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Coronavirus FAQ for Residents

Updated April 2, 2020

Spring quarter housing

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a stay at home order. The order allows for the continuation of the current residence hall move-out process, so if you have made an appointment to move your belongings, you can continue with your plans to do so. In light of the announcement, we are changing our move-out deadline for those not living on-campus in spring to May 3 at 5 p.m.

If you haven’t already communicated your intent to stay or move out, please do so as soon as possible. The intent form is on your MyHFS homepage. This information will assist us in determining how to best serve those who do need to stay.

You can choose to continue to live in student housing for the spring quarter. You will pay full housing and dining charges, as normal.

Residents with unique situations

If you cannot secure any short-term move-out arrangements that work for your situation, or have concerns for your health or safety, you can keep your belongings in your room until the May 3 deadline.

We understand that you may have unique circumstances that will not neatly fit with the options we have presented or the new May 3 deadline. We can talk with you to come to a solution that works for you, please contact us at

Storing belongings if you can’t return to move them

If you’ve already left and/or can’t return to campus right away to get your personal belongings, we can connect you with our partner, Dorm Room Movers (DRM), to arrange and supply break period storage. Fill out this form to request this service and a DRM representative will contact you as soon as possible. DRM service charges will apply.

We are also now adding the option of allowing friends or family members to pack up and move your belongings. Please contact us at to make arrangements.

Unspent dining account balances

We will calculate a prorated refund of your remaining dining account balance based upon the difference between your unspent dining account funds and the total of the expected daily spend from the University’s March 6 announcement of online classes until the end of the quarter (16 days). We are able to prorate the refund because our budget anticipated residents would be using their dining account for a full quarter, and because we continued to incur expenses while providing dining services during the period after the online classes announcement.

Residents who have a remaining dining account balance and are not returning to campus housing for spring quarter will receive a message, after they notify us of their intent, which further outlines how this calculation is made.

Possibility of getting moved to a new room

We are working hard to develop plans for moving students to new rooms and buildings, with the dual goals of helping to ensure adequate distancing and keeping residents within a community for safety reasons.

Gone for spring but returning for summer (12-month apartments)

Students who would like to move out completely for spring quarter, including removing your belongings from the room, and return for summer quarter, may do so. In addition to completing the spring quarter housing form on your MyHFS homepage (indicate there that you plan to move out), please notify us at to verify your intention to return for summer quarter. We will reassign you to your current room for summer quarter, and you’ll be able to move back in to your room on Sunday, June 21.

HFS Notification Process for Positive Coronavirus Cases

The University works closely with UW Medicine and local public health departments to identify UW community members who test positive for COVID-19. Once the University is aware of a positive test result, efforts to reduce the risk of transmission are initiated, such as notifying UW community members who were in close contact with the person who tested positive. This includes HFS residents if they have had close contact with someone who tested positive.

Information that is released more broadly is limited in order to protect students’ privacy. Notification emails will be sent to residents of an entire building if there are special circumstances that make it necessary for residents of the building to be aware of the case specifically or situations that impact the broader housing community.

Unless you have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, the preventive measures you should take are the same regardless of whether there has been a case in your building: monitor your health, and if you develop symptoms, such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath, please stay home and seek medical care by contacting your health care provider or Hall Health Center.

If your health care provider has confirmed or suspects that you have COVID-19, please contact UW Environmental Health & Safety’s (EH&S’s) Employee Health Center at or 206-685-1026.

Note: During the COVID-19 situation, all UW residence hall and apartment common areas are receiving enhanced cleaning, per public health guidance.

More information is available on the UW Coronavirus page. In addition, UW Environmental Health & Safety maintains a UW count of confirmed COVID-19 cases by campus.

Cleaning and sanitation

HFS implemented increased cleaning and sanitation and is continuing to do enhanced cleaning, which includes cleaning of touchpoints such as door handles and common surfaces twice a day. The disinfectant being used is approved by the CDC as effective against this coronavirus. The frequency of cleaning is effective and there is no need, at this time, to increase frequency.

Returning resident status for next academic year

All residents living with us during any part of winter quarter or spring quarter this academic year will qualify for returning resident status for next year if they are interested in returning for 2020 –21. When you fill out your housing application, you will be asked if you want to return to the room you occupied at the beginning of winter quarter 2020. If you answer yes, we will assign you to that room. You will still have the opportunity to search for and select a different room during your room selection period.

Our commitment to you

These are unprecedented times, and we are committed to serving you, our residents. We recognize that a shutdown of housing facilities would pose significant problems for students who don’t otherwise have a safe place to live. The University recognizes that our residence halls and apartments are home for many students who cannot easily get back to their permanent residence, or who don’t have a permanent residence to go to. In addition, we have students and families in apartments that are their primary residence. We cannot predict the future, but please know that your safety is our priority and we continue to work closely with public health officials to protect the health and wellbeing of our community.