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COVID-19 Employee FAQs

Vaccine Eligibility + On-Campus Clinics

Spring/Summer 2021 Information

  • Are Daily Health Check forms required for spring quarter?

    Yes. CWU will continue to require students and employees to verify their current health status prior to visiting campus. This policy may also continue this summer and fall. Students and employees also completed the quarterly attestation at the beginning of spring quarter.

  • When will CWU staff return to work on campus?

    CWU hopes to welcome faculty and staff back to campus in a graduated manner over the summer. Housing staff, Dining staff, and other support teams will be returning to support the student-athletes returning to campus August 1. The plans for all employees returning to work are under development. 

  • Will face coverings be required on campus during summer and fall?

    Yes. The CWU face covering policy will remain in effect for all indoor and outdoor spaces on campus until further notice. The university is working closely with public health officials to determine when it is safe to relax current COVID-19 safety policies.

  • Will face coverings be required indoors and outdoors for vaccinated people?

    Yes. Face coverings will be required in indoor and outdoor spaces (except private offices) for everyone who comes to campus this summer and fall. 

  • Why do vaccinated people have to wear face coverings outdoors if the CDC says it is safe? 

    Until more people in Kittitas County and the state are vaccinated, and public health officials say it is safe to resume normal activities in indoor and outdoor spaces, CWU will continue to follow its current face covering policy.

  • How is CWU ensuring campus safety this spring?

    Student Health Services (SHS) will continue its weekly surveillance testing of students — a program that was implemented during winter quarter in order to increase the chances of catching and containing any positives cases before they became an outbreak.

    In addition, CWU has been doing — and will continue to do — its case investigation and contact tracing efforts for all CWU students during spring quarter. There is a dedicated team working every day in partnership with Kittitas County Public Health Department to ensure the safety of the campus community.

  • How will summer quarter classes be offered?

    Most classes will be offered online, which has been standard for previous summer quarters at CWU. For those coming to campus, safety protocols such as physical distancing and wearing face coverings will still be in effect. 

  • Will there be camps or conferences this summer?

    No. Following the COVID-19 safety guidelines issued by the governor’s office, CWU will forego its usual summer programming. Some virtual events will still be offered.

  • Will there be new student orientations?

    Yes, but the format is still being developed. The university is considering a combination of in-person and virtual orientation events by splitting participants into smaller groups. A formal decision about orientation events is expected in mid-April.

Faculty Information

Fall Quarter 2021 Planning

2021 Safety Protocols

  • 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 Check
    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 the vaccine is widely distributed, 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.

  • 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
  • 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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    Additional information is available on the CWU-Together SharePoint website (for employees only) and the CWUTogether and Faculty FAQs webpages.

  • Where can employees go for additional 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.

2021 Schedule/Academics

Return to Campus & Telework

  • 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. 

  • 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.  

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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

Daily Health Checks & Attestation

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.