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Coronavirus FAQ

Bright sunlight through fall trees outside west campus residence halls

Updated: March 14, 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.

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.

 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.

 There are no vaccinations available to me where I live. Can I still move in and get vaccinated after I get there?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccinations are readily available in the community and can be accessed via Vaccine Locator (https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/) upon arrival to campus. UW anticipates having vaccination opportunities available on campus as well.

 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.

 For those living in family housing apartments with family members, 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

On-campus dining locations have modified operations to align with current university, local, and state requirements and guidelines. Expanded takeout service will be continued to maximize options for customers, and many self-service or open service options have transitioned to pre-packaged sealed grab-and-go.


Physical distancing and masks

 Physical Distancing Update

Based on state guidance, the UW is lifting 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

Following changes to state and local health policies, face coverings or masks will be optional inside most University facilities starting March 28. Masks will continue to be required in clinical and other health-care settings and on public transportation, including UW shuttles.

While optional, mask wearing is welcomed and encouraged during spring quarter. Masks remain an important tool 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.

More information can be found at Novel coronavirus information (washington.edu).


Testing, tracing and quarantine

 Husky Coronavirus Testing Program

You can spread the coronavirus even if you have no symptoms — so for your health and the health of our community, you’re encouraged to enroll in the Husky Coronavirus Testing program.

Tests for the virus that causes COVID-19 are administered at in-person testing sites and through a test you can take yourself at home. The program is powered by the Seattle Flu Study team — the group that was the first to report community spread of COVID-19 in the United States. If you have questions, please review our testing FAQ. You can also email huskytest@uw.edu or call (206) 616-2414.

 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

 Rapid COVID-19 testing

Hall Health offers coronavirus-related care to students, staff, alumni and the greater UW community. If you or your roommate have questions or concerns about coronavirus, please call Hall Health at 206.685.1011. They will ask you about your symptoms, living situation, and job (if any) to help determine whether you need to be tested and where that testing might occur. They will determine whether you need to visit the clinic in-person, talk with a nurse by phone or schedule a video visit. Test results processed through UW Laboratory Medicine are often available within 6 to 8 hours. Please do not go to Hall Health without calling first.

 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 respecting physical distancing and other precautions designed to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. There will be fun and innovative ways for you to experience your best Husky Home with your friends and neighbors, brought to you by your fellow students on the Residential Programming Board (RPB) and the Residence Education Programmers (REP). The Residential Community Student Association (RCSA) will also be very active all year, providing you with leadership and connection opportunities.

 Amenities

  • Additional cleaning procedures have been implemented including regular disinfecting of high touch surfaces, more frequent cleaning of all common spaces, and time in between room reservations to allow for cleaning. Soap and water, as well as hand sanitizer, are available at all spaces. Some items that are difficult to clean (i.e. board games) may be temporarily unavailable for check out.
  • We’ll still offer makerspace workshops, and we also plan to hold several virtual events throughout the year. Each workshop will allow a limited number of students to register to allow for appropriate physical distancing. We also have three new how-to videos in case you’re more comfortable watching a video than attending an in-person workshop. They are: Intro to 3D Printing, Intro to Laser Cutting, and Intro to Vinyl Cutting.
  • You can still get staff assistance on your school or personal project. Staff are available in person or virtually via Zoom to answer questions or get you started on one of the machines.
  • Appointments are available and strongly recommended in Area 01, Fitness Center West, and the MILL. Appointments are open on the Perks & Recreation portal: reg.hfs.uw.edu. The McMahon 8 will operate by appointment only and appointments for academic projects can be made by contacting hfsperks@uw.edu.