As you prepare to return to campus, we understand that you may have concerns and may be experiencing uncertainties related to COVID-19, including concerns about living with another person outside of your current household. This summer, HFS staff have been working to create a platform for you to begin considering these dynamics and engaging in conversation to navigate this uncertain time. We hope you will engage in direct communication and take a proactive approach to any potential conflicts or apprehensions that may come up in your space as it relates to COVID-19.
As part of your roommate or apartment-mate relationship during the 2020-2021 academic year, you are encouraged to discuss your personal decisions regarding essential guests, face coverings, and social and physical interaction with others. An integral part of living with another person is considering how your actions may impact others and how you can proactively communicate about these topics to build a positive relationship and maintain a healthy living environment.
At this time, local, state, and federal guidance encourages physically distancing from others (6+ feet), wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, and monitoring your health for symptoms of illness.
When you arrive on campus, you will be provided with a mask to help you comply with UW face covering expectations when engaging in necessary activities such as picking up meals and attending in-person classes.
As you begin to establish your new household on campus (according to the CDC, a household is defined as “people living together in close quarters”), it is also important to consider your choices as it relates to interacting with former household members or family members, such as implementing face coverings and physical distancing. As you approach COVID-19 related conversations with your new household members who are your roommates or apartment-mates, it is important to review local legislation and HFS Coronavirus Information for Residents, which may evolve over time.
Here are some questions to consider when having these conversations:
- After reviewing policies related to COVID-19, how will you and your roommate approach decision-making and communication about face coverings and about essential guests?
- What places outside your residential space do you intend to visit or use during autumn quarter, such as a workplace, research lab, or a class?
- What in-person interactions do you anticipate having and what types of precautions do you intend to take?
- Within your roommate relationship, how will you hold each other accountable for maintaining wellness and personal safety and what will you do if there is a difference in each of your personal health and safety practices?
- How will you navigate any changes to expectations or changes to your own preferences?
Once you move into your residential space for autumn quarter, your Roommate Agreement or Apartment Agreement will be sent to you by email, which will help you to continue this meaningful conversation, establish norms for your space, and discuss strategies and resources to help you if a conflict arises. Please also know that your Resident Adviser or Community Assistant will help support you in these dialogues about your personal health practices and COVID-19.
While living on campus, if you begin to feel symptoms of COVID-19 including but not limited to fever, cough, loss of taste, shortness of breath, or digestive issues, or if you come into close contact with someone who has these symptoms or has tested positive, please contact your healthcare provider or UW Hall Health Center by phone (206-685-1011).
Thank you in advance for doing your part to keep your residential community safe. We look forward to seeing you this autumn.