CWU News

CWU Ellensburg Campus Community: Respiratory Virus Information


Dear Campus Community,

The university was notified by the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) that a student at Central Washington University’s Ellensburg residential campus is being screened for the Novel Coronavirus. The student, who is in voluntary isolation, recently traveled internationally to attend an event, which may have exposed the student to the virus. The student became ill and was seen locally at the CWU Student Medical & Counseling Clinic. This is not a confirmed case of the virus.

While awaiting test results, the university is working closely with KCPHD to ensure precautions are being taken to minimize risk to the campus and others in the community. Testing is a precautionary measure, and KCPHD anticipates most persons tested will not have the infection.

CWU and KCPHD are working together to ensure the student is being cared for and that the campus remains safe. KCPHD has interviewed the student and will work with any close contacts to mitigate any potential exposures.

Test results are expected to be available within 48-72 hours. The student will remain in isolation until testing results are confirmed.

As of January 30, there is only one case of confirmed Novel Coronavirus infection in Washington state (in Snohomish County).

In the meantime, the university is recommending that everyone follow the guidelines for preventing the spread of respiratory viruses, especially during cold and flu season, including:

  • Stay home when you are sick to prevent others from being exposed to your illness.
  • If you see a health care provider for fever and cough, ask for a surgical mask to help prevent spread of infection when in the health care setting.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

For more information about Novel Coronavirus visit DOH at For updated official CWU information go to:


James L. Gaudino