groups will discuss reinstituting the mask mandate.

  • What specific guidance is CWU following as it institutes this policy change?

    As it has throughout the pandemic, CWU continues to follow guidance from the CDC, Washington State Department of Health, and local public health officials. The CDC recently changed its guidance on masking, which is now based on three factors: (1) hospital beds used for COVID-19 patients, (2) hospital admissions for COVID-19, and (3) transmission rates, all at a county level. County-level data is available on the CDC website.

  • What was the process for deciding to update the face-covering policy?

    CWU President Jim Wohlpart met with and listened to each of the shared governance groups on campus—faculty, students, exempt employees, classified employees, and administrators—and considered a wide variety of perspectives regarding the face-covering policy. The president and shared governance groups reached a consensus that honors input from each of these constituencies.

  • What is CWU doing to ensure the continued safety of its students and employees?

    CWU continues to encourage everyone to stay home if they are not feeling well and contact your supervisor or instructor to make arrangements.

    In addition, the university will host a series of testing clinics for students and employees the week after spring break (March 29-31) in SURC 137. CWU will closely monitor the data from those clinics and the local health department for the next two weeks and make any determinations about how to proceed with the face-covering mandate at that time. If you have questions about the testing clinics, call Student Health Services at 509-963-1881.

  • Will faculty and staff members be given flexibility with this policy change?

    Yes. Faculty may request that masks continue to be worn in their classrooms after April 8, and any employee or student may request that those entering their spaces when they are occupied (e.g., offices, residence hall rooms) wear a mask when they enter. CWU asks that you honor those requests, recognizing that individuals may have reasons for requesting the additional safety measure.

  • Can face coverings still be worn on campus?

    Yes. Masks have been shown to increase safety, and CWU encourages anyone who wants to continue wearing a mask to do so. The university asks everyone to remember that we do not know why an individual may be wearing a mask. They may be immunocompromised or may be caring for young children who cannot be vaccinated.

  • Who should I contact if I need an accommodation?

    Faculty, staff, and students who need a safety accommodation with regard to the new policy should contact Human Resource Services at 509-963-1202 or hr@cwu.edu, or Disability Services at 509-963-2214 or ds@cwu.edu.

    Are vaccinations still required for CWU students and employees?

    Yes. The changes to the face-covering policy do not affect the COVID-19 vaccination policy that was implemented in the summer of 2021.

  • Are vaccinations still required for CWU students and employees?

    Yes. The changes to the face-covering policy do not affect the COVID-19 vaccination policy that was implemented in the summer of 2021.

COVID-19 Testing & Boosters

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

  • Are all CWU employees required to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

    Yes. In compliance with Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-12.4 and Proclamation 21-14.1, CWU has made obtaining a vaccination an urgent priority. CWU administration, with advice from the Kittitas County Public Health Department, believes a fully vaccinated community is the best way to protect our individual and collective health and safety.

    Additionally, it is only through widespread vaccinations that CWU can begin to loosen or remove restrictions that have impacted social and mental well-being, and increase access to a more complete in-person campus living and learning experience for more students.

    Read more about the vaccination requirement here.

  • How do employees provide proof of vaccination?

    The COVID-19 vaccination requirement remains in place for winter quarter 2022 and proof of vaccination will be required to remain employed at CWU. If you have not yet completed the verification process, visit our Vaccination Verification page for instructions or visit cwu.edu/hr.

    Read more about the vaccination requirement here.

  • What documents provide proof of vaccination?

    The following types of proof are permitted:

    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Care or photo of the card;
    • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider or electronic health record; or,
    • State immunization information system record.

    For employees, CWU Human Resources will visually, either in person or through virtual means, verify proof of vaccination. Instructions for employees to provide proof are available at cwu.edu/hr.

    NOTE: Personal attestation is not an acceptable form of verification of COVID-19 vaccination.

    Read more about the Fall 2021 vaccination requirement here.

  • Does the vaccination requirement apply to CWU employees working remotely?

    Yes. The vaccination as a condition of employment requirement applies to all CWU employees regardless of location and/or work setting.

  • Will vaccinations be required of students and employees at CWU university centers and sites?

    Yes. Per President Wohlpart’s August 24 communication, vaccinations will be required of all members of the CWU community — employees and students, including those who learn and work at our university centers and instructional sites and those who learn in virtual environments, even if totally online.

  • Where will information confirming an employee has been vaccinated, including a copy of the vaccination, be kept?

    Information confirming an employee has been vaccinated is confidential and will be stored separately from the employee’s personnel file. HR will visually verify proof of vaccination, check the vaccination box in PeopleSoft (which is stored by employee but not part of the electronic personnel file) for that employee. A copy of the proof of vaccination will not be stored.

    CWU follows all FERPA and HIPAA requirements regarding medical information for students and employees. Only those with a documented need to know will have access to health information, including medical information regarding vaccinations and ADA accommodations.

  • Can CWU ask job applicants about their vaccination status?

    Yes. It is not a disability related inquire under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) to ask an applicant if they have been vaccinated. However, follow-up questions about why a person is not vaccinated cannot occur until after a job offer is made. Proof of vaccination will not be required until after a job offer is made.

Faculty Information

Health & Safety

Travel

  • Is CWU restricting travel to other countries or locations?

    CWU has indefinitely canceled all education abroad programs and university-related international student travel.

    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, 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 U.S. 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.