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Housing & Food Services

Coronavirus FAQ

West campus residence halls

Updated: September 9, 2022

Over the past two years, HFS has tailored COVID-19 mitigation efforts to the on-campus housing environment, including mask wearing, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, and supporting the UW vaccination requirement, to provide a safe and healthy community living environment.

We are well positioned to modify operations as pandemic conditions change to ensure your Husky Home will be a place of safety and comfort while you focus on the school year.

Information, policies and procedures contained on this page are subject to change pending new guidance and recommendations from the university and/or local/state/federal agencies and leaders, and the evolving nature of the pandemic situation.

For up-to-date information visit the University’s COVID-19 guidance and response.

This page will be updated regularly. New content will be marked with a gold band.

Vaccination

 UW Vaccine Requirement for Students

Widespread vaccination is the only real way we can put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us and return to a more normal way of living, learning and working. Fortunately, vaccines are now readily available that have proven safe and highly effective, including through clinical trials in which our own faculty collaborated and during real-world experience.

In order to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, academic personnel, staff and broader community, the University of Washington will require all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Members of the UW community are encouraged to stay up to date with vaccine recommendations, including boosters.

 If I have not been vaccinated yet, can I still apply for housing?

Yes. However, it is expected that you will comply with the UW vaccination requirement by the time you move in or immediately after you arrive on campus. Vaccination verification will be handled by the University for all students, not just HFS residents.

 Do I verify to HFS I've been vaccinated?

The University's Housing & Food Services department is not handling vaccination verifications. Before the start of autumn quarter, students will need to verify to the University they have been vaccinated unless they are claiming a medical or religious exemption. This is similar to our existing tri-campus immunization requirement. If students are unable to verify they are vaccinated because they can’t get vaccinated where they currently live, the University will provide access to vaccinations upon arrival on campus. Information on the UW vaccination requirement, including how to attest to your status, is available at https://www.washington.edu/coronavirus/vaccination-requirement/

 May I request to live with a vaccinated student?

With the vaccination requirement in place, it is anticipated nearly all UW students and HFS residents will be vaccinated, making it unlikely such a request is necessary. You can use the HFS roommate finder app to identify a roommate who may be a good fit for your preferences, including vaccination status. We encourage prospective roommates to discuss COVID-19 prevention and mitigation strategies as you get to know each other.

 If my roommate is unvaccinated can I switch rooms?

You can use the Room Swap Message Board to identify a roommate who may be a good fit for your preferences, including vaccination status. Once you have found a resident to swap with, both parties should complete the 2021–22 Mutual Room Swap Request to notify HFS of your request. The deadline to submit a room swap request is September 7. We encourage prospective roommates to discuss COVID-19 prevention and mitigation strategies as you get to know each other.

 Will community standards and policies be applied differently depending on vaccination status?

Our community standards and expectations will apply to all HFS residents, including compliance with the public health guidance and university policies associated with your vaccination status.

 Living with family members in Family Housing—are family members required to be vaccinated as well?

At this point, vaccination is only required of students and employees. We do recommend everyone living in or visiting our residential communities be vaccinated.


Communication

 To our residents

  • Posters and digital display boards are used to display information on hygiene practices and other safety information
  • Proper hygiene is posted in each shared restroom
  • HFS will provide an addendum to each resident outlining COVID-19 prevention expectations, protocols, and measures

 Family and guardians

Sending your student off to live on-campus during these challenging times can be stressful. We want to ensure you that providing your student with a comfortable and safe living environment is our top priority. We have protocols in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and procedures you can trust if your student becomes sick, including rapid testing for COVID-19 and care for them if they need to be isolated for recovery.


