Thanks to the hard work of everyone in our Husky community, the UW is continuing with another successful quarter on our campuses this winter. Instructors have been offered some flexibility, so students should confirm with their faculty member how their class will proceed.
Below is an overview of our current operations, health and safety measures, and links to more detailed information for students and personnel.
We look forward to welcoming more of you back to our campuses and into our classrooms and labs. As was the case in the fall, accommodations can be requested by those with health-related conditions or needs that put them at heightened risk. We’re also asking instructors to be flexible when it comes to student absences due to illness or other coronavirus-related disruptions, including the need to quarantine or because of daycare or school closures that may affect our students who are parents. Please note that while instructors will work to find ways for you to make-up missed coursework, they are not required to provide a synchronous remote option for classes that are being taught in person.
As a public research university, we’re fortunate to have experts in medicine and public health who’ve been studying the pandemic from its beginning. We understand much more about the virus now than when it emerged, our University’s vaccination rates are outstanding, and Washington state’s vaccination levels remain some of the nation’s highest. We will continue making decisions that reflect the most current public health guidance, as we have throughout the pandemic.
Facilities and learning spaces
Campus offices are expected to be open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday. Some offices may open earlier or remain open later. Through Jan. 28, main entrances to campus buildings are open Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Secondary doors require swiping your Husky Card for access.
The University Y Student Center is open to current students, faculty and staff, and is following state COVID-19 guidelines to protect your health and safety.
UW has implemented a vaccine verification system for all Husky ticketed events, including basketball games and gymnastics meets. All spectators 12 and older will need to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event. Additionally, in accordance with state policy, all spectators are required to wear a mask, indoors and outdoors, regardless of vaccination status at all Husky athletics events.
All students, including students in fully online programs, are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 if they do not receive a medical or religious exemption. You must verify your COVID-19 vaccination status and upload documentation – such as a vaccination card or other proof of vaccination – or upload an exemption request for review by the UW’s Hall Health Center in order to register for classes.
Visit our FAQ to learn how you can check whether you have met the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
There are many free testing options available to you, including Husky Coronavirus Testing (HCT), a voluntary research study. HCT test kits are available for pick up and drop off on campus at the University Y Student Center, Monday - Friday between 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. You can also enroll in the program there.
UW Tacoma will continue to follow local and state public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as we have throughout the pandemic.
We will continue to require all individuals to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. A mask or other suitable face covering is required indoors when other people are present and in all public and common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, stairways, restrooms, elevators and shared vehicles.
Vaccinations and face coverings help us protect each other, making it possible for us to be in community together. You can read all the details about our UW Face Covering Policy from Environmental Health & Safety.
Outdoors, face coverings are required for UW events with 500 or more people, regardless of vaccination status. We also recommend face coverings in outdoor settings where there is a decreased ability to consistently maintain a physical distance between others. You’re welcome to continue wearing face coverings wherever and whenever you wish for any reason.
UW Tacoma is fortunate to have an outstanding Facilities team who keeps our classrooms and buildings safe all day, every day. If you’d like a deep dive into our cleaning and safety protocols, UW Environmental Health & Safety has a wealth of information on its COVID-19 resources page, including its building readiness guidelines.
What would cause the UW to change the course of our coronavirus response?
In March 2020, the UW was the first university in the country to move to remote courses. In autumn 2021, we were one of the last to return to largely in-person instruction. Those decisions, along with the many others made along the way, were guided by some of the world’s top health experts and made with health and well-being as our priorities.
We have also considered what would prompt a major change in course, such as a return to largely remote working and/or learning. No single metric can accurately capture a complex public health situation. We will continue to engage in science- and evidence-based decision making, relying on the expertise of our UW, local and state experts to guide us. Several scenarios could lead to a return to largely remote operations, including a major uptick in on-campus transmissions or positivity rates; greatly diminished capacity in our area hospitals; major disruptions in our K-12 schools or transportation systems; or the imposition of state or local restrictions, such as distancing requirements or “stay at home” orders. At this time, none of those scenarios are occurring. We will continue to monitor public health conditions and respond accordingly.