Mar. 5, 2020
Dear University Community,
I’m writing to update you on how the university community is using the best practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of COVID-19. These measures will also help prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses common at this time of year. We all want to stay healthy so we can meet our work, educational, and other life responsibilities.
CWU is monitoring the local, state and global situation daily, adapting our work and communications to you based on new information and new recommendations by local, state and federal health experts. As of today here are some steps we’re taking to make our public health position as strong as possible.
• Facilities Cleanliness: Custodial staff have increased the frequency of disinfecting common touchpoints like door handles and elevator buttons, light switches, restrooms, and kitchens. At the SURC, a student cleaning crew, which calls itself “the Flu Fighters,” comes in several times a day to wipe-down heavily used surfaces such as office, meeting room, and restroom doors, handrails, and chair arms. We have also increased the number of hand sanitizing stations in buildings.
• Travel: Provost Franken has canceled all academic travel for the month of March. In two weeks she will reassess the situation and announce practices for the month of April. If you must travel, the Provost will assess on a case-by-case basis. Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) has cancelled all education-abroad programs and university-related international travel through spring quarter 2020. We are also requesting all students (undergraduate and graduate), faculty, and staff currently studying or working abroad return to the United States.
• Events: Vice presidents and event sponsors are assessing the risk associated with events on a case-by-case basis. Please consider using Skype or other virtual strategies for meetings when possible and reasonable. For a list of available remote technologies, please visit this website: https://www.cwu.edu/its/remote-work-toolbox.
• Education: As always, we are sharing best practices and information with the university community as soon as we have it. As we have discussed, if you experience flu-like symptoms, please stay home from school and work. Students with respiratory symptoms should call Student Medical Services before entering the building so staff may conduct an initial assessment over the phone. Faculty have been asked to accommodate students who are sick so that they may stay home while they recuperate.
It bears repeating, that the best ways to avoid catching the common cold, the flu, or COVID-19, are to:
• Minimize contact with others
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve if you cough or sneeze
• Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
CWU has developed a website to keep you informed of the latest information regarding COVID-19. Please bookmark the site: cwu.edu/respiratory-viruses. Additional reliable information about COVID-19 can also be found on the Washington State Department of Health website: doh.wa.gov/emergencies/coronavirus.
James L. Gaudino