Cleaning and service

 How we clean

  • HFS custodial staff clean building public areas daily, including shared restrooms, using EPA-registered disinfectants
  • Cleaning frequencies will be modified, including additional disinfection, based on current public health guidance for specific types of spaces.
  • Residents are responsible to clean their own in-unit bathrooms.
    • While residents are encouraged to bring their own cleaning supplies, limited cleaning supplies are available in each hall
    • HFS has created a bathroom cleaning training video for residents
  • Appropriate cleaning protocols are in place to respond to a positive COVID-19 case
  • All entries to student residence, dining and amenity spaces will have continually replenished hand sanitizer dispensers
  • Hand sanitizer is available for sale in all HFS on-campus stores and markets

 Dining on campus

Health and safety is at the forefront of our attention in our dining venues. On-campus dining locations comply with current university, local, and state requirements and guidelines. Takeout options are available throughout our restaurants and cafés.


Physical distancing and masks

 Physical Distancing Update

Based on state guidance, the UW has lifted both indoor and outdoor distancing and COVID-19 capacity requirements, though distancing is still recommended for unvaccinated individuals and in crowded settings.
 

 Face Covering Update

As of April 26, 2022, face coverings are strongly recommended indoors at UW locations.  Masks continue to be required in healthcare and clinical facilities on campus. 

Masks remain an important took against respiratory illnesses of all kinds and offer greater protection that can help all in our community feel safe.  People need to or choose to wear masks for a wide range of reasons, and we should respect their needs and choices.

The latest information can be found at the UW Face Covering Policy


Testing, tracing and quarantine

 COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing remains a central part of the University’s prevention and response. 

All UW community members are encouraged to sign up for Husky Coronavirus Testing, a voluntary research study that provides testing for community members enrolled in the program at no cost to them.  PCR tests through Husky Coronavirus Testing will be available at staffed locations throughout campus.

Rapid antigen test kits are available at several distribution sites throughout campus at no cost to UW students and personnel, including at the Lander Desk, Willow Desk, and Nordheim Desk.  Additional information on distribution sites will be kept up to date at uw.edu/coronavirus.  You can also get a PCR test at Hall Health Primary Care Clinic by appointment or pick up a self-test antigen kit at the Hall Health pharmacy. UW Medicine continues to offer PCR testing at the E4 parking lot site next to Montlake Boulevard.  Additional testing options are listed on uw.edu/coronavirus, including the free rapid tests available from the state and federal government for home delivery.

UW Environmental Health & Safety has guidance on how to choose between a PCR and antigen test based on your specific situation.

 Travel guidance

For travel information, see the CDC travel guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html

 Isolation and quarantine protocols

 COVID-19 case investigation and tracing

Case investigation and contact tracing is generally able to be conducted within 24 hours of a positive case. The university is increasing contact tracing capabilities for fall and is working in partnership with Public Health of Seattle and King County and the state of Washington.

Visit the UW COVID-19 Case Response site for more information: https://ehs.washington.edu/covid-19-case-response


Housing assignments

 Public Health Agreement

Applicants for 2022–23 housing must submit the 2022–23 Public Health Agreement as part of their application.

 Housing for 2022–23

We anticipate that all facilities will open at their pre-COVID capacity for autumn quarter 2022. 

This page will be updated if we are advised differently by UW Environmental Health & Safety, the UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, and University leadership.


Residential Life

 Residential activities for you

Our Residential Life team will work hard to give you the best possible residential activities experience, while taking precautions to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. In addition to in-person events our team will offer various virtual and door-to-door programs throughout the year to bring you fun and innovative ways to experience your best Husky Home with your friends and neighbors. These events are brought to you by your fellow students on community-based Hall Councils, the Residential Programming Board (RPB), the Residence Education Programmers (REP), and Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED). The Residential Community Student Association (RCSA) will also be very active all year to provide you with leadership and connection opportunities.

 Amenities

Additional and enhanced cleaning procedures will remain in place in all amenities spaces:

Cleaning procedures include regular disinfecting of high touch surfaces, more frequent cleaning of all common spaces, and disinfecting of equipment before checking out and after checking in. Soap and water, as well as hand sanitizer, are available at all spaces.

We are offering more small-scale workshops in Area 01, The MILL and The 8. Please check out our workshop offerings and register for workshops on the Perks and Recreation website.

Staff are available in person to answer questions one on one and help get you situated or set up on the equipment. All equipment is available for use on a first come, first served basis.