CWU News

From the President: Update on COVID-19 Protocols

CWU vaccination clinic in 2021

CWU requires a primary COVID-19 vaccination for students and employees, and strongly recommends receiving the recommended booster shots as well.

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your truly great work during the 2021-2022 academic year as we returned to somewhat more normal operations. I recognize the challenges that last year presented for all of us, and I hope everyone has some down time this summer to be with family and friends.

I am writing with an update on our COVID-19 protocols in light of a June 30, 2022, directive from Governor Inslee. While this directive does not require institutions of higher education to change course, the governor does strongly recommend that we follow the requirements he has laid out for other state employees. These requirements include:

  • All new employees are required to be fully vaccinated with the most up-to-date vaccination.
  • All current employees are required to be fully vaccinated with the most up-to-date vaccination by July 1, 2023.

(Note: These directives are dependent on collective bargaining for represented employees and include religious and medical exemptions.) 

The latest directive defines full, up-to-date vaccination as having received all doses of the primary vaccine, with all boosters recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As you know, here at Central Washington University, we have required all employees and students to be vaccinated with all doses of the primary vaccine, while allowing medical and religious exemptions. We have not, as yet, required boosters, though they are strongly recommended by both the CDC and the American College Health Association.

Given the new variants of COVID-19 that continue to threaten CWU’s ability to operate normally, we are strongly encouraging all employees and students to be fully vaccinated (if they are not already) and to receive boosters, as allowed by the CDC. While being fully vaccinated and boosted does not prevent individuals from contracting the virus, research continues to demonstrate that cases are less severe in those who have been vaccinated and boosted. At this time, our local hospital is full to capacity, which is one of the markers that shows we must continue to take all of the necessary precautions and get vaccinated and boosted.

As the summer progresses, we will engage our shared governance groups—students, staff, and faculty—to determine what steps we might take to ensure a safe return to campus this fall. This may include reinstituting masks for a period of time or requiring boosters. If you have thoughts or feedback, please share your thoughts with members of your employee leadership group or speak to a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

Thank you again for the great work you did together last year. We will manage our way through this next hurdle and have another great year in 2022-2023.


A. James Wohlpart