WSU remains committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment; which includes preventing COVID-19 infections in the workplace. After contact tracing since March 2020, including cases involving pre-symptomatic but infectious employees occupying the workplace, EH&S has learned that masks and distancing very effectively prevent workplace infections. With the vaccines now available statewide and to anyone accessing WSU facilities, COVID cases in the state and on campus continue to decline. As prevalence decreases, the need for controls, such as those identified in the following sections also decreases. Meanwhile, anyone accessing or managing WSU facilities must adhere to the following minimum plan requirements:
WSU requires the COVID-19 vaccine for all students and employees system-wide (except students attending on-line only), with the option for individuals to file a medical or religious exemption. Referencing the Governor’s proclamations establishing vaccination requirements:
A person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or two weeks after they have received a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine e.g., Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen.
Stay Home if You’re Sick
Daily Self-Screening: All Washington State University (WSU) faculty and staff, students and visitors are to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms, diagnosis, and/or exposure on a daily basis before entering a WSU location.
Questions To Ask Yourself:
1. Do I have any cold- or flu-like symptoms or am I waiting for COVID-19 test results? Symptoms include, but are not limited to, sore throat, congestion, fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, recent loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
2. Have you been in close contact with someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19? Close contacts are individuals we were less than six feet away from an infected person (laboratory confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three separate 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes.
3. Have you recently (within the last 5 to 10 days) tested positive for COVID-19.
4. Within the past 14 days, has a public health or medical professional told me to self-monitor, self-isolate, or self-quarantine because of concerns about COVID-19 infection?
- Employees who answer no to all questions may enter a WSU location.
- Employees who answer yes to question 1, 2 or 3, must not enter a WSU work location and are to complete the Department of Health’s Isolation and Quarantine Calculator for next steps.
- Employees who answer yes to question 4 should follow the guidance provided by the public health/medical professional.
Beginning March 12, 2022 masks are no longer required in most WSU facilities. Masks will be required in healthcare settings e.g. Cougar Health Services, in correctional facilities and long term care. People must also wear masks when required by quarantine and isolation guidance.
People may choose to wear masks based upon preference or health considerations. We must support those personal choices, be kind.
Please visit our Contact Tracing page. Close contacts that are not yet fully vaccinated or those that are more than six months from their original mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) vaccine series, or more than two months after receiving the J&J vaccine, and not yet boosted must quarantine for 5 days, followed by 5 more days of strict mask use.
Return to Workplace Process
Each college, campus, or area must have their vice president, chancellor, dean, leader and/or their designee perform the following steps:
- Designate a COVID coordinator for their respective campus, college, or area. This person is responsible for monitoring this webpage for updates to COVID operational guidance and communicating those updates to their respective areas. Additionally, this person should ensure area compliance with the most current guidance.
- Designated COVID coordinators will only be required at the college, campus, and area levels; however, some units or departments under those areas may choose to also designate a COVID coordinator. For example, the College of Arts and Sciences will be required to have a COVID coordinator, and the School of Music may also choose to have a COVID coordinator.
- Direct all units under their purview to follow the current WSU COVID Workplace Guidance (listed on this page).
- Document the name and contact information for their COVID coordinator as well their agreement to follow the most current guidance online.
- All COVID coordinators will receive an email confirming their role and expected duties and an invitation to join Microsoft Teams COVID Coordinators. Updates to return to workplace and campus guidance will be provided via the COVID Coordinators team.
- If the above steps are completed, campuses, colleges, and areas do not need to complete an RMAG review for returning to campus/workplace. However, RMAG is available to provide an optional review to anyone who requests it.
Return to Workplace Training
Due to changing guidance and WSU’s plan for a robust in-person experience in the fall, COVID return to workplace training is no longer necessary. Individuals should follow relevant informational signage and reference this webpage for more information.
See also DOSH directive 1.70, section IV.A.1
Employees may continue working remotely when mutually beneficial to the employee and department or area. Employees working remotely must enter into an approved telework agreement.
WSU has adopted the CDC recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility. As such, disinfectant products will remain available and stocked in classrooms, labs, and offices for individual use. In some communal spaces, like dining halls, game rooms, exercise rooms, and lounges, occupants should continue to disinfect touched surfaces between uses. Facility WSU custodians will continue cleaning facilities daily, with some additional focus on high touch common areas, but will not be cleaning in between classes or activities. Additional cleaning will be performed if a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 ois identified in a WSU facility.
Distancing requirements no longer apply to fully vaccinated Institutions of Higher Education.
Breakrooms and Drinking Fountains
Distancing requirements no longer apply to fully vaccinated Institutions of Higher Education such as WSU see Governor’s Higher Education Proclamation.
Masks must be worn on public transportation.
Industry specific guidance has defaulted to Labor and Industries and Department of Health Requirements. Contact Jason Sampson at 509-335-9564 or Shawn Ringo at 509-335-5251 for assistance if needed.
COVID-19 signage may be removed, Facilities Services requests assistance removing signage from building coordinators.
With the vaccination requirement and associated reductions in COVID cases and restrictions, RMAG review is no longer required for events. Contact Risk Management for assistance with risk awareness and assessment, insurance, enterprise risk management, international risks and travel or other WSU legal or liability concerns.
If you have COVID specific event concerns, contact the COVID Operations Committee by e-mailing Jason Sampson or Shawn Ringo.
Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) must register through COUG Presence, contact Student Involvement for additional information.